The European Commission has delivered a series of EU policy recommendations for the strategic agenda spanning 2019 to 2024.
The Commission’s recommendations were issued yesterday in anticipation of a meeting of the EU27 leaders in Sibiu, Romania, on 9 May; and are geared towards shaping the future direction of the EU under the new leadership after the EU elections later this month. Under the 2014-19 strategic agenda, the Commission noted, every legislative proposal to which it had committed at the beginning of the period was tabled; with 348 of 471 new legislative proposals adopted by the European Parliament and Council. 90 per cent of the proposals achieved the unanimous approval of the Council of Ministers.
The Commission drew up its next round of EU policy recommendations based on the progress made in the 2014-19 policy period, the potential outcomes of the EU elections; and public input drawn from nearly 1,600 citizen dialogue sessions. It recommended five main policy priorities, geared towards uniting and strengthening the collective power of Member States:
- “Protective Europe” – building a fully functional European Security Union and working towards the establishment of a European Defence Union;
- “Competitive Europe” – upgrading and modernising the Single Market, channelling research and investment into environmental and technological developments and strengthening the ties of the Economic and Monetary Union;
- “Fair Europe” – promoting social inclusion and equality of opportunity under the European Pillar of Social Rights, with particular focus on regional inequality, the specific needs of minority groups and women; and the challenges posed by an increasingly ageing EU population;
- “Sustainable Europe” – embracing the circular economy by promoting sustainable consumption practices and working towards minimising and eventually reversing the damage caused by climate change; and
- “Influential Europe” – strengthening the EU’s role as a world leader, developing strong international relationships and fortifying the position of the euro.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “The duty of every generation is to change the destinies of Europeans, present and future, for the better. To make good on our enduring promise of peace, progress and prosperity. The challenges we Europeans collectively face are multiplying by the day. For Europe to thrive, the EU’s Member States must act together. I remain convinced that it is only in unity that we will find the strength needed to preserve our European way of life, sustain our planet, and reinforce our global influence.”