Leaders of the EU Member States met today in Sibiu, Romania, to discuss the future strategic direction of the EU.
The EU27 heads of state – UK Prime Minister Theresa May was absent – met on Europe Day 2019 to exchange views and devise a coordinated agreement on priorities for the next session of the European Parliament, between 2019 and 2024.
Before the EU27 leaders’ Sibiu summit, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “When I took office, I said it was our last chance to show Europeans that their Union works for them. I have spent the last five years working tirelessly to deliver on the promises we made. In some areas, I believe we have surpassed expectations, in others, we may have fallen short of them. But I believe we have always acted where it counts the most. Now the EU must look forward, learning from our experiences and building on its successes. We must be even more ambitious and focused than ever before.”
The leaders agreed on priority actions including:
- Strengthening a united Europe, promoting solidarity and cooperation between Member States;
- Upholding and defending the fundamental rights of the EU’s citizens and residents;
- Promoting fairness and reducing systemic inequality across the bloc; and
- Safeguarding the future of Europe and acting as a “responsible global leader” by working to combat climate change.
An official declaration issued by the Sibiu attendees said: “In a few weeks, Europeans will elect their representatives in the European Parliament, forty years after they first exercised this fundamental right. A Europe reunited in peace and democracy is but one of many achievements. Since its inception, the European Union, driven by its values and freedoms, has provided stability and prosperity across Europe, within and beyond its borders. Over the years, it has grown into a major player on the international scene. Gathering around half a billion citizens, with a competitive single market, it is a leader in worldwide trade, and shapes global politics. We reaffirm our belief that united, we are stronger in this increasingly unsettled and challenging world. We recognise our responsibility as leaders to make our Union stronger and our future brighter, while recognising the European perspective of other European States.”