On Tuesday, the European Commission presented a series of policy recommendations on how Europe can shape its future within an increasingly uncertain and multipolar world. The recommendations outline the objectives that should be part of the EU’s strategic agenda for the period 2019-2024.
They will be discussed at the summit in Sibiu, which will take place on May 9.
Building on the progress made by the European Union in recent years and listening to citizens’ views collected in about 1,600 dialogues with citizens and in light of the results of elections for the European Parliament, the agenda is the right opportunity to address the challenges and opportunities currently facing Europe, states a release of the EC.
In the Commission’s view, future actions should focus on five dimensions:
- A Europe that protects: we should continue our efforts to strengthen a union of effective and real security and build a genuine European Union of defence so that cooperation in the defence field within the EU to become the rule, not the exception. We also need to be more proactive in managing migration. In this respect, wide-ranging actions at all levels and a true EU-level approach based on shared responsibility and solidarity between member states are needed; A competitive Europe: we need to update, modernize and put into practice, in all its aspects, the single market. In research and innovation, we must focus on the ecological, social and economic transition and the related societal challenges. We need to invest in Europe’s main digital capabilities and work together to stimulate artificial intelligence centred on the human factor, created in Europe. We need to further promote economic growth and ensure sustainable prosperity by deepening the economic and monetary union. We must also continue to support the transformation of the European labour market while ensuring its fairness;
- A fair Europe: we must continue our efforts to meet the objectives pursued by the European Social Rights Pillar. We also need to work together with the member states to ensure inclusion and social equality, by also addressing regional disparities, minorities’ needs, gender-related issues and the challenge raised by aging population. We must firmly uphold and promote the common values on which the European Union is based, such as the rule of law. We need a fair and modern tax policy, high-quality health services at reasonable and affordable prices, as well as access to quality, energy-efficient and affordable homes for all European citizens;
- A sustainable Europe: we need to modernize the economy in order to adopt sustainable consumption and production patterns. We need to strengthen our efforts to fight climate change and reverse the trend of environmental degradation. We need to move towards a circular economy more efficient in terms of resource usage by promoting green growth, bio-economy and sustainable innovation. We also need to make the most of the energy union potential by addressing major remaining challenges, including energy security, energy costs for households and enterprises, as well as the impact on climate change;
- An influential Europe: on the world stage, Europe has to assert itself as a key player by consistently and firmly supporting a worldwide, multilateral, rule-based order, having the United Nations at the core. Also, developing solid relations with neighbours from the immediate vicinity, on the basis of a clear balance between rights and obligations, should be a priority for the EU. A strengthened role of the euro in the world would also help increase Europe’s economic and monetary sovereignty.