The European elections and resulting institutional reshuffle in 2019 are taking place against the backdrop of broader strategic discussions about the Future of Europe at the political level, launched following the UK’s decision to leave the EU, in parallel to the European Commission’s ongoing work at the technical level, to prepare for the statutory reviews of key legislative files.
In launching the debate on the Future of Europe in March 2017, the outgoing President of the European Commission framed the decision as a choice for EU Member States between:
- Carrying on
- Nothing but the Single Market
- Those who want more do more
- Doing less more efficiently
- Doing much more together
The choice was subsequently set against five priority policy areas in which EU level action could be valuable; Harnessing globalisation, deepening economic and monetary union, Europe’s social dimension, European defence and the future of the EU budget.
These priorities have been integrated into a draft Strategic Agenda for 2019-2024that is to be adopted by EU leaders in June 2019 as the framing document for the coming mandate. The agenda is focused on 4 key thematic goals:
Protecting citizens and freedoms
Reform of the EU asylum policy, better protect the external border, uphold the rule of law, ensuring cybersecurity and combating disinformation.
Developing our economic base
Deepen and strengthen the Single Market, develop an industrial strategy, ensure fair competition, develop artificial intelligence, promote access to data, and ensure fair and effective taxation.
Building a greener, fairer and more inclusive future
Work towards climate neutrality, protect consumers and health, ensure adequate social protection and inclusive labour markets, and promote a green transition.
Promoting Europe’s interests and values in the world
Assert European economic, political and security interests, maintain and develop the rules based trading system, pursue an ambitious bilateral trade policy, and promote sustainable development and pursue leadership on climate change.
These themes are clearly identifiable in the policy Manifestos adopted by the European level political groups ahead of the European elections.
We will soon publish another article looking more specifically into policy manifestos, stay tuned!