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13 Dec 2017

EU agrees legislative priorities for 2018-19

The legislative priorities of the European Union were approved by the Council on 12 December 2017, after having previously been agreed with the European Parliament (EP and the Commission (EC). The priorities are set out in a joint declaration due to be signed by the Presidents of the three institutions on 14 December 2017. The declaration lists the main legislative initiatives on which the three institutions aim to achieve substantial progress and, where possible, agreement, before the 2019 European elections.

According to the agreement, In 2018-2019, the EU will give priority to legislative initiatives in the following areas:

  1. Better protecting the security of citizens, by ensuring Member States' authorities know who is crossing common external borders, interoperable EU information systems for security, criminal records, border and migration management, by strengthening instruments on the fight against terrorism and against money laundering, and by enhancing the competitiveness and innovation of the Union defence industry through a European Defence Fund;
  2. Reforming and developing migration policy in a spirit of responsibility and solidarity, including the reform of the Common European Asylum System, including the Dublin mechanism, and the legal migration package;

  3. Giving a new boost to jobs, growth and investment, by modernising EU trade defence instruments and making progress on screening foreign direct investment in the EU, by improving waste management in a circular economy, by pursuing efforts to deepen Economic and Monetary Union, and by completing the Banking Union in a way that balances risk sharing and risk reduction;

  4. Addressing the social dimension of the European Union, by working on improving the coordination of social security systems, by protecting workers from health risks in the workplace, by ensuring fair treatment for all in labour markets through modernised rules on posting of workers, and by improving cross-border enforcement;

  5. Delivering on the commitment to implement a connected Digital Single Market, by completing the modernisation of rules for the electronic communications sector, by setting higher standards of consumer protection for online and distance sales of both digital and physical goods, and by strengthening cybersecurity;

  6. Delivering on the objective of an ambitious Energy Union and a forward looking climate change policy, in particular by implementing the 2030 climate and energy framework, by continuing follow up to the Paris Agreement, including through legislation on clean energy for all Europeans and on clean mobility;

  7. Further developing the democratic legitimacy at EU level, by improving the functioning of the European Citizens' Initiative and by increasing transparency in the financing of political parties.

The Council, the Parliament and the Commission agreed that progress is also needed in other important areas. They are determined to pursue their commitment to common European values, to a robust, open and rules-based trade policy, and to tackling tax fraud and tax avoidance. Other priorities include working on the principles of the Pillar of Social Rights, reinforcing the EU’s role in the world, and ensuring a high level of data protection, digital rights and ethical standards while making the most of the opportunities offered by developments in artificial intelligence and robotics. Research and the research framework programme are not explicitly mentioned as a priority.

For more information:

European Council - press release

Joint declaration on the EU's legislative priorities for 2018-19

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