In their May meeting in Sibiu, the EU leaders focused on the priorities of EU’s next strategic agenda for 2019 to 2024. Sustainability is set to occupy a pivotal role.
Sibiu, Romania, May 9. The European leaders had an informal meeting to exchange views on the challenges and priorities for the EU for the years to come. The discussions in Sibiu were based on the Leaders’ Agenda note prepared by President Tusk and were divided into two parts, the first focusing on the external dimension and the second on the internal dimension.
The meeting produced a “Leaders’ Agenda Note” outlining the priorities for EU’s next strategic agenda for 2019 to 2024. The agreement has strong political value, but, as the President of the European Council Donald Tusk mentioned, “the result of this discussion will come in June, when – as the European Council – we will adopt the EU’s priorities for the next five years, also known as the Strategic Agenda”. Even then, evaluating the magnitude of the influence of the “Agenda Note” will have on the initiatives of the new Commission, will be premature. Next October, CSR Europe will organise a webinar aimed at giving a better insight into the ongoing process.
The Leaders’ Agenda set in Sibiu is divided into four policy priorities, reflecting the topics that are likely to dominate the upcoming European Elections and the Agenda of the incoming Commission: protecting citizens and freedoms; developing our economic base: the European model for the future; building a greener, fairer and more inclusive future; and promoting Europe’s interests and values in the world.
Sustainability has a relevant place in the second and, most of all, in the third policy priority, which is entirely dedicated.
The second one, dedicated to economic priorities, includes a call to “Investing in our future”, promoting people's skills and education and sustainable agriculture.
The third policy priority aims at building a greener, fairer and more inclusive Europe, allowing the Union to remain a model of inclusion and sustainability. Its main points are:
- “Ensuring sustainable, secure and affordable energy”, accelerating the energy transition and sizing its economic opportunities.
- “Preserving environment and climate”, achieving carbon neutrality and protecting ecosystems.
- “Promoting Inclusiveness”, reducing inequalities and inclusive labour markets.
- “Safeguarding our way of life”, supporting communities in managing the green transition, protecting consumers health and investing in culture.
European leaders also agreed on a new meeting to be held in Brussels on the 28 of May, just after the European elections, in order to start discussing the nomination process of the heads of the EU Institutions.