For the first time, the presidents of Commission, Council and Parliament have signed a document that sets the European Union’s priorities for the following year. In 2017, the focus will be investmest in jobs and growth, social dimensions of the EU, migration policy, security, the digital single market and the energy union and climate.
From the euro crisis to the refugee influx to terrorist threats, Europe is facing many challenges. And yet certain crucial laws can take years to make, with 28 member states and the European Parliament required to ratify Commission proposals. A procedure that must speed up for urgent issues. And for the first time, the presidents of all 3 institutions have signed a document that sets the Union’s priorities for the following year. With the situation we have in Europe with so many crises overlapping, what is at stake is to show that the European Union is crucial in providing real solutions for citizens concerns. The six priorities are: investment in jobs and growth, social security and action for youth, security, migration, the digital single market, and the energy union and climate. The aim of this declaration is to have a deal on where we can reach concrete results and on what we can realistically deliver in the time we have in front of us. Behind every vision is a concrete project. The priorities include completing the banking union with risk sharing to avoid a new financial crisis, and tackling tax evasion. With nearly 1 in 5 young Europeans out of work in 2015, more funds will go to fight youth unemployment. Another initiative will give European volunteers aged 18 to 30 the chance to work in areas such as health, education and refugee aid. Laws promoting energy efficiency and low-carbon investments will also be fast-tracked.