Schulz, Fico and Juncker sign pledge to make “substantial progress” on key proposals in 2017
The first-ever joint declaration to fast-track a set of EU priority proposals was signed by the presidents of the EU Parliament, Council and Commission on Tuesday. They pledge, on behalf of their institutions, to make “substantial progress” in key policy areas next year.
Global, economic, environmental and societal challenges put the European Union at “a critical junction”, the declaration says, and European citizens expect the EU to address these challenges efficiently. Parliament, the Council, and the Commission want to meet this expectation by giving “priority treatment in the legislative process” to 58 proposals that should “make a concrete difference”.
Click on the name of speaker to view statements (VOD).
Statements by Prime Minister Robert Fico (EU Council Presidency) and Jean-Claude Juncker (European Commission)
The fast-tracked initiatives are listed under six EU priorities for 2017:
- new boost to jobs, growth and investment (EFSI 2.0, trade defence instruments, EMU, Banking Union, Capital Markets Union),
- social dimension of the European Union (Youth Employment Initiative, social security coordination),
security of citizens (protecting EU external borders, firearms acquisition, money laundering and terrorism),
- migration policy reform, in a spirit of responsibility and solidarity (reform of the asylum system, addressing the root causes of migration),
- Digital Single Market (telecoms and copyright reforms, use of the 700 MHz band, geo-blocking, data protection rules), and
- Energy Union and climate change policy (follow-up to the Paris Agreement and the Clean Energy for all Europeans package).
The institutions pledged to give priority treatment in the legislative process to a set of initiatives identified each year from 2016 on, based on the Commission’s work programme. This provision is part of an agreement signed in April 2016 by the three institutions and mirrors Article 17.1 of the Lisbon treaty. Almost all of 58 key proposals listed in 2017 Joint Declaration have already been presented by the Commission to the Parliament and the Council for adoption. An Inter-institutional Coordination Group has been set up to monitor the implementation of the agreement at the technical level. The three Presidents will monitor its implementation politically at the meetings scheduled for March 2017, July 2017, November 2017.