Key policy challenges for the EU in 2017

15-06-2016

The European Union has had no shortage of challenges in recent years. Huge efforts have been made to overcome them, thus avoiding the catastrophes predicted by the more pessimistic observers. Yet there is no room for complacency, with much remaining to be done. Serious issues persist, and in a period of rapid economic, social and global changes, it is essential that the EU prepares well for new challenges and new disruptions in the future. A few months before the European Commission arrives at the mid-term of its present mandate, and presents its new annual work programme, it is appropriate to seek a broader overview. Are the existing priorities and measures still valid, or should they be supplemented by additional ones? Where are new challenges likely to emerge? And how can we identify new trends quickly enough to prepare appropriate responses? A number of major policy challenges can be identified for 2017 and beyond, in five areas: 1) security, 2) migration and cohesion, 3) competitiveness and jobs, 4) citizens' participation and democratic accountability, and 5) the role of the EU budget in underpinning the resultant tasks. As the European Commission prepares its work programme for 2017, this publication aims to identify key policy challenges facing the Union. It is a natural next step, following on from the recent EPRS paper on the state of play of the Commission's ten policy priorities, published in May 2016.

The European Union has had no shortage of challenges in recent years. Huge efforts have been made to overcome them, thus avoiding the catastrophes predicted by the more pessimistic observers. Yet there is no room for complacency, with much remaining to be done. Serious issues persist, and in a period of rapid economic, social and global changes, it is essential that the EU prepares well for new challenges and new disruptions in the future. A few months before the European Commission arrives at the mid-term of its present mandate, and presents its new annual work programme, it is appropriate to seek a broader overview. Are the existing priorities and measures still valid, or should they be supplemented by additional ones? Where are new challenges likely to emerge? And how can we identify new trends quickly enough to prepare appropriate responses? A number of major policy challenges can be identified for 2017 and beyond, in five areas: 1) security, 2) migration and cohesion, 3) competitiveness and jobs, 4) citizens' participation and democratic accountability, and 5) the role of the EU budget in underpinning the resultant tasks. As the European Commission prepares its work programme for 2017, this publication aims to identify key policy challenges facing the Union. It is a natural next step, following on from the recent EPRS paper on the state of play of the Commission's ten policy priorities, published in May 2016.