Leaders of EU institutions establish common priorities for 2021 and until next elections 


On Thursday, the EP President signed a common list of key legislative proposals for 2021, after the Council and Commission Presidents had done so earlier this week.

For the first time, the three Presidents also established, in joint conclusions, common priorities for the remainder of the legislative term.

The resurgence of the coronavirus shows the “overwhelming need” for the European Union to sustain its efforts in overcoming the crisis. It is also time to implement the strategic priorities of a healthier, greener, digital, fairer and social Europe, the joint declaration says. In line with the long-term budget agreement secured by EP negotiators, the three institutions are committed to implementing the roadmap on new own resources. Moreover, citizens must have a greater say on the future of Europe, including through the upcoming Conference on the Future of Europe.

President Sassoli said: “In these challenging times, it is all the more important that the EU institutions show unity in delivering on the issues which are of most concern to citizens. Together, we have passed legislation to respond urgently to the most pressing COVID-19 challenges. We must now ensure a full recovery from the crisis, while strengthening Europe’s social model. In this transition to a greener, fairer and more digital Europe, no one should be left behind”.

Priorities for 2021

The fast-tracked initiatives for 2021 fall under six EU priorities:

  • Implementing the European Green Deal (just climate transition, climate neutrality by 2050 and ambitious progress by 2030, biodiversity);
  • Shaping Europe’s Digital Decade (single digital services market, strengthened privacy in electronic communications, artificial intelligence framework);
  • Delivering an economy that works for people (recovery that reaches everyone in society, social equity, transparent taxation of multinationals, fair competition);
  • Making Europe stronger in the world (responsible global leadership and deep partnerships, renewed impetus to transatlantic relations, trade rules that provide for a level playing field);
  • Promoting a free and safe Europe (asylum and migration pact, robust Schengen framework, enhanced response to health crises);
  • Strengthening democracy and defending European values (consolidate EU’s capacity to protect rule of law and fundamental rights, rules on European political parties and political advertising, equality for men and women in the workplace)

First-ever multiannual objectives

Looking beyond next year, and at the legislative term until 2024, common broader policy objectives include:

  • a full recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic while building a European Health Union;
  • a transition to a fairer, healthier, greener and more digital society;
  • showing global leadership in fighting climate change;
  • shaping Europe’s own digital solutions and establishing Europe’s digital sovereignty;
  • making Europe’s economy more resilient and robust;
  • defending common European values and strengthening the European democratic model;
  • amplifying the EU’s role as a global actor.


The Joint Declaration on the EU’s legislative priorities for 2021 is the third since the Interinstitutional Agreement on Better Law-making was signed on 13 April 2016. This is the first time that the three institutions have agreed on common multiannual policy objectives, with Joint Conclusions for 2020-2024. The IIA aims to improve the way the EU legislates to ensure that EU rules better serves citizens and businesses.