Draft of the European Union Strategic Framework for ES-BE-HU Trio Presidency


Draft of the Team Presidency of the Strategic Framework

  • 13 pages
  • Draft
  • Confidential
  • June 22, 2009


1. In this changing world today we need to act globally. The XXI century world which is emerging is already being shaped by global players. Our present well-being and common wealth for which our previous generation worked so hard are at stake. To confront the unprecedented challenges that we are facing today on our planet we need to pull our resources and our determination together more than ever before. Only by acting together within the framework of our European Union will we be able to play a leading role and exercise an influence on major issues.

2. We need to work towards a Union closer to its citizens and their concerns. As a team Presidency, we therefore intend to better develop targeted policies which citizens directly benefit from. In doing so, we will build upon the achievements made jointly, as well as our economic, social and cultural resources including cultural diversity, which are unique to Europe.

3. The three Presidencies are committed to do more at European level in order to limit the effects of the present economic and financial crisis, to contribute to set up a sound basis for the re-launching of our economies under revised common rulesi and actions responding effectively to current and future challenges in view of achieving a sustainable growth model. We are determined to do so over the next 18 months, [with renovated European institutions with the new tools of the Lisbon Treaty] and counting with the largest consensus from all the Member States. But we need more.

4. We need a more united, a more integrated, competitive and social Europe built on a strong and sustainable economy, capable of facing global challenges.

1. The post-2010 Lisbon Strategy

5. The revision of the existing Lisbon Strategy will be a key priority for the three Presidencies. On the basis of the Commission’s Strategic Report on the evaluation of the Lisbon Strategy, the Commission’s proposal for the post-2010 strategy, and taking into account in this work the report of the Reflection Group headed by Felipe González as well as the contribution of the European Parliament and the consultative bodies (EESC, CoR), the three Presidencies will establish a framework in order to deliver on the challenges that matter most to Europe’s citizens.

6. The new Strategy will be prepared and launched during the 18 months of our three Presidencies. This focused policy framework will address the future economic, employment, social, environmental challenges and set realistic common targets for the post 2010 strategy with special attention to growth and jobs.

7. The revision of the existing Lisbon Strategy will include a review of all aspects of the implementation mechanisms. In order to lead to more coherent and effective policymaking, the revision of the existing Lisbon Strategy will include a review of all aspects of the implementation mechanisms, the involvement of relevant stakeholders in the Lisbon process and of the role of the local and regional level in delivering growth and jobs in accordance with the European Council conclusions of Spring 2008.

8. Tackling the harsh implications of the economic and social downturns triggered by the financial crisis will be one of the objectives of the new Strategy. The post 2010 Strategy should therefore take into account also the results of a first impact assessment of the European and national recovery plans which should be carried out during the Trio Presidency.

9. The post-2010 Strategy should incorporate the guiding principles of sustainable development inter alia a low carbon economy.

10. As to employment, the emphasis will be put on the adaptation of the European Employment Strategy to the demographic change and the environmental challenge.

11. Their common objective will be to accomplish the fully integrated internal market where the four freedoms are properly ensured with special regard to improve the free movement of workers and services without barriers and furthermore to deliver results on the free movement of knowledge, the achievement of a single market for intellectual property rights, company law and financial services. They will also lay emphasis on consumer’s protection and confidence. Better regulation and the improvement of the impact assessment of legislative proposals will be a common goal of the three presidencies. The three Presidencies will examine a possible initiative of the Commission on the services of general interest.

12. As R&D&I, education should continue to play a key role in the post 2010 Lisbon strategy, the common objective will be to deliver results in the development of the European Research Area aiming at the creation of the “Fifth Freedom” and the knowledge triangle, including through the adoption of the future Education and Training Work Programme.

13. The three Presidencies will work together with the Commission on the ongoing Single Market review and on the growing importance of SME’s as well as the need for European industrial policy.

14. Since the external dimension has a much larger role to play, the post-2010 Lisbon Strategy should further address the external aspects of competitiveness, recognizing the importance of open markets within the EU and throughout the world and acknowledging competitiveness as an important driver of efficiency, innovation and growth and could deal with the social dimension of globalisation.

15. The post-2010 Strategy shall respond to the diversity of the EU. The three presidencies will improve coordination of the post-2010 Strategy with the cohesion policy. The catching-up of the disadvantaged territorial units and social groups with the EU averages will be an important objective of the three presidencies.

16. While continuing to focus on a competitive, low-carbon, resource-efficient, sustainable economy, Europe must put greater emphasis on social cohesion, closing the gap between different social groups. One of the basic principles of the European Union is to reduce territorial disparities in economic and social terms. This should remain the cornerstone of any action, with a view to a more prosperous Europe. The three Presidencies will have to reflect on the interdependence between economic, employment, social and environmental policies.

2. European Social Agenda and Equality

17. The Presidencies will support the Commission in an assessment of the implementation of “Renewed Social Agenda: Opportunities, Access and Solidarity in 21st-Century Europe” for the period 2008-2010, closing the current cycle. Of particular relevance in the context of the cycle which is coming to an end will be the celebration of the second Social Agenda Forum.

18. For the new cycle, which is opening, the three Presidencies will work closely and as a priority with the Commission in the design of the new Social Agenda in a broad framework of consultation and cooperation with Member States, social partners and civil society in general. In order to do this, the Presidencies will collaborate with the Commission in fixing the guidelines and objectives of the Communication on the new Social Agenda, taking into account the results of the implementation of the current Renewed Social Agenda and the recent social reality assessment, as well as the commitments resulting from the European Youth Pact, the European Pact for Gender Equality and the European Pact for the Family. The new Social Agenda should be implemented through hard as well as through soft law, to be determined in close cooperation with the Commission.

19. The fight against poverty and social marginalization is a common objective. Employment is therefore a top priority. The three Presidencies will pay special attention to the fight against child poverty, working poor and to the problematic of the one parent family. The Presidencies will collaborate with the Commission to organize the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion in 2010, and eventually the European Year of Volunteering in 2011, the monitoring of the actions provided for in the associated Decisions, and the commitments made.

20. The Trio underlines that well-functioning health systems are not only crucial in their mission of protecting the citizens’ health but are also the foundation of economic productivity and they can also contribute to the recovery of our economies.

21. European citizens must be reassured that despite the present crisis, the EU remains committed to support Member States in strengthening and improving the performance of their health systems and social systems with special regard to the most vulnerable (such as children, the elderly, people with disabilities)ix.
22. The ageing of population and the measures to recover the European economy impose additional burdens on the public budgets of the Member States. In this context the possible improvement of the present pension regulations should be examined with a special focus on the portability of pensions.

23. The three Presidencies will be actively engaged in fighting discrimination and promoting integration.

24. Special attention will be paid to gender equality, with the preparation and implementation of a new Plan for the equality of women and men. A perspective of Gender Equality will be mainstreamed throughout the post-2010 Strategy. Priority emphasis will be given to the question of violence against women and also to the follow-up of the implementation of the European Pact on Gender Equality.

25. The Trio Presidency will further implement and promote the mainstreaming of policies for people with disabilities and will take into account the application of universal accessibility in order to achieve their full participation.

26. An EU initiative is needed to combat cross border social fraud and its impact on the economy and social systems of EU Member States. The three presidencies acknowledge that the fight against social and fiscal fraud shall be the central theme of a conference.

27. The three Presidencies will lend their support to all relevant policies to improve the situation to promote full integration of the Roma and their social and economic inclusion.

28. The three Presidencies will also pay special attention to the extension of the European social model within the framework of multilateral and bilateral external relations, in order to achieve the implementation of the Decent Work Agenda promoted by the ILO.

3. A modernized economic and financial system

29. In order to confront the latest global financial turbulence and learn the lessons of the current situation, the oversight structures of financial markets must be strengthened. The financial markets must be better regulated and supervised. The Trio Presidency will follow up on the legislative work undertaken by previous EU presidencies on a variety of issues: transparency including improved methods for asset valuation and improved financial decision-making, regulation of rating agencies and reinforcement of the prudential framework (capital requirements and provisions) and the introduction within this framework of countercyclical elements and reinforcement of the infrastructure of capital markets (from negotiation to the payment phase improving post transparency in fixed-rate savings and derivatives markets)xi.

30. These issues will be also dealt with at the international level and the role of the International Financial Institutions should be enhanced to promote a stable financial framework supporting sustainable development. In order to secure a strong European position in this debate, the three Presidencies will strive to achieve consensus on these matters at the EU level. Special attention should be given to the role and responsibility of the Euro zone as a stabiliser in the financial crisis.

31. The current supervisory structure does not allow to address the requirements of an integrated and consolidated financial market. The three Presidencies will fully support the creation of a new European system of financial supervision for achieving a more coherent and efficient supervisory structure.

32. The three presidencies will carry on with the execution of the single financial services market, while promoting all measures proposed by the European Commission concerning this issue.

33. An assessment of the December 2008 European Economic Recovery Plan will take place during the Trio Presidency.

4. Energy and climate

34. The three Presidencies intend to contribute to strengthening energy security that is a necessary prerequisite for the EU’s economic development taking into account the lessons learnt from the recent supply crisis. The three Presidencies will closely work together with the Commission on introducing the new EU Energy Security and Infrastructure Instrument, which should focus on the diversification of energy sources, origins of supply and transit routes, as well as on identifying and promoting the development of interconnection projects, which are key to security of supply but also to the establishment of a genuine and transparent Internal Market for energy. These measures will also allow a higher degree of solidarity between Member States in the case of emergency. Regional or bilateral solidarity arrangements addressing disruption of supplies must be enhanced as well. The Presidencies agree that energy efficiency is one of the key means towards strengthening energy security, an important pillar of the ambitious policy on tackling climate change, thus are ready to cooperate with the Commission on a renewed Energy Efficiency Action Planxvii.

35. The implementation work of the adopted energy and climate package is a priority for the three Presidencies. During the trio the Union should discuss and possibly finalize the reviews prescribed within the package. The three Presidencies will take up the torch from the former Presidencies in these two closely-related areas.

36. The European Commission’s Strategic Energy Review will serve as the basis for the new 2010-2012 Energy Action Plan for Europe, which will be presented for adoption at the Spring 2010 European Council. The new Energy Plan will be the framework within which European energy policy will continue to be developed and strengthened. Special attention will be given to territorial and social cohesion as far as access to energy supply is concernedx.

37. The three Presidencies will promote and intensify actions to improve and promote the renewable energy, the energy efficiency of buildings, energy infrastructures, eco-friendly means of transport and products. In the context of the evaluation of the common transport policy, the three presidencies will support the development of eco-friendly means of transport and the improvement of intermodality. Moreover, the three Presidencies will give priority to the revision of the Transeuropean Transport Networks.

38. Regarding the ongoing international negotiations on climate change, the three Presidencies will take up the torch from the previous ones in the most efficient way possible, so that the EU may continue to be the world’s prime mover in all aspects of the fight against climate change. Whatever the outcome, an evaluation of the Copenhagen UNFCCC conference will have to be carried out in early 2010. The consequences of these results will have an impact on the trio Presidency programme. In this context, special attention will be given to the effects of the fight against climate change on the European industry, the citizens and other economic sectors.

5. Sustainable use and management of natural resources

39. The three Presidencies agree on biodiversity as a priority of the 18 months programme, in particular on elaborating a comprehensive European Biodiversity Strategy for the period beyond 2010xx.

40. The three Presidencies will give priority to a sustainable water policy including water management, which is essential in providing universal access to clean and safe water both to the European population and the ecosystems.

41. The trio will pay particular attention to the discussions and the launching of the EU strategy for the Danube region. The trio presidency considers necessary to develop and apply a new strategy for the Outermost Regions.

42. The three presidencies will pay special attention to the environmental management of the European seas and implementation of the New European Maritime Policy.

43. The three Presidencies recognize the key role of the environmental assessment procedures aiming at their improvement taking into account the experience achieved in Europe and better regulation.

6. Agriculture / Fishery

44. The three presidencies will give preferential attention to the discussions about the future of the Common Agriculture Policy after 2013. Agriculture is a strategic sector of the economy that has crucial importance for the functioning of other sectors and serves as a basis for the economic and social development of rural areas. The three Presidencies will work on reinforcing both pillars of the Common Agricultural Policy and promote food security, safety, sustainability and innovation, as well as respond to global challenges.

45. The three Presidencies will pay special attention to the Common Fisheries Policy Review which will finish in 2012. The main purpose of this review should be the management of the fishing activity as to ensure its economic, social and environmental viability, keeping in mind that the most important negative factors are overfishing and overcapacity of the fleet. In order to achieve this, adequate measures should be taken.

7. Area of Justice, Freedom and Security

46. The three Presidencies will give preferential attention to launching the implementation of the multi-year programme for the development of the Area of Justice, Freedom and Security (Stockholm Programme), which will replace the current Hague Programme, set to finalize in November 2009.

47. In this context, the three Presidencies are determined to promote the development of a European Area of Freedom, Security and Justice based on the rule of law with respect to the fundamental rights, especially privacy, and where citizens may enjoy the highest possible level of protection and a fair and simple access to justice.

48. Another priority for the three Presidencies is to decisively move forward in building a European judicial area, with preferential attention given to application of the principle of mutual recognition, facilitating the implementation of judicial decisions, harmonizing legislation and operational procedures that provide added value. Further deepening of the Schengen Area and its enlargement when the criteria are met is key to the security of Europe, therefore it is an important objective for the Trio Presidency.

49. Efforts will be made to strengthen the common European policy on migration and asylum issues, developing the proposals to bexxiii included in the European Pact on Immigration and Asylum and the actions planned for implementing the Global Approach to Migration with special attention to the accomplishment of the monitoring process and the annual debate on the Pact.

50. The three Presidencies are committed to contribute to safeguarding European citizens with a high standard of security and tackling various threats, such as terrorism, organised and cross-border criminality, trafficking in human beings and drugs, natural and man-made disasters effectively and to strengthening the effective cooperation between Member States, EU institutions and agencies.

51. Conscious of the importance of the external dimension of the JHA policies, the three Presidencies will seek significant progress in judicial and police cooperation with third countries.

8. Enlargement

52. The three Presidencies will resolvedly promote the renewed consensus on enlargement, as defined by the December 2006 European Council.

53. The Trio will work to take forward the accession negotiations with Croatia. Provided that those are concluded, the Trio Presidency will be in charge of ensuing the signing and the ratification of the Accession Treaty.

54. Efforts will be made to create the conditions which will enable more sustained and visible progress in the accession negotiations with Turkey. For this aim the advance of reforms in that country will be encouraged.

55. In line with our full support for the European perspective of the Western Balkans, essential for the region’s stability, reconciliation and future, the three Presidencies will pay preferential attention to the development of the Stabilisation and Association Process as well as the Thessaloniki Program with a view to a future accession to the EU.

9. European Neighbourhood Policy

56. Particular attention will be paid to the European Neighbourhood Policy and to the progress on their individual partners’ own merits of its Euro-Mediterranean and Eastern dimensions, as a means to facilitate sustainable economic development and stability in the Union’s neighbourhood.

57. The three Presidencies will work towards the implementation of the Eastern Partnership and the Union for the Mediterranean.

10. External Relations, Cooperation and Defence

58. In the next 18 months the three Presidencies will strive to improve the effectiveness, coherence, and visibility of the external action of the European Union in order to contribute to the further development of an authentic, effective multilateral system. To do so, we must proceed abroad taking into account our interests and project onto the rest of the world the set of inalienable values on which our shared project and our security are based.

59. The work of the Presidencies will be articulated through sound preparation, organization, and celebration of the summits of Heads of State and Government between the European Union and our most important bilateral partners including Brazil, Canada, China, India, Japan, the United States and Russia, as well as our summits with other regions in the world (EU-LAC, EU -Africa, ASEM, UfM, EaP). Attention will be paid to the EU role in the Central-Asia region.

60. The three Presidencies will continue their work to develop the EU civil and military capabilities. They will ensure that the European Union is in a position to further contribute to crisis management and to the stabilization and resolution of conflicts through the use of the above-mentioned capabilities. They will also continue to cooperate closely with the United Nations, NATO, OSCE, AU and other regional organizations in the area of crisis management.

61. The multilateral dimension will continue as an important axis of European trade policy. For this reason the EU will keep the objective to reach a global, comprehensive and balanced agreement at the Doha Round. The Trade Policy Agenda has ambitious projects concerning regional and bilateral agreements to which the three Presidencies will award preferential attention.

62. Protection and promotion of human rights and their full integration in all EU policies will continue to be a priority for the EU particularly in external relations.

63. Under the Trio Presidency, the EU as the world’s larger donor and trading partner will continue to encourage the achievement of international commitments on quantity and quality of aid as well as strategic partnership with developing countries, particularly with regard to the Millennium Development Goals. Special attention will be paid to the needs of developing countries in the context of global financial and economic crisis and of higher and volatile food and commodity prices. Their adaptation capacity to climate change and the means they devote to biodiversity conservation and sustainable development should be strengthened.

64. The three Presidencies will support the expansion of consular assistance for all European citizens, not only during their movements and residency in other member states, but also outside of the territory of the European Union.

11. Mid-term budget Review / Next financial Perspective

65. Within the preparation of the next financial perspective the three Presidencies will pay priority attention to the EU Budget and Policies review process currently under way taking into consideration the Commission intentions concerning the Midterm budget review. This process constitutes an opportunity to adapt the European budget to the challenges which must be addressed by all Member States, and the result of which must be a budget that is driven by common policies and reflects the Union’s new challenges. In order to prepare the next financial perspective the three Presidencies in cooperation with the Commission will put special emphasis on the essential discussions on the future of own resources and EU common policies, such as cohesion policy, agriculture, energy, environment and R&D&I in line with the provisions of the Treaties, and of the conclusions of the European Council 2005.

66. Furthermore, the three Presidencies will concentrate their efforts on ensuring that the discussion on EU own resources and expenditures will be held simultaneously, respecting the principles of sufficiency, graduality, equity and solidarity, while the balance of reforms and stability in expenditure must be kept.

12. Institutional Affairs / Lisbon Treaty

67. Europe needs the Treaty of Lisbon. The three Presidencies therefore plan to continue the necessary work to ensure that the Treaty can be fully implemented.

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