European Union Operational Programme 2010-2011


Spanish-Belgian-Hungarian Trio Presidency of the Council of the EU

  • 13 pages
  • Working Document
  • Confidential
  • June 22, 2009



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.

In line with the Commission’s communication for the Spring European Council 2009 “Driving European recovery” and the European Council conclusions of 18-19 March 2009 and their implementation, 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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.
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.
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.

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.


The fight against climate change requires the transformation of the present development model into one of low carbon emissions, with a reduction in dependence on fossil fuels; this will increase energy security and contribute to strengthening new areas of economic activity. The necessary mitigation of these emissions and adaptation to climate change are mutually inclusive, and bearing this in mind it is vital to design an appropriate action plan that is coordinated and effective. In this way, actions to cope with climate change present also an opportunity to strengthen the sustainable dimension of sectoral policies, of which the most important are Energy Policy, Transport Policy, R+D+I Policy, Cohesion Policy, Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), as well as, eventually, on migration to the EU, and the resulting financial implications. The EU should also continue its active role in strengthening the international cooperation.

In order to strengthen energy security that is a necessary prerequisite for the EU’s economic development, efforts for interconnection and diversification of energy suppliers, sources and supply routes must intensify, notably in the gas and the electricity sectors. With a view to addressing supply disruptions further flexible, efficient and transparent crisis response mechanisms for oil and gas supplies should be developed. Energy efficiency is one of the key means towards strengthening energy security; the revision of the Energy Efficiency Action Plan is an important step towards developing energy efficiency. It is vital to identify and remove barriers to investments in interconnection projects, energy efficiency, renewable energies and the sustainable use of fossil fuels. External relations in the energy field play a very important role, Member States should “speak with one voice” on external energy issues in their dialogues with supplier, transit and consumer countries.


Cohesion policy, territorial cohesion and urban development

Cohesion Policy aims at helping reduce disparities between the levels of development of the various regions – thereby laying the ground for the EU balanced and sustainable economic, social and territorial development remains important for the future. At the same time, it is also an important tool to the implementation of the single market and the single currency.

The three Presidencies will strive to develop a wide-ranging and in-depth debate on the areas in which regional policy should be concerned as of 2014. They will provide opportunity to analyse and discuss thoroughly the Strategic Report 2010 and the5th Cohesion Report.

The presidencies will further the negotiations on the future of the policy with special regard to its structure and the simplification of its rules and procedures.
The Trio will act together in order to evaluate and revise the Territorial Agenda to be adopted in 2011.

Concerning housing policies, the presidencies will focus on the issues of social cohesion, quality of housing and energy efficiency of buildings, especially in urban regeneration programmes1.


The European Council invited the Commission in June 2009 to present an EU strategy for the Danube region before the end of 2010. This initiative corresponds well with the goals of sustainable development, which is a fundamental objective of the European Union. The specific challenges facing particular regions of the EU should be dealt with in an integrated approach, whilst respecting the individual circumstances of each Member State involved. The Strategy should therefore address, avoiding duplications – inter alia – the environmental, transport, socio-economic and cultural development of this region. The external dimension of this Strategy should cover the States participating in the Danube Co-operation process and should be complementary to already existing EU-policies for the region. The trio will pay particular attention to the discussions and the launching of the Strategy.


The Trio Presidency considers it necessary to develop and apply a new community strategy for the Outermost Regions, in accordance with the parameters established in the Commission’s Communication of 17 October, 2008; ‘The Outermost Regions: an advantage for Europe’. Efforts will be made to facilitate the adoption of proposals by the Commission in order to make such a strategy effective within the framework of the forthcoming Financial Perspectives.


The Trio Presidency will continue to work towards the establishment of an EU integrated maritime policy in line with the Blue Book.


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

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.

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.

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.

Special attention will be paid to implementing and reviewing the civilian and military Headline Goals and to enhancing the EU’s rapid response capabilities. The role and tasks of the European Defense Agency will be fostered by the Presidencies to stimulate the further development of capabilities.

The Presidencies will strive to develop close cooperation with UN, NATO, OSCE, the AU and other international and regional organizations. Special attention will go to improving relations with NATO at the political strategic level, including with respect to the development of capabilities.

Western Balkans

Further advance the European integration of the countries of the Western Balkans in the framework of the Stabilization and Association Process, in line with the Thessaloniki Agenda and the renewed consensus on enlargement of December 2006.

To that end, the EU will further assist the political, economic and institutional reform processes in the countries of the Western Balkans.

Pay special attention to the implementation of the Stabilization and Association Agreements concluded with WB countries, as well as the implementation of the visa liberalization’s road-maps. Membership applications will be followed up, in accordance with the relevant council decisions.

Encourage regional cooperation in the Western Balkans.

Trade Policy

The first global economic contraction for over 50 years has fundamentally changed the operating environment of the Union’s trade policy. Hence, the first priority of the Trio Presidency of the EU will be to react strongly and swiftly to this situation by making the case for openness and engagement rather than isolation and retreat and to assure that the EU continues to play a leading role in the international reaction to the financial and economic crisis.

1.1. Economic policy coordination

Follow up of the European Economic Recovery Plan, including financial rescue plans, budgetary policies and structural reforms. Special attention should be paid to economic policy coordination, to generate synergies, minimize distortions to the Single Market and ensure an adequate level-playing field.

Assessment of the implementation of the SGP on the basis of past experience. In applying the SGP, the Presidencies will focus on exit strategies, to ensure consistency between short term measures and public finance sustainability. Quality of public finance and CPE work in this field will remain a priority for the Trio, on the basis of the work undertaken by the Swedish Presidency and including preferences for various aspects of the Trio.

1.2. Single Market

Strategic market reforms will be considered as a key driver for recovery. In particular, following the transposition of the Services Directive (the process should be accomplished by the end of 2009), the Trio will encourage an assessment of the implementation process and, if needed, further initiatives aiming at removing remaining obstacles to trade in services.

1.3. Lisbon strategy and Integrated Guidelines

The renewal of the Lisbon strategy is a comprehensive task involving and stretching over the three presidencies of our Trio. The renewed Strategy should be built upon the assessment of the current Lisbon Strategy, and should take into account the consequences of and the challenges related to the current global financial and economic crises and serve the longer term objectives of the Community

1.4. Financial markets and services

Financial crisis: coordination of financial sector support packages and exit strategies.

Follow up of the programme for financial markets reform and financial services. New Financial Services Action Plan (2010-2015).

Criminal matters

In Judicial Cooperation in Criminal Matters, the three Presidencies will dedicate their efforts to the further development of the application of the principle of mutual recognition, the exchange of information on criminal records, the approximation of procedural law, the cooperation between judicial authorities concerning conducting of proceedings, the protection of the vulnerable persons and assistance to victims.

Mutual Recognition

The three Presidencies will work with a view to developing further the principle of mutual recognition. They will pay particular attention to the improvement of direct judicial cooperation, in particular, exploring the options of reinforcing the application of the principle of mutual recognition in the field of evidences in criminal proceedings, exploring the feasibility of achieving a general instrument replacing the European evidence warrant (possibly called “European Investigation Order”) or accepting the evidences gathered in another member State.

In parallel the three Presidencies will work on the improvement of the implementation, evaluation and follow-up of the instruments adopted so far.

Exchange of information on criminal records

The exchange of information on criminal records should be completed by establishing a European Index of convicted third country nationals. The Trio will also explore the possibilities of exchanging information on supervisory measures adopted in ongoing criminal proceedings and on non final judgments.

Approximation of procedural law

The three Presidencies are aware of the existing possibilities to move forward in the field of approximation of procedural law, key element for increasing mutual trust and facilitating mutual recognition. Work should be focused on improving the legal framework on that side, especially by:

  • adopting a legal instrument in view of setting common minimum standards as to procedural rights and guarantees for individuals in criminal proceedings;
  • updating the Council Framework Decision of 15 March 2001 on the standing of victims in criminal proceedings (2001/220/JHA).

Cooperation between judicial authorities concerning conducting of proceedings

The criminal justice systems are increasingly confronted with situations where several Member States have criminal jurisdiction to prosecute the same facts relating to the commission of criminal offences. Multiple prosecutions can lead to duplication of activities. The three Presidencies will work on a new legal framework to allow the transfer of criminal proceedings to the Member State of nationality or of residence of the offender, if needed by establishing new extra-territorial jurisdiction for the State of nationality or of residence

Protection of children

The legal framework set up for the protection of children within the EU can be improved. The three Presidencies will, therefore, complete the existing legal framework and launch an Action Plan against sexual exploitation of children and child pornography.


The post – 2010 strategy shall require the full development and consolidation of the European Research Area (ERA) through a close interaction between Higher Education, Research and Innovation policy with the aim of promoting Europe’s competitiveness and addressing the major societal and technological challenges.

Therefore the trio will progress in the design of future target(s) and/or political objectives, in view of coordinating EU and Member States policy efforts for the post-2010 period and it will support the development and implementation of a set of indicators to monitor progress towards full realisation of the ERA.

The trio will promote an enhanced Governance of ERA enabling a more effective coordination of European, National and Regional policies and programmes notably the CIP, allowing for more efficient and more effective investments in research and Innovation in Europe. In this context the trio will further develop steps leading to an evaluation culture, including [foresight studies] and impact assessments, in particular ex-post impact assessment, covering all key relevant research policy measures in the ERA.

In addition the trio will give specific attention to the analysis of the mid-term review of FP7 and will progress with the discussions on the design and ex ante impact assessment of the future Framework Programme. [Moreover the review of the structure and mechanisms of the European Research Council and Joint Undertakings (IMI, ARTEMIS, ENIAC CLEAN SKY) will be carried out during the trio presidency] Specific attention will be given to the involvement of industry, especially the SMEs and to simplify the administrative and financial control procedures.

As part of further coordination of European, National and Regional policies particular attention will be given to the implementation of the joint programming through selection and implementation of a first list of themes and the detailed arrangements for cooperation and for the coordination of cross-border financing.

An important horizontal theme is the role of the regions in the fields of research and European scientific policy. The trio will emphasize the importance of the regional dimension in the development, implementation and follow-up of the innovation and research policies, in particular those where complementarities are possible with initiatives cofinanced by the Structural Funds.

The trio will progress towards effectively implementing the free movement of knowledge in ERA -the fifth freedom. Further steps building on the European partnership will be taken to accelerate progress in making research careers in Europe more attractive and to attract the world’s best brains to European research institutes and universities.

The post 2010 Strategy – social dimension

Leading the preparations and discussions about the post 2010 Lisbon Strategy (furthermore post 2010 strategy) to an agreement, and subsequently, launching the new strategy will be the key priorities for the three Presidencies.

As regards the social dimension of the post 2010 Lisbon Strategy, where the EPSCO has a unique role and responsibility, the Trio places employment and social cohesion in the forefront, having special attention on the gender equality and giving high priority to gender mainstreaming through the post 2010 Strategy. The harsh implications of the recent financial and economic crisis and social downturns must be duly reflected in the post 2010 Lisbon Strategy jointly with the need to continue facing the long term challenges. The basic principle of the European Union will have to be recalled, which is to create a territorially and socially more cohesive Union and to reduce economic, social and territorial disparities between the Member States and their regions and thus to provide the entire Community with prosperity.

Specially in the context of the financial crisis, an evaluation of the effectiveness of the European financial instruments (European Social Fund, European Globalisation Adjustment Fund) available for pursuing employment and social goal is needed.

The finalization and the launch of the post 2010 Lisbon Strategy requires coordinated efforts at the highest possible level. The Trio will make its best efforts to strengthen the role of the EPSCO in determining the priorities, the integrated policy mix and the adequate procedures and instruments. A better coordination will be sought between the various configurations of the Council, in particular with JHA on immigration and employment affairs, with EYC on education, training and youth, and with ECOFIN on matters related to the design, implementation, monitoring and assessment of the Strategy. The role of the Treaty committees dealing with the various aspects of the Strategy (particularly: EMCO, SPC and EPC) will be also strengthened.

The Trio also emphasizes the importance of monitoring the social and employment impacts of reforms and strategies developed in different economic contexts.

The Trio will especially seek the active cooperation of the social partners. Their commitment and contribution is crucial for achieving the overarching objectives of the post 2010 Lisbon Strategy. The Trio aims at giving the Tripartite Social Summit more role and visibility in policy making and also inviting the social partners at all levels to take part actively in delivering reforms. Furthermore, we will seek to broaden the framework of the macroeconomic dialogue by incorporating a representation of the EPSCO. Finally, a reflection could be lead on the relevance of establishing a European social partner infrastructure aimed at securing and developing the institutionalised consultation, social dialogue on EU treaty-related issues.

Since the external dimension has a much stronger role to play in the globalised world, the post 2010 Lisbon Strategy should also particularly address this aspect of economic growth and trade relations, and should aim at making substantial progress in strengthening the social dimension of globalisation (e.g. ILO’s decent work agenda and Global Job Pact).

The European Social Agenda

The 18 months of the ES-BE-HU Trio will be a crucial period as regards promoting social progress in the Union: the current Social Agenda 2005-2010 will be evaluated and a new Social Agenda will be outlined for the proceeding five years. The mid-term review of the Social Agenda in 2008 has already resulted in significant modifications in order to attune the European policy approaches and Community actions to the changing realities. In order to pursue the post 2010 Strategy, the future Social Agenda should also be coherent with and supportive to the overarching European goals, in particular as regards employment, social protection and social inclusion, and equal opportunities.

The Trio Presidency will support the Commission in the assessment of the implementation of the renewed, current Social Agenda. A special attention will be devoted to the evaluation of the strategies developed in various economic contexts, including their gender impact, by taking duly into account, among others, the social and environmental dimensions.

The Trio will work closely, and as a priority, with the Commission, in the design and development of the new, post 2010 Social Agenda involving all the relevant stakeholders (particularly the social partners and the civil society in general).

The Trio will make its best efforts to assist the Commission in drawing up in the future Social Agenda the most suitable policy mix along with the most adequate instruments to assist the Member States in their responses to the post-recession challenges. The wide range of Community policy tools, including legislation, the open method of coordination, the European social dialogue and the financial instruments, has to be utilized to their full. Particular attention will be paid to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

Legislation in the social area ensures a level playing field and supports fair competition in the internal market, therefore its regulatory role will be promoted by the Trio when the new Social Agenda is debated. The Trio Presidency strongly believes that the economic progress of the European Union should be underpinned by common basic labour standards as well as social rights and responsibilities. Social dumping, the deterioration of working conditions, reducing workers’ protection, and alike, although could bring some immediate results, but undoubtedly undermine the sustainability and longer-term prosperity of Europe as well as the labour and social rights of EU citizens.

The Trio Presidency will do its best to facilitate Community legislation in areas where it considers legislation as an appropriate and necessary tool. In this spirit, the Trio

  • will facilitate the revision of the Directives on the transfer of undertakings, on information and consultation of workers, and on collective redundancies, for extending their scope to seafarers and to cases where firms are bought up (hedge funds);
  • will urge a Community response to the difficulties and dilemmas emerging in the context of the free provision of services and the rights of workers in relation to the Directive on posted workers.
  • will also support those initiatives which facilitate the vigorous implementation of the already existing Community acquis, adopting co-operation instruments and procedures between responsible authorities in Member States for monitoring the implementation of EU and national labour and social legislation, in order to guarantee the effective execution of administrative sanctions.

The three Presidencies will also pay special attention to the external dimension of the European Social Model. In this regard, the Trio will make efforts for reinforcing the social dimension in external multilateral and bilateral relations, with the aim of implementing and promoting the Decent Work Agenda of the ILO, the fundamental labour and social rights and a global social framework compatible with the European Social Model.

The extended mandate of the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) based on Regulation 460/2004 will expire in March 2012. Taking into account the outcome of the review of the regulatory framework for electronic communications, the Presidencies will facilitate an evaluation and discussion about the future of the ENISA, allowing reflection on the general direction of the European efforts towards an increased network and information security beyond 2012.

The Presidencies will contribute to the development of the Internet of the Future, giving continuity to the work of the Slovenian Presidency (Bled Declaration) and Czech Presidency (Prague declaration), analyzing the new challenges that appear as consequence the consolidation of the new networks generation, extending of universal service, network neutrality, broadband on mobile, convergence of fixed and mobile networks, development of the internet of things and to offer new services to citizens.

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