Presidents of the three most vital EU institutions –the Parliament, Council and Commission – signed a joint declaration on the legislative priorities for the EU member states during 2023-24. Joint declaration formulates the EU’s vital components of European integration in the years to come: numerous working documents accompanying the declaration include 164 key legislative proposals for the next two years.
Since 2016, the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission have discussed and approved the EU-wide perspective legislative priorities for the following year in an annual joint declaration. The process enables these three institutions to work more effectively and more closely together on key EU legal drafts put forward by the Commission for which the European Parliament and the Council are to co-legislate. Besides, there are more long-term executive facilities: thus, in 2020, the three EU institutions signed joint working program for five-year period, which set out common policy objectives and priorities for the EU-27 states’ governance until the next European elections in 2024.
Generally, the “joint declaration” formulates the so-called shared European vision for stronger and more resilient European states while tackling serious challenges facing the continent, such as climate crisis, sustainability and general economic problems as well as accelerating the twin green and digital transitions.
Achievements in 2022
Despite a challenging year, the leaders of the three EU institutions recognized integrational achievements during previous years: e.g. the declaration specifically mentioned provisions on humanitarian, political, financial, and military support for Ukraine and its people, as well as unprecedented sanctions against Russia to exert economic pressure in order to undermine Russia’s military capabilities. The EU provided Ukrainians with access to jobs, housing, education, training, and healthcare under the first-ever activation of the “temporary protection mechanisms”.
Besides, with the adoption of the REPowerEU plan, the EU will phase out Europe’s dependence on Russian fossil energy while boosting renewables and energy security. At the same time, the implementation of the national recovery and resilience plans under NextGenerationEU are fostering a resilient recovery in the EU member states.
The three institutions remain committed to find common EU solutions to tackle the cost-of-living crisis for the citizens and businesses. Moreover, important legislation was agreed across a number of priority areas already identified in the 2022 joint declaration, including on the landmark Digital Markets Act and Digital Services Act, on fair minimum wages, on gender equality concerning company boards, as well as some of the “health union” program and “Fit for 55” proposals.
The year 2022 also marked 20 years of the euro and the beginning of the European Year of Youth: hence, the declaration envisaged some regulatory drafts.
The EU three institutions’ opinion
= The President of the European Parliament noted that after two tough years of pandemic and with the Russian-Ukrainian military conflict, to name a few, the member states need most a consolidated EU leadership. For example, common actions are needed to deliver European-wide solutions for critical social conditions in the states and in businesses.
The modern priorities for the European Parliament are clear and huge: making sure that EU energy legislation helps to get households’ bills under control and contributing to the global long-term climate goals, ensuring sustainability of the EU budget and finalising migration and asylum reforms. The latter reforms are especially important in view of the 2024 European Elections, when citizens will hold the legislators accountable for how they responded to the current challenges.
= The rotating Council’s Presidency acknowledged that the joint declaration reaffirms the EU’s commitment to work towards a fairer, greener and more digital Europe. It also underlines the member states determination to uphold democratic principles, further developing a well-functioning single market and responding to citizens’ expectations. These priorities will guide the Council’s decisions and actions during the next trio-presidency’s period of a year and a half and will help states’ socio-economic development withstand the present challenges and military conflict in Ukraine.
= The Commission President noted that the main European problem is connected to the present lasting military conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and that the war’s consequences have been strongly felt both in Europe and around the world. This joint declaration, the President underlined was “a testament to the EU’s resolute commitment to remain united in supporting Ukraine, and in overcoming the great challenges of our time”.
Citations from: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/da/ip_22_7733
More information in the following Commission’s weblinks: = Joint Declaration and working document: EU Legislative Priorities 2023 and 2024; = Joint Conclusions on policy objectives and priorities for 2020-2024; = European Commission work programme for 2023; and = Final report of the Conference on the Future of Europe.
Besides, some analytical notes are available in the EII’s files, e.g. on Commission’s work program in: https://www.integrin.dk/2022/10/21/commissions-working-plan-for-2023-confirming-integration-process/; on the “future conference” in: https://www.integrin.dk/2021/03/15/first-steps-towards-future-of-europe-a-joint-declaration-is-signed/