The European Commission has issued several policy recommendations ahead of the meeting of the EU 27 leaders in Sibiu, in central Romania, on May 9. The recommendations are “the Commission's contribution to the next strategic agenda for 2019-2024.”
“We must now look forward, learning from our experiences and building on our successes. We must be even more ambitious and focused than ever before. Europe’s leaders will start this reflection in Sibiu before agreeing on the next strategic agenda at the June European Council,” European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said.
In the area of defense, the Commission recommends pursuing efforts to “build an effective and genuine European Security Union and move towards a genuine European Defense Union to make defense cooperation within the EU the norm rather than the exception.” It also argues in favor of being more proactive in managing migration, which requires, among others, the sharing of responsibility and solidarity between member states.
A second recommendation covers EU’s need to upgrade, modernize and fully implement the single market in all its aspects. “We need to focus research and innovation on the ecological, social and economic transitions and related societal challenges. We need to invest in key European digital capacities and work together to boost Europe-made and human-centric artificial intelligence,” it argues.
A third recommendation covers social inclusion and equality and the need to continue to deliver on the European Pillar of Social Rights, while a fourth area refers to Sustainable Europe and the need to embrace sustainable consumption and production patterns, and reinforce efforts to fight climate change and reverse environmental degradation.
The fifth recommendation covers Europe’s international role, which includes “consistent and strong support for a multilateral, rules-based global order, with the United Nations at its core” and “strong relations with close neighbors, based on a clear balance of rights and obligations.”
The recommendations are outlined in a document titled Europe in May 2019. Preparing for a more united, stronger and more democratic Union in an increasingly uncertain world. It is available here.
Juncker called the Sibiu summit in his 2017 State of the Union address. The event will be held at the City Hall of Sibiu. The summit will be hosted by president Klaus Iohannis, a native of Sibiu and mayor of the city between 2000 and 2014. Besides Junker, European Council president Donald Tusk and European Parliament president Antonio Tajani will attend the summit.
Among the heads of state expected to attend the event are French president Emmanuel Macron, German chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian PM Giuseppe Conte, Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz, Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán, Greek PM Alexis Tsipras, Dutch PM Mark Rutte, Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki, and Bulgarian PM Boyko Borissov, Mediafax reported. An official list has not been announced yet.
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