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From the Brussels office

20 February 17

Recent developments in the EU: joint declaration of priorities for 2017

For the first time, the three EU institutions – Council, Commission and Parliament – have negotiated a joint declaration that establishes a set of common legislative priorities for 2017. The areas of focus are jobs, security and the digital market. The declaration will help the institutions to pool their efforts and to ensure substantial progress in fields where they are most needed.

In 2017, the EU will give priority treatment to legislative initiatives in the following policy areas:

  • giving a new boost to jobs, growth and investment through strengthening the European fund for strategic investment, modernising trade defence instruments, improving waste management in a circular economy, making progress on the banking union and on the capital markets union;
  • addressing the social dimension of the EU, in particular through enhancing the youth employment initiative, improving social security co-ordination, allowing easier access of accessible products and services to the market and creating a European solidarity corps;
  • better protecting EU citizens’ security, in particular through better protecting external borders (via an entry-exit system, smart border and a European travel information authorisation system), stronger rules on buying and possessing firearms, fighting terrorism, money laundering and terrorist financing and information exchange on third country nationals;
  • reforming the EU’s migration policy in a spirit of responsibility and solidarity, notably through revising the EU’s asylum rules and enhancing investments in third countries to address the root causes of migration;
  • delivering on a digital single market, in particular through reforming the EU telecoms and copyright rules, allowing the use of the 700MHz band for mobile services, preventing unjustified geo-blocking, revising the audiovisual media services directive and modernising the common data protection rules; and
  • building an energy union and a forward-looking climate change policy, notably through the implementation of the 2030 climate and energy framework, the follow-up to the Paris agreement and the clean energy for all Europeans package.
The Council, Parliament and Commission agreed that progress is also needed in pursuing their commitment to common European values, in the fight against tax fraud, in the preservation of the principle of free movement and in the reinforcement of Europe’s contribution to stability, security and peace.

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