Trio Presidency priorities
In the aftermath of the European Parliament elections in May 2014 and with a view to the renewal of the European Commission at the end of this year, the Trio Presidency countries (Italy, Latvia and Luxembourg) is determined to enhance the new legislature’s ability to give concrete and appropriate answers to citizens’ expectations. In order to address the current political, economic and social challenges, the European Union should be united, active and effective, as well as capable of taking rapid and focused action. From 1 July 2014, the three Presidencies of the European Council over the next 18 months have one ultimate goal: fully overcoming the economic crisis and returning to a job rich growth, as well as seizing the opportunities of the digital economy. Safeguarding fundamental rights all over Europe and consolidating EU’s role as global player in a rapidly changing world will also be of outmost importance.
• The fight against unemployment, particularly youth unemployment, will be among the focus areas of the EU. The Trio Presidency will strongly support ongoing initiatives, most particularly via the Youth Guarantee schemes and the Youth Employment Initiative, as well as through ESF funding.
• The Trio will give new impetus to Europe 2020 strategy for a smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, which will be key to economic recovery and further development of competitiveness of the European Union.
• Energy and Climate policies are of strategic importance. Europe is ready to give global leadership: to tackle climate change, to face up to the challenge of secure, sustainable and competitive energy, and to make the European economy a model for sustainable development in the 21st century. The Union intends to build an economy which can favour employment and reduce dependence on energy imports, particularly thanks to greater efficiency and increased production of clean energy.
• The single market is one of the greatest success stories of the European Union. The completion of the single market, especially through harmonisation and mutual recognition, will contribute to increase economic growth and competitiveness. In the last years, the world has become more and more digital and Internet and digital communication technologies are powerful tools to modernize the economy and working environments in the EU. The Trio Presidency will work to complete the Digital Single Market, as a common space for European progress and competitiveness.
• Financial stability and economic growth in the euro area need a more integrated Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). The Trio Presidency will continue work on deepening the EMU and progressing towards the economic and fiscal union.
• In the path to building a common European Area of freedom, justice and security, the three Presidencies will focus in particular on the issue of migration and the management of EU external borders. For this reason, FRONTEX activity has to be strengthened and cooperation agreements with third countries have to be concluded and implemented. Such agreements will concern border control, fight against irregular migration and support to legal migration, which generates economic and social benefits both to the countries of origin and to the countries of destination.
• Open and fair trade and strategic partnerships with major economies are fundamental to stimulate economic growth, competitiveness and employment. The European Union will therefore pursue and, wherever possible, finalise bilateral trade and investment negotiations – in particular with the United States, Canada and Japan – and deepen trade and investment relations with emerging economies.
• The three Presidencies will attach great importance to promoting a common EU position on the Post-2015 Development Agenda before the start of the international discussions that are scheduled for September 2015.
• The EU should consolidate its role as an international player, starting from its relations with the neighbouring regions, where the hope for a civil and economic progress is today often threatened by political unrest and conflicts. The Neighbourhood Policy and the Union's enlargement policy are of strategic importance and a fundamental tool to prevent tensions and promote peace, democracy and security in Europe and at its borders. The three Presidencies will work to further advance the accession negotiations with the Western Balkans countries and will seek further cooperation with Southern and Eastern countries. The three Presidencies are committed to support the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the External Action Service to further develop the European foreign policy.