Written by Etienne Bassot and Ariane Debyser
In advance of the European Parliament’s vote on 15 July 2014, which saw him elected as the next President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker set out the political agenda for his five-year term (2014-19) at the head of the institution. He presented a set of ‘political guidelines’ focussing on ten policy areas in which he said that the European Union could make a difference, and underlined the importance of achieving concrete results in each area. Mr Juncker referred to these political guidelines as being ‘somewhat akin to a political contract that I [have] concluded with the European Parliament to mark the beginning of a new mandate and to prioritise the work of the new Commission’.
The ten priorities set out in his political guidelines are as follows:
- A new boost for jobs, growth and investment
- A connected digital single market
- A resilient Energy Union with a forward-looking climate change policy
- A deeper and fairer internal market with a strengthened industrial base
- A deeper and fairer Economic and Monetary Union (EMU)
- A reasonable and balanced free trade agreement with the United States
- An area of Justice and Fundamental Rights based on mutual trust
- Towards a new policy on migration
- Europe as a stronger global actor
- A Union of democratic change.
The political guidelines set out by Mr Juncker for the new European Commission should lead to action in a number of fields where the European Parliament has previously called for new legislative proposals or other action from the Commission. This Briefing represents a first effort to cross-check the ten priorities against such requests from the Parliament, drawing where appropriate on work undertaken for parliamentary committees on the potential added value of action in these fields. The Parliament’s positions, either in terms of key achievements or its identification of issues to be tackled, in each of the ten policy areas referred to in the political guidelines are also briefly outlined. The assessment of added-value dimensions draws on the recent EPRS publication, Mapping the Cost of Non-Europe, 2014-19.