Three distinct phases define the implementation of the Leader’s Agenda between April 2018 and June 2019 (as shown in Figure 1). Delivery on policy priorities marks the first phase (April to September 2018). This forms a continuum with the previous period – October 2017 to March 2018 – analysed in an earlier EPRS publication of this series. Brexit attracted much of the EU leaders’ attention during the second phase (October 2018 to April 2019). However, delivery on policy priorities continued to drive the EU leaders’ action during this period, with a series of ‘rolling agenda’ policy items, such as the single market and migration, attracting the attention of the Heads of State or Government. The third phase – May to June 2018 – was the shortest compared to the previous two and had a different focus from them, as the leaders’ attention had shifted from policy delivery to the next Strategic Agenda and to the search for a new leadership.
In addition, there were three more or less parallel processes stretching over the whole period running up to the Sibiu Declaration and the subsequent new Strategic Agenda: 1) the activities under the Leaders’ Agenda, 2) the debates in the European Parliament, and 3) the citizens’ consultations. These, together with the contributions of individual actors or groups of Member States, shaped the Sibiu Summit/Declaration and the subsequent 2019-24 Strategic Agenda.