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EU Forecast. Belgian Presidency, July-December 2010 European Movement Ireland 14 September 2010. Context. In preparing Belgian Presidency: Long experience Trio of countries: Spain, Belgian & Hungary A year of transition (Lisbon Treaty = 2 important institutional innovations)

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eu forecast

EU Forecast

Belgian Presidency, July-December 2010

European Movement Ireland

14 September 2010


In preparing Belgian Presidency:

  • Long experience
  • Trio of countries: Spain, Belgian & Hungary
  • A year of transition (Lisbon Treaty = 2 important institutional innovations)
  • European Parliament now substantially broadened competences
  • Presidency to operate carefully, create right conditions, adapt working methods & set right precedents
  • Difficult economic environment
  • Belgian “care taker” government
belgian presidency philosophy
Belgian Presidency Philosophy
  • “Putting Europe back into action”
  • Emphasis on legislative work, implies good cooperation between institutions
  • Loyal representative of the Council
  • Active preparation & follow-up of Council activities
  • Watch over coherence of EU policy when different Councils involved
  • Active support for High Representative, Cathy Ashton
  • Particular attention to budget review (evaluation & future of common policies with budgetary implications)
  • Special attention paid to enlargement
key presidency themes
Key Presidency themes

Belgian Presidency program lists more than 200 items for discussion and decision making.

Today, 5 clusters:

  • Fight against economic and financial crisis
  • Climate and environment
  • Justice and home affairs
  • Reinforcement of the social dimension of the EU
  • External dimension (EEAS, enlargement, etc.)
2 climate and environmental policy
2. Climate and Environmental Policy

Climate Summit in Cancun (29 Nov-10 Dec)

  • Preparation and coordination of EU position
  • Forge alliances with most non-European partners

Conference on Biological Diversity in Nagoya (6-29 Oct)

  • International year of Biodiversity

Greening of our societies

  • Link our climate ambitions to areas such as transport, energy, fiscal policies if we want to achieve goal of green economy within EU
3 security justice and home affairs
3. Security, Justice and Home Affairs

Stockholm Program implementation

  • Framework for EU police and customs cooperation adopted Dec 2009
  • Now execution of ambitious program on basis of Commission’s action plan
  • BE to take forward common asylum procedure fight against organized crime & illegal immigration
4 reinforcement of social dimension
4. Reinforcement of Social Dimension

2010 is the year of the fight against poverty

  • Particular attention for social dimension in EU 2020 strategy
  • Carry out program of renewed Social Agenda (COM 2008)
  • Carry out further ongoing work on sectors like pensions, public health and equality policy
5 external dimension
5. External Dimension

High Representative, Foreign Affairs & Security Policy

  • EU to remain most important regional organization in the world and one of main actors for peace and security
  • Appointment of HR = Presides FAC, Speak with one voice, Represent EU abroad
  • Instrument: European External Action Service

International Trade policy

  • Important area still within responsibility of rotating presidency
  • Conclusion Doha Round is EU main objective
  • Focus on bilateral negotiations as agreement in WTO negotiations is not expected in short term
  • Free trade agreement with South Korea to enter into force on 01 Dec 2010
  • FTA negotiations with Singapore started & with Malaysia soon to start
5 external dimension1
5. External Dimension

EU enlargement

  • Falls under General Affairs Council, presided over by rotating presidency
  • BE to pay special attention (Croatia, Iceland, Turkey, Western Balkans)
  • BE to be “honest broker”
    • Maintain European perspective for candidate countries
    • Ultimate goal is EU membership
    • All conditions to be met
    • Progress determined by own merits (regatta principle)
other actions of note
Other actions of note

Citizens’ Initiative

Major Lisbon Treaty innovation = citizens to become more involved in EU matters

BE Presidency will continue to work on establishing procedures & conditions

for implementation of this initiative.

Common Agricultural Policy

BE presidency to continue consultation process on future of CAP

Commission to communicate on CAP post-2013 by end of year

In view of policy debate in the Council, BE presidency started work on reaching Council conclusions

Common Fisheries Plan

CFP reform is top BE presidency priority

BE presidency to organise debate on CFP in Council Meeting (Nov)

Committed to make progress on the multi-annual fishing management plans

1 economic and financial crisis1
1. Economic andFinancial Crisis

Van Rompuy Task Force

EC President to make report on avoiding future crises:

  • budget discipline measures
  • Work off economic imbalances
  • crisis prevention mechanism
  • strengthening economic governance

VR to present oral progress report, European Council (16 Nov)

Commission to present legislative proposals including strengthening SGP, budget coordination & reinforced macro economic surveillance (29 Nov)

1 economic and financial crisis2
1. Economic andFinancial Crisis

Van Rompuy Task Force

Agreement or progress on:

  • European Semester
  • Adapted Code of Conduct for SCPs
  • National budgetary frames in conformity with requirements (quality, multi-annual)
  • Independence national statistic bureau
  • SGP strengthening /more sanction based regulation
  • Macro economic surveillance
  • Strengthening relevant institutions
  • Permanent crisis mechanism
1 economic and financial crisis3
1. Economic and Financial crisis

Monti Report on relaunch of Single Market

Tasked by Commission President to produce a report on EU structural reform.

1. EU to be driving force in far-reaching reform agenda, otherwise:

  • Irrelevant in the world
  • Economic & social model in jeopardy
  • Overtaken by Asia in 2030
  • EU declines

2. EU patent

  • Current patent system very expensive & complex, especially translation requirements
  • Today costs 10 times more than in US
  • New proposal building on successful 3-language system in European Patents office
  • New patent filings in EPO – 8% in 2009, probably worse in 2010
1 economic and financial crisis4
1. Economic andFinancial Crisis

EU 2020 Strategy for jobs and growth

Adopted 17 June 2010, implementation begins in BE presidency

3 mutually reinforcing priorities:

  • smart growth = knowledge based
  • sustainable growth = resource efficient, greener, competitive
  • inclusive growth = high employment, social-, territorial cohesion
1 economic and financial crisis5
1. Economic andFinancial Crisis

EU 2020 Strategy for jobs and growth

Headline targets = interrelated

  • employment: 75% population 20-64
  • research and innovation: 3% EU GDP for R&D
  • climate change and energy: “20/20/20”
  • education : early school leavers < 10% third level > 40%
  • combating poverty : reduction by 20m

National targets (NTs)

  • tailored to each Member State
1 economic and financial crisis6
1. Economic andFinancial Crisis

Flagship initiatives

  • “ Innovation Union” (Sept 2010)
  • “Youth on the move” (Sept 2010)
  • “Digital agenda for Europe” (May 2010)
  • “Resource efficient Europe” (early 2011)
  • “New Industrial policy” (Oct 2010)
  • “Agenda for new skills and jobs” (Nov 2010)
  • “European platform against poverty” (Nov 2010)
1 economic and financial crisis7
1. Economic andFinancial Crisis


  • single market
  • financial levers
  • external policy tools

Relies on two pillars

  • Thematic: combination of priorities & HT
  • Country reporting, simultaneously:
    • National Reform Programs (NRPs)
    • Stability & Convergence Program (SCPs)
1 economic and financial crisis8
1. Economic andFinancial Crisis

Europe 2020 Integrated Guidelines

National & EU policies contributing to strategy

Equal basis for National Reform Programs (NRP)

European Semester/economic governance

  • organize work between national & EU level
  • align Stability & Growth Pact with EU 2020 strategy
  • effective reporting on direct responsibility of EU countries (NRPs & SCPs)
1 economic and financial crisis9
1. Economic andFinancial Crisis

Time frame for European Semester

COM: Annual Growth Survey January

Council & EP: Debate and orientation February

EC: Spring summit March

MS: NRP & SCP April

COM: Policy Guidance and recommendation June

Transition to European semester NRPs by 12 Nov

key dates
Key dates

ASEM Summit (3-5 Oct)

Conference on Biological Diversity, Nagoya (6-29 Oct)

European Council (28-29 Oct)

Transatlantic Economic Council (28-29 Oct)

Towards a 7th Environmental Action Plan (Nov)

EU-US Summit, Lisbon (20 Nov)

Union for the Mediterranean, Lisbon (21 Nov)

EU-Africa summit, Libya (29-30 Nov)

Climate Summit, Cancun (29 Nov-10 Dec)

EU-India Summit (10 Dec)

European Council (16-17 Dec)

upcoming presidencies
Upcoming Presidencies

2010 July-December Belgium

2011 January-June Hungary

2011 July-December Poland

2013 January-June Ireland