Looking ahead: the European Council priorities up to 2014
© European Union
Over the past couple of years, much of the European Council's and the Council's time has been devoted to fighting the crisis. While this task is "far from over", European Council President Van Rompuy stated on 29 June that "we need to focus more on building a positive agenda".
In a document circulated to the members of the European Council at their June meeting, President Van Rompuy set out a number of major themes, that will require the attention of EU leaders in the years ahead. Stimulating growth and jobs, deepening the internal market and strengthening the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) will remain the key priorities. Also high on the agenda in the second half of 2012 will be the negotiations of the EU's financial framework (MFF) for the period 2014-2020.
The tentative programme also foresees time to focus on specific themes, among which innovation, industrial competitiveness, trade and defence. In addition, President Van Rompuy announced that he would like to devote some time "to a joint reflection on the future of the European idea".
Sustained efforts will be required, and the intention is to hold six meetings of the European Council each year. As President Van Rompuy concluded: "The tasks before us are daunting, but […] they can and will be tackled".
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