The Declaration sets out 31 new legislative proposals tabled by the Commission which will be given priority treatment by the Parliament and Council for adoption or substantial progress by the time of the European Parliament elections in 2019.
President Juncker said: "I have insisted since my election campaign in 2014 that under my watch the European Commission will be big on the big things that really matter to our citizens, and will deliver the positive results they are expecting by the time our mandate ends in 2019. I am glad that I can continue counting on the European Parliament and the Council as our allies in this work. The Joint Declaration on the EU's legislative priorities is our promise of no empty promises. It is a commitment to work intensively for the next 18 months to find concrete solutions to the challenges Europe is facing and to stay united in the interests of Europeans."
Signing today's Joint Declaration, the Presidents of the three EU Institutions have agreed to deliver a positive agenda for a more inclusive and more united Union and to prepare a new financial framework for the years after 2020 which ensures the right balance between EU policies in the interest of citizens.
The Joint Declaration sets out seven priority areas:
- Better protecting the security of our citizens;
- Reforming and developing our migration policy in a spirit of responsibility and solidarity;
- Giving a new boost to jobs, growth and investment;
- Addressing the social dimension of the European Union;
- Delivering on our commitment to implement a connected Digital Single Market;
- Delivering on our objective of an ambitious Energy Union and a forward looking climate change policy; and
- Further developing the democratic legitimacy at EU level.
In addition, the three Presidents agreed to pursue the commitment to common European values, democracy and the rule of law; pursue a robust, open and fair trade policy; tackle tax fraud, tax evasion and tax avoidance; ensure social protection and social rights as set out in the Pillar of Social Rights; contribute to stability, security and peace; and ensure a high level of data protection, digital rights and ethical standards in artificial intelligence and robotics.
Finally, the Presidents of the three Institutions also agree to continue to work on all pending proposals from the 2017 Joint Declaration, as well as to deal with the legislative proposals set out in the Commission's 2018 Work Programme.
On 15 March 2016, the three European Institutions agreed on an Interinstitutional Agreement (IIA) on Better Law-Making, based on a European Commission proposal, presented in the May 2015 Better Regulation Agenda. This Interinstitutional Agreement set out changes across the full policy-making cycle, from consultations and impact assessment to adoption, implementation and evaluation of EU legislation. According to the Interinstitutional Agreement, the Institutions must agree on the key topics that should be prioritised by the legislators, including simplification exercises for existing laws.
Each year, the Council, the Parliament and the Commission now discuss the EU's legislative priorities and agree together on their top priorities for the upcoming year, which are set out in an annual Joint Declaration. This allows them to work more closely together to tackle the big challenges that lie ahead.
The first Joint Declaration was signed in December 2016.
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