European Union

The history of the European Union - 2017

The history of the European Union - 2017


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January

1

For the first time, Malta takes over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Its programme identifies its priorities as migration, security, social inclusion, the single market and Europe's neighbourhood and maritime policies.

1

New rules enter into force obliging Member States to automatically exchange information on all new cross-border tax rulings that are given to multinational companies in all EU countries.

1

Aarhus in Denmark and Pafos in Cyprus share the title of 'European Capital of Culture' in 2017. Both cities will host events to promote their local culture. The German city of Essen is the European Green Capital for 2017.

17

MEPs elect the Italian conservative Antonio Tajani as President of the European Parliament.

February

6

Meeting in the European Council, EU leaders reaffirm the importance of Libya regaining its stability through an inclusive political settlement under the framework of the Libyan political agreement. They also discuss the Middle East peace process and the situation in Ukraine and in Egypt.

15

The European Parliament votes in favour of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada, concluding the ratification process of this deal at EU level. CETA will enter into force when it is ratified by Canada and by the Member States' parliaments.

21

Following the declaration of famine in South Sudan where 100 000 people currently face starvation, the European Commission pledges a package of €82 million in humanitarian aid. The majority of the funding will be spent on alleviating the most urgent difficulties faced by the population and helping neighbouring countries cope with the huge influx of refugees.

March

1

The European Commission launches a 'White Paper on the Future of Europe' enabling citizens and leaders across Europe to give their opinions on the best way forward for the EU. The White Paper sets out five possible scenarios ahead of a Rome Summit to be held on 25 March.

9-10

At a European Council meeting in Brussels, 27 Member States meet to prepare for the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaties of Rome on 25 March. They stress their desire to strengthen mutual trust and maintain political unity among the 27.

25

In Rome, 27 EU leaders gather to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaties of Rome which paved the way for a Union of peace, solidarity and democracy. They adopt the 'Rome Declaration', which looks back on the EU's past achievements, presents future challenges, and pledges to work for unity between the 27 Member States and to strengthen common action in key policy areas.

29

The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Theresa May, notifies the European Council of the United Kingdom's intention to leave the European Union. This notification follows the referendum of 23 June 2016 and starts the UK's withdrawal process under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.

30

The European Commission secures a ten-year pledge to save Mediterranean fish stocks and protect the region's ecological and economic wealth. The 'Malta MedFish4Ever' Declaration sets out a detailed work programme for the next 10 years.

April

26

The European Commission publishes a reflection paper on Europe's social dimension as a follow-up to the White Paper on the Future of Europe. This marks the start of a reflection process with citizens, social partners, the European institutions and governments, that seeks to identify responses to the challenges societies and citizens face in the coming years and to clarify the EU's contribution to addressing these challenges.

May

22

The European Council authorises the opening of the Article 50 negotiations with the UK and nominates the Commission as Union negotiator. The Commission welcomes the adoption of the first set of negotiating directives which provide the European Commission with the necessary political and legal mandate to negotiate with the UK on behalf of the EU27.

22

The European Commission presents its 2017 country-specific recommendations, setting out its economic policy guidance for individual Member States for the next 12 to 18 months. Particular attention is paid to the challenges and priorities identified for the euro area.

24

At a summit in Brussels, EU leaders and US President Donald Trump discuss foreign policy, security, climate and trade relations.

June

1

Estonia takes over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. It identifies its four key priorities as an open and innovative European economy, a safe and secure Europe, digital Europe and free movement of data as well as an inclusive and sustainable Europe.

1

The United States announces its intention to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. Whilst regretting this decision, Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete declares that: "The world can continue to count on Europe for global leadership in the fight against climate change."

13

The EU celebrates 30 years of 'Erasmus' exchanges abroad which have so far benefited 9 million people throughout Europe.

15

Roaming charges for using mobile phones abroad come to an end. As of this date, citizens who travel within the EU are able to call, text and connect to the internet on their mobile devices at the same price as they pay at home.

16

Former Chancellor of Germany Helmut Kohl dies. President Juncker later declares that "Helmut Kohl was not only the architect of German unity. He contributed fundamentally — more than others — to reconciling European history and European geography".

19

The first round of Article 50 negotiations between the European Commission and the United Kingdom begins.

27

The Commission fines Google €2.42 billion for abusing its market dominance as a search engine by promoting its own comparison shopping service in its search results, and demoting those of competitors.

30

Former French politician and Auschwitz survivor Simone Veil dies. She was the first woman to hold the post of President of the European Parliament (1979 – 1982).

July

7-8

The G20 Summit, under the German Presidency, takes place in Hamburg. Leaders adopt a declaration focusing on sharing the benefits of globalisation, building resilience, improving sustainable livelihood and assuming responsibility.

26

The European Commission expresses concern about a recently adopted law in Poland on reforming its judiciary and requests the Polish authorities not to take any measures to dismiss or force the retirement of Supreme Court judges.

August

17

Two terrorist attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils leave 16 people dead and 120 wounded. Commission President Juncker declares that "We will never be cowed by such barbarism."

18

A knifeman kills two and injures several in a terrorist attack in Turku, Finland. President Juncker strongly condemns the unprovoked attack.

September

13

President Juncker delivers his 2017 State of the Union address at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. He outlines his vision of how the European Union could evolve by 2025 and presents a roadmap for a more united, stronger and more democratic union.

21

The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada enters into force provisionally: it will enter into force fully and definitively when all EU Member States have ratified it. The Commission is working with Member States and Canada to ensure its smooth and effective implementation.

29

The Estonian Presidency of the Council hosts a Digital Summit in Tallinn, bringing together EU heads of state or government. It serves as a platform for launching high-level discussions on plans for digital innovation, enabling Europe to stay ahead of the technological curve and be a digital lead in the global world of the future.

October

18

The Commission presents a set of operational and practical measures to better defend EU citizens against terrorist threats and deliver a Europe that protects. The measures aim to address vulnerabilities exposed by recent attacks and will support Member States in protecting public spaces and help deprive terrorists of the means to act.

19-20

At a European Council meeting in Brussels, EU leaders discuss their agenda for the next two years, including Eurozone reform, migration, internal security, trade and the future financing of the EU.

November

8

The Commission presents a package of measures to reinforce the EU’s global leadership in clean vehicles, including a proposal for post-2020 carbon dioxide targets for new cars and vans.

17

EU leaders proclaim and sign the European Pillar of Social Rights at the first EU Social Summit for 20 years, in Gothenburg, Sweden. It sets out 20 principles and rights essential for fair and well-functioning labour markets and welfare systems.

December

6

The European Commission sets out plans to enhance the unity, efficiency and democratic accountability of Europe's Economic and Monetary Union by 2025.

7

The European Commission launches the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018, which aims to showcase Europe’s rich cultural heritage and its role in building a shared sense of identity.

8

The EU and Japan conclude a landmark free trade agreement. The Economic Partnership Agreement will open up the Japanese market of 127 million consumers to key EU agricultural exports and will increase EU export opportunities in a range of other sectors.

11

The Council establishes a permanent framework for defence cooperation. The 25 Member States participating in the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) present plans for a first set of 17 collaborative projects.

12

At the One Planet Summit held in Paris the Commission presents its new Action Plan for the Planet including 10 transformative initiatives for a modern economy and a fair society reflected under its 10 political priorities.

14

Meeting in the European Council in Brussels, EU leaders discuss security and defence, social issues, education and culture, and climate change. Following US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, EU leaders reaffirm their commitment to the two-state solution, with Jerusalem as the capital of both Israel and Palestine.

15

EU-27 leaders agree that sufficient progress has been achieved on citizens' rights, the dialogue on Ireland and Northern Ireland, and the financial settlement. They adopt guidelines to move to the second phase of negotiations on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. 

20

The Commission launches unprecedented measures against Poland after concluding that there is a clear risk of a serious breach of the rule of law following a series of reforms that threaten judicial independence in the country.

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