Thursday

19th Apr 2018

EU to lay out strategic plan after election shock

  • Leaders' dinner. Cameron (r) said: 'Brussels has gotten too big, too bossy' (Photo: consilium.europa.au)

EU leaders meeting in Brussels Tuesday (27 May) agreed the EU must be more strategic in its approach and clearer about the division of powers between local and European level.

At an informal meeting in Brussels, politicians had a first stock-taking since an EP vote at the weekend that shook up the traditional political order in several member states, including France, the UK, Spain, Denmark, Ireland, and Greece.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

With far-right, eurosceptic, and anti-establishment parties represented much more strongly in the incoming parliament, EU Council president Herman Van Rompuy said that voters sent a "strong message" which was at the "heart" of the meeting's dicussions.

He said the EU must set "strategic" priorities for the coming years, focusing on economic growth, jobs, a "more developed" economic and monetary union, climate change, and energy union.

Touching on migration – EU freedom of movement has caused some of the most heated debates in members states – Van Rompuy said "key freedoms" must be preserved "while ensuring security and fighting irregular migration, crime and fraud".

EU institutions have achieved "common understanding on what should best be done at European and what at national level" said Van Rompuy.

British leader David Cameron has led the reform-the-EU charge. On the way into the meeting he said: "The EU cannot just shrug off these [EU election] results and carry on as before.

"We need change that recognises that Brussels has gotten too big, too bossy, too interfering. We need more nation states, Europe only where necessary."

Van Rompuy plans to talk with EU leaders individually about what changes they think are needed and will turn their input into a "strategic agenda" paper to be discussed at another summit towards the end of June.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said: "A strong message is needed that we are shaping Europe so it becomes more functional, to better respond to the needs of people."

She also underlined France's key symbolic and political place in the EU, after French voters caused an earthquake by giving the lion's share of their ballots to Marine Le Pen's anti-EU, populist National Front party.

"France is defining for the EU and the eurozone. As Germans we have the utmost interest that France is on a successful track. I will do whatever I can for France to be on a growth track, otherwise it is not possible for the eurozone to regain its stability."

French President Francois Hollande noted that while the different member states had different voting results, the EU vote could be characterized by a rise in the number of eurosceptics and a low turnout.

He called the National Front's success a "trauma for France and for Europe" and said voters need to be listened to.

Getting secret EU trilogue documents: a case study

On Thursday, the European Parliament will vote on a political deal on organic farming, following 19 months of behind-closed-doors negotiations. EUobserver here details a five-month odyssey to get access to the secret documents that led to the deal.

Analysis

Beyond macho: Turkish-EU ties

Turkey has belittled the EU in a week of macho posturing, but strategic relations go deeper than the rhetoric.

Analysis

Beyond macho: Turkish-EU ties

Turkey has belittled the EU in a week of macho posturing, but strategic relations go deeper than the rhetoric.

News in Brief

  1. Report: Facebook to carve 1.5bn users out of EU privacy law
  2. Greek court ruling permits migrants to travel to mainland
  3. Commonwealth summit hopes for trade boost after Brexit
  4. Merkel and Macron meet to finetune eurozone reform plans
  5. Turkey snap elections set for 24 June
  6. Post-Brexit UK passports to be printed in France after all
  7. EU Parliament condemns Selmayr appointment
  8. EU trade commissioner: we are not offering US anything

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Martens CentreJoin Us at NET@WORK2018 Featuring Debates on Migration, Foreign Policy, Populism & Disinformation
  2. European Jewish CongressKantor Center Annual Report on Antisemitism Worldwide - The Year the Mask Came Off
  3. UNICEFCalls for the Protection of Children in the Gaza Strip
  4. Mission of China to the EUForeign Minister Wang Yi Highlights Importance of China-EU Relations
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersImmigration and Integration in the Nordic Region - Getting the Facts Straight
  6. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMacedonians in Bulgaria Demand to End the Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  7. Counter BalanceThe EIB Needs to Lead by Example on Tax Justice
  8. ILGA EuropeTrans People in Sweden to be Paid Compensation for Forced Sterilisation
  9. International Partnership for Human RightsThe Danger of Standing Up for Justice and Rights in Central Asia
  10. Mission of China to the EUChina and EU Must Work Together to Promote Global Steel Sector
  11. Swedish EnterprisesEU Tax Proposal on Digital Services Causes Concern for Small Exporting Economies
  12. Europea Jewish CongressCondemns the Horrific Murder of Holocaust Survivor Mireille Knoll in Paris

Latest News

  1. Draghi to stay part of secretive 'lobby' group
  2. Bulgaria offers lesson in tackling radical-right populists
  3. Getting secret EU trilogue documents: a case study
  4. Selmayr case scars Parliament and Commission
  5. Beyond macho: Turkish-EU ties
  6. 'Flobert' guns - Europe's latest terror loophole
  7. EU investment bank confirms secrecy of VW fraud report
  8. More commitment to renewables from Council, please