THE EUROPEAN UNION FOCUSES ON DELIVERING ITS POSITIVE REFORM AGENDA.Why and how?
In a scenario where the EU27 sticks to its course, it focuses on implementing and upgrading its current reform agenda. This is done in the spirit of the Commission’s New Start for Europe in 2014 and of the Bratislava Declaration agreed by all 27 Member States in 2016. Priorities are regularly updated, problems are tackled as they arise and new legislation is rolled out accordingly.
As a result, the 27 Member States and the EU Institutions pursue a joint agenda for action. The speed of decision-making depends on overcoming differences of views in order to deliver on collective long-term priorities. EU legislation is checked regularly to see whether it is fit for purpose. Outdated legislation is withdrawn.By 2025, this means:
The EU27 continues to focus on jobs, growth and investment by strengthening the single market and by stepping up investment in digital, transport and energy infrastructure.
There is incremental progress on improving the functioning of the single currency in order to drive growth and prevent shocks starting at home or abroad. Further steps are taken to strengthen financial supervision, to ensure the sustainability of public finances and to develop capital markets to finance the real economy.
The Commission’s reform of State aid law ensures that 90% of all State aid measures are in the hands of national, regional and local authorities.
The fight against terrorism is stepped up in line with the willingness of national authorities to share intelligence. Defence cooperation is deepened in terms of research, industry and joint procurement. Member States decide to pool some military capabilities and to enhance financial solidarity for EU missions abroad.
On foreign policy, progress is made on speaking with one voice. The EU27 actively pursues trade agreements with partners from around the world, in the same way as it does today. Management of external borders is the primary responsibility of individual countries, but cooperation is reinforced thanks to the operational support of the European Border and Coast Guard. Continuous improvement to border management is needed to keep up with new challenges. If this is not done, some countries may wish to maintain targeted internal controls.
The EU27 manages to positively shape the global agenda in a number of fields such as climate, financial stability and sustainable development.Pros and cons:
The positive agenda of action continues to deliver concrete results, based on a shared sense of purpose. Citizens’ rights derived from EU law are upheld. The unity of the EU27 is preserved but may still be tested in the event of major disputes. Only a collective resolve to deliver jointly on the things that matter will help close the gap between promises on paper and citizens’ expectations.Impact on policies
Single market & trade
Single market is strengthened, including in the energy and digital sectors; the EU27 pursues progressive trade agreements.Economic & Monetary Union
Incremental progress on improving the functioning of the euro area.Schengen, migration & security
Cooperation in the management of external borders stepped up gradually; progress towards a common asylum system; improved coordination on security matters.Foreign policy & defence
Progress is made on speaking with one voice on foreign affairs; closer defence cooperation.EU budget
Partly modernised to reflect the reform agenda agreed at 27Capacity to deliver
Positive agenda for action yields concrete results; decision-making remains complex to grasp; capacity to deliver does not always match expectations.Illustrative snapshots
- Households and business are incentivised to reduce their energy consumption and produce their own clean energy. They can easily change providers. On average, bills become cheaper but half the sum is still paid to non-EU suppliers.
- Europeans can use connected cars but may still face some legal and technical obstacles when crossing borders.
- High-quality and high-speed broadband can be accessed in Europe’s town centres as well as rural areas. E-commerce picks up but it remains disproportionately expensive to have products delivered from another Member State.
- Europeans are mostly able to travel across borders without having to stop for checks. Reinforced security controls mean having to arrive at airports and train stations well in advance of departure.
- The EU concludes targeted and progressive trade deals with like-minded partners such as Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Latin America and others. The ratification process is lengthy and often delayed by discussions and disagreements in some national and regional Parliaments.