Date: 16.09.2020

Source: European Commission

Readed: 1516

The President gave an engaged, partly emotional, pro-European speech in front of a rather empty and unengaged Brussels chamber. In a 90-minute speech, she covered a vast array of policy fields and provided an analysis of the State of the Union, and indeed the world.

Her main narrative is to jointly move out of the crisis, "from fragility to vitality".

In a letter of intent (attached), she outlines all the initiatives of the commission for the next 12 months.

Highlights include certainly the focus on a European Health Union, the new ambition to increase CO2 emission reduction targets to 55%, the announcement to propose a legal proposal for national frameworks on minimum wage, and the focus on "Europe's digital decade" (political and financial).

General

  • The Conference on the Future of Europe should build a European Health Union (ie give the EU competences on health)
  • Creation of a European BARDA – agency for biomedical advanced research and development – to enhance capacity to respond to cross-border threat
  • VDL announced a Global Health summit under Italian G20 presidency
  • Strong defence of multilateralism, rejection of a "Europe first" approach
  • Call for QMV on foreign policy, at least on Human Rights and sanctions
  • Legal proposal for a Magnitsky Act for a new sanctions framework
  • Strong rejection and criticism of recent acts by Russia
  • We will work on a new Transatlantic Agenda and a new relationship with the UK ("new beginning with old friends") - strong criticism of UK internal market bill
  • We will build an Alliance for a just global deal with likeminded partners
  • Migration:  next week Commission will present new Pact on Migration
  • The granting of NextGenEU funds will be linked to the respect of the rule of law
  • New proposal on hate speech (anti discrimination, racism, anti-Semitism etc.)

Economy

  • Key tool for our post-Corona exit strategy is NextGenEU (37% of the 750 EUR bio will be used for Green Projects, and 30% will be raised through Green Bonds)
  • Stronger EMU is key, esp the Banking and Capital Markets Unions
  • Strengthen the international role of the euro
  • Pledge to strengthen the Internal Market for companies to be able to scale up
  • Cutting red tape and protecting the four freedoms is key
  • European industry strategy and competition policy framework to be updated (first half of 2021)
  • This Commission will propose evidence-based policies
  • Digital Tax:  if no OECD solution is found, EU will present a new proposal early 2021

Climate

  • Developments of the past months have shown us that the Green Deal is necessary and our blue print for reforming our economy
  • Increase from 40 to at least 55% our CO2 targets for 2030
  • All EU energy and climate legislation will be reviewed in light of this target (until next summer)
  • A Border Adjustment Mechanism to be presented
  • the Just Transition Fund is our tool to alleviate social hardship
  • We will build one million electric charge points
  • we will support European Hydrogen Valleys in rural areas
  • our buildings are responsible for 40% of our emissions - NextGenEU will strongly support new technologies in the building sector (build a new "European Bauhaus")

Social

  • The European model is a human social market economy
  • SURE works and has given 40 Million workers support
  • The "dignity of work is sacred" in the EU
  • Minimum wages:  EU puts forward a legal proposal for national frameworks

Digital

  • The next years must become the Digital Decade for Europe
  • We are hitting our limits to what we can do without digital solutions
  • We are behind in B2C, but not in industrial big data (B2B), but 80% of European industrial date are not collected and therefore lost
  • We will build a European Cloud, based on GAIA X
  • AI will open a new world, but we need clear rules, there Commission will present a new law next year on safe data identity (a human-centred solution)
  • 8bio investments for research in super computing
  • We want the EU industry to develop a European super chip
  • 20% of NextGenEU will be invested in fostering our Digital Decade