On 6 October 2023, the heads of state and government of EU Member States will gather informally in Granada, Spain, to discuss the preparations for the 2024-2029 priorities in order to set the EU’s next strategic agenda. This five-year policy plan will guide the Union, setting a political direction and concrete goals. Several topics linked with recent crises and future challenges will be in focus, ranging from enlargement, defence and security, climate change, and migration to the twin transition. This meeting will result in a “Granada Declaration”, the final summit statement.
Ahead of the 2024 European Parliament elections and the appointment of a new European Commission, this meeting will be key to begin charting the course of the Union. It will use as a basis the European Commission communication adopted on 27 September 2023, which assesses accomplishments and ongoing obstacles to construct a more robust, competitive, and sustainable economy while safeguarding the welfare of EU citizens. The informal summit will take into consideration the discussions of the third meeting of the European Political Community, which gathered on 5 October and debated how to make Europe more resilient, prosperous and geostrategic.
In his invitation letter on 2 October 2023, European Council President Charles Michel emphasised two topics in particular: the current migration crisis, as well as the enlargement and the consequences that it might entail. The latter is likely to feature heavily during the discussions in Granada, considering the recent papers and declarations by various Member States on the enlargement debate.
- Council of the European Union: Council 18-month programme, 1 July 2023 – 31 December 2024
- European Parliament: Implementation of the common security and defence policy – annual report 2023
- European Commission: Commission Communication ‘Towards a more resilient, competitive and sustainable Europe’
- 6 October 2023: Informal meeting of heads of state or government
- 26-27 October 2023: European Council
European Movement International’s Position
Over the past three years, the European Movement International has put forward a set of policy recommendations, bringing together the input of our diverse membership of European organisations, that outline ideas about the directions EU policy can take in a whole host of areas at the forefront of the EU’s agenda.
In the field of security, defence, and cyber resilience, we support efforts to boost the strategic autonomy of the EU with the view of achieving a fully-fledged European Defence Union (EDU). This requires improving the interoperability of the Member States’ military capabilities, particularly via joint defence procurements supported by the sufficient allocation of funds. Moreover, to enhance the EU’s preparedness to deal with crises, we stress the need to abolish veto power in the Council of the European Union and move to qualified majority voting (QMV) to ensure more efficient decision-making. This should be part of the broader process of reforming European institutions and relevant policy areas in preparation for the next enlargement waves.
Securing long-term competitiveness of the European economy cannot be decoupled from ensuring the fairness and inclusivity of the green and digital transition that the EU is undergoing. The EU, therefore, should abide by the commitments and benchmarks set by the European Green Deal (EGD) and the Fit for 55 package and invest in skills and technologies that benefit European citizens and the environment alike.
To promote these ambitions, a strong circular economy should be at the core of the EU’s industrial strategy, bolstered by green and digital solutions that empower citizens, workers, and employers from the private and public sector. To this end, the Just Transition Fund should ensure industry and job transitions, as well as solidarity and convergence in Europe, by complementing and adding to existing cohesion policy funds.
Moreover, fundamental rights, the rule of law, and the promotion of democracy across Europe and the world should guide EU policy-making. With regards to the defence of democracy inside the EU, decision-making needs to shift from unanimity to QMV in the Council for the enforcement of the rule of law framework, to address violations of the rule of law in Member States more effectively.
Finally, we call upon the European institutions to adopt an Asylum and Migration Pact centred on the respect of human rights by the end of the 2024 legislative mandate. Furthermore, we call for increasing cooperation with the Western Balkans, Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia with the intention to complete their accession to the European Union as soon as possible. In a similar vein, furthering the EU’s relations with African, Latin American and Asian states, the USA, and China is of a strategic importance.