Monday, 23 October 2017

Future of Europe: Leaders’ Agenda for Gothenburg

Our discussion about the European Council (EUCO) and the new Leaders’ Agenda for thematic meetings continued with a look at the briefings from the  European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) and the EUCO conclusions of 19 October and EU27 conclusions 20 October 2017 (Article 50 TEU), in EPRS: keeping tabs on the European Council.
The Leaders’ Agenda timetable was described by president Tusk as a living document, apt to change over time, but let us take a look at the near future. Less than four weeks from now, the heads of state or government are going to convene in Gothenburg (Sweden).          

Gothenburg Social Summit

Sweden’s prime minister Stefan Löfven and the president of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker have invited the leaders to a Social Summit for Fair Jobs and Growth in Gothenburg, 17 November 2017. The Social Summit website already offers some information and  the #SocialSummit17 hashtag on Twitter provides occasional updates ahead of the gathering.

As a background, most of my spring and autumn 2017 blog posts about the social market economy, the social pillar and the reflection paper on the social dimension of the European Union can be found through the blog post Future of Europe: social dimension, except three later ones in Swedish, which look at the Nordic EU-members in the discussion about the future of Europe: the general orientation in Norden i EU-utkanten?, then the introductory entry about the Commission’s White Paper  Vitboken om EU:s framtid i Norden and the article about the reflection paper on the social dimension  Diskussionsunderlaget om EU:s sociala dimension i Norden.

Ahead of the Social Summit, readers interested in the labour markets in the EU and related social pillar and dimension matters, can find a handy compilation on the EPRS Blog about what think tanks have produced lately.
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The other issue on the Leaders’ Agenda for this meeting is described as Education and Culture (30th anniversary of Erasmus).

The European Parliament and the European Commission already celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Erasmus Programme in Strasbourg, 13 June 2017. The Council of the European Union provides an overview of ongoing issues in the Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council configuration (EYCS) during the Estonian Council presidency, as well as the main results of the previous EYCS Council meeting 22-23 May 2017. The Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council configuration (EPSCO) is another potential source of issues for the European Council in Gothenburg under the headline Education and Culture (30th anniversary of Erasmus).

In the context of the Social Summit, perhaps the European Council wants to deal with the Youth Employment Initiative (EYI), supporting the Youth Guarantee efforts in distressed regions with high youth unemployment, or show interest in matters rarely seen on its agenda, but let us leave guessing and look at possible EUCO value added later, when there is something more concrete to work with.



Ralf Grahn