Monday 18 September 2017

State of the Union 2017 brochure

In addition to the letter of intent and roadmap(s), the European Commission’s SOTEU web page offers us the State of the Union 2017 brochure, a booklet of 108 pages available only in English at this moment.

Since the handy brochure is at least partly a compilation of documents published separately, some of the content is already available in other EU languages.

SOTEU speech
At least the first real item, president Jean-Claude Juncker’s State of the Union 2017 (SOTEU) address, is available in all the 24 official languages of the European Union: IP/17/3165.  

The speech reminds us of Juncker’s dual approach, in his words (page 7):

First, we should stay the course set out last year. We have still 16 months in which real progress can be made by Parliament, Council and Commission. We must use this time to finish what we started in Bratislava and deliver on our positive agenda.

Secondly, we should chart the direction for the future. As Mark Twain wrote, years from now we will be more disappointed by the things we did not do, than by the ones we did. Now is the time to build a more united, stronger and more democratic Europe for 2025.
Juncker seemed to recall the “business as usual” first scenario, officially called “carrying on”, in the White paper on the future of Europe COM(2017) 2025 final, when he showed that just staying the course means defending more of the strategic interests of EU citizens at the level of the European Union (page 8):

We set out to complete an Energy Union, a Security Union, a Capital Markets Union, a Banking Union and a Digital Single Market. Together, we have already come a long way.

Setting the sails and charting a course for the future, Juncker reminded his listeners about the five scenarios of the White paper, before outlining his own ‘scenario six’ (page 12).  

The values (freedom, equality and the rule of law) are the compass for the European Union (pages 12-13) and the foundation for a more united, stronger and more democratic union, each of which Juncker laid out on the following pages, explaining why they are in the interest of the citizens of the union.

Letter of intent

The  blog post Letter of intent and Roadmap already outlined the second item in the SOTEU 2017 brochure (from page 23), including the draft Commission Work Programme until the end of 2018: #CWP2018.

Listed under the Commission’s ten priorities, there are CWP 2018 proposals 1) to launch or to complete by the end of 2018, and 2) there are initiatives to be launched with a 2025 perspective.

The Commission is going to consult with the European Parliament and the Council (Coreper I and II) before the draft is replaced by the final Commission Work Programme 2018.  

Rest of SOTEU brochure

The rest of the State of the Union 2017 brochure deals with the following themes:

Progress on the European Commission’s 10 Priorities
Better Regulation
Delivering on What the EU Promised: Enforcing More Effectively Our Joint Decisions
The State of Public Opinion in the EU
Progress in the Economic Situation
Policy Implementation Report
The European Solidarity Corps: One Year on
Visits to national Parliaments
Citizens’ Dialogues
Letter on the Roadmap for a More United, Stronger and a More Democratic Union

Stay tuned for new presentations.

Ralf Grahn

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