French presidency / 1 January - 30 June 2022

French presidency / 1 January - 30 June 2022

eosp

European Organisation for Strategic Planning (E.O.S.P.)

ATHENS 2022

 

French presidency

of the Council of the EU

 

The priorities of France's presidency are reflected in its motto:

'Recovery, strength and a sense of belonging'

 

fr sm

flags               

 

 

 

             eosp             

European Organisation for Strategic Planning (E.O.S.P.)

ATHENS 2022

 

French presidency

of the Council of the EU

 

The priorities of France's presidency are reflected in its motto:

'Recovery, strength and a sense of belonging'

 

Α) CONFERENCE PLANNING

               

fr sm

fr sm 

 

 

 

 

eosp 

European Organisation for Strategic Planning (E.O.S.P.)

ATHENS 2022

 

French presidency

of the Council of the EU

 

The priorities of France's presidency are reflected in its motto:

'Recovery, strength and a sense of belonging'

 

 

Α1) CONTENTS

  • Purpose
  • Suggested Topics
  • Budget

               

 

 

                eosp                

European Organisation for Strategic Planning (E.O.S.P.)

ATHENS 2022

 

French presidency

of the Council of the EU

 

The priorities of France's presidency are reflected in its motto:

'Recovery, strength and a sense of belonging'

 

Β) ATTACHED SCIENTIFIC RESOURCES

 

france2022

flags                 

 

 

 

eosp

European Organisation for Strategic Planning (E.O.S.P.)

ATHENS 2022

 

French presidency

of the Council of the EU

 

The priorities of France's presidency are reflected in its motto:

'Recovery, strength and a sense of belonging'

 

Β1) CONTENTS

  • Taking forward the Strategic Agenda (1 January 2022 - 30 June 2022)

 

 

 

 eosp

European Organisation for Strategic Planning (E.O.S.P.)

ATHENS 2022

 

French presidency

of the Council of the EU

 

The priorities of France's presidency are reflected in its motto:

'Recovery, strength and a sense of belonging'

 

Β2) CONTENTS

  • The Future of Europe

               

 

eosp

French Presidency of the Council of the EU: 1 January - 30 June 2022

France took over the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU on 1 January. The programme of the French Presidency will be implemented, through the system of the "trio" of presidencies, over a period of 18 months. In particular, France will enter a new cycle and work in trio with the Czech Republic in the second half of 2022 and Sweden in the first half of 2023. The new presidency is committed to working for a stronger and more sovereign Europe. It will also strive to convince Europeans that a common response is the best one to address the challenges that we are facing. In total, almost 400 events in France and within the EU will take place during the Presidency: political meetings, cultural programming and citizen events open to all.

Some of the priorities announced by France for its presidency are:

  • The green transition
  • The economic regulation and accountability of digital platforms
  • A social Europe

 

In this context, the European Organisation for Strategic Planning, in cooperation with the Regional Journalists Association of Greece and the institutions of the European Union, is organizing a scientific conference on the priorities of the French Presidency of the European Union.

The French Presidency of the Council of the EU meets citizens’ expectations, which were expressed in the citizen debates held in September in 18 French regions as part of the Conference on the Future of Europe. The final contribution of these citizen panels was submitted to the Government in the fall and helped to determine the priorities of the French Presidency of the Council of the EU.

 

 

eosp

 

Guiding principles of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union

The priorities of France's presidency are reflected in its motto: 'Recovery, strength and a sense of belonging':

  • recovery, to enable Europe to support the ecological and digital transitions
  • strength, to defend and promote our values and interests
  • a sense of belonging, to build and develop a shared European vision through culture, our values and our common history

According to the speech given by French President Emmanuel Macron to present the priorities of the French presidency, the activities of the presidency will focus on three main areas: 

  • pursuing an agenda for European sovereignty, meaning Europe’s ability to exist in the world as it currently exists and defend its values and interests
  • building a new European growth model
  • creating a more ’human-sized’ Europe

 

 

EU Sovereignty

The first objective of the French presidency will be to “move from a Europe of cooperation within our borders to a powerful Europe in the world, fully sovereign, free to make its own choices and master of its own destiny”.

France wants to have better “control” of Europe’s borders, which is an “indispensable condition” for taking up the challenge of migration, facing up to “hybrid” wars and avoiding “human dramas”. In this vein, will be called for a reform of the Schengen border-free area, based on the model of the Eurozone, with the establishment of a political steering committee and regular meetings between ministers.

France will also defend the creation of an “emergency border support mechanism” in cooperation with Frontex, aiming for rapid deployment of law enforcement and equipment at the borders in case of need.

In a world of increasing rivalry between major powers, European policy must strengthen Europe's ability to act in the wider world in order to defend European interests and values and to assume our responsibility to the world. Germany is committed to an international order based on rules and human rights, in which the European Union plays a role in shaping standards and norms worldwide.

France’s foreign policy ambitions especially concern Europe’s defence.

There is talk of “considerable progress” in this area, citing, in particular, the launch of a European Defence Fund in 2017. Now, this needs to "enter a more operational phase" and make the period of the French Presidency of the Council of the EU a "time to define precisely the Strategic Compass".

 

 eosp

Suggested Scientific Conference Topics

  • The EU's long-term budget as strong start for Europe after the active substance COVID-19.
  • A European response to the coronavirus crisis.
  • What can Europe gain from the COVID-19 pandemic?
  • Dynamic civil society and conference on the future of Europe.
  • Climate sustainability and energy policy remain on the agenda.
  • Consumer protection.
  • Strengthening fundamental values and fundamental rights.
  • Enhancing citizens' security.
  • Updating European migration and asylum policy.

 

 eosp

1. The EU's long-term budget as a strong start for Europe after the covid-19 active substance

The 'Multiannual Financial Framework' (MFF) sets out the EU budget for the years 2021-2027. A rapid agreement is a major concern of the French Presidency of the Council of the EU.

One of the top priorities of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union is to support the swift agreement on the next long-term EU budget for 2021-2027, also known as Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), including a new recovery fund as a common European response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a joint initiative, France and Germany put forward an ambitious proposal for such a targeted European recovery fund, which would be in place for a limited period of time to tackle the crisis recovery. The Recovery Fund of €500 billion, proposed by France and Germany, will enhance the resilience, convergence and competitiveness of the European economies, and increase investments in particular in the digital and green transitions and strengthening research and innovation in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Franco-German initiative proposed to allow the European Commission to raise funds on the capital markets, which would be channelled to the Member States through targeted aid recovery programmes and should be repaid through the next EU budgets. The proposal underlines the need for a full alignment of the legal basis with the EU Treaty, the budgetary framework and the rights of national parliaments.

Significant elements of this initiative were included in the European Commission's proposal for the new "Next Generation EU" instrument (€750 billion), submitted on 27 May 2020 together with an adapted proposal for MFF 2021-2027 (1.1 trillion euros). Both elements together, as a rapid and sustainable recovery, must be in line with the European Union's long-term political priorities. Member States must agree on the overall package in the European Council. In addition, the approval of the European Parliament is required with regard to the MFF. Furthermore, the own resources decision, which governs the financing of both the MFF and the new instrument, must be adopted by all national parliaments.

«The country cannot face the crisis alone»

During the course of its Council Presidency, France will contribute to building consensus on this issue in order to ensure that Europe emerges from the crisis more unified and better positioned to master future challenges.

The European Council and the European Parliament have already endorsed three additional safety nets for workers, businesses and member states amounting to up to 540 billion euro.

The European Stability Mechanism, an international financial institution supporting euro area members in severe financial distress, also offers the Pandemic Crisis Support Instrument with up to 240 billion euro in lines of credit to member states in need of assistance in weathering the coronavirus crisis. Meanwhile, the European Investment Bank is mobilising additional financing of 200 billion euro to businesses in the EU, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, with a guarantee of 25 billion euro from the EU budget. Finally, a new programme, Support to mitigate Unemployment Risks in an Emergency (SURE), provides temporary loans of up to 100 billion euro, mainly for so-called short-time work schemes, in order to help protect jobs and reduce loss of income for workers and the self-employed.

«I would say that we need to move from a Europe of cooperation within our borders to a powerful Europe in the world, fully sovereign, free to make its own choices and master of its own destiny» said Emmanuel Macron, while he proposed to “rethink the budgetary framework” of Europe so far defined by the Maastricht criteria, in order to “act on the need for new investments” post-Covid-19 pandemic.

The French president also said that the European Union should also discuss whether the €750 billion recovery package is sufficient to revive the post-Covid-19 economy. “The question is no longer for or against the 3% (the rule for a deficit of 3% of the country's GDP). "We need fiscal rules to remain a serious player, otherwise we will lose confidence."

 

2. A European response to the coronavirus crisis

The coronavirus pandemic is one of the greatest global challenges of our times. It has underscored the fact that European nations can only conquer such a challenge when they work together towards a common goal. The three Presidencies are determined to increase solidarity, preparedness and response efficiency in crisis management in cases of natural, man-made and health disasters.

Europe must continue to work together over the coming months to overcome this crisis and achieve full recovery. In particular, the three presidencies are committed to strengthening the Union 's collective preparedness, responsiveness and resilience to future crises by learning from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Beating the virus

The inhibition of coronavirus spread is now crucial for its eradication in the long-term. Once the spread of the virus is under control, Europe can focus its energies on addressing the many challenges it has left.

The French Presidency wants to ensure that European solidarity remains the underlying principle in the continent’s crisis response. As such, the French Presidency will focus on ensuring the successful implementation of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and the Next Generation EU program..

Still, emphasis will be given to : the continued bundling of resources to provide aid and medical supplies for those most in need, the continued cross-border treatment of COVID-19 patients to relieve pressure on member states’ healthcare systems and improved coordination of mechanisms for crisis response and the procurement of medical supplies.

A common path forward

The coronavirus pandemic has shown just how interwined european communities are with each other. Everyday life in Europe therefore requires that member states harmonise their efforts to lift containment measures. Collaborating with European partners, the French Presidency will work towards:

  • Gradually lifting pandemic-related restrictions within the Schengen area according to the epidemiological situation.
  • Coordinating a return to normal external border and visa procedures.
  • Coordinating step-by-step measures to lift restrictions within the Single Market.

The EU must maintain its capacity for political action in difficult circumstances. To achieve this, France will also work during its Presidency to ensure that the EU is better positioned in the future to coordinate member states’ crisis responses.

 

3. What Europe can learn from the COVID-19 pandemic?

A cross-border approach has been essential in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. In the months since the outset of the pandemic, European partners have embraced a collective spirit of solidarity in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Member states are currently working together to procure medical supplies, secure cross-border transport and the flow of goods, treat patients from neighbouring countries, develop financial tools to support workers and industries, and pool their resources to find a viable vaccine for COVID-19.

The French Presidency of the Council of the European Union wants to take steps to also learn from the pandemic. In doing so, the EU can ensure that member states can continue to effectively coordinate and govern in future crisis situations.

To improve the EU’s crisis management and disaster prevention, the French Presidency wants to work with European partners in particular to:

Strengthen the epidemiological expertise of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and its ability to advise member states.

Develop EU-wide tracing methods, including interoperable smartphone apps, that require minimal data, are voluntary, and conform to privacy regulations and high IT-security standards.

Strengthen the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, including rescEU and the EU Civil Protection Pool (ECPP).

Develop and expand an EU Knowledge Network for disaster prevention that works in tandem with member states’ local authorities.

Begin a “lessons learned” process to evaluate how the EU’s Emergency Support Instrument, which allocates funds for emergency measures, can become even more effective in the future.

Overall, the goal is to take into account cross-border dependencies and vulnerabilities, any new risks as well as climate change, by reviewing the growing challenges in crisis management and infrastructure resilience.

 

Strengthening healthcare services

The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted that coordination is needed to strengthen the EU’s ability to act on behalf of all member states within the healthcare sector.

The French Presidency plans to lead discussions on:

Improving the supply of medicines, medical devices and personal protective equipment.

Expanding European cooperation in the production of critical medicines.

Examining how the Joint Procurement Agreement (JPA) can react more quickly to medical supply bottlenecks.

Exploring with the Council how to optimise government procurement in emergency situations.

 

Strengthening research capacity

Research and development are core pillars of Europe’s strategy to bolster innovation and competitiveness on the continent. The French Presidency wants to support the continent’s research capacity so that policymakers can quickly make informed decisions during crisis situations. Such measures include:

  • Developing the European Research Area (ERA) into a dynamic and targeted catalyst of innovation in the fight against pandemics.
  • Discussions on how to further develop the EU action plan ERAvsCorona for mid- and long-term use.

 

 4. A vibrant civil society and a conference on the future of Europe

The conference on the Future of Europe aims to promote dialogue between citizens, experts and EU institutions.

The European Union is a community of citizens. Its strength is the cultural diversity of a vibrant civil society, while social cohesion beyond all borders forms the basis for a successful common future. Europe thrives on civic engagement. Policymakers need input from an active civil society and a strong European public discourse. We can only shape the future of the European Union by working together.

This is also the aim of the cultural programme of French Presidency of the Council of the European Union. This programme highlights the diversity and vibrancy of European civil society and allows young people in particular to be heard.

A humane Europe, that listens to the concerns expressed by its citizens through the Conference on the Future of Europe, that defends the rule of law and upholds its values, that takes pride in its culture, trusts in science and knowledge, and is committed to fighting discrimination and securing a future for the next generation.

During its Presidency of the Council, France will work to ensure that the voice of European civil society is heard more clearly. How do people envisage the future of Europe? How should the European Union develop further? What do people think the European project will look like in 10 or 20 years? How has the COVID-19 crisis changed perceptions of Europe? What do we expect of Europe?

 

Conference on the future of Europe

Launched on 9 May 2021 in Strasbourg, the conference on the future of Europe provides a unique opportunity to give citizens a say on what matters to them. It will provide a new space for debate with citizens to address Europe’s challenges and priorities.

The Conference on the Future of Europe will be co-run by the EU member states and the EU institutions (the Council of the EU, the European Parliament and the European Commission). French Presidency of the Council of the EU will endeavour to secure agreement between the various institutions on a format and timetable so that the Conference on the Future of Europe can begin as soon as the COVID-19 pandemic permits. As a result of the pandemic, digital formats are likely to play a particularly important role.

National and European citizens' panels and plenary meetings of the conference on the future of Europe will be held for almost 10 months.

 

What will be the direction of the conference on the future of Europe?

Within the executive board, France, the Czech Republic and Sweden will work together to make the conference a success by promoting the engagement of citizens and thereby a more concrete citizenship of the Union.

At the same time, the trio will make sure that the scope of the work of the conference reflects areas where the Union has competence to act or where its action would be to the benefit of its citizens.

By March 2022, the three Presidencies, in their role as members/observers in the executive board, will contribute to the report on the outcomes of the various activities and citizens' recommendations. Based on the political conclusions of the conference, they will begin implementing them, as appropriate.

 

What sort of digital information do we want? How can we protect ourselves against disinformation? What digital identity do we want to have?

On the digital front, France hopes to see the successful conclusion of the EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) and the Digital Services Act (DSA).

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become very clear how important the role of digital media is for the process of democratic opinion-forming – and how great a danger disinformation poses here. We are therefore committed to strengthening societies’ resilience in their approach to false and misleading information on the internet in order to counteract the polarisation of public debates – including by external actors and targeted disinformation.

The aim is to ensure the Union’s digital sovereignty in a self-determined and open manner, to promote cultural content and a strong media sector, and strengthen the Union’s cyber responsiveness. The trio will support a robust and innovative digital ecosystem for businesses, excellence in research in the field of new technologies and digitalisation of SMEs.

Digital development must safeguard our values, fundamental rights and security, and be socially balanced.

Priority for French presidency, is also the imposition of regulations on the digital giants in the EU. «It's time to put order in the digital "Wild West"», as said Thierry Breton, Commissioner for the Internal Market. "The planets now look aligned so that the Digital Services Act (DSA) and the Digital Market Act (DMA) will be finally approved by the French presidency," writes Les Echos.

 

 5. Climate sustainability and energy policy remain on the agenda

The French Presidency seems to be pursuing ambitious goals according to the United Nations' 2030 agenda, even in conjunction with the COVID-19 pandemic.

We want to overcome the economic and social challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in a sustainable and inclusive manner and continue to pursue ambitious goals in line with the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The European Green Deal is the centrepiece of the European approach to sustainability. It combines climate, environment and biodiversity protection with social justice and economic growth. We strive to find an agreement on an updated 2030 climate target. As a leading industrial nation, France has committed to sharing the responsibility of reaching the Green Deal’s ambitious yet crucial targets, while maintaining and strengthening the EU’s global competitiveness.

The three Presidencies will take work forward on all related legislative proposals with the aim of concluding the negotiations with the European Parliament, notably by strengthening the ETS and by setting up a WTO-compatible carbon border adjustment mechanism to prevent carbon leakage. These efforts will be essential for increasing the social acceptability of the climate transition and building a climate resilient society.

Furthermore, we aim to agree on Council conclusions on the EU Biodiversity Strategy, a further important element of Europe’s recovery plan. We will also strive to agree on Council conclusions on the new Circular Economy Action Plan, which can help to keep the resource consumption in the EU within planetary boundaries and make the EU’s economy more resilient. And we want to begin deliberations on an 8th Environmental Action Programme.

The French Presidency will ensure that, as the Union deals with the pandemic, the objectives of Europe’s Green Deal are upheld and the Union that emerges after the pandemic will be more competitive, greener and more sustainable.

 

What else will the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union do to contribute to reaching the EU’s climate goals?

The new European growth model that Macron intends to promote fully integrates environmental ambitions.

To achieve the EU’s objectives of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, Macron said the presidency will “not waste a minute” in pushing the texts forward.

France’s leader also promised that the carbon adjustment mechanism will be adopted in the next few months in order to “preserve our competitiveness”.

The so-called “mirror clauses” which will ensure “coherence” between trade policy and climate and biodiversity preservation policy, as well as a European instrument to combat imported deforestation, will also see the light of day, he added.

 

6. Consumer protection

The French Presidency seeks early involvement of the Council of the European Union in the preparation of a new consumer agenda, which the European Commission intends to present in the first half of 2022.

The Agenda should help to adapt consumer protection in the European Union to current digital and ecological challenges, to protect consumers and to better enforce existing consumer laws, and to promote sustainable consumption.

Consumer expenditure accounts for 54 % of the EU’s GDP. Consumer confidence in a strong European Single Market, one that promotes the free movement of goods and services across national borders, is thus important in overcoming the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

What are some tangible effects of European consumer protection legislation?

  • Elimination of roaming charges in the EU
  • The right to delivery within a reasonable time when purchasing online
  • The right to a two-year guarantee when buying a new product online or offline
  • RAPEX -rapid alert system, which identifies and removes dangerous products from the market
  • Reforming the rules on privacy and data protection
  • Improving the rights of energy consumers and passengers
  • The right to open a current account in all member states without much effort
  • Cross-border consumer advice

 

 7. Strengthening fundamental values and fundamental rights

The European Union is a community of shared values and laws. Human dignity, pluralistic democracy, freedom, tolerance, equality and non-discrimination, justice and the upholding of human rights constitute the foundations of the EU.

What are the intended priorities of the French Presidency?

In his speech, Macron said he wants to take advantage of the presidency to renew the EU’s “humanist vocation”, making it “more effective” and “closer to its citizens”. Guided by a more humane Europe, respecting citizens' concerns as expressed at the Conference on the Future of Europe, defending the rule of law and its values, proud of culture, science and knowledge, fighting against discrimination for a better future.

For example, the French Government will facilitate the further implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights, notably through relevant legislative and non-legislative work to be taken forward at EU and Member States level and through the European Semester.

The aim is an open and constructive dialogue to improve understanding of things in the various Member States. That is why the risks can be identified in a timely manner, and mutual support can be developed. Emphasis will also be placed on tackling demographic changes, on people with disabilities, on older people whose rights and integration into the labour market remain essential.

This dialogue can only work in parallel with other mechanisms. Respect for the principles of the rule of law in the Union and its Member States is a key condition for allocating funds from the EU budget as it should. Germany therefore supports the Commission's proposal to freeze EU funding for the rule of law in its Member States.

Whenever serious deficiencies of the rule of law are identified in a Member State, the response mechanisms enshrined in the European Treaties must be developed with determination. This applies to the cases provided for in Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union, as well as to cases brought before the Court of Justice of the European Union.

France, will continue to advocate for the European Union joining the European Convention on Human Rights. As soon as the pandemic situation allows, accession negotiations with the Council of Europe will resume.

How can we strengthen freedom and tolerance in the digital age?

“When we know how to organise ourselves, we create standards on an international scale,” said the French president in reference to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

France will use the Presidency of the Council to work towards the democratisation of the internet and the resilience of companies handling online content. We will do our utmost to prevent the polarisation of social and political discourse. The COVID-19 crisis also recalls that fact-based information plays a vital role in keeping people safe. Combatting all forms of hate is also vital to the social climate.

France, is also committed to strengthen media pluralism and European democracy. In this regard, it will develop further reflections as well as concrete initiatives, demonstrating the solidarity
between Member States, and ensure that law enforcement and judicial authorities are able to exercise their lawful powers both online and offline.

Actions for gender equality, the LGBTQ community, the protection of children, in particular against poverty and sexual abuse – including cyberbullying- , the fight against anti-Semitism in all its forms, are on the agenda of the French presidency.

In communicating European identity, history and values, the arts and media play a key role. Work to ensure their diversity and freedom will include, for example, the continuation of the «Creative Europe» funding programme. France intends to explore how the European Union could further strengthen its support to the arts and media sectors, which have been severely affected by the COVID-19 crisis, in particular by implementing the EU strategy for international cultural relations.

 

 8. Strengthening security for our citizens

The European Union stands for freedom, security and justice. All people, regardless of their origin, culture or beliefs, should be able to feel free and secure in Europe.

By combating cross-border crime more effectively, we aim to make Europe and the daily lives of the people who live here safer.

European police cooperation aims to ensure that police officers have the information they need from other member states. We wish to strengthen the collaboration of the judicial system, police and customs. The instruments of the European Union for judicial cooperation in the fight against cross-border crime and in civil matters need to be expanded.

What are the EU’s priorities in the fight against organised crime and terrorist activities?

Europol (European Police Office) and Europol’s ability to support the operational work of national authorities in combating cross-border crime, terrorist and extremist threats are to be strengthened during the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. 

The European Union Agency for Cooperation in Criminal Justice (Eurojust) supports judicial coordination and cooperation between national authorities in the fight against terrorism and serious organized crime affecting more than one EU country. Eurojust will continue to grow further in order to support investigations better.

Combating international terrorism remains one of the greatest challenges in Europe. On a continent of open borders, the reliability and speed of information flow must be ensured.  In order to improve further the flow of information, a joint analysis of the various national systems for conducting assessments of individual threats and national lists of potential offenders is to be developed. Germany supports a swift conclusion of the regulation on preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online.

 

Security in cyberspace

As new opportunities are created, improved connectivity and the use of technologies also imply greater vulnerability. In order to improve further security in cyberspace, France is looking to strengthen the cooperation of the member states on network and information security.

In view of the growing proliferation of networked devices, we will strive to establish a single minimum standard of IT security for all devices on the market.

 

9. Updating European migration and asylum policy

The member states of the European Union can only find sustainable solutions to migration, asylum and dealing with refugees.

This applies particularly to the key questions of distributing refugees and migrants more equitably, improving their return and enhancing the protection of Europe’s external borders.

The French president also hopes to take forward discussions around the European Pact on Migration and Asylum, which was presented in September 2020 by the European Commission but has not yet been adopted due to disagreements between many member states. Hopes that in this way there will be better organisation in the management of migration flows, with the cooperation of the countries of origin and transit, in order to combat human trafficking, avoid continuous flow, protect European borders and harmonise the rules as a whole, particularly as regards the granting of asylum.

Finally, the French president also called on the bloc to have regular political meetings on migration – as euro zone states already do on economic matters.

Which solutions is Germany pursuing during its Presidency of the Council of the EU?

The COVID‑19 pandemic is particularly affecting refugees and migrants as persons seeking protection. The causes of displacement and migration are set to intensify in the near future due to pandemic‑related socio‑economic consequences, making the expansion of partner‑based cooperation with countries of origin, receiving and transit states even more urgent.

Germany is therefore pursuing a comprehensive approach during its Presidency of the Council of the EU to mitigate the causes of displacement and irregular migration and to stabilise regions of origin and transit and receiving countries. This includes:

  • tailored cooperation of the EU Member States with key partner countries in terms of migration policy
  • expanding capabilities for European migration situation analyses
  • sharing responsibility more equitably at the international level in order to safeguard refugee protection throughout the world and facilitate permanent solutions for refugees and returnees
  • implementing and further developing the new Frontex mandate for effectively protecting the EU’s external borders
  • enable faster decision‑making about the need for protection.

What will happen to the border‑free Schengen area?

The Schengen system is an indispensable pillar of European cooperation and integration. In response to the refugee crisis in 2015 and after terrorist attacks and the outbreak of the COVID‑19 pandemic in Europe, temporary controls were reintroduced at certain internal borders. These are transitory and exceptional measures put in place until normal operation of the Schengen area can be restored.

France is working to improve further the collaboration between the security, border protection and migration authorities of the EU member states. For this purpose, ensuring effective management of the EU's external borders, strengthening of the Schengen evaluation mechanism and improving governance are essentially important. It will ensure the full mobilization of all relevant organizations and media.

A well-functioning and crisis‑proof European asylum system also requires an efficient mechanism for the effective voluntary return, the repatriation and the long‑term reintegration of those persons who cannot be granted protection. In the context of cooperation on repatriation, the EU member states need to agree on common standards and effective procedures for the humane repatriation of those required to leave. Voluntary return continues to take priority here.

Equally important is the fact that Europe, needs to improve its opportunities for legal migration, in order to tackle the shortage of skilled workers and for this, legal migration opportunities for workers from third countries should be used effectively in the future. In this context, is also important to identify and disrupt high-risk criminal networks active in the EU, as well as improving security through the development and interoperability of EU's information systems.

 

 

Communication Programme

fr ads 

Source: European Council, www.presidence-francaise.consilium.europa.eu, www.eu2020.de


Print   Email

Author’s Posts

Related Articles