It is therefore essential to closely monitor the EU decision-making process to help Irish local and regional authorities to anticipate, adapt and influence the decisions that will be taken.
European policies are not adopted in a void but in the framework of overarching priorities and strategies. Currently EU policies are informed by the 10 priorities set out for 2015-2019 by the Juncker Commission which include high-level objectives such as:
- stimulating investment and creating jobs
- making energy more secure, affordable and sustainable
- bringing down barriers to unlock online opportunities in the Digital Single Market.
Updated guidelines are set out every September in the European Commission’s President’s ‘State of the Union’ address. All policies of relevance at regional and local level are also aimed at achieving the goals set in the Europe 2020 strategy which is the EU’s current agenda for achieving smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and jobs. The strategy’s aims are underpinned by a series of performance targets for each Member State in employment; research and innovation; climate/energy; education; and social inclusion/poverty reduction.
These are, in turn, monitored by the Commission via the annual ‘European Semester’ process of enhanced economic and fiscal policy coordination and commitments by the Member States to implementing tailored reform measures at national and even regional level.
Click here to find out more about the EU Decision Making Process and the European Budget.