The European Union adopts legislation in a number of areas that have a direct impact on Member States and on local and regional authorities.

These cover policy fields where, depending on the treaties, it either has sole competency to act on behalf of its Member States (trade, customs union…), shares competence with the Member States in ‘’common’’ policies (agriculture and fisheries, environment, transport, research and innovation, economic and territorial cohesion…) or has a lesser, coordination and support role (culture, education, training, tourism…).

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.

Tweets

Interreg North West Europe @INTERREG_NWE Call 8 is still open for proposals! All three topics included - #innovation #lowcarbon #resource_efficiency. Closing date 22/11/2018.

Urban Innovative Actions #UIA launched its 4th Call for Proposals! The topics for this call are digital transition, sustainable use of land, urban poverty and urban security. Closing date 31/1/19. More information https://t.co/4v5KbYp5Io #UIACall4

Opening of #EUbudget conference by @GOettingerEU: the easiest years are behind us - let’s prepare the #FutureofEurope

Great to meet MEP @MarianHarkin today in Brussels promoting our region and @eer

Michael O'Brien, Programme executive, Northern and Western Regional Assembly, Ireland, explains that his region is in the third successful operational programme, with areas of focus being R&D, ICT, SME support, energy efficiency and urban regeneration. #eadebates

A busy week for Irish delegation to @EU_CoR as European Week of Regions and Cities focuses on proposals for post 2020 Cohesion Policy @EMRAssembly @SouthernAssembl @NWAssembly @cllrkmac

Great to meet @MaireadMcGMEP in Commission @FineGael telling the story of EU funds and @EER_Award @NWAssembly

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Thanks to @NI_LGA and the East Border Region for a positive meeting on Brexit and shared concerns w/@NWAssembly &@@EMRAssembly . Thanks also to @BrusselsNI for hosting!

Great to have colleagues from @NWAssembly and @EMRAssembly in Brussels today for meetings w/@IrelandRepBru, @NI_LGA and East Border Region on Brexit preparations

Blue skies in Brussels today for the launch of #EURegionsWeek w/ @JunckerEU addressing the role of regions & cities & #CohesionPolicy in the future of Europe. Cites continuing challenges including populism

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