In mid-July the new EU Commission President announced new priorities for the whole EU with a consequence that all the states including those in the Baltics have to turn these priorities into the national political-economic order. The Union’s strategic planning is clear and the EU member states’ leaders agreed on the agenda, though some 3-4 – mostly eastern European states – did not see these priorities as “nationally acceptable”. But then democracy won and the priorities were accepted!
Even before and during the European Parliament election’s campaign, the perspective vision for the European states’ development has been generally visualized. It was about efficient and renewable energy, sustainability, circular and bio-economy, to name a few.
Actually, the Commission has been working on these issues during the last 5-years period: during the Commission’s previous term, it has drafted several hundred legislative acts of which 356 have been approved as either directives and/or regulations.
Among the most vital for the next 5 years are the following two priorities:
1.The issues connected to the global climate order: including CO2 reduction, fossil-neutral economies and sustainability. Some EU states, e.g. in Scandinavian region have been very ambitious in taking these issues into the domestic priorities: for example, Denmark announced that it will be “carbon-neutral by 2050”, which means no coal, gas or oil in national energy sector! What an example for other states!
In fact, there already about eight EU states that adopted such carbon-neutral-2050 strategies, which is about one-third of the whole EU, good news!
Others, fortunately only just 3-4 states, didn’t show great potentials in “green growth” and have been so far less interested in turning their economies on the sustainable paths. Although these countries “formally” adopted national sustainable strategies, that didn’t have real and practical consequences for changes in economic models.
The main stumbling block for these states was the “transition” compensations for turning their traditional economies into circular and sustainable, as well as CO2 neutral, way.
Therefore, in this first EU priority the perspective for the EU institutions would be to show the ways the transfer to sustainability and green growth to be “productive” and in line with the increasing GDP and welfare, while the member states would show willingness to implement new models for growth.
In a sense, the “Green Deal for Europe” shall be a new strategy for the whole EU with the member states to follow…
2. The second priority is as complicated as the first one: it’s about finding a permanent and feasible strategy approach to increasing migration flows. Here again the division among the states is great: some –about two-thirds of the EU states – are willing to accept refugees (finding proper ways to integrate them into the national growth patterns), others –about one-third, are taking more restricted approaches.
New Commission President, von der Leyen thinks that a compromise shall and will be found: of course, people’s smuggling shall be stopped and the number of “irregular refugees” shall be reduced. Hence, a new asylum and migration “pact” shall be adopted by the end of 2019 with a possible reform of Schengen agreement.
A practical effect for the Baltic States in this regard is the EU’s idea of strengthening the EU’s external border’s control: additional EU efforts will be taken to increase border control with additional financial and logistic assistance from the EU.