Future EU Archives

  • Language use in the EU

    Languages & Culture 07-03-2008

    Promoting a multilingual economy, giving citizens access to European Union information in their own languages and encouraging linguistic diversity through language learning: these are the principles underpinning the Commission's multilingualism policy.

  • Ratifying the Treaty of Lisbon


    The ratification process for the Treaty of Lisbon began in December 2007 and is set to continue throughout 2008 despite Ireland’s rejection of the Treaty by referendum.

  • French presidential elections 2007

    Elections 07-05-2007

    Conservative leader Nicolas Sarkozy won a clear victory over his Socialist opponent, Ségolène Royal, in a 6 May run-off which saw French voters turn out in exceptionally high numbers. The first round was marked by the defeat of the far-right of Jean-Marie Le Pen and the emergence of the centrist François Bayrou, whose supporters were seen as holding the key to the final round.

  • Constitutional Treaty – key elements [Archived]


    EU leaders signed the Constitutional Treaty in autumn 2004, but the ratification was stalled following the two negative votes on the text in France and the Netherlands in 2005. EU leaders are now seeking to agree to a new treaty on the basis of the constitutional provisions. This dossier outlines the key changes proposed by the Constitutional Treaty text to the current system based on the provisions of the Nice Treaty.

  • Constitutional Treaty: the ‘reflection period’ [Archived]


    After the rejection of the EU Constitutional Treaty in France and the Netherlands in late spring 2005, a "period of reflection" on the future of Europe was launched to reconnect the citizens with the European project and to decide the fate of the Constitution. In January 2007, the German Presidency declared the reflection period was over, still its outcome is uncertain.  

  • Energy Green Paper: What energy policy for Europe?

    Science & Policymaking 05-01-2007

    The Commission opened the debate on a future common European Energy Policy with the publication of a 'Green Paper' in March 2006. Suggestions include completing the opening of European gas and electricity markets and stepping up relations with major suppliers such as Russia and OPEC. Other key suggestions include boosting renewable energies, energy efficiency, and research on low-carbon technologies. However, EU member states have already made clear that they would not tolerate interference with national sovereignty, especially when it comes to taking sensitive political decisions such as opting for nuclear power.

  • 7th Research Framework Programme (FP7)

    Science & Policymaking 18-11-2006

    The EU's Seventh framework programme for research and technological development (2007-2013) is designed as a key contribution to the EU's strategy for growth and jobs.

  • The new EU cohesion policy (2007-2013) [Archived]

    Regional Policy 20-07-2006

    The EU's enlargement on 1 May 2004 has exacerbated economic and social disparities across the EU. Recipients of Structural and Cohesion Funds such as Ireland and Spain are now being called on to contribute to the development of their new partners. In the 2007-2013 financial perspectives, cohesion policy amounts to 35.7% of the total EU budget (€308 billion), 62% of which should finance projects linked to the Lisbon agenda for growth and employment.

  • Sustainable Development: EU Strategy

    Climate change 19-06-2006

    The EU first formulated its sustainable development strategy during the 2001 Gothenburg European Council. Although sustainable development is enshrined in the EU Treaty, its implementation remains a problem. In February 2005, the Commission took stock and confirmed that a number of unsustainable trends continue to worsen. One controversial issue is the relationship with the Lisbon reform agenda for growth and jobs. The June 2006 European Council adopted a revised strategy.

  • European values and identity

    Languages & Culture 09-05-2006

    Debates about European identity have intensified in the context of EU enlargement and the Union's Constitutional and Lisbon Treaties. Although the motto "unity in diversity" is generally seen as best describing the aims of the EU, opinions differ widely as to how it should be understood. 

  • Financial Services Agenda 2005-10

    Euro & Finance 18-01-2006

    The Commission's regular progress report on the single market in financial services, published in January 2006, declares the period 2004-2005 to have been one of "significant strides". The next five years, therefore, will see a period of consolidation with a tidying up of remaining specific issues.

  • German elections and the EU [Archived]

    Elections 20-09-2005

    The inconclusive result of the elections in Germany on 18 September has for now left unclear how the country will address the key policy issues ahead.

  • EU health strategy

    Health 01-09-2005

    The Commission proposal for the EU Health programme 2007-2013 aligns future health action with the overall EU objectives of prosperity, solidarity and security and aims to further exploit synergies with other policies.

  • Financial Perspective 2007-2013


    The UK presidency made an 864 billion euro deal at the EU summit in  December 2005, which Parliament then managed to top up with an extra 4 billion euros on 4 April. This political agreement is set to get a final green light on 17 May.     
    The overall budget deal, reached in the early hours of 17 December, raised the 2007-2013 budget to 862.3 billion euros, or 1.045 percent of EU Gross National Income. Compared to the Luxembourg June 2005 compromise it is still a decrease of 22 billion euros.

  • Hague programme – JHA programme 2005-10

    Security 19-05-2005

    The Hague programme is a five-year programme for closer co-operation in justice and home affairs at EU level from 2005 to 2010. It aims to make Europe an area of freedom, security and justice. The programme's main focus is on setting up a common immigration and asylum policy for the 25 EU member states.

  • Convention on the Future of the EU


    In the recent years, the need to reform the
    European Union and its Treaties has become more and more
    pressing for several reasons. Firstly, it became clear that
    many bottlenecks exist in the EU's policy-making process, and
    that these could only be solved through the reform of the
    institutions. The realisation that enlargement would worsen the
    existing decision-making problems added to the urgency of these
    reforms. Secondly, it became evident that a gap was growing
    between the EU and its citizens, which needed to be addressed.
    The EU leaders therefore decided that the time has come for a
    profound debate on the objectives and goals of the EU, its
    Treaties and its institutions.

  • New Parliament [Archived]

    Elections 01-08-2004

    The newly elected post-enlargement Parliament will still be dominated by the two biggest political families. Under the new Constitution, the Parliament will gain in power but will it be able to deliver?

  • Dutch Presidency: Priorities [Archived]

    Security 03-07-2004

    The priorities of the Dutch presidency are further EU enlargements, justice and home affairs, giving the EU a wider role in external relations, the sustainable growth of the European economy and the financial perspectives for the period 2007-2013.

  • Intergovernmental Conference 2003-2004


    EU governments began an Intergovernmental
    conference (IGC) on 4 October 2003 to revise the draft
    Constitutional Treaty, adopted by the European Convention on 10
    July. Heads of State and Government of the EU-25 failed to
    agree on the Council voting system during the IGC session of
    12-13 December 2003. The European Council on 17-18 June 2004,
    however, brought the IGC to a conclusion.

  • European Parliament Elections 2004 [archived]

    Elections 17-05-2004

    The European Parliament elections were held
    between 10-13 June 2004. As a result of the enlargement of the
    European Union to 25 countries, 732 members of the European
    Parliament have been chosen. For an overview of the main
    challenges and results of the EP elections 2004 (voter turnout,
    "Europeanness" of the election campaign, national impacts of
    the elections, division of power in the EP), see our
    LinksDossier on the EP elections results.

  • Industrial Policy and de-industrialisation

    Science & Policymaking 06-05-2004

    Industry leaders and politicians alike have voiced their fears about the EU's manufacturing base moving out of Europe to benefit from cheaper labour, lower social costs and more flexible regulation in the East. In 2004, the Commission published a communication 'Fostering structural change: an industrial policy for an enlarged Europe', which examined the competitiveness of European industry, assessed the existence and scale of the risk of de-industrialisation and proposed specific solutions.

  • Lisbon Agenda


    In March 2000, the EU Heads of States and Governments agreed to make the EU "the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-driven economy by 2010". Although some progress was made on innovating Europe's economy, there is growing concern that the reform process is not going fast enough and that the ambitious targets will not be reached.

  • Convention and CFSP


    The Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) of
    the EU has been thrown into disarray because of the split among
    the current and among the future Member States over the war in
    Iraq. Creating a politically and militarily unified Europe
    after the sucessful market integration and the creation of the
    euro seems to be the next logical step. There is broad
    consensus that Europe will be unable to make its voice heard as
    long as it remains divided and lacks a credible military force.
    However, deep divisions over the handling of the Iraqi crisis
    have temporarily hampered the process of political integration.
    Most observers agree that it is in EU's interest to heal the
    rift between the two camps in Europe and repair the damaged
    trans-Atlantic relations.

  • White Paper on European Governance

    EU Priorities 2020 01-08-2003

    The Commission adopted its White Paper on
    European Governance in July 2001 with the aim of establishing
    more democratic forms of governance at all levels - global,
    European, national, regional and local. The White Paper
    forwards a set of proposals focussing on the role of the EU
    institutions, better involvement, better regulation, and the
    contribution the European Union can make to world governance.
    Most of the Commission's governance reforms are to be
    implemented immediately under the exiting treaties. These
    efforts are to complement the phase of institutional reform
    launched by the Laeken Declaration of December, 2001,
    continuing with the Convention on the Future of the European
    Union, and culminating in the Intergovernmental Conference of
    2004. Some of the initiatives proposed in the Commission's
    White Paper may be taken forward in the preparation of treaty

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