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A Commission of concrete steps rather than grand strategy. Policy Priorities for 2019-2024, 19 September 2019

Gros, Daniel and Blockmans, Steven (2019) A Commission of concrete steps rather than grand strategy. Policy Priorities for 2019-2024, 19 September 2019. [Policy Paper]

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    The von der Leyen Commission inherits a Union that has largely overcome its ‘polycrises’. The economy has stabilised and employment continues to grow, despite the slowdown in the global economy. Apart from some fluctuations in the risk premium on Italian government bonds, the financial markets are largely without tension. The flow of refugees has fallen to a fraction of the peak registered three and four years ago. At the same time, trust in the EU and its institutions has increased steadily across most member states, reaching near-record values, and participation rates in the recent elections for the European Parliament also increased considerably. Against this background, it is not surprising that the various Eurosceptic parties did not do as well as expected in these elections. In the absence of unforeseen major shocks, the EU institutions should now be less engaged in crisis management and more able to pursue a long-term strategic agenda. The President-elect of the European Commission has also set out her overall programme, which is highly ambitious in many respects, hits all the right notes in terms of policy prioritisation but, significantly, does not recognise any trade-offs between different goals. Recognising trade-offs is essential for policymaking. For example, protecting citizens from terrorist threats might necessitate limitations to their freedoms. Fostering a climate-neutral Europe has costs that might weigh on growth and be difficult to distribute fairly. Any concrete political strategy will need to address these trade-offs – which political leaders typically fail to do.

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    Item Type: Policy Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > EU institutions & developments > institutional development/policy > general
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Centre for European Policy Studies (Brussels) > CEPS Policy Papers
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 22 Oct 2019 14:10
    Number of Pages: 13
    Last Modified: 22 Oct 2019 14:10

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