Priorities of the Croatian Presidency of the Council of the EU

From January to June 2020, Croatia will take over the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union. During these months, the Croatian Presidency will focus on four main pillars which have been synthesised in one unique motto:

“A Europe that is developing. A Europe that connects. A Europe that protects. An influential Europe”.

  1. A Europe that is developing.

In regard to the strengthening of competitiveness and skills, Croatia will:

  • work on the single market as well as the competitiveness of European industry and SMEs
  • encourage the digitalisation agenda
  • invest in research and innovation
  • follow up on the process of modernisation of agriculture
  • fight against climate change
  • emphasise biodiversity conservation at the EU and global level
  • discuss on the main initiatives of the European Green Deal

On social issues, Croatia will further implement the European Pillar of Social Rights by promoting gender equality and creating better working/living conditions as well as more opportunities for young people. In addition, the Presidency will promote greater accessibility of high-quality and lifelong learning and develop new skills adjusted to jobs of the future.

  1. A Europe that connects.

The Croatian Presidency will focus on:

  • the establishment of a single European transport area
  • high quality and secure data infrastructure
  • an integrated energy market and stronger connections between Union citizens
  • the mobility of scientists and researchers
  1. A Europe that protects.

Croatia will further follow up on internal security, namely focusing on a more effective control of external borders, interoperability of IT systems and a stronger resilience to external threats and malicious cyber activities. Additionally, the Croatian presidency will propose a comprehensive solution for a sustainable migration and asylum policy.

  1. An influential Europe.

In regard to the EU’s external action, the Croatian Presidency will put emphasis on strengthening multilateralism and the relations with third states, besides fulfilling the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals and promoting European interests.

Concerning the enlargement and neighbourhood policy (from East to South), priority would be given to Western Balkans: the EU-Western Balkans Summit is already scheduled for May 2020.

On questions of security, defence and crisis-response capacity, the Croatian Presidency will deal with negotiations on the European Defence Fund 2021-2027.

According to the final programme of the Croatian Presidency, the European Union will act as “Security Provider”. In this regard, the Croatian Presidency will contribute to deliver a strategic approach to defence and security as well as to ensure a substantial European defence cooperation.

In particular, the Presidency will focus on:

  • the implementation of the defence initiatives, such as Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD) and the European Defence Fund (EDF);
  • the consolidation of the cooperation between EU and NATO;
  • the conflict prevention and crisis management, supporting partners in building capacities and resilience, especially in South East Europe;
  • the enhancement of the military mobility and the fight against hybrid threats.

A summary paper on the Croatian Presidency priorities can be found here. For further information, please consult the website.

The final programme of the Croatian Presidency can be found here.

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