22 October 2017

Updates from the EU level

October was a busy period in Brussels and some of the recent developments include establishement of a High Level Stakeholder Platform to follow up on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, adoption of the 2018 Work Programme by the European Commision and continued negotiations on the 2018 EU budget.

European Commission appointed members of High Level Stakeholder Platform to follow up on the UN Sustainable Development Goals

On 12 October, 30 members were appointed to serve on a new high-level multi-stakeholder platform. The platform’s objectives are twofold: 

1) support and advise on delivering the Development Goals at EU level;

2) provide a forum for exchange of best practice at local, regional, national and EU level

The platform’s work will include contribution to the Commission's Reflection Paper "Towards a sustainable Europe by 2030” (more details here), follow up on the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the on-going work on resilience and innovation. This platform will be chaired by Frans Timmermans, the First Vice-President of the European Commission. 

European Commission adopted 2018 Work Programme

On 24 October, the European Commission adopted its annual work programme: An agenda for a more united, stronger and more democratic Europe for 2018. The programme includes new initiatives to complete the work on President Juncker’s 10 priorities & initiatives.

See related documents:

Negotiations on 2018 Budget

On 25 October, the Council of the European Union did not accept some of the amendments that were proposed by the European Parliament ahead of a three-week conciliation process which will start on 31 October. By 20 November, both institutions need to compromise their positions. 

The European Commission proposed setting the total level of commitments at €160.6 billion and payments at €145.4 billion in its draft budget for 2018 while the Council set total commitments at €158.9 billion and total payments at €144.4 billion. The Parliament is asking for total commitments to be increased to €162.6 billion and total payments to €146.7 billion, that is €1.8 billion in commitments above the ceilings set by the EU's multiannual financial framework for 2014-2020.

If no agreement will be reached by 20 November, the Commission will have to present a new draft budget. 

Read Reflection Paper on the Future of EU Finances by the European Commission here