“It is up to us, to you, to map out the route which ensures our future, the one I wish to talk to you about today. The route of rebuilding a sovereign, united and democratic Europe. Let us together have the audacity to create this route.”

Sorbonne Speech – 26 September 2017.

A Europe that protects

Defence Europe

“What Europe, Defence Europe, lacks most today is a common strategic culture.”

Since 2017: 

  • Creation of the first common military budget for defence made up of €13.7 billion, with an additional €8 billion to the European Peace Facility, a crucial instrument of European operational support for Ukraine, which finances the delivery of crucial military equipment to the Ukrainian armed forces. 
  • Unprecedented military aid from the EU and its Member States for Ukraine with more than €21 billion
  • Launch of an extensive mission to provide training to the Ukrainian armed forces, EUMAM Ukraine. 
  • Creation of the European Intervention Initiative, in which 13 Member States participate, to create a common strategic culture.
  • European cooperation experiment within the Takuba Task Force to fight terrorist groups in the Sahel region. 
  • Development, with Germany and Spain, of the Future Combat Air System and the Future Tank Combat System.
  • Translation in concrete terms of the shared ambition showcased in Versailles in March 2022 to strengthen our industrial defence base for more strategic autonomy, through original procurement initiatives among Member States and to build European military production capacities (production of munitions and missiles). 
  • Adoption of the Strategic Compass, establishing our common doctrine and a tangible road map until 2030, which has already begun to be implemented. 
  • Revitalization of the operational component of defence Europe with the launch of four missions (Ukraine, Armenia, Moldova and Niger) in one year, with a more flexible and responsive format, while work on rapid deployment capability continues.
  • Building the EU’s capacity to protect challenged strategic spaces, in particular to fight hybrid threats and information manipulation, as well as the adoption of a space strategy for security and defence.
  • Creation of the Intelligence College in Europe, which brings together 66 intelligence departments from 30 European countries, to develop a common intelligence culture.

Counter-terrorism

“We need to step up the work underway to combat the financing of terrorism and terrorist propaganda online. We need to enhance our cyber security and create a common area of security and justice.”

Since 2017: 

  • Reform of the legal framework regarding the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.
  • New European legislation makes it compulsory to withdraw any terrorist content within an hour from the time it is reported.

European Civil Protection Pool

“I want us to create a European Civil Protection Force, pooling our resources for rescue and intervention, thus enabling us to respond to disasters.”

  • Creation of a European civil protection pool, which has been fully operational since summer 2019. Greece used it in 2021 to help fight forest fires and Croatia in 2020 to help cope with the aftermath of the December 2020 earthquake. France used this mechanism to help fight forest fires in summer 2022.
  • Creation of a European capacity to finance and procure equipment, RescEU, to help Member States and the nine participating States to address transport and logistical emergencies. The EU has provided its assistance to the Ukrainian population with RescEU funds.

A Europe that looks towards Africa 

“I would like our partnership with Africa to be an aspect of the overhaul of the European project.”

Since 2017:  

  • Partnerships launched with South Africa and Senegal, with the aim of being replicated with other partners, to progressively decarbonize their energy mixes within the framework of fair energy transitions; and to support the production of plant proteins. 
  • Rapid and tangible European responses to the impacts of international crises in Africa, including to: 
    • The COVID-19 crisis with the emergency deployment of 65 flights serving as humanitarian air bridges, the majority of them deployed in Africa (12 of 20 beneficiary countries), with a €10-million budget and the delivery of 365 million vaccine doses; 
    • The impacts of the war in Ukraine with more than €9 billion by 2024 to improve food security in Africa.
  • European Union-African Summit on 17 and 18 February 2022 organized under the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
  • The translation of the Europe-Africa Partnership into tangible projects:  
    • Prosperity: identification of flagship projects in Africa under the European Global Gateway project, which depends in part on the €29.2 billion in EU solidarity investment earmarked for Africa between 2021 and 2027 and invests in sustainable infrastructure. 
    • Peace and security: Refreshed CSDP missions in Africa and continued support of the European Peace Facility to the AU (€600 million from 2022 to 2024); budgetary support of €20 million to Rwandan forces active in northern Mozambique. 
    • Migration and mobility: adoption of extensive projects targeting the two main migration routes in Africa (€1.3 billion for the central Mediterranean region and €909 million for the western Mediterranean and Atlantic region). 
    • Multilateralism: European mobilization for the African Union’s joining the G20
  • Joint trips of Team Europe ministers to step up Europe-Africa dialogue.
  • Finalization of the EU-ACP (African-Caribbean-Pacific) Agreement, which is set to be signed and enter into force in late 2023.

A Europe leading the ecological transition

Protection of the climate and biodiversity 

“Today Europe is in a period in between but our choice is simple: do we want to continue producing as we have in the past […] or do we wish to push forward and become leaders of a new production model that will not only be a model for the economy, but also a model for society.”

Since 2017:

  • Adoption of the most ambitious goals in the world: carbon neutrality by 2050 and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55%, by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. 
  • Transformation of the European Investment Bank into a European Climate Bank, with a green investment plan of €1,000 billion for 2021-2030.
  • 30% of the European budget for 2021-2027 dedicated to the climate and environmental sustainability. 
  • Adoption of an EU carbon adjustment mechanism for foreign carbon-intensive goods that will enter into force on 1 October 2023.
  • Review of the European carbon market, which scales up its objectives and extends it to new high-emitting sectors (maritime, road transport, public works).
  • Creation of a Social Climate Fund, which supports the most vulnerable households and companies when it comes to the green transition.
  • Adoption of new rules ending the sale of new thermal cars on the European market in 2035.
  • Adoption of scaled up objectives regarding the greenhouse gas absorption and emission reduction of Member States.
  • Adoption of scaled up objectives regarding renewable energies and energy efficiency.
  • Adoption of the Conclusions on Ambitious Climate and Energy Diplomacy, ahead of international climate negotiations this year, including COP28.
  • Agreement of Member States to reduce harmful emissions from industrial plants and intensive livestock farms in air and water, in order to better protect human health and the environment.
  •  Agreement of Member States to further reduce the use of fluorinated gases and ozone-depleting substances, to better combat climate change.
  • Agreement of Member States to implement restoration measures regarding 20% of sea areas and 20% of land areas by 2030, and all ecosystems that need to be restored by 2050.

A more sovereign Europe in terms of energy

  • Ambition adopted at the Versailles Summit in March 2022 and translated into the European Commission’s REPowerEU strategy in May 2022 to become completely independent from Russian energy by 2027.
  • Emergency response to Russian aggression:
    • Diversification of energy supply with existing and new partners and joint purchasing of gas at European level.
    • Coordinated reduction of natural gas and electricity consumption in the event of an emergency.
    • Creation of a natural gas storage requirement to create strategic reserves avoiding tensions related to supply and prices. 
  • Strengthening of European Union energy objectives (energy efficiency and renewable energies) to reduce the EU’s reliance on hydrocarbons and step up the transition under way. 
  • Ongoing reform of the electricity market to decouple electricity prices paid in Europe from the prices of fossil fuels, particularly natural gas. 
  • Creation of the temporary market correction mechanism to limit excessive gas price spikes. 
  • Cap at European level on profits of electricity producers. 
  • Implementation of unprecedented support for households and businesses to help them cope with energy price increases.

Health and food security 

“Science must provide information on the dangers but also independently and transparently indicate scientifically proven alternatives. ”

Since 2017:

  • Following Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine, creation of “solidarity corridors” in May 2022 to evacuate 45 million tons of Ukrainian grain, in addition to the 33 million tons exported via the Black Sea corridor (September 2023 figures). 
  • Reform of the European Food Safety Authority: transparency and independence of scientific studies, governance reform, with a representation of civil society within it.
  • Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform adopted in June 2021 after four years of negotiations. Reformed CAP wants to be greener, fairer and more competitive. The French National Strategic Plan (NSP) for 2023-2027 is one of the first NSPs to be validated by the Commission on 31 August 2022. 
  • Adoption in December 2022 of a provisional political agreement on the Union’s access to water extending the current rules for fishing for an additional ten years.

A Europe of economic power and innovation 

European Breakthrough Innovation Agency

Europe […] must take the lead in this revolution through radical innovation. Throughout Europe, we must do everything in our power to have these digital champions, to attract talented scientists and entrepreneurs. ”

Since 2017: 

  • Creation of a European Innovation Council, with €10 billion, to drive the emergence of future European champions. 
  • There are now 27 French unicorns and we aim for 100 more by 2030; and 10 European giants worth more than €100 billion.

Economic recovery after the pandemic 

  • As a consequence of COVID-19, the biggest recovery plan in the history of Europe, NextGeneration EU, to support Member States: more than €800 billion.  
  • Based on a French-German initiative, the Commission has issued common European debt to fund the ecological and digital transitions of Member States.
  • Under each national plan, at least 37% of fund finance the ecological transition and at least 20% the digital transition (50% and 25% in the French recovery plan).
  • 40% of France’s recovery plan is financed by the European Union.

Reindustrialisation

  • Launch of industrial alliances in ten sectors helping to preserve European strategic industrial autonomy, including the sectors of batteries, raw materials, hydrogen, semi-conductors and launchers. 
  • Launch of Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI) in the sectors of microelectronics (2018), batteries (2019 and 2021) and hydrogen (2022), which are expected to mobilize more than €50 billion in private and public finance.
  • Three other IPCEIs are being developed (electronics/connectivity, cloud, health).
  • Conduct by the Commission in 2020 of a first in-depth review of EU strategic dependencies (goods, services, technologies) and a second review in 2022.
  • Adoption in March 2022 of the Versailles Declaration, including a list of strategic sectors and tangible objectives to reduce European dependencies. In this respect:
    • Agreement between the Council and European Parliament on the European Chips Act to develop research and innovation, mobilize €43 billion in private and public investments to create new plants in European territory and create crisis mechanisms in the event of supply chains disruption.
    • The future Net-Zero Industry Act (NZIA) will simplify existing procedures, facilitate investments and develop training in strategic industrial sectors to help decarbonize our economies. 
    • The European Critical Raw Materials Act will ensure secure and sustainable supply of critical raw materials and will increase their recycling. 
  • Relaxation of rules for public support to strategic sectors for the ecological transition, in March 2023, which will align the amount of aid for individual businesses at the level of aid that may be granted by a third State when there is a genuine risk of investments being relocated outside of the Union (“alignment clause”).

Regulation of digital technology

“And today, this digital continent has no standards, or more precisely, it has one law: the survival of the fittest. It is Europe’s responsibility to define its regulatory framework so as not to effectively be subject to the survival of the fittest here.” 

Since 2017:

  • Entry into force of the universal charger from 2024.
  • Copyright reform for increased accountability of platforms and better remuneration of creative work.
  • Regulation of major platforms for limiting their economic domination (DMA) and empowerment of platforms  to fight the online spread of hate speech, illegal content and products (DSA) and terrorist content online.
  • Significant stage for strengthening the level of protection, coordination and training in the area of cybersecurity and 5G and the creation of a European Cybersecurity Competence Centre (ECCC).
  • The first stones were laid for furthering a single market for data.
  • Launch of a strategy for making the EU a pioneer in the area of artificial intelligence.
  • Regarding high-performance computing, creation of a European HPC Joint Undertaking bringing together Member States and private partnerships, enabling the pooling of European resources and financing of R&I in this area.
  • Definition of objectives for the years ahead in the Digital Compass and Digital Decade Policy programme 2030 on infrastructure, digital skills, the digitalization of businesses and online public services. 
  • Adoption of the EU Electronic Communications Code to boost connectivity and the deployment of very high capacity networks, including fixed, mobile and wireless networks for all citizens and all EU businesses.
  • Extension of the  EU Roaming Regulation until 2032.
  • Facilitation, within criminal cases, of court orders regarding electronic evidence for service providers in other Member States.
  • Adaptation of the regulations on audiovisual media services to take account of the new realities of the digital market such as video-sharing platforms.
  • Adoption of pioneering regulations on cryptocurrencies and digital assets in order to ensure the traceability of transactions, combat money laundering and protect consumers.  

Construction of a Health Europe

  • Adoption of the health package, strengthening the capabilities of the European health agencies (EMA and ECDC) by coordinating strategies for preparing for and responding to serious future cross-border threats to health. 
  • Europe has become the continent producing the most mRNA messenger vaccines in the world. It has contributed to international solidarity against the pandemic, delivering nearly 530 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to 146 countries.  
  • Creation of a new European Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA).

Defending intellectual property

  • Extension of the protection of handicrafts and industrial goods at European level with the creation of European geographical indications for non-agricultural products (adoption underway).
  • Entry into force on 1 June 2023 of the European patent with unitary effect and launch of the Unified Patent Court (UPC): innovative European stakeholders now have greater protection at a lower cost via a single document, but also greater legal security and efficiency with the appointment of a judge who is competent at European Union level. The UPC’s Court of First Instance is headquartered in Paris.

An ambitious space policy

“Sovereignty is industrial and monetary economic power. Making the heart of Europe an economic and industrial power, […] also means having an ambitious space policy and consolidating a competitive European industry on a global scale.

Since 2017:

  • Defence of independent access to space for Europe, with a €15 billion budget and a “European preference” for launchers. 
  • The European Union will develop a constellation of independent connectivity for global internet coverage and secure communications. 
  • Development of the flagship Galileo European Union programme for geolocalization (currently over 4 billion compatible devices worldwide) and Copernicus for Earth observation.
  • Launch of an EU space strategy for security and defence for the preservation of European strategic independence in space.
  • Preparation of a European space law to increase the competitiveness of the European space industry and better govern space traffic.

Fairer international taxation

“And we cannot accept to have European actors who must pay tax, while their international counterparts do not, and digital actors who pay no tax competing with traditional economy actors who do pay tax.”

  • International tax agreement at the OECD comprising 136 countries, transcribed at European level for fair taxation of multinational enterprises, with a minimum rate of 15%.

Sustainable and fair trade

“We need to have transparent negotiations and we need the trade agreements to be implemented. We need social and environmental stringency in our trade debates. And we need reciprocity.”

Since 2017: 

  • Implementation of new trade rules, with more transparency in negotiations, a European Chief Trade Enforcement Officer, responsible for monitoring compliance with agreements.
  • Adoption of new trade defence tools to better defend our interests: screening of foreign investment in strategic sectors, regulation on mutual access to public contracts, instrument against foreign subsidies which cause imbalances, combating unfair, illegal and coercive trade measures.
  • The Commission’s commitment to make compliance with the Paris Agreement a binding component of future trade agreements.
  • Adoption of a European instrument to combat deforestation at global level. 
  • Strengthening environmental and social requirements in trade agreements. 

A Europe of social equity

Reforming work postings 

“Europe is currently no protection from social dumping, and we have allowed a European market to develop that runs contrary to our labour market’s very philosophy of unity.”

Since 2017:

  • Postings reviewed and introduction of the “equal work, equal pay” principle across the European Union.
  • Creation of the European Labour Authority

Europe-wide minimum wage 

“We should establish a minimum wage that takes into account the economic realities of each country. ”

Since 2017:

  • Adoption under the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union of unprecedented legislation on minimum wages in Europe, which sets out shared principles and criteria to establish a decent minimum wage in each Member State.

Gender equality

  • Introduction of quotas on European corporate boards of administration, following the opening of discussions under the French Presidency.    
  • Adoption of pay transparency measures in companies with over 50 employees.

Adoption of broad social goals by 2030

  • Proclamation in November 2017 of the European Pillar of Social Rights at the Gothenburg Summit, which sets out 20 principles guiding social Europe, organized around access to work, healthy and fair working conditions and social inclusion.
  • At the Porto Social Summit in May 2021, with a view to the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights, the Member States and European institutions pledged that by 2030, at least 78% of people aged 20 to 64 would be in employment, that 60% of adults would participate in training, and that the number of people at risk of poverty or exclusion would be reduced by at least 15 million, including 5 million children.
     

A Europe that addresses the migration challenge 

A Europe which protects its borders  

“We have only one choice, one alternative: closing in behind our borders or the construction of a common area for border management, asylum and migration. ”

  • Recruitment of 10,000 European border guards by 2027.
  • Reform of the European Union Agency for Asylum to drive the convergence of Member States’ asylum systems.
  • More consistent and effective steering of our shared borders, with the creation of a Council of Ministers of the Schengen Area, which now convenes regularly.
  • Work engaged by European partners on the reform of the Schengen Code, to enable more flexibility and responsiveness regarding our common priorities.
  • `Overhaul under way of our European legal framework regarding asylum and migration, to respond more effectively to migration challenges, by guaranteeing responsibility in the management of our common borders and solidarity among Member States. 

A Europe of solidarity

“But we need to do that without leaving the burden to the few, be they countries of first entry or final host countries.”

  • Unprecedented welcome of displaced people from Ukraine in Europe, with nearly 4 million beneficiaries of temporary protection.  
  • Introduction of a solidarity mechanism with countries of first entry to respond to the migration challenge and deal with our asylum culture effectively: France is actively contributing.
  • Discussion with our partners regarding rescues at sea, in order to improve our cooperation and the effectiveness of our maritime rescue operations.

A Europe moving forward thanks to its partners

“We also need to look further, and I want to say clearly that even the most robust borders and most ambitious security policies will not suffice to curb long-term migration flows. Only stabilization and development in countries of origin will dry them up.”

  • Strengthening of projects with third countries, regarding migration on the Central Mediterranean, Western Mediterranean and Atlantic routes.
  • Increased monitoring of our objectives with migrants’ countries of transit and origin in order to prevent migration and deal with its root causes.
  • Strengthening of European agencies, including the European Union Agency for Asylum and Frontex, with the launch of support missions in third countries (EUAA in Moldova) or the signing of agreements between Frontex and third countries to step up their support and share their expertise with partner countries.
     

A Europe of culture and education 

Universities

“We should establish a minimum wage that takes into account the economic realities of each country. ”

Since 2017:

  • 44 European universities that bring together 340 higher education institutions located in 31 countries have already been created since 2019.
  • 37 French school are involved. 

Erasmus 

“In 2024, half of students in a given age group should have spent at least six months in another European country by the time they are 25. whether they are university students or learning a trade. ”

Since 2017:

  • Doubling of European budget for Erasmus
  • Launch of the ALMA programme for young people without degrees, without a job and without training, who are not eligible for Erasmus.
  • Under Erasmus+, launch and expansion of DiscoverEU, which has enabled more than 200,000 young people to discover Europe through travel. 
  • Reinforcement of young people’s mobility while working on the largest synergies between national volunteer programmes (included in the Youth section of the ERASMUS+ 2023 work programme, which is being drafted).

A democratic Europe

Citizens’ panels via the Conference on the Future of Europe 

“By the end of the year, with representatives of European institutions and States, let’s hold a Conference for Europe where we can put forward all the changes needed for our political project, without taboos. ”

  • Organization of a Conference on the Future of Europe, has raised contributions from 5 million visitors on the online platform and 700,000 Europeans having taken part in the Town Hall meetings held in each region of the European Union. The European Commission’s final report contains 49 objectives translated into 326 measures. Since that time, each institution has the duty to implement the final proposals of the Conference in the context of its jurisdiction and in compliance with treaties.

Protecting the rule of law

“What will this Europe of 2024 look like? As I have said, Europe’s unity is the basis of this overhaul. The European Union in 2024 will be brought together on two pillars, in my view. The first represents the values of democracy and the rule of law. They’re non-negotiable, there can be no cherry-picking. On values, there can be no two-speed Europe. They are the catalyst for our unity and freedom.”

  • Since summer 2020, publication of an annual report on the rule of law co-drafted by the European Commission, Member States and civil society. The report gives a comparative overview of all the Member States and included specific recommendations for the first time in 2022.
  • Activations of Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union, in the case of Poland (December 2017), and Hungary (September 2018), following which the Council was regularly consulted regarding the evolution of the situation in these Member States particularly in the run-up to the future Hungarian Presidency of the Council. 
  • Adoption of the regulation on a general regime of conditionality for the protection of the budget on  16 December 2020 allowing to freeze European funds in the event of breaches of the rule of law that risk affecting these funds; first engagement of the procedure in April 2022 and freezing of a portion of the Hungarian cohesion funds in December 2022.
  • Adoption of first steps to establish conditions for disbursing recovery plans under Next Generation EU. In the case of Poland and Hungary, these first steps more specifically concern the need to conduct reforms making it possible to establish conditions for an impartial and independent justice system.