the challenges of the EU

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The European Union wants to play a key role in the world order derived from the pandemic. The debate on the state of the Union to be held next Wednesday at the Eurocamara –With the speech of the President of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen– will mark the guidelines to be followed and the challenges to be tackled by Brussels. “It is necessary to take more steps forward”, the sources consulted for 20 minutes coincide.

Economy

750,000 million are urgent. It is the most immediate and urgent challenge: EU it has to mobilize the 750,000 million euros from the recovery fund and just over a trillion euros from the multi-annual budget. The objective of Germany, which this semester holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU, is that by the end of September there is a political agreement on the central elements for the national parliaments to ratify the plan. December would be the time to fully close the details.

In this sense, each member state is already working on its reform plan. In the case of Spain, the economic vice president Nadia Calviño has formed a team to design this planning. “The date that is on the radar to have it closed is October 15,” they confirmed from the Vice Presidency.

The Commission and the Council also have their sights set on when the deficit and debt control rules, which were exceptionally suspended due to the pandemic, will re-apply. The European economy has suffered a historic collapse and from Brussels they want to regain that control, if all goes well, at the end of this year.

European countries
Carlos Gamez

Brexi

The relations between the parties, low minimums. It is the never ending story. The United Kingdom and the EU have to close the agreement on their future relationship in the coming months, since the transition period ends on December 31, as no extension has been requested. Now the situation has become more complicated after the British Government has promoted a law that violates the exit pact with Brussels and goes against, for example, the Good Friday Agreement, which blocks the possibility that there will be another a physical boundary between the two Irlandes.

Not all voices are pessimistic. “I would not rule out anything”, explains Salvador Llaudes, associate member of the German Council on Foreign Relations. “The negotiation does not look particularly good and it will be very hard, but I think there will be an attempt by both parties to reach an agreement. For the analyst, the Brexi It is the “most important issue of the remainder of the year.” A ‘no agreement’ would imply that the bond between the parties remains under the rules of the OMC, with the complications that this entails. “It is a key issue from a commercial and geopolitical point of view.”

Foreign policy

More demanding. Josep Borrell has a job at the head of European diplomacy. “It is going to demand a lot,” confirm the sources. Russia, Turkey, Belarus or Turkey. “You have 27 Member States, each with a different foreign policy, and that makes it difficult to make decisions together.”Llaudes clarifies, emphasizing the importance of the elections in the United States: “The course of the Trump era has not been the usual one and the relationship with the EU has deteriorated a lot.” The gaze has to be set more “in the medium term” because the “EU as a project has to be attentive to the question of credibility”. In this sense, Borrell is being “tougher and more assertive in his language and is doing everything he can do” with the margin of maneuver he has, he asserts.

Unit

A true union. The negotiation of the reconstruction funds caused wounds between the different Member States. “The north-south differences will depend on the theme” and will not remain “over time.” Salvador Llaudes recalls that this already happened in 2011 and 2012, especially against Germany. “And now Merkel has had a conciliatory and constructive tone” and has changed “her position in economic terms.”

The rest of the sources consulted also speak of the need to resolve the tensions with Poland and Hungary. “The rule of law is and will be at risk if Orbán maintains its drift,” they maintain.

Refugees

The debate is reopened. The fire in the Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos it has reopened the debate on refugees in the European Union. From Berlin, the German Government has already urged to find a solution and some sources are in favor of evaluating the option of a common migration policy, which was discussed in the previous legislature. “You cannot close your eyes to what has happened, because it can happen again in the future.”

The climate crisis, to be addressed

The fight against climate change was one of the priorities of Von der Leyen And it is one of the main demands of the European Parliament. That hasn’t changed with the pandemic. Over the next five years, the EU will have to pass the so-called European Green Deal. Since the end of 2019 the EU Executive has been setting the guidelines, but now it will have to take more measures.

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