It is now Spain's turn to hold the Presidency of the Council of the
European Union from 1 July to 31 December. This is already the fifth Presidency
and the programme "Europe,
closer" is just as ambitious as that of Sweden, which
previously held the Council Presidency.
Takeover in troubled times
The European Union (EU) continues to struggle with various challenges,
both within the European borders and outside. Member States are slow to get a
grip on the high inflation that citizens feel in their daily lives. Food and
energy prices in particular have hardly fallen in recent months.
Main priorities for the next six months
The government of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has set four
thematic priorities for its Council Presidency:
- Re-industrialisation of the EU and
modernisation of the economy
- Advancing the green transition
- Promoting greater social and economic justice
- Strengthening European unity
Strengthening social policy
The Spanish Council Presidency will also promote ambitious social
measures at EU level to reduce inequalities in social protection. Especially
the labour and social rights of people in precarious working conditions are to
be expanded and strengthened. Focus is also on the demographic development
throughout Europe, also taking into account the green and digital
transformation. To this end, Spain supports the introduction of an "age guarantee"
so that the EU can respond with adequate measures to the ageing population in
work and everyday life.
Another goal of the Spanish Council Presidency is to accelerate the
digital transformation of the EU. Work processes in companies must be adapted
and people must be equipped with the necessary skills. Basic and advanced
training as well as retraining measures are necessary for this. The EU must
continue to be competitive and innovative in order to implement the digital
goals in technical and financial terms.
However, it is questionable whether the four main priorities can be
met in this way. Since the Spanish elections will take place on 23 July, it is
possible that some of the priorities of the Council Presidency may still