Promising programme of the Spanish Council Presidency

IF – 07/2023

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 change.