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Policy Brief

A strategic agenda for the new EU leadership

Memo to the presidents of the European Commission, Council and Parliament. 'A strategic agenda for the new EU leadership' by Maria Demertzis, André Sapir and Guntram Wolff is the first of our 2019 Bruegel memos to the new presidents of the European Commission, Council and Parliament. Focusing on the most important economic questions at EU level, these Bruegel memos are intended to be a strategic to-do list, outlining the state of affairs that will greet the new Commission.

By: , and Date: June 13, 2019 Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance

The next presidents of the European Commission, Council and Parliament will inherit a relatively healthy European economy, but will face three formidable challenges in the next five years.

First, the incoming presidents must define Europe’s place in an increasingly bipolar world driven by a geostrategic rivalry between the United States and China. They should avoid protectionism but must strengthen Europe’s technological, financial and security capacities. They should also continue to support multilateral institutions and stand ready to retaliate against trade aggression.

Second, global warming is a reality and temperatures appear to be rising faster than forecast. The new incumbents need to impose higher prices on greenhouse-gas emissions, guide a deep transformation of our economies, minimise the resulting social fallout, ensure border carbon adjustment and globalise the EU’s decarbonisation.

Third, the three presidents need to manage the economy and EU cohesion. The main worry is a deep recession or even a new crisis. By guiding European policymakers on the use of pro-active fiscal policy, the presidents can reform the governance of the euro area and address tax fraud and evasion.

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