President of the European Council Donald Tusk proposes the adoption of the Sibiu Declaration
Located in the heart of Romania, the city of Sibiu will gain added significance this week, thanks to the summer summit of the European Union leaders, which it will host on May 9, Europe Day. The summit will be held in a EU27 format, in which the UK will not be represented given the uncertainties surrounding the Brexit.
Seen in the context of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, this summit may be regarded as the highpoint of Bucharest’s half-year term. But at the same time, years of reflection on the future of the EU will come together in political instruments in Sibiu. Because this summit, convened by the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in his 2017 State of the Union address, may decide what the Europe of the forthcoming years will look like.
A stronger, more united and more democratic Union, is what the European leaders are aiming for, and to this end they are expected to adopt the Sibiu Declaration. As the President of the European Council Donald Tusk writes in the invitation letter posted on Monday night on the home page of the European Council, “We will gather in Sibiu on Europe Day to discuss strategic plans for the Union in the years ahead. In this context I will propose we adopt the Sibiu Declaration, sending a message of unity and confidence in our joint actions. I enclose an outline of the Strategic Agenda for the next five years. Following the discussions in Sibiu we will formulate the 2019-2024 EU Strategic Agenda, to be adopted at the European Council in June.”
Ahead of the summit, the European Commission has already come up with a number of political recommendations regarding the future of Europe. There are 5 dimensions on which the Union should focus in the years to come. One of them is protecting the EU borders by a pro-active management of migration. Another one is related to Europe’s competitiveness, while a third is the close cooperation of Member States in order to ensure social inclusion and equality, by tackling regional disparities and promoting the shared values on which the European Union is based, such as the rule of law. The Union also needs a fair and modern taxation policy, as well as concrete policies to protect the environment in the context of climate change. And, not least, Europe should play a major role in the international community and develop strong relations with all its neighbours.
(translated by: Ana-Maria Popescu)