As the new year unfolds, the European Union braces itself for a series of pivotal events, marking 2024 as a year of significant developments. Here's a glimpse into the key milestones:
1. European Parliament Elections (June 6-9):
The European Parliament elections are scheduled to take place from June 6 to 9, involving citizens from over 40 countries worldwide, including the United States, Russia, India, Indonesia, and Mexico. This global democratic exercise encompasses nearly half of the world's population.
2. Extraordinary Summit on Budget Revision (February 1):
On February 1, an extraordinary summit is set for EU leaders to finalize the revision of the seven-year budget, incorporating a €50 billion aid package for Ukraine. While a preliminary agreement was reached in mid-December, Hungary's objection requires further consensus.
3. Migrant Pact Agreement (Expected in April):
Following marathon negotiations, the EU Council and European Parliament negotiators have reached a provisional agreement on a migration and asylum pact. This long-debated issue addresses stricter asylum procedures at the external borders and enhanced powers for countries in returning asylum seekers with low chances of international protection. Formal confirmation by both the Council and Parliament is expected in April.
4. New Economic Governance Framework:
A crucial agreement pertains to the new rules governing the economic framework, a set of common rules for national fiscal and economic policies applicable to all member states. These rules aim to ensure the sustainability of public finances, promote convergence, and eliminate macroeconomic imbalances. Proposed by the European Commission, the more flexible rules intend to provide countries with high public debt greater maneuverability, preventing a rapid reduction in public debt from adversely affecting economic growth.
European Parliament - Photo - Canva
5. Transition in EU Institutions:
The institutional cycle in the European Union undergoes a transition, with the current European Parliament holding its final plenary session in April. Citizens across Europe will participate in elections from June 6 to 9, electing representatives to one of the two legislative bodies of the EU. The new European Parliament is expected to be constituted in July. Subsequently, the election of a new European Commission is mandated by November 1, as the current Commission's mandate expires.
6. Appointment of New European Council President (Summer/Fall):
The second two-and-a-half-year term of the current President of the European Council, Charles Michel, concludes at the end of the year. Member state leaders are anticipated to select a new leader for this institution before the summer break or in early autumn.
The year 2024 unfolds as a critical juncture for the European Union, with a series of decisions and elections shaping its political landscape and strategic direction.