The Member States behind the next three Presidencies of the Council of the European Union, namely, the Netherlands, Slovakia, and Malta, have applied what has been called the ‘Trio programme’, a mutual plan which each country will implement during their six-monthly tenures. Four priority areas have been agreed by them, and these are: migration and international security, Europe as an innovator and job creator, sound finances and a robust Eurozone, and a forward-looking climate and energy policy. The Netherlands, began its turn as the rotating Presidency of the Council, on the 1st of January, and will be primarily concerned with economic growth and jobs through innovation, with a Union that connects with civil society. “What matters to Europe’s citizens and businesses”, is the underlying message behind their plans. Guided by the priorities of the Strategic Agenda (June 2014), and the recent conclusions of the European Council, the ‘Trio’ has put particular emphasis on the first pillar of that document, as inclusive, smart and sustainable growth, jobs and competitiveness remain the top priorities over the next 18 months. It rightly states that the EU’s economy is showing signs of recovery, but that it “also faces unprecedented challenges, notably to its security and as a result of migration”. Better regulation and a reduction in regulatory burdens, which echo the desired EU reform demands of the UK’s David Cameron, are seen as important drivers for economic growth and competitiveness, and are a recurring feature of the Trio’s 24-page programme outline. Many other factors are highlighted as being crucial to the EU’s development: international trade, for instance, is seen as ‘a lever for [...]
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We represent the widely understood Central Europe energy sector (electricity generation, distribution and transmission, renewables, gas, oil, heat generation and distribution, chemical industries, etc.), universities and scientific institutions.