Priorities

Every year, on the basis of the Commission Work Programme, the Government of Flanders determines the relevant dossiers for Flanders (dossiers relating to the competences of Flanders) and, on the other hand, the priority relevant dossiers (dossiers with potentially major consequences for Flanders).

The following files are continuously treated as a priority:

  • European Semester
  • Brexit

Priority dossiers in 2019:

  • End summer and winter time
  • EU-plan for artificial intelligence
  • EU long-term climate strategy

Priority dossiers in 2018:

  • Minimum quality requirements for reused water
  • Multiannual Financial Framework after 2020
  • Towards a sustainable Europe in 2030
  • Trade agreements

The 'European Semester' is the European Commission’s instrument to align the fiscal, macroeconomic and socio-economic policies (Europe 2020) of the EU member states.

On 29 March 2017, the United Kingdom indicated its desire to leave the European Union. Shortly after,  negotiations about the withdrawal started. On 14 November 2018 the negotiators reached an agreement. This Withdrawal Agreement will assure an orderly exit. In addition, the treaty provides for a transitional phase which should expire on 31 December 2020 but can be extended once. The UK remains subject to the full EU acquis during this transitional period but can no longer participate in formal decision-making procedures.

The European Commission launched a proposal in September 2018 to stop the switch between winter and summer time. It is up to the Member States to choose whether they want to permanently apply winter or summer time in the future. The intention is that (neighboring) countries coordinate their possible adjustments so that the proper functioning of the internal market is guaranteed.

In December 2018, the European Commission published a coordinated European plan on artificial intelligence.  The plan focuses on an ethical, human-centered artificial intelligence with which Europe can differentiate itself on the world stage, an "artificial intelligence made in Europe".  A stronger investment rhythm in research, spreading towards businesses and enabling technologies will be necessary for this. In view of these objectives, the Commission wants to better network and strengthen new and existing centers of artificial intelligence and related technologies.

In November 2018, the European Commission published a proposal for a long-term strategy for climate. In its proposal, the European Commission investigates various scenarios for drastically reducing European greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 (ranging from -80% to net zero emissions). In doing so, it proposes adopting net zero emissions by 2050 as a long-term objective, and provided two scenarios achieving this objective.  Based on this analysis, the Commission states that the road to a climate-neutral economy will be based on action along a set of seven strategic building blocks:

The European Commission published its proposal for a 'Regulation on minimum requirements for water reuse' in May 2018. The proposal establishes a framework for the safe use of treated waste water originating from waste water treatment plants that are covered by the urban waste water directive for irrigation applications in agriculture. Ultimately, this should lead to a more efficient use of resources and lower pressure on the water systems (especially with regard to water scarcity). 

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the United Nations with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) calls on the member states to translate the SDGs into their own objectives and to implement them in the policy. An implementation strategy must be determined at EU level with terms, objectives and concrete measures to implement the Agenda 2030 in EU policies. The Commission must also identify the gaps that the EU will have to close before 2030.

In October 2015, the European Commission presented its 'trade for all’ strategy. This strategy is implemented through various trade negotiations. For 2018 this involves the following negotiations: •    finalizing agreements with Japan, Singapore and Vietnam; •    technical elaboration of the political agreement with Mexico; •    finalizing the negotiations with Mercosur; •    more intensive negotiations with Chile, China and Indonesia; •    start the negotiations with Australia and New Zealand.