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European Union policy agenda 2024-2029- stronger together in times of transitions

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28-09-2023

SER advisory report

The Netherlands needs a strong Europe. The rapidly shifting global balance of economic and political power puts the European values under pressure. Together, countries can strengthen the competitiveness and resilience of member states, as well as their working and living conditions.

A joint approach is also needed to further digitalise the economy, to meet the climate targets, and to strengthen the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU).

This is outlined in the SER exploratory study “European Union policy agenda 2024-2029 – stronger together in times of transitions”.

The exploratory study sets out focus areas for the efforts of the Netherlands in the European Union in the socio-economic field. After the European elections in 2024, an agenda will be drawn up for the new five-year term of office of the European Commission and the European Parliament. This agenda will have a major impact on national policies. Therefore, active input from the Netherlands is important.

A resilient Europe

The global economy is increasingly influenced by geopolitical developments. A competitive economy is important to keep Europe strong in this domain. The coronavirus pandemic and the war in Ukraine have brought to light Europe’s dependence on foreign countries for certain products, and the risks this entails. To mitigate these risks, a strong economic agenda that takes the geopolitical reality into account is needed. Strengthening competitiveness and economic resilience requires greater strategic autonomy while maintaining an open economy, investments in competitiveness, and a balanced policy on industry and technology. It also calls for a deeper and fairer internal market, with effective enforcement of rules.

Fair and equal

A strong Europe in economic terms is also a strong Europe in social terms. It is essential to maintain social stability, solidarity and unity. European policies should contribute to upward convergence (all together towards the top) and an equal playing field for companies within the EU. For a fair and social Europe, it is important to strengthen and concretise the European Pillar of Social Rights. This involves increasing employment, raising the level of education, and reducing poverty.

The SER exploratory study also makes recommendations on digitalising the economy, meeting the climate targets, strengthening the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), and EU enlargement.

European policy is Dutch policy

To effectively implement the European policy agenda 2024–2029, the SER identifies three preconditions that need to be met. First, there is the importance of enforcement and quality of regulation. Secondly, in European policy-making, there is much added value in involving European social partners. Thirdly, adequate funding is necessary. In addition to the three preconditions mentioned, a better alignment between European and Dutch policy is needed.


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