France has published its programme for the presidency of the Council of the European Union. The document, currently only available in French, will guide France’s actions from 1 January until 30 June 2022.
The French Presidency promises to be a very unusual six-month period, with the French presidential elections in April and the legislative elections in June.
The programme of the French Presidency is defined around three main ambitions:
First of all, the French Presidency aims to make Europe more sovereign, by strengthening the Schengen area to protect borders, control migration and improve asylum policy, in line with the UE’s values and international commitments.
This also means making the European Union stronger and able to act in the field of security and defence in an autonomous manner. During his speech, on 9 December 2021, President Macron said he wanted to foster prosperity and stability in the European neighbourhood, in particular in the Western Balkans, and to strengthen the EU’s relations with Africa.
Next, the programme proposes a new European growth model. The French Presidency intends to make Europe a great territory of production, innovation, and technological excellence, where economic development is not at odds with combating climate change.
Moreover, Paris supports the growth and innovation of European digital players on condition that European standards for digital workers are defined. Concrete proposals include the establishment of minimum wages in the EU, the regulation of digital giants and the creation of a carbon tax for products imported into the EU, based on their environmental impact.
Finally, the French Presidency wants to lay the foundations for building the Europe of tomorrow, which considers the needs of its citizens, defends the rule of law and is faithful to its values, proud of its culture, confident in science and knowledge, determined to fight discrimination and committed to the future of youth.
The official programme details France’s actions in several important fields including, but not limited to, competitiveness, transport, telecommunications and energy, environment, agriculture and fisheries, health, labour and consumer rights.
During the French semester, more than 400 events, including summits and conferences, will be organised. These activities start this week, on 6 January, when the College of the European Commissioners will meet President Macron and members of Prime Minister Jean Castex's Government in Paris.
France has set itself important commitments that will require a balanced and coordinated approach, attentive to the current and long-term challenges of the EU as well as to the specific needs of its citizens and industry.
To read the French Programme, please click here.