I am pleased to invite you to a dinner on the Strategic Agenda to continue our discussions on the priorities for the next institutional cycle, building upon our fruitful first exchange in Granada. With thanks to our hosts, these discussions will take place in small consecutive groups in Paris, Berlin, Copenhagen and Zagreb during the course of this month.
We are witnessing tumultuous times – from climate-related disasters around the globe to the technological upheaval brought about by cutting edge digital developments and the fragmentation of the rules-based multilateral order.
In this context, we need to reflect on the EU’s capacity to act and to achieve its objectives. In Granada, we set out a broad framework and covered a number of priorities: security and defence, resilience and competitiveness, energy, migration, global engagement and enlargement of the Union. Our dinner discussion will be an occasion to delve deeper into these matters and in particular consider how we need to adapt for the sake of a stronger Union, both internally and globally.
Key questions that we could address, include:
Policies: which policies and programmes need to be improved to strengthen the EU’s global standing and how? Which sectoral policies need reform in the context of future enlargement and how?
Financing: where should we focus our shared budget? How do we best ensure that it supports our shared priorities? How do we finance this budget in practice?
Decision-making: how can we improve our decision-making in order to remain agile? Should we review voting rules and how?
Our dinner discussions will feed into the ongoing preparations of the Strategic Agenda, which will continue in the framework of the European Council, between now and summer 2024.
We need to be open, pragmatic and realistic about the changes and challenges ahead. I am confident that we will face them successfully together and find ways to further strengthen our unity.
I look forward to seeing you.