Spain takes over the EU Presidency
IFA Comment – For aviation that looks like – more greening, re-industrialising and social and economic justice.
Spain assumes the Presidency in the second half of 2023, from July 1 to December 31, in a period of great challenges for the Member States and the European Union as a whole. The Spanish Presidency has established four priorities for its semester.
Reindustrialise the EU and ensure its open strategic autonomy
The international openness of the last seven decades has been mostly beneficial for the EU and has allowed it to reach levels of economic growth and social welfare that would have been unachievable under protectionism. However, this openness has also facilitated the offshoring of industries in strategic sectors, thus making the EU excessively dependent on third countries in areas such as energy, health, digital technologies and food. The geopolitical, technological and environmental changes currently taking place provide us with the opportunity to reverse this trend and attract new companies and jobs to European soil and reduce our foreign vulnerabilities.
To achieve this, the Spanish Presidency will work on two fronts. On the one hand, it will promote those dossiers which foster the development of strategic industries and technologies in Europe, the expansion and diversification of its trade relations, and the strengthening of its supply chains, giving special attention to Latin America and the EU-CELAC Summit. On the other hand, it will propose a forward-looking, comprehensive strategy to ensure the economic security and global leadership of the EU by 2030, providing continuity and depth to the work of the European institutions and the roadmap agreed in Versailles by the 27 Member States.
Advance in the green transition and the environmental adaptation
For Europeans, curbing climate change and environmental degradation is not only a legal and moral obligation –it is also a huge opportunity. If we execute it well, the green transition will allow us to drastically reduce our dependence on energy and raw materials, lower our electricity bill, make our companies more competitive, and create nearly one million jobs in this decade alone.
The Spanish Presidency will do its utmost to foster this transition. We will promote a reform of the electricity market aimed at accelerating the deployment of renewable energies, the reduction of electricity prices, and the improvement of the system’s stability. We will work to accelerate the legislative files related to Fit for 55, such as the Gas and Hydrogen package, and the energy efficiency regulations. Furthermore, we will promote measures for the reduction of waste and microplastics, the design of sustainable products and the generation of green fuels. All these, so that the EU continues to lead the global fight against climate change and does so by creating wealth and new opportunities throughout its territory.
Promoting greater social and economic justice
In the future, it will not be enough for Europe’s GDP to grow. It will be necessary to ensure that the wealth generated benefits all citizens and serves to improve their opportunities and living standars. We need a more competitive economy, but also a fairer and more caring one.
Accordingly, the Spanish Presidency will advocate for the establishment of minimum and common standards on corporate taxation in all Member States and will fight tax evasion by large multinationals, which costs the EU 1.5 GDP points each year –that is, the same as what it spends on housing and environmental protection. We will also work for a proper revision of the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027 and for the adequate reform of the fiscal rules to overcome austerity, increase transparency and combine the sustainability of public finances with the proper financing of the green and digital transitions. Finally, we will push for the extension of workers’ rights in several areas and for vulnerable groups such as children, women suffering from violence, and people with disabilities.
Strengthening European unity
In a world of uncertainty and growing geopolitical tensions, the EU must remain united. That is why Member States must continue to make progress in integration and develop tools that will allow them to face, together, the great challenges of our time.
To this end, the Spanish Presidency will advocate for a greater deepening of the internal market, the completion of the banking union and the capital markets union, the consolidation and improvement of common instruments such as the NextGenerationEU funds, a more efficient and coordinated management of migration and asylum processes, and a coordinated support for Ukraine and other neighbouring states. We will also work for the development of our common identity and values, and to foster a new phase of the development of the European project.