A Union that delivers swifter and better results: Three Institutions sign Joint Declaration on the EU's legislative priorities for 2017

Building on the European Council's Strategic Guidelines and the 10 priorities the European Parliament gave the Juncker Commission a mandate to deliver, the Presidents of the three European Institutions agreed on a number of proposals they will give priority treatment to in the legislative process. This will ensure that the EU delivers concrete results for its citizens and addresses the most urgent challenges Europe faces today.

President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker said: “Today's Joint Declaration is a new milestone in the way the EU can deliver better and faster on our common challenges. It is the first time in EU history that the three European Institutions have agreed on a limited number of initiatives of major political importance that should be fast-tracked in the legislative process. We may be three different Institutions, but there is only one European project we work for, representing the interest of all EU citizens. What we have seen with the European Border and Coast Guard should become the new standard for delivering swift and meaningful solutions together. Where there is a will, there is a way in Europe."

In addition to the EU's commitment to the ongoing work on all legislative proposals already tabled, the Presidents of the three Institutions set out in the Joint Declaration six specific areas in which proposals should be fast-tracked. The Presidents of the Parliament, Council and Commission commit to streamlining the efforts of their Institutions to ensure swift legislative progress on these priority initiatives and, where possible, delivery before the end of 2017.

  • Giving a new boost to jobs, growth and investment - through the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI 2.0), revamped Trade Defence Instruments, the Banking Union, the Capital Markets Union, and the improvement of waste management in the circular economy;
  • Addressing the social dimension of the European Union - through the Youth Employment Initiative, improved social security coordination, the European Accessibility Act and the European Solidarity Corps;
  • Better protecting the security of our citizens - through the Entry-Exit System, Smart Borders and the European Travel Information Authorisation System (ETIAS), the control of firearms, instruments to criminalise terrorism, money laundering and terrorist financing, and the European Criminal Records Information Systems (ECRIS);
  • Reforming and developing our migration policy in a spirit of responsibility and solidarity - through the reform of the Common European Asylum System (including the Dublin mechanism), the Legal Migration package and the External Investment Plan to help to address the root causes of migration by enhancing investment and job creation in partner countries;
  • Delivering on our commitment to implement a connected Digital Single market - through the EU telecoms and copyright reforms, the Union of the 700 MHz band, preventing unjustified geo-blocking, the Audiovisual Media Services Directive and common data protection rules;
  • Delivering on our objective of an ambitious Energy Union and a forward looking climate change policy - through the 2030 climate and energy framework, the Paris Agreement and the Clean Energy for all Europeans package.

In addition, the three Presidents highlight four fundamental issues which need particular attention and further progress in 2017: (i) commitment to common European values, the rule of law and fundamental rights; (ii) tackling tax fraud, evasion and avoidance; (iii) preserving the principle of free movement of workers; and (iv) contributing to stability, security and peace.

This joint effort of the European Parliament, the Council of the EU and the European Commission is part of a new shared commitment and is explicitly foreseen in paragraph 7 of the Interinstitutional Agreement on Better Law Making, enabling the Union to turn proposals into action and produce results where they are most needed.

Next Steps

The three Institutions have agreed on a careful joint monitoring and tracking of progress when it comes to the implementation of the Joint Declaration, both at political and at senior officials' level. At political level, the implementation of the Joint Declaration will be monitored jointly and regularly through meetings of the Presidents of the three Institutions in March, July and November 2017. At the technical level, the implementation of the Joint Declaration will be monitored jointly and on a regular basis in the Interinstitutional Coordination Group, meeting at senior official level (as foreseen in point 50 of the Interinstitutional Agreement on Better Law-Making).

To facilitate the monitoring and tracking of the follow-up to the Joint Declaration, a working document accompanying the Joint Declaration sets out in detail the initiatives which are to be fast-tracked in 2017.


On 15 March 2016, the three European Institutions agreed on a new Interinstitutional Agreement (IIA) on Better Law-Making to improve the quality and the results of European legislation. The IIA on Better Law-Making is bringing changes across the full policy-making cycle, from consultations and impact assessment to adoption, implementation and evaluation of EU legislation. According to the new IIA, there must be joint agreements on the key topics that should be prioritised by the legislators, including simplification exercises for existing laws.

Each year, the Council, the Parliament and the Commission now discuss the EU's legislative priorities and agree common top priorities for the upcoming year. This allows the three Institutions to work more closely together to tackle the big challenges that lie ahead.

Today's Joint Declaration is a first enactment of this new approach to law making focused on delivering results. The Declaration is also in line with the Commission's 2017 Work Programme.

For More Information

Joint Declaration on the EU's legislative priorities for 2017

Working document to facilitate the monitoring and tracking of the follow-up to the Joint Declaration on the EU's legislative priorities for 2017



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