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General Affairs Council endorsed the eighteen-month Trio Programme
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General Affairs Council endorsed the eighteen-month Trio Programme

 

At the General Affairs Council (GAC) held in Brussels on Tuesday 14 December 2021, the EU Member States endorsed the 18-month programme of the future French, Czech and Swedish Presidencies. The document provides a basic framework for cooperation between the partners of the trio, as well as an overview of the  agenda of the Council of the EU until June 2023.

The joint programme of the three Presidencies is based on the Strategic Agenda for 2019-2024 and builds on current issues discussed at the EU level, including the 2022 Commission Work Programme. At the same time, it also reflects the main priority areas of each trio member, ensuring that interests of the three partners are well respected. Representatives of the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the European Commission were also involved in the drafting of the document.

The programme is divided into four pillars: (i) Protecting citizens and freedoms, (ii) Developing our economic base: the European model for the future, (iii) Building a climate-neutral, green, fair and social Europe, and (iv) Promoting Europe's interests and values in the world. The substantial priorities address a wide range of political, social and economic challenges. In particular they focus on tackling the negative impact of the covid-19 pandemic. To this end, the trio will take forward work on implementing the Recovery and Resilience Plan, namely  through investment in green and digital transitions. The trio will take concrete steps in order to revitalise the Single Market and strentgthen the EU's resilience, competitiveness, as well as its convergence.

In the field of foreign policy, the trio will engage in deepening relations with strategic partners, including our transatlantic partners and emerging powers. It will aim at strengthening the EU's influence in the multilateral system and promoting the rules-based international order. The trio will help the EU to play a leading role in addressing global challenges and international crises, but also in setting standards, especially in areas such as emerging technologies. The three presidencies commit to pursue the accession proces of the Western Balkans, support the delivering on commitments arising from the 2021 Eastern Partnership, further develop partnership with the Southern Neighbourhood and Africa, enhance strategic relations with the US and Canada and foster partnerships with like-minded countries in the Indo-Pacific region.

The programme of the trio also constitutes one of the dimensions for the preparation of the upcoming Czech presidency of the Council of the EU. The Czech Republic will now focus on finalising it's national priorities, which must be ready by the end of June 2022, before the actual start of the Czech presidency.

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