The European Green Deal was proposed by the Commission in December 2019 as the new EU growth strategy. It aims to transform the EU into a sustainable and climate-neutral economy by 2050. It puts forward a number of measures and policies aimed at rendering the transition just and inclusive, boosting the competitiveness of the EU economy, improving people's health and quality of life and protecting the environment. The European Council endorsed in December 2019 the objective of a climate-neutral EU by 2050.
"We need to ensure that the transition towards a climate-neutral EU industry takes place in a fair, inclusive and sustainable way. Turning challenges into opportunities will be our biggest task. Our discussions today prove that we are determined to preserve the competitiveness of our industry while achieving the climate goals set by the European Green Deal."
Darko Horvat, Croatian Minister of the Economy, Entrepreneurship and Crafts
On the basis of a presidency note, ministers exchanged views on the most appropriate policies needed to:
-support the industry's contribution to the attainment of the climate neutrality objective in 2050,
-reduce the risk of carbon leakage,
-facilitate and accelerate the transition to a circular economy through digitalisation.
Conclusions on better regulation "Ensuring competitiveness and sustainable, inclusive growth"
The Council adopted a set of conclusions in the context of its better regulation agenda. These conclusions touch upon the quality of impact assessments, the need for policymakers to take into account the particular interests of small and medium-size enterprises, starts-ups and micro enterprises, as well as to improve methods of checking whether existing EU laws remain fit-for-purpose. Better regulation plays an important role in achieving a competitive, sustainable and inclusive EU economy. It ensures evidence-based decision making and policies that are fit-for-purpose.
European Semester - Single Market Performance report
On the basis of a presidency note, the Council had an exchange of views on the findings of the Single Market Performance report drawn up by the Commission.
Ministers broadly agreed on the need for a holistic approach regarding the integration of the single market, while at the same time focusing on specific areas with untapped potential, such as services. Better implementation and enforcement of single market rules, as well as further standardisation, harmonisation and mutual recognition remain the main instruments for maximising the benefits of the single market.
The 2019 Single Market Performance Report assesses the economic performance of the EU's Single Market and highlights the areas in which member states need to undertake structural reforms in order to optimise this performance. It covers goods, services, energy, digitalisation, public procurement and integration of capital markets. It accompanies the Commission's Annual Sustainable Growth Strategy 2020, which sets policy priorities focused on competitive sustainability and mark the starting point of the 2020 European Semester.