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Breakfast Policy Briefing
The priorities of the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union

Thursday, 21 June 2018

On 1 July 2018, Austria will assume the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union for the third time. It will have to work on many complex and challenging dossiers, as the EU slowly approaches the end of the current political cycle given the European elections in May 2019. Issues on the agenda include, among others, the reform of EU asylum policy, the future of Economic and Monetary Union, the Union's next multi-annual financial framework (MFF 2021-2017), and Brexit. The Austrian government has stated that its Council presidency will focus on the protective role of the European Union, in line with its chosen motto "A Europe that protects". More specifically, it has outlined three priority areas for action for the second half of 2018: security and migration; ensuring prosperity and competitiveness through digitalisation; and stability in the neighbourhood through the rapprochement of the Western Balkans and South-Eastern Europe. It also wants to seek the reinforcement of the principle of subsidiarity, whereby the EU should focus on significant issues that require joint solutions and leave member states and regions to deal with smaller problems.

At this Briefing, Austria's Permanent Representative to the EU, Nikolaus Marschik, set out the priorities of the Austrian Presidency and take part in a question and answer session, chaired by EPC Director of Studies Janis A. Emmanouilidis.

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