Ten issues to watch in 2019!

2019-03-18 14:45

The European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), publishes annually a report highlighting ten key issues and policy areas that are likely to dominate the political agenda of the EU the following year.

The 10 identified key issues are:

  1. A new European Parliament – A new European Commission
  2. EU-27 – The way forward
  3. Future financing of the Union
  4. Africa – The ‘twin continent’
  5. Trade war(s)
  6. Internal security
  7. Towards a policy for the oceans
  8. From artificial intelligence to collective intelligence
  9. Electric mobility
  10. Digital transformation

 

The report identifies three clusters of key issues on the political agenda for 2019, institutional, geopolitical and technological issues. The institutional issues concern the election for the European Parliament in May later this year, and how the constitution of the next parliament will differ from the previous ones. Mainly Brexit, but as well the arising wave of populist and nationalist parties, gives indications that we may have a very different parliament in place than during this mandate period. Brexit, and the further direction of the EU-27 as well as negotiations of the next multi annual framework (MFF), closes out the last two issues in this cluster.

Furthermore, the report features four geopolitical issues in the second cluster. Firstly, the EU-African relations are explored with regard to the Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, naming Africa our ”Twin Continent” in his State of the Union speech in 2018. The further development of the EU-African cooperation is examined. Secondly, the trade relations between the U.S and China are explored with a focus on EUs role in the dilemma. Increased trade tariffs and colder relations makes it a difficult situation for the EU to solve. Thirdly, the internal security with regards to cyber-security is further discussed, with an ever-growing number of attacks on critical infrastructure such as hospitals, welfare and energy supply, costing the EU several billions of euros. Closing out this cluster is a focus on the oceans and the pressure our consumption puts on the environment. Over-exploitation, pollution and loss of biodiversity are just a few of the issues that must be solved.

The third cluster focuses on technological issues, starting of with artificial intelligence (A.I), and the potential it has for added social values in our societies. Education, health and energy are an example of sectors that can gain massively from the evolution of A.I. Next, the electric mobility is discussed and the EUs work to reach its ambitious target of climate neutrality by 2050. E-mobility is seen as an important key for lowering of CO2 emissions and is expected to be high on the agenda for 2019. Rounding out this cluster and the report is the digital transformation and how to build the digital economy with regards to ethical, legal and social issues.

Read the full report here