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Source: Council of the European Union 2

The Joint Declaration on legislative priorities for 2021 and the Joint Conclusions on Policy Objectives and Priorities for 2020-2024 signed by Angela Merkel, Federal Chancellor of Germany, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, and David Sassoli, President of the European Parliament, demonstrate the unity of the institutions in these challenging times.

Legislative priorities for 2021 

The Joint Declaration for 2021, which draws on the Commission work programme for the year ahead, focuses on six key areas , where legislative proposals have already been presented by the European Commission or will be by the autumn of next year, to:

  1. Implement the European Green Deal
  2. Shape Europe’s digital decade
  3. Deliver an economy that works for people
  4. Make Europe stronger in the world
  5. Promote a free and safe Europe
  6. Protect and strengthen our democracy and defend our common European values

Policy objectives and priorities for 2020-2024

For the institutional term up to 2024, the three institutions have agreed to work towards a more resilient Union, striving to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic while seizing the opportunities presented by the twin climate and digital transitions and enhancing Europe’s open strategic autonomy. To set the Union and its partners on the road to recovery and prepare for these transitions, the following policy objectives will be prioritised over the next four years:

  1. Ensuring a full recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic;
  2. Accelerating the transition to a fairer, healthier, greener and more digital society in the EU and on the global stage;
  3. Maintaining the EU’s global leadership in fighting climate change;
  4. Shaping our own digital solutions and establishing Europe’s digital sovereignty;
  5. Making our economy more resilient and robust;
  6. Defending our common values and strengthening our democratic model;
  7. Strengthening the EU’s role as a global actor.


Since 2016, the Council, the Parliament and the Commission have discussed the EU’s legislative priorities and agreed on their top priorities for the upcoming year, which are set out in annual joint declarations. This has enabled them to work more closely together in tackling the big challenges that lie ahead.

This year, for the first time, the exercise has included a multiannual perspective for 2020-2024 to facilitate long-term planning. At the Commission’s initiative, the three institutions agreed joint conclusions on the main policy objectives for this period.

The Council of the EU approved both texts on 4 December 2020 by written procedure.

Next Steps

The Council, the Parliament and the Commission will jointly monitor progress on the implementation of the Joint Declaration and Joint Conclusions.

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