You are here: Home Research Von der Leyen Commission 2019-2024 ZEI Monitor: EU Progress 2019-2024

ZEI Monitor: EU Progress 2019-2024

Logo-ZEI-monitor-19-24.png 

 

ZEI follows policy progress in the ten areas which have priority for EU institutions over the period 2019-2024:

Commission Priority 6: A New Push for European Democracy

 

Policy areas

  • Future of Europe

  • Better Regulation.

 

European Commission Work Programs:

2021

Measuring EU progress Monitoring Juncker work plan ampel europa

Rule of Law Budget Mechanism

Measuring EU progress Monitoring Juncker work plan ampel gelb

Rights of children

  • EU strategy on the rights of the child (non-legislative):

On the 24th of March 2021, the Commission published a Strategy on the rights of children. The Commission's aim is to respect and extend children's rights and to ensure that children in Europe and worldwide enjoy the same rights to live a child-friendly life free of violence. (Press release)

Objective: The strategy pursues its objectives under six thematic aspects, each aspect reflecting one of the six priorities of the Commission:
1. participation in political and democratic life:  An EU that empowers children to be active citizens and members of democratic society.
2. socio-economic inclusion, health and education: An EU that fights child poverty and promotes inclusive and child-friendly societies, health and education systems
3. combating violence against children and ensuring child protection: An EU that helps children grow up free from violence
4. child-friendly justice: an EU in which the justice system respects the rights and needs of children
5. digital and information society: an EU where children can safely navigate the digital environment and take advantage of its opportunities   
6. global dimension: an EU that supports, protects and empowers children worldwide, including in situations of crisis and conflict

Implementation: Under the multiannual Financial Framework (2021 - 2027), the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) support investments in human capacity development and infrastructure. Member states where the rate of children at risk of poverty or social exclusion is above the EU's average (in 2017-2019) should be required to earmark 5 per cent of ESF+ funding for child poverty reduction. To this point, the allocation of ESF+ funding to combat child poverty has not been made legally binding as the legislative procedure of  ESF+ Regulation proposal of 28th of May 2020 is still ongoing. Other funding includes the new Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF), as well as the Justice program, the CERV program, Erasmus+, Horizon 2020, the Digital program, the Recovery and Resilience Facility, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), REACT-EU and InvestEU.   

Timeframe: The strategy will act on initiatives at national level to ensure better implementation. Therefore, the Commission will establish an EU Children's Rights Network by the end of 2021. The network will strengthen the dialogue between the EU and member states and support the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the strategy.

Measuring EU progress Monitoring Juncker work plan ampel rot

Preventing and combating specific forms of gender-based violence

  • Proposal to prevent and combat specific forms of gender-based violence (legislative, incl. impact assessment, Articles 82(2), 83 and 84 TFEU, Q4 2021)

Measuring EU progress Monitoring Juncker work plan ampel rot

Fighting hate crime and hate speech

  • Initiative to extend the list of EU crimes to all forms of hate crime and hate speech (legislative, incl. impact assessment, Article 83 TFEU, Q4 2021)

Measuring EU progress Monitoring Juncker work plan ampel rot

Digital judicial cooperation package

  • a) Digital information exchange on cross-border terrorism cases (legislative, incl. impact assessment Articles 85 and 88 TFEU, Q4 2021)

    b) Joint Investigation Teams collaboration platform (legislative, incl. impact assessment, Article 82(1)(d) TFEU, Q4 2021)

    c) Digitalisation of cross-border judicial cooperation (legislative, incl. impact assessment, Articles 81 and 82 TFEU, Q4 2021)

Measuring EU progress Monitoring Juncker work plan ampel rot

Transparency and democracy package

  • a) Revision of the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations (legislative, incl. impact assessment, Article 224 TFEU, Q3 2021)

    b) Greater transparency in paid political advertising (legislative, incl. impact assessment, Articles 114 and 224 TFEU, Q3 2021)

    c) Revision of the Council Directive laying down detailed arrangements for the exercise of the right to vote and stand as a candidate in elections to the European Parliament for citizens of the Union residing in a Member State of which they are not nationals (legislative, incl. impact assessment, Article 22 TFEU, Q4 2021)

    d) Revision of the Council Directive laying down detailed arrangements for the exercise of the right to vote and to stand as a candidate in municipal elections by citizens of the Union residing in a Member State of which they are not nationals (legislative, incl. impact assessment, Article 22 TFEU, Q4 2021)

    e) Initiative against abusive litigation targeting journalists and rights defenders (legislative or non-legislative, Q4 2021)

Measuring EU progress Monitoring Juncker work plan ampel rot

Long-term vision for rural areas

  • Communication on the long-term vision for rural areas (non-legislative, Q2 2021)

Measuring EU progress Monitoring Juncker work plan ampel gelb

EU disability strategy

  • Strategy on the rights of persons with disabilities (non-legislative, Q1 2021)

 

2020 (revised after the outbreak of the Covid-19  pandemic in Europe)

Measuring EU progress Monitoring Juncker work plan ampel gelb

Equality and non-discrimination initiatives

  • Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025: On the 5th of March 2020, the European Commission published its Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025, calling on the member states to properly implement EU gender equality and labour law. This includes the recast Directive on gender equality in employment and occupation, the Directives on gender equalityin self-employment, in access to goods and services, in social security, in pregnancy and maternity, the Directive on part-time work, the Directive on transparent and predictable working conditions, the Recommendation on access to social protection, and the Recommendation on equality bodies. Furthermore, the Commission asks EU member states to transpose and implement the Directive on improving the gender balance on corporate boards, once adopted.

  • Implementation status: By the end of 2020, the Commission had failed to put forward binding pay transparency measures  as announced by President von der Leyen in her Political Guidelines and the 2020 work program for the 4th quarter of 2020 (legislative, incl. impact assessment, Article 157 TFEU). 

Measuring EU progress Monitoring Juncker work plan ampel gelb

European Democracy Action Plan

  • Action Plan for Democracy: On 3rd of December 2020, the European Commission presented an Action Plan for Democracy, which aims in particular to strengthen the resilience of democracies within the Union. The action plan primarily refers to the increasing impact of digital communication possibilities on democracies. In this context, the Commission aims to adapt the new regulations to the digital revolution. The measures from the European Action Plan for Democracy are based on three main pillars:
    1. Protecting the integrity of elections and promoting democratic participation
    a. A sustainable democracy thrives on the commitment of its citizens. The Commission has therefore announced some measures in its action plan to promote free and fair elections.
    b. Among other things, the Commission will propose legislation on the transparency of political advertising and review the rules on the financing of European political parties.
    2. Strengthening the freedom and pluralism of the media
    a. Free and pluralistic media are essential for the decision-making process of citizens in democracies and are enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights.
    b. For this reason, the Commission also announces various measures, in particular the proposal of a recommendation on the security of journalists, as well as the presentation of an initiative to combat the abuse of rights in connection with strategic complaints against public participation.
    3. Combating disinformation
    a. Disinformation is false content that can harm the public and is distributed with the intention of deceiving others.
    b. In the Action Plan, the Commission proposes, among other things, to improve the EU's existing instruments for combating foreign interference and influence, in particular by allowing costs to be imposed on the perpetrator.
(Press release)

Measuring EU progress Monitoring Juncker work plan ampel gelb

Conference on the Future of Europe

  • On the 22nd of January 2020, the European Commission presented a Communication on the planned Conference on the Future of Europe, which is intended to discuss institutional issues and key EU objectives with EU citizens. The planned starting date was the 9th of May 2020. Results and recommendations from the debates will probably be presented in the first half of 2022 under the French Council Presidency. Institutional reforms should be in place by the next European elections in 2024.

Measuring EU progress Monitoring Juncker work plan ampel gelb

Rule of Law

  • On the 30th of September 2020, the European Commission published its Rule of Law Report with an assessment of the situation in each member state, putting forward equal criteria for the evaluation of democratic backsliding. 
  • According to a statement by Commissioner Didier Reynders on the 26th of February 2020, the European Commission will publish reports on the state of the rule of law in all member states by September 2020.

Measuring EU progress Monitoring Juncker work plan ampel gelb

Fundamental Rights

  • On the 2nd of December 2020, the European Commission published its "Strategy to strengthen the application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights in the EU" in the form of a Communication to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions. This strategy complements the European Democracy Action Plan and the Rule of Law report, illustrating the Commission's intention of pursuing a comprehensive approach to promoting and protecting the fundamental rights and values of the EU.

Measuring EU progress Monitoring Juncker work plan ampel rot

Better Regulation

  • Communication on Better Regulation (non-legislative, Q2 2020)

Measuring EU progress Monitoring Juncker work plan ampel europa

Foresight

  • Strategic Foresight Report 2020: On the 9th of September 2020, the European Commission unveiled its new annual Strategic Foresight Report in the form of a Communication to the European Parliament and the Council. According to the report, strategic foresight will play a key role in helping future-proof EU policymaking by ensuring that short-term initiatives are grounded in a longer term perspective. The central theme of this first report is resilience, which has become a new compass for EU policies with the COVID-19 crisis. This first annual Strategic Foresight Report outlines how foresight will inform policies with a view to strengthening the EU’s resilience in four interrelated dimensions: social and economic, geopolitical, green, and digital.

 

ZEI-Studies on EU Institutional Matters

Kwan Lok Alan Ho, “Loud thunder, little rain” – Participatory Democracy in the European Union, Examining the European Citizens’ Initiative as an example (ZEI Discussion Paper C 224) Bonn 2021 (Download).

Sarah Gansen / Katarzyna Nowicka, Priority 10: Politicizing EU Policies - The Juncker Commission's Priority "Democratic Change", in: Stüwe, Robert / Panayotopoulos, Thomas (eds.): The Juncker Commission. Politicizing EU Policies (Schriftenreihe des Zentrum für Europäische Integrationsforschung, Vol. 79), Nomos: Baden-Baden 2020, p. 191-201. ISBN 978-3-8487-5597-4.

Robert Stüwe, Lessons Learned: How the Juncker Commission Navigated Politicized Policies, in: Stüwe, Robert / Panayotopoulos, Thomas (eds.): The Juncker Commission. Politicizing EU Policies (Schriftenreihe des Zentrum für Europäische Integrationsforschung, Vol. 79), Nomos: Baden-Baden 2020, p. 29-67. ISBN 978-3-8487-5597-4.

Martin Selmayr, Origins and Functioning of the Political Commission: An Assessment from Inside the Juncker Commission's Machine Room, in: Stüwe, Robert / Panayotopoulos, Thomas (eds.): The Juncker Commission. Politicizing EU Policies (Schriftenreihe des Zentrum für Europäische Integrationsforschung, Bd. 79), Nomos: Baden-Baden 2020, p. 205-216. ISBN 978-3-8487-5597-4.

Henri de Waele / Ellen Mastenbroek (Hrsg.): Perspectives on Better Regulation in the EU (ZEI Discussion Paper C 256 / 2019) (Abstract) (Download)

Ludger Kühnhardt, Unter Ursula von der Leyen muss die EU sich erneuern – kann sie das Korsett der nationalen Parteien sprengen?, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 26th of November 2019 (Link)

Katarzyna Nowicka, The Challenge of Introducing a Mandatory Lobbying Register, ZEI Insight No. 61 December 2018 (Download)

Robert Stüwe / Thomas Panayotopoulos, One goal – two ways: Testing the feasibility of Macron and Juncker’s EU visions, ZEI Insight No. 51 October 2017 (Download)

Henri de Waele: Law of the European Union: Institutions and Procedures, in: Koenig, Christian / Kühnhardt, Ludger (eds.): Governance and Regulation in the European Union. A Reader (Schriftenreihe des Zentrum für Europäische Integrationsforschung, Vol. 77), Nomos: Baden-Baden 2017, p. 27-57. ISBN 978-3-8487-4462-6.

Neil Nugent: Enlargements and their Impact on EU Governance and Decisonmaking, in: Koenig, Christian / Kühnhardt, Ludger (eds.): Governance and Regulation in the European Union. A Reader (Schriftenreihe des Zentrum für Europäische Integrationsforschung, Vol. 77), Nomos: Baden-Baden 2017, p. 99-119. ISBN 978-3-8487-4462-6.

Ludger Kühnhardt, Managing the Forces of European Populism: The next election to the European Parliament in May 2019 may become the first pan-European referendum, ZEI Insight No. 40 July 2016 (Download), first published in: The Globalist, 19th of July 2016, (Link)

Sally Brammer, Not a pack of bureaucrats: The new European Commission, ZEI Insight No. 1 December 2014 (Download)

Christina Wunder, Communication and Campaigning in European Citizens‘ Initiatives (ZEI Discussion Paper C224) Bonn 2014 (Download) (Abstract)

Ludger Kühnhardt, Gibt es eine politische Philosopie der Europäischen Union? (ZEI Discussion Paper C223) Bonn 2014 (Download) (Abstract)

Thorsten Kim Schreiweis, Die Demokratisierung der Europäischen Union (ZEI Discussion Paper C219) Bonn 2013  Download)

Frank Decker / Jared Sonnicksen,The Direct Election of the Commission President. A Presidential Approach to Democratising the European Union (ZEI Discussion Paper C192) Bonn 2009 (Download)

ZEI Insights Policy Brief Series (2014-2019)

 ZEI Publications on European Treaty Reforms

 

Document Actions