On 20 June 2019, the European Council agreed on an agenda for the EU for the next five years. It sets out the priorities on which the European Council will focus and provides guidance for the work programmes of other EU institutions. Among the priority areas that are crucial to the chemical industry are industrial policy, climate change, and the environment.

The European council aims to design an industrial policy that is fit for the future by adopting a more integrated approach connecting all relevant policies and dimensions: strengthening the Single Market, addressing the digital revolution and ensuring fair and effective taxation.

As the impact of climate change becomes more visible, action must be step up to manage this existential threat. The agenda reaffirms the EU’s role as a front-runner and the need to engage in an in-depth transformation of Europe’s economy and society to achieve climate neutrality. The green transition will depend on mobilisation of private and public investments, on an effective circular economy, and an integrated, interconnected European energy market providing sustainable, secure and affordable energy. The EU will accelerate the transition to renewables, increase energy efficiency, reduce dependence on outside sources, diversify its supplies, and invest in solutions for the mobility of the future.

The agenda also reiterates the need to continue to improve the environment in our cities and our countryside, enhance the quality of our air and waters, and promote sustainable agriculture. The EU should lead efforts to fight the loss of biodiversity and preserve environmental systems, including oceans.