Table of Contents
On 1 January 2024, Belgium took over the presidency of the Council of the European Union. This presents a unique opportunity for our country and for the FPS Economy to promote the initiatives that drive our economy, as well as the citizens and the small and large businesses that develop them.
Belgium and the European Union are living in a time of constant crises, facing diverse and complex challenges. The environmental transition and the transformation of our economy are essential to ensure the well-being of everyone and the competitiveness of our businesses. The Belgian presidency's programme places particular importance on those issues.
Finalising legislative agreements and facilitating the exchange of best practices are priorities for the Belgian presidency. In this context, the FPS Economy is involved in developing policies related to energy, competition, telecommunications, consumer protection and intellectual property. It also contributes to the ongoing development of international trade, strengthening Belgian and European cohesion and promoting innovations “made in Belgium”.
In 1995, Jacques Delors, President of the European Commission from 1985 to 1995, said: ”For the European Union to function, competition that stimulates, solidarity that unites and cooperation that strengthens is needed.” Drawing on their experience in presiding over the Council of the European Union, Belgium, and the FPS Economy in particular, will commit to numerous initiatives to implement the spirit of compromise that characterises us.
In practical terms, the themes involving our FPS are:
Within the “Competitiveness” framework
- A strong, resilient and inclusive green and digital transition.
- A level playing field for businesses, especially SMEs.
- Comprehensive, future-ready visions for the EU's internal market and industry policies.
- The implementation of a circular economy and a climate-neutral society.
- Contributing to stronger consumer protection through information and empowerment.
Within the ”Transport, Telecoms, Energy” framework
- An accelerated energy transition to meet our sustainability and climate goals.
- The delivery of offshore wind energy to all.
- The establishment of a European energy network.
- The development of international trade in hydrogen and its derivative.
- The security of supply of medical radio-isotopes.
- Prioritising a human-centred and sustainable approach to the digital transition.
- Strengthening Europe's resilience to cybersecurity threats.
- Enhancing trust in the digital domain and increasing cyber-resilience.
Within the “General Affairs” framework
- Strengthening preparedness and the response to various crises (energy, health, economic).
- Implementing a cohesion policy that addresses the EU's societal challenges, closely aligned with the needs of citizens and businesses.
- Energy and industrial autonomy, adaptation to climate change and digital transition.
Within the “Foreign Affairs” framework
- Strengthening the multilateral trading system.
- Supporting EU-NATO cooperation and the “Trade and Technology” Council.
- Stimulating the development of European policies related to cyber, hybrid and digital issues.
- Working towards energy security and pandemic preparedness.
- Fully and effectively implementing trade agreements with the aim of stimulating economic growth, job creation and sustainable development.