A stronger European Union seems to be the best answer to the numerous challenges we are facing in this global world. It should be a Union which increasingly speaks with a single voice and defends the interests of Europe and Europeans in its talks with the world’s major superpowers and trade blocs. For this reason, the Flemish international policy will continue to support more far-reaching European integration and actively endorse EU strategies to increase Europe’s competitiveness and effectiveness. In addition, it will align its own international programmes and activities more explicitly with the Union’s external policy.
The scope and impact of the EU in the world is not just a matter of cohesion with a more efficient internal decision-making capacity, but likewise is tied to the effective performance and international competitiveness of the European economy. From that point of view, the renewal of the Lisbon strategy, the strengthening of the internal market, and the improved implementation of the European regulations are crucial factors.
The renewal of the Lisbon strategy will strongly colour the agenda of the coming legislature. Hence, erecting bridges between Flanders in Action and the Pact 2020 and the European accents in the post-Lisbon strategy is a priority. These processes operate independently from one another, yet are closely interrelated at the same time. In the renewed Lisbon strategy, a coupling and harmonisation with the strategy of sustainable development remain important to further reinforce the synergies amongst economic, social, and ecological objectives. The essential challenge in this process is to combine the development of an efficient and innovative economy with effective responses to social and ecological concerns. The policy of the Government of Flanders wants to range itself fully behind the European post-Lisbon strategy.
The Flemish delegation with the Permanent Representation (PV) of Belgium to the European Union is to play a key role in the proactive follow-up of what is happening within Europe. Given the importance that the Government of Flanders attaches to the European Union, it engages itself to strengthen this Permanent Representation (PV) to the European Union by arranging for each of the policy areas the delegation of personnel. The EU Presidency must further create an impulse towards further and greater awareness of the Flemish administration as an important body at the European policy level.