EU priorities: Working for a strong social Europe

The European Council’s Strategic Agenda for 2019–2024, adopted in June 2019, sets out the main priorities to guide the work of the EU. In December 2019, the von der Leyen Commission set out plans for a transition to a fair, climate-neutral and digital Europe. It outlined six top priorities, also reflecting the main priorities for the European Parliament and those in the Council’s Strategic Agenda.

As part of the priorities outlined by the Commission, a number of initiatives have already been set in motion. However, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and also the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Commission has had to adjust its work programme to prioritise actions needed to support the EU’s recovery as well as support the Member States and citizens of Ukraine. In her third State of the Union address on 14 September 2022, EC President von der Leyen outlined the priorities for the year ahead. The Commission’s 2023 work programme outlines the next steps in its agenda towards delivering on the ambitions the Commission set at the outset of its mandate and further steer the EU towards a sustainable recovery, driven also by the conclusions of the Conference on the Future of Europe. The 2023 programme lists important legislative proposals across all six priorities.

Eurofound research

Eurofound’s work directly feeds into a number of these key areas and aims to inform effective policies that can lead to recovery and resilience in creating a strong social Europe. This work falls under six main topic areas in our programming document for 2021–2024.



European Year of Skills 2023

The European Year of Skills 2023 aims to help companies address skills shortages, while also helping people to get the right skills for good quality jobs, promoting reskilling and upskilling. To support the green and digital transitions, Eurofound research informing the policy debate in this area focuses on skills strategies and digitalisaion at workplace level, skills mismatches and labour market slack, as well as employment policies to tackle labour shortages. In the area of working conditions, research related to the impact of COVID-19 can feed into discussions on training and skills development options. 

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Explore where Eurofound’s research can provide you with the most current findings relevant to the EU policy priorities.

Priority 1: An economy that works for people

Ensuring social fairness and prosperity. This priority includes the following EU initiatives:

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Priority 2: A Europe fit for the digital age

Empowering people with a new generation of technologies. This priority includes the following initiatives:

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Priority 3: Promoting our European way of life

Protecting our citizens and our values. This priority includes the following initiatives:

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Priority 4: A European Green Deal

Striving to be the first climate-neutral continent. This priority includes the following initiatives:

  • Fit for 55 package presented in July 2021 as part of the European Green Deal to deliver the EU’s 2030 climate targets
  • European Climate Law, entered into force in July 2021 and writes into law the goals set out in the European Green Deal
  • European Green Deal to ensure a transition to a climate-neutral continent which is fair and just for all and where ‘no one will be left behind’

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Priority 5: A stronger Europe in the world

Reinforcing our responsible global leadership. This priority includes the following initiatives:

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Priority 6: A new push for European democracy

Nurturing, protecting and strengthening our democracy. This priority includes the following initiatives:

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