Policies

Political reflection on the future of the European Union

The heads of state or government of the 27 met in Bratislava to begin a political reflection on further development of an EU with 27 member countries.

Protection and promotion of human rights

The Council works to protect human rights within and outside the EU. Information on the main areas of action and on ongoing activities.

Reduced VAT rates for electronic books, newspapers and periodicals

Key events and documents relating to the Council's work on a proposal to reduce VAT rates for e-publications.

Reform of the Common Agricultural Policy

Information on the CAP reform in force since 1 January 2014, with changes to direct payments, rural development policy, common market organisation and funding.

Reinforcing product safety and market surveillance

The EU is working to increase the safety of consumer products by reforming legislation and supporting its enforcement across European markets.

Sanctions: how and when the EU adopts restrictive measures

EU restrictive measures -'sanctions'- can help achieve the goals of the EU's foreign policy. Background on the adoption procedure at the Council.

Simplification of the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)

CAP simplification aims to improve and simplify the rules implementing the new CAP legislation. Information on the Council's role and the current state of play. 

Single market strategy for goods and services

Information on the strategy for a deeper and fairer single market that the Council is currently discussing.  

Strategic guidelines for justice and home affairs

In June 2014, the European Council agreed on the EU priorities for justice and home affairs over the coming years. A mid-term review will take place in 2017.

Strengthening air passenger rights in the EU

Information on the proposed reform to EU air passenger rights legislation and the liability of airlines, and on progress on its adoption within the Council.

Structural reform of EU banking sector: improving the resilience of credit institutions

The EU banking structural reform aims at addressing risks that can be caused by too-large-to-fail banks and excessive risk-taking in trading activities. 

Structural reform support programme

An EU programme to help member states design and implement structural reforms.

Syria: Council response to the crisis

The EU has taken a broad approach in its response to the Syrian crisis, focusing on areas where it has an added value in relation to the work of EU member states. 

Tackling climate change in the EU

Tackling climate change and minimising its effects is a priority for the EU. Background on the Council's priorities and current activities in this area.  

Taxation dispute resolution mechanisms in the European Union

Proposal on taxation dispute mechanisms in the EU aims to clarify the existing rules to make them more effective and efficient.

The 4th railway package: Improving Europe's railways

Information on the 4th railway package proposals to modernise and reform Europe's domestic railways, and the on the state of play of discussions in the Council.

The clean air package: Improving Europe's air quality

Information on the clean air package, which aims to reduce air pollution and improve air quality across the EU, and on the state of discussions in the Council. 

VAT reverse charge mechanism: preventing VAT fraud

Key elements and timeline of events relating to the proposal as regards the temporary application of a generalised VAT reverse charge mechanism.

Youth employment

The EU and its member states put in place concrete measures to get young Europeans back to work.