Brussels, 13 February 2008
The Commission has presented the General Report on the activities of the European Union in 2007 to the European Parliament. Highlights of the past year were the signing of the Treaty of Lisbon, the enlargement of the Union to 27 members, the adoption of common objectives to tackle climate change and the response to the challenges of globalisation.
Marking the publication of the 2007 General Report, President Barroso said: "2007 was a year of policy delivery for European citizens – a year of a Europe of results. A new policy era was established with unanimous support by member states for the Commission's ambitious proposals to tackle climate change and energy security. Historians will no doubt also remember 2007 as the year of the treaties and will trace the long road that has led us over 50 years from the Rome treaties to the Lisbon treaty. We welcomed the citizens of Bulgaria and Romania into the European Union. The Community institutions designated 2007 as the European Year of Equal Opportunities for All" to highlight one of the fundamental values which the European Union is trying to make a tangible reality for its citizens. This perspective gives a special significance to the summary of the activities of the European Union contained in this latest General Report, which covers the many and varied initiatives and achievements of the first year of the Europe of 27."
The General Report covers the work of all the EU institutions and bodies and seeks to provide an overview of the notable events and key trends of EU life in 2007.
A high point of 2007 was undoubtedly the signing of the new Treaty of Lisbon on 13 December, which came at the right time to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome. In honour of the 50th anniversary the Presidents of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission also signed the Berlin Declaration, expressing the European Union's commitment to a body of shared values. 2007 was also the year of enlargement: the enlargement of the European Union to 27 Member States with the accession of Romania and Bulgaria, the enlargement of the euro area to include Slovenia and the enlargement of the Schengen area to include a further nine new members.
The European Union also clearly expressed its determination to play a leading role in combating climate change, by adopting, in January, common, binding targets aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20%, with the specific aim of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius.
Globalisation also remained the focus of particular attention from the European Union, with the European Council adopting a declaration on globalisation which analyses the challenges and proposes ways of turning globalisation into an opportunity for Europe's citizens. In this spirit the EU continued its efforts to implement the Lisbon strategy. In line with its plan to deliver a Europe of results for its citizens, the Commission proposed a reform of the internal market coupled with a debate on a new social vision for 21st-century Europe.
The new General Report, which runs to approximately 250 pages, follows the concise style used in recent editions. The developments in the different fields of activity are set out according to the four strategic objectives adopted by the Commission at the beginning of its term of office: prosperity, solidarity, security, and Europe's role as a world partner. Three other chapters are devoted to the life of the institutions and other bodies, the budget and financial activities and the general policy framework. The chapter on the general policy framework emphasises the progress made in 2007 in such fundamental areas as better regulation, reducing the administrative burden and the launch of the new Impact Assessment Board.
The General Report is published in 22 official languages and can be consulted via the internet on the EU's Europa website: http://europa.eu/generalreport/en/welcome.htm. It is available from the sales offices for European Community publications.