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Brussels, 18 February 2009

Commission outlines policy priorities for 2010

The Commission has today presented its Annual Policy Strategy which paves the way for establishing a policy agenda for 2010. While ensuring the continuity of the institution’s strategic planning system, the Annual Policy Strategy takes account of the fact that a new Commission will be in office in 2010. It will be for the next Commission to review the policy priorities at the start of its mandate, and to turn them into an operational programme when it draws up its Work Programme for 2010. The impact of the current financial and economic crisis is likely to be significant both in 2009 and in 2010 and can be expected to remain the focus of the Commission's work.

The Annual Policy Strategy is the first step of the Commission's planning system. It aims to launch the interinstitutional dialogue on the priorities for next year and to prepare for the Preliminary Draft Budget which the Commission will be presenting in April. The Annual Policy Strategy for 2010 outlines policy objectives in four areas: economic and social recovery, climate change and sustainable Europe, putting the citizen first, and Europe as a world partner. These priorities will be subject to a dialogue with the other institutions before being confirmed by the new Commission.

The impact of the current financial and economic crisis is likely to be significant both in 2009 and in 2010. The European Economic Recovery Plan provides a solid basis for building the conditions for recovery – its implementation during the rest of 2009 and into 2010 will be a matter of high priority.

At this stage, a number of important files can already been identified as deserving political attention in 2010: the follow-up to the December 2009 Copenhagen conference on a new international agreement on climate change; implementation of the Stockholm programme in the area of freedom, security and justice; the next phase of the Lisbon Strategy for Growth and Jobs following the proposals to be made by the Commission in 2009; fully implementing the 2008 Small Business Act and improving market access for SMEs in third countries; implementing the Services Directive as well as the Postal Services Directive to help markets return to competitiveness in the years beyond 2010.

Depending on the completion of national ratification processes, 2010 may see the Treaty of Lisbon bring about major changes to the EU's institutional framework. Entry into force of the Treaty would require the Commission to submit a number of proposals to give full force to its provisions.

The presentation of the Budget Review in 2009 will launch an important debate between the Commission, the European Parliament and the Council on the future of EU finances. During 2010, the Commission will seek to build a consensus on the main strands of the next multi-annual financial framework, so as to prepare the ground for legislative proposals. 2010 will also see the mid-term review of the current EU spending programmes.

In addition to the policy priorities to be taken forward in 2010, the Annual Policy Strategy proposes an allocation of human and financial resources to ensure the Commission delivers in priority areas. On the basis of this Annual Policy Strategy, the Commission will initiate an exchange of views with the European Parliament and Council on where the policy priorities should lie in 2010, and how this should be reflected in the legislative and work programme to be drawn up by the next Commission, and in the budget for 2010.

More information and the Annual Policy Strategy 2010 can be found at:

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