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Brussels, 27 October 2010

Commission adopts strategic priorities for 2011

2010 has shown the readiness and ability of the EU institutions to meet adversity with resilience, decisiveness and solidarity, to tackle the unprecedented challenges of the financial and economic crisis. The task now at hand is to ensure that recovery is sustained. The European Commission has adopted its work programme for 2011 which translates these objectives into concrete actions. The Work Programme reflects the Commission’s determination to lead Europe out of the crisis and towards a future of prosperity, security and social justice.

European Commission President, José Manuel Barroso, said of the new work programme: “The European Union has proved equal to the challenges facing it but we are not yet out of the woods. Our policies need to reflect our ongoing commitment to creating sustainable growth and jobs based on the Europe 2020 Strategy and we need to concentrate on initiatives where the EU can bring a real value-added. The work programme adopted today will ensure that recovery is sustained into the new year and beyond. I note a great degree of convergence on the overall priorities for Europe. I hope that this will translate into early political results to the benefit of citizens.”

The priorities for 2011 fall under five main headings:

  • Sustaining Europe's social market economy out of the crisis and beyond (examples include a legislative framework for bank crisis management, proposals to reinforce the protection of consumers of financial services and a regulation on credit rating agencies – aiming to complete the ambitious reform of our financial sector next year)

  • Restoring growth for jobs (examples include new fiscal enforcement mechanisms, proposals to support the competitiveness of EU enterprises, especially SMEs, a European Energy Efficiency Plan, a Social Business initiative, legislative initiatives on posting of workers and working time to be elaborated in close dialogue with social partners, improvement of the frameworks for company taxation and VAT )

  • Pursuing the citizens' agenda: Rights, Freedom and Justice (examples include strengthening of consumer rights, a Common Framework Reference for contract law, renewed Civil Protection Legislation, A Registered Travellers Programme and a new governance structure for OLAF, the EU's anti fraud office)

  • Europe pulling its weight on the global stage (examples include supporting the new European External Action Service, projecting the 2020 growth objectives on the external scene and continuing to improve EU's development assistance to target those most in need)

  • From input to impact: making the most of EU policies (examples include a proposal for the next Multi-annual Financial Framework, according a central importance to smart regulation and prolonging the Consultation period to 12 weeks)


The President's State of the Union Address in early September 2010 initiated an open debate in which EU institutions could discuss the priorities of the Union for the year to come. The Commission Work Programme takes full account of these fruitful discussions and translates the Commission's vision into concrete actions for 2011. In so doing, it also reviews achievements of the 2010 Work Programme and highlights initiatives under consideration for the coming years.

As in 2010, the Commission work programme is accompanied by four annexes:

  • a list of 40 strategic initiatives which the Commission commits to deliver in 2011 (Annex I)

  • a list of more than 140 other possible initiatives under preparation until the end of the mandate (Annex II)

  • a list of simplification proposals and withdrawals (Annexes III and IV)

The Commission will now work closely with the European Parliament and the Council, as well as stakeholders, including national parliaments to ensure a broad ownership on the overall approach as well as on individual initiatives.

The work programme can be found at:

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