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Brussels, 31 March 2010

Commission adopts strategic priorities for 2010

The European Commission has today adopted its work programme for 2010. The work programme reflects the Commission's determination to lead Europe out of the economic crisis and deliver policy that bring direct benefits to citizens. The Commission has agreed a list of 34 strategic priorities that will be implemented before the end of the year. It has also agreed another 280 major proposals under consideration during 2010 and beyond. The Commission work programme sets the scene for the major policy commitments that the Commission will make in the coming years.

Commission President, José Manuel Barroso said, "The new Commission has been in office for six weeks. We have now agreed on our priorities and set out an indicative list of initiatives for the years to come. It's time to act. Business as usual is not an option. The work programme adopted today is an ambitious but realistic agenda for results. I hope that the member states and other EU institutions will match this level of ambition".

The new Commission will take action along four main strands:

  • Tackling the crisis and sustaining Europe’s social market economy (examples include enhanced fiscal surveillance, proposals to repair the financial markets, the five Europe 2020 flagship initiatives and tackling Europe's bottlenecks and missing links).

  • Building a citizens’ agenda which puts people at the heart of European action (Examples include the Stockholm Action Plan, procedural rights for citizens, enforcement of judgements in civil and criminal matters, revision of the working time directive, a Green Paper on the future of pensions, a new biodiversity strategy and the EU's disaster response capacity)

  • Developing an ambitious and coherent external agenda with global outreach (examples include the establishment of the European External Action service, a trade strategy for Europe 2020, steering the enlargement process, an action plan in the run up to the 2015 Millennium Development Goals summit and continuing to develop key bilateral relationships..

  • Modernising EU instruments and ways of working (examples include a stronger focus on smart regulation and adapting the EU financial framework to serve policy priorities through the Budget Review)

The focus of this first Work Programme is on delivering the strategic initiatives in 2010. It also highlights in a non-exhaustive way initiatives under consideration for the coming years, thereby combining predictability for the European Parliament and the Council - as well as for stakeholders - and the necessary flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances. These initiatives are both designed to respond to immediate challenges and yield effects rapidly, and to shape Europe's future for the long-term benefit of its citizens. In taking them forward, the Commission will set a direction for the EU in the next decade, as highlighted by its Europe 2020 strategy and the work under way to prepare the future EU budget.


The Commission work programme draws on the political guidelines that were presented by President Barroso in September 2009.

This first Work Programme of the new Commission sets out its ambition and commitments, for 2010 and beyond. It tackles issues of immediate concern and sets the policy direction to respond to upcoming challenges, laying the ground for further work in the rest of the mandate.

The Commission's work programme has several new features which distinguishes it from its predecessors. It is multiannual which will improve predictability of the Commission's work as well as facilitate cooperation with the other institutions. The work programme also has an increased element of flexibility. To facilitate dialogue, provide predictability and ensure transparency, the following are annexed to this Work Programme:

  • A list of 34 strategic initiatives on which the Commission commits to deliver in 2010 (annex I).

  • Major proposals under consideration during 2010 and beyond, which are tentative prospects for the rest of the mandate (annex II).

  • A list of simplification proposals and withdrawals (annexes III and IV).

The Commission will review its Work Programme every year, setting new annual strategic initiatives and adapting the multi-annual strand where appropriate in the light of new circumstances, including results from preparatory work and review of implementation.

The Commission will now work closely with the European Parliament and the Council, as well as stakeholders, to ensure a broad ownership on the overall approach and on individual initiatives. This Commission would like its Work Programme to act as a central building block for the common inter-institutional programming proposed under Article 17(1) of the Treaty of Lisbon.

The work programme can be found at:

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