Following on from the announcements made in President Juncker's 2017 State of the Union Address, the European Commission is today presenting its plans for completing the work on President Juncker's ten political priorities before the end of its mandate, as well as a series of forward-looking initiatives for the future of Europe.
President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “Europe is regaining its strength, and we must take advantage of this renewed momentum. We have already put on the table 80% of the proposals we promised when this Commission took office. The priority must now be on turning proposals into law, and law into practice. The sooner the European Parliament and the Council complete their work, the sooner we will see the benefits of our joint efforts.”
First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said: "The Commission Work Programme adopted today will ensure that Europe's focus remains firmly on the things where European action has most added value. The European Union will be judged not on the number of directives and regulations we adopt, but on the tangible results our policies deliver to our citizens and businesses."
The focus of the 26 new initiatives in this year's Work Programme is two-fold. First, there are targeted legislative actions to complete our work in priority policy areas, which will all be tabled by May 2018 to allow the European Parliament and Council to complete the legislative work before the European elections of June 2019. Secondly, the Work Programme presents ambitious actions and initiatives that have a more forward-looking perspective, as the new Union of 27 shapes its own future for 2025 and beyond. These proposals reflect the debate kick-started by the Commission's White Paper on the future of Europe and President Juncker's 2017 State of the Union Address.
To ensure a focus on delivery, the Commission Work Programme identifies 66 priority pending proposals presented in the past two years where swift adoption by the Parliament and Council is needed; the Commission also suggests to withdraw 15 pending proposals where there is no foreseeable agreement or they no longer serve their purpose or are technically outdated. The Work Programme proposes a number of 15 proposals that follow on from regulatory fitness and performance (REFIT) reviews of current laws, taking into account the opinions of the REFIT Platform. Effective application and enforcement of EU law by Member States will also be a priority, to ensure that citizens and businesses experience the intended benefits. The Commission will repeal three obsolete pieces of legislation.
Completing work on the 10 Priorities of the Juncker Commission
From the start of its mandate, this Commission has focused on the big things, where effective European action can make a concrete difference. Over the last year, sharing these priorities with the European Parliament and the Council, solid progress was made in key areas and delivered results across the 10 priorities. This Work Programme now sets out concrete proposals for the year ahead to complete our work.
To boost jobs, growth and investment, the Commission will pursue work to deliver on the Circular Economy Action Plan, and to complete the Digital Single Market, the Energy Union, the Capital Markets Union, the Economic and Monetary Union and the Banking Union. An initiative on Fair taxation in the digital economy, a Social fairness package, and a proposal to improve the EU food supply chain will all contribute to a deeper and fairer internal market with a strengthened industrial base. We will also table targeted new measures to complete the Security Union and deliver on the EU Agenda on Migration and the Global Strategy, and will strengthen the Union Civil Protection Mechanism. The Commission will pursue its balanced and progressive trade policy to harness globalisation by finalising agreements with Japan, Singapore and Vietnam and will pursue negotiations with Mexico and Mercosur.
Delivering beyond 2025
While completing today's agenda, this Commission will continue with work to prepare the Union of tomorrow. The 2018 Work Programme includes a number of initiatives that look further forward, towards 2025 and beyond. From 30 March 2019, the European Union will be a Union of 27 Member States, and now is the time to shape this More United, Stronger and More Democratic Union.
A More United Union will require a credible enlargement perspective for frontrunner candidates in the Western Balkans. To build a Stronger Union, the Commission will table a proposal for the future Multi-annual Financial Framework and will also propose more efficient Single Market law-making and more efficiency and consistency in implementing the Common Foreign Policy. We will adopt a Reflection Paper on a sustainable European future and a Communication on the future of EU energy and climate policy, and propose an extension of the tasks of the European Public Prosecutor's Office to also tackle terrorism. For a More Democratic Union, we will make proposals for the creation of a permanent and accountable European Minister of Economy and Finance, an initiative on further enhancing subsidiarity and proportionality, and a Communication on enhancing efficiency at the helm of the European Union. We will also propose an initiative on the enforcement of the rule of law.
Every year, the Commission adopts a Work Programme setting out the list of actions it will take in the year ahead. The Work Programme informs the public and the co-legislators of our political commitments to present new initiatives, withdraw pending proposals and review existing EU legislation.
The Commission's preparation of the 2018 Work Programme has been enriched by consultations with the European Parliament and Council in the context of the Inter-institutional Agreement on Better Law-Making and the Framework Agreement on relations between the Parliament and the Commission and based on the Letter of Intent sent by President Juncker and First Vice-President Timmermans on 13 September, after the President's State of the European Union address.
For more information
Factsheet: New initiatives to complete the work on President Juncker's 10 Priorities & initiatives launched with a 2025 perspective
Factsheet: Priority pending proposals requiring swift adoption by the Parliament and Council