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SPEECH/10/169

José Manuel Durão Barroso

President of the European Commission

"Commission Work Programme 2010"

Figures and graphics available in PDF and WORD PROCESSED

European Parliament, Plenary

Strasbourg, 20 April 2010

Monsieur le Président,

Mesdames et Messieurs les Députés,

J'ai l'honneur et le plaisir de vous présenter aujourd'hui le premier programme de travail de cette Commission, qui est aussi le premier programme de travail depuis l'entrée en vigueur du traité de Lisbonne. Il survient à un moment décisif pour l'Europe, car c'est maintenant qu'il faut agir.

Ce programme découle directement de notre dialogue politique. Après des consultations intensives fondées sur les orientations politiques que j'ai présentées pour les cinq prochaines années, ce Parlement m'a confié en septembre la responsabilité d'un second mandat. À l'issue d'auditions approfondies, qui ont permis de forger une vision commune des actions qui s'imposaient, le Collège dans son intégralité a reçu votre confiance en février.

Autrement dit, ce programme de travail fait apparaître une forte convergence avec les priorités politiques exprimées par votre Institution. Et il constitue de ce fait une plateforme solide pour atteindre des résultats ambitieux.

Notre toute première priorité doit rester de sortir de la crise et de jeter les bases d'une croissance durable et génératrice d'emplois.

Nous avons récemment débattu des résultats du Conseil européen. Entre‑temps, le mécanisme annoncé de soutien financier à la Grèce a finalement été créé le 11 avril. La Commission jouera un rôle important dans la mise en œuvre de ce mécanisme quand la Grèce demande son activation. C'est la conséquence logique du fait que la Commission s'est fortement impliquée, depuis le début, dans la recherche d'une solution aux problèmes financiers rencontrés par la Grèce et dans le maintien de la stabilité à l'intérieur de la zone euro.

Mais nous devons faire plus encore et nous demander pourquoi ces problèmes se sont posés et comment empêcher qu'ils ne se reproduisent. C'est la raison pour laquelle nous reverrons le pacte de stabilité et de croissance, afin d'approfondir la surveillance économique et de l'étendre au‑delà de la seule question des déficits. Nous avons besoin d'un mécanisme permanent de résolution des crises. En bref, il nous faut montrer que l'UE est à la hauteur des défis du moment et exploiter toutes les possibilités qu'offre le traité de Lisbonne.

Voilà pourquoi l'une des premières initiatives majeures de la Commission, le mois prochain, consistera à présenter une communication sur la coordination renforcée des politiques économiques.

Nous savons tous qu'il en va ici de l'intérêt collectif de l'Europe. L'UE doit renforcer le système et prendre en considération tout l'éventail des risques et déséquilibres économiques. Nous avons besoin d'améliorer les mécanismes internes: en se dotant de structures plus solides et d'une approche mieux coordonnée, l'Europe peut faciliter le retour des finances publiques à une trajectoire viable et créer un cadre propice à une reprise plus large et durable.

[Réglementation financière]

Sur les dix-huit derniers mois, nous avons accompli d'énormes progrès vers la mise en place d'un système financier plus éthique, solide et responsable. Nous devons persévérer dans cette voie, combler les dernières lacunes subsistant dans la réglementation, nous assurer que nos structures de surveillance restent en phase avec un secteur en évolution constante.

Je suis convaincu que notre proposition sur les fonds alternatifs et de capital-investissement va bientôt franchir une étape décisive. La Commission pense que l'autorité législative se ralliera à notre objectif commun, qui est de faire en sorte que la nouvelle architecture européenne de surveillance du secteur financier soit pleinement opérationnelle dès le début de l'année prochaine. En 2010, la Commission entend présenter plusieurs propositions dans des domaines clés comme les marchés dérivés, les systèmes de garantie des dépôts et les abus de marché. La protection des consommateurs ordinaires de services financiers recevra une attention toute particulière. Nous travaillerons aussi sur d'autres aspects majeurs liés aux contrats d'échange sur défaut (CDS) et aux ventes à découvert, et nous proposerons prochainement des orientations sur la mise en place de fonds de résolution des faillites bancaires.

[Europe 2020]

This Commission hit the ground running. By presenting the Europe 2020 Strategy right on taking office, we have set the scene to help bring Europe back on track. On track for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. We now need to work together, Commission, Member States and European Parliament, to build and sustain the momentum.

Achieving the vision of a sustainable social market economy by 2020 will require a strong effort from all levels of society. At the EU level, our action must have genuine European added-value. That is the goal of the Europe 2020 flagship initiatives. The Digital Agenda for Europe, a fully-fledged industrial policy, a European Plan for research and innovation, a resource-efficient Europe, new skills for jobs, "Youth on the Move", fighting social exclusion: this is where Europe can make the difference.

Thus we will help drive the transition to a resource efficient and climate-change resilient economy. Fighting climate change will remain a top priority on our agenda, both internally and globally. The energy and transport sectors will get particular attention this year – both critical to turn the challenge of a sustainable Europe into our competitive advantage.

The Single Market, as a home market of 500 million consumers underpinning jobs, competitiveness, affordable prices and consumer choice, will continue to constitute the backbone of the European economy. Tapping its full potential is particularly important for Small and Medium sized enterprises which are the driver for job creation in the European Union.

Bringing the Single market into the 21st century is a priority for the Commission that will make new proposals by 2012. This is also the subject of a report which I have asked Mario Monti to prepare and which will be presented very soon.

I want to underline the importance of social inclusion in our vision for Europe 2020: the real strength of a society rests on the opportunities it creates for its weakest citizens. We must seize every opportunity to encourage employment. That means being ready to exploit the emerging sectors which will generate the new jobs. It means providing people with the right skills to create and sustain high employment levels and facilitate economic transition. It means working to overcome the impact of the crisis on young people by easing transitions from education and training to work. To this end, a broad-ranged European Platform against Poverty will aim to ensure economic, social and territorial cohesion, building on the current European year for combating poverty and social exclusion.

[Citizens' agenda]

The concerns and well-being of European citizens will remain at the heart of this Commission. The implementation of a comprehensive Action Plan of the Stockholm Programme that the Commission will be adopting later today is focused precisely on ensuring that the benefits of the European integration in the area of freedom, security and justice become more tangible to the citizens.

This Action Plan represents on its own a comprehensive work programme for the Commission in the area of freedom, security and justice. It puts the citizens at the core of our policies by facilitating the exercise of their rights. It will also aim at developing an open and secure Europe with a particular focus on tackling cross-border crime and on a common immigration and asylum policy.

In the field of freedom, security and justice, the European Union in the last ten years has gone from the application of the free circulation of persons to a common policy. The achievements are impressive until now but we need, more than ever, in this period of exit from the crisis, to promote and defend the European values. The Action Plan contains a comprehensive list of measures to implement our already defined priorities in this field, both at European and global level.

The entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty gives us also the tools to demonstrate greater ambition: the increased role of this Parliament, the more efficient decision making in the Council, the perspective of more coherence and consistency in European Council decisions, and the judicial review by the Court of Justice will strengthen the European Union determination in responding to the expectations and concerns of our citizens.

When we look to 2020, we must also address a number of long–term trends with a direct impact on the daily lives of citizens. Action now will pay dividends in the future. For example, the Commission will launch public debates on the future of pensions and analyse options for ensuring the sustainability and adequacy of the pension systems. Of course, in any area like this many of the levers are national – but that must not hold us back from ensuring that the EU makes the maximum contribution.

In the external field, the new role of the HR/VP and the start of the European External Action Service will offer us the tools to build a stronger and more coherent EU external policy. We will set out strategic trade policy priorities, take forward trade negotiations and work with partners on issues ranging from market access to regulatory framework and global imbalances. We will project our Europe 2020 objectives on the global market place, for example through the G20.

The Commission will also be tackling the challenges of energy geopolitics, in order to ensure safe, secure, sustainable and affordable energy.

Another key priority for the Commission is to pursue the international development agenda and propose an EU action plan in the run up to the 2015 Millennium Development Goals Summit. This initiative will form the basis for the June European Council to prepare a common EU position in view of the High Level United Nations Review meeting in September on the Millennium Development Goals, which aims at the adoption of a Global Action Plan for reaching the MDGs by 2015. We want a Europe that is open and shows in concrete actions its solidarity with the most vulnerable in the world.

Finally, as agreed with this Parliament we will publish the Budget Review during the third semester of this year. In this we will set out what we see as the key principles and parameters for using the EU's financial resources to best effect, taking full account of the Europe 2020 Strategy. In parallel, we will be making more detailed assessments of key areas including agriculture and cohesion. I can assure you that Parliament will be fully associated at all stages of the budget review.

[Structure of CWP]

Before finishing, I would like to briefly explain a number of innovations in the Work Programme. This programme, and future programmes, need to offer the right framework for the institutions to build a solid consensus on where Europe should concentrate its attention. We therefore need to be more political, and we also need to reflect the multiannual challenge of initiatives of the scale we intend.

I think the way we will prepare the Work Programmes in the future should be a concrete demonstration of the special partnership which I and the Commission want to establish with the European Parliament in this mandate.

This programme identifies 34 strategic initiatives that we commit to put on the table before the end of December. I am sure you agree this is an ambitious agenda for the next eight months.

At the same time, the Programme includes many other initiatives for 2010 and beyond. This indicative list comprises initiatives on which the Commission intends to work over the coming years. Not all of these initiatives will necessarily lead to the submission of concrete proposals: in line with the principles of smart regulation, we need to assess thoroughly which items should go forward, and in which form.

The Work Programme will be reviewed every year to identify new strategic initiatives and adapt the multi-annual strand as required. This "rolling" approach will enhance transparency and predictability for all stakeholders, while preserving the necessary flexibility to react to unforeseen developments. The last years have shown that strategic blueprints cannot be cast in stone, they have to adapt to reality on the ground.

[Conclusion]

Honourable Members, the Commission Work Programme 2010 is an ambitious, but also necessary and realistic framework for EU policy making in the coming year.

Realistic, if all institutions are ready to join forces and cooperate with the view of delivering timely results to Europe's citizens.

Necessary, because business as usual is not an option, if we want 2010 to mark a turning point.

And ambitious because more than ever a strong Europe is required to deliver to citizens the solutions they are looking for. They expect it from us, and we have a duty to work for their prosperity and well-being.

Thank you for your attention.

Closing remarks

The Commission has high ambitions for 2010 and the coming years. I have listened with great interest to the interventions and I welcome your firm support to work together to achieve them.

The Commission Work Programme 2010 illustrates the Commission's readiness to engage in a process of genuine inter institutional programming. I would like the Work Programme to constitute a central building block for the common inter institutional programming proposed under the Lisbon Treaty.

We are currently discussing with you (Parliament) and the Council, how the provision on joint programming could best be implemented. I hope that a trilateral approach will be possible.

As part of this, I believe we should put in place a "state of the Union" debate, here in this Parliament, as an annual statement of where we believe the EU should be heading. This would act as a focus for more detailed debate between the Commission and parliamentary committees in the course of the year.


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