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Commission adopts 2013 Work Programme
In his State of the Union address1 on 12 September, President Barroso set out an ambitious vision for the EU. The overarching task remains to return the EU to sustainable growth. This is the number one task, and it requires new thinking and targeted action in a limited number of key policy areas. The Commission Work Programme 2013 (CWP), which was adopted recently, sets out how the Commission will work to this end for the next year and beyond.
The CWP summarises the objectives for the Union in seven key areas and sets out what is missing recently. It then explains how the Commission will tackle these objectives: by taking forward key initiatives already on the table, by making new proposals, and by ensuring that the benefits of reform are carried through to citizens by effective implementation.
President Barroso said: "In my State of the Union address, I proposed a decisive deal for Europe. This involves huge change for Europe. But this Work Programme shows how the Commission is working day by day to take the steps needed. 2013 will be a crucial year for showing our citizens that the EU is leading the way in taking the credible, concrete steps needed to lead us out of the crisis and build the right springboard for future sustainable growth."
Vice-President Šefčovič said: "These are crucial years for Europe. The steps we take over the next few years will decide our future path. There is no silver bullet to solve our current problems, but we at the EU level can at least help to show a lead. That is why the 2013 Commission Work Programme concentrates on Europe pulling together to encourage growth and get more people back into work."
In terms of new proposals, the CWP announces around 50 new initiatives to be tabled during 2013 and the first part of 2014. Key legislative initiatives need to take into account the end of the current parliamentary legislature in 2014. New initiatives addressing concrete challenges in seven key policy areas will cover:
A genuine Economic and Monetary Union: additional legislation to enhance stability, transparency and consumer protection in the financial sector, based in particular on the blueprint to a genuine economic and monetary union.
Boosting competitiveness through the Single Market and industrial policy: initiatives to cut costs for businesses in areas like VAT and invoicing, tackle obstacles to competitiveness and encourage key growth sectors through public-private partnerships in research.
Connect to compete: building tomorrow's networks today: modernising networks by liberalising in energy, by boosting investment in infrastructure like broadband, and by modernising Europe's transport and logistics.
Growth for jobs: inclusion and excellence: building up practical support to the unemployed in areas like public employment services, and making sure the EU does its utmost to support social inclusion.
Using Europe's resources to compete better: giving the long-term perspective so important to sustainable growth with a framework for energy and climate change to 2030 and dedicated action on air quality and waste.
Building a safe and secure Europe: working to boost justice through a European Public Prosecutor's Office to protect the EU's financial interests, security by fighting traffic in firearms and consolidating citizenship in the European Year of Citizens.
Pulling our weight: Europe as a global actor: driving forward our interest and values through a new generation of trade agreements, targeted action in our neighbourhood, and furthering the Millennium Development Goals as the world's leading development cooperation partner.
A common theme of all these areas is how next year will be decisive for turning an ambitious agreement on the multi-annual financial framework into a driver for change.
The adoption of the CWP follows an intense structured dialogue with the European Parliament, the Committee of the Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee on the priorities for the Union.
The Commission will now work closely with the European Parliament and the Council, as well as stakeholders, including national Parliaments to take forward these objectives and carry them through to provide tangible results for Europe's citizens.
The Commission Work Programme 2013 can be found at:
Mark Gray (+32 2 298 86 44)
Antony Gravili (+32 2 295 43 17)