Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Commission Work Programme 2015

The Commission’s Work Programme for the year is just 5 pages (opposed to the usual 30 or so pages), due to the efforts of Commissioner Frans Timmermans to whittle down the amount of legislation to be and to focus on political priorities. The Programme covers 11 areas:

-          A New Boost for Jobs, Growth and Investment;
-          A Connected Digital Single Market;
-          A Resilient Energy Union with a Forward-Looking Climate Change Policy;
-          A Deeper and Fairer Internal Market with a Strengthened Industrial Base;
-          A Deeper and Fairer Economic and Monetary Union;
-          Trade: A Reasonable and Balanced Free Trade Agreement with the U.S.;
-          An Area of Justice and Fundamental Rights Based on Mutual Trust;
-          Towards a New Policy on Migration;
-          A Stronger Global Actor; and
-          A Union of Democratic Change.

These wordy headings consist of most of the document. While aiming to show the legislative and political priorities of the Commission, it empties the document of a lot of its traditional content (no anti-alien measures here). The priorities are pretty much what you would expect from a Union beset by crises (in fact and in political confidence) over immigration, energy security and the Eurozone. Interestingly, the internal market proposals include a capital markets union and a labour mobility package that references “abuse” of social security systems, which should please London.

The most interesting priorities from an institutional perspective are an inter-institutional agreement on law making (it appears that Timmermans is concerned over how many proposals are “pre-agreed” in triologue – and wants to have more transparency and debate over proposals) and a mandatory Transparency Register (very much a live issue).

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