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No time for 'business as usual' as Commission presents its second work programme

Posted by Nick Prag at 29 October 2015, 18:40 CET |
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This is no time for business as usual, said the Commission's First Vice-President Frans Timmermans as he presented the second work programme of the Juncker Commission to Euro-MPs this week.

A year ago, Mr Juncker promised that his new Commission would focus on 'big things' where the EU could make a difference. Priorities were set on the digital single market, energy union, security, migration, capital markets, corporate taxation, trade strategy and a deepening of Economic and Monetary Union.

The 2016 Work Programme reaffirms the commitment to the EC's ten political priorities and sets out a number of key initiatives to deliver on these commitments over the next twelve months.

Mr Timmermans promised that the coming year would see proposals for additional measures to manage the refugee crisis, boost jobs and growth and strengthen the single market, also to deepen the Economic and Monetary Union, ensure tax fairness, high social standards and promote economic, social and environmental sustainability.

An important element of the programme is the REFIT actions, with which the Commission ensures that EU legislation remains fit for purpose and delivers the results intended without unnecessary burdens to businesses.

Every year the Commission adopts a Work Programme setting out the list of actions it will take in the coming twelve months. This year, Mr Timmermans projected a sense of urgency, calling on the European Parliament and Council to prioritise the legislative work, because, he says, "citizens will judge the EU on whether it delivers results on the major challenges facing our societies today."

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Nick Prag

Nick Prag

Nick Prag is founder and managing editor of Prior to EUbusiness, he was senior editor at Europe Online SA in Luxembourg, where he played a major part in the launch of Europe Online International.