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2015 Work Programme

17 December 2014
by eub2 -- last modified 17 December 2014

The European Commission adopted on 15 December its Work Programme for 2015 - setting out actions the Commission intends to take over the next 12 months to make a real difference for jobs, growth and investment and bring concrete benefits for citizens. This, says the Commission, is an agenda for change.


The Commission's 2015 Work Programme sets out: 23 new initiatives proposed by the Juncker Commission, following the Political Guidelines presented to the European Parliament; 80 existing proposals which the Commission proposes to withdraw or amend for political or technical reasons. The Work Programme presents focused actions where the Commission will deliver in 2015. In addition, in many areas, the Commission will also continue to work hard to ensure that existing policies and rules are fit for purpose, deliver concrete results on the ground and are properly implemented.

23 New Initiatives to Make a Difference

The programme adopted today sets out the 23 initiatives the Commission is politically committed to delivering in 2015. This twelve-month 'to do list' focuses on the 'big things' like jobs, growth and investment, in line with the ten priorities of President Juncker's Political Guidelines.

The Commission notably committed to deliver in 2015:

  • An Investment Plan for Europe: the legislative follow-up to the Plan announced last month, unlocking public and private investments in the real economy of at least EUR 315 billion over the next three years.
  • An Ambitious Digital Single Market Package: creating the conditions for a vibrant digital economy and society by complementing the telecommunications regulatory environment, modernising copyright rules, simplifying rules for consumers making online and digital purchases, enhancing cyber-security and main-streaming digitalisation.
  • The first steps towards a European Energy Union: to ensure energy supply security, further integrate national energy markets, reduce European energy demand and decarbonise the energy mix.
  • A Fairer Approach to Taxation: An Action Plan on efforts to combat tax evasion and tax fraud, including measures at EU level in order to move to a system on the basis of which the country where profits are generated is also the country of taxation; including automatic exchange of information on tax rulings and stabilising corporate tax bases.
  • A European Agenda on Migration: developing a new approach on legal migration to make the EU an attractive destination for talent and skills and improving the management of migration into the EU through greater cooperation with third countries, solidarity among our Member States and fighting human trafficking.
  • Deeper Economic and Monetary Union: Continued efforts to promote economic stability and attract investors to Europe.

See the full list of the 23 new initiatives in each of the 10 priority policy areas in Annex 1.

Applying Political Discontinuity

In preparing the Work Programme, the Commission examined around 450 proposals that are currently awaiting decision by the European Parliament and the Council, and is proposing to withdraw or amend 80 of them. Some are proposed for withdrawal because they do not match the new Commission's priorities. But in many cases, the Commission remains strongly committed to the objectives sought – but proposals are of no use if they are simply sitting dormant on a negotiating table or if they will be so watered down in negotiations they can no longer achieve their original purpose. When that's the case, the Commission says it will propose new, better ways of achieving these objectives. The Commission will wait for the views of the European Parliament and the Council on these proposals before formalising the withdrawals.

See the full list of the proposals for withdrawal in Annex 2.

Cutting Red Tape and Removing Regulatory Burdens

The 2015 Work Programme reflects the Commission's strengthened commitment to Better Regulation, building on the Regulatory Fitness Programme, which seeks to cut red tape and remove regulatory burdens, contributing to an environment conducive to investment. The College of Commissioners has identified a series of proposals and existing legislation, which will be reviewed and amended to make them work better for Europe's citizens and businesses. This also includes simplification efforts, for example of the Common Agricultural Policy.

See the full list of REFIT proposals in Annex 3.


For the first time, the Commission has worked in dialogue with both the European Parliament and the Member States to build support for the work programme before presenting it. The Commission believes that proposals are only useful if they are adopted, accepted and implemented properly on the ground, and so the support of the co-legislators is imperative.

Further Information

European Commission Work Programme 2015 Website