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European Commission

Latest news and information from the European Commission.

Action Plan for Fair and Efficient Corporate Taxation in the EU
The European Commission presented on 17 June an Action Plan to fundamentally reform corporate taxation in the EU. The Action Plan sets out a series of initiatives to tackle tax avoidance, secure sustainable revenues and strengthen the Single Market for businesses. Collectively, these measures are intended to significantly improve the corporate tax environment in the EU, making it fairer, more efficient and more growth-friendly.

REFIT - making EU law lighter, simpler and less costly
REFIT is the European Commission's Regulatory Fitness and Performance programme. Action is taken to make EU law simpler and to reduce regulatory costs, thus contributing to a clear, stable and predictable regulatory framework supporting growth and jobs.

Better regulation - European Commission webpage
Better Regulation is about designing EU policies and laws so that they achieve their objectives in the most efficient and effective way possible. It is a way of working to ensure: when preparing, implementing and reviewing policy; always informs policy-making; stakeholders are involved. To ensure that EU action is - and remains - effective, the Commission assesses the expected and actual impact of policies and legislation and other important measures at every stage – from planning to implementation, review and revision. Meanwhile, the existing body of Union legislation is being managed more actively. Initiatives will be evaluated to check their performance once sufficient time has elapsed. This will be partly done through the REFIT Programme.

Better Regulation Agenda
The European Commission adopted on 19 May its Better Regulation Agenda. This comprehensive package of reforms covering the entire policy cycle will boost openness and transparency in the EU decision-making process, improve the quality of new laws through better impact assessments of draft legislation and amendments, and promote constant and consistent review of existing EU laws, so that EU policies achieve their objectives in the most effective and efficient way.

European Agenda on Migration
The European Commission presented on 13 May a European Agenda on Migration outlining the immediate measures that will be taken in order to respond to the crisis situation in the Mediterranean as well as the steps to be taken in the coming years to better manage migration in all its aspects.

Stability and Growth Pact: country-specific recommendations 2015
The European Commission adopted on 13 May country-specific economic policy recommendations for 2015 and 2016 asking for national actions to create jobs and stimulate growth.

European Semester 2015: country-specific updates
On 25 February, the European Commission sent a strong signal to EU Member States to carry out structural reforms and to continue consolidating their public finances. This followed the approach that the new College of Commissioners outlined in November and is at the heart of the Annual Growth Survey 2015: a fresh focus on investment, structural reforms, and fiscal responsibility.

EU Transparency website
Citizens expect the EU decision-making process to be as transparent and open as possible. The more open the process is, the easier it is to ensure balanced representation and avoid undue pressure and illegitimate or privileged access to information or to decision-makers. Transparency is also a key part of encouraging European citizens to participate more actively in the democratic life of the EU. The transparency register has been set up to answer core questions such as what interests are being pursued, by whom and with what budgets. The system is operated jointly by the European Parliament and the European Commission.

EU Transparency Register - new version
A new version of the EU Transparency Register was launched on 27 January following joint work by the European Commission and the European Parliament. This 'second generation' of the Register implements the provisions of the revised Inter-institutional Agreement signed between the European Parliament and the European Commission in April 2014.

European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI)
50 days after announcing its ambitious Investment Plan for Europe to boost jobs and growth, the European Commission has adopted the legislative proposal for the European Fund for Strategic Investments, which will be established in close partnership with the European Investment Bank (EIB). The Fund is at the very heart of President Juncker's Investment Offensive, which will mobilise at least €315 billion in private and public investment across the European Union. This will especially support strategic investments, such as in broadband and energy networks, as well as smaller companies with fewer than 3000 employees. The proposal also sets up a European Investment Advisory Hub to help with project identification, preparation and development across the Union. Finally, a European Investment Project Pipeline will improve investors' knowledge of existing and future projects.

2015 Work Programme
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.

European Commission Annual Working and Legislative Programme
The European Commission's Annual Working and Legislative Programme presents the major political priorities of the Commission on the basis of, in particular, the Annual Policy Strategy Decision and it also identifies concrete actions either legislative or non legislative that translate these priorities into operational terms

Investment Offensive for Europe - 2,000 potential projects worth EUR 1.3 trillion
The EU Task Force on Investment published a report on 9 December showing that there is significant potential for investment in Europe. It identifies around 2,000 projects across Europe worth some EUR 1.3 trillion of potential investments, out of which over EUR 500 billion worth of projects could potentially be implemented over the next three years. Many of these projects are currently not being realised due to financial, regulatory or other barriers.

EU Investment Offensive Website
The European Commission's Investment Plan will unlock public and private investments in the real economy of at least EUR 315 billion over the next three years (2015-2017). President Juncker's major new initiative is aimed at getting Europe growing again and getting people back to work. Reasons for it are that Europe is facing an investment gap. Investment in the EU has dropped by more than 430 billion from a 2007 peak. Investment levels in the EU are EUR 270 billion to EUR 340 billion below historical sustainable norms. Weak investments hamper short term recovery and hurt long term growth.

Investment Offensive to boost jobs and growth
The European Commission announced on 26 November a EUR 315 billion Investment Plan to get Europe growing again and get more people back to work.

Commission commits to enhanced transparency
The European Commission has given a boost to transparency by committing to publishing information about who meets its political leaders and senior officials and to providing greater access to documents relating to the negotiations for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the United States. In its very first weeks in office, the Juncker Commission is making good on the President's promise of a more open and transparent Commission, signalling a new approach for the next five years.

EU Transparency Register
Citizens can, and indeed should, expect the EU decision-making process to be as transparent and open as possible. The more open the process is, the easier it is to ensure balanced representation and avoid undue pressure and illegitimate or privileged access to information or to decision-makers. Transparency is also a key part of encouraging European citizens to participate more actively in the democratic life of the EU. The transparency register has been set up to answer core questions such as what interests are being pursued, by whom and with what budgets. The system is operated jointly by the European Parliament and the European Commission.

EU budget "own resources" and Commission's proposed changes
The EU's Member States invited the Commission on 7 November 2014 to come forward with a proposal for a targeted and limited amendment of the part of the "own resources" legislation implementing the rules of the annual adjustments of Member States' share in the EU budget. This fact sheet aims to provide a comprehensive yet accessible summary of the proposal.

New European Commission infographic
The new European Commission, led by Jean-Claude Juncker, has now been formally elected by the European Parliament in Strasbourg with 423 votes in favour, 209 against and 67 abstentions. It will starts its five-year term on 1 November. Find out more about its composition, the new Commissioners and their portfolios in this infographic.

European Parliament hearings of the Commissioners-designate
The 27 candidates hoping to be part of the European Commission led by Jean-Claude Juncker start appearing at hearings at the European Parliament on 29 September. During the three-hour hearings EP committees will test the candidate commissioners' expertise and competences ahead of the EP voting on whether to approve the new Commission on 22 October. The hearings will be shown live on our website and can also be followed on various other platforms.

European Commission 2014 – 2019 - portfolios and supporting services
The European Commission's president-elect Jean Claude Juncker announced on 10 September the allocation of responsibilities in his team and the way work will be organised in the Commission once it takes office.

Macro-Financial Assistance to non-EU countries
Macro-Financial Assistance (MFA) is a form of financial aid extended by the EU to partner countries experiencing a balance of payments crisis. It takes the form of medium/long-term loans or grants, or a combination of these, and is only available to countries benefiting from a disbursing International Monetary Fund programme. MFA is designed for countries geographically, economically and politically close to the EU. These include candidate and potential candidate countries, countries bordering the EU covered by the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and, in certain circumstances, other third countries.

S&P downgrades EU debt, Commission hits back
The Standard and Poor’s ratings agency downgraded the European Union’s credit-worthiness by one notch on Friday, blaming threats to cohesion including Britain’s role in curtailing budgets and holding a membership referendum.

Reform of the EU Generalised Scheme of Preferences
The EU has issued a revised import preference scheme - known as the Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) - for developing countries most in need which will take effect from 1 January 2014. Following agreement with the Council and European Parliament, today's publication contains the specific tariff preferences granted under the GSP in the form of reduced or zero tariff rates and the final criteria for which developing countries will benefit. The new scheme will be focused on fewer beneficiaries (89 countries) to ensure more impact on countries most in need. At the same time, more support is to be provided to countries which the EU sees as serious about implementing international human rights, labour rights and environment and good governance conventions.

New package for banking supervision in the Eurozone
The European Commission sees its proposals for a single supervisory mechanism (SSM) for banks in the euro area as an important step in strengthening the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). In the new single mechanism, ultimate responsibility for specific supervisory tasks related to the financial stability of all Euro area banks will lie with the European Central Bank (ECB). National supervisors will continue to play an important role in day-to-day supervision and in preparing and implementing ECB decisions. The Commission is also proposing that the European Banking Authority (EBA) develop a Single Supervisory Handbook to preserve the integrity of the single market and ensure coherence in banking supervision for all 27 EU Member States. The Commission is calling on the Council and European Parliament to adopt the proposed regulations by the end of 2012, together with the other three components of an integrated "banking union" – the single rulebook in the form of capital requirements, harmonised deposit protection schemes, and a single European recovery and resolution framework.