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EC President Barroso warns of dangers of fragmented Europe
in State of the Union Address 2011
Commission President José Manuel Barroso sets
out a EU strategy for sustainable growth and jobs in his annual
of the Union speech to the European Parliament.
"We are now facing
the greatest challenge our Union has ever known throughout its
history,” he said, referring to the continuing
The EU must renew itself by becoming more competitive,
living within its means, taming “irresponsible” financial
markets, addressing economic imbalances and addressing the pressures
Above all, more political will and leadership
is needed to rebuild confidence and trust – among its citizens
and in the financial markets.
The Commission’s full reform
agenda needs to be implemented so Europe can create sustainable
growth and jobs.
The agenda includes:
- continuing support for Greece – eurozone
countries have pledged to provide support, provided the country
implements its reform programme
- a new system of financial regulation – some
of the proposals have been adopted and others are awaiting
approval, such as
new rules on derivatives, short selling, credit default swaps
fair remuneration for bankers
- a financial transaction tax – a
contribution back to society from financial institutions. Some
of the tax would help fund
the EU’s proposed budget for 2014-2020, geared towards
investment in growth and jobs
- preventing tax evasion – through
an EU savings tax and providing the Commission with the mandate
to negotiate tax
agreements on behalf of the EU with other countries
economic union – removing legal and administrative
barriers to trade in services across the EU (the proposed Services
- investing in research, innovation, resource efficiency
and education – detailed
proposals need to be adopted
- connecting Europe’s energy,
transport and digital networks
- addressing youth unemployment – providing
more support for internships and apprenticeships, and accelerating
The Commission will also present proposals for
EU project bonds, which would raise money for investment
in infrastructure projects
We can renew Europe, he said.
José Manuel Durão Barroso
President of the European Commission
European renewal – State of the Union Address 2011
Strasbourg, 28 September 2011
Let me start with Greece. Greece is, and will remain, a member
of the euro area. Greece must implement its commitments in full
and on time. In turn, the other euro area members have pledged
to support Greece and each other. As stated at the euro area
Summit on 21 July: "We are determined to continue to provide
support to countries under programmes until they have regained
market access, provided they successfully implement those programmes."
That is why I created the Task Force for Greece.
We have just launched an action plan based on two major pillars:
Around 100 viable and high-quality projects, investing in all
Greek regions, to make the best use of Greece's remaining allocation
of the structural funds.
And a major drive to reduce bureaucratic procedures for European
€ 15 billion remain to be spent in Greece from the structural
funds. This will support the Greek economy with an urgent programme
of technical assistance to the Greek administration.
A programme of € 500 million Euros to guarantee European
Investment Bank loans to Greek SMEs is already under way.
The Commission is also considering a wider guarantee mechanism
to help banks lend again to the real economy.
All of this represents a huge support to Greece's fight back
and Greece will have to deliver concrete results. It must break
with counter productive practices and resist vested interests.
But we have to be clear about this. This is not a sprint, but
The task of building a Union of stability and responsibility
is not only about Greece.
The economic outlook that we face is very difficult. We are
confronted with the negative effects of an ongoing global re-assessment
of risks. It is therefore our responsibility to rebuild confidence
and trust in the euro and our Union as a whole.
And we can do this by showing that we are able to take all the
decisions needed to run a common currency and an integrated economy
in a competitive, inclusive and resource-efficient way. For this
we need to act in the short, in the medium and the long term.
The first step is to quickly fix the way we respond to the sovereign
This will require stronger mechanisms for crisis resolution.
We need credible firepower and effective firewalls for the euro.
We have to build on the EFSF and the upcoming European Stability
The EFSF must immediately be made both stronger and more flexible.
This is what the Commission proposed already in January. This
is what Heads of State and Government of the euro area agreed
upon on 21 July. Only then, when you ratify this, will the EFSF
be able to:
- deploy precautionary intervention;
- intervene to support the
recapitalisation of banks,
- intervene in the secondary markets
to help avoid contagion
Once the EFSF is ratified, we should make the most efficient
use of its financial envelope. The Commission is working on options
to this end.
Moreover we should do everything possible to accelerate the
entry into force of the ESM.
And naturally we trust that the European Central Bank – in
full respect of the Treaty – will do whatever is necessary
to ensure the integrity of the euro area and to ensure its financial
But we cannot stop there. We must deepen economic coordination
and integration, particularly in the euro area.
This is at least as big a political task as an economic one.
Today, you will vote on the so-called "six-pack" proposals
that we put in front of you and the Council one year ago. This "six-pack" reforms
the Stability and Growth Pact and widens surveillance to macro-economic
imbalances. We are now back very close to what the Commission
originally put on the table. You have played a decisive role
in keeping the level of ambition of these proposals, and I really
want to thank you and congratulate you for that.
This legislation will give us much stronger enforcement mechanisms.
We can now discuss Member States' budgetary plans before national
decisions are taken. This mix of discipline and integration holds
the key to the future of the euro area. Only with more integration
and discipline we can have a really credible euro area.
These are indeed important steps forward, but we must go further.
We need to complete our monetary union with an economic union.
We need to achieve the tasks of Maastricht.
It was an illusion to think that we could have a common currency
and a single market with national approaches to economic and
budgetary policy. Let's avoid another illusion that we can have
a common currency and a single market with an intergovernmental
For the euro area to be credible – and this not only the
message of the federalists, this is the message of the markets – we
need a truly Community approach. We need to really integrate
the euro area, we need to complete the monetary union with real
economic union. And this truly Community approach can be built
how? In the coming weeks, the Commission will build on the six-pack
and present a proposal for a single, coherent framework to deepen
economic coordination and integration, particularly in the euro
area. This will be done in a way that ensures the compatibility
between the euro area and the Union as a whole. We do not want
the euro area to break of course the great acquis of the single
market and all our four freedoms.
At the same time, we can pool decision making to enhance our
competitiveness. This could be done by integrating the Euro Plus
Pact into this framework, in full respect of the national implementation
For all of this to work, we need more than ever the independent
authority of the Commission, to propose and assess the actions
that the Member States should take. Governments, let's be frank,
cannot do this by themselves. Nor can this be done by negotiations
Indeed, within the Community competences, the Commission is
the economic government of the Union, we certainly do not need
more institutions for this.
For a reason the Treaties have created supra-national institutions.
For a reason the European Commission, the European Central Bank,
the European Court of Justice were created. The Commission is
the guarantor of fairness. Moreover, the Commission, which naturally
works in partnership with the Member States, is voted by and
accountable to this House. The directly elected Parliament both
of the euro area and of the European Union as a whole.
It is also time to have unified external representation of the
euro area. In accordance with the Treaty the Commission will
make proposals for this purpose.
A Union of stability and responsibility built on this basis
and with common approach will also allow the Member States to
seize fully the advantages of a bigger market for the issuance
of sovereign debt.
Once the euro area is fully equipped with the instruments necessary
to ensure both integration and discipline, the issuance of joint
debt will be seen as a natural and advantageous step for all.
On condition that such Eurobonds will be "Stability Bonds":
bonds that are designed in a way that rewards those who play
by the rules, and deters those who don't. As I already announced
to this house, the Commission will present options for such "Stability
Bonds" in the coming weeks.
Some of these options can be implemented within the current
Treaty, whereas fully fledged 'Eurobonds' would require Treaty
change. And this is important because, Honourable Members, we
can do a lot within the existing Treaty of Lisbon. And there
is no excuse for not doing it, and for not doing it now.
But it may be necessary to consider further changes to the Treaty.
I am also thinking particularly of the constraint of unanimity.
The pace of our joint endeavour cannot be dictated by the slowest.
And today we have a Union where it is the slowest member that
dictates the speed of all the other Member States. This is not
credible also from the markets' point of view, this is why we
need to solve this problem of decision making. A Member State
has of course the right not to accept decisions. That is a question,
as they say, of national sovereignty. But a Member State does
not have the right to block the moves of others, the others also
have their national sovereignty and if they want to go further,
they should go further.
Our willingness to envisage Treaty change should not be a way
or an excuse to delay the reforms that are necessary today but
I believe that this longer term perspective will reinforce the
credibility of our decisions now.
A Union of stability and responsibility means swiftly completing
the work on a new system of regulation for the financial sector.
We need well-capitalised, responsible banks lending to the real
Much has been said about the alleged vulnerability of some of
our banks. European banks have substantially strengthened their
capital positions over the past year. They are now raising capital
to fill the remaining gaps identified by the stress tests in
summer. This is necessary to limit the damage to financial market
turbulence on the real economy and on jobs.
Over the last three years, we have designed a new system of
Let's remember, we have already tabled 29 pieces of legislation.
You have already adopted several of them, including the creation
of independent supervising authorities, which are already working.
Now it is important to approve our proposals for new rules on:
- naked short selling and credit default swaps;
- fair remuneration
These propositions are there, they should be adopted by the
Council and by the Parliament. The Commission will deliver the
remaining proposals by the end of this year, namely rules on:
- credit rating agencies;
- bank resolution;
- personal responsibility of financial operatives.
So we will be the first constituency in the G20 to have delivered
on our commitment to global efforts for financial regulation.
In the last three years, Member States - I should say taxpayers
- have granted aid and provided guarantees of € 4.6 trillion
to the financial sector. It is time for the financial sector
to make a contribution back to society. That is why I am very
proud to say that today, the Commission adopted a proposal for
the Financial Transaction Tax. Today I am putting before you
a very important text that if implemented may generate a revenue
of above € 55 billion per year. Some people will ask "Why?".
Why? It is a question of fairness. If our farmers, if our workers,
if all the sectors of the economy from industry to agriculture
to services, if they all pay a contribution to the society also
the banking sector should make a contribution to the society.
And if we need – because we need – fiscal consolidation,
if we need more revenues the question is where these revenues
are coming from. Are we going to tax labour more? Are we going
to tax consumption more? I think it is fair to tax financial
activities that in some of our Member States do not pay the proportionate
contribution to the society.
It is not only financial institutions who should pay a fair
share. We cannot afford to turn a blind eye to tax evasion. So
it is time to adopt our proposals on savings tax within the European
Union. And I call on the Member States to finally give the Commission
the mandate we have asked for to negotiate tax agreements for
the whole European Union with third countries.
Stability and responsibility are not enough on their own. We
need stability but we also need growth. We need responsibility
but we also need solidarity.
The economy can only remain strong if it delivers growth and
jobs. That's why we must unleash the energy of our economy, especially
the real economy.
The forecasts today point to a strong slowdown.
But significant growth in Europe is not an impossible dream.
It will not come magically tomorrow. But we can create the conditions
for growth to resume. We have done it before. We must and we
can do it again.
It is true that we do not have much room for a new fiscal stimulus.
But that does not mean that we cannot do more to promote growth.
First, those who have fiscal space available must explore it – but
in a sustainable way.
Second, all member states need to promote structural reforms
so that we can increase our competitiveness in the world and
Together, we can and must tap the potential of the Single Market,
exploit all the benefits of trade and mobilise investment at
the Union level.
Let me start with the Single Market.
Full implementation of the Services Directive alone could, according
to our estimates, deliver up to € 140 billion in economic
But today, two years after the deadline for implementation,
several Member States have still not adopted the necessary laws.
So we are not benefiting from all the possible gains from having
a true services liberalisation in Europe.
But we can also do more.
We must adopt what is on the table. We have adopted the Single
Market Act in the European Commission. A number of key initiatives
We are close to having a European patent which would cut the
cost of protection to 20% of current costs. I expect this is
to be concluded by the end of this year.
Moreover, for the Single Market Act, we should consider a fast
track legislative procedure. By the way, in many areas we should
take a fast track legislative procedure because we are living
in real emergency times. This will allow us to respond to these
And growth in the future will depend more and more on harnessing
information technology. We need a digital single market, which
will benefit each and every European by around €1500 per
year – by using the possibilities of e-commerce to ending,
for instance, mobile roaming charges.
An extra 10 % in broadband penetration would bring us between
1 and 1.5 % of extra annual growth.
In a competitive world we must be also well-educated with skills
to face these new challenges. We must innovate. And we must act
in a sustainable way.
We have already presented detailed proposals on innovation,
resource-efficiency and how we can strengthen our industrial
Modern industrial policy is about investing in research and
We need to accelerate the adoption of our efforts to boost the
use of venture capital to fund young, innovative companies across
Sustainable jobs will come if we focus on innovation and new
technologies, including green technologies. We must see that "green" and
growth go together.
For example, the renewables sector has already created 300,000
jobs in past 5 years in the European Union. The global green
technology market will triple over the next decade.
We must focus our action on where it makes a real impact. Growth
of the future means we must actively pursue also our smart regulation
agenda, which will give a saving of € 38 billion for European
companies, particularly for SMEs. But Member States must also
do their part in reducing the administrative burden.
But we also need investment. These reforms are important but
we also need some kind of investment at European level.
A Union of growth and solidarity needs modern, interconnected
We have proposed for the next Multi-Annual Financial Framework
(MFF) to create a facility to connect Europe – in energy,
in transport, in digital.
This innovative part of our MFF proposal has to be seen together
with another very important innovative idea: the project bond.
In the coming weeks the Commission will publish its proposals
for EU project bonds. We are also proposing pilot projects, so
that we can fund that growth. We can do iteven before the MFF
is adopted. In this way we can frontload some of the major infrastructure
investments Europe needs.
The Union and its Member States should urgently consider how
to allow our own policy-driven bank, the European Investment
Bank to do more – and possibly much more – to finance
To do so, we need to explore ways to reinforce the EIB's resources
and capital base so that it can lend to the real economy.
In the year 2000, there was € 22 billion of venture capital
in Europe. In 2010 there was only € 3 billion. If we want
to promote entrepreneurship we must reverse this decline and
we need that support namely for SMEs.
We can also get more growth out of the Structural Funds, by
increasing absorption capacity, using the Structural Funds to
support macroeconomic performance. They are essential for innovation,
for training and employment, and for SMEs.
I would also like to urge this House to adopt by the end of
the year the proposals we made in August to increase cofinancing
rates to those countries with assistance programmes. This will
inject essential funding into these economies, while reducing
pressure on national budgets.
Reforms to our labour markets, public finances and pension systems
require a major effort from all parts of society.
We all know these changes are necessary, so that we can reform
our social market economy and keep our social model. But it is
imperative that we hold on to our values – values of fairness,
of inclusiveness and of solidarity.
Right now we need to give concrete hope to the 1 in 5 of our
young people who cannot find work. In some countries, the situation
of our young people is simply dramatic. I want to call on companies
to make a special effort to provide internships and apprenticeships
for young people. These can be supported by the European Social
By getting businesses, the social partners, national authorities
and the Union level working in a "Young Opportunities Initiative",
we can make a difference. This I believe is the most urgent social
matter to respond to the anxiety of our young people that cannot
find a job and it is much better to have an apprenticeship, a
traineeship, than to be with that anxiety in the streets expressing
that lack of confidence in the Union as a whole.
We must accelerate the most urgent parts of our Growth and Jobs
Plan, Europe 2020. The Commission will focus on the situation
of young people in each and every Member State in its Country-specific
recommendations for next year.
I believe we must give our future a real chance.
Right now we also need to act to help the 80 million Europeans
at risk of poverty. This means that the Council must finally
approve our proposal to safeguard the programme for the supply
of food for the most deprived persons. I would like to thank
this Parliement for the political support it has given to our
Fifty years ago, 12 countries in Europe came together to sign
the Social Charter. It was exactly in October 50 years ago. Today,
that Charter has 47 signatories, including all our Member States.
To guarantee these fundamental values in Europe, I believe we
need to boost the quality of social dialogue at European level.
The renewal of Europe can only succeed with the input and the
ownership of all the social partners – of trade unions,
of workers, of businesses, civil society in general.
We should remember that our Europe is a Europe of citizens.
As citizens, we all gain through Europe. We gain a European identity
and citizenship apart from our national citizenship. European
citizenship adds a set of rights and opportunities. The opportunity
to freely cross borders, to study and work abroad. Here again,
we must all stand up and preserve and develop these rights and
opportunities. Just as the Commission is doing now with our proposals
on Schengen. We will not tolerate a rolling back of our citizens'
rights. We will defend the freedom of circulation and all the
freedoms in our Union.
Letter by President Barroso to the President of the European
Parliament, Jerzy Buzek
"Dear President Buzek,
As I will say in the State of the Union address I will make
today to the European Parliament, the European Union is at a
critical turning point. The economic crisis continues and the
road to recovery is proving long and steep for our citizens.
Job creation is still trailing as economic growth struggles to
take hold across many regions. Public debt remains a heavy burden,
with the potential to hold back both short and long term growth
unless addressed firmly and with urgency. Many of our proudest
achievements - such as the Euro and the Schengen area of free
movement of people - are under pressure. Facing such a situation
now is the time for all pro-European forces, such as the European
Parliament and the European Commission, to rally support for
our European project and to demonstrate that deeper European
integration is the key to solving these challenges.
We all know that a sustainable economic recovery is the overriding
challenge for this generation. By restoring growth and confidence
we will have the means to sustain the EU's unique social model
and to support the aspirations of our citizens. This is the background
against which the Commission is preparing its Work Programme
for 2012. It will be a programme of hard work and delivery to
promote growth and reforms, driven by a shared sense of priority
and urgency. It will use the foundations we have put in place
in recent years as a springboard to drive forward growth and
jobs. In addition to the proposals announced in my speech, it
will be built around a number of main themes
- Building a Union of stability and responsibility
a Union of Growth and solidarity
- Giving the EU an effective
voice in the wider world
- The work we have undertaken together
in the past few years represents an unprecedented renewal
of the economic fabric
of the EU. The
European semester and the Annual Growth Survey have fundamentally
improved our ability to deliver real coordination. We
are putting in place a new generation of regulation and supervision
strong and sound financial sector. We are maximising
leverage of the single market to put in place tomorrow's
sources of growth
and jobs. In all these areas, this year has already seen
important new proposals from the Commission.
- In the coming
will follow, on key financial services sectors like
derivatives, hank crisis prevention and resolution, and credit
agencies, on making life easier for SMEs, on energy
and on responsible
business. In addition, we will propose a major programme
of sector-specific programmes and instruments to implement
a modem budget for Europe.
Each proposal will be shaped to deliver our goal of
EU added value. Agreement on this package must be at the top
agenda to achieve our objectives over the coming year.
The Commission Work Programme for 2012 is our first opportunity
to implement our new Framework Agreement across the full cycle
of preparation. Our structured dialogue is a very concrete expression
of the special partnership between our two institutions.
I want to thank you for the comprehensive report of the Conference
of Committee Chairs (CCC), which the Commission has been examining
carefully as part of the preparatory process. Along with the
6 July EP resolution adopted by a very large majority of MEPs,
this document confirms Parliament's ambition for the EU. Starting
with the State of the Union debate delivered today, our structured
dialogue will intensify over the coming weeks, leading to adoption
of the Work Programme on 15 November. In line with the Framework
Agreement, this letter sets out the main elements guiding the
preparation of the Work Programme, to feed into our dialogue.
Some of the key elements are highlighted in bullet points as
illustrations of future proposals but these do not represent
a definitive or exhaustive list. I particularly look forward
to the meeting between the CCC and the College on 12 October.
The meeting last year showed how this forum can provide a strong
platform for building a sense of common purpose.
A Union of stability and responsibility: A macro-economic and
governance framework conducive to growth
We must create a virtuous circle in European economic management
by ensuring that national and EU economic policies work together.
We must complete the job of putting in place strong structures
for economic governance and financial supervision, so that the
confidence of citizens and markets alike are restored. The EU's
single market constitutes a huge potential for growth, and needs
to be boosted.
We need to move ahead of the curve, to shift the focus from
crisis management to the growth model of the future, in line
with our Europe 2020 Strategy. We need to show that the steps
we have already made are carried through into implementation
and make a real difference for our citizens. With these aims
in mind the 2012 Commission Work Programme will include proposals
The second Annual Growth Survey
European semester recommendations
to each Member State, incorporating the new excessive imbalances
procedure, and the further economic
governance proposals announced in my speech
At a time where fiscal consolidation is crucial, the Commission
will also pursue its efforts to tackle the challenge of tax
evasion, including opening negotiations on savings tax havens
third countries on the basis of the draft mandate currently
awaiting Council approval.
One of the Union's most effective tools to boost growth is the
EU budget. Following the overall proposal on the multiannual
financial framework in June, this autumn the Commission will
table the legal basis for the next financial framework, with
a focus on where the EU can make a real difference and a strong
emphasis on simplification.
- A Union of Growth and Solidarity
- A single market for growth
- Keeping the Single Market fit for
purpose is essential in securing lasting growth and employment
in Europe. We should
ideas and new technology to ensure that we make the most
of today's Single Market. Following extensive public
consultation, the Single
Market Act announced 12 concrete measures, which the Commission
will table over the coming months. I encourage Parliament
and Council to fast-track these initiatives in the legislative
to ensure that tangible benefits are felt by businesses
and citizens as quickly as possible.
But our efforts will not stop at this. As the economy develops,
the framework that our enterprises operate in must evolve. In
2012, the Commission will propose further initiatives to strengthen
the Single Market, reduce administrative burdens and allow economic
operators to take full advantage from the opportunities offered
by a 500 million-strong home market. Legislative follow-up to
the forthcoming 'performance check' will aim to improve further
the single market for services, tapping into new sources of jobs
and growth. Modernising the VAT system will help business to
focus on growth, not least SMEs.
Confident consumers create thriving markets. Building on this
autumn's work, the next work programme will announce measures
to strengthen consumer rights, including in electronic and cross
border transactions and effectively address health and safety
related matters, thus improving citizens' security, while underpinning
demand in the Single Market.
A comprehensive package of proposals will provide for competitive
and safe railway services, making an important contribution to
the sustainability of the European transport system. Infrastructure
is as central as ever to global competitiveness, with the 'Connecting
Europe' programme the core of our strategy to build effective
and sustainable infrastructure development across the EU.
Finally, whilst the key proposals to meet the EU's G20 commitments
on financial services reform will already be on the table by
the end of 2011, the Commission will continue to work for further
responsibility, transparency and solidity in a sector indispensible
to growth and investment. Additional measures in 2012 will include
proposals targeting investment funds, the insurance sector and
With these aims in mind the 2012 Commission Work Programme will
include proposals on:
- Investor protection for retail investment and for investment
- Preparing the VAT system of the future
- A European Consumer
- Revised rules on general product safety
- Railway liberalisation
- Electronic identification and authentification
- Effective collective
- State aids framework for services of general
- Jobs and skills
- In Europe, economic success and social cohesion
are two sides of the same coin. Today's high levels of unemployment
are a source of considerable hardship and a major
our future social
cohesion and economic development. Europe
will only succeed when it empowers everyone to play her or
This is a turning point for our societies. With the impact of
ageing accelerating, we cannot afford to lose the potential,
skills and talents of our workforce. We need to invest in our
human and social capital. Several Member States and companies
have already understood this: during the crisis, they kept their
employees in work, sometimes with reduced working hours or new
positions, and are now able to make full use of their talents
And the social impact of the crisis goes far beyond the world
of work: financially distressed families find it hard to make
ends meet, increasing numbers of children are exposed to risks
of poverty, stress-related diseases and other adverse health
impacts hurt our society. That is why the Commission will continue
to fight against poverty and will campaign to deliver on this
key Europe 2020 target.
Securing our societies for the future also means taking timely
action to address long term challenges, including the sustainability
of pension systems. While most levers are national, the EU can
make an important contribution, and several initiatives will
follow up on our work on pensions. Financing welfare, while returning
to healthy public finances, requires rethinking not only spending
priorities, but also the sources of revenue.
To enhance Europe's social market economy, initiatives in next
year's work programme will include:
- An Employment package (covering a renewed flexicurity agenda,
a green jobs initiative and a Young Opportunities Initiative
- Supporting Occupational Retirement Provision
- Protecting the
supplementary pension rights of people who change jobs
- A sustainable
path to the future
- Establishing a coherent framework to guide
the gradual transition towards a low-carbon, resource-efficient
been a top priority for this Commission. 2012 will be the
year of preparation
before the climate-energy package of 2009 comes fully
into force, and it will also see new measures to help meet
and help citizens, communities and businesses shape
long-term plans to a low-carbon future. In the field of transport,
we will build on the successful measures to cut vehicle
will help put in place the infrastructure needed to
alternative fuels and vehicles readily available. A
new blueprint for water
will be a major deliverable of the flagship on resource
Such measures will work in parallel with the mainstreaming of
climate objectives into all future expenditure from the EU budget,
a major contribution to realising our climate objectives. The
Commission will continue to factor climate goals into all relevant
legislation, and factor developments in international negotiations
into our work in Europe.
Energy use has in the course of history proven one of the fundamental
determinants of a prosperous society. A secure, sustainable and
competitive energy system is established as a common EU objective.
A strategy for the deployment of renewable energy beyond 2020
will be developed to offer stability for the longer term. Furthermore,
in the aftermath of the tragic Fukushima accident, and as a follow-up
to the stress tests, a thorough revision of the existing nuclear
safety framework will be undertaken.
With these aims in mind the 2012 Commission Work Programme will
include proposals on:
- Further steps on emissions from passenger cars and vans
clean power for transport
- Safeguarding Europe's water resources
- Updating the EURA TOM
nuclear safety legislative framework
- An open Europe for citizens
- The creation of an open and secure
space, where EU citizens and third-country nationals with
legal rights of entry
may enter, move around, live and work is one of the
most powerful demonstrations of the EU in action.
Over the last year events inside and outside the Union have
brought the issue of border controls to the top of our agenda.
To safeguard our historic accomplishments in terms of liberty
and mobility, we must continuously strengthen and develop our
border system to respond to new challenges.
We must also continue to enforce a common migration policy to
allow the responsible management of migration in the EU After
in-depth consultation of stakeholders, the Commission will present
a package on the next generation of border checks. We will also
work to ensure practical application of free movement of workers
inside the Union as one of the core rights of citizens in the
The 2012 Commission Work Programme will take forward several
core initiatives of the ambitious Stockholm Programme Action
Plan. A legislative proposal on extending ?-Justice will use
ICT to facilitate cooperation in the justice field. We will also
target the need to ensure that documents in legal proceedings
can be recognised across the Union.
With these aims in mind the 2012 Commission Work Programme will
include proposals on:
- The next generation of border checks
- Strategy on prevention
and fight against trafficking of human beings
- Employment and
- Giving the EU an effective voice in the wider world
- To an
ever growing extent, the prosperity and security of EU citizens
are influenced directly by developments
beyond our borders.
It is in our interest to seek to shape these developments,
and we do so best together.
The historic developments in our Southern Mediterranean neighbourhood
provide an opportunity for the EU to act as a positive influence
on the road to democracy and prosperity. We need to work with
new governments to see what support and encouragement we can
offer - in terms of political support, technical assistance,
and concrete aid to reconstruction and economic development.
Solidarity is a fundamental European value - and it extends
beyond our borders. As the world's largest donor of international
development assistance, the EU will play a leading role in helping
the world's poorest societies, with particular focus on achieving
the MDGs. In 2012, a concrete expression of EU's global solidarity
will come in the form of proposals to set up a European Voluntary
Humanitarian Aid Corps.
The Commission will also continue to support the EU's growth
objectives on the international scene. While the overall objective
remains a successful conclusion of ongoing multilateral trade
negotiations and a further strengthening of the WTO through Russian
accession, we hope to have concluded FTAs with Ukraine, Canada,
Singapore and India in the coming period, and to take a decisive
step forward with Japan. We are also working towards the launch
of negotiations for an EU investment agreement with China.
Assessments of potential future enlargements and ongoing talks
will continue through 2012. We are looking forward to soon welcoming
Croatia as the 2$ member of our family. Efforts in 2012 will
be pursued to allow Croatia to benefit fully from and to keep
up the pace of preparations for meeting the obligations of membership.
With these aims in mind the 2012 Commission Work Programme will
include proposals on:
- Setting up a European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps
- Smart regulation and effective implementation
- In delivering
its Work Programme, the Commission will maintain its strong
commitment to producing proposals of the highest
quality. Preparation is key to quality, and preparation
that initiatives are developed in full consultation with
stakeholders. To ensure a strong stakeholders input,
from 2012 onwards, the
consultation period is extended from 8 to 12 weeks.
Moreover, even when proposals are well prepared, and successfully
scrutinised and supported by Parliament and Council, their real
impact relies on implementation. Today, too many political actions
do not translate into tangible benefits for citizens, companies
and public authorities. The Commission will continue to fully
live up to its role as guardian of the Treaty. This also involves
a proactive application and development of competition policy
as a key instrument in ensuring a level playing field and well-functioning
With these aims in mind the 2012 Commission Work Programme will
include proposals on:
- Protecting the financial interests of the European Union
2020 is only eight years from now. With the pace
of global developments, EU must seize the chance to consolidate
its position in the world.
Attaining our ambitious targets depends on both Member States
and European institutions delivering on a mutual commitment to
reform. To have real impact by 2020, the efforts at European
level must be frontloaded. That means acting now to secure the
progress we need. I look forward to working with the European
Parliament in the coming weeks to develop a programme of initiatives
that will help to restore growth and confidence to our Union."
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