23 Oct 2018
EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 23 OCTOBERBrussels Daily
Better Regulation: Commission sets out way forward to strengthen subsidiarity and proportionality in EU policy-making
With the European elections approaching and in the context of the future of Europe debate, the European Commission has today set out the changes it intends to introduce to the EU policymaking process in order to focus its limited resources on a smaller number of activities and deliver on its political priorities more efficiently. Today’s Communication on how to strengthen the principles of proportionality and subsidiarity in EU decision-making also seeks to address the recommendations of the ‘Task Force on subsidiarity, proportionality and doing less, more efficiently’. Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “I welcome the Task Force’s conclusion that the EU adds value in all areas where it currently acts. At some point, however, we will have to confront the fact that we cannot continue to do more to tackle growing challenges with the resources currently available. In the future, the Commission will have to prioritise its activities and resources even more.” First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, responsible for Better Regulation and Chair of the Task Force, added: “We have done a lot to create a world-class system for making better regulation. But we can still improve. The Task Force has initiated important changes within the Commission and we are embedding these in our institutional DNA. However, the Commission is not the only player in the policymaking process. We need everybody to take their own responsibilities, starting at the conference organised by the Austrian EU Presidency next month in Bregenz.” The Commission today set out how the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality will guide our future work and how we can further strengthen their role in EU policy-making. The Austrian Presidency conference in Bregenz in November will be the moment for other institutions to make their own commitments to implement the Task Force’s recommendations. A full press release is available here.
COLLEGE MEETING: Commission Work Programme 2019: Delivering on promises and preparing for the future
The European Commission today presented its Work Programme for 2019, setting out three main priorities for the year ahead: reaching swift agreement on the legislative proposals already presented to deliver on its ten political priorities; adopting a limited number of new initiatives to address outstanding challenges; and presenting several initiatives with a future perspective for a Union at 27 reinforcing the foundations for a strong, united and sovereign Europe. President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “Seven months from today, Europe will have its most important rendezvous with voters for a generation, at the European elections. I call on the European Parliament and the Council to adopt the proposals presented by the Commission in the past four years. Citizens do not care about proposals, they care about laws in force that give them rights. There would be no better message to voters taking to the polls next year than if we were to demonstrate that this Union delivers concrete, tangible results for them.” First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said: “This Commission has consistently focussed on the challenges which can only be addressed through collective European action. This Work Programme contains no surprises: we have made all the proposals needed but now they must be agreed and their benefits implemented in practice. We will also look to the future with initiatives to ensure that tomorrow’s Union of 27 has an optimistic vision for a fair and sustainable future for all Europeans.” The 2019 Work Programme focuses on just 15 new initiatives, and an additional 10 new REFIT evaluations, to review existing legislation and ensure it is still fit for purpose. To ensure a focus on delivery, the Commission Work Programme identifies 187 priority pending proposals for adoption by the Parliament and Council before the European elections. The Commission also suggests to withdraw or repeal 17 pending proposals or existing laws. The Commission has already tabled all the legislative proposals needed to deliver on the ten priorities of the Juncker Commission. Together with the European Parliament and Council, we have found agreement on around half of these proposals so far, and a further twenty percent are well advanced in the legislative process More information is available in a press release and memo, a general factsheet on the Commission Work Programme, a factsheet with the new initiatives, and a factsheet with the REFIT initiatives and priority pending proposals.
Commissioner Arias Cañete in Poland for ministerial dialogue ahead of UN climate conference (COP24)
Ahead of the next UN climate conference (COP24), Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete will take part in a ministerial dialogue on climate change known as ‘pre-COP’ in Kraków, Poland, on 23-24 October. The meeting is the final step before COP24 in Katowice, Poland from 2-14 December, where parties to the Paris Agreement are aiming to adopt detailed rules and guidelines, the so-called ‘work programme’, for implementing the global accord. At the pre-COP, ministers will discuss the key issues for the Paris work programme, in order to facilitate an agreement namely on transparency, finance, mitigation and adaptation. The meeting comes in the wake of the recent special report on global warming of 1.5°C by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which gives the world’s policymakers a comprehensive scientific basis for efforts to tackle climate change and highlights the urgency of stepping up action worldwide. Commissioner Arias Cañete said: “This year’s climate conference in Katowice will be crucial for cementing countries’ determination to implement climate action and raise collective ambition over time, in line with the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement. The EU will work with all partners at COP24 to ensure the adoption of a robust and ambitious Paris work programme. We also continue to act at home. We are close to completing our entire legislative framework for implementing all the 2030 climate and energy targets for the EU. Moreover, ahead of COP24, the Commission will present a long-term EU strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which will seek to modernise our economy making it more prosperous, sustainable and more socially fair.