24 Oct 2017


Brussels, Brussels Daily


Commission to adopt 2018 Work Programme and review progress of its Better Regulation Agenda

Following on from the announcements made in President Juncker’s 2017 State of the Union Address, the European Commission will adopt today its 2018 Work Programme, presenting its plans for completing the work on President Juncker’s ten political priorities before the end of its mandate, as well as a series of forward-looking initiatives for the future of Europe. The Commission will also review progress under and set out the next steps to complete our Better Regulation Agenda. Better Regulation underpins the Commission’s work to deliver on President Juncker’s 10 political priorities, ensuring that the Commission acts only where the EU brings added value, and does so in the least burdensome way possible. After the adoption by the College this afternoon, the Commission will publish a Press Release and a Memo on the Work Programme and a Press Release on the Better Regulation Communication.


Speech by President Juncker at the Plenary Session of the European Parliament

In the morning of Tuesday, 24 October, President Juncker debriefed the European Parliament, during its Plenary Session in Strasbourg, about the European Council meeting of 19 and 20 October and the progress made on migration issues and the Digital Single Market. Before touching upon these topics though, he referred to the recent natural disasters in Portugal and Spain as well as in the Baltic countries, and said: “Solidarity is a key virtue of our Union and when one of us is confronted with difficulties, it is evident, necessary, elementary that the European Union comes to the aid of the one suffering,” adding that he had tasked Commissioner Stylianides to strengthen the EU’s Civil Protection Mechanism further. Then, referring to the Council’s discussion about migration, he called directly on MEPs, saying: “All proposals the Commission elaborated are on the table of Parliament and Council, and I would like to invite you to speed up work namely on the Common Asylum Policy. We are losing time and it is urgent that we find an agreement on all these proposals.” President Juncker had a similar message on proposals linked to the Digital Single Market, also calling on MEPs to speed up the decision-taking, recalling that the Commission has put forward 43 initiatives out of which only six have been adopted. He then welcomed yesterday’s endorsement by the Council on the European Pillar of Social Rights and its general approach to reform the Posting of Workers Directive, saying:“We have to ensure that the social dimension of Europe does not remain wishful thinking, but rather that we fill the social intentions, that exist, with content.” Finally, on Brexit, President Juncker said that“Commission is not negotiating in a hostile mood. We want a deal. […] We want a fair deal with Britain and we will have a fair deal with Britain. The no-deal is not our working assumption.” The full speech by President Juncker is available online.

Commission welcomes the Council’s endorsement of the European Pillar of Social Rights and its general approach to reform the Posting of Workers Directive

At the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council of 23 October in Luxembourg, EU Ministers of Employment and Social Affairs expressed their unanimous endorsement of the European Pillar of Social Rights, only two years after the idea was first mentioned by President Juncker and less than six months after it was presented. The Pillar will be proclaimed by the Parliament, the Council and the Commission at the Social Summit for Fair Jobs and Growth, taking place on 17 November in Gothenburg. The Council also agreed on a general approach regarding the Commission’s proposal to revise the rules on the posting of workers. The Commission now calls on the Parliament and the Council to seize this momentum and to swiftly continue the discussions with the Commission, to finalise the agreement and formally adopt the proposal. Commissioner Marianne Thyssen, in charge of Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, welcomed today’s agreement and said: “This Council meeting marks an important step forward for social Europe. The unanimous endorsement of the European Pillar of Social Rights shows that all Member States are committed to striving for better working and living conditions throughout our Union, in light of challenges such as an ageing society, globalisation and digitalisation. As for the agreement on posting of workers – our position from the beginning has been that workers should earn the same pay for the same work in the same place. I am glad Member States broadly support this.” At the Council meeting, Ministers also came to a partial general approach on the Commission’s proposal to revise the rules on the coordination of social security systems. A full press release can be found online, where you can also find updated versions of the Q&A on the European Pillar of Social Rights and the Posting of Workers Directive. Commissioner Thyssen’s speakings are available here. The press conference following the Council meeting can be watched here.


The outermost regions and the European Union: a privileged partnership, renewed and strengthened


Today the Commission will present a new strategy for the outermost regions, these nine regions located thousands of kilometers from the continent, to help them to fully express their potential. Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Creţu will present the strategy in the European Parliament press room in Strasbourg at 16:00 CET, alongside MEP Younous Omarjee; follow the live press conference on EbS. More information on the new strategy will be available at 4pm in this press release, this memo, in this fact sheet and in regional fact sheets, which detail how the strategy will impact the nine regions.


EUROSTAT: Second quarter of 2017 compared with first quarter of 2017 – Government debt slightly down to 89.1% of GDP in euro area – Down to 83.4% of GDP in EU28

At the end of the second quarter of 2017, the government debt to GDP ratio in the euro area (EA19) stood at 89.1%, compared with 89.2% at the end of the first quarter of 2017. In the EU28, the ratio also decreased, from 83.6% to 83.4%. Compared with the second quarter of 2016, the government debt to GDP ratio fell in both the euro area (from 90.8% to 89.1%) and the EU28 (from 83.8% to 83.4%). Full text available here


EUROSTAT: Second quarter of 2017 – Seasonally adjusted government deficit up to 1.2% of GDP in the euro area – Up to 1.3% of GDP in the EU28

In the second quarter of 2017, the seasonally adjusted general government deficit to GDP ratio stood at 1.2% in the euro area (EA19), an increase compared with 1.0% in the first quarter of 2017. In the EU28, the deficit to GDP ratio stood at 1.3%, an increase compared with 1.1% in the previous quarter. Full text available here



Commissioner Jourová in Sofia on an official visit

Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Vera Jourová will visit Sofia on 25 and 26 October to meet the Bulgarian government and discuss the priorities of the upcoming Bulgarian presidency in the justice area. She will meet with Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ekaterina Zaharieva, with  the Minister of Justice, Tsetska Tsacheva, with the Minister of Economy, Emil Karanikolov, and the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Bisser Petkov. She will participate to a roundtable with businesses on the General Data Protection Regulation, as well as to a roundtable with NGOs active in field of justice and Roma inclusion.

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