26/10/2020 | Commission Européenne
Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has published her second Commission work programme just nine months after her first, and four after she was forced to delay several initiatives due to the coronavirus. There were few surprises from the 44 new initiatives set out in the work programme, which moves from ‘strategy to delivery’. The Commission maintains focus on its twin priorities of the digital and green transitions, which it sees as central to Europe’s recovery. Although this year’s events have given renewed impetus to the Commission’s attempts to take action in areas where the Member States remain responsible – such as health, migration and foreign affairs – even a global pandemic may not be enough to overcome Member States’ reluctance to cede further control to Brussels. At a debate in the European Parliament, the majority of political groups welcomed the work programme, supporting in particular the plans to address health coordination and the economic recovery. The Socialists and Democrats group called for social progress to become an integral part of all policies, while the Greens hailed this Commission as the first which has a strong focus on preserving the planet. Renew did not comment on the package as a whole, but emphasised the need to preserve the rule of law and protect basic values such as freedom of speech and press within the EU over the next year. The Identity and Democracy group was the main political family unsupportive of the work programme, accusing the EU of using the crisis as a means for greater harmonisation without the relevant democratic mandate. The Nordic Green Left Group was also not very receptive, with Vice-President of the European Parliament Dimitrios Papadimoulis stating that the only way to make real difference is for the priorities discussed to be translated into the European budget, which is still being negotiated.
• European Green Deal
• Europe fit for the Digital Age
• An Economy That Works for People
• Stronger Europe in the World
• Promoting our European Way of Life
• A New Push for European Democracy