Twenty-six new initiatives are proposed in the 2018 European Commission work programme released on 24 October 2017, which sets outs its key initiatives for the year ahead. This is the last programme of Commission President Jean-Claude Junker where real progress can be made before the legislative momentum slows down ahead of the 2019 European elections and Brexit.
UPDATE 14 DECEMBER: The Presidents of the three EU institutions (European Commission, European Parliament and the Council) signed a new Joint Declaration on the EU’s legislative priorities for 2018-2019. Seven priority areas have been agreed to maintain political momentum on 31 key proposals. The objective being to reach as much as possible legislative adoptions before the European elections of 2019.
The focus of the 2018 work programme is to complete the work on the 10 priorities set by Junker at the start of his mandate in 2014, as well as longer term initiatives shaping the future of Europe. Major items on the agenda are the EU’s long-term budget beyond 2020 once the UK, which is a large contributor, has departed, the possible creation of a permanent European minister of economy and finance “who is democratically accountable” and a separate budget line for the Eurozone within the EU budget.
Twenty-six new initiatives are proposed to complete the Junker priorities. Among the forward-looking initiatives with a longer perspective and focus on the adaptation to the new EU format with 27 member states, two are likely to be specifically of interest for the European risk management community:
A reflection Paper “Towards a Sustainable Europe by 2030, on the follow-up to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, including on the Paris Agreement on Climate Change” (non-legislative, Q2 2018)
A communication on the future of EU energy and climate policy (non-legislative, Q2 2018)
The Commission has also identified 66 proposals that have been pending over the last two years which it is pressing the Parliament and Council to complete before the end of the term.
These pending proposals include well-known files for FERMA, such as the creation of an EU Cybersecurity Agency, the e-Privacy Directive, the free flow of non-personal data Regulation and the Country-by-Country Reporting proposal.
Finally, out of the 12 EU legislative instruments under review for 2018 to ensure that they remain fit for purpose, the revision of the EU consumer directives could possibly raise some concerns.
One scenario under consideration by the Commission is the adoption of consumer collective redress rules in every EU member state, which FERMA advocated against in 2013. FERMA will monitor the developments.
EU injects further €30bn in research and innovation
The European Commission presented on 27 October the 2018-2020 Work Programme for Horizon 2020, which will inject around €30 billion in the economy to finance research and innovation projects. With a total budget of €77 billion across seven years (2014-2020), Horizon 2020 is the largest EU research and innovation funding programme ever.
The Horizon 2020 Work Programme specifically focusses on several issues of interest to FERMA including climate resilient future, circular economy and digital transformation, as well as security union and migration.
All funding opportunities under Horizon 2020 are accessible from the Participant portal.