MEPs debate on the EC 2020 Work Programme

The Commission is preparing a European Climate Law

Photo: EP Maros Sefcovic.

On Thursday morning, MEPs discussed with EC Vice-President Maros Sefcovic, in charge of Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight, the Commission's 2020 annual work programme, the first for the von der Leyen team.

Presenting the plan, which the College adopted a day before, VP Sefcovic told lawmakers that the programme will not only be a basis for the first year of the mandate but also sets the vision, direction and pace for the next five years and beyond. He especially mentioned the twin ecological and digital transition that will affect “every part of our society and every one of us”.

Talking about the new special partnership with the European Parliament, he also underlined that the adoption of this work programme has been a joint exercise, taking into consideration the contribution of EP at every stage. The discussion on Tuesday at the EP Conference of Presidents with EC President von der Leyen contributed to fine-tuning of the programme, he said.

Over 12 months, the executive will table 43 policy objectives or packages, 28 of which will be legislative, “allowing sufficient time for their adoption and implementation”. The EC Vice-President labelled the new initiatives as “defining” for the entire decade, even in some cases, for the first half of this century.

The next big step after Green Deal Communication will be the European Climate law. On Wednesday, the Commission presents 5G Communication and shortly after it will table EU Data Strategy and the White Paper on Artificial Intelligence. Soon, it will also present an Action Plan to deepen the capital markets union.

The Commission is suggesting the withdrawal of 32 packages that are currently awaiting decision by the EP and the Council. Some of them do not match the new Commission's political ambitions, for others the Commission will reflect on more efficient ways to fulfil their objectives.

Under the regulatory fitness and performance programme REFIT, we identified 44 significant pieces of legislation proposed for evaluation, VP Sefcovic also said.

MEPs set out their legislative and policy priorities in reference to the Commission's 2020 work plan. The majority of parliamentarians praised the Commission enthusiasm for interinstitutional cooperation and its 2020 Work Programme legislative and policy initiatives. MEPs placed special focus on the need for a just transition and social fairness in the new digital and green economies and on the urgency of environmental and migration action, as well as on the future relationship with the United Kingdom.

There were also voices warning that the Green Deal serves the interests of Germany and France, and that it is a slogan that justifies everything, even the doom of industry and the changes that will be imposed on the communities.


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