Commission presents its work programme for 2019 and requests Italy to submit a revised draft budgetary plan within three weeks
Commission Work Programme 2019
The European Commission presented today 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.”
The 2019 Work Programme focuses on just 15 new initiatives, and an additional 10 new Regulatory Fitness evaluations, to review existing legislation and ensure it is still fit for purpose. To ensure a focus on delivery, the Commission Work Programme lists the 45 pending priority proposals under the Joint Declaration on legislative priorities, 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, there has been agreement on around half of these proposals so far, and a further twenty percent are well advanced in the legislative process.
Italy - Draft Budgetary Plan
The European Commission has identified in the draft budgetary plan submitted by Italy for 2019 a particularly serious non-compliance with the fiscal recommendation addressed to Italy by the Council, including Italy, on 13 July 2018 and which were also endorsed by the European Council on 28 June. The Commission also notes that the plan is not in line with the commitments presented by Italy in its Stability Programme of April 2018.
In line with the relevant rules, the Commission has adopted an Opinion that requests Italy to submit a revised draft budgetary plan within three weeks. This is the first time that the Commission has requested the presentation of a revised draft budgetary plan.
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."
The Commission will, for example, integrate the 'subsidiarity grid' proposed by the Task Force into all its Impact Assessments and explanatory memoranda; the grid is a tool to guide the analysis of subsidiarity and proportionality in a structured way. The Commission will also make it easier for national Parliaments to respect the timelines for submitting their opinions on draft proposals, and will examine how to better collect and report on local and regional authorities' views in its public consultations. The Regulatory Fitness Platform, which assesses the regulatory burden of existing EU laws, should also be reshaped to increase the presence of local and regional authorities and should widen its focus to look at subsidiarity and proportionality in addition to its current focus on regulatory burden. In particular, the Commission will ensure that relevant delegated and implementing acts are addressed systematically in its evaluations.