As the European Commission unveils its work programme for the next 12 months, it’s evident that the Commission Work Programme (CWP) 2021 seeks to pave the way for making progress on President Ursula von der Leyen’s political guidelines set out in 2019 and contains legislative initiatives across all six headline ambitions.
The focus is on accelerating the twin green and digital transitions as Europe recovers from the global pandemic.
NextGenerationEU (#NGEU) – the EU’s historic recovery plan with its beefed-up budget amounting to 1.8 trillion euros – represents a ready-made tool to seize the opportunity of building back a better, fairer, healthier, greener and more resilient Europe.
It is now time to move from strategy to delivery as the Von der Leyen Commission has the investment firepower to match its vision and ambition.
The CWP helps to achieve this, outlining 44 new policy objectives, 14 proposals for withdrawal, 41 initiatives for regulatory simplification and identifies 50 ongoing priority files.
Some highlights include:
- A “Fit for 55 Package” to align policy frameworks with the ambitious 2030 emissions reduction targets of 55% (still being negotiated). Measures will cover everything from renewables, energy efficiency, buildings, and land use to energy taxation, effort sharing and emissions trading.
- A proposal for a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism to help ensure a level-playing field and also WTO-compatible.
- Measures to build a stronger health union, notably through proposals on the creation of a European Health Data Space and the establishment of a new European biomedical research and development agency (BARDA).
- To deliver Europe’s digital decade, a roadmap with clearly defined goals for 2030 will be published. There will be legislative proposals on artificial intelligence and a Data Act to set the right conditions for data sharing for businesses and citizens.
- A proposal on an EU digital tax contributing to the EU’s budgetary resources by Q2 2021, which will depend on progress made at the OECD level.
- An update of Europe’s industrial strategy to reflect the impacts of the global pandemic.
- Continue the ongoing review of competition rules to ensure they are fit for accelerating the green and digital transitions.
- Legislative proposals on sustainable corporate governance to foster long-term sustainable and responsible corporate behaviour as well as on establishing an EU green bond standard.
(Written by Alexander Braley with input from Angela Tessarolo & Sophie Marandon)
FIPRA is expertly positioned to advise clients across sectors on the many implications of the Commission Work Programme 2021. Contact our team who can assist in understanding what these legislative and policy announcements mean for your business.