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Work Programme 2017

As of 2017 The European Commission has a range of priorities including:

Jobs, Growth and Investment

Since the global economic and financial crisis, the EU has been suffering from low levels of investment. Coordinated efforts at European level are needed to put Europe on the path of economic recovery. The Investment Plan for Europe, the so-called Juncker Plan, focuses on creating jobs and boosting growth by making smarter use of financial resources, removing obstacles to investment and providing visibility and technical assistance to investment projects.

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Digital Single Market

The internet and digital technologies are transforming our world. But existing barriers online mean citizens miss out on goods and services, internet companies and start-ups have their horizons limited, and businesses and governments cannot fully benefit from digital tools. It's time to make the EU's single market fit for the digital age – tearing down regulatory walls and moving from 28 national markets to a single one. This could contribute €415 billion per year to our economy and create hundreds of thousands of new jobs.

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Energy Union and Climate

European energy union will ensure that Europe has secure, affordable and climate-friendly energy. Wiser energy use while fighting climate change is both a spur for new jobs and growth and an investment in Europe's future. The state of the energy union shows progress made since the energy union framework strategy was adopted to bring about the transition to a low-carbon, secure and competitive economy.

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Internal Market

The single market is one of Europe’s major achievements and its best asset in times of increasing globalisation. It is an engine for building a stronger and fairer EU economy. By allowing people, goods, services and capital to move more freely it opens up new opportunities for citizens, workers, businesses and consumers - creating the jobs and growth Europe so urgently needs. More integrated and deeper capital markets will channel more funding to companies, especially SMEs, and infrastructure projects. Better worker mobility will let people move more freely where their skills are needed. And combatting tax evasion and tax fraud will ensure that all contribute their fair share.

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A Deeper and Fairer Economic and Monetary Union

The Commission's work on completing the economic and monetary union builds on the Five Presidents' Report, which set out four areas where work is needed. The Five Presidents' Report is the result of numerous consultations between the Sherpas of Member States, the Sherpas of the Presidents of the EU institutions involved and the Five Presidents.

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A Balanced and Progressive Trade Policy to Harness Globalisation

In the modern global economy trade is essential for growth, jobs and competiveness, and the EU is committed to maintaining an open and rules-based trading system. With the rising threat of protectionism and weakened commitment of large players to global trade governance, the EU must take the lead. EU trade policy helps to create new jobs and new trade and investment opportunities for companies, big and small. For consumers, trade agreements cut prices and widen choice, while keeping the EU's high standards for consumer protection, social rights and environmental rules. Our trade policy also boosts Europe's influence in the world, project our values and attract more investment. Trade agreements help us achieve all these goals. The EU has reached a political agreement with Japan, and is about make the EU-Canada agreement effective. The Commission continues negotiating with many partners, notably Mexico and the Mercosur countries (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay). Negotiations with partners from other parts of the world could start in the coming months.

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Justice and Fundamental Rights

Every EU citizen enjoys the same fundamental rights based on the values of equality, non-discrimination, inclusion, human dignity, freedom and democracy.These values are fortified and protected by the rule of law, spelled out in the EU Treaties and the Charter of Fundamental Rights. The Commission reinforces the right for EU citizens to cross borders effortlessly, as well as to live, work, study and get married in other EU countries, while safeguarding their personal data and empowering them as consumers. Peace remains one of EU's fundamental principles and demands efficient and competent approach to terrorism, human trafficking and cybercrime.

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Migration

The plight of thousands of migrants putting their lives in peril to cross the Mediterranean has shocked. It is clear that no EU country can or should be left alone to address huge migratory pressures. The European Commission's agenda on migration sets out a European response, combining internal and external policies, making best use of EU agencies and tools, and involving all actors: EU countries and institutions, international organisations, civil society, local authorities and national partners outside the EU.

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A Stronger Global Actor

The EU needs a strong common foreign policy to:

  • Respond efficiently to global challenges, including the crises in its neighbourhood
  • Project its values reject protectionism and keep EU trade standards
  • Contribute to peace and prosperity in the world.

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Democratic Change

For the first time, in 2014, EU countries had to take the results of the elections into account when proposing a candidate for European Commission President. Albeit an important step, this is only the first of many in making the European Union more democratic and bringing it closer to its citizens. Europeans have the right to know who Commissioners and Commission staff, Members of the European Parliament and representatives of the Council meet in the context of the legislative process. The Commission is committed to bringing a new lease of life to the relationship with the European Parliament, as well as to working more closely with national parliaments.

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2017 Priorities

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