On 19 October, the Commission adopted its 2022 Work Programme on the 19 of October 2021 together with its supporting annexes (full list of the 42 new policy initiatives, within 32 policy objectives, under the six headline ambitions) and dedicated factsheet. The program sets out the next steps in its agenda towards a post-COVID-19 Europe that is greener, fairer, more digital, and more resilient.
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This 2022 Work Programme contains 42 new policy initiatives across all six headline ambitions of President von der Leyen's Political Guidelines, building on her 2021 State of the Union speech (A European Green Deal, A Europe fit for the digital age, An economy that works for people, A stronger Europe in the world, Promoting our European way of life & A new push for European democracy). It also reflects the lessons learnt from the crisis caused by the pandemic, while paying particular attention to the young generation with the proposed European Year of Youth 2022.
Please find below some highlights from the published 2022 Work program:
On the European Green Deal, the Commission will continue work on making Europe the world's first climate neutral continent by 2050. On top of its pioneering ‘Fit for 55 package' presented in 2021 as part of the European Green Deal, the Commission will also:
- propose a regulatory framework for certification of carbon removals
- take further steps towards zero-emission mobility (reviewing the CO2 emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles)
- follow up on the zero-pollution action plan to improve water and air quality;
- set new rules on sustainable use of pesticides.
- advance the circular economy by strengthening the right to repair products instead of replacing them.
- in addition to the already proposed Social Climate Fund, the EC will mobilise resources to double the external funding for biodiversity.
- Green bonds will play an increasingly important role
The EC also expresses commitment to place sustainable finance at the forefront of the EU's recovery effort.
Europe fit for the digital age: the Commission will follow up on its path to the digital decade to deliver on the EU's digital transformation by 2030.
The Single Market remains key to Europe's innovation: the Commission is looking at competition policy and will come forward with a Single Market Emergency Instrument to prevent future disruptions.
The adoption of a European Chips Act to promote a state-of-the-art ecosystem and develop new markets for ground-breaking European tech is being prepared.
The Commission will also propose a European Cyber Resilience Act to establish common cybersecurity standards, and begin building an EU space-based global secure communications system to provide additional EU-wide broadband connectivity and secure independent communications to Member States.
Measures to facilitate the uptake of digital skills in schools and higher education will be high on the agenda.
An economy that works for people: the Commission will follow up on the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan as a guide towards quality jobs, fair working conditions and a better work-life balance and will present a proposal to improve the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to asbestos at work.
A stronger Europe in the world: the Commission will set out a new global gateway strategy to build connectivity partnerships around the world to boost trade and investment and continues to strengthen the EU's unique brand of global leadership.
- a new strategy on international energy engagement in pursuit of the global energy transition.
Promoting our European way of life: the Commission has proposed to make 2022 the European Year of Youth and will:
- deploy a new initiative, ALMA (Aim, Learn, Master, Achieve), helping disadvantaged young Europeans who are not in any kind of employment, education or training to gain professional experience abroad with the necessary social support. The ultimate objective is to integrate them into education, vocational training or quality employment.
- present an EU strategy for universities and propose ways for a deeper and more sustainable transnational cooperation in higher education.
Incorporating the lessons learnt from the pandemic, the Commission will present a European care strategy to comprehensively improve care, from childcare to long-term care.
To build up further our European Health Union, the Commission will ensure access to affordable high-quality medicines by proposing a new framework for a dynamic EU pharmaceutical sector; table a revision of legislation on medicines for children and rare diseases; and boost life-saving cancer screening and early diagnosis through a Recommendation on cancer screening.
A new push for European democracy promoted with the Conference on the Future of Europe together with European Citizens' initiatives. The Commission will also:
- take further steps to safeguard media freedom and pluralism (European Media Freedom Act)
- continue to guard the rule of law, central to the effective functioning of the EU.
- fight against cross-border crime with a common legal framework for the efficient transfer of criminal proceedings between Member States high on the agenda.
- continue efforts on the design of the new interinstitutional EU Ethics Body to ensure equality for all.
To minimise the burden linked to our EU policy objectives, the Commission will deploy the ‘one-in, one-out' approach with its work programme, ensuring that when introducing unavoidable new burdens, it systematically & proactively reduces burdens linked to existing EU legislation in the same policy area.
Source: EU Commission