On 13 September, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, delivered his third State of the Union address to the Members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
This document officially marks the start of the dialogue with the European Parliament and the Council to prepare the Commission Work Programme for next year. A letter of intent was sent by Jean-Claude Juncker to European Parliament President Antonio Tajani and Jüri Rata, Prime Minister of Estonia, holding the Presidency of the Council of the EU.
This letter details actions envisaged by the Juncker Commission during its last 16 months in office, the so called a "Roadmap for a More United, Stronger and More Democratic Union".
The document, which constitutes, the European Commission Draft Work Programme, puts forward actions to be presented and/or complemented by the end of 2018 but also a set of initiatives with the ambition to shape the EU agenda until 2025 articulated around 10 priorities in line with the five—year Commission programme:
The second priority, a connected Digital Single Market Initiatives to be launched and/or completed by end 2018 might be of special interest. It contains the following initiatives:
· Cyber-Security package tabled on September 13 including: a proposal to strengthen the Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA); an implementation toolkit for the Network and Information Security Directive; a blueprint for effective response in case of cyber-attacks affecting several Member States; enhancing the Union's strategic autonomy by boosting research capacity and building effective cyber-defence, cyber-hygiene and the right skills both inside Europe and with partners worldwide, including NATO
· Data package tabled on September 13 unlocking the potential of the data economy by ensuring a free flow of non-personal data within Europe
· Initiative on online platforms to safeguard a fair, predictable, sustainable and trusted business environment in the online economy
· Adoption by the co-legislators of 14 legislative proposals including: the telecoms package; the copyright package; geoblocking; audio-visual and media frameworks; parcel delivery; e-Privacy Regulation; and EU rules on the protection of personal data when processed by EU Institutions and bodies
· Commission guidance to prepare citizens, business and public administrations for the direct application of the General Data Protection Regulation as of 25 May 2018
· Revision of the Commission guidelines on market analysis and the assessment of significant market power in the electronic communications sector
· Initiative addressing the challenges which online platforms create for democracies as regards the spreading of fake information
The College of Commissioners is set to adopt the final European Commission Work programme on 24 October 2017 which will be followed by a Joint Declaration on the EU's legislative priorities for 2018 from the EP, Council and Commission later this year. No major changes are expected from the Roadmap detailed above and the final Commission Work Programme.