Following on from the announcements made in President Juncker's 2017 State of the Union Address, the European Commission adopted on 24 October 2017 its 2018 Work Programme.
The Work Programme for 2018 includes 26 initiatives to be presented by May 2018, to complete measures ahead of the European elections of June 2019 and to prepare the EU for 2025 and beyond.
In its programme, the Commission lists 66 pending proposals and ongoing legislative negotiations, which were presented in 2016 and 2017 and require rapid adoption by the Council and the European Parliament. Further, eighteen ongoing legislative proposals should be withdrawn or repealed, as negotiations are either stuck or are out-of-date.
As Commission President Juncker pointed out in his State of the Union speech, 2018 will be the last year in which his Commission will propose new legislation. In 2019, the European election will be held and a new Commission could be in place by November. It’s also the year in which the UK will leave the EU bloc.
The Work Programme for 2018 demonstrates the Commission’s focus on the big issues where European solutions are necessary. Whereas there are no healthcare initiatives as such, it should be remembered that VPH is a flagship of the Digital Agenda. Overall, the Work Programme can be considered ambitious as it includes measures to put in place the Digital Single Market and Energy Union, ensure fair taxation of companies and social fairness, complete the Capital Markets Union, strengthen the Economic and Monetary Union and banking union, further combat terrorism and establishing the blueprint for the Union’s next multi-annual financial framework.
The structure of the Commission Work Programme consists of a political Communication and five annexes.
Every year, the Commission adopts a Work Programme setting out the list of actions it will take in the year ahead. The Work Programme informs the public and the co-legislators of the Commission’s political commitments to present new initiatives, withdraw pending proposals and review existing EU legislation.