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Tuesday, 06 April 2010

Commission unveils workplan for 2010 and beyond

Tackling the economic crisis and its social impact are the European Commission's top priorities for the next year and beyond. But the EU executive's work plan was branded by the socialists as "a job-loss programme".The Commission highlighted four main strands in its work programme:Tackling the economic crisis and sustaining Europe's social market economy; Building a citizens' agenda which puts people at the heart of European action; Developing an ambitious and coherent external agenda with global outreach; Modernising EU instruments and ways of working. With the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the EU's role as a global player is expected to improve, mainly via the appointment of Catherine Ashton as high representative for foreign and security policy and the establishment of a European diplomatic service (European External Action Service.The Commission says it is committed to strengthening the EU not only as a political power, but also as an economic bloc to face global financial and economic challenges.
"One of the key lessons of the global crisis is that the size of the EU and the euro area matter in influencing global policy responses," reads the Commission work programme. Brussels "will propose to consolidate European representation in international financial institutions," the paper underlines.
In the years to come, the Commission will propose "a three-stage approach to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of euro area [and] EU representation in the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank," it says. Trade also ranks among the top priorities, with a trade strategy for 2020 expected in the autumn. The objective is to "continue working towards reducing barriers to international flows of trade and investment".Closing the Doha Round and opening new global negotiations on "sectors of the future" such as the high-tech, environmental technology and international standardisation sectors will be crucial targets of the trade strategy.

Source: Euractiv