EU COMMISSION´S PRIORITIES
On December 1st 2019, the new Commission led by President Ursula von der Leyen took office. For its 5-year mandate it has set the following 6 political priorities that will further extend to concrete legislative or non-legislative activities:
- A European Green Deal
- An economy that woks for people
- A Europe fit for the digital age
- Protecting our European way of life
- A stronger Europe in the world
- A new push for European democracy
The new structure of the European Commission confirms that climate and digital transformation will be its top priorities. Ursula von der Leyen considers both to be the „enabling“ priorities of the EU. This means that these objectives will have to be taken into account in all proposed EU policies. Both portfolios are managed by Executive Vice-Presidents - climate policy is led by Mr Frans Timmermans and digital by Ms Margrethe Vestager. Mr Timmermans also has the second strongest position in the Commission.
The first priority of the current European Commission, the European Green Deal, is the most relevant for the Ministry of Environment of the Slovak Republic. Its agenda is covered by two members of the Commission - the Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal and the Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries.
Priorities of the Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, Frans Timmermans (2019-2024)
- A commitment to achieve climate neutrality in the EU by 2050 and to enshrine this goal in EU legislation within 100 days of his appointment;
- EU emissions reduction to a minimum of -50% to -55% by 2030;
- For EU be a leader in international climate negotiations and to convince as many countries for the cause as possible;
- The green transition should be a just transition – this will be achieved by the new Just Transition Fund;
- Coordination of biodiversity, air and water protection and protection against noise and hazardous chemicals;
- Coordination of work on circular economy and tax and agricultural policies in order to contribute to climate goals;
- Reduction of emissions from transport and maritime activities;
- Raising awareness of climate change in the EU (the European Climate Pact);
- Implementation of major climate legislation by 2030.
The Executive Vice-President is in charge of the Directorate-General for Climate Action (DG CLIMA).
Priorities of the Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius(2019-2024)
The Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries addresses the protection of landscape, natural environment, seas and oceans, which are all part of the EU's social fabric and a source of great natural and economic wealth. His goal is to take measures to preserve and protect these areas and make the best use of their potential, including investing in the future and securing them for future generations. Environment, blue economy and fisheries are an integral part of the European Green Deal, which will help meet climate ambitions while creating jobs and sustainable growth.
Sinkevičius has committed himself to achieving the following objectives:
- EU's global effort to reduce biodiversity loss, to present a new Biodiversity Strategy by 2030 and to ensure an ambitious agreement is reached at the 2020 Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity;
- The ambition for "zero pollution" with overlap to air and water quality, hazardous chemicals, emissions, pesticides and endocrine disruptors;
- A new Circular Economy Action Plan to ensure the sustainable use of resources;
- Microplastics and ensuring the implementation of existing legislation for plastics;
- Ensuring the full implementation of the reformed EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), with an emphasis on effective control and enforcement and compliance with the maximum sustainable yield target;
- An evaluation of the implementation of the CFP until 2022 to identify how to address issues that are not sufficiently covered by current policies, such as social dimension, adaptation to climate change and clean oceans;
- Contributing to the "Farm to Fork" sustainable food strategy;
- Ensuring EU leadership in international ocean governance;
- Combating illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, supporting others in improving their methods;
- Cooperation with the Commissioner for Trade to reach a global agreement in the WTO to ban fishing subsidies that contribute to overfishing, illegal fishing and overcapacity;
- Introduce a new approach for a sustainable blue economy to bring together all elements from marine knowledge and research to maritime spatial planning, marine renewable energy, blue investment and regional maritime cooperation.
The Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries is in charge of the Directorate-Genereal for Environment (DG ENV) and the Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE).
Full text of EC President Political Guidelines accessible at:
Find out more information about the Commission Work Programme 2020 at:
Find out more about F. Timmermans´s commitments made at the hearing in front of the European Parliament at:
Find out more about V. Sinkevičius´s commitments made at the hearing in front of the European Parliament at: