The EU Commission work plan for 2018: a long-term vision approach to prepare the ‘future Europe’

Tuesday 31 October 2017

This month, the EU Commission presented its work plan for 2018 called ‘A more United, Stronger and More Democratic Europe’, following up the State of Union of September in order to prepare the future Europe.[1]

On the 24th of October, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, presented the Institution’s working plan for 2018 in front of the European Parliament, gathered in Strasbourg for its plenary session. Next year work plan aims at achieving the 10 Political Priorities set up by the EU Commission in July 2014[2], and establishes the Commission’s programme for the next fourteen months. However, it has been underlined that some initiatives presented in the document will only be achieved by 2025 and even afterwards[3], which emphasizes the long-term vision and approach of the work plan.[4]

As already affirmed in the State of Union on the 13th of September 2017 and in the Roadmap for a More United, Stronger and More Democratic Union[5], the EU Commission reiterates the necessity to have a solidary Europe and calls for its unity, especially regarding the current political context and the progressing Brexit negotiations.[6] This was already highlighted during the meeting in Rome on the 25th of March 2017 which celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome.[7]

Among the keys issues tackled in the work plan, the EU Commission introduced its propositions regarding trade agreements with other countries such as Japan, Singapore and Vietnam, about migration and also measures ‘to complete the digital single market, the capital markets union, the economic and monetary Union and the banking union’.[8]

Among the new initiatives presented, a new strategy on plastic use and reuse and recycling has been unveiled. This strategy is part of the action plan to implement the Circular Economy Package, and will be delivered by the end of the year. This package has been adopted by the EU Commission on December 2, 2015 and aims at ‘[supporting] the transition towards a more circular economy in the EU’[9]. Furthermore, a new initiative deals with the EU Food supply chain. By the first quarter of 2018, the Commission will present a proposal on this issue, which will include an impact assessment.[10]

The EU Commission praised the current good economic situation in Europe.  Indeed, it was estimated that 8 million jobs have been created during the actual EU Commission’s mandate.[11]

President Juncker declared that:

Europe is regaining its strength, and we must take advantage of this renewed momentum. We have already put on the table 80% of the proposals we promised when this Commission took office. The priority must now be on turning proposals into law, and law into practice. The sooner the European Parliament and the Council complete their work, the sooner we will see the benefits of our joint efforts.[12]

Nonetheless, 66 priority pending proposals have been identified[13]. Among them, the climate package remains one of the priorities of the Commission, with three proposals to be adopted regarding, firstly, emission reductions and low-carbon investments, then, the inclusion of greenhouse gas emissions and removals from land use, land use change and forestry into the 2030 climate and energy framework. Finally, the last proposal concerns binding annual greenhouse gas emission reductions by Member States within the framework of the Paris Agreement.

Thus, the EU Commission asks the EU Council and European Parliament to work closely together in order to complete this plan before 2019. This programme shows the willingness of the EU Commission to finish its work on the key issues it has identified while preparing the future Europe, after the end of its mandate[14], knowing that the European elections that will take place in May 2019 will slow down and then suspend all legislative work at the beginning of 2019.



[3], page 10, Delivering by 2025: a more United, Stronger and more Democratic union.




[7] , page 2.


[9], page 2.

[10]‘New proposals are accompanied by impact assessments which explore how policy goals can be achieved in the most efficient way without imposing unnecessary burdens’,

[11], page 2.




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