Fabian Demicoli

EU Annual Policy Strategy

 COM (2009) 73  This Annual Policy Strategy paves the way for establishing a policy agenda for 2010 and launches the interinstitutional dialogue on the priorities for next year. While it is the responsibility of the current Commission to ensure the continuity of the institution's strategic planning and programming system, it must also take account of the fact that a new Commission will be in office in 2010.

The European Economic Recovery Plan provides a solid basis for building the conditions for recovery. Its implementation during the rest of 2009 and into 2010 will be a matter of high priority. To make sure that the EU comes out of the crisis stronger and better able to take advantage of the upturn we need to continue with the structural reforms under the Lisbon Growth and Jobs Strategy, in a spirit of partnership between the European institutions and Member States.

Communicating EU issues will be crucial in a year marked by several institutional changes and amongst these issues is the economic and social recovery issue which is of direct interest to citizens. Thus, the Commission will seek that all member states meet their commitment to pursue and coordinate their national efforts under the Lisbon Strategy for Growth and Jobs and under the Stability and Growth Pact.

The Commission is committing itself to ensuring that all systemically-important institutions are appropriately regulated and will shortly be presenting proposals for financial services reform so it could address the exposed inadequancies and weaknesses following the crisis. The Commission will also attempt to continue and work on the open single market with all the member states respectively. One of the priorities in 2010 will be to manage the impact of crisis-related changes in Europe's economy through state aid and merger control activity. Stepping up the fight against cartels and the enforcement of competition rules in network industries (energy, ICT, transport, post and financial services) will also aid economic recovery.

Furthermore, in 2009 it is expected that network industries will make gas markets, etc more competitive through the implementation of legislation and in 2010 the establishment of an integrated policy approach to the digital services economy and recast the current ICT policy framework. 2010 will also see the follow-up to the renewed broadband strategy to be rolled out by the Commission in 2009, including the likely extension of broadband access to rural areas.

The need of combating counterfeiting and piracy is to be addressed as well. Efforts to create a Community patent and patent litigation system will continue. As regards Europe's research to be more effective, the 7th Research Framework Programme will remain a cornerstone of the construction of the ERA. Effective implementation of the broad-based innovation strategy will help to convert research into commercial success. As regards the transport sector, Commission will further seek the future of an EU transport policy. Undoubtedly, the Commission addresses other issues such as climate change and sustainable Europe, putting the citizen first, Europe as a world partner and better regulation and transparency which can be found in the document.

Following the successful conclusion of UN's climate change conference in Copenhagen, EU decided to give it a key priority. Finally, the requirements for the Middle East Peace Process, Cuba, Georgia, Kosovo, support to the reunification process in Cyprus and climate change will depend on developments in the coming months. The Commission will complement its requests during the budgetary procedure.

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