The adoption of the annual work programme of the European Commission is always an important moment to follow for every lobbyist in Brussels. It reveals what the Commission is going to do and what new proposals for law it will put forward. The latter is obviously very relevant since the Commission, as you will know, is the only institution that can propose laws.
The 2024 programme adopted this week is different because the next year is one of where a new college of Commissioners will be appointed, following the European Parliament elections in June. These election years are usually not the years when many new laws are proposed and looking at the 2024 programme, this will not be different this time. But do not underestimate the importance of a transition year.
The college of Commissioners – the 27 Commissioners who head the European Commission - is the body that gives political orientation to the institution. At the same time, there around 32,000 permanent and contract employees who work in the Commission and who represent experience, know-how and continuity. For them, a transition year will be used to pave the way for new laws and initiatives for the next Commission to pick up. It is therefore important to assess the trends in EU policy making and define which ongoing initiatives the new Commission is likely going to pursue.
From the 2024 programme published this week, we pick out a few areas where we can expect continuation and new initiatives by a new college of Commissioners. The Commission announced proposals on: animal transport, forest monitoring, taxonomy reporting and new thresholds of the accounting directive and European Space Law,
In addition, there are several non-binding initiatives that will set the frame for future laws. For example: communication on pre-enlargement reforms, a call for evidence on reporting requirements, evaluation and fitness checks on existing legislation, clean transition dialogues with industry and social partners, strategic dialogue on agriculture, 2040 climate target, European wind power package, initiative water resilience, space strategy for security and defence, strategy on space data economy.
With this in mind, and with all the enforcement and implementing measures that are not mentioned here, we underline that 2024 is going to be an important year for any economic operator exposed to EU politics and regulation.
We have prepared an infographic, summarising the upcoming proposals announced in the European Commission Work Programme. Download our infographic below.