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What to expect from the European Commission in 2022

On 19 October 2021, the Vice-President of the European Commission and Commissioner for Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight, Maroš Šefčovič presented the European Commission Work Programme for 2022 to the European Parliament. The Work Programme sets out the list of actions the Commission will take in the coming twelve months and informs the public and the co-legislators of the EC’s new initiatives, the pending proposals it intends to withdraw and the EU legislation it plans to review.

The Commission's 2022 Work Programme lists the key legislative proposals that should be prioritised to ensure the implementation of all six of the Commission's key ambitions to create a fairer and more resilient Europe.

Commissioner Šefčovič delineated several sectors which the Commission plans to tackle in 2022 and stated that the roots of the work program lie on the most relevant challenges for the EU: climate change, the EU’s defense capability, and the protection of the democratic principles.

Below, an analysis of the main topics touched upon during the intervention:

Green Deal

From the Work Programme presentation, it emerged that achieving the objectives outlined in the Green Deal remains the Commission’s priority. Commissioner Šefčovič announced that new measures will be introduced to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, such as a certification framework for carbon removals, to boost sustainable deployment and create a new business model to reward land managers. Moreover, to deliver the Zero Pollution Action Plan, the EC will tackle surface and groundwater pollutants as well as ambient air quality.

Digital Transition

Covid-19 has revealed the shortcomings and dependences of the EU digital sector. For this reason, the EC intends to present the Chips Act, which will help to foster and innovate the European ecosystem for semiconductors, in order to develop new markets for European companies and prevent current supply shortages in the future. In addition, a series of reform packages will be presented to enable citizens to benefit from the digital transition, with a special focus on students and schools.

Single Market

The Commission wants to ensure that citizens and businesses can fully benefit from the single market even during times of severe crisis. Therefore, the EC will propose a new Single Market Emergency Instrument.

Protection of workers

To reach a socially fair European economy based on social rights, the EC will propose concrete actions to protect workers from risk-related exposure from asbestos at work and will publish a recommendation regarding the adoption of the minimum wage.

A stronger Europe in the World

The EC will continue its effort to protect and affirm rules of multilateralism. Commissioner Šefčovič mentioned that the Commission is looking to establish relations in the field of energy, telecommunications, and transport. The Commission will work towards a strategic partnership with Gulf, a region of vast importance for the EU on several regional and global issues. Then, the EC will present an action plan on the international ocean governance that will confirm the EU’s ambition to reach the goals of the UN 2030 Agenda. Moreover, the EC will propose a new strategy on international energy engagement with the goal of moving away from fossil fuel imports and towards green energy solutions.

Ridens Public Affairs welcomes the European Commission’s work programme for 2022 while stressing the importance of coordination and consistency of regulatory frameworks to avoid overburden of industry and legal uncertainty.

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