So, what does the EU plan for 2009? The Commission released it's priorities, following is the press release with a link to the document:
Commission presents policy priorities for 2009
The Commission has today presented its Annual Policy Strategy setting out its political priorities for 2009. It outlines the Commission's policy objectives in five priority areas: growth and jobs, climate change and sustainable Europe, making a reality of the common immigration policy, putting the citizen first, and Europe as a world partner. The Commission will seek to gain approval for its legislative initiatives and also look forward by stimulating debate on the internal market, social agenda and budget reviews.
Commission President, Jos‚ Manuel Barroso said, "The European Commission will continue to put its emphasis on delivering concrete results for European citizens. While we hope to have a new institutional architecture in place with the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, our focus will remain on the policy initiatives presented over recent years. Economic reform, more jobs, tackling climate change and energy insecurity, migration and more security for our citizens are at the centre of our priorities for 2009. This Commission can be proud of the achievements it has already achieved; I want to make sure that we continue to be just as productive".
During 2009, the Commission will maintain its focus on delivering results for the benefit of citizens and businesses. Growth and jobs remain a major policy priority for the Union, backed up by further efforts to tackle climate change and to meet the energy needs of the Union. The Commission will follow up on the Single Market review and on the revised Social Agenda. The Commission will also look forward, laying the foundations for the years ahead. On of the main highlights will be the work on the budget review, based on the consultation now underway, which will pave the way for the preparation of the next financial perspectives.
The development of a common immigration policy will be a fundamental priority in order to meet the challenges and harness the opportunities provided by migration in an era of globalisation. Initiatives will be put forward to simplify the life of citizens and ensure their security. Negotiations with candidate countries will be pursued on the basis of the renewed consensus on enlargement. Work to develop closer political and economic ties with partners around the world will continue to intensify, and new partnerships with African countries will be implemented in the context of the Africa/EU strategy. The Commission will also continue to deliver on its better regulation agenda, to focus on the proper enforcement of EU legislation and to ensure the sound management of financial programmes.
2009 will be an important year for the European Union, marked by the possible entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, a new European Parliament and a new European Commission.
In addition to the Commission's policy priorities to be taken forward in 2009, the Annual Policy Strategy proposes an allocation of human and financial resources to reinforce the Commission's ability to deliver in priority areas. The Annual Policy Strategy also identifies the main communication priorities for 2009. The Commission will give specific focus in 2009 to the new possibilities and benefits offered by the Treaty of Lisbon to the citizens of the Union (subject to its entry into force), the review of the EU budget, growth and jobs presented in the perspective of citizens' concerns, and energy and climate change.
On the basis of this Annual Policy Strategy, the Commission will initiate an exchange of views with the European Parliament and Council on where the policy priorities should lie in 2009, and how this should be reflected in the Commission's legislative and work programme to be adopted in October and in the budget for 2009.
More information and the Annual Policy Strategy 2009 can be found at: