Today, Commission adopted its Work Program for 2021, which aims to create a healthier, fairer and more prosperous Europe and accelerate its long-term transformation into a greener economy ready for the digital age. The program contains new legislative initiatives within all six main ambitions of President von der Leyen's political guidelines and follows her first speech on the state of the Union. In parallel with the work to achieve the priorities of this program, the Commission will continue to work hard to manage the current crisis and build the resilience of European economies and societies.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: Our main priority will continue to be to save lives and secure sources of income endangered by the coronavirus pandemic. We have already achieved a lot. But Europe has not yet recovered and is on a fierce blow from the second wave. We still have to be careful, but also do more, all of us. The European Commission will continue to work to procure a future vaccine for all Europeans, and will continue to help our economies recover in the context of the green and digital transition.
Achieving the Union's priorities: The Commission's Work Program for 2021 shows a shift from strategy to implementation in all six policy priorities. It is a confirmation of the Commission's determination to lead the green and digital transition, a unique opportunity to overcome the instability of this crisis and breathe new vitality into the Union.
1. European Green Agenda
In order for Europe to become climate neutral by 2050, the Commission will present the so-called package for the 55% target, ie to reduce emissions by at least 55% by 2030. The package will cover various areas: renewable energy sources, energy efficiency, land use, energy taxation, emission burden sharing and emissions trading. The mechanism for the marginal adjustment of carbon emissions will contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions and a level playing field, as it will encourage the EU's partners to increase their climate ambitions. In addition, the Commission will propose measures to implement the European Circular Economy Action Plan, EU biodiversity strategies and field-to-table strategies.
2. A Europe ready for the digital age
For the European "digital decade", the Commission will present a plan with clearly defined digital targets for 2030, relating to connectivity, skills and digital public services. Central to it will be the right to privacy and connectivity, freedom of speech, free flow of data and cybersecurity. The Commission intends to adopt regulations in the areas of security, accountability, fundamental rights and data aspects of artificial intelligence. In this spirit, it will also propose European electronic identification. Initiatives include updating the industrial strategy for Europe to take into account the effects of coronavirus, and a legislative proposal to improve platform working conditions.
3. Economy in the interest of citizens
In order not to turn the health and economic crisis into a social crisis, the Commission will propose an ambitious action plan for the full implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights so that no one is neglected in Europe's recovery. The Commission will also propose a new European guarantee for children, ensuring that all children meet basic needs such as health and education. To support our economies and strengthen economic and monetary union, it will review the framework for dealing with the collapse of EU banks, take steps to increase cross-border investment in the Union and fight money laundering more vigorously.
4. A stronger Europe in the world
The Commission will ensure that Europe plays a key role in today's volatile world, including by leading global efforts to produce a safe and accessible vaccine. It will propose joint communication on increasing the EU's contribution to rule-based multilateralism, a renewed partnership with our southern neighborhood, and communication on Arctic policy. It will also present a new strategic approach to support the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants. Communication on EU humanitarian aid will consider new forms of cooperation with our partners and other donors.
5. Promoting the European way of life
Due to the COVID-19 disease crisis, the Commission will propose building a stronger European Health Union, primarily by strengthening the role of existing agencies and establishing a new agency for advanced biomedical research and development. Next, it will present a new strategy for the future of Schengen in order to preserve and improve its functioning. The new Migration and Asylum Pact will bring several proposals for measures for legal migration, including a package on talent and skills. Other elements include an action plan against migrant smuggling and a sustainable strategy for voluntary return and reintegration. The Commission will continue to strengthen the security union by fighting terrorism, organized crime and hybrid threats. It will also present a comprehensive anti-Semitic strategy.
6. A new push for European democracy
With a view to building a Union of equality, the Commission will present new strategies on the rights of the child and persons with disabilities and a proposal to combat gender-based violence. He will also suggest that all forms of hate crimes and hate speech be classified as criminal offenses in the Union. It will then propose clearer rules on the financing of European political parties and take measures to protect journalists and civil society from abuse of justice. As part of a long-term vision for rural areas, it will propose measures to exploit the full potential of these areas.
Given that the planned initiatives are long-term and bring about major changes, it is extremely important that the most effective regulations are adopted, taking into account the future. This will be emphasized in the forthcoming Communication on Better Regulation, which will focus on simplification and reduction of the burden, primarily by introducing a "one-for-one" approach. The Fit for Future platform will also help the Commission achieve this ambition, especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to get the best results in practice, the Commission will intensify information activities, with a conference on the future of Europe at the center.
All 44 new policy objectives under the six main ambitions are set out in the first annex to the 2021 Work Program.