Commission wishes to focus on sustainable growth

Publish date: October 26, 2012

Written by: Sirin Engen

On 23 October, the Commission presented an ambitious work programme for 2013 which includes the development of a new climate and energy package for the period leading up to 2030.

In addition to the general climate and energy package, the work programme initiates to update EU rules on air pollution. The NEC Directive has been identified as very important in order to meet the EU’s 2020 objectives for human health and the environment, and the Commission is expected to review this legislation next year.

Furthermore, the Commission has announced that it will look into the current legislation on waste and resource management, including key targets in the Waste Framework Directive, the Landfill Directive, and the Packaging Directive.

The creation of an environmental and energy assessment framework for unconventional hydrocarbon extraction can also be expected in 2013. This follows the release of three EU studies focusing on different aspects of shale gas exploration in September.

Moreover, the Commission plans to initiate a nuclear insurance and liability proposal. EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger proclaimed earlier this month that nuclear operators should have to buy liability insurance to cover damages from accidents, even if this might push up energy costs.

In President Barroso’s State of the Union address of 12 September, he set out an ambitious vision for the EU; to return to sustainable growth. This is the overarching task and the end goal for the Commission Work Programme 2013 (CWP. The programme sets out how the Commission will work to this end for the next year and beyond. This year’s programme is of particular significance all the while it is the last to be presented by the current Commission before the end of its term in 2014. The CWP reflects the current economic situation in parts of the EU when it wishes to focus on what are the most pressing priorities – reviving growth and creating jobs.

The adoption of the CWP is the result of an intense structured dialogue with the European Parliament, the Committee of the Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee on the priorities of the Union.

The Commission will now work closely with the European Parliament and the Council, as well as stakeholders, including national parliaments to take these objectives forward and ensure the tangible results for European citizens. Bellona Europa will work to influence this process in order to ensure the highest possible standards for the protection of the environment.

More information on the CWP can be found here