Knowing the role of the European Commission in the EU decision making is key to define your business strategies and secure business
The Commission has recently presented its long awaited list of priority initiatives for 2016. These strategic policy measures are launched in the context of the EU Work Programmes 2015 and 2016. Many of these initiatives will form the next wave of EU law or will serve as the basis to reshape existing legislation.
Before this can happen, the Commission is involved in a legislative preparatory process where interaction with relevant stakeholders takes place. In this sense, when starting the process for a new law or initiative, the Commission must assess the potential economic, social and environmental consequences through impact assessments which ensure that relevant in-house expertise is used, together with input from stakeholders. When carrying out this task, the Commission work from roadmaps that have been prepared by its different departments setting out the work ahead. After these are conducted, public consultations with stakeholders and interested parties are launched. These usually serve as a channel for collecting the evidence, views, concerns and opinions needed to produce proposals suitable for an EU made up 28 countries.
The list presented is ambitious and quite extensive in its scope of work. It includes a wide range of categories such as proposals, communications, agendas, reports, evaluations, REFIT, etc. Regarding the ICT sector, and the establishment of the Digital Single Market, it is worth highlighting the “Proposal to establish free flow of data within the Digital Single Market (to remove unjustified data location restrictions)”; the Communication "A Competitive and Innovative Cybersecurity Industry -Securing Digital Technologies in Europe" and the “Revision of the European Interoperability Strategy (EIS) and the European Interoperability Framework (EIF)”. Concerning EU External Aid programmes the Commission intends to undertake a Mid-Term Evaluation of the Instrument for Pre-accession assistance II (IPA) and the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI). In terms of transparency and doing business with the EU, the Commission will submit a Proposal for an Interinstitutional Agreement (IIA) on a Mandatory Transparency Register – there is currently an open public consultation regarding this topic. In the field of Capital Markets, a Report is e expected on national barriers to free movement of capital which prevent a fully integrated Capital Markets Union and roadmap for their removal. Finally, in terms of environment protection, a proposal will be presented on continuing the Effort-Sharing Decision until 2030 for certain sectors not covered by the EU Emissions Trading System. To see the full list of initiatives please click here.