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Commission Work Programme

The European Parliament debates EU priorities for 2017

MEPs want an EU work programme in line with genuine concerns and expectations of the Europeans. In their debate with Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans on Tuesday, they focused on the social dimensions of EU policies, investment, trade, migration and security.

For the first time, aims and priorities agreed between Parliament, Council and Commission for the year to come will be written down in a joint declaration to be signed in December.

The Commission’s programme for next year includes 21 key initiatives, 18 revisions of existing legislation and the repeal of 16 laws which have become obsolete. The Commission also wants to withdraw 19 pending legislative proposals and “put the emphasis on implementation and enforcement”, said Mr Timmermans.

In the debate, some members were disappointed at the absence in the Work Programme of a series of European Parliament priorities set out in the resolution voted on 6 July, such as a "social pillar". Others advocated focusing even more closely on investment, security, and economic recovery.

The challenges posed by migration flows, the threat of terrorism and Brexit as well as EU trade policy issues, in particular CETA, were frequently raised in the debate.

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