2021 Commission work programme: EU must deliver on progressive priorities to secure a recovery for all

21/10/2020 - The PES fully supports priorities across the range of socialist and democrat Commissioners’ portfolios

European Commissioners from the PES political family

File photo. Picture left to right: Vice-President of the European Commission for Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight Maroš Šefčovič, Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni, Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson, Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms Elisa Ferreira, PES President Sergei Stanishev, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission for the European Green Deal Frans Timmermans, S&D leader Iratxe Garcia Perez, Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen, Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli, and Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights Nicolas Schmit.

Socialist and democratic Commissioners are continuing to fight for a fairer and more sustainable Europe for all, the Party of European Socialists said today as it welcomed the progressive priorities in the European Commission’s new work programme. Delivering on all these policies will be key to guaranteeing a recovery that leaves nobody behind.

PES President Sergei Stanishev said:

“We have a strong team of Commissioners fighting to put our priorities into action. From the European Green Deal to strong social rights, from gender equality to better cohesion, socialists are working to improve the lives of everyone.

“We strongly welcome the inclusion of key PES priorities in the work programme, and I thank Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič for his efforts to make sure they are front and centre. These policies are vital to secure a recovery for all."

The PES strongly supports priorities across the range of Commission portfolios.

Maros Sefcovic

Vice-President of the European Commission for Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight, Maroš Šefčovič

Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans continues to lead the European Green Deal’s implementation, progressing the 55% emissions target, emissions trading, renewables, clean mobility, biodiversity and the circular economy. The Green Deal must be the model for Europe’s recovery, supported by the Just Transition Fund overseen by Commissioner Elisa Ferreira and fully harnessing cohesion policy.

We welcome the continued focus of Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni on building this recovery – utilising the flexibility secured in the Stability and Growth Pact - and his work on own resources, the EMU, green bonds, the banking union, fair taxation and the digital economy.

The recovery must also be social, and we welcome the priorities Commissioner Nicolas Schmit has identified. The Action Plan for the Social Pillar, the Child Guarantee, and better working conditions – including for platform workers - are key PES policies which must be implemented.

Gender equality is a further area where real progress is needed. We support the Gender Equality Strategy presented by Commissioner Helena Dalli and want to see it reinforced to tackle the gender-dimension of the COVID crisis. We also commend action on the Istanbul Convention and gender-based violence, the Disability Strategy, and other work Commissioner Dalli is undertaking to achieve equality for all.

In an increasingly fragile world, socialists and democrats stand in defence of rules-based international order. We support High Representative Josep Borrell as he works to safeguard this and promote peaceful conflict resolution and deepen our cooperation with our neighbours. In the face of the pandemic, we continue to support solidarity with the most fragile states, particularly in Africa, and back the continued implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals throughout the world. We welcome the work of Commissioner Jutta Urpilainen in this and other areas.

Commissioner Ylva Johansson’s welcome action under the new Pact on Migration and Asylum will also build cooperation with third countries, improve legal pathways, promote integration, fight smuggling and strengthen Schengen with a new strategy.

In addition, we continue to support action for the digital transition, a stronger Health Union and the conference on the Future of Europe.