Annual activity report lists achievements including stronger economic governance, measures to boost growth and jobs and giving people a say in EU lawmaking.
Last year the EU responded to a number of major challenges, including addressing the ongoing economic and financial crisis, uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East, and leading global negotiations on climate change, international trade and development.
The EU general report 2011 sums up all of these activities by the EU institutions over the year. This article features some of the highlights.
In response to the crisis, the EU continued the fundamental reform of its economic policies. It tightened economic governance with measures for greater policy coordination among EU countries, oversight of public budgets and sanctions. And in December, the bloc adopted a major new set of rules for economic and fiscal surveillance.
New EU-wide bodies were created to help national regulators supervise the financial services sector.
EU action also supported eurozone countries facing a public debt crisis. Long-term measures are being considered to support countries that may need help in future.
A targeted plan for recovery
The EU continued to adjust its recovery plans to make the EU’s economy more competitive. Among them is the Single Market Act, which identifies 12 priority measures to make the EU work better for consumers, workers and businesses.
Energy, climate and environment were also high on the agenda. EU governments agreed to speed up the integration of the EU’s energy markets and infrastructure and improve energy efficiency.
Early in 2011, legislation establishing a Citizens' Initiative was adopted. From April 2012, citizens and other groups that can muster sufficient support will be able to call on the Commission to propose EU laws on specific issues of interest to them, giving them a direct say in the policy-making process.
Following the uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East, the EU launched a new European neighbourhood policy in May – based on forging a shared commitment to democracy.
In December, Croatia signed a membership treaty and is set to become the 28th EU country on 1 July 2013.