The Commission’s roadmap for 2012 will target economic growth, financial sector reform and giving the EU an effective voice in the wider world.
In total, 129 new initiatives are planned for next year, but a strong emphasis will also be placed on taking forward what has already been adopted or is in the pipeline.
The top priority will be to swiftly implement a package of proposals to restore confidence in the European economy, together with new measures to counter the current difficult economic prospects.
Financial sector reform
With proposed rules on derivatives, credit rating agencies, capital requirements and tackling market abuse already tabled, the Commission will focus in 2012 on completing the reforms. An impact assessment of the steps taken will also be made public.
New measures will focus on investor confidence. These will include plans to end tax havens, develop a modern VAT system to combat fraud and cut red tape for small businesses. To protect taxpayers’ money, a proposal will also be put forward to protect EU funding activities from fraud.
Encouraging growth and job creation
With greater economic integration one of the keys to growth and job creation in Europe, particular emphasis will be on the 12 key proposals in the EU's Single Market Act, designed to help EU countries meet current social and economic challenges and speed up recovery from the global financial crisis.
Plans will also be set out to help young job-seekers move around Europe more easily, along with a reform of the European Employment Service to improve access to jobs across borders. New rules will also make it easier to transfer pensions when moving jobs.
The EU on the world stage
Attention will be focused on the EU’s new approach to relations with its neighbours. This policy aims to promote peaceful and prosperous development in eastern Europe and North Africa.
The challenges faced in North Africa this year highlighted the need for a common approach to asylum and border control. A new strategy will be tabled to prevent human trafficking, along with plans to modernise border checks.
Further afield a free trade agreement with Japan will be explored as well as an investment agreement with China. Work will also continue on EU expansion, starting with preparations to welcome Croatia as the EU’s 28th member.