European Commission Work Programme 2022

Tuesday 30 November 2021

On 19 October, the European Commission presented its 2022 Work Programme, outlining its legislative and policy priorities for the coming year. The text specifies the overarching objective - ‘make Europe stronger together’ - and announces the priorities: successfully confront the COVID-19 pandemic, the effects of climate change and the nature crisis, and ensure the establishment of a digital world.

In the context of the European Green Deal, the objective remains to make Europe the world’s first climate neutral continent by 2050. Proposals will include:

  • A regulatory framework for the certification of carbon removals to scale up sustainable carbon removals;
  • The review of EU rules on fluorinated greenhouse gases;
  • Green bonds, as part of the Sustainable Europe Investment Plan
  • The follow-up on the zero-pollution action plan, including in the area of integrated water management, to tackle surface and groundwater pollutants and in the area of ambient air quality to align standards with World Health Organisation recommendations;
  • Measures to restrict the addition of microplastics to products; the identification of sustainability challenges of biodegradable and compostable plastics;
  • The revision of the legislation on classification, labelling and packaging and progress towards the revision of the REACH regulation
  • An extension of the objectives of the circular economy.

In the context of the ‘A stronger Europe in the world’, the Commission will also pursue a new strategy on international energy engagement, which will consider new opportunities in deploying a clean energy system and promoting energy efficiency and safe and sustainable technologies while gradually moving away from fossil fuel use towards green energy solutions and promoting a just transition.

In its work programme, the Commission also emphasises that better regulation is fundamental in supporting sustainability and digital transformation. The green and digital ambitions of the Commission and their social and fairness dimensions, together with a focus on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the ‘do no significant harm’ and ‘digital-by-default’ principles, will be more prominent in the Commission evaluations, impact assessments and consultations.

Proposals expected for 2021, but which might be postponed to 2022, are not included in the work programme: this is the casefor a review of the EU Standardisation Strategy and a possible revision of Regulation 1025/2012.

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