Select Committee on European Union Twenty-Third Report

The Commission's Annual Policy Strategy for 2009

CHAPTER 1: Introduction

What is the Commission's Annual Policy Strategy?

1.  The Annual Policy Strategy is one of the two key strategic planning documents published by the European Commission each year. The Annual Policy Strategy (or APS) published in the spring sets out the Commission's priorities for the following year, and forms the basis for discussion within the EU institutions and beyond. This discussion is intended to influence the Commission's Annual Legislative and Work Programme, published in the autumn, which fleshes out those priorities and sets out detailed plans for the year ahead.

Our report

2.  This report sets out our views on the Annual Policy Strategy for 2009.[1] The Annual Policy Strategy gives us the opportunity to scrutinise the Commission's intentions as early in the legislative process as possible. Given the fact that a new college of Commissioners will be appointed in November 2009, we comment on the Commission's overarching priorities for the coming year. We express our preliminary views on some of the Commission's plans, looking at whether the Commission's proposed action is appropriate and achievable, with the aim of influencing the Commission's Annual Legislative and Work Programme for 2009. We also examine the Commission's better regulation agenda and communication priorities, and scrutinise the Commission's proposed allocation of financial and human resources. Finally, we discuss the Annual Policy Strategy as a consultation document, including whether there is enough clarity about the document's purpose, and whether the Government gives it sufficient attention.

3.  We thank Jim Murphy MP, Minister for Europe, and Commissioner Margot Wallström, Commission Vice-President and Commissioner for Institutional Relations and Communication Strategy, for providing us with both written and oral evidence. We make this report to the House for debate.

1   The Commission's Annual Policy Strategy for 2009 (Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions: Annual Policy Strategy for 2009 (COM(2008) 72 final)) is available at  Back

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