2010 will be the first year of implementation of the Stockholm Programme in the area of freedom, security and justice. Drawing on initiatives to be presented in 2009, work will advance on combating terrorist threats and organised crime in a bid to improve citizens’ security.
Another field of work will be the development of the European area of justice, notably through the e-Justice portal, the improvement of mutual recognition in criminal and
civil matters and the granting of further procedural rights. The protection of fundamental rights will remain at the core of EU activity, in particular as regards vulnerable groups such as children. Action will be pursued to promote citizenship and to simplify the life of citizens when travelling to countries outside the EU. New initiatives may be required to meet the privacy challenge in a globalised world.
The European Pact on Immigration and Asylum provides the framework for EU immigration and asylum policies in the coming years. Taking its lead from a Commission report, the European Council will hold its first annual debate on implementation of the Pact in June 2010. On integration, the initiatives identified in the 2008 Vichy Ministerial Conference will have to be implemented.
In the area of borders, the new Schengen evaluation mechanism should be put into practice. Early in 2010, the Commission may table proposals for the establishment of an entry/exit system, a registered traveller programme and amendments to the mandate of the Frontex Agency. 2010 should also see progress towards the establishment of a European border surveillance system (Eurosur). The European Common Visa policy will be strengthened, namely through the application of the principle of reciprocity of visa waivers.
Employment, education and training policies will be at the centre of efforts to deal with the consequences of the crisis. As a follow-up to the renewed Social Agenda, the next Commission will continue to work in the fields of employment, social affairs, gender equality and youth to help meet key policy challenges such as globalisation, technological development and demographic change. The Commission should also present a follow-up strategy to the Roadmap on gender equality, which will end in 2010, and pursue its work to make equal opportunities for disabled people a reality. The 2010 European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion will help to underline the EU’s political commitment to eradicating poverty and fighting social exclusion. The Commission will prepare, along with the Member States, stakeholders and other EU institutions, to hold a European Year of Volunteering in 2011.
Further steps will be taken to improve public health and ensure consumer safety. This will entail implementing the EU Health Strategy, operating the Second Programme of Community action in the field of health, finishing the co-decision procedures on patients’ rights in crossborder healthcare and on organ donation and transplantation, as well as updating the work on pandemic flu and on public health threats. Passing the 2008 Pharmaceuticals package into law will help to ensure safe medicines for patients while safeguarding the competitiveness of the sector. Animal health and welfare may be a further field in which the Commission makes new proposals, in line with the Animal Health Strategy and the Animal Welfare Action Plan.
The Commission will pursue its joint action with the US and Chinese authorities on product safety and extend it to other countries. The impending entry into force of the directive on toys safety will see these efforts intensify. The Commission will continue to monitor markets and outcomes for consumers and reflection will continue on how the consumer acquis can be better enforced, building on the communication to be submitted in 2009. The Commission will also follow up on the 2008 Green Paper on consumer redress in relation to collective claims.