Juncker Commission’s targets – have they been achieved?
On the 15th of July 2014, a few weeks after the European elections in May 2014, Jean-Claude Juncker, the European People's Party's lead candidate was elected as the President of the European Commission. Subsequently, he issued a statement in front of the European Parliament and named 10 political priorities for his term of office:
- A new boost for jobs, growth and investment
- A connected digital single market
- A resilient energy union with a forward-looking climate change policy
- A deeper and fairer internal market with a strengthened industrial base
- A deeper and fairer economic and monetary union (EMU)
- A reasonable and balanced free trade agreement with the United States
- An area of justice and fundamental rights based on mutual trust
- Towards a new policy on migration
- Europe as a stronger global actor
- A union of democratic change.
The Juncker Commission got into office in November 2014 and now, after nearly 5 years and the recent election of the European Parliament, they only stay in office until a new President gets elected and a new Commission starts to work. So, it seems to be logical consistent to have a closer look at the targets and the progress made on them. It is one thing to formulate targets and present them, but it is another matter to actually bring them to life in an environment where unexpected events can happen at anytime.
The review of the progress is made from two sides: Firstly, the commission itself published a series of documents having a closer look at certain aspects of the targets on May the 7th 2019. Secondly, the Research Service of the European Parliament (EPRS) published an "end-of-term assessment" of the ten priorities on the 3rd of May 2019.
Naturally, the document of the EPRS adopts a more neutral position to the Commission and applies a quantitative methodology: They searched the yearly work programmes of the European Commission for the announced legislative proposals and subsequently analysed how many of them were actually submitted to Parliament, how many were adopted, and how many were withdrawn by the Parliament or are still in the proceeding process. All in all, 547 proposals were foreseen in the work programmes of the Commission. Roughly a third of them, 186, were not realised at the time of the report. From this, 35 proposals (19 %) were not even submitted to Parliament, while 151 proposals were submitted but were not yet adopted. 36 of these proposals have been proceeding slowly or are blocked, while the rest are proceeding normally. Beyond these quantitative statistics, the report also takes a more detailed quantitative and qualitative look on the single policy areas and evaluates the progress made.
The European Commission published over 20 factsheets in which single aspects of the policy within the last five years are outlined. Covered topics include e.g. a fair and effective tax system, a more social Europe, the economic situation, migration policy and the Digital single market. Of particular interest to the readers of the I-LINC platform may be the factsheet on the topic "Investing in Youth". The factsheet includes, inter alia, data on the Erasmus plus programme, the DiscoverEU initiative enabling free rail travel for young people and the European Solidarity Corps.
Picture: European Parliament (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)