The European Commission (Commission) has published its work programme (the Programme) for 2019, including five annexes of initiatives. The Commission has also published a supporting Q&A document.

The Programme is focused around the ’10 priorities of the Juncker Commission’ before the European Parliament elections in May next year. Relevant to the financial services sector are:

  • a new boost for jobs, growth and investment: this includes leveraging the resources of the EU and focussing on strengthening the ‘Juncker Plan’ of investment, which is expected to grow EU GDP by 1.3% by 2020;
  • a connected Digital Single Market: 18 out of 30 legislative initiatives that the Commission has made for the Digital Single Market have been adopted into law – the Commission intends to swiftly conclude the remaining proposals. The Commission also intends to establish the European Cybersecurity Industrial, Technology and Research Competence Centre and coordinate action on artificial intelligence across EU Member States;
    • a deeper and fairer Internal Market with a strengthened industrial base: efforts will be intensified to agree:
    • a common consolidated corporate tax base;
    • an efficient taxation of the digital economy;
    • the pan-European personal pension product,
    • the European market infrastructure reform;
    • the improvement of the EU’s financial supervisory architecture;
    • the proposal on business insolvency, restructuring and second chance;
    • proposals to establish stronger anti-money laundering supervision; and
    • further agreement on other Capital Markets Union proposals on crowdfunding, covered bonds, facilitating cross-border distribution of investment funds, promoting SME listing on public markets, and more proportionate and effective rules for investment firms.

The Programme also notes that the Commission intends to adopt two more Brexit-preparedness legislative proposals tabled for November 2018. The legislative proposals will address the visa status of UK nationals after the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and the adjustment of figures for primary and final energy consumption in the energy efficiency legislation. In addition, the Commission will also present before the end of 2018 a number of delegated and implementing acts associated with Brexit preparedness.

The annexes to Programme include a full list of initiatives due to be undertaken in Q4 2018 and 2019. These are divided into new initiatives; REFIT initiatives; priority pending proposals; withdrawals; list of envisaged repeals.