Commission adopted post-programme arrangements for Greece's return to normalisation, jobs and growth. College discussed the 2019 Commission Work Programme and trade
The College focused today on the post-programme framework for Greece, preparations for the 2019 Commission Work Programme and EU trade relations.
The Commission has adopted today a decision to activate the enhanced surveillance framework for Greece to support the implementation of agreed reforms following the successful conclusion of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) stability support programme on 20 August. This approach was agreed by the euro area finance ministers during the Eurogroup on 22 June, in full cooperation with the Greek authorities and after consultation with the Commission.
Today's Commission decision facilitates Greece's normalisation, building on the progress that has been made. It will support the completion, delivery and continued implementation of reforms agreed under the programme, in line with the commitments made by the Greek authorities. This is crucial to building market confidence and thus to strengthening Greece's economic recovery, particularly in the immediate post-programme period.
Enhanced surveillance will facilitate Greece's return to a normal situation in which it sets its own policy objectives, while at the same time allowing for a prudent policy path well beyond the programme horizon. As per the Eurogroup agreement, this policy path should preserve the objectives of the key reforms taken up under the ESM programme. It does not entail any new reform elements or commitments, and therefore marks a clear end to years of financial assistance programmes.
Preparing the 2019 Commission Work Programme
First Vice-President Frans Timmermans introduced the discussion on the 2019 Commission Work Programme. The Juncker Commission has delivered 100% of what it committed to do under its 10 priorities of 2014. The Commission went actually beyond this target with 49 new sectoral proposals under the next EU long-term budgetary framework which were rolled-out in June and presented to EU Leaders at the European Council two weeks ago.
The College stressed that the focus now is on delivery and the implementation of legislation that has been agreed and adopted: There are 290 legislative files pending in the European Parliament and the Council for final adoption. The Commission's goal is for the Parliament and the Council to adopt as many of the pending legislative files as possible before the European elections in May 2019. Only laws in force matter for citizens and businesses.
In his State of the Union speech on 12 September, President Juncker will provide an update on where we are on the outstanding legislative files.
Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström presented the state of play of the EU-US trade relations and relations with China in light of the upcoming Summit. Next week, President Juncker will sign an ambitious EU-Japan trade agreement.
Senior Management appointments
The Commission decided to appoint Ms Céline Gauer, a French national and current Deputy Director-General of its Health and Food Safety department as new Deputy Secretary-General. She will be the third female Deputy Secretary-General, working alongside Secretary-General Martin Selmayr and the two deputies Ilze Juhansone and Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen. Ms Gauer had previously worked as Director in the Competition department. Since the Juncker Commission took office, the share of female Directors-General and Deputy Directors-General has increased from 11% to 37%. The European Commission also decided to appoint Mr Gert-Jan Koopman as Director-General of its Budget department, following the recent appointment of the previous Director-General, Ms Nadia Calviño, as Minister of Economy and Enterprise in Spain. Mr Koopman, a Dutch national, held several senior positions across the Commission and has been Deputy Director-General in the Competition department since November 2010, in charge of State aid policy. Both decisions take effect on 1 August 2018.
Finally, the Commission also decided to appoint Mr Fonseca Morillo as the new Head of the Commission's Representation in Madrid. Mr Morillo, a Spanish national, will take up office on 1 September 2018. Currently he is Deputy Director-General in the Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers, where he has been working since 2015. A highly experienced civil servant with over 30 years of working experience in the European Commission, including as acting Director-General and Head of a Commission Representation, Mr Fonseca Morillo brings excellent knowledge of the EU institutions and relevant management and communication skills to his new post.
Regulation (EU) No 472/2013 on the strengthening of economic and budgetary surveillance of Member States in the euro area experiencing or threatened with serious difficulties with respect to their financial stability