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Foreign Office Minister responds to EU Commission Work Plan 2016

The 2016 work programme sets EU priorities for the coming year, in line with European Council’s 2014 Strategic Agenda agreed by leaders.

Responding to the publication of the European Commission’s work programme for 2016,** Minister for Europe David Lidington said:

I welcome yesterday’s announcement by the Commission of its priorities for the year ahead. This leaner programme of work continues the pattern of the past year of a more targeted focus to the EU’s priorities. The programme shows that the Commission are continuing their drive to support jobs and growth which is one of the UK’s key EU reform aims.

The plan re-confirms the Commission’s commitment to take forward work on its strategies to deepen the single market in services, digital, and energy, all of which are important for boosting Europe’s and the UK’s competitiveness. It also proposes important initiatives to take action against terrorism and serious organised crime and offering a comprehensive response to the migration crisis.

I am pleased to see that across all this work the Commission has continued its commitment to regulating better in a less intrusive way. We are strong supporters of its ‘REFIT’ programme to review existing EU regulations with a view to simplifying them by repealing or amending those that are out of date. We need the EU to create a pro-business environment with lighter regulation for smaller businesses.

The UK is helping to shape the Commission’s agenda through EU reform. We want a more effective EU - a dynamic, competitive, outward focused Europe, delivering prosperity and security for the benefit of all its members. This work plan is a step towards this goal and Britain is playing a leading role to deliver this.

** The Commission’s 2016 work plan aligns with the European Council’s 2014 Strategic Agenda agreed by national leaders – and which subsequently shaped Commission President Juncker’s 10 strategic priorities. The plan supports a number of priorities close to the UK’s EU reform agenda: helping Europe to deliver benefits to the people of Britain and the EU.

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