25 actions the next President of the EU Commission should commit to
1. Strengthening democracy, changing political practice
1.1 Claim back the Commission’s autonomy from the influence of the European Council. This starts with the process leading to the election of the next POTEC and his programme. In addition, the EP’s role in initiating legislation should be strengthened.
1.2 Fight corruption and fraud with a stronger anticorruption policy, both within the institutions and its dependent bodies and concerning the funds spent in cooperation with the Member States. Limit the undue influence of corporate interests throughout the legislative process (almost 80% of all stakeholders appointed by the Commission represent such interests). Regulate the practice of the “revolving doors”. Limit lobbying by drawing up a mandatory register of lobbyists, including law firms, applicable at all EU levels and monitor interaction with EU officials, with a range of sanctions; strengthen the institutional capacities of the EU to properly investigate alleged cases of misuse of EU resources.
1.3 Phase-out the current Troika and bring all the mechanisms created during the crisis under the community method and under strict democratic accountability to the EP.
1.4 Use the planned revision of the Audio-visual services Directive to enhance the independence of the media from both corporate control and government abuse.
2. Investing in a sustainable economy
2.1 Revise and enhance the climate target in view of the Paris 2015 COP, with three binding 2030 targets for energy and climate: 40% energy savings, 45% renewable energy and 60% greenhouse gas reduction. Form within the Commission a Paris 2015 task-force in order to coordinate a common effort and facilitate climate policy success at the Paris 2015 COP.
2.2 Devise a comprehensive strategy aiming at energy independence, based on energy-efficiency and renewables rather than on illusory solutions like shale gas exploration and extraction, or nuclear.
2.3 Revive and boost the implementation of an ambitious resource efficiency roadmap and provide more financing to eco-innovation and resource efficiency as the basis of a truly European industrial policy.
2.4 Revise the rules on economic governance so as to provide for a more balanced and socially and environmentally oriented counter-cyclical approach. Take additional legislative initiatives aimed at completing the Banking Union and including a roadmap towards a common Deposit Guarantee Scheme; make further reforms on financial services, including a far reaching structural reform of the banking sector and comprehensive regulation of the shadow banking system.
2.5 Use the mid-term review reform for a sustainable and meaningful reform of the CAP and farming systems; prioritise shifting to a non-toxic system that protects the health of consumers and producers as well as ecosystems; refuse further authorization of GMOs, phasing-out of those already present in the food chain, with better, more balanced risk assessment, and a total ban in the long run.
2.6 Defend and strengthen laws that protect human health and the environment ("natural and social capital") against the vested self-interest of corporations. This includes full implementation of REACH, and no watering down of environmental and food safety laws that may be seen as a "barrier to trade" in TTIP and other bilateral trade deals; in particular the Commission must be resolute in its defence of the precautionary principle and put the health of people and the environment before profits.
3. Giving substance to European solidarity
3.1 To ensure the means for European solidarity, it is crucial to improve European and international regulations against aggressive tax planning and tax evasion of multinationals and individuals inside and outside of the EU, and further promote the Financial Transaction Tax and a Europe-wide scheme for corporate taxation.
3.2 Follow-up the commitments set out in the Commission’s 2012 Blueprint and the roadmap attached to the two-pack, notably on a roadmap towards gradual sovereign debt mutualisation and a euro-zone budgetary capacity, along with the resulting treaty revision proposal.
3.3 Deliver a framework directive on minimum income to make at least some progress towards the EU’s poverty reduction target.
3.4 Implement a coordinated strategy for reducing income and wealth inequalities, between and within Member States, closing the gender pay-gap, fighting child poverty, and enhancing social standards; make the European semester a balanced operational tool to achieve all goals of the “2020 Strategy” and involve civil society in the process.
3.5 Coordinate a wide-ranging and effective strategy for job creation with a focus on “Green jobs against unemployment”, especially as regards young people, with more funding for the Youth Guarantee; respect and defend decent work and labour rights.
3.6 Conduct a full, honest and transparent evaluation of the existing liberalised sectors, involving key stakeholders, especially the services and public sectors, which have a significant impact on the regions.
4. Restoring an “Open Europe” inside and outside EU borders
4.1 Adopt an internal EU Strategic Framework and Action Plan on Fundamental Rights, providing a structured framework for developing and implementing fundamental rights-related policies; enable the EU Agency for Fundamental rights to regularly monitor all Member states’ and EU agencies’ observance of fundamental rights and propose European protection for investigative journalists and whistle-blowers.
4.2 Push forward the adoption of the horizontal Equal Treatment Directive, which also covers multiple discrimination; implement the roadmap against homophobia and LGBTI discrimination, as well as Parliament’s initiative on the fight against violence against women.
4.3 Restore individuals’ trust in public and private entities’ processing of their personal data, through the adoption of the Data Protection package, adequate EU-US data protection standards, stopping mass surveillance by US and EU Member States and requiring greater democratic and legal accountability of the activities of secret services.
4.4 Make a proposal for safe and legal entry of refugees in the EU, and establish a solidarity mechanism between Member states in the field of asylum.
4.5 Support a European Copyright Code to foster cultural exchanges across all borders.
4.6 Under a strengthened parliamentary oversight, promote a renewed peace agenda, starting with the adoption of an EU common position on the use of drones; creating a comprehensive and robust EU export control regime which includes mass surveillance technology; taking new initiatives against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and impunity; reinforcing EU conflict prevention policies (more mediation capacities); opposing EU funding for defence research.
4.7 Ensure the success of the UN post-2015 process for setting the global Sustainable Development Goals to follow the Millennium Development Goals, and their financing.
4.8 Ensure that common external policies and actions are coherent and promote human rights, international principles and sustainable development, notably through the creation of an “EU external policies monitor” to investigate possible violations of EU values and to report on external policy coherence.
4.9 Adopt a new, coherent trade and investment regime, with the immediate suspension of the TTIP negotiations, the adoption of a Regulation setting out the fundamental principles of EU trade policy and its coherence with development, environment protection, labour and human rights objectives and support international efforts towards enforcing corporate accountability for serious crimes.