The Commission has launched this year's work programme, setting out its priorities for 2003.
Three major challenges were highlighted: preparations for an enlarged EU; defining Europe's future; and relations with the enlarged EU's neighbours. It also outlined three headline priorities: an enlarged Europe; stability and security; and a sustainable and inclusive economy.
For the first time, the programme contains a list of proposals that will undergo extended impact assessments. This new mechanism will analyse the economic, social and environmental impacts of proposals, in the context of the EU's sustainable development strategy.
The impact assessment mechanism will apply in full from 2004 onwards, but a number of proposals have already been selected to undergo analysis before their adoption, including the proposed directive on groundwater protection; legislation on the Kyoto flexible instruments of Joint Implementation and the Clean Development Mechanism; the proposed directive on batteries and accumulators; and a Communication on the sustainability of European tourism.
The full list of legislative acts and proposals to be delivered in 2003 is contained in a 50-page annex, covering all policy areas.
Of particular interest are proposals for an integrated product policy, a chemicals strategy, and preparation and implementation of an action plan on clean technologies.
Further information: COM(2002)590; http://europa.eu.int/ eur-lex/en/com/cnc/2002/ com2002_0590en.html