Return to normality is priority: EC deputy head on 2021 goals

The reconstruction of the economy and the improvement of its resilience, as well as energy and digital transformation are the most important tasks for the European Commission, said the deputy head of the European Commission Maroš Šefčovič at Wednesday's meeting with the Polish Senate.

"The priority is a return to normality", said Mr Šefčovič, presenting the EC's framework for 2021 and the strategic forecast report for 2020. He announced that the EC was planning over 80 "flagship initiatives" and over 40 "political packages" to revive the EU and give it new dynamics "in a world full of uncertainty".

The EC deputy head also appealed to the member states’ governments for the quick approval of national resources, which is necessary for the Reconstruction Fund to be launched. He noted that apart from the ambitious EU budget, the reconstruction plan provides for over EUR 700 bn for investments, of which Poland will be one of the main beneficiaries.

Among the other goals of the EC, Mr Šefčovič mentioned promoting democracy in the world, watching over fair and free elections, as well as working on strengthening media freedom and fighting disinformation. The politician also declared that the EU was ready to help Ukraine and the Western Balkans in the fight against the pandemic, for example, by sharing the surplus of the COVID-19 vaccine with the states in question.

He also admitted that the Green Deal, despite generally high public support, raises concerns in areas of the traditional economy.

“Hence, it is planned that various protective mechanisms will be launched, of which Poland and its citizens who work in traditional sectors will be the main beneficiary”, said the commissioner.