The Commission adopted on 5 March its Annual Policy Strategy Decision for 2004. The proposal defines the political and resource framework for the year when the EU will grow from 15 to 25 Member States.
The Commission identified three key priorities for 2004:
- managing the enlargement process correctly: additional financial resources will be earmarked to finance the transitory measures decided at Copenhagen such as the Schengen evaluation mechanism, support for nuclear safety in the new Member States and support for their reinforcing of administrative capabilities; 1500 new posts will be created to support enlargement;
- developing stability at the EU borders and beyond: additional allocation of 175 million euro for improved border control, the establisment of an effective IT-based visa system, development of a policy of security of communication networks, the fight against bioterrorism and support for the Western Balkans and the Mediterranean Region;
- sustainable growth: additional 45,7 million euro allocated to pay for oil pollution disasters, implementation of the action plan on communicable diseases, the global fund to fight Aids, malaria and tuberculosis, and action on reproductive health in developing countries.
The annual policy strategy has also identified 31 proposals for future legislation to undergo “
impact assessments“. The number will increase with the Commission’s Work Programme.