A snap analysis of the Commission’s 2023 Work Programme


On 18 October, the European Commission adopted its Work Programme for 2023, providing an outline of initiatives that we can expect to see over the course of the coming year and building on some of the announcements by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen during her annual State of the Union speech in September 2022.

The work programme covers some key elements for the business community, for example tackling Ukraine crisis, marking 30 years of the Single Market, strengthening the competitiveness of European SMEs through the SME Relief Package and the European Year of Skills 2023. However, other proposals will do little to help businesses manage the highly challenging economic context and may indeed exacerbate it. There is little to indicate that the ‘one in, one out’ pilot project to offset new burdens has progressed, with 43 new proposals, 116 still pending and only one withdrawal.

The same logic applies to the second basket of new EU own resources, which must avoid imposing additional burden on businesses and ensure that revenues support companies’ decarbonisation measures.

The EU Critical Raw Materials Act to prevent future critical dependencies is in line with Eurochambres' call for strategic and collective stockpiling of reserves, not only in renewable energies but also in the whole supply chain.

Another important non-legislative file is the Joint Communication on a New Agenda for Latin America and the Caribbean. Eurochambres is in favour of a swift agreement of EU-MERCOSUR, as this trade agreement will not only eliminate key market access barriers for our companies, but will also boost the competitiveness in both markets for the coming years.

Eurochambres and the chamber network look forward to contributing actively to 2023 the European Year of Skills, building on chambers’ active role in strengthening the provision of vocational education and training, promoting entrepreneurship and tackling skills shortages, as illustrated by our two new Erasmus+ projects, EULEP and EntreComp4Transition.

Finally, in addition to everything that is planned for 2023, it is worth noting that several important items from the 2022 Work Programme are still outstanding, such as the Proposal for a Directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence and also right to repair initiative. Eurochambres will contribute to the many new and ongoing dossiers throughout 2023, while reiterating the need to ensure that the EU policy agenda takes into account the exceptionally challenging conditions for European businesses.