EU accession to the European Convention on Human Rights – on hold following a court opinion last year – is back on the agenda under the European Commission’s new programme of work.
The programme for 2016, published last week under the title ‘No time for business as usual’ also makes the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) free trade agreement a top priority. ‘We are committed to negotiating a fair and balanced deal with the US, with a new approach to investment protection,’ the programme says in a reference to the proposed EU investment court.
Plans for new copyright legislation will be presented in December the programme said. This will ‘take account of the digital revolution’.
Other priorities are the European Public Prosecutor’s Office and the reform of Europol. ‘The commission will also take forward work to clarify access to justice in environmental matters.’ It also promises ‘to repeal some laws that are no longer relevant’.
Accession to the European convention under the Lisbon Treaty was dealt a blow last December when the Court of Justice of the EU said that a draft agreement for accession might risk ‘adversely affecting the division of powers between the EU and its member states’.