"This commission wants to deliver change in the way we work," Timmermans told members of the European Parliament Tuesday. "We are not compromising on environmental goals. We are looking at ways to get it done, not by watering it down."
Timmermans said the commission will be bringing forward a digital market package, including modernized copyright rules, and will take steps toward forming a European energy union.
The commission's top priorities include creating a capital markets union to increase non-bank lending to businesses, presenting a package to make sure benefits are not abused in the EU and making an action plan so companies' profits are taxed in the country where they are made.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said "the main priority, without doubt, relates to growth and employment."
Juncker said his team will bring forward legislation to combat tax avoidance across the EU.
Last month, Juncker and his commission survived a vote of no-confidence over tax avoidance in the so-called Lux Leaks affair.
The vote followed an investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists in early November, which accused more than 300 big-brand corporations, including Pepsi, IKEA and FedEx, of securing secret tax deals with Luxembourg when Juncker was the country's prime minister and finance minister.
The report - based on nearly 28,000 pages of leaked sensitive documents relating to more than 1,000 businesses - triggered anger as it showed a European Union state secretly aiding tax avoidance on a vast scale, while much of Europe undergoes IMF and government-imposed austerity measures, including cutting public services, raising pension ages and restricting wages and salaries.