sabato 4 febbraio 2017

Segnalazioni dal Parlamento Europeo

20-01-2017 12:00 AM CET
A long-running discussion on reforming the European Union's budget gained momentum when the High-Level Group on Own Resources, led by former Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, presented its report in January 2017. The report proposes simpler methods for funding the EU, to make it less reliant on direct contributions from Member States, and recommends that spending be focused on areas where the highest European added value can be achieved, now, for example migration and security emergencies. The report, entitled 'Future financing of the EU', lists and examines several options for new own resources, such as a reformed VAT-linked resource, an EU corporate tax, a financial transaction tax or taxes linked to efforts to fight climate change. It also proposes to explore other revenue sources stemming directly from the EU policies and programmes. The report will be taken into consideration by the European Commission and EU Member States when they work on the EU's next long-term budget after 2020. This note offers links to reports and commentaries from some major international think tanks and research institutes on the EU budget. Some papers also discuss whether the euro area should have its own, dedicated budget.

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20-01-2017 12:00 AM CET
The European Venture Capital Funds (EuVECA) and European Social Entrepreneurship Funds (EuSEF) are collective investment schemes that have been harmonised at European Union (EU) level since 2011 by means of two Regulations: (EU) No 345/2013 (EuVECA) and (EU) No 346/2013 (EuSEF). In its 2016 review, the Commission noted that these funds remain small and concentrated in a few Member States and that, while the take-up of EuVECA could be considered successful, the EuSEF results have been disappointing. Three main obstacles to further growth have been identified: limitations imposed on managers; product rules; and the (varying) application of regulatory fees in Member States with regards to funds’ marketing and management. To overcome those obstacles, the Commission has identified some measures that − by removing limitations on larger managers managing EuVECA and EuSEF funds, decreasing costs for EuVECA and EuSEF funds, and broadening the range of eligible assets EuVECA funds may invest in − should increase investment into these funds. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

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20-01-2017 12:00 AM CET
Despite significant progress in recent decades, air pollution levels in the European Union still have adverse impacts on the environment and on health. The European Commission estimates that health-related costs of air pollution in the EU range from 390 to 940 billion euros per year. The proposed directive, which would replace the current National Emission Ceilings Directive, sets binding national reduction objectives for six air pollutants (SO2, NOx, NMVOCs, NH3, PM2.5 and CH4) to be met by 2020 and 2030. It will also implement the Gothenburg Protocol as amended in 2012. The European Commission estimates that implementation costs would range from 2.2 to 3.3 billion euros per year. After completion of the legislative procedure at first reading in the European Parliament and the Council, the presidents of the co-legislators signed the final act on 14 December 2016. Member States are required to transpose the new directive into national law by 1 July 2018. This briefing updates an earlier edition, of 6 October 2016: PE 589.821.

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20-01-2017 12:00 AM CET
The EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), signed in October 2016, is currently at the ratification stage. This agreement, concluded between like-minded trade partners, represents the new generation of EU free trade agreements (FTAs), and contains chapters covering sustainable development. The inclusion by the EU of sustainable development chapters in FTAs concluded with its partners plays a role in ensuring that trade and investment liberalisation does not lead to a deterioration in environmental and labour conditions. In keeping with this trade policy practice, developed over the years, trade-related sustainability provisions, including labour and environmental considerations, are grouped in three chapters (Chapters 22 to 24) within CETA. CETA has only partially exceeded the dialogue-only approach contained in earlier EU trade agreements and has maintained the exclusion of trade and sustainable development (TSD) chapters from the scope of the state-to-state dispute settlement (SSDS) procedure. It also maintains an ad hoc two-stage dispute resolution mechanism already found in the EU-South Korea FTA. However, this mechanism does not include sanctions and focuses on mutually agreed solutions to problems. This choice by the EU is due to the still strongly cooperative nature of the TSD chapters. On CETA please refer also to the 'International Agreements in Progress' briefing on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with Canada by Wilhelm Schöllmann.
  
20-01-2017 12:00 AM CET
EU-Canada negotiations for a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) started in May 2009 and were declared concluded at the EU-Canada Summit on 26 September 2014. The agreement's overall aim is to increase flows of goods, services and investment to the benefit of both partners. For the EU, CETA represents the first comprehensive economic agreement with a highly industrialised Western economy. Except for a few sensitive agricultural products, the agreement would remove practically all tariffs on goods exchanged between the two partners. Canada would substantially open up its public procurement at both federal and sub-federal level, thereby eliminating a major asymmetry in access to each other's public procurement markets. The EU succeeded in securing protection for a large number of European Geographical Indications (GIs) on the Canadian market. Provisions on sustainable development should ensure that trade and investment do not develop to the detriment of, but rather support, environmental protection and social development. CETA was signed by the EU and Canada on 30 October 2016. The Council decision on signature was only reached after difficult discussions, so that a total of 38 statements and declarations by Member States, the Commission and the Council, as well as a Joint Interpretative Instrument accompany that Council decision. The European Parliament has launched the consent procedure, with Artis Pabriks (EPP, Latvia) as rapporteur. The vote in the Committee on International Trade (INTA) is scheduled for 24 January 2017, and the vote in plenary for the February part-session in Strasbourg (13 to 16 February). Second edition. The ‘International Agreements in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the process, from initial discussions through to ratification. To view earlier editions of this briefing, please see: PE 593.491, 26 October 2016.

Source : © European Union, 2017 - EP
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20-01-2017 12:00 AM CET
This document compares the draft 2017 Recommendations for the economic policy of the Euro Area proposed by the European Commission on 16 November 2016 with the 2017 Euro Area draft recommendation (revised by the Economic and Financial Committee) and to be approved by the Council (ECOFIN) on 27 January 2017.

Source : © European Union, 2017 - EP
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23-01-2017 03:07 PM CET
General : The international trade committee votes on 24 January on the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement or Ceta, but this free trade agreement with Canada is far from the only deal the EU is working on. Various deals are currently being negotiated right across the globe, but they can only enter into force if the European Parliament approves them. Read on for an overview of the negotiations in progress and an explanation of how the process works.

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23-01-2017 04:07 PM CET
General : On Tuesday 24 January Parliament’s environment committee votes to amend a Commission proposal on waste management, the so-called “waste package” which includes four directives. In previous resolutions Parliament has called for more ambitious targets. Waste packaging is an inter-institutional priority for 2017 and this vote is the first step towards entering negotiations with the Commission and Council.

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23-01-2017 04:36 PM CET

MEP Olga Sehnalova
The 2016 EC proposal revises the Consumer Protection Cooperation (CPC) Regulation 2006/2004 with the intention to improve the effectiveness of the rules and procedures on cooperation of national authorities responsible for the enforcement of consumer protection laws, in particular with the aim to better addressing the challenges of the Digital Single Market. The proposal for a Regulation (repealing Regulation 2006/2004) is part of the Commission’s e-Commerce package adopted on 25 May 2016.

The revised provisions would enhance the enforcement mechanisms used by the national authorities to address unlawful practices harmful to consumers in several countries, especially as regards online breaches.

Rapporteur: Olga SEHNALOVÁ (S&D)
Shadow Rapporteurs: Carlos COELHO (EPP), Richard SULIK (ECR), Robert ROCHEFORT (ALDE), tbc (GUE/NGL), Pascal DURAND (Greens/EFA), tbc (EFDD), Mylène TROSZCZYNSKI (ENF)


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23-01-2017 02:34 PM CET

Proceedings of the Workshop on
This issue covers IMCO committee meeting of 25-26 January and 6 February 2007 December 2016. This edition also summarises past committee meeting held on 5 December 2016.

Source : © European Union, 2017 - EP
23-01-2017 11:32 AM CET

Proceedings of the Workshop on
The workshop organised by the Policy Department A for the IMCO Committee aimed at discussing problems in the area of franchising and the impact of the EU rules on functioning of the franchising contract. It allowed exchange of views on market conditions in the EU as well as corrective legislative and regulatory actions.

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23-01-2017 12:00 AM CET
In the aftermath of the UK’s vote to leave the EU, securing continued access to each other’s markets will be one of the key issues to be addressed in the exit negotiations. This paper examines how the current EU financial services legislation ensures or facilitates access to the EU single financial market for EU/EEA Member States and third countries. The analysis focuses on passporting/mutual recognition regimes for EU/EEA Member States and third country equivalence regimes. This document was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the ECON Committee.

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23-01-2017 12:00 AM CET
This exploratory study on major changes in European public opinion (updated in November 2016) was carried out on the basis of the Eurobaroeter surveys carried out between 1973 and 2016. The following aspects were studied: changes in European public opinion regarding the European Union and its institutions; democracy in the European Union; the economy of the European Union; the lives of Europeans; immigration.

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23-01-2017 12:00 AM CET
This study assesses the key impacts of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union on the financial system and its infrastructures, on financial firms and financial services under three alternative concepts for the future EU-UK relationship. In addition to the impact on the ‘passporting rights’ of financial firms, particular emphasis is given to the impact on the regulatory framework governing i.a. credit institutions under a ‘third-country status’ scenario for the UK, the impact on payment systems and market infrastructures, as well as to certain aspects of the EU institutional framework governing the monetary and the financial system could be affected. This study was prepared by Policy Department A at the request of the ECON Committee.

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23-01-2017 12:00 AM CET
The new proposals build on previous legislation and continue to gradually implement an internal energy market. In particular, they look to incorporate recent changes, such as the rapid increase in renewables and technological advances relating to the digitalisation of services. They also attempt to clarify previous legislation such as in the case of storage for Transmission System Operators (TSOs) for example. As with the recent proposals on security of gas supply, the Commission looks to incorporate a regional approach as the default option for assessing needs and mitigating risks. The Commission's evaluation, as well as the review of the implementation process, have shown that, while progress has been made, challenges to create a properly functioning internal market remain. The challenges identified by the evaluation, such as price controls, insufficient cross-border trade, uncoordinated national interventions and issues around regulatory independence, are addressed by the current proposals. However, it is also clear from the evaluation that progress towards a well-functioning and competitive energy market has not been consistent across the EU. Where progress has been made, the effects have been positive, although the evaluation does not look at examples of best practice to assess the best way forward. The EU- wide oversight of national regulators and TSOs is seen as positive, but question marks remain in terms of whether the suggested changes will be sufficient. Several reviews on the topic have noted that the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) lack sufficient powers to be effective and it is unclear whether the current proposals will properly address this issue. The public consultations also pointed to the dual role of the European Network for Transmission System Operators for electricity (ENTSO-E), as both a lobby organisation and a representative of public interest,  as potentially problematic. The creation of a European Distribution System Operator (DSO) could possibly duplicate this issue. The evaluation does not include any assessment around infrastructure legislation or the EU's role in this area; however, it notes that the incentives for private investments have been insufficient so far. It is hoped that the proposed moves to a more flexible and price-driven market should improve investment conditions. As reforms in this area have been ongoing since the 1990s, it will be particularly important to continue to monitor progress and to what extent the new proposals increase competition and a well-functioning, price-led market. In terms of the Parliament's demands, many of its requests are reflected in the proposals, such as calls for more regional cooperation, for example. They do not, however, include a review of the gas market or interconnectivity objectives differentiated by regions; nor do they look to address to any great extent the issue of external import. In the case of the ACER, Parliament had asked for a substantial increase in resources. While the proposals strengthen the agency's position, the Commission decided not to propose making the ACER into a pan-European regulator, with the increase in budget and staff that such a move would have entailed.

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23-01-2017 12:00 AM CET
Overall, the IA presents a comprehensive and well-researched explanation of the evidence base of the legislative proposals. However, the nature of the proposals (one of them being a recast of four existing directives) has posed an obvious challenge in terms of keeping the report concise and readable. The IA clearly exceeds the length recommended in the better regulation guidelines. The report presents stakeholder views well, although the consultation itself focused more on the review process in general than on the specific options for future policy. Finally, the overly general presentation of monitoring instruments represents a significant shortcoming of the report, especially given the importance of effective monitoring mechanisms in assessing the implementation of legislation.

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23-01-2017 12:00 AM CET
Tourism services have traditionally been provided by businesses such as hotels, taxis or tour operators. Recently, a growing number of individuals are proposing to share temporarily with tourists what they own (for example their house or car) or what they do (for example meals or excursions). This type of sharing is referred to as the 'sharing economy'. It is not limited to tourism and can be found in many areas of social and economic activity, although tourism has been one of the sectors most impacted. Sharing goods and services between individuals is nothing new in itself. However, the development of the internet and, as a consequence, the creation of online platforms have made sharing easier than ever. In the past decade, many companies managing such platforms have emerged on the market. A well-known example is a platform on which people can book accommodation (Airbnb). The sharing economy has had a positive impact on tourism as well as a negative one. Its advocates think that it provides easy access to a wide range of services that are often of higher quality and more affordable than those provided by traditional business counterparts. Critics, on the other hand, claim that the sharing economy provides unfair competition, reduces job security, avoids taxes and poses a threat to safety, health and disability compliance standards. The response to the sharing economy remains fragmented in the EU. Some activities or aspects have been regulated at national, regional or local level. In June 2016, the European Commission published a communication on a European agenda for the collaborative economy, to offer some clarification on relevant EU rules and provide public authorities with policy guidance. The European Parliament and advisory committees have also touched upon the issue in various resolutions and opinions. This is an updated edition of a briefing from September 2015.

Source : © European Union, 2017 - EP
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23-01-2017 12:00 AM CET
In 2014, the European Commission proposed a revision (‘IORP II’) of the existing Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision (IORP) Directive of 2003, which covers certain occupational pension savings. These are overwhelmingly in the United Kingdom (55.9% of IORP assets) and the Netherlands (30.7%). The proposed revision aims to improve the governance, risk management, transparency and information provision of IORPs and help increase cross-border IORP activity. Stakeholders generally welcomed the focus of the proposal and the lack of new prudential rules, but felt the revision was overly detailed and prescriptive and did not respect national competences, nor reflect the variety of IORPs and their position as social (not just financial) entities. Following trilogue discussions, the compromise text was adopted at first reading in the European Parliament’s plenary on 24 November, an then adopted by the Council on 8 December. It came into effect on 12 January 2017 and Member States have two years from then to transpose it into national law. This briefing updates an earlier edition, from September 2016: PE 589.800.

Source : © European Union, 2017 - EP
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23-01-2017 12:00 AM CET
On 9 November 2016, the European Commission published a proposal for targeted changes to the EU anti-dumping and anti-subsidy regulations. The proposal is a response to the expiry of parts of China’s WTO accession protocol in December 2016 and to unfair trade practices from third countries. At the core of the amendments of the anti-dumping regulation is the use for WTO members of prices derived from constructed values in situations where there are 'substantial market distortions' in the country of export under investigation. This approach would replace the 'analogue country methodology' which is currently applied to non-market economies (NMEs) under EU law and would remain in place for non-WTO members. The amendments to the anti-subsidy regulation would insert due process and transparency provisions required to capture subsidies identified only in the course of anti-subsidy probes.

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23-01-2017 12:00 AM CET
This briefing has been drawn up to support ECON’s work on the scrutiny of delegated acts, in particular as regards the discussion of 25 January 2017 on the implementing measures under the Insurance Distribution Directive (EU) 2016/97.

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24-01-2017 12:00 AM CET
Structural budget balances play an important role in the fiscal policy frameworks of the EU both as part of the application of the Stability and Growth Pact and in the implementation of the balanced budget rule (“Fiscal Compact”) by the contracting parties of the intergovernmental Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the EMU. This document gives an overview of the concept and application of the structural balance rule(s) in the EU.

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24-01-2017 03:59 PM CET

General : Ceta, the EU-Canada trade deal, was approved by the international trade committee on 24 January. The agreement, which would remove tariffs on most traded goods and services, will be put to a final vote by all MEPs next month. Speaking in a Facebook Live interview, Artis Pabriks, the MEP responsible for steering the deal through Parliament, said: “The prime motivation is to ensure more wealth from trade. Ceta is a really good example of how good trade deals should be made.”

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24-01-2017 03:44 PM CET
The EU Commission should table a plan in 2017 to cut delays in EU-funded projects that aim to reduce disparities among EU regions by stimulating growth and job creation, say Regional Development Committee MEPs in a resolution voted on Tuesday.
Committee on Regional Development

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24-01-2017 06:08 PM CET
The share of waste to be recycled should be raised to 70% by 2030, from 44% today, while landfilling, which has a big environmental impact, should be limited to 5%, said Environment Committee MEPs on Tuesday, as they amended the draft EU “waste package” legislation. They also advocate a 50% reduction in food waste by 2030.
Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

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25-01-2017 12:00 AM CET
The European Commission has decided to re-launch the common consolidated corporate tax base (CCCTB) project in a two-step approach, with the publication of two new interconnected proposals on a common corporate tax base (CCTB) and a common consolidated corporate tax base (CCCTB). These were published on 25 October 2016, and the 2011 CCCTB proposal (COM(2011) 121) was withdrawn on the same day. The re-launch follows the lack of progress on the 2011 proposal in the Council. The 2016 CCTB provides for the determination of a single set of rules for calculation of the corporate tax base. Companies operating across borders in the EU would no longer have to deal with 28 different sets of national rules when calculating their taxable profits. The intention is that the proposed CCTB is a step on the way towards re-establishing the link between taxation and the place where profits are made, via an apportionment formula to be introduced through the new CCCTB proposal. The proposals include a number of anti-tax avoidance measures. The proposal only concerns the corporate tax base and is not intended to harmonise national corporate tax rates. The Member States would retain their sovereign right to set their own tax rates.

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25-01-2017 12:00 AM CET

Donald Trump has begun his four-year term as the US President by moving to deliver on some of his campaign promises, such on Obamacare, the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement and the North American Free Trade Agreement. Analysts and politicians agree that the Trump presidency will have wide-ranging implications for trade, international relations and security.  This note offers links to recent commentaries and reports published by major international think tanks and other research centres on Trump's presidency. Earlier analyse can be found in a previous edition of 'What Think Tanks are thinking.'

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25-01-2017 12:00 AM CET
Further to the publication of the Five Presidents’ report, the Commission is planning to release in spring 2017 a white paper including measures to complete the EMU. During the 2017 European Parliamentary Week, participants will take stock of the strengths and weaknesses of the current economic governance framework, with a view to give an input to such discussion from a parliamentary perspective. This document provides some elements for this debate and gives an overview on the implementation of the short-term measures as included in the Five President’s report.

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In-Depth Analysis - The EU's General Food Law Regulation: An introduction to the founding principles and the fitness check - 25-01-2017
25-01-2017 12:00 AM CET
The General Food Law Regulation (Regulation (EC) No 178/2002) was drafted following a series of food incidents in the EU in the late 1990s, including the BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) outbreak and the dioxin scare. It is the act underpinning current EU food and feed legislation and defines its general principles, requirements and aims. The regulation also established the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), an independent agency tasked with providing decision makers with scientific advice on food safety issues. Furthermore, the General Food Law Regulation lays down the main procedures for the management of emergencies and crises, including the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF), designed to enable a swift reaction when risks to public health are detected in the food chain. As part of its Better Regulation agenda, the European Commission is currently finalising its fitness check of the General Food Law Regulation. The review will assess the key components of this founding act. The results of the review are expected in the course of 2017.

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25-01-2017 12:00 AM CET
This document provides statistical and factual reference material relating to migration flows between the UK and the rest of the EU. It gives facts and figures relating to the population of EU-27 nationals living in the UK as well as UK citizens living in the EU-27. It also examines the impact of the EU-27 population on the UK’s social security and health care system and gives information on the UK’s uptake of EU funding.

Source : © European Union, 2017 - EP
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25-01-2017 12:00 AM CET
The procedures for electing the European Parliament are governed both by European legislation defining rules common to all Member States and by specific national provisions which vary from one state to another. The common rules lay down the principle of proportional representation and certain incompatibilities with a mandate as a Member of the European Parliament. Many other important matters, such as the exact electoral system used and the number of constituencies, are governed by national laws.

Source : © European Union, 2016 - EP
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25-01-2017 12:00 AM CET
Common rules have been drawn up in an effort to ensure that passengers receive at least a minimum level of assistance in the event of serious delays to or cancellation of their journey, irrespective of the mode of transport used, and, in particular, to protect more vulnerable travellers. The rules also provide for compensation schemes. A wide range of derogations may be granted for rail and road transport services, however, and court actions challenging the application of the rules are still common.

Source : © European Union, 2016 - EP
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25-01-2017 12:00 AM CET
The setting up of the Single Aviation Market in the late 1990s has profoundly transformed the air transport industry and has greatly contributed to the strong growth in air transport in Europe over the past twenty years.

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25-01-2017 12:00 AM CET
The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has played a major role in ensuring a rules-based international trading system. However, the further development of the multilateral trading system stalled with the impasse in the Doha Development Round of trade talks. This has led some countries to turn to bilateral trade agreements. The European Parliament’s role in scrutinising trade policy, including the EU action in the WTO, has grown under the Treaty of Lisbon.

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26-01-2017 12:00 AM CET
Ahead of the upcoming discussions on a new European Union (EU) work plan for sport, an own-initiative report to be presented to Parliament's first February plenary session takes stock of the implementation of EU sports policy to date, and formulates recommendations on its future course.

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26-01-2017 12:00 AM CET
Following two and a half years of implementation, the European Commission will submit a mid-term evaluation of the new umbrella programme Erasmus+ at the end of 2017. Parliament is preparing its contribution, with an own-initiative report on the implementation of Erasmus+ to be discussed in plenary in February.

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26-01-2017 12:00 AM CET
On 20 July 2016, the European Commission proposed a regulation regarding the inclusion of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and removals from land use and forestry in the EU 2030 climate and energy framework. This would be the first time that the land-use sector is formally included in EU climate policy. The proposed regulation would require Member States to balance emissions and removals from the land-use sector over two five-year periods between 2021 and 2030. It sets out accounting rules and allows for certain flexibilities. The proposed regulation is part of the EU's efforts to reduce its GHG emissions by 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. This target was set by the European Council in October 2014, and is also the EU's international commitment under the Paris Agreement on climate change. Second Edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

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26-01-2017 12:00 AM CET

This is the first edition of a new EPRS publication designed to identify key issues and policy areas that are likely to feature prominently on the agenda of Members of the European Parliament over the coming year. Key issues presented include: the implications for the EU of the new US administration, the withdrawal of the UK from the EU, the migration crisis, rising inequalities, and the EU's external security challenges, with a more specific examination of the situation in Ukraine. Other important policy areas covered are the budget, agriculture, climate and transport and, last but not least, the outlook for economic and monetary union. Please click here for the full publication in PDF format

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26-01-2017 12:00 AM CET
This study, commissioned by the Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs upon request of the Committee on Petitions, finds out that EU animal welfare policy and legislation has had much positive influence in the world, on the image of the EU as well as helping animals. However, most kinds of animals kept in the EU are not covered by legislation, including some of the worst animal welfare problems, so a general animal welfare law and specific laws on several species are needed. Animal sentience and welfare should be mentioned, using accurate scientific terminology, in many trade-related laws as well as in animal-specific laws.

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26-01-2017 12:00 AM CET
Gold-plating describes additional rules and regulatory obligations that go beyond the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) requirements set out at European Union (EU) level, and that make the implementation of ESIF more costly and burdensome for programme bodies and beneficiaries. The study analyses gold-plating in all five funds and discusses the presence, reasons and effects of gold-plating in ESIF. It concludes with pointers for action to reduce gold-plating in the current 2014-2020 and in the post 2020 programming period.

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26-01-2017 12:00 AM CET
To ensure the stability of the Economic and Monetary Union, the framework for avoiding unsustainable public finances needs to be strong. A reform (part of the ‘Six-Pack’) amending the Stability and Growth Pact entered into force at the end of 2011. Another one, the intergovernmental Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance (TSCG), including the Fiscal Compact, entered into force early 2013. A regulation on assessing national draft budgetary plans (part of the ‘Two-Pack’) entered into force in May 2013.

Source : © European Union, 2016 - EP
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26-01-2017 12:00 AM CET
The Banking Union was created as a response to the financial crisis and currently has two elements, the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) and the Single Resolution Mechanism (SRM). The SSM supervises the largest and most important banks in the euro area directly at European level, while the purpose of the SRM is to resolve failing banks in an orderly manner with minimal costs for taxpayers and for the real economy. A third element, a European Deposit Insurance Scheme (EDIS), is currently under discussion.

Source : © European Union, 2016 - EP
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26-01-2017 12:00 AM CET
In the aftermath of the global economic and financial crisis of 2008, the EU has accelerated the move away from the production of labour-intensive, low-value products so as to specialise in higher-value, branded goods. Persistent trade barriers, however, interfere with the efforts of European exporters. To overcome these and level the playing field for its businesses, the Union is negotiating a number of free trade agreements.

Source : © European Union, 2016 - EP

26-01-2017 12:00 AM CET
The European Economic Area (EEA) was set up in 1994 to extend the EU’s provisions on its internal market to the European Free Trade Area (EFTA) countries. Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein are parties to the EEA. Switzerland is a member of EFTA but does not take part in the EEA. The EU and EEA partners (Norway and Iceland) are also linked by various ‘northern policies’ and forums which focus on the rapidly evolving northern reaches of Europe and the Arctic region as a whole.

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27-01-2017 12:00 AM CET
This study was requested by the Committee on Constitutional Affairs of the European Parliament. It examines the political and institutional steps taken, or to be taken, both by the UK and by the EU in the context of the Brexit referendum vote, and into how matters may evolve in the coming months and years from a legal and institutional perspective. It will analyses, in broad terms, the possibilities for a future relationship between the Union and its departing member and the consequences that the departure of a large Member State may entail for the rest of the policies of the Union and for the Union itself. The study also briefly examines the potential for institutional progress that opens with the departure of the United Kingdom.

Source : © European Union, 2017 - EP
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30-01-2017 11:23 AM CET
General : Although investment has picked up and the economy has created new jobs, not everybody is yet sharing equally in the benefits of growth. During the annual European Parliamentary Week in Brussels from 30 January to 1 February, MEPs meet their counterparts from the member states and other high-level policy makers to debate how to boost growth and employment and increase fairness.

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30-01-2017 12:40 PM CET
REPORT on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on establishing a Union programme to support specific activities enhancing the involvement of consumers and other financial services end-users in Union policy making in the field of financial services for the period of 2017-2020
Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs
Philippe Lamberts

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30-01-2017 12:00 AM CET
In November 2016, the European Commission presented its annual enlargement package, consisting of a communication that takes stock of the implementation of the 2015 multiannual strategy and a set of reports on the Western Balkan countries and on Turkey in their capacity of candidates or potential candidates for EU membership. Since 2015, the Commission has been applying a new reporting methodology aimed at enhanced transparency and comparability among the aspirant countries. In 2016, it shifted the timeframe for publishing the next enlargement package from the autumn of 2017 to the spring of 2018, to better align it with the release of the economic reform programmes and the increased focus on economic governance. In 2016, the Commission continued prioritising complex and long-term reforms as part of its 'fundamentals first' approach. Its main message was that enlargement policy continued to deliver results and promote reforms, albeit slowly and unevenly. The EU's reconfirmed commitment to the Western Balkan countries' accession processes was duly reflected in the Slovak Presidency programme, which stressed the importance of enlargement policy for the EU's own political and economic stability. Amidst a host of increasing complexities and declining public support, concerns have been raised that enlargement policy might be side-lined. Thus, while the EU needs to keep up momentum, a significant part of the responsibility rests with the countries themselves. The region needs political will to keep reforms on the agenda and deliver results. In this context, regional cooperation and good neighbourly relations are once again brought to the fore as an indispensable means of re-energising common reform priorities and maximising the benefits for the region.

Source : © European Union, 2017 - EP
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The European Union at a glance: see the Fact Sheets online
COMMITTEES - 31-01-2017 - 08:17

Fact sheets on the European Union
The Fact Sheets on the EU provide an overview of European integration and of Parliament's contribution to that process. They present a brief, straightforward overview of the EU's institutions and policies, and of Parliament's role in their development. Available in 23 languages, they cover six main areas: how the EU works; a citizens' Europe; the internal market; the economic and monetary union; sectoral policies; and the EU's external relations. The online version is updated regularly.

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31-01-2017 12:00 AM CET
Launched by the European Commission in 2016, the Environmental Implementation Review (EIR) is aimed at providing an overview of how well Member States are implementing EU environmental law and at helping them if they are struggling. The Commission says that insufficient and uneven implementation causes damage to the environment and human health, and entails high costs. The EIR is a response to calls from the European Parliament and others to improve the situation and better integrate environmental law into other policy areas.

Source : © European Union, 2017 - EP
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31-01-2017 12:00 AM CET
The Commission estimates that the detriment to consumers caused by non-compliance with basic EU consumer rules in certain cross-border online markets and also by inefficient cross-border enforcement amounts to €770 million per year. To remedy this, the Commission has presented a legislative proposal to review the existing rules on consumer protection cooperation between enforcement authorities as part of its e-commerce package in May 2016. The aim is to clarify the rules and to give more powers to national enforcement authorities, most importantly to enable them to address unlawful online practices and improve coordination among them. Stakeholders have, in general, welcomed the move to improve cooperation between enforcement authorities and the European Economic and Social Committee in its opinion of 19 October 2016 supported the proposal. The Maltese Council Presidency aims to reach a general approach in February 2017, when the Parliament’s IMCO committee is also expected to consider amendments to the draft report, presented by the rapporteur on 30 November 2016. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Source : © European Union, 2017 - EP
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01-02-2017 10:21 AM CET
6 pictures: groceries on a wooden table, man in supermarket, group of people working in a laboratory, mint plant, cows inside a farm, man in a greenhouse plantation
On 31 January, the ENVI committee voted on the draft recommendation for second reading on the above. The current legislative framework for the organisation of official controls has proven, overall, to be effective in preventing and countering risks. However, the modern global market and in particular the always longer and more complex agri-food chains increasingly exposes the EU to new risks and constantly calls for improvements of controls along the agri-food chain.

This and the experience gained with EU law in this area, points to the need to simplify and update available instruments and to further integrate the approach across the different areas. Following the agreement reached before summer, the Council has now formally transmitted to Parliament its position on the Official Controls file. To finalise the procedure, the ENVI Committee and then plenary now have to formally endorse Council position.

Source : © European Union, 2017 - EP
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01-02-2017 10:21 AM CET

Pills in world map shape
On 31 January, the ENVI committee voted on the above draft report. A number of parliamentary resolutions and Council conclusions have drawn the attention to the specific nature of the pharmaceutical market, highlighting the need for a debate and measures to be taken in this regard. The pharmaceutical industry is one of the most competitive sectors in Europe (20% return on investment, 800.000 jobs and producing an output of approximately €200 billion/year).

The rapporteur drafted 49 compromise amendments which cover 453 amendments tabled and concern among others: the price of medicines, unaffordability and other barriers to access to medicines, the shortages of essential and other medicines, research priorities, the importance of both public and private R&D, transparency of the costs, intellectual property and its period of exclusivity, Orphan and paediatric medicines, the urgency of the threats of antimicrobial resistance, national and regional health technology assessment (HTA) and harmonised criteria to assess the added therapeutic value compared with the best available alternatives as well as the measures to reinforce the competitiveness of generics and biosimilar medicines.

Source : © European Union, 2017 - EP
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01-02-2017 09:41 AM CET

FEMM MEP
The draft opinion by Mr Pimenta Lopes (GUE/NGL, PT) detects the reasons why women are particularly discriminated with regard to access to the labour market, subject to lower wages and more uncertain and precarious employment ties. The improvement of labour legislation, the increase of salaries, the promotion of collective bargaining, and the protection of maternity, are amongst some of the most needed measures to achieve those goals. 96 amendments and 8 compromises have been tabled.

Source : © European Union, 2017 - EP
 
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01-02-2017 12:00 AM CET

The complex system of EU rules on social security coordination needs to comply with various challenges and national circumstances. These challenges include uneven and inadequate application, the lack of transparency and lack of understanding of the existing rules, and an uncertainty about the position of cross-border workers and the benefits applicable to them. Another outstanding challenge is the most recent jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the European Union that clarifies several important rules applicable to the relation between Member States and provision of benefits to the EU citizens. The European Parliament has called on the European Commission on several occasions to update the existing legislation on the coordination of social security systems so that it would react to these challenges. Similarly, the European Economic and Social Committee has recommended that the existing legislation be updated. Furthermore, the representatives of various stakeholder groups have voiced similar requests. In December 2016, the European Commission submitted a long awaited proposal amending Regulation 883/2004 and Regulation 987/2009 dealing with the coordination of social security systems. The proposal concentrates on changes linked to a broad spectrum of issues and benefits, mainly long-term care benefits, unemployment benefits, social benefits and family benefits. This proposal provides the opportunity for improvements to be made to the currently applicable rules.

Source : © European Union, 2017 - EP
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01-02-2017 12:00 AM CET
On 30 November 2016, the European Commission presented a proposal for a revised Energy Efficiency Directive, as part of a package of legislation entitled 'Clean Energy for All Europeans'. The package aims to better align EU energy legislation with the 2030 energy and climate goals and contribute to delivering the Energy union strategy. In the revised directive, the Commission proposes a 30 % binding energy efficiency target at the EU level for 2030, to be achieved through indicative national targets. This is more ambitious than the 27 % efficiency target approved by the European Council in 2014, but less ambitious than the 40 % target repeatedly called for by the European Parliament. The revised directive also proposes to extend beyond 2020 the application of the energy savings obligation schemes, which require utility companies to help their consumers use 1.5 % less energy each year. It also aims to make the rules on energy metering and billing clearer. The Commission's impact assessment showed that a revision of the directive was necessary, as the current policies would lead the EU to achieve only a 23.9 % reduction of energy consumption by 2030. The adequacy of the EU energy efficiency target was also a focus of a wide range of stakeholder reactions.

Source : © European Union, 2017 - EP
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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