mercoledì 8 marzo 2017

Segnalazioni dal Parlamento Europeo

06-03-2017 12:00 AM CET

Could introducing more precision agriculture in Europe allow us to obtain food resilience, while ensuring sustainability and jobs, and taking into account the EU’s wide agricultural diversity? Precision agriculture (PA), or precision farming, involves using technology to improve the ratio between agricultural output (usually food) and agricultural input (land, energy, water, fertilisers, pesticides, etc.). PA consists of using sensors to identify crop or livestock needs precisely (in space or time), and then intervening in a targeted way to maximise the productivity of each plant and animal, whilst minimising any waste of resources.

Source : © European Union, 2017 - EP
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06-03-2017 12:00 AM CET

To address remaining discrepancies, achieve a level playing field and reflect on market, consumption and technological changes as part of its Digital Single Market strategy, the European Commission presented an update of the EU Audiovisual Media Services Directive on 25 May 2016. The overarching goal of the proposal is to bring about a balance between competitiveness and consumer protection. It therefore aims to introduce flexibility when restrictions only applicable to TV are no longer justified, promote European films, protect minors and tackle hate speech more efficiently. The proposal also reflects a new approach to online platforms. Although the directive's increased protection for vulnerable viewers in VOD platforms has been greeted with satisfaction, the new rules on promotion of European works and commercial communications have received mixed views from stakeholders. Second edition The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please click here for the full publication in PDF format

Source : © European Union, 2017 - EP
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06-03-2017 12:00 AM CET

The various reports and assessments show that there are considerable differences in the way vehicle road charges have been implemented across Member States. This means that a fully integrated market is yet to be reached. This is partly due to the flexibility contained in the various legislations which allowed Member States to apply systems that first and foremost fitted with their needs. As transport policy has increasingly become more interlinked with reducing emissions, these differences have become more problematic. The available evidence shows that there are qualitative differences between the road charging systems with distance-based charges being the most effective option. Indeed, it is clear that a move towards this system has been happening for some time now, and that road charges generally vary depending on emissions. The reviews did not find evidence of discrimination against any HGV users. In the area of electronic tolling, substantial variations can also be found. While dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) is the most used system, significant challenges around inter-operability remain. In fact some argue that none of the current systems in use under EETS will increase operability. Technological advances are nevertheless making harmonising these services easier. Although some argue that the gradual harmonisation seen to date has more to do with new technologies than with EU legislation. While a harmonised system is important for the internal market, road charges have also become closely linked with the reduction in emissions according to the 'polluter pay' principle. Following that logic, it would be difficult not to consider road charges for all vehicles. Especially since passenger car emissions make up a higher proportion of GHG emissions than HGVs. Indeed, the Commission's consultation on the topic confirms that wide ranging options are being considered. A broader scope raises more challenges, and as road charges get more sophisticated, i.e. time-based for example, more care needs to be taken that rates do not discriminate against some road users, in particular non-nationals. However, road charges currently make up only a very small proportion of the total costs for the transport sector, which means that behavioural changes solely based on these charges are likely to be limited. To significantly reduce transport emissions, much broader actions will be required.

Source : © European Union, 2017 - EP
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06-03-2017 12:00 AM CET

People with disabilities are among the most vulnerable in society. While disability policy is primarily a Member State competence, the EU is committed to improving the living conditions of all people with disabilities and, in particular, to addressing the issue of institutionalised care. Cohesion policy can play a key role in this process. The cohesion policy framework sets out 11 thematic objectives closely aligned to the goals of the Europe 2020 strategy, including promoting social inclusion, combating poverty and any discrimination; this objective allows Member States to focus structural funds (ESIF) specifically on delivering support for people with disabilities. A new emphasis on partnerships involving disability organisations in ESIF programming as well as measures to prevent discrimination and ensure accessibility for people with disabilities through the use of special pre-conditions, ex ante conditionalities, aim to ensure that the views of disabled people are taken into account and their fundamental rights respected. Yet while operational programmes contain a broad range of measures to support people with disabilities, with the European Commission also reporting that Member States have respected the partnership principle during ESIF programming and fulfilled many of the ex ante conditionalities in place, the view of stakeholders has been more mixed. Pointing to issues such as excessive reporting requirements or a low level of knowledge among beneficiaries, they also have reservations about the quality of the participation of disability organisations in ESIF decision-making, raising questions as to the likely impact of the planned measures. Looking to the future, stakeholders emphasise the need to ensure the participation of disability organisations in all ESIF decision-making, and stress the importance of funding, potentially difficult in the context of increasing pressures on the EU budget.

Source : © European Union, 2017 - EP
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06-03-2017 12:00 AM CET

Serving as access points to Europe, the European Union's approximately 1 200 seaports are crucial both for its transport sector and its competitiveness. They also have significant potential for creating jobs and attracting investors. The European Commission plans to redress the huge disparities in performance levels by modernising the port services offered by the EU’s 329 main seaports. The reform is aimed at eliminating unfair competition, guaranteeing a level playing field and improving the commercial efficiency of ports. Two previous attempts to liberalise port services (in 2001 and 2004) provoked controversy, particularly regarding their social/labour market aspects, and were rejected by the European Parliament. The latest initiative combines a legislative and a 'soft' approach. The previously contentious cargo handling and passenger services will not be opened up to the market through legislation. Instead, the Commission is focusing on establishing a clear framework for market access to port services and common rules on the transparency of public funding for ports and the charges for users. The 'soft' approach comprises an action plan and the launch of sectoral social dialogue. This briefing updates an earlier edition, of 6 December 2016, PE 595.829.

Source : © European Union, 2017 - EP 
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06-03-2017 12:00 AM CET

Approximately 14 million EU residents (mobile workers, unemployed and economically inactive citizens) are not living in their home country. In order to grant them the social and health benefits to which they are entitled, coordination between the social security systems of the Member States is necessary. However, the current Regulations (EC) No 883/2004 and (EC) No 987/2009 no longer reflect the changing national social security systems and the case law of the European Court of Justice. The European Commission's December 2016 proposal aims to establish a coherent regime for the coordination of long-term care benefits, and to clarify the access of economically inactive citizens to social benefits. It proposes new arrangements for the coordination of unemployment benefits in order to enhance job-seeking, and provisions for the coordination of family benefits, such as parental leave allowances. The proposal also seeks to strengthen administrative rules on social security coordination for posted workers. However, it does not intend to change existing rules on the export of child benefits, despite demands from several stakeholders.

Source : © European Union, 2017 - EP
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06-03-2017 12:00 AM CET

The EU has been working on reforming family leave policies in Member States since the 1980s. Its efforts resulted in two currently valid directives: the 1992 Maternity Leave Directive and the 2010 Parental Leave Directive. Even though EU Member States’ transposition of the current directives has been mostly satisfactory technically, in 2015 the Commission announced a package on work-life balance which would replace the current legislation. The rationale for the new package is increasing female labour participation, bringing gender balance to care activities now predominantly performed by women, and improving negative demographic trends. The current legislative framework has been evaluated as inadequate to deal with these challenges. While the content of the Commission proposal is not yet fully known, an analysis of the current situation may shed light on the direction of change, as well as the obstacles that the new proposal may face. Even though Member States have transposed the current directives, they have also been given much freedom in deciding on elements which may be crucial in achieving the aims of the new Commission proposal. Why Member States decided to implement certain elements over others depends on their cultural, social and economic situations, which, according to experts, play a significant role in deciding policies of that type and may also influence the new proposal.

Source : © European Union, 2017 - EP
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06-03-2017 12:00 AM CET

This ex-post impact assessment analyses EU-US trade and investment relations to assess whether and, if so, to what extent these relations have impacted on issues related to tax evasion, money laundering and tax transparency. The EU and US economies are highly intertwined, generating together half the world’s gross domestic product and more than 30 % of global trade. Overall, trade and investment relations between the European Union and the United States do not seem to have impacted on US efforts to combat tax evasion, strengthen anti-money laundering legislation, and its implementation, and boost tax transparency. While some progress has been made in the ongoing negotiation of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which also aims to establish regulatory cooperation between the EU and the USA on financial services, progress has been below expectations. The United States has set up mechanisms for information exchange with EU Member States, has signed tax treaties with almost all EU Member States, and has developed a robust legal framework to address money laundering and combat terrorism financing. Despite being largely compliant with the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force, however, challenges remain on questions of beneficial ownership, cross-border exchange of information, privacy issues, and designated non-financial businesses and professions.

Source : © European Union, 2017 - EP
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06-03-2017 12:00 AM CET

The post-World War II order is undergoing profound changes with globalisation and the emergence of new economic powers. The economy has gradually taken over as the main driver of political influence and global now transcend the old national or regional divides. As the EU was emerging as a global economic player, the economic and financial crisis made the need to tap into foreign markets all the greater. The creation of the European External Action Service (EEAS), incorporating the EU delegations, and the new EU competence for direct foreign investment under the Treaty of Lisbon have given the Union the tools to assume an independent identity in economic diplomacy. As a result, the EU’s business-promotion policy evolved into a much more sophisticated economic diplomacy strategy, handled in a more structured manner by the Commission and the EEAS. The European Parliament must now be involved, beyond its legislative and scrutiny roles, in devising this new strategy. Not only could the EP add to the debate but it can also help the Commission and the EEAS with its long-established tradition of parliamentary diplomacy.

Source : © European Union, 2017 - EP
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06-03-2017 12:00 AM CET

This study was commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs of the European Parliament. It assesses the implementation of the Treaty of Lisbon provisions on national parliaments as well as other related developments since 2009. The issues that are specifically investigated include the treaty provisions regarding national parliaments, Early Warning Mechanism, dialogue between national parliaments and the European Commission, the extending networks of inter-parliamentary cooperation, the parliamentary dimension of the budgetary and economic coordination and finally, the challenges raised by the on-going developments of the European legislative procedure.

Source : © European Union, 2017 - EP
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06-03-2017 12:00 AM CET

Freedom of movement and residence for persons in the EU is the cornerstone of Union citizenship, established by the Treaty of Maastricht in 1992. The gradual phasing-out of internal borders under the Schengen agreements was followed by the adoption of Directive 2004/38/EC on the right of EU citizens and their family members to move and reside freely within the EU. Notwithstanding the importance of this right, substantial implementation obstacles persist, ten years after the deadline for implementation of the Directive.

Source : © European Union, 2017 - EP
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06-03-2017 12:00 AM CET

Since the entry into force of the Treaty of Maastricht, every EU citizen has had the right to submit a petition to the European Parliament, in the form of a complaint or a request, on an issue that falls within the European Union’s fields of activity. Petitions are examined by Parliament’s Committee on Petitions, which takes a decision on their admissibility and is responsible for dealing with them.

Source : © European Union, 2017 - EP
 
06-03-2017 12:00 AM CET

The European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) is an important instrument of participatory democracy in the European Union, allowing one million EU citizens residing in at least one quarter of the Member States to invite the Commission to submit a proposal for a legal act to implement the EU Treaties. Since the application of Regulation (EU) No 211/2011establishing detailed procedures and conditions for the ECI, three initiatives have been successfully submitted to the Commission.

Source : © European Union, 2017 - EP
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06-03-2017 12:00 AM CET

There is no codified European company law as such and Member States continue to operate separate company acts, which are amended from time to time to comply with EU directives and regulations. The ongoing efforts for establishing a modern and efficient company law and corporate governance framework for European undertakings, investors and employees aim to improve the business environment in the EU.

Source : © European Union, 2017 - EP
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06-03-2017 12:00 AM CET

Audiovisual policy in the EU is governed by Articles 167 and 173 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). The key piece of legislation in this field is the Audiovisual Media Services Directive, which is currently (2017) under revision. The main EU instrument to help the industry (especially the film industry) is the MEDIA sub-programme of Creative Europe. The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union asks for respect of ‘freedom and pluralism of the media’.

Source : © European Union, 2017 - EP
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