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EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Promoting European culture

28-06-2019

The concept of cultural diversity lies at the heart of the European project. Recent years have seen renewed interest in the sector's potential for promoting social cohesion, unity and tolerance, on the one hand, with continued recognition of its valuable economic role, on the other. There is a strong commitment at the EU level to ensure that culture is mainstreamed in all policy areas, with a special focus on the protection of cultural heritage and cultural diversity, which are key elements in cultural ...

The concept of cultural diversity lies at the heart of the European project. Recent years have seen renewed interest in the sector's potential for promoting social cohesion, unity and tolerance, on the one hand, with continued recognition of its valuable economic role, on the other. There is a strong commitment at the EU level to ensure that culture is mainstreamed in all policy areas, with a special focus on the protection of cultural heritage and cultural diversity, which are key elements in cultural identity and expression. From the economic point of view, the cultural and creative sector, which employs 8.4 million people in the European Union, is dynamic and has a large potential for growth due to its diversity and scope for individual creative freedom. Yet the development of this potential is hampered by barriers, notably linguistic diversity, fragmentation and different financial mechanisms across the EU. The EU's cultural and creative industry also faces challenge from digital technologies and global competition, particularly from the United States' (US) audiovisual industry, and from US and Chinese diplomatic efforts to promote their cultural output. Under the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the EU's role in the context of cultural policy is a supportive and complementary one, direct responsibility in the area being largely a matter for the individual Member States. Nevertheless, since 2014, these challenges have been addressed at the EU level, inter alia via the strengthening of the digital single market, which is essential for access to culture, the circulation of European cultural works, the fair remuneration of creators and fair competition. Since the economic crisis, additional funding has also been made available for the sector via the European Fund for Strategic Investment introduced by the Juncker Commission in 2015. As indicated in a 2017 European Commission communication on the role of culture and education, the synergies between the socio-economic aspects are to be enhanced. The European Year of Cultural Heritage in 2018 is to feed into a reflection and actions related to shared culture and history. These issues are addressed in the New European Agenda for Culture, while the new multiannual financial framework for 2021-2027 envisages increased funding for culture. This will also support efforts to combine artistic and technological skills, which are a prerequisite for artistic expression in the new digital environment. This is an update of an earlier briefing issued in advance of the 2019 European elections.

EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Environmental protection

28-06-2019

Through its environmental policy, the European Union (EU) has been improving Europeans' well-being since 1972. Today, the aim of EU environmental policy is to ensure that by 2050 we are living well, within the limits of the planet. To reach this goal, the EU is striving to move towards a low-carbon, resource-efficient economy, to safeguard biodiversity and to protect human health through legislation on air quality, chemicals, climate, nature, waste and water. Although this policy is delivering concrete ...

Through its environmental policy, the European Union (EU) has been improving Europeans' well-being since 1972. Today, the aim of EU environmental policy is to ensure that by 2050 we are living well, within the limits of the planet. To reach this goal, the EU is striving to move towards a low-carbon, resource-efficient economy, to safeguard biodiversity and to protect human health through legislation on air quality, chemicals, climate, nature, waste and water. Although this policy is delivering concrete benefits (such as a wide network of Natura 2000 protected areas, lower greenhouse gas emissions, increased resource recycling, and cleaner air and water), the outlook for the European environment 20 years from now shows a bleaker picture. Yet transitioning to sustainability could deliver a number of benefits beyond environmental protection, from jobs and economic activity to well-being and health. In a recent poll conducted for the European Parliament, three quarters of EU citizens expressed support for increased EU action on environmental protection. Since 2014, efforts have been made in a number of areas, including waste management (for example new recycling targets, restrictions on plastic carrier bags, action on plastics, measures to tackle marine litter); climate (for example the 2030 greenhouse gas emission targets, and measures to decarbonise the transport sector); nature (primarily to improve the way EU rules on biodiversity protection are implemented); and air quality (new rules on maximum amounts of five key air pollutants that EU countries can emit into the atmosphere). The European Parliament has advocated ambitious policies in many of these areas. In the future, EU environment and climate spending is expected to rise. The Commission is proposing to boost the share of EU spending contributing to climate objectives from 20 % to 25 %, while Parliament has called for this share to be set at 30 %. In the coming years, policies are expected to focus on climate action, nature protection, air quality, the circular economy and pesticides. This is an update of an earlier briefing issued in advance of the 2019 European elections.

EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Promoting equality between women and men

28-06-2019

The European Union (EU) is committed to eliminating inequalities and promoting gender equality 'in all its activities' and has made considerable advances over the years. Nevertheless, the situation remains uneven across the EU, and in recent times progress has slowed, stalled or even regressed in some areas. Yet, the evidence points clearly to the benefits of gender equality for individuals, the economy and society as a whole. Public opinion surveys show that a large majority of Europeans agree that ...

The European Union (EU) is committed to eliminating inequalities and promoting gender equality 'in all its activities' and has made considerable advances over the years. Nevertheless, the situation remains uneven across the EU, and in recent times progress has slowed, stalled or even regressed in some areas. Yet, the evidence points clearly to the benefits of gender equality for individuals, the economy and society as a whole. Public opinion surveys show that a large majority of Europeans agree that promoting gender equality is important for a fair and democratic society, the economy and for them personally and that a growing share of citizens would like the EU to do more in this area. Europeans also expect increased EU action on related policies. During the last legislative term, as part of a broader gender equality programme, the EU institutions have been working on proposals for new EU laws to improve work-life balance and combat violence against women. Promoting equality between women and men will remain one of the major challenges in the coming years. Demographic trends, technological developments and changes to the way we work are just some of the issues where different impacts on women and men will need to be considered. Options for further EU involvement could include better implementation and enforcement of existing legislation, moves to modernise it, fill gaps in protection and address emerging issues, and non-legislative measures such as data collection and monitoring, awareness-raising, and support for national and grassroots initiatives. It will require the political will at all levels to tackle issues across a broad spectrum of policies, together with the provision of the necessary institutions, tools and resources to put that resolve into action. This is an update of an earlier briefing issued in advance of the 2019 European elections.

EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Fisheries

28-06-2019

The European Union has sole responsibility for the conservation of its marine fisheries resources, and manages them under the common fisheries policy (CFP). Launched in 1983 and reformed every ten years since then, the CFP has come a long way. The current framework, resulting from the 2013 CFP reform, is aimed at ensuring that EU fisheries are sustainable – environmentally, economically and socially. The CFP has a dedicated financial instrument – the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) – ...

The European Union has sole responsibility for the conservation of its marine fisheries resources, and manages them under the common fisheries policy (CFP). Launched in 1983 and reformed every ten years since then, the CFP has come a long way. The current framework, resulting from the 2013 CFP reform, is aimed at ensuring that EU fisheries are sustainable – environmentally, economically and socially. The CFP has a dedicated financial instrument – the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) – with a budget of €6.4 billion for the 2014-2020 period. The 2013 reform introduced the target to achieve exploitation of all stocks at sustainable levels by 2020, and provided several major tools to support progress towards this goal. In particular, adoption of multiannual plans has become a priority, to ensure long-term management of stocks. An obligation to land all catches was designed to end the practice of discarding fish back into the sea. The reform also introduced regionalisation of decision-making, with the possibility to adopt conservation measures based on joint recommendations by the Member States concerned. Implementation of the reformed CFP was the main feature of the 2014-2019 parliamentary term, with legislative work making headway on several important topics. A series of multiannual plans have been launched, and four of them, concerning fisheries in the Baltic Sea, the North Sea, the Western Waters and the western Mediterranean, are now in force. The landing obligation has been phased in, as scheduled, from 2015 to 2019. The EU adopted an updated framework for collection of fisheries data to support management decisions, as well as a new system of fishing authorisations improving the monitoring of EU vessels fishing outside EU waters. EU activities have also covered different aspects of the CFP's external dimension, such as conclusion of fisheries agreements with third countries, and participation in international fisheries governance. In the future, further progress is expected on issues such as adoption of multiannual plans and the revision of the fisheries control system. The EMFF will be renewed as part of the next EU multiannual budget for 2021-2027. Taking stock of progress made in implementing the latest reform and achieving its objectives, with a view to future CFP developments, will also be on the agenda. This is an update of an earlier briefing issued in advance of the 2019 European elections.

European Maritime and Fisheries Fund 2021-2027

22-05-2019

The European Commission has proposed a new regulation on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) as part of the next EU budget framework for the 2021-2027 period. The European Parliament established its first-reading position on the proposal on 4 April 2019. The new fund will continue to support the EU common fisheries policy and the Union's maritime policy. The proposal aims to simplify the delivery of the fund compared to the very complex legal framework in use for the current EMFF. It ...

The European Commission has proposed a new regulation on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) as part of the next EU budget framework for the 2021-2027 period. The European Parliament established its first-reading position on the proposal on 4 April 2019. The new fund will continue to support the EU common fisheries policy and the Union's maritime policy. The proposal aims to simplify the delivery of the fund compared to the very complex legal framework in use for the current EMFF. It therefore presents a more flexible architecture: this would allow Member States to use the funds where they see the greatest need, instead of being bound to a list of pre-defined measures and eligibility rules. Small-scale coastal fisheries and outermost regions would receive greater preferential treatment. It further proposes increased support for international ocean governance and stronger synergies with other EU policies. The fund is also expected to contribute to the development of the blue economy and support the EU's climate objectives. Negotiations with the Council on the proposal are expected to start in the new term. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Horizon Europe: Framework programme for research and innovation 2021–2027

15-05-2019

In June 2018, the European Commission proposed a total budget allocation of €100 billion to finance science, research and innovation projects during the 2021-2027 period, of which the vast majority, €94.1 billion in current prices, would be allocated to the Horizon Europe framework programme. The main aims are to strengthen science and technology, to foster industrial competiveness, and to implement the sustainable development goals in the EU. Horizon Europe would introduce new features such as the ...

In June 2018, the European Commission proposed a total budget allocation of €100 billion to finance science, research and innovation projects during the 2021-2027 period, of which the vast majority, €94.1 billion in current prices, would be allocated to the Horizon Europe framework programme. The main aims are to strengthen science and technology, to foster industrial competiveness, and to implement the sustainable development goals in the EU. Horizon Europe would introduce new features such as the European Innovation Council, missions to promote research results, and new forms of partnerships. Horizon Europe also aims at reducing administrative burdens and promoting the concept of open science. More operational synergies are expected through better linkage with other EU programmes, such as cohesion policy (e.g. the European Social Fund), the new Digital Europe programme, and the new European Defence Fund. In March 2019, after several trilogue meetings, Parliament and Council reached a partial agreement. This agreement covers the content, but not, among other things, the budgetary issues, which will be discussed following the negotiations on the EU’s 2021-2027 long-term budget. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Common Provisions Regulation: New rules for cohesion policy for 2021-2027

22-03-2019

For the next EU budget, covering the 2021-2027 period, the European Commission proposes to update EU cohesion policy with a new set of rules. The proposal for a Common Provisions Regulation (CPR) sets out common provisions for seven shared management funds: the European Regional Development Fund, the Cohesion Fund, the European Social Fund Plus, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, the Asylum and Migration Fund, the Internal Security Fund and the Border Management and Visa Instrument. Additional ...

For the next EU budget, covering the 2021-2027 period, the European Commission proposes to update EU cohesion policy with a new set of rules. The proposal for a Common Provisions Regulation (CPR) sets out common provisions for seven shared management funds: the European Regional Development Fund, the Cohesion Fund, the European Social Fund Plus, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, the Asylum and Migration Fund, the Internal Security Fund and the Border Management and Visa Instrument. Additional specific regulations add certain provisions needed to cater for the particularities of individual funds, in order to take into account their different rationales, target groups and implementation methods. The proposed CPR is of the utmost importance as it will set the main rules that govern the above-mentioned funds for the forthcoming period. While the proposal builds upon the previous sets of rules covering the 2014-2020 period, it nevertheless introduces a number of innovations. It aims, amongst other things, to simplify and improve synergies between the different EU policy tools. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

A new association of the Overseas Countries and Territories (including Greenland) with the European Union

20-02-2019

On 14 June 2018, in preparation for the new multiannual financial framework (2021 to 2027 MFF), the European Commission published a proposal for a Council decision on the Association of the Overseas Countries and Territories, including Greenland, with the European Union. For Greenland the main source of EU funding is currently the EU budget, while for the other overseas countries and territories, it is the European Development Fund, a financial instrument outside the EU budget. The proposed decision ...

On 14 June 2018, in preparation for the new multiannual financial framework (2021 to 2027 MFF), the European Commission published a proposal for a Council decision on the Association of the Overseas Countries and Territories, including Greenland, with the European Union. For Greenland the main source of EU funding is currently the EU budget, while for the other overseas countries and territories, it is the European Development Fund, a financial instrument outside the EU budget. The proposed decision would bring together the funds for all EU overseas countries and territories under the EU budget, as part of new Heading 6 'Neighbourhood and the world'. The European Parliament, which is only consulted, has adopted its legislative resolution on the proposal, in which it calls for an increase of the proposed budget for 2021-2027, and for better account to be taken of OCTs’ social and environmental circumstances.

Digital Europe programme: Funding digital transformation beyond 2020

11-02-2019

In the framework of the next long-term EU budget for 2021-2027, the Commission is proposing a new, €9.2 billion programme to build up digital capacity and infrastructure and support a digital single market. It will operate mainly through coordinated and strategic co-investments with the Member States in the areas of advanced computing and data, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity, their uptake and optimal use in the private and public sectors and boosting advanced digital skills. The programme ...

In the framework of the next long-term EU budget for 2021-2027, the Commission is proposing a new, €9.2 billion programme to build up digital capacity and infrastructure and support a digital single market. It will operate mainly through coordinated and strategic co-investments with the Member States in the areas of advanced computing and data, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity, their uptake and optimal use in the private and public sectors and boosting advanced digital skills. The programme aims to help European societies and businesses to make the most of the ongoing digital transformation. The Commission sees the potential for efficiency gains in exploring complementarities and synergies with other planned programmes such as Horizon Europe, the Connecting Europe Facility and the European Regional Development and Cohesion Funds. The European Parliament adopted amendments on 13 December 2018 and referred the file back to the ITRE committee for interinstitutional negotiations. The Council reached a partial general approach, which excludes budgetary and horizontal issues, in December 2018. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

European Maritime and Fisheries Fund 2021-2027

21-01-2019

The 2021-2027 European Maritime and Fisheries Fund is the major financial tool supporting the EU common fisheries policy (CFP). The new EMFF is focused “on evolution rather than radical changes” - and is supposed to be simpler and more flexible for the stakeholders involved. The notes on quality, research and analysis of the impact assessment concluded that the range of options, the scope and analysis of impacts, and the stakeholder consultation seem to be not always in line with the Better Regulation ...

The 2021-2027 European Maritime and Fisheries Fund is the major financial tool supporting the EU common fisheries policy (CFP). The new EMFF is focused “on evolution rather than radical changes” - and is supposed to be simpler and more flexible for the stakeholders involved. The notes on quality, research and analysis of the impact assessment concluded that the range of options, the scope and analysis of impacts, and the stakeholder consultation seem to be not always in line with the Better Regulation Guidelines for financial programmes.

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