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Posted on 15-02-2019

The euro at 20 [What Think Tanks are thinking]

15-02-2019

The euro marked its 20th anniversary in January 2019, as debates continued about the single currency's track-record and the shape of future reform. When the 11 original members of the euro area irrevocably fixed their exchange rates in 1999, and transferred authority over their monetary policies to the European Central Bank, the currency's advocates hailed the move as the crowning achievement of European integration. Whilist some economists have blamed the euro area's one-size-fits-all approach to ...

The euro marked its 20th anniversary in January 2019, as debates continued about the single currency's track-record and the shape of future reform. When the 11 original members of the euro area irrevocably fixed their exchange rates in 1999, and transferred authority over their monetary policies to the European Central Bank, the currency's advocates hailed the move as the crowning achievement of European integration. Whilist some economists have blamed the euro area's one-size-fits-all approach to interest rates for weakening growth and increasing economic divergences between certain countries, others have pointed to the euro's role in underpinning the single market as well as offering resilience to Europe in withstanding the 2008-2009 financial crisis and its aftermath. Opinion polls shows the euro continues to be popular among citizens. This note brings together commentaries, analyses and studies by major international think tanks and research institutes on the euro's merits, its future and related issues. Earlier publications on the topics can be found in a previous edition of the series published in November 2018, PE 630.268.

Plenary round-up – Strasbourg, February 2019

15-02-2019

The February plenary session highlights included a further debate on the Future of Europe, with Giuseppe Conte, Italy's Prime Minister; debates on Syria, and the future of the INF Treaty and its impact on the EU; and discussions on Roma integration strategies, and on a reflection paper on a sustainable Europe by 2030. Parliament also held debates on the conclusion of three EU-Singapore agreements; the implementation of Treaty provisions; and the rights of LGBTI people. Members adopted legislative ...

The February plenary session highlights included a further debate on the Future of Europe, with Giuseppe Conte, Italy's Prime Minister; debates on Syria, and the future of the INF Treaty and its impact on the EU; and discussions on Roma integration strategies, and on a reflection paper on a sustainable Europe by 2030. Parliament also held debates on the conclusion of three EU-Singapore agreements; the implementation of Treaty provisions; and the rights of LGBTI people. Members adopted legislative texts, inter alia, on a multiannual plan for stocks fished in the Western Waters; a Union civil protection mechanism; minimum requirements for water reuse; screening of FDI; electronic road toll systems; mutual recognition of goods; cross-border payments and currency conversion charges; and common rules for access to the international market for coach and bus services. Finally, Parliament adopted positions on six further proposed funding programmes for the 2021-2027 period, clearing the way to the launch of negotiations with the Council.

EU-Ukraine people-to-people contacts

15-02-2019

The 2014 Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine began as a grassroots movement, channelling public calls for a functioning democracy, a European outlook and an end to corruption. Since then, the European Union (EU) has been unrelenting in its support for Kyiv's ambitious reform process as well as for Ukraine's vibrant civil society.

The 2014 Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine began as a grassroots movement, channelling public calls for a functioning democracy, a European outlook and an end to corruption. Since then, the European Union (EU) has been unrelenting in its support for Kyiv's ambitious reform process as well as for Ukraine's vibrant civil society.

Posted on 14-02-2019

Online disinformation and the EU's response

14-02-2019

The visibility of disinformation as a tool to undermine democracies increased in the context of Russia's hybrid war against Ukraine. It gained notoriety as a global challenge during the UK referendum on EU membership as well as the United States presidential election campaign in 2016. The European Union and the European Parliament are stepping up efforts to tackle online disinformation ahead of the May 2019 European elections.

The visibility of disinformation as a tool to undermine democracies increased in the context of Russia's hybrid war against Ukraine. It gained notoriety as a global challenge during the UK referendum on EU membership as well as the United States presidential election campaign in 2016. The European Union and the European Parliament are stepping up efforts to tackle online disinformation ahead of the May 2019 European elections.

The euro at 20: Benefits of the Single Currency for Citizens

14-02-2019

On 1 January 2019, the euro turned 20. The launch by 11 EU Member States (MS) of the single currency and of the single monetary policy under the responsibility of the European Central Bank (ECB) was a historic milestone on a journey driven by the ambition to ensure stability and prosperity in Europe. Today, still young, the euro is already the currency of 340 million Europeans in 19 MS. This note, prepared by Policy department A, summarises benefits of the single currency for European citizens.

On 1 January 2019, the euro turned 20. The launch by 11 EU Member States (MS) of the single currency and of the single monetary policy under the responsibility of the European Central Bank (ECB) was a historic milestone on a journey driven by the ambition to ensure stability and prosperity in Europe. Today, still young, the euro is already the currency of 340 million Europeans in 19 MS. This note, prepared by Policy department A, summarises benefits of the single currency for European citizens.

Revision of the Drinking Water Directive

14-02-2019

On 1 February 2018, the European Commission published a proposal for a recast of the Directive on the quality of water intended for human consumption (the Drinking Water Directive). The proposal responds to the European Citizens' Initiative, Right2Water, and builds on a fitness check which concluded that the 20-year old directive is fit for purpose, but needs updating. The main elements of the proposal consist of updating the water quality standards, introducing a risk-based approach to the monitoring ...

On 1 February 2018, the European Commission published a proposal for a recast of the Directive on the quality of water intended for human consumption (the Drinking Water Directive). The proposal responds to the European Citizens' Initiative, Right2Water, and builds on a fitness check which concluded that the 20-year old directive is fit for purpose, but needs updating. The main elements of the proposal consist of updating the water quality standards, introducing a risk-based approach to the monitoring of water, improving and streamlining the information provided to consumers, harmonising the standards for products in contact with drinking water, and imposing obligations to improve access to water. In the European Parliament, the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) adopted its report on 10 September 2018. A plenary vote on the committee’s report, and on opening interinstitutional negotiations, took place on 23 October 2018. The Council has yet to define its position.

The new European cybersecurity competence centre and network

14-02-2019

On 13 September 2017, the Commission adopted a cybersecurity package containing a series of initiatives to further improve EU cyber-resilience, deterrence and defence. A year later, the Commission presented a proposal for the creation of a European cybersecurity competence centre with a related network of national coordination centres. The initiative aims to improve and strengthen the EU's cybersecurity capacity, by stimulating the European technological and industrial cybersecurity ecosystem as ...

On 13 September 2017, the Commission adopted a cybersecurity package containing a series of initiatives to further improve EU cyber-resilience, deterrence and defence. A year later, the Commission presented a proposal for the creation of a European cybersecurity competence centre with a related network of national coordination centres. The initiative aims to improve and strengthen the EU's cybersecurity capacity, by stimulating the European technological and industrial cybersecurity ecosystem as well as coordinating and pooling necessary resources in Europe. The competence centre is supposed to become the main body that would manage EU financial resources dedicated to cybersecurity research under the two proposed programmes – Digital Europe and Horizon Europe – within the next multiannual financial framework, for 2021-2027. Within the European Parliament, the file has been assigned to the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE). The draft report was published on 7 December 2018. The vote in ITRE is expected to take place in February 2019. First edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

The InvestEU programme: Continuing EFSI in the next MFF

14-02-2019

Since its launch in November 2014, the Investment Plan for Europe (IPE) has had considerable success in mobilising private investment across Europe. Despite its success, investment levels in Europe remain below pre-crisis levels. There is therefore a need to provide for an extended EU investment programme under the new multiannual financial framework (MFF), which caters for multiple objectives in terms of simplification, flexibility, synergies and coherence across relevant EU policies. The InvestEU ...

Since its launch in November 2014, the Investment Plan for Europe (IPE) has had considerable success in mobilising private investment across Europe. Despite its success, investment levels in Europe remain below pre-crisis levels. There is therefore a need to provide for an extended EU investment programme under the new multiannual financial framework (MFF), which caters for multiple objectives in terms of simplification, flexibility, synergies and coherence across relevant EU policies. The InvestEU programme, expected to run from 2021 onwards, has been designed to address this challenge. It will bring diverse EU financial instruments within a single structure, making EU funding for investment projects in Europe simpler and more efficient and flexible. It will build on the success achieved by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) and consist of the InvestEU Fund, the InvestEU Advisory Hub and the InvestEU Portal.

Global and regional value chains: Opportunities for European SMEs' internationalisation and growth

14-02-2019

International value chains have emerged as the new paradigm for the organisation of production globally. Today, most production processes across the world are vertically fragmented as a result of the increased unbundling of tasks and functions and their sourcing from different geographical locations. The extent to which this expansion in supply-chain trade is global in character (which some describe as the 'Factory World' phenomenon), or is rather based on more intra-regional ties clustered around ...

International value chains have emerged as the new paradigm for the organisation of production globally. Today, most production processes across the world are vertically fragmented as a result of the increased unbundling of tasks and functions and their sourcing from different geographical locations. The extent to which this expansion in supply-chain trade is global in character (which some describe as the 'Factory World' phenomenon), or is rather based on more intra-regional ties clustered around Europe, Asia and the Americas, is still being debated in the literature. Notwithstanding their geographical characteristics, international value chains offer increased opportunities for enterprises, by fostering their growth and internationalisation irrespective of their scale and size. To SMEs, they offer a broader range of channels through which they can participate more actively in global markets. By linking with international supply chains, SMEs can take a first step up the ladder, which – through spill-overs and knowledge transfers – can often give them access to assignments of higher added value. With greater interconnectedness, however, comes greater complexity. Not all SMEs are able to take advantage of the opportunities and link with international value chains in an effective way. More importantly, however, for those that do manage to integrate into international production chains, the magnitude and nature of the benefits will critically depend on the SMEs' entry point and position in global production networks and the links they can develop within those networks.

Measures to strengthen NordLB’s capital position

14-02-2019

This briefing for the attention of the Members of the Banking Union Working Group summarises publically available information on Norddeutsche Landesbank (NordLB) regarding (i) its activities, ownership, supervision, and recent performance, (ii) the 2018 stress test results and capital position, (iii) the 2012 State Aid decision and performance during the restructuring period, (iv) NordLB’s core problem: the shipping portfolio, (v) NordLB’s recent attempts to strengthen its capital position, and ( ...

This briefing for the attention of the Members of the Banking Union Working Group summarises publically available information on Norddeutsche Landesbank (NordLB) regarding (i) its activities, ownership, supervision, and recent performance, (ii) the 2018 stress test results and capital position, (iii) the 2012 State Aid decision and performance during the restructuring period, (iv) NordLB’s core problem: the shipping portfolio, (v) NordLB’s recent attempts to strengthen its capital position, and (vi) the BRRD framework.

Upcoming events

18-02-2019
ECON/TAX3 - Joint session with National Parliaments
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19-02-2019
Hearing on attacks on the legal profession and lawyers defending human rights
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19-02-2019
Just energy transition, opportunity for EU industries
Workshop -
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