ThinkTank logo The documents that help shape new EU legislation
Posted on 23-02-2017

Scientific Aspects Underlying the Regulatory Framework in the Area of Fertilisers – State of Play and Future Reforms

15-12-2016

This document was prepared by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) on the proposed cadmium regulation for phosphate fertilisers. Cadmium is a metal that can have adverse health effects on the general population. The use of mineral phosphate fertilisers contributes to about 60% of current cadmium emissions to soil. The proposed regulation aims to reduce soil and crop cadmium concentrations on the long term in most European regions ...

This document was prepared by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) on the proposed cadmium regulation for phosphate fertilisers. Cadmium is a metal that can have adverse health effects on the general population. The use of mineral phosphate fertilisers contributes to about 60% of current cadmium emissions to soil. The proposed regulation aims to reduce soil and crop cadmium concentrations on the long term in most European regions.

External author

Eric Smolders

Posted on 22-02-2017

An Economic Review on the Collaborative Economy

15-12-2016

This paper provides an overview of the empirical evidence concerning the potential gains from collaborative economy and the economic impact some of its business models on. It discusses how we can distinguish professional and non-professional services and provides a list of 9 tentative recommendations for the better protection of the users of the collaborative platforms. It also summarises the main regulatory concerns that emerge from the operation of such platforms. This document was prepared by ...

This paper provides an overview of the empirical evidence concerning the potential gains from collaborative economy and the economic impact some of its business models on. It discusses how we can distinguish professional and non-professional services and provides a list of 9 tentative recommendations for the better protection of the users of the collaborative platforms. It also summarises the main regulatory concerns that emerge from the operation of such platforms. This document was prepared by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection.

External author

Georgios Petropoulos

Τhe Composition of the European Parliament

22-02-2017

The workshop, organized by the Policy Department for Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs upon request by the AFCO Committee, provides insight in the issue of apportionment of seats in the European Parliament, one of the most politically sensitive decisions with direct impact on citizens' representation in the European Parliament. The workshop examined methods for the apportionment of seats in Parliament that would satisfy the requirements of the principle of degressive proportionality and ...

The workshop, organized by the Policy Department for Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs upon request by the AFCO Committee, provides insight in the issue of apportionment of seats in the European Parliament, one of the most politically sensitive decisions with direct impact on citizens' representation in the European Parliament. The workshop examined methods for the apportionment of seats in Parliament that would satisfy the requirements of the principle of degressive proportionality and that would be able to automatically adjust to the changing demographic picture in the Union as well as be able to accommodate changes in the number of EU Member States.

External author

Friedrich Pukelsheim, Geoffrey Grimmett, Victoriano Ramírez González, Wojciech Słomczyński and Karol Życzkowski

Posted on 20-02-2017

How blockchain technology could change our lives

20-02-2017

Blockchain technology is of increasing interest to citizens, businesses and legislators across the European Union. This report is aimed at providing a point of entry for those curious about blockchain technology, so as to stimulate interest and provoke discussion around its potential impact. A general introduction is followed by a closer look at eight areas in which blockchain has been described as having a substantial potential impact. For each of these, an explanation is given of how the technology ...

Blockchain technology is of increasing interest to citizens, businesses and legislators across the European Union. This report is aimed at providing a point of entry for those curious about blockchain technology, so as to stimulate interest and provoke discussion around its potential impact. A general introduction is followed by a closer look at eight areas in which blockchain has been described as having a substantial potential impact. For each of these, an explanation is given of how the technology could be developed in that particular area, the possible impacts this development might have, and what potential policy issues are to be anticipated.

Posted on 15-02-2017

Freshwater protection: EU policy and the status of freshwater systems

15-02-2017

Freshwater ecosystems are particularly rich in biodiversity and fulfil important ecosystem services. However, the continuing presence of pollutants still raises concerns for public health, as well as for nature conservation. Surface water bodies and groundwater alike are threatened by synthetic and also naturally occurring substances that can have a negative impact on the aquatic environment and on human health. Increased temperature and over-abstraction of water are further causes for concern. Meanwhile ...

Freshwater ecosystems are particularly rich in biodiversity and fulfil important ecosystem services. However, the continuing presence of pollutants still raises concerns for public health, as well as for nature conservation. Surface water bodies and groundwater alike are threatened by synthetic and also naturally occurring substances that can have a negative impact on the aquatic environment and on human health. Increased temperature and over-abstraction of water are further causes for concern. Meanwhile, heavy modifications to the natural flow and physical changes to water bodies can also cause serious disturbances to water ecosystems. With the Water Framework Directive (WFD), the EU adopted comprehensive legislation for the protection of water within the EU. Under the directive, Member States are required to achieve good status in all bodies of surface water and groundwater by 2015, or 2027 at the latest. Unfortunately, despite considerable improvements in water quality, this goal was not achieved by the end of 2015 as hoped.

Posted on 10-02-2017

CETA and public services

10-02-2017

EU-Canada negotiations for a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) began in May 2009 and concluded in September 2014. Signed in October 2016, the agreement's overall aim is to increase flows of goods, services and investment. This publication analyses the extent to which public services are protected in CETA. The trade agreement takes the public sector into account by means of a (general) public sector carve-out and specific reservations introduced by the EU and the Member States in the ...

EU-Canada negotiations for a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) began in May 2009 and concluded in September 2014. Signed in October 2016, the agreement's overall aim is to increase flows of goods, services and investment. This publication analyses the extent to which public services are protected in CETA. The trade agreement takes the public sector into account by means of a (general) public sector carve-out and specific reservations introduced by the EU and the Member States in the annexes to the agreement. These reservations apply specifically to health services, education services, social services, and environmental, energy and transport services. National reservations introduced by the EU Member States to complement EU-wide reservations vary greatly. To a large extent this is the result of the widely varying levels of liberalisation of certain services among Member States, leading some of them to see a greater need to protect particular sectors from foreign competition than others.

Posted on 09-02-2017

Counter-terrorism Cooperation with the Southern Neighbourhood

02-02-2017

Since the EU adopted its Counter-Terrorism Strategy in 2005, it has focused on forging closer ties with third countries in the fight against terrorism. Cooperation with the Southern Neighbourhood in this field is particularly important. Every single country within this region is affected by terrorism to different degrees and terrorist attacks on European soil are increasingly linked with the Middle East and North Africa. The EU adopted a wide-ranging counter-terrorism approach in the South including ...

Since the EU adopted its Counter-Terrorism Strategy in 2005, it has focused on forging closer ties with third countries in the fight against terrorism. Cooperation with the Southern Neighbourhood in this field is particularly important. Every single country within this region is affected by terrorism to different degrees and terrorist attacks on European soil are increasingly linked with the Middle East and North Africa. The EU adopted a wide-ranging counter-terrorism approach in the South including actions that go beyond the strictly military and security interpretations of counter-terrorism. In line with the UN’s 4-pillar approach, the EU’s counter-terrorism measures can be broadly subdivided into four fields: (i) building state capacity (particularly in the areas of border control, criminal investigation and prosecution, and countering the financing of terrorism); (ii) strengthening the rule of law and respect for human rights; (iii) fostering regional cooperation; and (iv) preventing and combating terrorism. This study outlines and contextualises current counter-terrorism activities in the region.

External author

Florence GAUB, Annelies PAUWELS

Posted on 01-02-2017

Russia’s National Security Strategy and Military Doctrine and their Implications for the EU

01-02-2017

The European Union sees its relationship with Russia as a ‘key strategic challenge’. Its members are alarmed by Russia’s violations of international commitments and increased military activity in Europe. Russian recently updated basic strategic documents are full of indications about Moscow’s world vision and security concerns. They indirectly point to a tension between Russia’s internal (economic, demographic, societal) weaknesses and its claim to be recognized as one of the ‘centers of influence ...

The European Union sees its relationship with Russia as a ‘key strategic challenge’. Its members are alarmed by Russia’s violations of international commitments and increased military activity in Europe. Russian recently updated basic strategic documents are full of indications about Moscow’s world vision and security concerns. They indirectly point to a tension between Russia’s internal (economic, demographic, societal) weaknesses and its claim to be recognized as one of the ‘centers of influence’ in the emerging multipolar world order. The West, including the EU, is clearly perceived as the major challenger to both Russia’s great power ambition and security. At the same time, various indicators suggest that Moscow is probably not fully confident that it will obtain a gratifying role in the emerging new international landscape. All this has led Russia to rely massively on its restored military capabilities, while pursuing a very active diplomacy, in which the relative importance of the EU has declined in recent years. The EU nonetheless has an important role to play in promoting the second engine of the ‘double-track Russia strategy’ that the West (the EU, NATO, the United States) has been pursuing –– strengthening defenses on the one hand, pursuing dialogue and cooperative engagement on the other hand.

External author

Isabelle FACON (Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique - FRS, Paris, France)

Posted on 30-01-2017

European space policy: Historical perspective, specific aspects and key challenges

30-01-2017

Space has been a cooperative endeavour in Europe for over 50 years. The first collaborative structures between the Member States in the 1960s led to the establishment of the European Space Agency (ESA) in 1975. The European Union began to be involved in the field in the 1990s, especially through the design of EU space programmes – Galileo for satellite navigation and Copernicus for earth observation – implemented in cooperation with ESA. European space policy is defined and implemented by the EU, ...

Space has been a cooperative endeavour in Europe for over 50 years. The first collaborative structures between the Member States in the 1960s led to the establishment of the European Space Agency (ESA) in 1975. The European Union began to be involved in the field in the 1990s, especially through the design of EU space programmes – Galileo for satellite navigation and Copernicus for earth observation – implemented in cooperation with ESA. European space policy is defined and implemented by the EU, ESA and their member states. This diversity offers some flexibility, but also creates fragmentation, leading to inefficiency in areas such as the implementation of EU programmes or the development of international relations. New developments, including the role of private actors in the field and the growing importance of security and defence aspects also challenge current European space policy governance.

Posted on 26-01-2017

Ten issues to watch in 2017

26-01-2017

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 ...

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.

Upcoming events

27-02-2017
The state and development of the biomass of fish stocks managed by the CFP
Hearing -
PECH
28-02-2017
The Third Reform of the Common European Asylum System - Up for the Challenge
Other event -
LIBE
28-02-2017
Workshop on the consequences of Brexit
Workshop -
IMCO

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