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Posted on 14-09-2018

EU trade with Latin America and the Caribbean: Overview and figures

14-09-2018

This publication provides an overview of trade relations between the EU and Latin American and Caribbean countries and groupings. The EU has fully fledged agreements with two Latin American groupings (Cariforum and the Central America group), a multiparty trade agreement with three members of the Andean Community (Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru), and bilateral agreements with Chile and Mexico. Since November 2017, a new agreement governing trade relations with Cuba has also been provisionally applied ...

This publication provides an overview of trade relations between the EU and Latin American and Caribbean countries and groupings. The EU has fully fledged agreements with two Latin American groupings (Cariforum and the Central America group), a multiparty trade agreement with three members of the Andean Community (Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru), and bilateral agreements with Chile and Mexico. Since November 2017, a new agreement governing trade relations with Cuba has also been provisionally applied. In addition, the EU is currently modernising its agreements with Mexico (with which it has reached an 'agreement in principle') and Chile. The EU also has framework agreements with Mercosur and its individual members (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay). The agreement with the former will be replaced, once the ongoing negotiations on an EU-Mercosur association agreement have been completed. This publication provides recent data on trade relations between the EU and Latin American and Caribbean countries and groupings, compares the main agreements governing trade relations that are already in place, and analyses the rationale behind the ongoing negotiations on the EU-Mercosur, EU-Mexico and EU-Chile agreements. This is a revised and updated edition of a publication from October 2017 by Gisela Grieger and Roderick Harte, PE 608.793.

Posted on 07-09-2018

Cryptocurrencies and monetary policy

16-07-2018

Decentralised ledger technology has enabled cryptocurrencies to become a new form of money that is privately-issued, digital and that permits peer-to-peer transactions. However, the current volume of transactions in such cryptocurrencies is still too small to make them serious contenders to replace official currencies. Underlying this are two factors. First, cryptocurrencies do not perform the role of money well, because their value is very volatile and they are thus not very good stores of value ...

Decentralised ledger technology has enabled cryptocurrencies to become a new form of money that is privately-issued, digital and that permits peer-to-peer transactions. However, the current volume of transactions in such cryptocurrencies is still too small to make them serious contenders to replace official currencies. Underlying this are two factors. First, cryptocurrencies do not perform the role of money well, because their value is very volatile and they are thus not very good stores of value. Second, cryptocurrencies are managed in ways that are very primitive compared to what modern currencies require. These shortcomings might be corrected in the future to increase the popularity and reach of cryptocurrencies. However, those that manage currencies, in other words monetary policymakers, cannot be outside any societal system of checks and balances. For cryptocurrencies to replace official money, they would have to conform to the institutional set up that monitors and evaluates those who have the power to manage money. This document was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee.

External author

Grégory CLAEYS, Maria DEMERTZIS, Konstantinos EFSTATHIOU (Bruegel)

The effects and risks of ECB collateral framework changes

16-07-2018

During the crisis, the ECB modified its collateral framework to face increased liquidity needs of commercial banks. This has taken two forms: the minimum required rating for different classes of assets has been reduced and the haircut associated to these assets has evolved conditional on the default risks of these assets. The benefits in terms of cushioning a liquidity crisis and enhancing monetary policy transmission have most probably exceeded the costs in terms of riskier central bank balance ...

During the crisis, the ECB modified its collateral framework to face increased liquidity needs of commercial banks. This has taken two forms: the minimum required rating for different classes of assets has been reduced and the haircut associated to these assets has evolved conditional on the default risks of these assets. The benefits in terms of cushioning a liquidity crisis and enhancing monetary policy transmission have most probably exceeded the costs in terms of riskier central bank balance sheet and potential capital losses. This document was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee.

External author

Christophe BLOT, Jérôme CREEL, Paul HUBERT (Sciences Po – OFCE)

ECB non-standard-policies and collateral constraints

16-07-2018

Collateral constitutes an indispensable lubricant for the financial system. Government bonds constitute the most important source of collateral, for use in inter-bank and repo transactions. But, the vast bond buying program of the ECB in the context of the Public Sector Purchase Programme has not led to any collateral scarcity. Banks still hold very large amounts of sovereign bonds and they have ample other collateral should they want to borrow more from the ECB for ‘standard’ monetary policy operations ...

Collateral constitutes an indispensable lubricant for the financial system. Government bonds constitute the most important source of collateral, for use in inter-bank and repo transactions. But, the vast bond buying program of the ECB in the context of the Public Sector Purchase Programme has not led to any collateral scarcity. Banks still hold very large amounts of sovereign bonds and they have ample other collateral should they want to borrow more from the ECB for ‘standard’ monetary policy operations. Banks tend to use less liquid assets as collateral with the ECB, but this does not mean necessarily more risk for the ECB for which liquidity is not important. This document was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs.

External author

Daniel GROS, Willem Pieter de Groen (CEPS)

Posted on 05-09-2018

Implementation of the Stability and Growth Pact (August 2018)

03-09-2018

This document gives an overview of key developments under the preventive and corrective arms of the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) on the basis of (1) the latest Council decisions and recommendations in the framework of the SGP; (2) the latest European Commission (COM) economic forecast; and (3) the latest COM Opinions on the Draft Budgetary Plans (DBPs) of euro area Member States. The document is regularly updated.

This document gives an overview of key developments under the preventive and corrective arms of the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) on the basis of (1) the latest Council decisions and recommendations in the framework of the SGP; (2) the latest European Commission (COM) economic forecast; and (3) the latest COM Opinions on the Draft Budgetary Plans (DBPs) of euro area Member States. The document is regularly updated.

Posted on 27-08-2018

The future of sustainable development chapters in EU free trade agreements

23-07-2018

Sustainable development is an important part of the EU trade policy since it gets on meeting the needs of the present whilst ensuring future generations can meet their own needs. All EU FTAs include a Trade and Sustainable Development (TSD) chapter, which seeks to ensure that partners follow international requirements in the three pillars that compose sustainable development: economic, environmental and social. The adoption of the UN Agenda 2030 in 2015, which sets 17 Sustainable Development Goals ...

Sustainable development is an important part of the EU trade policy since it gets on meeting the needs of the present whilst ensuring future generations can meet their own needs. All EU FTAs include a Trade and Sustainable Development (TSD) chapter, which seeks to ensure that partners follow international requirements in the three pillars that compose sustainable development: economic, environmental and social. The adoption of the UN Agenda 2030 in 2015, which sets 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets, and the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change, have pushed the Commission to review its TSD chapter and to table a new proposal, identifying 15 action points drawn from the large debate with member states, the European Parliament as well as the civil society launched eight months before. In order to feed the forthcoming debates within the European Union institutions, academic experts in the three dimensions of the sustainable development as well as representatives of the European Union institutions have been invited to the workshop to share their views, not only on the binding aspect of TSD provisions, but also on how various European Union policies can be worked together to achieve the best results.

External author

Mr Damian RAESS Ms Evita SCHMIEG Mr Tancrède VOITURIEZ

Posted on 24-08-2018

The future of the European Defence Agency (EDA)

18-07-2018

The aim of the workshop, held on 22 November 2017, was to discuss the future of the European Defence Agency (EDA) against the backdrop of framing a common Union defence policy. The first speaker, Dr Christian Mölling, provided an analysis of the issue of defence cooperation among EU member states and the difficulties it faces. In this context, he described the role and power of the EDA as well as possible options for its future. The second speaker, Professor David Versailles, focused on capabilities ...

The aim of the workshop, held on 22 November 2017, was to discuss the future of the European Defence Agency (EDA) against the backdrop of framing a common Union defence policy. The first speaker, Dr Christian Mölling, provided an analysis of the issue of defence cooperation among EU member states and the difficulties it faces. In this context, he described the role and power of the EDA as well as possible options for its future. The second speaker, Professor David Versailles, focused on capabilities and competencies as well as on the interaction between civilian and military capabilities. The presentations were followed by a debate involving members of the Security and Defence Committee of the European Parliament.

External author

Dr Christian MÖLLING; Dr Valérie MERINDOL and Dr David W. VERSAILLES

Posted on 26-07-2018

2021-2027 multiannual financial framework and new own resources: Analysis of the Commission's proposal

26-07-2018

The process of negotiating a new seven-year financial plan for the EU has now begun formally with the Commission's publication of proposals for a 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), and for a new system of own resources providing the revenue to pay for it. This analysis presents the proposed new MFF and own resources and compares them to the status quo, as well as to the European Parliament's priorities as expressed in plenary resolutions adopted in spring 2018.

The process of negotiating a new seven-year financial plan for the EU has now begun formally with the Commission's publication of proposals for a 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), and for a new system of own resources providing the revenue to pay for it. This analysis presents the proposed new MFF and own resources and compares them to the status quo, as well as to the European Parliament's priorities as expressed in plenary resolutions adopted in spring 2018.

The Privacy Shield: Update on the state of play of the EU-US data transfer rules

26-07-2018

The CJEU’s Schrems judgment of October 2015, besides declaring the European Commission’s Decision on the EU-US ‘Safe Harbour’ data transfer regime invalid, has also settled a number of crucial requirements corresponding to the foundations of EU data protection. In less than one year from the CJEU ruling, the Commission had adopted a new adequacy decision in which the new framework for EU-US data transfer, the Privacy Shield (2016), is deemed to adequately protect EU citizens. The main improvements ...

The CJEU’s Schrems judgment of October 2015, besides declaring the European Commission’s Decision on the EU-US ‘Safe Harbour’ data transfer regime invalid, has also settled a number of crucial requirements corresponding to the foundations of EU data protection. In less than one year from the CJEU ruling, the Commission had adopted a new adequacy decision in which the new framework for EU-US data transfer, the Privacy Shield (2016), is deemed to adequately protect EU citizens. The main improvements of the Privacy Shield (over its predecessor), as well as the critical reactions to the new arrangements, are discussed in this paper. The first joint annual review took place in September 2017 on which both the Commission and Article 29 Working Party issued their own reports. Although progress is recognised, a number of concerns remain and new challenges to the Privacy Shield have arisen, among others, from the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal, as pointed out by the European Parliament in its recent resolution.

Posted on 20-07-2018

3D bio-printing for medical and enhancement purposes

20-07-2018

3D bio-printing is defined here as the use of 3D printing technology for applications related to the body, whether the products themselves include biological material or not, and whether or not their purpose is medical. It includes any application for rehabilitating, supporting or augmenting any kind of biological functionality. The impacts of 3D bio-printing are uncertain, and it is not clear which actions may be required to foster responsible development of the technology. A STOA study, 'Additive ...

3D bio-printing is defined here as the use of 3D printing technology for applications related to the body, whether the products themselves include biological material or not, and whether or not their purpose is medical. It includes any application for rehabilitating, supporting or augmenting any kind of biological functionality. The impacts of 3D bio-printing are uncertain, and it is not clear which actions may be required to foster responsible development of the technology. A STOA study, 'Additive bio-manufacturing: 3D printing for medical recovery and human enhancement, responded to these uncertainties by describing the state of the art and future development prospects of 3D bio-printing technology, analysing their wide-ranging impacts – including social, ethical and economic aspects – and identifying key policy challenges along with options to respond to them. Key challenges and responsive options were identified in the approach to regulation, in managing the distribution of costs and benefits, and in the role of citizens in technology development. This In-depth Analysis draws upon the findings of the STOA Study, summarising and reflecting upon its key findings. The conclusions highlight key trends and offer further reflections on the study in the context of responsible research and innovation.

Upcoming events

24-09-2018
Brexit and industry and space policy
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ITRE
24-09-2018
Third meeting of the Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny Group (JPSG) on Europol
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LIBE
25-09-2018
The impact of automation: Identifying jobs at risk
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