ThinkTank logo The documents that help shape new EU legislation
Posted on 29-03-2017

How the EU Budget Has Developed and Changed in the Last 10 years?

15-02-2017

Since the entry into force of the Financial Perspectives of 2007-2013 one decade ago, the EU’s budget has undergone significant change. In 2009, the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) agreed at Lisbon came into effect. This significantly modified the powers of the European Union’s institutions. The eruption of the global financial crisis in 2008, followed by the crisis particular to the euro area, led to pressure for austerity in the EU’s Member States and put pressure on the ...

Since the entry into force of the Financial Perspectives of 2007-2013 one decade ago, the EU’s budget has undergone significant change. In 2009, the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) agreed at Lisbon came into effect. This significantly modified the powers of the European Union’s institutions. The eruption of the global financial crisis in 2008, followed by the crisis particular to the euro area, led to pressure for austerity in the EU’s Member States and put pressure on the EU’s budget itself. This briefing provides a summary of these developments.

External author

Giacomo Benedetto

Posted on 27-03-2017

UK withdrawal from the European Union: Legal and procedural issues

27-03-2017

Following the United Kingdom's referendum in June 2016, which delivered a majority vote in favour of the country leaving the European Union, a period of uncertainty has begun for both the UK and the EU. Although the process of withdrawing from the EU is outlined by Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, a number of issues remain unclear in practice, all the more so since there is no precedent of a Member State withdrawing from the Union. This in-depth analysis considers the legal and procedural ...

Following the United Kingdom's referendum in June 2016, which delivered a majority vote in favour of the country leaving the European Union, a period of uncertainty has begun for both the UK and the EU. Although the process of withdrawing from the EU is outlined by Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, a number of issues remain unclear in practice, all the more so since there is no precedent of a Member State withdrawing from the Union. This in-depth analysis considers the legal and procedural issues surrounding UK withdrawal, focusing in particular on the formal exit process under Article 50 TEU and the EU institutions' preparations for negotiations. It also sets out some possible templates for future EU-UK relations, as well as the details of existing frameworks for cooperation between the EU and third countries.

Workshop on EU-Turkmenistan Relations

27-03-2017

EU-Turkmenistan relations are in a position to be redefined by the proposed EU-Turkmenistan Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, which will require the consent of the European Parliament (and of the national parliaments of the EU member states). This workshop served as a debate platform with the intention of clarifying the understanding of the current political and societal dynamics in Turkmenistan. Such an agreement should represent a basis to enforce better standards of human rights, rule of ...

EU-Turkmenistan relations are in a position to be redefined by the proposed EU-Turkmenistan Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, which will require the consent of the European Parliament (and of the national parliaments of the EU member states). This workshop served as a debate platform with the intention of clarifying the understanding of the current political and societal dynamics in Turkmenistan. Such an agreement should represent a basis to enforce better standards of human rights, rule of law, and democracy in Turkmenistan, as well as for more intensive economic cooperation between the EU and Turkmenistan, which currently faces an economic crisis. The two concepts are apparently complementary but deciding which one constituted the more useful approach for engagement was the central point that structured the discussion. Regardless of the angle from which they approached the issue, however, a majority of participants in the workshop debate expressed support for adoption of the treaty, while some NGO representatives took a more cautious view.

External author

Sébastien Peyrouse and Luca Ancheschi

Posted on 23-03-2017

Human Rights in Iran after the Nuclear Deal Business as Usual or Time for Change?

13-03-2017

This report summarises the proceedings of a workshop organised jointly by the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI) and the Delegation for relations with Iran (D-IR). The purpose of the workshop was to analyse the most recent developments regarding human rights in Iran since the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was signed in July 2015 and to explore the options available to the EU in seeking to help improve the situation. Experts and human rights defenders pointed to ...

This report summarises the proceedings of a workshop organised jointly by the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI) and the Delegation for relations with Iran (D-IR). The purpose of the workshop was to analyse the most recent developments regarding human rights in Iran since the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was signed in July 2015 and to explore the options available to the EU in seeking to help improve the situation. Experts and human rights defenders pointed to the gaps between law and practice in Iran and raised continuing concerns about the death penalty, political prisoners, prison conditions, arrests of dual nationals, minority rights and restrictions to internet access. They identified Iran’s dual power structure of elected and non-elected institutions and corruption as some of the chief constraints to any reform efforts. They said the EU should keep human rights — including support for the relevant UN mechanisms and efforts — high on its agenda. They said the key factors for engaging successfully with Iran on human rights in future were clear criteria and benchmarks, detailed knowledge of the human rights issues at stake and interaction with Iranian civil society both inside and outside Iran.

External author

Firouzeh NAHAVANDI (Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium - chapter 2.1) ; Nazila GHANEA (University of Oxford, the UK - chapter 2.2) and Giulia BONACQUISTI (Trans European Policy Studies Association - TEPSA, Belgium - workshop report)

Posted on 22-03-2017

Towards new rules on sales and digital content: Analysis of the key issues

22-03-2017

In 2015, the Commission presented two proposals for directives: on the online sale of goods to consumers, and on the supply of digital content to consumers. The two proposals need to be analysed in the context of the existing Consumer Sales Directive from 1999, which is currently under revision as part of the REFIT exercise. If the two proposals enter into force, consumer sales transactions will be regulated by three instruments: with regard to tangible goods sold face to face – by the Consumer Sales ...

In 2015, the Commission presented two proposals for directives: on the online sale of goods to consumers, and on the supply of digital content to consumers. The two proposals need to be analysed in the context of the existing Consumer Sales Directive from 1999, which is currently under revision as part of the REFIT exercise. If the two proposals enter into force, consumer sales transactions will be regulated by three instruments: with regard to tangible goods sold face to face – by the Consumer Sales Directive, with regard to tangible goods sold at a distance – the Online Sales Directive, and with regard to the sale of digital content – the Digital Content Directive. Not surprisingly, the three texts have much in common as regards their structure and subject matter. They all deal with such issues as conformity (lack of defects), the consumer's remedies in cases of defects, the time limit for bringing such remedies and the burden of proof. They also have two other systemic issues in common: the choice between minimum and maximum harmonisation, on the one hand, and between mandatory and default rules, on the other. The existing Consumer Rights Directive is a minimum harmonisation instrument, and allows Member States to grant consumers a higher level of protection, especially when it comes to the period of seller's liability or the freedom of choice of remedies to be pursued in the event of defects. Similarly, the absence of any EU legislation specifically addressing contracts regarding the sale or rental of digital content or the provision of digital services means that Member States have been free to protect consumers to the extent they see fit. Since the two proposals are framed as maximum harmonisation instruments, the question of the exact extent of consumer rights and the way they should be exercised is crucial.

Fossil Fuel Subsidies

16-01-2017

This paper provides an overview of fossil fuel subsidies globally and in the EU, as well as a summary of key components of successful reform efforts and why reform can be difficult to achieve for governments. This analysis was provided by Policy Department A for the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI).

This paper provides an overview of fossil fuel subsidies globally and in the EU, as well as a summary of key components of successful reform efforts and why reform can be difficult to achieve for governments. This analysis was provided by Policy Department A for the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI).

Economic Dialogue with Croatia

22-03-2017

This note presents selected information on the current status of the EU economic governance procedures and related relevant information in view of an Economic Dialogue with Zdravko Maric, Croatia’s Minister for Finance, in the ECON committee of the European Parliament. The invitation for a dialogue is in accordance with the EU economic governance framework.

This note presents selected information on the current status of the EU economic governance procedures and related relevant information in view of an Economic Dialogue with Zdravko Maric, Croatia’s Minister for Finance, in the ECON committee of the European Parliament. The invitation for a dialogue is in accordance with the EU economic governance framework.

Posted on 20-03-2017

Fines for Misconduct in the Banking Sector – What Is the Situation in the EU?

20-03-2017

This paper was drafted under supervision of the Economic Governance Support Unit. Misconduct (conduct) risk may be defined as the risk of losses to an institution arising from an inappropriate supply of financial services, including cases of willful or negligent misconduct. Based on EBA data, it generates the vast majority of operational risks expected by Europe’s top banks (€71bn according to the 2016 stress test). According to public-domain figures, misconduct costs have been rising strongly for ...

This paper was drafted under supervision of the Economic Governance Support Unit. Misconduct (conduct) risk may be defined as the risk of losses to an institution arising from an inappropriate supply of financial services, including cases of willful or negligent misconduct. Based on EBA data, it generates the vast majority of operational risks expected by Europe’s top banks (€71bn according to the 2016 stress test). According to public-domain figures, misconduct costs have been rising strongly for large European banks in 2011-2015, although no European lender matches the costs experienced by large US banks. The distribution of losses looks highly skewed, with a few exceptionally high costs. More than 55% originates from traditional areas like commercial and retail banking. There are signs that conduct costs (per unit of total assets) have been stronger for small and mid-sized institutions, and for banks that ended up in resolution or requiring some other form of extraordinary support. Conduct risk is addressed by a number of EU-wide regulations and supervisory standards. Still, only half of the EU’s competent authorities include conduct risk in their supervisory examination programmes. To discipline conduct risk ex post sanctions play a useful role, but should be complemented by ex ante tools like improving the quality of bank governance, preventing remuneration schemes that encourage inappropriate practices, encouraging whistle-blowing and improving the clarity of regulations to remove grey areas.

External author

Andrea Resti

Fines for Misconduct in the Banking Sector – What Is the Situation in the EU?

20-03-2017

This paper was drafted under supervision of the Economic Governance Support Unit. Bank regulators have the discretion to discipline banks by executing enforcement actions to ensure that banks correct deficiencies regarding safe and sound banking principles. We highlight the trade-offs regarding the execution of enforcement actions for financial stability. Following this we provide an overview of the differences in the legal framework governing supervisors’ execution of enforcement actions in the ...

This paper was drafted under supervision of the Economic Governance Support Unit. Bank regulators have the discretion to discipline banks by executing enforcement actions to ensure that banks correct deficiencies regarding safe and sound banking principles. We highlight the trade-offs regarding the execution of enforcement actions for financial stability. Following this we provide an overview of the differences in the legal framework governing supervisors’ execution of enforcement actions in the Banking Union and the United States. After discussing work on the effect of enforcement action on bank behaviour and the real economy, we present data on the evolution of enforcement actions and monetary penalties by U.S. regulators. We conclude by noting the importance of supervisors to levy efficient monetary penalties and stressing that a division of competences among different regulators should not lead to a loss of efficiency regarding the execution of enforcement actions.

External author

Martin R. Götz and Tobias H. Tröger

Fines for Misconduct in the Banking Sector – What Is the Situation in the EU?

20-03-2017

This paper was drafted under supervision of the Economic Governance Support Unit. The US system for addressing bank misconduct through fines delivers a number of lessons for the EU with regard to the design of bank enforcement architecture and the need to develop common approaches across national and EU levels with a view to avoiding regulatory arbitrage. Following the crisis, the highest money penalties imposed on banks in the US related to mis-selling of financial products – a criminal offence ...

This paper was drafted under supervision of the Economic Governance Support Unit. The US system for addressing bank misconduct through fines delivers a number of lessons for the EU with regard to the design of bank enforcement architecture and the need to develop common approaches across national and EU levels with a view to avoiding regulatory arbitrage. Following the crisis, the highest money penalties imposed on banks in the US related to mis-selling of financial products – a criminal offence falling under the remit of Department of Justice – rather than to breaches of prudential supervisory requirements.

External author

Elena Carletti

Upcoming events

06-04-2017
Impact of the Panama-Papers on Developing countries
Hearing -
PANA
11-04-2017
The Implementation of the Environmental Liability Directive
Hearing -
JURI ENVI
11-04-2017
Hearing on the e-Privacy reform
Hearing -
LIBE

Infographics

Stay connected

email update imageEmail updates system

You can follow anyone or anything linked to the Parliament using the email updates system, which sends updates directly to your mailbox. This includes the latest news about MEPs, committees, the news services or the Think Tank.

You can access the system from any page on the Parliament website. To sign up and receive notifications on Think Tank, simply submit your email address, select the subject you are interested in, indicate how often you want to be informed (daily, weekly or monthly) and confirm the registration by clicking on the link that will be emailed to you.

RSS imageRSS feeds

Follow all news and updates from the European Parliament website by making use of our RSS feed.

Please click on the link below to configure your RSS feed.

widget imageRSS widgets

Please click on the button below to add a widget covering publications available via the Think Tank to your website.

Create a RSS widget

Publications of the Think Tank

The content of all documents contained in the Think Tank website is the sole responsibility of the author and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily represent the official position of the European Parliament. It is addressed to the Members and staff of the EP for their parliamentary work.

The Think Tank is on...