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Research for TRAN Committee - Transport and Tourism in Sweden

28-07-2017

This overview of the transport and tourism sectors in Sweden was prepared to provide information for the mission of the Transport and Tourism Committee to Sweden (17-19 July 2017).

This overview of the transport and tourism sectors in Sweden was prepared to provide information for the mission of the Transport and Tourism Committee to Sweden (17-19 July 2017).

Framework for energy efficiency labelling

27-07-2017

In July 2015, the Commission proposed a new regulation on energy efficiency labelling as part of its summer energy package. The proposed regulation seeks to restore the A-G scale for energy labelling; create a mechanism for rescaling products that can accommodate further improvements in energy efficiency; establish a product database on energy efficiency; and introduce a safeguard procedure to improve national market surveillance. The rescaling of different types of household products would be done ...

In July 2015, the Commission proposed a new regulation on energy efficiency labelling as part of its summer energy package. The proposed regulation seeks to restore the A-G scale for energy labelling; create a mechanism for rescaling products that can accommodate further improvements in energy efficiency; establish a product database on energy efficiency; and introduce a safeguard procedure to improve national market surveillance. The rescaling of different types of household products would be done through delegated acts from the Commission. While the proposal is supported by consumer and environmental groups, industry groups are concerned that a major change in energy labelling could have a negative impact on both producers and consumers, acting as a disincentive to greater energy efficiency. The Council adopted a general approach in November 2015. The Parliament approved a series of legislative amendments in July 2016. After several trilogue meetings, a provisional agreement was reached in March 2017. The agreed text was subsequently approved by the Parliament on 13 June and by the Council on 26 June 2017. This briefing updates an earlier edition, of February 2017: PE 599.282.

Overcapacities in the European Banking Sector

26-07-2017

This briefing explores the issue of possible overcapacities in the European Banking Sector that are said to be a factor for the current low level of bank profitability.

This briefing explores the issue of possible overcapacities in the European Banking Sector that are said to be a factor for the current low level of bank profitability.

Illicit trade in cultural goods

25-07-2017

Illicit trade (or trafficking) in cultural goods is defined by the European Commission as the 'illicit import, export and transfer of ownership of cultural property, i.e. items being of importance for archaeology, prehistory, history, literature, art or science' and is characterised as ranging 'from theft from cultural heritage institutions or private collections, through looting of archaeological sites to the displacement of artefacts due to war'. The European Commission points out that trafficking ...

Illicit trade (or trafficking) in cultural goods is defined by the European Commission as the 'illicit import, export and transfer of ownership of cultural property, i.e. items being of importance for archaeology, prehistory, history, literature, art or science' and is characterised as ranging 'from theft from cultural heritage institutions or private collections, through looting of archaeological sites to the displacement of artefacts due to war'. The European Commission points out that trafficking in cultural goods 'fosters terrorism, money laundering, tax evasion, and organised crime' and that 'Europe, where art and culture are highly prized and where many wealthy buyers can be found, is a favourite outlet for trafficking'. Cultural goods have a significant economic value in the market and the trafficking of cultural goods and antiquities is estimated to be worth between US$50 million and US$150 million a year. The European Union does not have common rules on the import of cultural goods. Two EU acts govern only selected areas: Regulation (EU) 116/2009 lays down rules on the export of cultural goods, and Directive 2014/60/EU governs the return of cultural objects taken unlawfully from another EU country. Furthermore, most Member States impose restrictions on imports of culture goods (e.g. requiring declarations or controls) in line with Articles 34 and 35 of Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). On 13 July 2017 the European Commission tabled a proposal for a regulation on the import of cultural goods, which will set out conditions and procedure for the entry of cultural goods into the customs territory of the EU. The Commission is also preparing a study on illicit trade in cultural goods in the EU and the new technologies available to combat it.

Ukraine and the EU [What Think Tanks are thinking]

25-07-2017

Relations between the European Union and Ukraine have been improving since the Maidan protests ousted President Viktor Yanukovych in 2014, leading to the election of pro-Western Petro Poroshenko as head of state. At their meeting on 12-13 July, EU and Ukrainian leaders welcomed the completion of the ratification of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement and the recent entry into force of visa liberalisation for Ukrainian citizens. However, Ukraine's security situation remains precarious following Russia's ...

Relations between the European Union and Ukraine have been improving since the Maidan protests ousted President Viktor Yanukovych in 2014, leading to the election of pro-Western Petro Poroshenko as head of state. At their meeting on 12-13 July, EU and Ukrainian leaders welcomed the completion of the ratification of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement and the recent entry into force of visa liberalisation for Ukrainian citizens. However, Ukraine's security situation remains precarious following Russia's annexation of Crimea and the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine, in which Russia's role is unclear. The EU is also urging Ukraine to fight corruption with more determination. This note offers links to recent commentaries and reports published by major international think tanks on the situation in Ukraine and its relations with the EU.

The orderly liquidation of Veneto Banca and Banca Popolare di Vicenza

25-07-2017

This briefing focusses on the failure of two Italian banks, Veneto Banca and Banca Popolare di Vicenza (hereunder “the Veneto banks”), and their subsequent liquidation through a special insolvency procedure under Italian law.

This briefing focusses on the failure of two Italian banks, Veneto Banca and Banca Popolare di Vicenza (hereunder “the Veneto banks”), and their subsequent liquidation through a special insolvency procedure under Italian law.

Review of dual-use export controls

24-07-2017

Certain goods and technologies have legitimate civilian applications but can also be used for the development of weapons of mass-destruction, terrorist acts and human rights violations; these so-called ‘dual-use’ goods are subject to the European Union’s export control regime. The regime is now being revised, mainly to take account of significant technological developments and to create a more level playing field among EU Member States. The proposed regulation recasts the regulation in force since ...

Certain goods and technologies have legitimate civilian applications but can also be used for the development of weapons of mass-destruction, terrorist acts and human rights violations; these so-called ‘dual-use’ goods are subject to the European Union’s export control regime. The regime is now being revised, mainly to take account of significant technological developments and to create a more level playing field among EU Member States. The proposed regulation recasts the regulation in force since 2009. Among other elements, the proposal introduces a controversial new ‘human security’ dimension to export controls, to prevent the abuse of certain cyber-surveillance technologies by regimes with a questionable human rights record. Stakeholders are divided over the incorporation of human rights considerations, with the technology industry particularly concerned that it might lose out to non-European competitors. The European Parliament, the Council and the Commission issued a joint statement on the review of the dual-use export control system in 2014 and the European Parliament has since adopted several resolutions related to the issue. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Drinking Water Directive

24-07-2017

The Drinking Water Directive (DWD) sets quality standards for drinking water and requires that Member States ensure monitoring and compliance with these standards. By and large, it has been successful, best exemplified by the high, and increasing, levels of compliance across the European Union (EU) with the microbiological, chemical and indicator parameters and values set in the DWD. Notwithstanding this overall success, evidence collected over the past years, most notably through evaluation as well ...

The Drinking Water Directive (DWD) sets quality standards for drinking water and requires that Member States ensure monitoring and compliance with these standards. By and large, it has been successful, best exemplified by the high, and increasing, levels of compliance across the European Union (EU) with the microbiological, chemical and indicator parameters and values set in the DWD. Notwithstanding this overall success, evidence collected over the past years, most notably through evaluation as well as public and stakeholder consultation, confirm the existence of challenges. These include an outdated list of parameters and parametric values; over-reliance on compliance testing at the end of the water supply chain (at the tap) and related lack of a risk-based approach to managing water quality; problems related to water quality in small water supplies; lack of connection to public water networks for many citizens; problems related to water contact materials; as well as a lack of information for citizens. Although European Commission Directive 2015/1787 recently introduced elements of a risk-based approach, the current text of the directive does not appear to integrate the World Health Organization guidelines on drinking water quality sufficiently, both in terms of parameters and parametric values (which have not been updated in the DWD since 1998), as well as the lack of a comprehensive risk-based approach in water quality management that would systematically address potential risks throughout the water supply chain. The European Commission is expected to make a proposal to amend the directive in late 2017.

Reception of asylum-seekers - recast Directive

19-07-2017

States must treat asylum-seekers and refugees according to the appropriate standards laid down in human rights and refugee law. The current migration crisis revealed wide divergences in the level of reception conditions provided by Member States. While some are facing problems in ensuring adequate and dignified treatment of applicants, in others the standards of reception provided are more generous. This has led to secondary movements of asylum-seekers and refugees, and has put pressure on certain ...

States must treat asylum-seekers and refugees according to the appropriate standards laid down in human rights and refugee law. The current migration crisis revealed wide divergences in the level of reception conditions provided by Member States. While some are facing problems in ensuring adequate and dignified treatment of applicants, in others the standards of reception provided are more generous. This has led to secondary movements of asylum-seekers and refugees, and has put pressure on certain Member States. The aim of the proposed recast directive, which would replace the current Reception Conditions Directive, is to ensure greater harmonisation of reception standards and more equal treatment of asylum-seekers across all Member States, as well as to avoid 'asylum shopping' whereby asylum-seekers choose the Member State with the highest protection standards for their application. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

New rules for managing the EU external fishing fleet

19-07-2017

Following trilogue negotiations, the Parliament is to be asked to approve in plenary a revised system of issuing and managing fishing authorisations, intended to improve monitoring and transparency of the EU external fishing fleet. The new legislation will replace the current 'Fishing Authorisations Regulation' 1006/2008, and will cover all EU vessels fishing outside EU waters, as well as third-country vessels fishing in EU waters. The current scope of the authorisation system would be extended to ...

Following trilogue negotiations, the Parliament is to be asked to approve in plenary a revised system of issuing and managing fishing authorisations, intended to improve monitoring and transparency of the EU external fishing fleet. The new legislation will replace the current 'Fishing Authorisations Regulation' 1006/2008, and will cover all EU vessels fishing outside EU waters, as well as third-country vessels fishing in EU waters. The current scope of the authorisation system would be extended to include practices poorly monitored so far, such as private agreements between EU companies and third countries and abusive reflagging operations. Member States would authorise fishing vessels using common eligibility criteria, complemented by specific conditions depending on the nature of the authorisation. Part of the electronic fishing authorisations register, showing who fishes what and where, would for the first time be publicly accessible. Fourth edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. To view earlier editions of this briefing, please see: PE 595.886, January 2017.

Upcoming events

04-09-2017
Implementation of the Common Provisions (Reg. EU 1303/2013)
Workshop -
CONT
04-09-2017
Antimicrobial Resistance
Workshop -
ENVI
09-10-2017
Constituent meeting of the Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny Group (JPSG) on Europol
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