1562

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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.

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.

Seven economic challenges for Russia: Breaking out of stagnation?

18-07-2018

This publication describes the current condition of the Russian economy, which has suffered recently from external shocks, such as a collapse in oil prices and Western sanctions. However, it argues that poor economic performance has more to do with long-term internal problems, including a lack of competitive markets, low levels of investment, an absence of innovation and excessive dependence on natural resources. Finally, it discusses President Putin's promises of economic reforms to tackle such ...

This publication describes the current condition of the Russian economy, which has suffered recently from external shocks, such as a collapse in oil prices and Western sanctions. However, it argues that poor economic performance has more to do with long-term internal problems, including a lack of competitive markets, low levels of investment, an absence of innovation and excessive dependence on natural resources. Finally, it discusses President Putin's promises of economic reforms to tackle such issues, and evaluates the prospects for major change.

General revision of the European Parliament's Rules of Procedure: Achieving greater transparency and efficiency as of January 2017

16-07-2018

The last general and extensive overhaul of the European Parliament’s Rules of Procedure, which entered into force as of 16 January 2017, was intended to bring more transparency and efficiency to parliamentary work. Among the numerous modifications, may be noted the increased attention to the conduct of Members, the streamlining of the types of thresholds for procedural requests, the increased transparency surrounding the decision to begin negotiations during the various stages of the legislative ...

The last general and extensive overhaul of the European Parliament’s Rules of Procedure, which entered into force as of 16 January 2017, was intended to bring more transparency and efficiency to parliamentary work. Among the numerous modifications, may be noted the increased attention to the conduct of Members, the streamlining of the types of thresholds for procedural requests, the increased transparency surrounding the decision to begin negotiations during the various stages of the legislative procedure, the abolition of written declarations and the modification of the maximum number of questions for written answer allowed. These and further modifications required to adapt to the 2016 Interinstititional Agreement on Better Law-making were introduced to bring clarity, incorporate existing practices and correct redundancies or inconsistencies.

The EU-UK withdrawal agreement: Progress to date and remaining difficulties

12-07-2018

With the United Kingdom set to leave the European Union in less than one year's time, negotiations to finalise a withdrawal agreement, as provided for under Article 50 TEU, are coming up against an increasingly tight deadline. Recent progress in agreeing a number of key 'exit' issues prompted the decision to begin discussions on the future EU-UK relationship. However, significant challenges still remain before the conclusion of a withdrawal agreement, on which the transition period requested by the ...

With the United Kingdom set to leave the European Union in less than one year's time, negotiations to finalise a withdrawal agreement, as provided for under Article 50 TEU, are coming up against an increasingly tight deadline. Recent progress in agreeing a number of key 'exit' issues prompted the decision to begin discussions on the future EU-UK relationship. However, significant challenges still remain before the conclusion of a withdrawal agreement, on which the transition period requested by the UK also depends. This EPRS In-depth Analysis considers the draft withdrawal agreement published by the European Commission on 19 March 2018, as well as the (few) additional points settled in negotiations in the period up to June 2018. It seeks to provide an overview of the main areas already settled by the negotiators, as well as of those areas of persisting difficulty or disagreement.

Subsidiarity: Mechanisms for monitoring compliance

12-07-2018

The principle of subsidiarity requires decisions to be taken at the lowest practical level of government without, however, jeopardising mutually beneficial cooperation at the supranational level. Recent decades have seen efforts to strengthen the subsidiarity principle in EU law, including the introduction of the well-known early warning mechanism (EWM) for national parliaments. At the same time, the principle of subsidiarity remains a contested notion. This has important implications for the regulatory ...

The principle of subsidiarity requires decisions to be taken at the lowest practical level of government without, however, jeopardising mutually beneficial cooperation at the supranational level. Recent decades have seen efforts to strengthen the subsidiarity principle in EU law, including the introduction of the well-known early warning mechanism (EWM) for national parliaments. At the same time, the principle of subsidiarity remains a contested notion. This has important implications for the regulatory, political and judicial bodies monitoring compliance with the principle. In this context, commentators have called for a better (and shared) understanding of the principle and have formulated a number of suggestions as to how to monitor compliance with the principle more effectively.

Directive 2011/7/EU on late payments in commercial transactions

11-07-2018

Directive 2011/7/EU on late payments in commercial transactions (Late Payment Directive, (LPD)) strengthened European regulations first introduced in 2000 in favour of creditors. In addition to statutory interest, the application of which is still not automatic, maximum periods were established for payments in business-to-business transactions and those with public authorities, limiting contractual freedom, which is often abused by stronger companies. Following the largely correct transposition into ...

Directive 2011/7/EU on late payments in commercial transactions (Late Payment Directive, (LPD)) strengthened European regulations first introduced in 2000 in favour of creditors. In addition to statutory interest, the application of which is still not automatic, maximum periods were established for payments in business-to-business transactions and those with public authorities, limiting contractual freedom, which is often abused by stronger companies. Following the largely correct transposition into national law, the situation continues to vary between Member States with regard to average payment periods (especially from public authorities), and the level of implementation of additional voluntary measures (such as prompt payment codes). In the absence of harmonised measurement methods, business surveys and consultations indicate improving practices, but the attribution of this development to the LPD cannot be separated from broader economic contexts and cultural aspects easily. Further exchange of best practices and better monitoring of their effectiveness might facilitate future developments in the area of late payments, including legislative action.

Economic dialogue and exchange of views with the Presidents of the Council (ECOFIN)

09-07-2018

Hartwig Löger, Minister of Finance of Austria, is participating in the ECON Committee on 11 July 2018 in his capacity of the incoming President of the ECOFIN Council during the Austrian Presidency (July - December 2018). Vladislav Goranov, Minister of Finance of Bulgaria, is participating in the ECON Committee on 12 July 2018 in his capacity of the outgoing President of the ECOFIN Council during the Bulgarian Presidency (January - June 2018). According to the Treaty of the Union “Member States shall ...

Hartwig Löger, Minister of Finance of Austria, is participating in the ECON Committee on 11 July 2018 in his capacity of the incoming President of the ECOFIN Council during the Austrian Presidency (July - December 2018). Vladislav Goranov, Minister of Finance of Bulgaria, is participating in the ECON Committee on 12 July 2018 in his capacity of the outgoing President of the ECOFIN Council during the Bulgarian Presidency (January - June 2018). According to the Treaty of the Union “Member States shall regard their economic policies as a matter of common concern and shall coordinate them within the Council”. This briefing note covers the 2018 CSRs proposed by the Commission, the implementation of CSRs over the period 2012-2017 and recent decisions related to the implementation of the Stability and Growth Pact and the Macro-economic Imbalance Procedure. It also includes elements related to the on-going work to strengthen the governance and the resilience of the Economic and Monetary Union.

Valuation reports in the context of banking resolution: What are the challenges?

05-07-2018

The paper discusses the problem of valuation in bank resolution. In an overview over the most relevant principles of valuation theory, the paper notes the difficulties inherent in valuing risks and illiquidity in holding non-traded assets. Subsequently, the paper briefly reviews the resolution of Banco Popular Español, and then discusses the need for clarification of the no-investor-worse-off principle, the relation between the price in a sale of business and the presumed outcome in an insolvency ...

The paper discusses the problem of valuation in bank resolution. In an overview over the most relevant principles of valuation theory, the paper notes the difficulties inherent in valuing risks and illiquidity in holding non-traded assets. Subsequently, the paper briefly reviews the resolution of Banco Popular Español, and then discusses the need for clarification of the no-investor-worse-off principle, the relation between the price in a sale of business and the presumed outcome in an insolvency procedure, and the difficulties attached to assessing the value of an illiquid asset that is held. The paper concludes with a discussion of the need for time, for valuation and in resolution, warns against a moratorium on withdrawals and payouts, and argues that time pressures would be much reduced if funding in resolution was provided for.

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