423

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The EU's new approach to funding peace and security

22-11-2017

The link between security, peace and development is recognised by both security and development communities. However, the practical implications of this nexus still pose challenges – especially in the light of a rapidly evolving security environment. While the EU’s assistance for peace and security comes in different forms – for instance through budgetary support or under common security and defence policy – the existing rules of financing under the EU budget exclude activities aimed at enhancing ...

The link between security, peace and development is recognised by both security and development communities. However, the practical implications of this nexus still pose challenges – especially in the light of a rapidly evolving security environment. While the EU’s assistance for peace and security comes in different forms – for instance through budgetary support or under common security and defence policy – the existing rules of financing under the EU budget exclude activities aimed at enhancing cooperation with the defence sector and the military in third countries. The proposed amendment to Regulation (EU) No 230/2014 of 11 March 2014 establishing the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP) aims to remedy this situation by creating the conditions to allow EU budgetary support for capacitybuilding programmes in third countries aimed at training and mentoring, the provision of non-lethal equipment and assistance with infrastructure improvements, and help with strengthening the capacity of military actors in order to contribute to the achievement of peaceful and inclusive societies and sustainable development. Fifth edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

Posting of Workers Directive

16-11-2017

Posting of workers plays an important role in the internal market, particularly in the cross-border provision of services. While the number of posted workers continues to increase significantly, problems such as unfair practices and unequal remunerations persist. In addition, the correct balance between the freedom to provide cross-border services and the social rights of workers needs to be adapted to today`s situation. The targeted revision of the Posting of Workers Directive (96/71/EC) proposed ...

Posting of workers plays an important role in the internal market, particularly in the cross-border provision of services. While the number of posted workers continues to increase significantly, problems such as unfair practices and unequal remunerations persist. In addition, the correct balance between the freedom to provide cross-border services and the social rights of workers needs to be adapted to today`s situation. The targeted revision of the Posting of Workers Directive (96/71/EC) proposed by the Commission would bring changes in three main areas: the remuneration of posted workers (making it equal to that of local workers, even when subcontracting), more coherent rules on temporary agency workers, as well as long-term posting. While the majority of stakeholders welcome the proposal, the Member States are divided: a considerable number wish first to fully implement the 2014 Enforcement Directive before proceeding to a further revision. Moreover, sufficient numbers of national parliaments have delivered reasoned opinions on the proposal to require the Commission to reconsider.

Empowering national competition authorities (NCAs)

14-11-2017

Since 2003, national competition authorities (NCAs) together with the European Commission have boosted the enforcement of EU competition and antitrust rules significantly. However, each year losses of €181-320 billion accrue because of undiscovered cartels, which increase prices by between 17 % and 30 % on average. In line with its single market strategy, in March 2017 the Commission adopted a proposal for a new directive with a view to ensuring that all NCAs have effective investigation and decision-making ...

Since 2003, national competition authorities (NCAs) together with the European Commission have boosted the enforcement of EU competition and antitrust rules significantly. However, each year losses of €181-320 billion accrue because of undiscovered cartels, which increase prices by between 17 % and 30 % on average. In line with its single market strategy, in March 2017 the Commission adopted a proposal for a new directive with a view to ensuring that all NCAs have effective investigation and decision-making tools and that deterrent fines can be imposed. Furthermore, NCAs will have well-designed leniency programmes and enough resources to enforce EU competition rules independently.

European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD)

13-11-2017

The Commission took the opportunity provided by the September 2016 proposal for mid-term review/revision of the 2014-2020 MFF to propose the creation of a new innovative financial instrument – the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD). The EFSD is part of the partnership framework for cooperation with countries with high irregular emigration and is one of the pillars of the new external investment plan, inspired by the success of the investment plan for Europe. This plan, one of the legislative ...

The Commission took the opportunity provided by the September 2016 proposal for mid-term review/revision of the 2014-2020 MFF to propose the creation of a new innovative financial instrument – the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD). The EFSD is part of the partnership framework for cooperation with countries with high irregular emigration and is one of the pillars of the new external investment plan, inspired by the success of the investment plan for Europe. This plan, one of the legislative priorities for 2017, listed in the Joint Declaration by the European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission of 13 December 2016 is an important building block of the reformed EU migration policy. The new fund aims to mobilise EU grants to catalyse investment from public and private sources to tackle the root causes of migration in the European neighbourhood and Africa, while helping to achieve the 2030 Agenda Sustainable Development Goals. Some NGOs have voiced concern, fearing the use of development policy resources for migration management purposes and in pursuit of European private-sector interests. Third edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Precision agriculture in Europe:Legal, social and ethical considerations

13-11-2017

The aim of this study is to illustrate the different ways in which the current EU legislative framework may be affected by the digitisation and automation of farming activities and the respective technological trends. The study analyses the issues that might have to be dealt with, identifying the European Parliament committees concerned and the legislative acts that might need to be revisited, especially in view of the forthcoming Commission communication on the future of the Common Agricultural ...

The aim of this study is to illustrate the different ways in which the current EU legislative framework may be affected by the digitisation and automation of farming activities and the respective technological trends. The study analyses the issues that might have to be dealt with, identifying the European Parliament committees concerned and the legislative acts that might need to be revisited, especially in view of the forthcoming Commission communication on the future of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). It also provides a series of overarching recommendations that EU actors may wish to take into account when dealing with precision agriculture. To do so, an analysis of the multiple ethical and legal challenges associated with precision farming technologies has been performed, along with a scanning of current legislation in a wide range of areas of EU policy-making, including agricultural policy and related fields, such as environment, health, food safety and climate change.

WIFI4EU - Promotion of internet connectivity in local communities

10-11-2017

On 12 September 2017, the European Parliament voted to adopt a legislative act that aims at the promotion of very fast wireless internet access in local communities. This service will be provided free of charge to the public at large. The areas covered will encompass public administrations, libraries and hospitals, as well as outdoor spaces accessible to all. The aim is to increase accessibility to high-performance mobile internet, and to raise awareness of the benefits of such connectivity. Administrative ...

On 12 September 2017, the European Parliament voted to adopt a legislative act that aims at the promotion of very fast wireless internet access in local communities. This service will be provided free of charge to the public at large. The areas covered will encompass public administrations, libraries and hospitals, as well as outdoor spaces accessible to all. The aim is to increase accessibility to high-performance mobile internet, and to raise awareness of the benefits of such connectivity. Administrative procedures will be simplified and EU funds will be used to provide financial support to the establishment of such networks. This action comes within the framework of the digital single market, and is one of several legislative proposals announced on 14 September 2016 by the Commission, with its communication, ‘Connectivity for a competitive digital single market – Towards a European gigabit society’.

Protection from dumped and subsidised imports

10-11-2017

On 9 November 2016, the European Commission published a proposal for targeted changes to the EU anti-dumping and anti-subsidy regulations. The proposal is a response to the expiry of parts of China’s WTO accession protocol in December 2016 and to unfair trade practices from third countries. At the core of the amendments of the anti-dumping regulation is the use for WTO members of prices derived from constructed values in situations where there are ‘substantial market distortions’ in the country of ...

On 9 November 2016, the European Commission published a proposal for targeted changes to the EU anti-dumping and anti-subsidy regulations. The proposal is a response to the expiry of parts of China’s WTO accession protocol in December 2016 and to unfair trade practices from third countries. At the core of the amendments of the anti-dumping regulation is the use for WTO members of prices derived from constructed values in situations where there are ‘substantial market distortions’ in the country of export under investigation. This approach would replace the ‘analogue country methodology’ which is currently applied to non-market economies (NMEs) under EU law and would remain in place for non-WTO members. The amendments to the anti-subsidy regulation would insert due process and transparency provisions required to capture subsidies identified only in the course of anti-subsidy probes.

Improving energy performance of buildings

10-11-2017

On 30 November 2016, the European Commission adopted a ‘Clean energy for all Europeans’ package, consisting of eight legislative proposals and other actions to help the EU meet its 2030 energy and climate goals. It includes a targeted revision of the 2010 Directive on the energy performance of buildings (EPBD). The Commission proposal would leave intact the main features of the existing EPBD yet modernise and streamline some requirements, introduce binding obligations on electro-mobility requirements ...

On 30 November 2016, the European Commission adopted a ‘Clean energy for all Europeans’ package, consisting of eight legislative proposals and other actions to help the EU meet its 2030 energy and climate goals. It includes a targeted revision of the 2010 Directive on the energy performance of buildings (EPBD). The Commission proposal would leave intact the main features of the existing EPBD yet modernise and streamline some requirements, introduce binding obligations on electro-mobility requirements in buildings, introduce a ‘smartness indicator’ that assesses the technological capability of buildings in energy self-production and consumption, and set clearer requirements for national databases on energy performance certificates. The Council adopted a general approach on the Commission proposal in June 2017. In Parliament the ITRE rapporteur delivered a draft report in April 2017. The final committee report was adopted on 11 October 2017, along with a mandate for interinstitutional negotiations. The first of these are scheduled for November and December 2017.

CO2 emissions from aviation

10-11-2017

CO2 emissions from all flights to and from airports in the European Economic Area (EEA) have been included in the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) since 2012. Although this would include flights between an airport within the EEA and an airport outside it, the application of the ETS to such flights was temporarily suspended, until the end of 2016, to allow for the development of emission-reduction measures with a global scope by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and to avoid conflicts ...

CO2 emissions from all flights to and from airports in the European Economic Area (EEA) have been included in the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) since 2012. Although this would include flights between an airport within the EEA and an airport outside it, the application of the ETS to such flights was temporarily suspended, until the end of 2016, to allow for the development of emission-reduction measures with a global scope by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and to avoid conflicts with international trading partners. In October 2016, ICAO adopted a global market-based measure (GMBM), which would become operational in 2021. In February 2017, the European Commission proposed a regulation to prolong the derogation for extra- EEA flights, gradually reduce the number of aviation allowances from 2021 onwards, and prepare for the implementation of the GMBM. A provisional agreement between Parliament and Council was reached on 18 October 2017.

European Accessibility Act

10-11-2017

To ensure the full participation of people with disabilities in society and to reduce the fragmentation of legislation governing access to products and services, the European Commission has adopted a proposal for a directive – often referred to as the European Accessibility Act. This proposal provides for a common EU definition of, and implementation framework for, accessibility requirements for certain products and services. It also aims to use the same accessibility requirements to provide a clear ...

To ensure the full participation of people with disabilities in society and to reduce the fragmentation of legislation governing access to products and services, the European Commission has adopted a proposal for a directive – often referred to as the European Accessibility Act. This proposal provides for a common EU definition of, and implementation framework for, accessibility requirements for certain products and services. It also aims to use the same accessibility requirements to provide a clear definition of the existing general accessibility obligation laid down in European law. Many stakeholders welcome the European Union’s wish to honour its responsibilities under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, but they have been divided on the means to reach this objective. In the European Parliament, the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) adopted its report on 25 April 2017. The report was then discussed in plenary on 15 September. The amended text was approved by 537 votes to 12, with 89 abstentions. At the same time, Parliament gave a mandate to start negotiations with Council. Although the Council has published three progress reports, in June and December 2016 and in June 2017, it has yet to agree on its position.

Upcoming events

22-11-2017
Limits and Potential of the Public Health Programme
Workshop -
ENVI
22-11-2017
Fourteen meeting of the IMCO Working Group on the Digital Single Market
Other event -
IMCO
22-11-2017
Hearing on Brexit and the impact on land transport
Hearing -
TRAN

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