434

result(s)

Word(s)
Publication type
Policy area
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Keyword
Date

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.

The new European electronic communications code

10-11-2017

On 14 September 2016, the Commission proposed a new European electronic communications code which would overhaul the existing legislative framework for telecommunications. The code has been designed to take into account changes in markets, consumer trends and technology, all of which have significantly changed since 2009 when the framework was last amended. Its provisions include measures to stimulate investment in and take-up of very high capacity networks in the European Union, new spectrum rules ...

On 14 September 2016, the Commission proposed a new European electronic communications code which would overhaul the existing legislative framework for telecommunications. The code has been designed to take into account changes in markets, consumer trends and technology, all of which have significantly changed since 2009 when the framework was last amended. Its provisions include measures to stimulate investment in and take-up of very high capacity networks in the European Union, new spectrum rules for mobile connectivity and 5G, as well as changes to governance, the universal service regime, end-user protection rules, and numbering and emergency communication rules. The ITRE committee voted its report on 2 October 2017. Important proposals, such as that investment plans meet stricter criteria before regulation is significantly reduced, that 25-year spectrum licences are regularly reviewed and that operators justify additional fees borne by users calling from mobiles or landlines to another Member State were met with mixed reactions by stakeholders. The Council has mandated the Estonian Presidency to commence trilogue negotiations on the code.

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.

New rules on security of gas supply

10-11-2017

In February 2016, the European Commission proposed a new regulation on security of gas supply in order to develop a stronger collective response to future supply risks. Major innovations in the Commission proposal include a solidarity principle that prioritises households and essential social services during an emergency situation; mandatory regional preventive action and emergency plans based on new templates; fewer exemptions on bidirectional capacity, in order to facilitate reverse gas flows; ...

In February 2016, the European Commission proposed a new regulation on security of gas supply in order to develop a stronger collective response to future supply risks. Major innovations in the Commission proposal include a solidarity principle that prioritises households and essential social services during an emergency situation; mandatory regional preventive action and emergency plans based on new templates; fewer exemptions on bidirectional capacity, in order to facilitate reverse gas flows; an increase in the scope of contractual information relating to security of supply that is provided to the Commission and national authorities; and further involvement of the contracting parties of the Energy Community in security of gas supply measures. The ITRE Committee approved its report in October 2016, the Council adopted a general approach in December 2016. Trilogue negotiations began in February 2017 and agreement was reached in April 2017. The agreed text was formally endorsed by the Parliament in September and by the Council in October 2017), and entered into force on 1 November 2017. This updates an earlier edition, of June 2017: PE 607.271.

Internal energy market

01-11-2017

In order to harmonise and liberalise the EU’s internal energy market, three consecutive legislative packages of measures were adopted between 1996 and 2009, addressing market access, transparency and regulation, consumer protection, supporting interconnection, and adequate levels of supply. As a result of these measures, new gas and electricity suppliers can enter Member States’ markets, while both industrial and domestic consumers are now free to choose their own suppliers. Other EU policies related ...

In order to harmonise and liberalise the EU’s internal energy market, three consecutive legislative packages of measures were adopted between 1996 and 2009, addressing market access, transparency and regulation, consumer protection, supporting interconnection, and adequate levels of supply. As a result of these measures, new gas and electricity suppliers can enter Member States’ markets, while both industrial and domestic consumers are now free to choose their own suppliers. Other EU policies related to the internal energy market address the security of the supply of electricity, gas and oil, as well as the development of trans-European networks for transporting electricity and gas.

Energy efficiency

01-11-2017

Reducing energy consumption and waste is of growing importance to the EU. In 2007 EU leaders set a target to cut the annual energy consumption of the Union by 20% by 2020. Energy efficiency measures are increasingly recognised as a means not only of achieving a sustainable energy supply, cutting greenhouse gas emissions, improving security of supply and reducing import bills, but also of promoting the EU’s competitiveness. Energy efficiency is therefore a strategic priority for the Energy Union, ...

Reducing energy consumption and waste is of growing importance to the EU. In 2007 EU leaders set a target to cut the annual energy consumption of the Union by 20% by 2020. Energy efficiency measures are increasingly recognised as a means not only of achieving a sustainable energy supply, cutting greenhouse gas emissions, improving security of supply and reducing import bills, but also of promoting the EU’s competitiveness. Energy efficiency is therefore a strategic priority for the Energy Union, and the EU promotes the principle of ‘energy efficiency first’.

Nuclear energy

01-11-2017

Nuclear power stations currently produce around one third of the electricity and 14% of the energy consumed in the EU. Nuclear energy is a low-carbon alternative to fossil fuels and represents a critical component in the energy mix of many Member States. However, in the aftermath of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster and the 2011 nuclear catastrophe in Fukushima, Japan, nuclear energy has become highly controversial. Germany’s decision to phase out nuclear energy by 2020, as well as the temporary closure ...

Nuclear power stations currently produce around one third of the electricity and 14% of the energy consumed in the EU. Nuclear energy is a low-carbon alternative to fossil fuels and represents a critical component in the energy mix of many Member States. However, in the aftermath of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster and the 2011 nuclear catastrophe in Fukushima, Japan, nuclear energy has become highly controversial. Germany’s decision to phase out nuclear energy by 2020, as well as the temporary closure of two Belgian reactors after the discovery of cracks in their vessels, has stepped up pressure for the abandonment of nuclear power in Europe. But it is the Member States themselves that have sole responsibility for choosing whether or not to use nuclear power. Nevertheless, at EU level greater efforts are being made to improve the safety standards of nuclear power stations and to ensure that nuclear waste is safely handled and disposed of.

EU relations with Armenia and Azerbaijan

30-10-2017

The EU is currently reshaping its relationship with Armenia and Azerbaijan through new agreements for which the negotiations ended (Armenia) or started (Azerbaijan) in February 2017. After Yerevan’s decision to join the EAEU (thereby renouncing to sign an AA/DCFTA), the initialling of the CEPA provides a new impetus to EU-Armenia relations. It highlights Armenia’s lingering interest in developing closer ties with the EU and provides a vivid illustration of the EU’s readiness to respond to EaP countries ...

The EU is currently reshaping its relationship with Armenia and Azerbaijan through new agreements for which the negotiations ended (Armenia) or started (Azerbaijan) in February 2017. After Yerevan’s decision to join the EAEU (thereby renouncing to sign an AA/DCFTA), the initialling of the CEPA provides a new impetus to EU-Armenia relations. It highlights Armenia’s lingering interest in developing closer ties with the EU and provides a vivid illustration of the EU’s readiness to respond to EaP countries’ specific needs and circumstances. The CEPA is also a clear indication that the EU has not engaged in a zero-sum game with Russia and is willing to exploit any opportunity to further its links with EaP countries. The launch of negotiations on a new EU-Azerbaijan agreement – in spite of serious political and human rights problems in the country – results from several intertwined factors, including the EU’s energy security needs and Baku’s increasing bargaining power. At this stage, Azerbaijan is interested only in forms of cooperation that are not challenging the political status quo. However, the decline in both world oil prices and domestic oil production in this country is creating bargaining opportunities for the EU in what promises to be a difficult negotiation.

External author

Leila ALIEVA, Senior Common Room Member at St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford Laure DELCOUR Research Fellow, Fondation Maison des sciences de l’homme (FMSH); Hrant KOSTANYAN, Researcher, Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS)

Financing the transition to clean energy in Europe

27-10-2017

Clean energy is energy produced and consumed generating a minimum of greenhouse gas emissions or other pollution. The level of emissions associated with energy use can meanwhile also be lowered by means of energy efficiency measures reducing demand for energy. To meet the targets of the Paris Agreement (to keep the global temperature rise to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, aiming at 1.5°C), greenhouse gas emissions must be near zero in the second half of this century. For the energy sector ...

Clean energy is energy produced and consumed generating a minimum of greenhouse gas emissions or other pollution. The level of emissions associated with energy use can meanwhile also be lowered by means of energy efficiency measures reducing demand for energy. To meet the targets of the Paris Agreement (to keep the global temperature rise to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, aiming at 1.5°C), greenhouse gas emissions must be near zero in the second half of this century. For the energy sector, this means that fossil fuels must be phased out and replaced by low-carbon energy sources. This calls for an unprecedented transition in energy production and consumption, requiring trillions of euros in investment. Financing such a large-scale transition is primarily a task for the private sector, but governments and the EU also have a critical role to play in creating a supportive policy framework. This includes markets for energy and carbon, taxation, regulation, incen¬tives, finance for key infrastructure, and innovation, coordination and information. In the framework of the energy union, the European Commission has proposed a package of legislation and policies to support the transition towards clean energy. The EU has also dedicated 20 % of its budget to climate action, including clean energy. The European Parliament is championing an ambitious climate and energy policy; it regards the carbon and electricity markets as key drivers and favours strong targets for energy efficiency and renewable energy sources.

Revised Energy Efficiency Directive

25-10-2017

On 30 November 2016, the European Commission presented a proposal for a revised Energy Efficiency Directive, as part of the Clean Energy package. This aims to adapt and align EU energy legislation with the 2030 energy and climate goals, and contribute towards delivering the energy union strategy. The Commission proposes a 30 % binding EU energy efficiency target for 2030, to be achieved by means of indicative national targets. Although more demanding than the 27 % efficiency target approved by the ...

On 30 November 2016, the European Commission presented a proposal for a revised Energy Efficiency Directive, as part of the Clean Energy package. This aims to adapt and align EU energy legislation with the 2030 energy and climate goals, and contribute towards delivering the energy union strategy. The Commission proposes a 30 % binding EU energy efficiency target for 2030, to be achieved by means of indicative national targets. Although more demanding than the 27 % efficiency target approved by the European Council in 2014, it is less ambitious than the 40 % target called for by the European Parliament. The revised directive proposes to extend beyond 2020 the application of the energy savings obligation scheme, which requires utility companies to help their consumers use 1.5 % less energy each year. It also aims to make the rules on energy metering and billing clearer. The proposal has been debated twice in the Council, which adopted a general approach in June 2017. In the Parliament, the file was assigned to the ITRE committee, whose rapporteur delivered a draft report on 31 May 2017. Amendments were tabled by early July 2017. The ITRE committee vote on the report and the proposed amendments is expected towards the end of November 2017. Second 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.

External author

Wilson, Alex;

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