443

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The European Cloud initiative

07-02-2017

The economic prospects of cloud computing and the data-driven economy are very promising. However, fragmentation, differences in data policies, scarce incentives, interoperability problems and lack of high-capacity data infrastructure, among other challenges, are slowing down its development in Europe. A European Parliament own-initiative report reflecting on the European Commission's European Cloud initiative is on the agenda of the February II plenary session.

The economic prospects of cloud computing and the data-driven economy are very promising. However, fragmentation, differences in data policies, scarce incentives, interoperability problems and lack of high-capacity data infrastructure, among other challenges, are slowing down its development in Europe. A European Parliament own-initiative report reflecting on the European Commission's European Cloud initiative is on the agenda of the February II plenary session.

European Commission follow-up to European Parliament requests

02-02-2017

In addition to its well-known role as a co-legislator, the European Parliament also supervises and scrutinises the work of the European Commission. The Parliament can therefore ask the Commission to take action to fulfil its role as guardian of the Treaties and to contribute to the improved functioning of the European Union and its legislation. Such requests usually take the form of resolutions. This Rolling Check-List covers the resolutions adopted by Parliament on the basis of own-initiative reports ...

In addition to its well-known role as a co-legislator, the European Parliament also supervises and scrutinises the work of the European Commission. The Parliament can therefore ask the Commission to take action to fulfil its role as guardian of the Treaties and to contribute to the improved functioning of the European Union and its legislation. Such requests usually take the form of resolutions. This Rolling Check-List covers the resolutions adopted by Parliament on the basis of own-initiative reports and legislative own-initiative reports during the current eighth legislative term up to December 2015, and the actions taken by the Commission as a result up to 31 October 2016. In total, the report covers 97 resolutions across almost all parliamentary committees. It provides a detailed overview of the Parliament's requests, and tracks the Commission's response and any further action taken. It thus offers a comprehensive scrutiny and reference tool, providing easy access to the follow-up given by the Commission to the Parliament's requests.

Internal market for electricity

01-02-2017

On 30 November 2016, the European Commission presented a legislative proposal for a regulation on the internal market for electricity, as part of a comprehensive legislative package on the energy union. The proposed regulation is aimed at making the electricity market fit for more flexibility, decarbonisation and innovation, by providing for undistorted market signals. It sets out rules for electricity trading within different time frames and clarifies the responsibilities of the market actors. It ...

On 30 November 2016, the European Commission presented a legislative proposal for a regulation on the internal market for electricity, as part of a comprehensive legislative package on the energy union. The proposed regulation is aimed at making the electricity market fit for more flexibility, decarbonisation and innovation, by providing for undistorted market signals. It sets out rules for electricity trading within different time frames and clarifies the responsibilities of the market actors. It defines principles for assessing capacity needs at regional and European level and proposes design principles for market-based capacity mechanisms with cross-border participation. It introduces regional operational centres for handling-system operation and a European entity for distribution system operators. The proposal has been referred to the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE).

European space policy: Historical perspective, specific aspects and key challenges

30-01-2017

Space has been a cooperative endeavour in Europe for over 50 years. The first collaborative structures between the Member States in the 1960s led to the establishment of the European Space Agency (ESA) in 1975. The European Union began to be involved in the field in the 1990s, especially through the design of EU space programmes – Galileo for satellite navigation and Copernicus for earth observation – implemented in cooperation with ESA. European space policy is defined and implemented by the EU, ...

Space has been a cooperative endeavour in Europe for over 50 years. The first collaborative structures between the Member States in the 1960s led to the establishment of the European Space Agency (ESA) in 1975. The European Union began to be involved in the field in the 1990s, especially through the design of EU space programmes – Galileo for satellite navigation and Copernicus for earth observation – implemented in cooperation with ESA. European space policy is defined and implemented by the EU, ESA and their member states. This diversity offers some flexibility, but also creates fragmentation, leading to inefficiency in areas such as the implementation of EU programmes or the development of international relations. New developments, including the role of private actors in the field and the growing importance of security and defence aspects also challenge current European space policy governance.

The European Electronic Communications Code and the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communication (BEREC)

23-01-2017

Overall, the IA presents a comprehensive and well-researched explanation of the evidence base of the legislative proposals. However, the nature of the proposals (one of them being a recast of four existing directives) has posed an obvious challenge in terms of keeping the report concise and readable. The IA clearly exceeds the length recommended in the better regulation guidelines. The report presents stakeholder views well, although the consultation itself focused more on the review process in general ...

Overall, the IA presents a comprehensive and well-researched explanation of the evidence base of the legislative proposals. However, the nature of the proposals (one of them being a recast of four existing directives) has posed an obvious challenge in terms of keeping the report concise and readable. The IA clearly exceeds the length recommended in the better regulation guidelines. The report presents stakeholder views well, although the consultation itself focused more on the review process in general than on the specific options for future policy. Finally, the overly general presentation of monitoring instruments represents a significant shortcoming of the report, especially given the importance of effective monitoring mechanisms in assessing the implementation of legislation.

Safety rules and standards for passenger ships

23-01-2017

The European Commission, in line with its regulatory fitness and performance programme (REFIT), has evaluated existing EU legislation on passenger ship safety and presented three proposals for directives, aimed at simplifying rules and cutting administrative costs, while at the same time making sea travel safer. This proposal seeks to clarify the technical requirements introduced by Directive 2009/45/EC, which vessels must respect in areas of construction, stability and fire protection. The Commission ...

The European Commission, in line with its regulatory fitness and performance programme (REFIT), has evaluated existing EU legislation on passenger ship safety and presented three proposals for directives, aimed at simplifying rules and cutting administrative costs, while at the same time making sea travel safer. This proposal seeks to clarify the technical requirements introduced by Directive 2009/45/EC, which vessels must respect in areas of construction, stability and fire protection. The Commission proposes to exclude passenger ships below 24 metres in length from the scope, but include ships built from aluminium, and simplify the definition of sea areas. The newly defined standards should provide for uniform national interpretations and make the rules easier to update, monitor and enforce. First edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. See also briefings on the related proposals, on passenger registration and vessel inspections.

Bioeconomy: Challenges and opportunities

19-01-2017

The bioeconomy refers to the production and extraction of renewable biological resources and their conversion into food and feed, bio-based products and bioenergy. Although primarily based on activities carried out, in some form, for centuries or millennia (such as farming, fisheries or forestry), the bioeconomy emerged in the past decade as a knowledge-driven concept aimed at meeting a number of today's challenges. In the European Union (EU), the bioeconomy sectors have an annual turnover of about ...

The bioeconomy refers to the production and extraction of renewable biological resources and their conversion into food and feed, bio-based products and bioenergy. Although primarily based on activities carried out, in some form, for centuries or millennia (such as farming, fisheries or forestry), the bioeconomy emerged in the past decade as a knowledge-driven concept aimed at meeting a number of today's challenges. In the European Union (EU), the bioeconomy sectors have an annual turnover of about €2 trillion and employ between 17 and 19 million people. They use almost three quarters of the EU land area. A stronger bioeconomy could trigger growth and jobs, and reduce dependency on imports. It could contribute to optimising the use of biological resources, which remain finite although they are renewable. However, it could also create competition between uses and technologies at various levels. Besides, the amount of available biomass remains disputed. A bioeconomy could contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving public health. However, it could also trigger new greenhouse gas emissions and induce adverse impacts on the environment. The EU policy framework for the bioeconomy is spread across a number of policies (agriculture, forestry, fisheries, climate, circular economy and research). Although a bioeconomy strategy from 2012 aims to ensure policy coherence, inconsistencies remain. The EU provides funding to innovative bioeconomy activities through the framework programme for research (Horizon 2020) and a range of other instruments. The European Parliament has been supportive of the bioeconomy strategy, while highlighting the need for sustainability and policy coherence.

Mining Waste Directive 2006/21/EC

10-01-2017

In the aftermath of two major accidents involving the spill of hazardous extractive waste, the Mining Waste Directive 2006/21/EC was adopted at EU level with the aim to prevent, or reduce as far as possible, the adverse effects from extractive waste management on health and the environment. The deadline for transposition of the directive by the Member States expired on 1 May 2008. Research indicates that all Member States (EU-27) have experienced transposition problems in terms of 'timing' or 'quality ...

In the aftermath of two major accidents involving the spill of hazardous extractive waste, the Mining Waste Directive 2006/21/EC was adopted at EU level with the aim to prevent, or reduce as far as possible, the adverse effects from extractive waste management on health and the environment. The deadline for transposition of the directive by the Member States expired on 1 May 2008. Research indicates that all Member States (EU-27) have experienced transposition problems in terms of 'timing' or 'quality' or both. It appears that the majority of Member States have adopted the measures needed to implement the provisions of the directive, but the practical implementation of some aspects remains problematic. The quality of available data does not allow for the complete picture of practical implementation of the directive to be fully outlined and assessed. While EU legislation on the management of extractive waste is still relevant to real needs, the levels of effectiveness and efficiency across the EU may vary from one Member State to another. This European Implementation Assessment, which is intended to support the Implementation Report being prepared by European Parliament's Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, makes recommendations for action aimed at improving the identified shortcomings. The study also sheds light on the prospects for extractive waste management in the context of the 'circular economy' concept.

Intellectual, industrial and commercial property

01-01-2017

Intellectual property includes all exclusive rights to intellectual creations. It encompasses two types of rights: industrial property, which includes inventions (patents), trademarks, industrial designs and models and designations of origin, and copyright, which includes artistic and literary property. For many years the European Union has had an active policy in this area, aimed at harmonising legislation between Member States. Since the entry into force of the Treaty on the Functioning of the ...

Intellectual property includes all exclusive rights to intellectual creations. It encompasses two types of rights: industrial property, which includes inventions (patents), trademarks, industrial designs and models and designations of origin, and copyright, which includes artistic and literary property. For many years the European Union has had an active policy in this area, aimed at harmonising legislation between Member States. Since the entry into force of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) in 2009, the EU has had explicit competence for intellectual property rights (Article 118).

EU policy and legislation on chemicals: Overview, with a focus on REACH

19-12-2016

This publication presents an overview of European Union policy on chemicals. It describes EU chemicals legislation, in particular the REACH Regulation, as well as other relevant legislative acts and international agreements on chemicals. However, it does not address the regulatory framework applicable to pesticides (plant protection products and biocides) in depth. The publication presents information available about the costs and benefits of EU chemicals legislation and gives an overview of the ...

This publication presents an overview of European Union policy on chemicals. It describes EU chemicals legislation, in particular the REACH Regulation, as well as other relevant legislative acts and international agreements on chemicals. However, it does not address the regulatory framework applicable to pesticides (plant protection products and biocides) in depth. The publication presents information available about the costs and benefits of EU chemicals legislation and gives an overview of the opportunities and challenges associated with the current legal framework. It outlines relevant views of stakeholders and the European Parliament. Finally, the publication lays out actions that the European Commission is expected to take in the years to come. Chemicals are the building blocks of life. They are present in us, around us and in the products we buy. They are used in almost all industries and play an important role in virtually all economic sectors. The EU chemicals sector represents 1.1 % of EU gross domestic product and accounts for about 1.2 million jobs. Chemicals enable us to live more comfortable lives, yet they may also have adverse effects on the environment and human health. The cornerstone of EU chemicals legislation is the 2006 Regulation on the registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals (widely known as REACH). Other major legislative acts relate to the classification, labelling and packaging of chemicals, in order to ensure that hazards are clearly communicated to consumers and workers; the export and import of hazardous chemicals and the control of persistent organic pollutants, partly implementing international agreements; the prevention of major accidents involving dangerous chemicals; and the management of pesticides. The European Commission is currently carrying out fitness checks on the chemicals legislation. Actions in the coming years are expected to relate to a range of topics, such as the process of application for authorisation, nano¬materials, a strategy for a non-toxic environment, registration requirements for low volume substances, and polymers.

Upcoming events

27-02-2017
The state and development of the biomass of fish stocks managed by the CFP
Hearing -
PECH
28-02-2017
The Third Reform of the Common European Asylum System - Up for the Challenge
Other event -
LIBE
28-02-2017
Workshop on the consequences of Brexit
Workshop -
IMCO

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