154

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Europe for Citizens: Ambitions and limits

24-02-2017

Engaging EU citizens with remembrance and European integration processes lies at the core of the Europe for Citizens programme. An assessment of the programme’s implementation at its midway point suggests a discrepancy between its ambitions and its means. The March I plenary will discuss the European Parliament’s own-initiative report on the programme’s implementation.

Engaging EU citizens with remembrance and European integration processes lies at the core of the Europe for Citizens programme. An assessment of the programme’s implementation at its midway point suggests a discrepancy between its ambitions and its means. The March I plenary will discuss the European Parliament’s own-initiative report on the programme’s implementation.

Horizon 2020 EU framework programme for research and innovation

24-02-2017

Horizon 2020, the EU framework programme for research and innovation (2014-2020) is aimed at building a society and an economy based on knowledge and innovation across the Union, while contributing to sustainable development. The programme supports the implementation of the Europe 2020 strategy and other Union policies, as well as the achievement and functioning of the European Research Area (ERA). The introduction to this European implementation assessment (EIA) presents basic information on the ...

Horizon 2020, the EU framework programme for research and innovation (2014-2020) is aimed at building a society and an economy based on knowledge and innovation across the Union, while contributing to sustainable development. The programme supports the implementation of the Europe 2020 strategy and other Union policies, as well as the achievement and functioning of the European Research Area (ERA). The introduction to this European implementation assessment (EIA) presents basic information on the implementation of Horizon 2020, including policy on gender equality and international cooperation. In addition, the annexes contain the input to the EIA received from external experts, who prepared analyses of the implementation of the three Horizon 2020 priorities: excellent science, industrial leadership, and societal challenges. The implementation of each priority was analysed from two perspectives: a) a research and industry perspective prepared by experts from the Centre for Strategy and Evaluation Services (CSES) and the Centre for Industrial Studies (CSIL); b) economic and financial perspective prepared by experts from the Europe Economics consortium.

Emission Measurements - Legal Obligations

15-02-2017

This study looks at the discrepancy in NOx emissions between type-approval tests and real-world driving. It examines the legal stakeholder obligations with regard to emission measurements in the European type-approval process and offers insights into the practical implementation of type-approval procedures throughout the EU. This study was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee of Inquiry into Emission Measurements in the Automotive Sector (EMIS).

This study looks at the discrepancy in NOx emissions between type-approval tests and real-world driving. It examines the legal stakeholder obligations with regard to emission measurements in the European type-approval process and offers insights into the practical implementation of type-approval procedures throughout the EU. This study was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee of Inquiry into Emission Measurements in the Automotive Sector (EMIS).

The effects of human rights related clauses in the EU-Mexico Global Agreement and the EU-Chile Association Agreement

10-02-2017

The democracy clause in the EU-Mexico Global Agreement and by extension the EU-Mexico Free Trade Agreement calls for respect for fundamental human rights. If these are breached, a sanctioning clause can be invoked. The widely reported violations of human rights in Mexico are tackled through political dialogue. The agreement includes cooperation articles on social policy, the results of which are non-binding. Against this background, it is difficult to make a clear link between the potential effects ...

The democracy clause in the EU-Mexico Global Agreement and by extension the EU-Mexico Free Trade Agreement calls for respect for fundamental human rights. If these are breached, a sanctioning clause can be invoked. The widely reported violations of human rights in Mexico are tackled through political dialogue. The agreement includes cooperation articles on social policy, the results of which are non-binding. Against this background, it is difficult to make a clear link between the potential effects of human rights related clauses in the Global Agreement on the human rights situation in Mexico. The EU-Chile Association Agreement (AA) also includes a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement, which is subject to the democracy clause. More developed than that in the Global Agreement, this clause calls for respect for fundamental human rights; sustainable economic and social development; and commits parties to good governance. The AA also includes a suspension clause in case of breach of the democracy clause, and cooperation provisions, the results of which are non-binding. While these are more detailed than the ones in the Global Agreement, the impact of the EU-Chile AA on the human rights situation in Chile has been limited in its extent and to specific aspects of the social policy agenda. In both cases, the monitoring mechanisms of the EU agreements have generally been implemented properly – even if civil society participation in Chile was institutionalised late. These mechanisms have played an important role in nurturing cooperation, but the incentives created have not translated into sufficient pressure for the implementation of human rights related reforms. Rather than the EU FTAs per se impacting on ensuring the respect of human rights in Mexico and Chile, it is the cumulative effect of the liberalisation of trade in the two countries, the EU-Mexico Strategic Partnership, the role of all global players, and cooperation with international donors that have encouraged reform. Ultimately, whether or not reforms in favour of respect of human rights have been adopted and implemented was the result of domestic politics in Mexico and Chile.

European Semester: Assessing the 2017 priorities

07-02-2017

The European Semester is a key monitoring element of the EU's economic governance framework which aims to detect, prevent, and correct problematic economic trends such as excessive government deficits or public debt levels. As part of the annual evaluation cycle, three European Parliament Committees discuss the European Commission's priority areas for 2017: boosting investment, pursuing structural reforms and ensuring responsible fiscal policies. The Committee reports assess the priorities from an ...

The European Semester is a key monitoring element of the EU's economic governance framework which aims to detect, prevent, and correct problematic economic trends such as excessive government deficits or public debt levels. As part of the annual evaluation cycle, three European Parliament Committees discuss the European Commission's priority areas for 2017: boosting investment, pursuing structural reforms and ensuring responsible fiscal policies. The Committee reports assess the priorities from an economic, employment and single market point of view before the Commission presents dedicated country reports in late February. Plenary discussion on all three reports is planned for the February II part-session.

Overview of the internal energy market design legislation

23-01-2017

The new proposals build on previous legislation and continue to gradually implement an internal energy market. In particular, they look to incorporate recent changes, such as the rapid increase in renewables and technological advances relating to the digitalisation of services. They also attempt to clarify previous legislation such as in the case of storage for Transmission System Operators (TSOs) for example. As with the recent proposals on security of gas supply, the Commission looks to incorporate ...

The new proposals build on previous legislation and continue to gradually implement an internal energy market. In particular, they look to incorporate recent changes, such as the rapid increase in renewables and technological advances relating to the digitalisation of services. They also attempt to clarify previous legislation such as in the case of storage for Transmission System Operators (TSOs) for example. As with the recent proposals on security of gas supply, the Commission looks to incorporate a regional approach as the default option for assessing needs and mitigating risks. The Commission's evaluation, as well as the review of the implementation process, have shown that, while progress has been made, challenges to create a properly functioning internal market remain. The challenges identified by the evaluation, such as price controls, insufficient cross-border trade, uncoordinated national interventions and issues around regulatory independence, are addressed by the current proposals. However, it is also clear from the evaluation that progress towards a well-functioning and competitive energy market has not been consistent across the EU. Where progress has been made, the effects have been positive, although the evaluation does not look at examples of best practice to assess the best way forward. The EU- wide oversight of national regulators and TSOs is seen as positive, but question marks remain in terms of whether the suggested changes will be sufficient. Several reviews on the topic have noted that the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) lack sufficient powers to be effective and it is unclear whether the current proposals will properly address this issue. The public consultations also pointed to the dual role of the European Network for Transmission System Operators for electricity (ENTSO-E), as both a lobby organisation and a representative of public interest,  as potentially problematic. The creation of a European Distribution System Operator (DSO) could possibly duplicate this issue. The evaluation does not include any assessment around infrastructure legislation or the EU's role in this area; however, it notes that the incentives for private investments have been insufficient so far. It is hoped that the proposed moves to a more flexible and price-driven market should improve investment conditions. As reforms in this area have been ongoing since the 1990s, it will be particularly important to continue to monitor progress and to what extent the new proposals increase competition and a well-functioning, price-led market. In terms of the Parliament's demands, many of its requests are reflected in the proposals, such as calls for more regional cooperation, for example. They do not, however, include a review of the gas market or interconnectivity objectives differentiated by regions; nor do they look to address to any great extent the issue of external import. In the case of the ACER, Parliament had asked for a substantial increase in resources. While the proposals strengthen the agency's position, the Commission decided not to propose making the ACER into a pan-European regulator, with the increase in budget and staff that such a move would have entailed.

Implementing Measures under the Insurance Distribution Directive (EU) 2016/97

23-01-2017

This briefing has been drawn up to support ECON’s work on the scrutiny of delegated acts, in particular as regards the discussion of 25 January 2017 on the implementing measures under the Insurance Distribution Directive (EU) 2016/97.

This briefing has been drawn up to support ECON’s work on the scrutiny of delegated acts, in particular as regards the discussion of 25 January 2017 on the implementing measures under the Insurance Distribution Directive (EU) 2016/97.

European Energy Industry Investments

16-01-2017

This study was prepared at the request of the European Parliament's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE). The paper provides an overall assessment of European investments in the electricity sector. It concludes by providing policy recommendations to facilitate the investments in the electricity sector which are needed to enable a transition to a low carbon energy supply, while realising a fully integrated and interconnected electricity system, enhancing competitiveness and ensuring security ...

This study was prepared at the request of the European Parliament's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE). The paper provides an overall assessment of European investments in the electricity sector. It concludes by providing policy recommendations to facilitate the investments in the electricity sector which are needed to enable a transition to a low carbon energy supply, while realising a fully integrated and interconnected electricity system, enhancing competitiveness and ensuring security of electricity supply.

External author

Luc VAN NUFFEL, Koen RADEMAEKERS, Jessica YEARWOOD and Verena GRAICHEN

The incoming US Congress's powers to overturn regulations of the previous administration

13-01-2017

During the election campaign, President-elect Donald Trump stated his intention to repeal or amend regulations issued by the Obama administration. Following the 2016 elections in the USA, as well as the White House the Republicans will hold the majority in both chambers of the 115th Congress. It is thus likely that the legislative branch will work closely with the executive to achieve common objectives. Congress can always introduce and pass legislation that modifies regulations made by agencies. ...

During the election campaign, President-elect Donald Trump stated his intention to repeal or amend regulations issued by the Obama administration. Following the 2016 elections in the USA, as well as the White House the Republicans will hold the majority in both chambers of the 115th Congress. It is thus likely that the legislative branch will work closely with the executive to achieve common objectives. Congress can always introduce and pass legislation that modifies regulations made by agencies. However, passing new legislation can be a cumbersome process, and there are tactics for the opposition to delay action, such as making points of order and tabling certain motions. As an alternative, under certain circumstances and within a specific timeframe, Congress could use an expedited procedure, laid down in the Congressional Review Act (CRA) of 1996, to overturn federal regulations passed in the closing months of the outgoing administration.

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.

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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