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Publicado en 27-04-2017

Western Balkans: Media freedom trends 2017

27-04-2017

Media freedom, a core EU value and a cornerstone of democracy, is a priority reform area in the Western Balkans' EU accession agenda. Yet, despite a certain level of preparedness and a broadly developed legal framework, aspirant countries keep facing systemic shortcomings that require long-term sustained efforts. These efforts have stalled in recent years, resulting in a 'no progress' situation.

Media freedom, a core EU value and a cornerstone of democracy, is a priority reform area in the Western Balkans' EU accession agenda. Yet, despite a certain level of preparedness and a broadly developed legal framework, aspirant countries keep facing systemic shortcomings that require long-term sustained efforts. These efforts have stalled in recent years, resulting in a 'no progress' situation.

EU port cities and port area regeneration

27-04-2017

Ports have always been an important asset to Europe, serving as gateways to the rest of the world and as connection points to rivers across European territory. For centuries, ports and their cities developed hand in hand, the port generating prosperity for the city. This has changed with the industrial revolution, globalisation and the rapid development of containerisation. Most ports moved out of their cities and their mutual relationship began to suffer. Today, this relationship experiences a new ...

Ports have always been an important asset to Europe, serving as gateways to the rest of the world and as connection points to rivers across European territory. For centuries, ports and their cities developed hand in hand, the port generating prosperity for the city. This has changed with the industrial revolution, globalisation and the rapid development of containerisation. Most ports moved out of their cities and their mutual relationship began to suffer. Today, this relationship experiences a new dynamism, driven on both sides by the aspiration to revive ports after the recent crisis, while at the same time making the most of their potential as a stimulus for city life and regeneration. In recent years, a variety of policy options have been identified and their efficiency tested. Port authority organisations were among the first to realise that for ports to flourish in the long term, their cities also need to prosper, and began taking steps towards improving their mutual relations. The progressive development of the EU’s urban policies can pave the way to further joint development of ports and cities and offer new solutions to urban challenges, essential for achieving the smart, sustainable and inclusive society envisaged in the Europe 2020 strategy.

Energy consumers in the EU

27-04-2017

Consumers are considered a key element of EU energy legislation and the efforts to achieve a transition to a carbon-free society. Back in 2009, the third energy package, which sought to establish a liberalised internal energy market, granted energy consumers a number of rights, such as the right to an electricity connection, to switch energy providers and to receive clear offers, contracts and energy bills. However, some of these rights have not yet been put into practice: consumers often do not ...

Consumers are considered a key element of EU energy legislation and the efforts to achieve a transition to a carbon-free society. Back in 2009, the third energy package, which sought to establish a liberalised internal energy market, granted energy consumers a number of rights, such as the right to an electricity connection, to switch energy providers and to receive clear offers, contracts and energy bills. However, some of these rights have not yet been put into practice: consumers often do not understand their bills, are unable to compare different offers, are charged for switching, or a switch takes too long. Besides, they do not always seem to be aware of their rights. The ongoing revision of EU energy legislation aims to improve some of the rules concerning consumers and to introduce new rights, such as the right to self-generate and self-consume electricity, to ask for a smart meter, or to engage an aggregator. The European Parliament has repeatedly voiced concern that the truly competitive, transparent and consumer-friendly internal energy market envisaged by the third energy package has yet to materialise and that consumers are still having trouble understanding their bills, offers and contracts. It has called, among other things, for providing consumers with increased protection and clearer information, and for requiring suppliers to automatically put customers on the best possible tariff for their individual circumstances.

Publicado en 26-04-2017

Safety rules and standards for passenger ships

26-04-2017

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. 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.

Inspections of ro-ro ferries and high-speed passenger craft

26-04-2017

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 rationalise inspections conducted by national administrations while ensuring a high level of passenger ship safety and without unnecessarily limiting the ship’s commercial ...

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 rationalise inspections conducted by national administrations while ensuring a high level of passenger ship safety and without unnecessarily limiting the ship’s commercial operations, making the inspections system for these ships simpler, more effective and cheaper. This would be achieved by changing focus from initial company-based inspections to ship-based ones and by ensuring that subsequent inspections occur at regular intervals. 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.

The Impact of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union on Scotland, Wales and Gibraltar

26-04-2017

Upon request by the AFCO Committee, the Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs has commissioned this in-depth analysis on the impact of Brexit on the devolved territories of Scotland and Wales as well as the Overseas Territory of Gibraltar. It examines the economic and political implications of Brexit on these territories, the consequences of the possible return to devolved administrations of formerly ‘Europeanised’ competencies and looks at how Brexit might affect their ...

Upon request by the AFCO Committee, the Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs has commissioned this in-depth analysis on the impact of Brexit on the devolved territories of Scotland and Wales as well as the Overseas Territory of Gibraltar. It examines the economic and political implications of Brexit on these territories, the consequences of the possible return to devolved administrations of formerly ‘Europeanised’ competencies and looks at how Brexit might affect their future status within the UK as well as their relations with the EU.

Autor externo

Michael KEATING

Publicado en 25-04-2017

EU-Belarus people-to-people contacts

25-04-2017

The autocratic policies pursued by Belarus's long-standing president, Alexander Lukashenko, have strained EU-Belarus ties over the years. Against this backdrop, the EU has geared all its programmes towards benefiting the Belarusian people at large. EU-Belarus relations did slowly begin to recover in the wake of the Ukraine crisis, but the backbone of EU-Belarus cooperation remains civil society support and people-to-people contacts.

The autocratic policies pursued by Belarus's long-standing president, Alexander Lukashenko, have strained EU-Belarus ties over the years. Against this backdrop, the EU has geared all its programmes towards benefiting the Belarusian people at large. EU-Belarus relations did slowly begin to recover in the wake of the Ukraine crisis, but the backbone of EU-Belarus cooperation remains civil society support and people-to-people contacts.

Cross-border portability of online content services

25-04-2017

In February 2017, negotiators from the European Parliament, the Council and Commission reached a compromise on the proposal for a regulation on cross-border portability of online content services. The EP must now formally approve the new rules, enabling consumers to access their online subscriptions for content services when they travel across the EU and are temporarily outside their Member State of residence. The compromise text amends the Commission’s proposal in various ways. It clarifies that ...

In February 2017, negotiators from the European Parliament, the Council and Commission reached a compromise on the proposal for a regulation on cross-border portability of online content services. The EP must now formally approve the new rules, enabling consumers to access their online subscriptions for content services when they travel across the EU and are temporarily outside their Member State of residence. The compromise text amends the Commission’s proposal in various ways. It clarifies that providers of free-of-charge online content services can also offer portability services to their subscribers. The notion of temporary presence in other Member States has been tightened and refers to a limited period of time. The concept of Member State of residence and its verification mechanism are also more explicitly defined. At the EP’s request, some safeguards have been added to ensure data protection and privacy are respected (especially for IP address checks), and a waiver clause has been introduced which allows content providers to avoid verifying the residence of their customers when all the holders of copyright, related rights, or other rights in the content agree.

Resettlement of refugees: EU framework

25-04-2017

Resettlement is one tool to help displaced persons in need of protection reach Europe safely and legally, and receive protection for as long as necessary. It is a durable solution which includes selection and transfer of refugees from a country where they seek protection to another country. Apart from providing international protection to refugees, its aim is also to strengthen solidarity and responsibility-sharing between countries. For a resettlement to take place, the United Nations Refugee Agency ...

Resettlement is one tool to help displaced persons in need of protection reach Europe safely and legally, and receive protection for as long as necessary. It is a durable solution which includes selection and transfer of refugees from a country where they seek protection to another country. Apart from providing international protection to refugees, its aim is also to strengthen solidarity and responsibility-sharing between countries. For a resettlement to take place, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has to determine an applicant is a refugee according to the 1951 Geneva Convention, and has to identify resettlement as the most appropriate solution. On 13 July 2016, as part of the reform of the Common European Asylum System and the long-term policy on better migration management, the Commission presented a proposal which aims to provide for a permanent framework with standard common procedures for resettlement across the EU, and will complement current national and multilateral resettlement initiatives. Second edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

European Fund for Strategic Investments – EFSI 2.0

24-04-2017

On 14 September 2016, the Commission, in accordance with Article 18 of Regulation (EU) 2015/1017, proposed an extension of the duration of the European fund for strategic investments (EFSI) until 31 December 2020 and the introduction of technical enhancements for that fund and the European Investment Advisory Hub. The new proposal, referred to as EFSI 2.0, includes an increase in the EU guarantee from €16 to 26 billion and in EIB capital from €5 to 7.5 billion, which should mobilise private and public ...

On 14 September 2016, the Commission, in accordance with Article 18 of Regulation (EU) 2015/1017, proposed an extension of the duration of the European fund for strategic investments (EFSI) until 31 December 2020 and the introduction of technical enhancements for that fund and the European Investment Advisory Hub. The new proposal, referred to as EFSI 2.0, includes an increase in the EU guarantee from €16 to 26 billion and in EIB capital from €5 to 7.5 billion, which should mobilise private and public investment of €500 billion over the period until 2020. The proposal also focuses on project sustainability, enhancement of geographical coverage and ways to reinforce take-up in less developed regions, while also aiming to enhance the transparency of investment decisions and governance procedures, and reinforce the social dimension by means of additional financial instruments. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

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European Social Pillar and EMU: Setting European priorities
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EPRS
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EU action to combat marine litter
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ENVI
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Workshop on Sectarianism in the Middle East and North Africa
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AFET

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