15

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Limits on exposure to carcinogens and mutagens at work: Third proposal

18-02-2019

The European Commission has proposed to amend Directive 2004/37/EC by expanding its scope and by including and/or revising occupational exposure limit values for a number of cancer- or mutation-causing substances. The initiative is proceeding in steps. The first proposal of May 2016 covered 13 priority chemical agents, the second, of January 2017, a further seven. The current (third) proposal addresses an additional five. Broad discussions with scientists and the social partners fed into all three ...

The European Commission has proposed to amend Directive 2004/37/EC by expanding its scope and by including and/or revising occupational exposure limit values for a number of cancer- or mutation-causing substances. The initiative is proceeding in steps. The first proposal of May 2016 covered 13 priority chemical agents, the second, of January 2017, a further seven. The current (third) proposal addresses an additional five. Broad discussions with scientists and the social partners fed into all three proposals. Reacting to the Commission’s set of measures as a whole, trade unions have acknowledged the importance of further improving the existing framework. Actors on the employers’ side have underlined the need to ensure that values are proportionate and feasible in terms of technical implementation. Parliament’s Employment and Social Affairs Committee voted its report on 20 November 2018. It includes the call to bring cytotoxic medicines, which are used in the treatment of cancer, within the scope of the directive, as well as to grant incentives to businesses that comply. Council agreed on its position on 6 December 2018. Trilogue negotiations gave rise to a provisional agreement in January 2019. Once endorsed by the Council, it will be voted in Parliament’s plenary. Second edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Protection of workers from exposure to carcinogens or mutagens: Third proposal

17-12-2018

This detailed appraisal focuses on the process and evidence base used in the IA for setting the limit values for cadmium and beryllium, notably in light of some knowledge gaps and methodological challenges identified in the IA in relation to the number of workers exposed and the estimation of the burden of disease. The appraisal concludes that the IA has relied on a vast and updated amount of information, including scientific journals, guidelines, manuals, surveys, published by authoritative research ...

This detailed appraisal focuses on the process and evidence base used in the IA for setting the limit values for cadmium and beryllium, notably in light of some knowledge gaps and methodological challenges identified in the IA in relation to the number of workers exposed and the estimation of the burden of disease. The appraisal concludes that the IA has relied on a vast and updated amount of information, including scientific journals, guidelines, manuals, surveys, published by authoritative research centres, publishers and international organisations, making the overall analysis sufficiently convincing and robust. As regards the limitations of the analysis, which are transparently acknowledged, the analysis carried out by the external contractors and endorsed in the IA recognises that the full current and future disease burden deriving from historic exposures to cadmium and beryllium is not captured; consequently, the disease burdens may be underestimated. As regards the estimated number of workers exposed to cadmium, the value of 10 000 workers considered by the external contractors for their modelling (in addition to a higher value of 30 000), and taken over in the IA, is coherently justified in light of the recognised wide divergences among the different estimates. This value appears to be reasonable, based on the availability of data at national and EU level, and the way some of them were gathered. As regards the estimated number of workers exposed to beryllium, the figure of 54 071 workers exposed in the EU 28 (excluding the construction sector) identified by the external contractor and used in the IA appears to be plausible, based on the justifications provided. However, it is acknowledged that higher exposure levels would imply higher costs and benefits at all target OEL values.

EP-EUI Roundtable - Role of the European Parliament in promoting the use of independent expertise in the legislative process

16-08-2018

This report reflects on the role of European Parliament in promoting the use of independent expertise in the European legislative process. The European Parliament has a unique model of involving independent expertise of universities and think tanks in the European legislative process to guarantee that its decisions are based on the best available evidence. The EP-EUI roundtable discussed the general framework, best practices and the way forward for involving independent expertise in the European ...

This report reflects on the role of European Parliament in promoting the use of independent expertise in the European legislative process. The European Parliament has a unique model of involving independent expertise of universities and think tanks in the European legislative process to guarantee that its decisions are based on the best available evidence. The EP-EUI roundtable discussed the general framework, best practices and the way forward for involving independent expertise in the European legislative process. This document has been prepared in the framework of scientific cooperation between the European Parliament and the European University Institute.

Limits on exposure to carcinogens and mutagens at work

22-01-2018

The European Commission proposes to amend Directive 2004/37/EC by expanding its scope and by including and/or revising occupational exposure limit values for a number of cancer-causing chemical agents. According to the Commission, this would improve workers' health protection, increase the effectiveness of the EU framework and promote clarity for economic operators. Overall, the proposal received a broad welcome from stakeholders. After completion of the legislative procedure at first reading in ...

The European Commission proposes to amend Directive 2004/37/EC by expanding its scope and by including and/or revising occupational exposure limit values for a number of cancer-causing chemical agents. According to the Commission, this would improve workers' health protection, increase the effectiveness of the EU framework and promote clarity for economic operators. Overall, the proposal received a broad welcome from stakeholders. After completion of the legislative procedure at first reading in the European Parliament and the Council, the presidents of the co-legislators signed the final act on 12 December 2017. The directive applies as from 16 January 2018.

New radio frequencies for mobile internet services

15-12-2016

While radio spectrum management is predominantly a national competence, EU policy plays an increasingly important role in its coordination and harmonisation. The EU actively seeks ways to harmonise use of the different bands of the spectrum to meet the ever-growing demand for wireless mobile broadband. Nevertheless, spectrum allocation in the EU remains fragmented and varies among Member States. Following developments in the international framework, as well as the considerations of high-level expert ...

While radio spectrum management is predominantly a national competence, EU policy plays an increasingly important role in its coordination and harmonisation. The EU actively seeks ways to harmonise use of the different bands of the spectrum to meet the ever-growing demand for wireless mobile broadband. Nevertheless, spectrum allocation in the EU remains fragmented and varies among Member States. Following developments in the international framework, as well as the considerations of high-level expert groups and a public consultation, the Commission adopted a long-term strategy for use of the 470-790 MHz frequency band. The strategy proposes to repurpose the 694-790 MHz band, to use it for wireless broadband rather than television broadcasting. The latter is to have priority in the 470-694 MHz band. The ITRE Committee report proposes that the deadline for national roadmaps is extended to 30 June 2018, that the 470-694 MHz band can be used by broadcasting services until 2030 and that end-users are compensated promptly for the switch. A December agreement with the Council in trilogue needs now to be confirmed. "A more recent edition of this document is available. Find it by searching by the document title at this address: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/home.html"

Post-2020 reform of the EU Emissions Trading System

28-10-2016

In July 2015, the European Commission proposed a reform of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) for the period 2021-2030, following the guidance set by the October 2014 European Council. The proposed directive introduces a new limit on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the ETS sector to achieve the EU climate targets for 2030, new rules for addressing carbon leakage, and provisions for funding innovation and modernisation in the energy sector. It encourages Member States to compensate for indirect ...

In July 2015, the European Commission proposed a reform of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) for the period 2021-2030, following the guidance set by the October 2014 European Council. The proposed directive introduces a new limit on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the ETS sector to achieve the EU climate targets for 2030, new rules for addressing carbon leakage, and provisions for funding innovation and modernisation in the energy sector. It encourages Member States to compensate for indirect carbon costs. In combination with the Market Stability Reserve agreed in May 2015, the proposed reform sets out the EU ETS rules for the period up to 2030, giving greater certainty to industry and to investors. In the European Parliament, the ENVI Committee takes the lead on the proposal, while it shares competence with the ITRE Committee on some aspects. The ITRE Committee adopted its opinion on 13 October 2016; the vote in the ENVI Committee is expected in December. This briefing updates an earlier edition, of June 2016: PE 583.851. A more recent edition of this document is available. Find it by searching by the document title at this address: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/home.html

Structural reform support programme 2017-2020

27-10-2016

Structural reforms have been identified as crucial to accelerating economic recovery, boosting growth and reducing unemployment. In November 2015, the European Commission proposed to establish the Structural Reform Support Programme 2017-2020, to provide Member States with technical assistance in designing and implementing structural reforms. The proposed budget is €142.8 million, to be taken from existing technical assistance resources under the structural and investment funds. Building on experience ...

Structural reforms have been identified as crucial to accelerating economic recovery, boosting growth and reducing unemployment. In November 2015, the European Commission proposed to establish the Structural Reform Support Programme 2017-2020, to provide Member States with technical assistance in designing and implementing structural reforms. The proposed budget is €142.8 million, to be taken from existing technical assistance resources under the structural and investment funds. Building on experience relating to reforms in Greece and Cyprus, the programme aims to improve administrative and institutional capacity, to facilitate better implementation of EU law, in particular the country-specific recommendations issued under the European Semester, more efficient use of EU funds and the introduction of growth-enhancing structural reforms. The Council prepared its negotiating stance in April 2016, while the EP's Committee on Regional Development is to vote on its rapporteurs’ draft report in November 2016. A more recent edition of this document is available. Find it by searching by the document title at this address: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/home.html

Legal aid: Impact assessment of substantial amendments

18-07-2016

This study was requested by the European Parliament's Committee for Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) as part of the Parliament's general commitment to improving the quality of EU legislation, and in particular its undertaking to carry out impact assessments of its own substantial amendments when it considers it appropriate and necessary for the legislative process. The aim of this ex-ante impact assessment is to evaluate seven substantial amendments to the Commission’s proposal for ...

This study was requested by the European Parliament's Committee for Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) as part of the Parliament's general commitment to improving the quality of EU legislation, and in particular its undertaking to carry out impact assessments of its own substantial amendments when it considers it appropriate and necessary for the legislative process. The aim of this ex-ante impact assessment is to evaluate seven substantial amendments to the Commission’s proposal for a directive on provisional legal aid for suspects or accused persons deprived of liberty and legal aid in European Arrest Warrant proceedings, adopted by the LIBE Committee in its report of May 2015. The study concludes that the adoption of these amendments would have a generally positive impact on the fundamental rights of suspects and accused persons. The right to legal aid, and thus, equal access to justice, would be further enhanced. In particular, the ‘practical’ enjoyment of the right of access to a lawyer (Directive 2013/48/EU) by indigent people would be ensured. Overall, the justice systems of the Member States investigated in this study would benefit from the adoption of the legal aid guarantees provided by the amendments. Evidence shows that a well-functioning legal aid system can streamline the proceedings, reduce the length of time suspects are held in police stations/detention centres, and limit the number of wrongful convictions, prison overcrowding and congestion in courts. The amendments would, however, imply certain additional cost burdens for Member States’ administrations. Please click here for the full publication in PDF format

Fitness Checks in Practice - Safety of Passenger Ships: Better Law-Making in action

17-03-2016

It is clear that the fitness check has put great emphasis on assessing the available evidence as thoroughly as possible. However, the lack of data remains an issue, and although this is made clear, at times some conclusions, related to accidents or change of flag for example, could have been more nuanced, given the relative unreliability of the data. To what extent this affects the overall conclusions of the report is less clear. In particular, could they have been more wide-ranging if the data had ...

It is clear that the fitness check has put great emphasis on assessing the available evidence as thoroughly as possible. However, the lack of data remains an issue, and although this is made clear, at times some conclusions, related to accidents or change of flag for example, could have been more nuanced, given the relative unreliability of the data. To what extent this affects the overall conclusions of the report is less clear. In particular, could they have been more wide-ranging if the data had been better? The final conclusions on simplifications are relatively straightforward, identifying overlap and outdated requirements, while some of the more difficult questions remain less answered. This is particularly the case in terms of accidents, where more and stronger evidence on the role of EU legislation in improving passenger safety would be especially helpful. As mentioned in the report, better data collection and monitoring systems are required for robust post-implementation assessments to be carried out. While the remit of the fitness check has a clear logic, the fact that the same Directives were previously included in an evaluation potentially dilutes the idea of a fitness check being broader than an evaluation. A clearer differentiation between evaluations and fitness checks along with increased transparency around the initial scoping decisions would be helpful. As the fitness checks become more established, the use of an initial roadmap and stakeholder feedback will hopefully go some way in addressing the issue.

Best practices in legislative and regulatory processes in a constitutional perspective: the case of the European Union

31-08-2015

This briefing note discusses the key features of the EU better lawmaking agenda, also in light of the new EU better regulation package, and highlights areas in which the EU can be considered a best practice, as well as existing gaps and concerns. Gaps include problems of accountability and transparency, uncertainty in methodology and lack the coherence between better regulation and long-term policy goals. Concerns relate to the newly adopted package and refer to the sustainability of the workload ...

This briefing note discusses the key features of the EU better lawmaking agenda, also in light of the new EU better regulation package, and highlights areas in which the EU can be considered a best practice, as well as existing gaps and concerns. Gaps include problems of accountability and transparency, uncertainty in methodology and lack the coherence between better regulation and long-term policy goals. Concerns relate to the newly adopted package and refer to the sustainability of the workload, the lack of a real attribution of responsibility for the update of EU impact assessments during the ordinary legislative procedure and uncertainty on the treatment of self- and co-regulation within the Inter-institutional Agreement on Better Regulation.

Autor externo

Andrea Renda, Senior research Fellow, Centre for European Policy Studies

Socios

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