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EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Industrial policy

28-06-2019

Through its industrial policy, the European Union (EU) has been striving to create conditions conducive to increasing industry growth and competitiveness since 1992. European industry remains a cornerstone of the economy, providing one job out of five, and is responsible for the bulk of EU exports and investment in research and innovation. Today, the aim of EU policy is to enable a successful transition towards digital, knowledge-based, decarbonised and more circular industry in Europe. To achieve ...

Through its industrial policy, the European Union (EU) has been striving to create conditions conducive to increasing industry growth and competitiveness since 1992. European industry remains a cornerstone of the economy, providing one job out of five, and is responsible for the bulk of EU exports and investment in research and innovation. Today, the aim of EU policy is to enable a successful transition towards digital, knowledge-based, decarbonised and more circular industry in Europe. To achieve this goal, the EU supports, coordinates and supplements Member State-level policies and actions, mainly in the areas of research and innovation, SMEs and digital technologies. In a Eurobarometer poll conducted for the European Parliament, more than half of EU citizens expressed support for increased EU action on industrial policy. Despite this, it is still the least understood policy area covered by the poll. Since 2014, efforts have been made in a number of areas, including investment (mainly through the European Fund for Strategic Investment, which supports industrial modernisation); digitalisation (for example setting up a number of research partnerships, or a growing network of digital innovation hubs); financing (making it easier for industry and SMEs to access public markets and attract venture funds); greener industry (for example through the revised 2030 emission targets, or measures on clean mobility); standardisation (bringing together relevant stakeholders to collectively develop and update European standards); and skills (mobilising key stakeholders to close the skills gap and providing an adequate workforce for modern industry). The European Parliament has called for ambitious policies in many of these areas. In the future, EU spending on key areas relevant to industrial policy is expected to rise moderately. The European Commission is proposing to boost the share of EU spending on research, SMEs and key infrastructure, although not as much as Parliament has requested. In the coming years, policies are likely to focus on seeking fairer global competition, stimulating innovation, building digital capacities and increasing the sustainability of European industry. This is an update of an earlier briefing issued in advance of the 2019 European elections.

Horizon Europe – Specific programme: Implementing the framework programme

15-05-2019

In June 2018, the European Commission proposed a total budget allocation of €100 billion to finance science, research and innovation projects during the 2021-2027 period, of which the vast majority, €94.1 billion in current prices, would be allocated to the Horizon Europe framework programme. The main aims are to strengthen science and technology, to foster industrial competiveness, and to implement the sustainable development goals in the EU. Horizon Europe would introduce new features such as the ...

In June 2018, the European Commission proposed a total budget allocation of €100 billion to finance science, research and innovation projects during the 2021-2027 period, of which the vast majority, €94.1 billion in current prices, would be allocated to the Horizon Europe framework programme. The main aims are to strengthen science and technology, to foster industrial competiveness, and to implement the sustainable development goals in the EU. Horizon Europe would introduce new features such as the European Innovation Council, missions to promote research results, and new forms of partnerships. While the proposal for the framework programme sets out the general and specific objective of Horizon Europe as well as the structure and the broad lines of the activities to be carried out, the specific programme aims to define the operational objectives and activities, especially for missions, the European Research Council, the European Innovation Council, work programmes, and the committee procedure. In April 2019, after several trilogue meetings, Parliament and Council reached a partial agreement, covering the specific programme’s content. It does not however address budgetary issues, pending negotiations on the EU’s overall 2021-2027 long-term budget. Parliament thus adopted its first-reading position on 17 April 2019, and it is expected that further trilogue negotiations will take place in the new term.

European Council conclusions - A rolling check-list of commitments to date

12-12-2018

The role of the European Council – to 'provide the Union with the necessary impetus for its development' and to define its 'general political directions and priorities' – has evolved rapidly over the last decade. Since June 2014, the European Council Oversight Unit within the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), the European Parliament's in-house research service and think-tank, has been monitoring and analysing the European Council's delivery on commitments made in the conclusions of ...

The role of the European Council – to 'provide the Union with the necessary impetus for its development' and to define its 'general political directions and priorities' – has evolved rapidly over the last decade. Since June 2014, the European Council Oversight Unit within the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), the European Parliament's in-house research service and think-tank, has been monitoring and analysing the European Council's delivery on commitments made in the conclusions of its meetings. This overview of European Council conclusions is a new, updated and more comprehensive edition of the Rolling Check-List which has been published regularly by the European Council Oversight Unit since 2014. It is designed to review the degree of progress in achieving the goals that the European Council has set itself and to assist the Parliament in exercising its important oversight role in this field.

Sector coupling: how can it be enhanced in the EU to foster grid stability and decarbonise?

19-11-2018

Sector coupling involves the increased integration of energy end-use and supply sectors with one another. This can improve the efficiency and flexibility of the energy system as well as its reliability and adequacy. Additionally, sector coupling can reduce the costs of decarbonisation. To foster the full potential of sector coupling in several end-use and supply applications, it is important that existing techno-economic, policy and regulatory barriers are removed. Furthermore, a more integrated ...

Sector coupling involves the increased integration of energy end-use and supply sectors with one another. This can improve the efficiency and flexibility of the energy system as well as its reliability and adequacy. Additionally, sector coupling can reduce the costs of decarbonisation. To foster the full potential of sector coupling in several end-use and supply applications, it is important that existing techno-economic, policy and regulatory barriers are removed. Furthermore, a more integrated approach to energy systems planning is needed. This document was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy.

Údar seachtarach

Luc VAN NUFFEL, João GORENSTEIN DEDECCA, Tycho SMIT, Koen RADEMAEKERS, Trinomics B.V.

Establishing the European Defence Fund

26-10-2018

One of a number of MFF-related impact assessment reports, this IA provides a comprehensive overview of the problems facing European defence development, as well as the general objectives that the proposed European Defence Fund is meant to address. It would nevertheless have gained by including a more detailed explanation behind the merger of the two financing windows, as well as a more detailed analysis of impacts. Finally, the lack of more specific objectives appears to have weakened the analysis ...

One of a number of MFF-related impact assessment reports, this IA provides a comprehensive overview of the problems facing European defence development, as well as the general objectives that the proposed European Defence Fund is meant to address. It would nevertheless have gained by including a more detailed explanation behind the merger of the two financing windows, as well as a more detailed analysis of impacts. Finally, the lack of more specific objectives appears to have weakened the analysis of monitoring mechanisms and it is unclear how stakeholders' views have fed into the analysis.

Establishing the InvestEU programme

26-10-2018

Building on the Investment Plan for Europe, the Commission proposes to create the InvestEU programme, which would bring various existing EU financial instruments into a single structure. This would contribute to the cross-cutting MFF objectives (simplification, flexibility, synergies, coherence) and to the budgetary aim of ‘doing more with less’. This proposal, which would seek to mobilise public and private investments to reduce investment gaps, is based on the stakeholder consultation and different ...

Building on the Investment Plan for Europe, the Commission proposes to create the InvestEU programme, which would bring various existing EU financial instruments into a single structure. This would contribute to the cross-cutting MFF objectives (simplification, flexibility, synergies, coherence) and to the budgetary aim of ‘doing more with less’. This proposal, which would seek to mobilise public and private investments to reduce investment gaps, is based on the stakeholder consultation and different ex post evaluations of the programmes having relevancy for the InvestEU programme. The IA accompanying the proposal provides a thorough description of the challenges in investment, comprising both qualitative and quantitative elements, and links the proposed measures to the identified challenges. The IA discusses also risks and mitigating measures, although the risks and risk management could perhaps have elaborated in more detail. As regards alternative options, the IA discusses some options (implementing partners, organisation of governance, blending and combinations of the support) but does not provide an assessment and comparison of various options as is normally required under the better regulation guidelines. It would have benefited the analysis if the assessment of the expected competitiveness, economic, social and environmental impacts had been more elaborated as in this respect the IA is not very informative.

European defence industrial development programme (EDIDP)

28-09-2018

The European Union is facing new security threats amid growing uncertainty about the reliability of some of its allies. As a consequence, it has embarked on a general scalingup of its defence capabilities. A European defence action plan has been agreed and a European Defence Fund created to provide financial support, ranging from the research phase to the acquisition phase of military equipment and technologies. The EDIDP, which will be part of that fund, is destined to provide the European defence ...

The European Union is facing new security threats amid growing uncertainty about the reliability of some of its allies. As a consequence, it has embarked on a general scalingup of its defence capabilities. A European defence action plan has been agreed and a European Defence Fund created to provide financial support, ranging from the research phase to the acquisition phase of military equipment and technologies. The EDIDP, which will be part of that fund, is destined to provide the European defence industry with financial support during the development phase of new products and technologies in areas selected at European level. An agreement was reached in trilogue negotiations in May 2018, and after Parliament and Council had approved the deal, the final legislative act was signed on 18 July 2018. This programme, with a financial envelope of €500 million, is due to run from January 2019 to December 2020.

Supporting the single market beyond 2020

28-09-2018

For the next long-term EU budget framework (2021-2027), the Commission is proposing a new, dedicated €4 billion programme aimed at empowering and protecting consumers, and enabling Europe's many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to take better advantage of a well-functioning single market. The financial envelope will be supplemented with the additional allocation of €2 billion under the InvestEU Fund, in particular through its SME window. The new programme aims to strengthen and streamline ...

For the next long-term EU budget framework (2021-2027), the Commission is proposing a new, dedicated €4 billion programme aimed at empowering and protecting consumers, and enabling Europe's many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to take better advantage of a well-functioning single market. The financial envelope will be supplemented with the additional allocation of €2 billion under the InvestEU Fund, in particular through its SME window. The new programme aims to strengthen and streamline the governance of the EU's internal market. It will support the competitiveness of business, and promote human, animal and plant health and a safe food chain, as well as financing European statistics to provide reliable data relevant to the single market. The proposal consolidates and streamlines a wide range of activities that were previously financed separately, and bundles them into one programme. The aim here is to generate benefits in terms of flexibility, simplification and synergies, and eliminate overlaps.

Directive 2011/7/EU on late payments in commercial transactions

11-07-2018

Directive 2011/7/EU on late payments in commercial transactions (Late Payment Directive, (LPD)) strengthened European regulations first introduced in 2000 in favour of creditors. In addition to statutory interest, the application of which is still not automatic, maximum periods were established for payments in business-to-business transactions and those with public authorities, limiting contractual freedom, which is often abused by stronger companies. Following the largely correct transposition into ...

Directive 2011/7/EU on late payments in commercial transactions (Late Payment Directive, (LPD)) strengthened European regulations first introduced in 2000 in favour of creditors. In addition to statutory interest, the application of which is still not automatic, maximum periods were established for payments in business-to-business transactions and those with public authorities, limiting contractual freedom, which is often abused by stronger companies. Following the largely correct transposition into national law, the situation continues to vary between Member States with regard to average payment periods (especially from public authorities), and the level of implementation of additional voluntary measures (such as prompt payment codes). In the absence of harmonised measurement methods, business surveys and consultations indicate improving practices, but the attribution of this development to the LPD cannot be separated from broader economic contexts and cultural aspects easily. Further exchange of best practices and better monitoring of their effectiveness might facilitate future developments in the area of late payments, including legislative action.

Proceedings of the Workshop on the Public Procurement Strategy Package

15-05-2018

This report summarises the discussion which took place at the workshop “Public Procurement Strategy Package”. Public procurement is a complex issue with the potential to strongly influence the EU economy. With the aim of discussing the main challenges related to this topic and the recently proposed draft regulation of the European Commission, the workshop was hosted by Mr Carlos Coelho, MEP. This document was prepared by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on the Internal Market ...

This report summarises the discussion which took place at the workshop “Public Procurement Strategy Package”. Public procurement is a complex issue with the potential to strongly influence the EU economy. With the aim of discussing the main challenges related to this topic and the recently proposed draft regulation of the European Commission, the workshop was hosted by Mr Carlos Coelho, MEP. This document was prepared by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection.

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