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Combined transport directive review: Getting more goods off EU roads

14-12-2018

The European Union's efforts to reduce the negative impacts of transport include promoting a shift from road freight transport to lower-emission transport modes. This also includes combined transport operations, which consist of at least one road leg for initial or final haulage and one non road leg on rail or water. The 1992 Combined Transport Directive set out measures that were meant to increase the competitiveness of combined transport against road-only transport. In 2017, the Commission proposed ...

The European Union's efforts to reduce the negative impacts of transport include promoting a shift from road freight transport to lower-emission transport modes. This also includes combined transport operations, which consist of at least one road leg for initial or final haulage and one non road leg on rail or water. The 1992 Combined Transport Directive set out measures that were meant to increase the competitiveness of combined transport against road-only transport. In 2017, the Commission proposed to simplify the existing rules and make combined transport more attractive by means of economic incentives. The initiative is part of the Commission 'mobility package' of legislative proposals to make EU transport safer, greener and more modern. The Transport Council of 3 December 2018 agreed a general approach on the proposal on combined transport, having also reached a position on three other key proposals in the road transport sector. As the European Parliament's Committee on Transport and Tourism had adopted its report in July 2018, interinstitutional negotiations can now begin. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Modernisation of EU consumer protection rules: A new deal for consumers

13-12-2018

On 11 April 2018, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a directive on better enforcement and modernisation of EU consumer protection, as part of its 'new deal for consumers' package of measures. The proposal comes after a fitness check of consumer legislation and an evaluation of the Consumer Rights Directive showed that the EU consumer legislation is fit for purpose, but could benefit from certain aspects being clarified and brought into line with the reality of the digital economy. The ...

On 11 April 2018, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a directive on better enforcement and modernisation of EU consumer protection, as part of its 'new deal for consumers' package of measures. The proposal comes after a fitness check of consumer legislation and an evaluation of the Consumer Rights Directive showed that the EU consumer legislation is fit for purpose, but could benefit from certain aspects being clarified and brought into line with the reality of the digital economy. The proposal, which would amend four consumer protection directives, focuses on various consumer issues, including penalties for infringements, transparency on online marketplaces, protection for consumers of 'free' digital services, the right of withdrawal and dual quality of products. The rapporteur’s draft report would reject those proposed changes that would weaken the right of withdrawal. It would also clarify details for transparency in search results on online marketplaces, propose further harmonisation of the maximum fines for infringements, and require the Commission to develop a mobile app that would help EU consumers to file complaints with the European Consumer Centres and the Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) Platform. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

CO2 emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles

13-12-2018

In May 2018, the Commission proposed a regulation setting the first-ever CO2 emission performance standards for new heavy-duty vehicles in the EU, as part of the third mobility package. It would require the average CO2 emissions from new trucks in 2025 to be 15 % lower than in 2019. For 2030, the proposal sets an indicative reduction target of at least 30 % compared to 2019. Special incentives are provided for zero- and low-emission vehicles. The proposed regulation applies to four categories of ...

In May 2018, the Commission proposed a regulation setting the first-ever CO2 emission performance standards for new heavy-duty vehicles in the EU, as part of the third mobility package. It would require the average CO2 emissions from new trucks in 2025 to be 15 % lower than in 2019. For 2030, the proposal sets an indicative reduction target of at least 30 % compared to 2019. Special incentives are provided for zero- and low-emission vehicles. The proposed regulation applies to four categories of large trucks, which together account for 65 %-70 % of CO2 emissions from heavy-duty vehicles. The Commission proposes to review the legislation in 2022 in order to set a binding target for 2030, and to extend its application to smaller trucks, buses, coaches and trailers. Heavy-duty vehicles are responsible for around a quarter of CO2 emissions from road transport in the EU. Without further action, their emissions are expected to grow due to increasing road transport volumes. In the European Parliament, the proposal was referred to the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, which adopted its report on 18 October 2018. Parliament voted on the report on 14 November 2018 and gave a mandate for trilogue negotiations, which can start as soon as the Council has adopted its position. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Mutual recognition of freezing and confiscation orders

12-12-2018

In order to respond more effectively to the challenge of criminals and terrorists hiding assets in other Member States, in 2016 the European Commission proposed a regulation on the mutual recognition of freezing and confiscation orders in criminal matters. The directly applicable instrument removes the need for national transposition, broadens the scope of the current rules to cover new types of confiscation and includes provisions on victims' rights to restitution and compensation. In June 2018, ...

In order to respond more effectively to the challenge of criminals and terrorists hiding assets in other Member States, in 2016 the European Commission proposed a regulation on the mutual recognition of freezing and confiscation orders in criminal matters. The directly applicable instrument removes the need for national transposition, broadens the scope of the current rules to cover new types of confiscation and includes provisions on victims' rights to restitution and compensation. In June 2018, provisional agreement was reached in interinstitutional negotiations and the European Parliament voted the agreed text on 4 October 2018. The Council followed suit on 6 November 2018. The final act was signed on 14 November and published in the Official Journal of the EU on 28 November 2018. The regulation will apply 24 months after its entry into force, namely from 19 December 2020. Second edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

A new neighbourhood, development and international cooperation instrument: Proposal for a new regulation

12-12-2018

In the context of the Commission's proposal for a multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the 2021-2027 period, the Commission published a proposal for a regulation establishing the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) on 14 June 2018. It is part of Heading 6 'Neighbourhood and the World' of the proposed MFF, which sets out the main priorities and overall budgetary framework for the EU's external action. The Commission proposes to allocate €89.2 billion (in ...

In the context of the Commission's proposal for a multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the 2021-2027 period, the Commission published a proposal for a regulation establishing the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) on 14 June 2018. It is part of Heading 6 'Neighbourhood and the World' of the proposed MFF, which sets out the main priorities and overall budgetary framework for the EU's external action. The Commission proposes to allocate €89.2 billion (in current prices) to the NDICI for the 2021-2027 period. This represents an increase of 11 % compared to the resources allocated to the instruments and funds under the current MFF that the NDICI would replace. These include the European Development Fund (EDF), which is currently outside the MFF. Parliament has expressed concern about the proposed governance structure of the new instrument. Second edition. The 'Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

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.

Corporate taxation of a significant digital presence

07-12-2018

Despite achieving unprecedented growth and profit rates, the digital economy seems to be relatively undertaxed when compared to more traditional 'bricks and mortar' companies. The current rules are based on the physical presence of taxpayers and assets, and there is a general understanding that they are not suited to taxing a digital economy characterised by reliance on intangible assets and ubiquitous services whose location is often hard to determine. International bodies are currently working ...

Despite achieving unprecedented growth and profit rates, the digital economy seems to be relatively undertaxed when compared to more traditional 'bricks and mortar' companies. The current rules are based on the physical presence of taxpayers and assets, and there is a general understanding that they are not suited to taxing a digital economy characterised by reliance on intangible assets and ubiquitous services whose location is often hard to determine. International bodies are currently working on how to adapt tax rules to the digital reality. The European Commission adopted a proposal in March 2018. It would allow taxation on the basis of digital rather than physical presence linked with the EU, for digital activities generating turnover of over €7 million, and with more than 100 000 users or 3 000 business-to-business contracts annually. The proposal has met with mixed reactions from stakeholders. Although there is growing recognition that digital companies should pay similar tax rates to traditional companies, some consider the initiative to be premature given the ongoing search for a compromise at the level of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which is thought of as the permanent solution. The report by Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) proposes to widen the scope and reach of the tax, and increase clarity for tax authorities and companies. The plenary vote on the report is expected during the December session. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Interim digital services tax on revenues from certain digital services

07-12-2018

According to the European Commission the digital economy is relatively under-taxed when compared with traditional businesses. Certain inherent characteristics such as reliance on cross-border provision of services without physical presence, easy transfers of intangible assets, and novel ways to create value make it particularly easy for enterprises to limit their tax liabilities. In order to provide a solution to this problem, in March 2018 the Commission adopted the 'fair taxation of the digital ...

According to the European Commission the digital economy is relatively under-taxed when compared with traditional businesses. Certain inherent characteristics such as reliance on cross-border provision of services without physical presence, easy transfers of intangible assets, and novel ways to create value make it particularly easy for enterprises to limit their tax liabilities. In order to provide a solution to this problem, in March 2018 the Commission adopted the 'fair taxation of the digital economy' package, comprised of two proposals. One concerns a permanent reform of corporate tax regime while the second is a proposal for a directive on the common system of a digital services tax on revenues resulting from the provision of certain digital services, which would apply as an interim measure until the permanent reform has been implemented. The tax is to cover businesses above two thresholds: total annual worldwide revenues exceeding €750 million and annual revenues in the EU exceeding €50 million. The proposed single rate is at 3 %, levied on gross revenues resulting from the provision of certain digital services where user value creation is essential. Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) adopted a report proposing to widen the scope and reach of the tax. The plenary vote is expected during the December session. Second edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

International Agreements in Progress: The EU-Japan Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) - A framework to promote shared values

06-12-2018

The EU and Japan share the same basic values, including on democracy, market economy, human rights, human dignity, freedom, equality, and the rule of law. Against a background of increasingly assertive neighbours, they are also putting emphasis on security issues. The EU has adopted a Global Strategy placing security and defence as a key strategic priority, and conclusions on 'enhanced EU security cooperation in and with Asia'. Japan has reformed its security policy, aiming at becoming a 'proactive ...

The EU and Japan share the same basic values, including on democracy, market economy, human rights, human dignity, freedom, equality, and the rule of law. Against a background of increasingly assertive neighbours, they are also putting emphasis on security issues. The EU has adopted a Global Strategy placing security and defence as a key strategic priority, and conclusions on 'enhanced EU security cooperation in and with Asia'. Japan has reformed its security policy, aiming at becoming a 'proactive contributor for peace'. In order to enhance their relations, in July 2018 the EU and Japan signed a binding Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA), along with an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), negotiated in parallel. The SPA represents a framework strengthening the overall partnership, by promoting political and sectoral cooperation and joint actions in more than 40 areas of common interest. Once adopted, the EU-Japan strategic partnership will become more operational. The agreement will facilitate joint EU-Japan efforts to promote shared values such as human rights and rule of law, a rules-based international system, and peace and stability across the world. It will allow EU-Japan security cooperation to reach its full potential. First edition. The 'International Agreements in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the process, from initial discussions through to ratification.

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

05-12-2018

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 chemical agents. The initiative is proceeding in steps. The first proposal, submitted in May 2016, covered 13 priority chemical agents. The current (second) proposal addresses a further seven agents. Broad discussions with scientists and the social partners fed into both proposals. On the whole, trade ...

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 chemical agents. The initiative is proceeding in steps. The first proposal, submitted in May 2016, covered 13 priority chemical agents. The current (second) proposal addresses a further seven agents. Broad discussions with scientists and the social partners fed into both proposals. On the whole, trade unions and employers welcomed the current proposal. The European Parliament’s Committee on Employment and Social Affairs adopted its report on 27 March 2018. Interinstitutional negotiations started on 27 May and agreement was reached on 11 October. As proposed by Parliament, diesel engine exhaust emissions were included in the scope of the directive, and a limit value of 0.05 mg/m3 was set. The agreed text is due to be voted in plenary in December 2018. 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.

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Fact Finding Visit to Italy: 17 - 18 December 2018
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08-01-2019
Table ronde autour du livre ‘Paul Collowald, pionnier d'une Europe à unir’
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