ThinkTank logo Id-dokumenti li jgħinu jsawru l-leġiżlazzjoni l-ġdida tal-UE
Data tal-pubblikazzjoni: 26-06-2017

Use of energy from renewable sources

26-06-2017

Despite its considerable length and a rather large number of options (over 30), the IA report could have delivered a more coherent, comprehensive, and persuasive analysis. The internal logic of the report and the arrangement of options is at times hard to understand because the options are linked to challenges rather than to clearly defined problems and objectives. Furthermore, the absence of preferred options makes it difficult to assess the usefulness of the impact assessment in informing the political ...

Despite its considerable length and a rather large number of options (over 30), the IA report could have delivered a more coherent, comprehensive, and persuasive analysis. The internal logic of the report and the arrangement of options is at times hard to understand because the options are linked to challenges rather than to clearly defined problems and objectives. Furthermore, the absence of preferred options makes it difficult to assess the usefulness of the impact assessment in informing the political decisions underpinning the legislative proposal. The use of different models, which are by the Commission's own admittance very difficult to compare, may have led to a certain lack of coherence in the assessment of the impacts. The proportionality of proposed measures is not always clearly visible compared with the evidence provided by the models used in the assessment. Overall, given the number of considerable shortcomings and the fact that the assessment twice received a negative opinion from the RSB, one might have expected a better argumentation for the Commission's decision to proceed with the proposal.

International Agreements in Progress: EU-Cuba Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement

26-06-2017

Cuba is the only Latin American country to have no bilateral agreement with the EU. Between 1996 and December 2016, relations between the EU and Cuba were governed by the 1996 Common Position, which subordinated cooperation and the conclusion of any bilateral agreement to the achievement of visible progress in the field of democracy and human rights on the island. Nevertheless, political dialogue and cooperation were re-launched in 2008, following a leadership change in the country, and in February ...

Cuba is the only Latin American country to have no bilateral agreement with the EU. Between 1996 and December 2016, relations between the EU and Cuba were governed by the 1996 Common Position, which subordinated cooperation and the conclusion of any bilateral agreement to the achievement of visible progress in the field of democracy and human rights on the island. Nevertheless, political dialogue and cooperation were re-launched in 2008, following a leadership change in the country, and in February 2014 negotiating directives for a bilateral EU-Cuba Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement were adopted by the Council. After seven rounds of negotiation, the agreement together with the proposal for its conclusion was published by the Commission on 25 November 2016, and the agreement was signed on 12 December 2016. Its three main chapters concern political dialogue, cooperation and sectoral policy dialogue, and trade and trade cooperation. Human rights remain a contentious issue. The agreement has been submitted to the European Parliament for consent to its conclusion. The Committee on Foreign Affairs adopted a recommendation to give consent and an accompanying report on 20 June 2017; these are due to be voted during the July 2017 plenary session. The agreement also needs to be ratified by the EU's Member States.

Data tal-pubblikazzjoni: 23-06-2017

Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC)

23-06-2017

On 14 September 2016, the European Commission proposed an updated regulation on the Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communications (BEREC) as part of its wider telecoms package. The new proposal aims at transforming BEREC into a single fully fledged agency. The Commission proposes allocating new tasks to BEREC and granting it legally binding powers. New tasks include providing guidelines for national regulatory authorities (NRAs) on geographical surveys, developing common approaches to ...

On 14 September 2016, the European Commission proposed an updated regulation on the Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communications (BEREC) as part of its wider telecoms package. The new proposal aims at transforming BEREC into a single fully fledged agency. The Commission proposes allocating new tasks to BEREC and granting it legally binding powers. New tasks include providing guidelines for national regulatory authorities (NRAs) on geographical surveys, developing common approaches to meet end-user interests, but also developing common approaches to deliver peer-reviewed opinions on draft national measures (e.g. radio spectrum assignments) and on cross-border disputes. Stakeholders have been divided over the Commission’s review as regards the effectiveness and powers of BEREC. While the role of NRAs is widely acknowledged, some stakeholders stressed that the institutional set-up at EU and BEREC levels should be adjusted (e.g. a clearer division of powers, accountability issues, transparency in decision-making). 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.

Cleaner air for Europe: EU efforts to fight air pollution

23-06-2017

Air pollution knows no borders. Wind can carry pollutants over thousands of kilometres. Poor air quality impacts negatively on human health, ecosystems, crop yields and buildings. It is one of the main environmental causes of premature death, having claimed 5.5 million lives globally and over 430 000 in the EU in 2013. The European Commission estimates the cost of air pollution linked to the degradation of health in European society to amount to €330 billion to €940 billion per year. Developed since ...

Air pollution knows no borders. Wind can carry pollutants over thousands of kilometres. Poor air quality impacts negatively on human health, ecosystems, crop yields and buildings. It is one of the main environmental causes of premature death, having claimed 5.5 million lives globally and over 430 000 in the EU in 2013. The European Commission estimates the cost of air pollution linked to the degradation of health in European society to amount to €330 billion to €940 billion per year. Developed since 1970 in the wake of acid rain fall that had been destroying European forests and polluting freshwaters, EU air quality policy, in combination with technological change, has contributed to reducing air pollution substantially.

Macro-financial assistance

23-06-2017

Macro-financial assistance (MFA) is an instrument designed to provide loans and grants from the EU to candidate, potential candidate and neighbourhood countries in acute balance of payments crises. An MFA operation is exceptional and temporary, based on economic and political conditions, and linked to an International Monetary Fund (IMF) adjustment programme. In addition to solving short term balance of payments problems, MFA is designed to stabilise public finances and to encourage structural reforms ...

Macro-financial assistance (MFA) is an instrument designed to provide loans and grants from the EU to candidate, potential candidate and neighbourhood countries in acute balance of payments crises. An MFA operation is exceptional and temporary, based on economic and political conditions, and linked to an International Monetary Fund (IMF) adjustment programme. In addition to solving short term balance of payments problems, MFA is designed to stabilise public finances and to encourage structural reforms. Since 1990, there have been more than 60 MFA operations and the evaluation of the instrument is largely positive.

Start of Brexit negotiations [What Think Tanks are thinking]

23-06-2017

Formal negotiations on the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union under Article 50 TEU got under way on 19 June, as both sides agreed in principle how to organise the talks and underlined their mutual goodwill. The talks began nearly a year after the UK referendum (on 23 June 2016) resulted in the vote to leave the EU, and less than two weeks after a general election that left the ruling Conservative Party without a majority in the House of Commons. This note offers links to recent commentaries ...

Formal negotiations on the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union under Article 50 TEU got under way on 19 June, as both sides agreed in principle how to organise the talks and underlined their mutual goodwill. The talks began nearly a year after the UK referendum (on 23 June 2016) resulted in the vote to leave the EU, and less than two weeks after a general election that left the ruling Conservative Party without a majority in the House of Commons. This note offers links to recent commentaries and reports published by major international think tanks on the UK’s plans to leave the EU and the wider implications of Brexit.

New rules on security of gas supply

23-06-2017

In February 2016, the European Commission proposed a new regulation on security of gas supply as part of its sustainable energy security package, in order to develop a stronger collective response to future supply risks. Major innovations in the Commission proposal include a solidarity principle that prioritises households and essential social services during an emergency situation; mandatory regional preventive action and emergency plans based on new templates; fewer exemptions on bidirectional ...

In February 2016, the European Commission proposed a new regulation on security of gas supply as part of its sustainable energy security package, in order to develop a stronger collective response to future supply risks. Major innovations in the Commission proposal include a solidarity principle that prioritises households and essential social services during an emergency situation; mandatory regional preventive action and emergency plans based on new templates; fewer exemptions on bidirectional capacity, in order to facilitate reverse gas flows; an increase in the scope of contractual information relating to security of supply that is provided to the Commission and national authorities; and further involvement of the contracting parties of the Energy Community in security of gas supply measures. The ITRE Committee approved its report in October 2016, while the Council adopted a general approach in December 2016. Trilogue negotiations started in February 2017 and agreement was reached in April. The agreed text was approved by the ITRE committee on 30 May and is scheduled for a vote in the September 2017 plenary.

Control of the acquisition and possession of weapons

23-06-2017

In the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks, in November 2015 the European Commission presented a package of measures aiming to tighten control on the acquisition and possession of firearms in the European Union, improve traceability of legally held firearms and enhance cooperation between Member States, as well as ensure that deactivated firearms are rendered inoperable. The proposal to amend the current 'Firearms Directive' (Directive 91/477/EEC) was part of this package. It aimed to ban some ...

In the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks, in November 2015 the European Commission presented a package of measures aiming to tighten control on the acquisition and possession of firearms in the European Union, improve traceability of legally held firearms and enhance cooperation between Member States, as well as ensure that deactivated firearms are rendered inoperable. The proposal to amend the current 'Firearms Directive' (Directive 91/477/EEC) was part of this package. It aimed to ban some semi-automatic firearms for civilian use, as well as to include some previously excluded actors (collectors and brokers) and blank-firing weapons within the scope of the Directive. Parliament and Council reached agreement on the proposal in December, and formally adopted it in March and April respectively. The new directive reduces the number of weapons categories and changes the classification of certain types of weapons, while strictly defining exceptions for civilian use of the most dangerous weapons. It entered into force on 13 June 2017, with the deadline for transposition of most provisions set at 14 September 2018. This updates a briefing of January 2017, drafted by Jana Valant: PE 595.875.

Rights and empowerment of women in the Western Balkans

23-06-2017

Gender equality – recognised by the United Nations as a human right, and enshrined in the EU Treaties – is among the requirements with which Western Balkan candidates and potential candidates for EU accession (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia) have to comply. In recent years, these six countries have taken steps to advance women's rights. They have adopted or amended their relevant legislation (for instance, criminal and labour ...

Gender equality – recognised by the United Nations as a human right, and enshrined in the EU Treaties – is among the requirements with which Western Balkan candidates and potential candidates for EU accession (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia) have to comply. In recent years, these six countries have taken steps to advance women's rights. They have adopted or amended their relevant legislation (for instance, criminal and labour laws), elaborated national strategies and action plans, and established institutional mechanisms to carry out and monitor the policies in the area. Despite these formal efforts, however, promoting gender equality is often seen as a low-priority task, the main focus being centred on political and economic issues. In practice, women in the region still share similar challenges of increased personal, economic, and social insecurity. Traditional stereotypes place them in a subordinate position, and public awareness of their rights is low. Moreover, even though laws on gender equality exist, the institutions responsible for implementing them are weak and enjoy little public trust. Widespread domestic violence, limited labour market opportunities and unequal access to participation in high-level politics (despite existing quotas) are palpable issues concerning women still waiting to be tackled. As the Western Balkan governments' response to the above challenges is largely seen as inadequate, there have been calls to dedicate greater attention to them, including in the framework of EU accession, and for an increase in civil society involvement. For its part, civil society has repeatedly called for stricter monitoring, more consistent implementation and public awareness-raising as part of the national agenda.

Research for AGRI Committee - CAP implementation: Flexibility given to Member States - state of play and perspectives

15-05-2017

This study discusses flexibility of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) from various angles. The current flexibility does not create major conflicts with the objectives of the CAP. It makes decision-making more dispersed over the Member States, but also more effective. There may be small adverse effects on the level playing field. On the positive side, flexibility allows Member States to address specific problems and pursue heterogeneous and/or geographically bound goals. This should be regarded ...

This study discusses flexibility of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) from various angles. The current flexibility does not create major conflicts with the objectives of the CAP. It makes decision-making more dispersed over the Member States, but also more effective. There may be small adverse effects on the level playing field. On the positive side, flexibility allows Member States to address specific problems and pursue heterogeneous and/or geographically bound goals. This should be regarded as bounded targeting, not renationalisation.

Awtur estern

Ida Terluin, Petra Berkhout, Tuomas Kuhmonen

Avvenimenti fil-ġejjieni

26-06-2017
Gender equality in the media sector in the EU
Smigħ -
FEMM
26-06-2017
Antimicrobial Resistance - WORKSHOP POSTPONED, NEW DATE WILL BE ANNOUNCED.
Sessjoni ta' ħidma -
ENVI
26-06-2017
Twelfth meeting of the IMCO Working Group on the Digital Single Market
Avveniment ieħor -
IMCO

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