15

Resulta(a)t(en)

Woord(en)
Publicatietype
Beleidsterrein
Zoekterm
Datum

The Eurovignette and the framework to promote a European electronic toll service (EETS)

06-03-2017

The various reports and assessments show that there are considerable differences in the way vehicle road charges have been implemented across Member States. This means that a fully integrated market is yet to be reached. This is partly due to the flexibility contained in the various legislations which allowed Member States to apply systems that first and foremost fitted with their needs. As transport policy has increasingly become more interlinked with reducing emissions, these differences have become ...

The various reports and assessments show that there are considerable differences in the way vehicle road charges have been implemented across Member States. This means that a fully integrated market is yet to be reached. This is partly due to the flexibility contained in the various legislations which allowed Member States to apply systems that first and foremost fitted with their needs. As transport policy has increasingly become more interlinked with reducing emissions, these differences have become more problematic. The available evidence shows that there are qualitative differences between the road charging systems with distance-based charges being the most effective option. Indeed, it is clear that a move towards this system has been happening for some time now, and that road charges generally vary depending on emissions. The reviews did not find evidence of discrimination against any HGV users. In the area of electronic tolling, substantial variations can also be found. While dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) is the most used system, significant challenges around inter-operability remain. In fact some argue that none of the current systems in use under EETS will increase operability. Technological advances are nevertheless making harmonising these services easier. Although some argue that the gradual harmonisation seen to date has more to do with new technologies than with EU legislation. While a harmonised system is important for the internal market, road charges have also become closely linked with the reduction in emissions according to the 'polluter pay' principle. Following that logic, it would be difficult not to consider road charges for all vehicles. Especially since passenger car emissions make up a higher proportion of GHG emissions than HGVs. Indeed, the Commission's consultation on the topic confirms that wide ranging options are being considered. A broader scope raises more challenges, and as road charges get more sophisticated, i.e. time-based for example, more care needs to be taken that rates do not discriminate against some road users, in particular non-nationals. However, road charges currently make up only a very small proportion of the total costs for the transport sector, which means that behavioural changes solely based on these charges are likely to be limited. To significantly reduce transport emissions, much broader actions will be required.

European Commission follow-up to European Parliament requests

02-02-2017

In addition to its well-known role as a co-legislator, the European Parliament also supervises and scrutinises the work of the European Commission. The Parliament can therefore ask the Commission to take action to fulfil its role as guardian of the Treaties and to contribute to the improved functioning of the European Union and its legislation. Such requests usually take the form of resolutions. This Rolling Check-List covers the resolutions adopted by Parliament on the basis of own-initiative reports ...

In addition to its well-known role as a co-legislator, the European Parliament also supervises and scrutinises the work of the European Commission. The Parliament can therefore ask the Commission to take action to fulfil its role as guardian of the Treaties and to contribute to the improved functioning of the European Union and its legislation. Such requests usually take the form of resolutions. This Rolling Check-List covers the resolutions adopted by Parliament on the basis of own-initiative reports and legislative own-initiative reports during the current eighth legislative term up to December 2015, and the actions taken by the Commission as a result up to 31 October 2016. In total, the report covers 97 resolutions across almost all parliamentary committees. It provides a detailed overview of the Parliament's requests, and tracks the Commission's response and any further action taken. It thus offers a comprehensive scrutiny and reference tool, providing easy access to the follow-up given by the Commission to the Parliament's requests.

Overview of the internal energy market design legislation

23-01-2017

The new proposals build on previous legislation and continue to gradually implement an internal energy market. In particular, they look to incorporate recent changes, such as the rapid increase in renewables and technological advances relating to the digitalisation of services. They also attempt to clarify previous legislation such as in the case of storage for Transmission System Operators (TSOs) for example. As with the recent proposals on security of gas supply, the Commission looks to incorporate ...

The new proposals build on previous legislation and continue to gradually implement an internal energy market. In particular, they look to incorporate recent changes, such as the rapid increase in renewables and technological advances relating to the digitalisation of services. They also attempt to clarify previous legislation such as in the case of storage for Transmission System Operators (TSOs) for example. As with the recent proposals on security of gas supply, the Commission looks to incorporate a regional approach as the default option for assessing needs and mitigating risks. The Commission's evaluation, as well as the review of the implementation process, have shown that, while progress has been made, challenges to create a properly functioning internal market remain. The challenges identified by the evaluation, such as price controls, insufficient cross-border trade, uncoordinated national interventions and issues around regulatory independence, are addressed by the current proposals. However, it is also clear from the evaluation that progress towards a well-functioning and competitive energy market has not been consistent across the EU. Where progress has been made, the effects have been positive, although the evaluation does not look at examples of best practice to assess the best way forward. The EU- wide oversight of national regulators and TSOs is seen as positive, but question marks remain in terms of whether the suggested changes will be sufficient. Several reviews on the topic have noted that the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) lack sufficient powers to be effective and it is unclear whether the current proposals will properly address this issue. The public consultations also pointed to the dual role of the European Network for Transmission System Operators for electricity (ENTSO-E), as both a lobby organisation and a representative of public interest,  as potentially problematic. The creation of a European Distribution System Operator (DSO) could possibly duplicate this issue. The evaluation does not include any assessment around infrastructure legislation or the EU's role in this area; however, it notes that the incentives for private investments have been insufficient so far. It is hoped that the proposed moves to a more flexible and price-driven market should improve investment conditions. As reforms in this area have been ongoing since the 1990s, it will be particularly important to continue to monitor progress and to what extent the new proposals increase competition and a well-functioning, price-led market. In terms of the Parliament's demands, many of its requests are reflected in the proposals, such as calls for more regional cooperation, for example. They do not, however, include a review of the gas market or interconnectivity objectives differentiated by regions; nor do they look to address to any great extent the issue of external import. In the case of the ACER, Parliament had asked for a substantial increase in resources. While the proposals strengthen the agency's position, the Commission decided not to propose making the ACER into a pan-European regulator, with the increase in budget and staff that such a move would have entailed.

European venture capital and social enterprise funds

12-10-2016

The evidence available shows that a variety of reasons may be behind the lack of take-up of EuVECA and EuSEF. Some issues may relate to the venture capital market in Europe as a whole: its limited size and historic lack of returns. However, given the better take-up of schemes under the AIFMD for example, there are clearly some specific issues linked to the two schemes in question. The proposed amendments look to go some way to address a number of the key issues highlighted by stakeholders, in particular ...

The evidence available shows that a variety of reasons may be behind the lack of take-up of EuVECA and EuSEF. Some issues may relate to the venture capital market in Europe as a whole: its limited size and historic lack of returns. However, given the better take-up of schemes under the AIFMD for example, there are clearly some specific issues linked to the two schemes in question. The proposed amendments look to go some way to address a number of the key issues highlighted by stakeholders, in particular, the inconsistent implementation of the regulations. However, the regulations have only been in force for a relatively short period of time which makes it difficult to assess any long-term impacts of the schemes. A lack of quantitative data also somewhat hampers the assessment which is mostly based on consultations with those stakeholders who have engaged in these Commission initiatives. To ensure that all potential barriers to take-up were explored, a greater effort could have been made to capture stakeholder feedback, particularly from potential investees, i.e. start-ups and other small businesses as well as from those currently managing funds registered under EuVECA and EuSEF. Although the proposal clearly sets out the need for an early review, for consistency, a broader evaluation including all statutory review undertakings may have provided a clearer overview and placed these investment schemes more clearly within the wider context of all collective investment tools. While the consultations and current review covered most of the areas flagged up by Parliament for evaluation, it will be important to ensure that the right monitoring tools continue to stay in place to monitor the up-take of the schemes, and what impact changes to the schemes may have on investors and investees as well as on the geographical spread of venture capital in the EU. Please click here for the full publication in PDF format

Publishing corporate tax information: Implementation Appraisal

04-07-2016

The current proposal on publishing corporate tax data is part of a broader effort to tackle tax avoidance and increase tax transparency. The proposal is closely connected to the recently adopted changes to Directive 2011/16 on the automatic exchange of information among national tax authorities. Country-by-country reporting to tax administrations is included in the OECD's action plan for tackling tax avoidance. However, while the present proposal applies the same turnover threshold and covers the ...

The current proposal on publishing corporate tax data is part of a broader effort to tackle tax avoidance and increase tax transparency. The proposal is closely connected to the recently adopted changes to Directive 2011/16 on the automatic exchange of information among national tax authorities. Country-by-country reporting to tax administrations is included in the OECD's action plan for tackling tax avoidance. However, while the present proposal applies the same turnover threshold and covers the same businesses as the OECD plan, it goes somewhat further as it adds an obligation to disseminate tax information publicly. Parliament has long called for tax information to be made public, however, this proposal does not go as far as Parliament had recommended in previous resolutions on the topic, particularly, in terms of the data that will be made public. There is already some EU-wide experience of making corporate tax-related data public with the recent decision to mandate the banking sector to publish tax-related data. The full impact of this measure is still unclear as several years of data will be needed to properly track tax planning behaviour. However, the Commission's evaluation on the subject has not yet found any negative impacts of publishing tax-related data. When it comes to what public scrutiny would achieve, there is not as yet an abundance of evidence on the effect of potential reputation-related damage on large businesses' tax strategies. Public disclosure will centre on businesses' tax payments within the EU, which means that it will not necessarily be possible to gain an overview of a business's total tax position. This will have some effect on the analysis that can be made of businesses' taxrelated information. However, the proposal sends a strong message in relation to the need for additional transparency.

Schengen and the management of the EU’s external borders

28-04-2016

Events in 2015, most notably the unprecedented arrival of migrants to the EU, but also the terrorist attacks in Paris, showed that current border management strategies have not been sufficient to effectively deal with these challenges. The events have also highlighted how intrinsically linked the EU’s external borders are with the absence of borders inside the EU. The proposed legislation therefore aims to reinforce the security of the external borders by increasing the powers of Frontex and by introducing ...

Events in 2015, most notably the unprecedented arrival of migrants to the EU, but also the terrorist attacks in Paris, showed that current border management strategies have not been sufficient to effectively deal with these challenges. The events have also highlighted how intrinsically linked the EU’s external borders are with the absence of borders inside the EU. The proposed legislation therefore aims to reinforce the security of the external borders by increasing the powers of Frontex and by introducing increased entry and exit checks on anyone crossing the EU’s external borders. However, the exact impact of the proposed measures and whether they will effectively address the EU’s border challenges are less clear, as no impact assessments have been conducted on these measures. According to the studies and discussions referred to above concerning the proposal to reinforce Frontex, it is considered unlikely that it will address some of the key weaknesses relating to Frontex, namely the lack of clear and distinct responsibilities between the agency and other EU agencies; and its current dependency on MS for resourcing. The report commissioned by the European Parliament’s LIBE Committee on this topic also questioned the legality of parts of the proposal, in particular the agency’s right to intervene against the will of a MS. The evaluations of Frontex concluded that the agency operated effectively, in particular in relation to its role as joint operations coordinator. The evaluation reports also noted a need for the agency’s role to be better clarified, and that better access to resources was required. However, while these evaluations showed the agency to be effective, they were mainly qualitative in nature, focusing on interviews with stakeholders rather than on quantitative data on organisational performance. It is therefore uncertain whether the evaluations of Frontex have been comprehensive enough to ensure that any changes to its remit will maximise the potential of the agency to work effectively.  

Energy Security and Integration

27-04-2016

The above studies and debate indicate that there is no single solution to increasing energy security and integration. However, it is clear that increased cooperation and coordination on a European level is needed to enhance energy independence, particularly in view of the differences between Member States in relation to their degree of energy dependency. The current proposal only covers gas supply and not electricity supply, making it more difficult to assess to what extent the proposal will enhance ...

The above studies and debate indicate that there is no single solution to increasing energy security and integration. However, it is clear that increased cooperation and coordination on a European level is needed to enhance energy independence, particularly in view of the differences between Member States in relation to their degree of energy dependency. The current proposal only covers gas supply and not electricity supply, making it more difficult to assess to what extent the proposal will enhance energy security overall. While the proposal strengthens the oversight role of the European Commission, it is not clear whether the increased information requirements would contribute to a more transparent and therefore more competitive market. Taking into account the global developments is also important. LNG demand in Asia, as well as conflicts in the Middle East, will have an effect on available resources and on energy security. This increases the importance of linking EU energy policy with EU external relations as called for by Parliament. Overall, a variety of initiatives are needed, together with careful consideration of the consequences of these choices, and a recognition that EU energy dependency will continue for some time.

Combatting migrant smuggling into the EU

23-04-2016

It is estimated that most of those who are currently entering the EU to seek asylum have had some help from smugglers in facilitating their journeys. Increased human smuggling in particular, when interlinked with criminal networks, poses serious threats to those smuggled as well as to EU Member States. The available evidence shows that there are considerable differences in how individual Member States tackle and penalise smuggling and that closer cooperation is needed to deal with this issue effectively ...

It is estimated that most of those who are currently entering the EU to seek asylum have had some help from smugglers in facilitating their journeys. Increased human smuggling in particular, when interlinked with criminal networks, poses serious threats to those smuggled as well as to EU Member States. The available evidence shows that there are considerable differences in how individual Member States tackle and penalise smuggling and that closer cooperation is needed to deal with this issue effectively. The existing discrepancies are partially linked to differences in the implementation of current European legislation, i.e. 'the facilitators package', which reacts to facilitation of the irregular entry, irregular transit and irregular stay of migrants into individual Member States. Furthermore, there are noticeable differences in national legislation with regard to whether providing humanitarian assistance to migrants is penalised or not. Smuggling is a complex issue and the modus operandi of smugglers is often very flexible and changes frequently. It is therefore important to tackle smuggling from a holistic perspective and also consider what unintended consequences may arise from policies intended to stop smuggling. Parliament has called for such an approach on several occasions. It is to be seen to what extent the European Commission evaluation of the respective European legislation and the potential legislative proposals will react to these challenges.  Please click here for the full publication in PDF format

Regulation 604/2013 (Dublin Regulation) and asylum procedures in Europe: Implementation Appraisal

14-04-2016

The review of the implementation of the Dublin legislation shows that the weaknesses identified since its inception remain, i.e. most of the transfers agreed by MS under the Dublin system do not take place. It is also unclear whether the system has had any effect on secondary movement which has remained at around 15%. As long as differences between MS asylum processes and socio-economic conditions remain, and as long as MS continue to centre their concerns on the national impact of migration, the ...

The review of the implementation of the Dublin legislation shows that the weaknesses identified since its inception remain, i.e. most of the transfers agreed by MS under the Dublin system do not take place. It is also unclear whether the system has had any effect on secondary movement which has remained at around 15%. As long as differences between MS asylum processes and socio-economic conditions remain, and as long as MS continue to centre their concerns on the national impact of migration, the Dublin system on its own is unlikely to work. In the absence of more detailed information on how the re-distribution mechanism suggested by the European Commission would work in practice, it is difficult to assess whether the proposals would effectively address the shortcomings of the Dublin system.

Improving the security of energy supply by developing the internal energy market: more efforts needed (European Court of Auditors' Special Report No 16/2015) - Implementation in Action

13-04-2016

The Court of Auditors' report found that although progress had been made, the objective of completing the internal energy market by 2014 had not been reached, and that more and better targeted infrastructure initiatives were needed. A generally broad agreement exists between ECA and the European Commission about what the priorities are to increase the effectiveness of the internal energy market, i.e. increase regional cooperation, improve cross-border capacity and review ACER's powers. The European ...

The Court of Auditors' report found that although progress had been made, the objective of completing the internal energy market by 2014 had not been reached, and that more and better targeted infrastructure initiatives were needed. A generally broad agreement exists between ECA and the European Commission about what the priorities are to increase the effectiveness of the internal energy market, i.e. increase regional cooperation, improve cross-border capacity and review ACER's powers. The European Commission's Energy Union framework will be the main instrument to increase implementation, strengthen European cooperation and harmonise standards across energy networks. However, given that the composition of the energy market is within the remit of Member States, their individual priorities will also influence any Europe-wide efforts. While agreeing with ECA that an EU-level infrastructure needs assessment was important, the European Commission did not see the need to bring more analytical capacity in-house. In terms of funding, while more rigorous funding criteria will come into force in 2016, the European Commission disagrees with ECA that legislation is needed to ensure that key infrastructure projects benefit the internal market, arguing that flexibility in EU funding is key to success. Given that most legislative proposals planned for Energy Union have yet to come, it will be important to monitor to what extent these initiatives meet the concerns outlined by ECA in this report and reflect the demands made by Parliament in its recent resolutions.

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