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Competition in the EU and globally [What Think Tanks are Thinking]

14-02-2020

The digital revolution, global trade disputes and low growth in the European economy have, among other factors, revived the debate about the merits and drawbacks of the European Union’s strict competition rules, which cover cartels, market dominance, mergers and state aid. Some politicians and economists argue that competition is an increasingly global phenomenon and that the intra-Community trade context for which the EU competition rules were originally designed no longer applies, and that the ...

The digital revolution, global trade disputes and low growth in the European economy have, among other factors, revived the debate about the merits and drawbacks of the European Union’s strict competition rules, which cover cartels, market dominance, mergers and state aid. Some politicians and economists argue that competition is an increasingly global phenomenon and that the intra-Community trade context for which the EU competition rules were originally designed no longer applies, and that the rules themselves are, as a result, too prescriptive. This emerging view might encourage the Union to pursue a more active and coordinated EU industrial policy, supported by more flexible rules on state aid and mergers in particular. The debate comes at a time when the US–China trade conflict and problems in the World Trade Organization are reshaping global economic competition, with new relationships and partnerships being formed. This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports from international think tanks on the EU’s competition and industrial policy challenges and on the changing nature of global competition. More studies on trade issues can be found in a previous item from this series, published in September 2019.

European Commission Work Programme for 2020

11-02-2020

This briefing is intended as a background overview for parliamentary committees planning their activities in relation to the European Commission's 2020 work programme (CWP 2020). It offers a brief description of the work programme's content and of related publications provided by the Ex-Ante Impact Assessment Unit (IMPA) and the Ex-Post Evaluation Unit (EVAL) of the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), in particular initial appraisals of Commission impact assessments and implementation ...

This briefing is intended as a background overview for parliamentary committees planning their activities in relation to the European Commission's 2020 work programme (CWP 2020). It offers a brief description of the work programme's content and of related publications provided by the Ex-Ante Impact Assessment Unit (IMPA) and the Ex-Post Evaluation Unit (EVAL) of the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), in particular initial appraisals of Commission impact assessments and implementation appraisals.

Potential Output Estimates and their Role in the EU Fiscal Policy Surveillance

11-02-2020

The surveillance of fiscal policies of EU Members States makes extensive use of estimates of the potential output and related concepts, including output gap and structural balance. This note provides an overview of these concepts, of their use and of the main issues related to them.

The surveillance of fiscal policies of EU Members States makes extensive use of estimates of the potential output and related concepts, including output gap and structural balance. This note provides an overview of these concepts, of their use and of the main issues related to them.

SMEs and Better Regulation

07-02-2020

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the European economy. However, numerous internal and external constraints, such as red tape and stringent business regulations, can make running a small business very difficult for entrepreneurs. Creating a business-friendly regulatory environment is a long-standing EU objective. The European Commission's cross-cutting policy on better regulation spearheads improvements, and its 'SME Test' scrutinises the impact of EU proposals on SMEs ...

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the European economy. However, numerous internal and external constraints, such as red tape and stringent business regulations, can make running a small business very difficult for entrepreneurs. Creating a business-friendly regulatory environment is a long-standing EU objective. The European Commission's cross-cutting policy on better regulation spearheads improvements, and its 'SME Test' scrutinises the impact of EU proposals on SMEs. The Commission is due to make a statement during the February plenary session on SMEs and better regulation.

Financing the European Union [What Think Tanks are thinking]

07-02-2020

The European Union is preparing its next long-term budget – the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). However, more than a year and a half after the European Commission made its MFF proposal, differences persist over the size of the budget and spending levels on individual policies. The European Parliament has called for an ambitious budget, capable of financing new initiatives, such as the European Green Deal. Despite tensions, a decision on the next MFF is still expected in 2020, before ...

The European Union is preparing its next long-term budget – the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). However, more than a year and a half after the European Commission made its MFF proposal, differences persist over the size of the budget and spending levels on individual policies. The European Parliament has called for an ambitious budget, capable of financing new initiatives, such as the European Green Deal. Despite tensions, a decision on the next MFF is still expected in 2020, before the planned start of the next financing period at the beginning of the following year. The later the decision comes, the more significant the negative consequences for beneficiaries of the EU budget, as some aid programmes could be delayed. This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports from international think tanks on the EU’s long-term budget and related issues. The current item includes a recent package of publications on the MFF prepared by the European Parliamentary Research Service.

Public economic support in the EU: State aid and special economic zones

06-02-2020

State aid can be defined as an advantage given by a government that may provide a company with an unfair competitive edge over its commercial rivals. State aid can take several forms, such as public subsidies, tax relief, or the purchasing of goods and services on preferential terms. While the European Union (EU) competition rules consider State aid to be incompatible with the internal market, they allow such aid when it promotes general economic development, for example, when tackling the challenges ...

State aid can be defined as an advantage given by a government that may provide a company with an unfair competitive edge over its commercial rivals. State aid can take several forms, such as public subsidies, tax relief, or the purchasing of goods and services on preferential terms. While the European Union (EU) competition rules consider State aid to be incompatible with the internal market, they allow such aid when it promotes general economic development, for example, when tackling the challenges of global competition, the ongoing financial crisis, the digital revolution, and demographic change. To this end, all EU Member States provide some public economic support, for instance, to the coal mining sector, banks, or the digital economy. To contribute to regional development and to increase competitiveness, some Member States have created special economic zones (SEZs), which offer an attractive combination of tax-and-tariff incentives, streamlined customs procedures, less laws, provision of infrastructure, and creation of business clusters. The European Commission is currently evaluating the State aid modernisation (SAM) package and some of its related laws, as these will expire by the end of 2020. The European Parliament takes a two fold stance towards public economic support in the EU. On the one hand, Parliament stresses that State aid should support ecological transformation and foster the development of services, knowledge, and infrastructure rather than providing support to specific companies. On the other hand, it calls on the Commission to ensure that State aid is reduced in the long term, given its distortive effects on the internal market. While the temporary State aid offered to the financial sector to stabilise the EU financial system might have been necessary, Parliament calls on the Commission to scrutinise and eventually remove this aid. Parliament, inter alia, also calls on the Member States to abandon unfair competition practices based on unjustified tax incentives and to adopt appropriate rules in the Council.

Economic Dialogue with the other EU Institutions under the European Semester Cycles during the 9th legislative term State of play - February 2020

06-02-2020

This document provides an overview of Economic Dialogues with the other institutions of the European Union that has taken place in the competent Committee of the European Parliament since September 2019 under the European Semester Cycles. It also includes an overview of the respective legal bases for these dialogues. For an overview Economic Dialogues between January 2014 and January 2019, please see separate document.

This document provides an overview of Economic Dialogues with the other institutions of the European Union that has taken place in the competent Committee of the European Parliament since September 2019 under the European Semester Cycles. It also includes an overview of the respective legal bases for these dialogues. For an overview Economic Dialogues between January 2014 and January 2019, please see separate document.

European Central Bank annual report 2018

05-02-2020

The Parliament will discuss the European Central Bank (ECB) annual report for 2018 during its February plenary session, in the presence of the ECB President, Christine Lagarde. The debate will be based on the own-initiative report of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON), which focuses on future monetary policy, review of the ECB toolkit, the move towards green central banking, and a stronger global role for the euro.

The Parliament will discuss the European Central Bank (ECB) annual report for 2018 during its February plenary session, in the presence of the ECB President, Christine Lagarde. The debate will be based on the own-initiative report of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON), which focuses on future monetary policy, review of the ECB toolkit, the move towards green central banking, and a stronger global role for the euro.

What do we know about the BICC today?

05-02-2020

The budgetary instrument for convergence and competitiveness is part of the Eurogroup December 2018 “comprehensive plan to strengthen the Euro’’. This note presents its main features, as known on the basis of public sources, and discusses the steps leading to the Eurogroup agreement of October 2019. It addresses its connection with the European Semester and the more general framework of economic policy coordination. This note will be updated on the basis of further available information.

The budgetary instrument for convergence and competitiveness is part of the Eurogroup December 2018 “comprehensive plan to strengthen the Euro’’. This note presents its main features, as known on the basis of public sources, and discusses the steps leading to the Eurogroup agreement of October 2019. It addresses its connection with the European Semester and the more general framework of economic policy coordination. This note will be updated on the basis of further available information.

The 2019 ESPAS Conference: Some useful take-aways

31-01-2020

What are the probable and less probable developments of ageing? How should university deal with the disrespect for facts? Will we see a multipolar or poly-nodal world? What will be the main causes of inequality? What can government do to prevent undesired futures? The 2019 ESPAS Conference was devoted to foresight, the disciplined exploration of alternative futures and had some useful take-aways in these questions

What are the probable and less probable developments of ageing? How should university deal with the disrespect for facts? Will we see a multipolar or poly-nodal world? What will be the main causes of inequality? What can government do to prevent undesired futures? The 2019 ESPAS Conference was devoted to foresight, the disciplined exploration of alternative futures and had some useful take-aways in these questions

Planowane wydarzenia

17-02-2020
The Dilemma of Disinformation: How should democracies respond?
Inne wydarzenie -
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