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Regulation of OTC derivatives: Amending the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR)

28-06-2019

The European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR – Regulation (EU) No 648/2012), adopted in 2012, forms part of the European regulatory response to the financial crisis, and specifically addresses the problems observed in the functioning of the 'over-the-counter' (OTC) derivatives market in the 2007-2008 period. In May 2017, after carrying out an extensive assessment of EMIR, the Commission proposed a regulation amending and simplifying it in the context of its Regulatory Fitness and Performance ...

The European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR – Regulation (EU) No 648/2012), adopted in 2012, forms part of the European regulatory response to the financial crisis, and specifically addresses the problems observed in the functioning of the 'over-the-counter' (OTC) derivatives market in the 2007-2008 period. In May 2017, after carrying out an extensive assessment of EMIR, the Commission proposed a regulation amending and simplifying it in the context of its Regulatory Fitness and Performance (REFIT) programme, to address disproportionate compliance costs, transparency issues and insufficient access to clearing for certain counterparties. A provisional agreement was reached in trilogue on 5 February 2019. Parliament voted to approve that agreement on 18 April 2019 in plenary session and the Council subsequently adopted it on 14 May. The new regulation comes into force on 17 June 2019. Third edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Spirit drinks: Definition, labelling and geographical indications

28-05-2019

In December 2016, the European Commission proposed to replace Regulation (EC) No 110/2008 – the Spirit Drinks Regulation – with a new one, with the aim of aligning it with the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). The proposal mainly involves grouping the provisions adopted by the Commission into delegated and implementing acts. In addition, it replaces the existing procedures for the protection of geographical indications (GIs) of spirit drinks with new ones, modelled on the recently ...

In December 2016, the European Commission proposed to replace Regulation (EC) No 110/2008 – the Spirit Drinks Regulation – with a new one, with the aim of aligning it with the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). The proposal mainly involves grouping the provisions adopted by the Commission into delegated and implementing acts. In addition, it replaces the existing procedures for the protection of geographical indications (GIs) of spirit drinks with new ones, modelled on the recently updated procedures for quality schemes applied to agricultural products and foodstuffs. According to spirits industry representatives, the proposal contained some substantive changes that needed to be studied in detail to determine their impact. The Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) was responsible for the file in the European Parliament. A provisional agreement was reached at the third trilogue meeting, on 27 November 2018. The agreement was confirmed by the Special Committee on Agriculture in December 2018 and approved in the ENVI committee on 22 January 2019. A plenary vote in the EP was held on 13 March 2019. The act was signed on 17 April and the regulation published in the Official Journal on 17 May 2019. Third 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.

Access to the international market for coach and bus services

16-04-2019

The European Union aims to ensure that road transport rules are applied effectively and without discrimination. The current rules governing the access to the international market for coach and bus services appear to have been only partly effective in promoting this mode of transport. There are still differences in rules on access to national markets, differences in openness of national markets, diverse national access arrangements and discrimination in access to terminals in some EU countries. In ...

The European Union aims to ensure that road transport rules are applied effectively and without discrimination. The current rules governing the access to the international market for coach and bus services appear to have been only partly effective in promoting this mode of transport. There are still differences in rules on access to national markets, differences in openness of national markets, diverse national access arrangements and discrimination in access to terminals in some EU countries. In an attempt to address the issue, the European Commission adopted a legislative proposal on 8 November 2017 to amend the EU rules for access to the international market for coach and bus services. The proposal is part of its 'Europe on the Move' package, which aims to modernise European mobility and transport. The European Parliament adopted its position on the proposal on 14 February 2019. However, interinstitutional negotiations cannot yet begin, as the Council has not reached a common position on the file. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Road transport: Enforcement and special provisions for posted workers

08-04-2019

The EU has established a range of social measures applicable to the road transport sector, which aim at improving drivers' working conditions, road safety and competition. To give real substance to these measures, compliance is key. The 2006 Enforcement Directive was therefore adopted to effectively implement the social provisions of the Driving Time Regulation. The current proposal, published in the context of the European Commission's 2017 'Europe on the move' initiative, seeks to remedy some shortcomings ...

The EU has established a range of social measures applicable to the road transport sector, which aim at improving drivers' working conditions, road safety and competition. To give real substance to these measures, compliance is key. The 2006 Enforcement Directive was therefore adopted to effectively implement the social provisions of the Driving Time Regulation. The current proposal, published in the context of the European Commission's 2017 'Europe on the move' initiative, seeks to remedy some shortcomings of the Enforcement Directive, such as non-uniform implementation. Additionally, it puts forward specific rules on the posting of workers in the road sector, to respond to concerns raised regarding the inadequacy of the Posting of Workers Directive, when applied to the road transport sector. The European Parliament's Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) adopted its report and a mandate to start interinstitutional negotiations in June 2018. However, Parliament did not endorse the mandate and then, in July 2018, rejected the report, referring it back to the TRAN committee. The Council agreed a general approach on this proposal in December 2018, under the Austrian Presidency. In January 2019, the TRAN committee failed to reach an agreement on a compromise proposal. In March, the Conference of Presidents decided to include this file on the agenda of the March II plenary session. After procedural complications, Parliament adopted its first-reading position during the subsequent plenary session, on 4 April 2019.

Access to the occupation of road transport operator and to the international road haulage market

08-04-2019

The regulations on admission to the occupation of road transport operator and on access to the international road transport market have been contributing to the functioning of EU road transport and fair competition between resident and non-resident hauliers since December 2011. Despite the improvements they have brought to the sector, however, persistent shortcomings such as diverging national application of the rules and uneven enforcement called for a revision of both acts. On 31 May 2017, as part ...

The regulations on admission to the occupation of road transport operator and on access to the international road transport market have been contributing to the functioning of EU road transport and fair competition between resident and non-resident hauliers since December 2011. Despite the improvements they have brought to the sector, however, persistent shortcomings such as diverging national application of the rules and uneven enforcement called for a revision of both acts. On 31 May 2017, as part of a 'mobility package', the European Commission adopted a new proposal to address the main shortcomings affecting the sector, and improve its competitiveness and efficiency. In June 2018, Parliament's Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) adopted its report and a negotiating mandate for trilogue. However, Parliament did not endorse the mandate and in July 2018, rejected the report, referring it back to the committee. In the meantime, the Council reached a general approach on the three proposals in the package, in December 2018. On 10 January 2019, the TRAN committee adopted a compromise proposal but failed to reach an agreement on the two linked files on driving times and posting. In March, the Conference of Presidents decided to include this file on the agenda of the March II plenary session. After procedural complications, Parliament adopted its first-reading position during the subsequent plenary session, on 4 April 2019.

Reform of the Dublin system

01-03-2019

The refugee and migrant crisis in Europe has exposed the need for reform of the Common European Asylum System, in general, and of the Dublin rules, in particular. The Commission’s proposal of 4 May 2016 to reform the Dublin system would not change the existing criteria for determining which Member State is responsible for examining an asylum application. Instead of a fundamental overhaul of the Dublin regime, as suggested by Parliament, the Commission proposed to streamline and supplement the current ...

The refugee and migrant crisis in Europe has exposed the need for reform of the Common European Asylum System, in general, and of the Dublin rules, in particular. The Commission’s proposal of 4 May 2016 to reform the Dublin system would not change the existing criteria for determining which Member State is responsible for examining an asylum application. Instead of a fundamental overhaul of the Dublin regime, as suggested by Parliament, the Commission proposed to streamline and supplement the current rules with a corrective allocation mechanism. This mechanism would be triggered automatically were a Member State to be faced with disproportionate numbers of asylum-seekers. If a Member State decided not to accept the allocation of asylum-seekers from another one under pressure, a ‘solidarity contribution’ per applicant would have to be made instead. An agreement on the balance between responsibility and solidarity regarding the distribution of asylum-seekers will be a cornerstone for the new EU asylum policy. Although Parliament’s LIBE committee adopted its positon in autumn 2017, the Council has been unable to reach a position on the proposal.

Rules for EU institutions' processing of personal data

12-09-2018

In the context of the comprehensive reform of the EU's legal framework for data protection, the Commission tabled a proposal in January 2017 for a 'regulation on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies and the free movement of such data' and repealing the existing one (Regulation No 45/2001). The aim is to align it to the 2016 General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that has been fully applicable since ...

In the context of the comprehensive reform of the EU's legal framework for data protection, the Commission tabled a proposal in January 2017 for a 'regulation on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies and the free movement of such data' and repealing the existing one (Regulation No 45/2001). The aim is to align it to the 2016 General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that has been fully applicable since 25 May 2018. Interinstitutional trilogue meetings, in which debate focused on also applying the regulation to operational data of EU bodies carrying out law enforcement activities, brought an agreement between the co-legislators in May. The compromise text is due to be voted by the Parliament in the September plenary session. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Recovery and resolution of central counterparties (CCPs)

25-04-2018

In recent years, the role and systemic importance of central counterparties (CCPs) has expanded with the gradual implementation of the obligation to centrally clear liquid and standardised over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives. The relevant EU regulatory framework lays down prudential requirements for CCPs, as well as requirements regarding their operation, oversight and risk management. No harmonised EU rules, however, exist for the unlikely situations in which these standards prove insufficient to ...

In recent years, the role and systemic importance of central counterparties (CCPs) has expanded with the gradual implementation of the obligation to centrally clear liquid and standardised over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives. The relevant EU regulatory framework lays down prudential requirements for CCPs, as well as requirements regarding their operation, oversight and risk management. No harmonised EU rules, however, exist for the unlikely situations in which these standards prove insufficient to address major financial or operational difficulties that CCPs may incur or their outright failure. The international standard-setting organisations have developed standards for the recovery and resolution of financial market infrastructures, including CCPs. In a 2013 own-initiative resolution, the Parliament called on the Commission to prioritise the recovery and resolution of CCPs and reiterated this request in a 2015 resolution on building a capital markets union. In November 2016 the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation requiring CCPs to prepare recovery measures and providing resolution authorities with early intervention and resolution powers. Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) adopted its report on the proposal on 24 January 2018. Second edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Amending VAT rules on distance sales

15-02-2018

Since 1 January 2015, for some mobile transactions linked to telecommunications, broadcasting and electronically supplied services to non-taxable persons (business-to-consumer, B2C), the destination principle is applicable for value added tax – i.e. the VAT should be paid to the Member State where the consumer is located, via the mini-one-stop-shop (MOSS) portal. In its VAT digital single market package, published on 1 December 2016, the Commission proposed to extend payment possibilities through ...

Since 1 January 2015, for some mobile transactions linked to telecommunications, broadcasting and electronically supplied services to non-taxable persons (business-to-consumer, B2C), the destination principle is applicable for value added tax – i.e. the VAT should be paid to the Member State where the consumer is located, via the mini-one-stop-shop (MOSS) portal. In its VAT digital single market package, published on 1 December 2016, the Commission proposed to extend payment possibilities through MOSS to online supply of goods and cross-border services to final consumers. The portal would also be extended to include payment for imports of small consignments of a value not exceeding €150. The directive, significantly amended, was adopted by the Council – after consulting the European Parliament– on 5 December 2017. It is accompanied by Council Regulation 2017/2454. See also our separate briefing on the parallel dossier on improving administrative cooperation on VAT issues: 2016/0371(CNS). Second edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Access to the international market for coach and bus services

01-02-2018

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above mentioned proposal, submitted on 8 November 2017 and referred to Parliament's Committee on Transport and Tourism. Bus and coach transport is an economical, efficient and sustainable mode of transport that can contribute to reducing emissions and to improving accessibility for citizens with low income or living in isolated and low population density ...

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above mentioned proposal, submitted on 8 November 2017 and referred to Parliament's Committee on Transport and Tourism. Bus and coach transport is an economical, efficient and sustainable mode of transport that can contribute to reducing emissions and to improving accessibility for citizens with low income or living in isolated and low population density regions with no rail services (IA, p. 4). The current legal framework that lays down the rules applicable to access to the international market for coach and bus services is Regulation (EC) 1073/2009. This regulation simplified and developed conditions for the international carriage of passengers by coach and bus across the European Union. Provisions of the regulation apply to regular service, special regular service and occasional service. Furthermore, the regulation applies to cabotage operations and also occasionally to own-account transport. The regulation aimed at the completion of the internal market for coach and bus services and at increasing the efficiency and competitiveness to generate a shift in the use of private passenger cars to coach and bus services. However, the evaluation outcomes suggest that the sector has failed to compete effectively with other modes of transport, in particular the private car, as a means of making longer distance journeys, and there are various challenges to the present system that limit harmonisation in this particular field. In this context, the European Parliament pointed in its 2017 resolution to a need to ensure, among other things, the completion and improved operation of the internal market for the transport by road of passengers and freight. The Commission promised to take actions allowing further development of domestic bus and coach services in the 2016 European strategy for low-emission mobility and confirmed its plans to review the EU rules on buses and coaches in the 2017 communication Europe on the move. It included the revision of Regulation (EC) 1073/2009 in its 2017 work programme (CWP) under the regulatory fitness (REFIT) initiatives, following up on an evaluation, which was concluded in 2017 with the publication of the ex-post evaluation report.

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