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Webinar proceedings: An EU legal framework to halt and reverse deforestation

27-11-2020 PE 658.207 ENVI
Briefing
Summary : On Thursday, 10 September 2020, the Policy Department for Economic, Scientific and Quality of Life Policies organised at the request of the ENVI committee a remote webinar on "An EU legal framework to halt and reverse deforestation". This briefing summarises the presentations delivered by the invited experts.
Authors : MATTEO CIUCCI

Policy Departments’ Monthly Highlights - November 2020

20-11-2020 PE 648.241 TRAN DROI BECA BUDG ENVI CONT JURI
At a Glance
Summary : The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

Opportunities of post Covid-19 European recovery funds in transitioning towards circular and climate neutral economy

12-11-2020 PE 658.186 ENVI
Briefing
Summary : The briefing presents specific green economic recovery measures that stabilise livelihoods, creates jobs and reduce biophysical impact. These measures are more effective, when accompanied by full carbon pricing, prioritizing investment in green infrastructure and innovation, phasing out of subsidies and tax exemptions for emissions-intensive activities, and promoting green finance. Although COVID-19 has reduced GHG emissions in 2020, the overall impact will be driven by investment choices. In the current economic climate, public investment is a key driver of the transition to a more sustainable economy.
Authors : Sigrid STAGL

Impacts of climate change and air pollution on the health of the EU population

12-11-2020 PE 658.204 ENVI
Briefing
Summary : As 13% of deaths in the EU 28 Member States (EU-28) were attributable to the environment in 2012,1 it is clear that the effects of climate change are having tangible consequences for the European population. Its pace and intensity could thus lead to increasing health risks accross the EU. Globally, temperatures have already risen by 1°C above pre-industrial levels and a temperature increase of more than 2°C would lead to even greater health risks, especially for vulnerable populations such as the elderly and children. There is therefore an urgent need for integrated strategies for adaptation and mitigation. Adaptation is aimed at reducing the climate change’s negative effects as well as at taking advantage of any opportunities that it creates, whereas mitigation strategies’ objective is to tackle the cause of climate change while minimising its possible impacts and potentially offering health (co)benefits.
Authors : Hélène ROSSINOT

Farm to Fork strategy - An overview of Parliament’s positions

12-11-2020 PE 658.206 ENVI
Briefing
Summary : The aim of this briefing is to give an overview of positions the European Parliament has taken over the last twenty years that are relevant to the Farm to Fork strategy, the component of the European Green Deal that aims for a fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food system. Despite it being a new strategy, most of its 27 actions are connected to already existing legislation and as such, Parliament has previously given its opinion on the subjects covered by the strategy. This briefing presents a short summary of Parliament’s most relevant positions in the past.
Authors : TIJMEN FERDINAND TUINSMA

Commitments made at the hearings of the Commissioners-designate - von der Leyen Commission 2019-2024

16-10-2020 PE 630.241 TRAN PETI ITRE INTA BUDG AFET DEVE EMPL ENVI CONT ECON REGI IMCO PECH CULT AGRI AFCO FEMM JURI LIBE
At a Glance
Summary : This document provides links to all Briefings produced by the Policy Departments of the Directorate-General for Internal Policies and of the Directorate-General for External Policies of the European Parliament, with salient points and essential commitments made by the Vice-Presidents and Commissioners-designates at their respective hearings before the European Parliament, in September-November 2019 and in October 2020. For an exhaustive list of all commitments made and positions taken by the candidates, the full verbatim report of each public hearing is available on the dedicated hearings website of the European Parliament, as are the written questions and answers.

Greenhouse gas emissions from shipping: waiting for concrete progress at IMO level

29-09-2020 PE 652.754 ENVI
Briefing
Summary : At the 72th session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) the initial International Maritime Organization (IMO) strategy was agreed, which aims for emissions from international shipping to peak as soon as possible and to reduce the total annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008 levels and in line with the temperature goals of the Paris Agreement. A revised IMO strategy is scheduled to be approved by 2023 at MEPC80. A list of candidate short, medium and long-term measures are included within the initial IMO strategy in order to achieve the 2050 GHG emissions reduction target. However it will only be decided up until 2023 which candidate short-term measures will be adopted (based on timeframe agreed at MEPC73) with the medium and long-term candidate measures to be adopted only after 2023 and 2030 respectively.
Authors : Sean Healy

The European Parliament’s carbon footprint: Towards carbon neutrality

14-09-2020 PE 652.735 ENVI
Study
Summary : The study analyses the European Parliament’s (EP) carbon footprint in the context of the recent EP resolutions, in which it declared a climate emergency in Europe and requested the development of a strategy to become itself carbon-neutral by 2030. The analysis takes into account the various sources contributing to the EP’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, including those related to its function in three different sites and the traveling of its Members and staff. This document was prepared by the Policy Department for Economic, Scientific and Quality of Life Policies, and the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) Unit at the request of the committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI).
Authors : Georgios AMANATIDIS, Srdan RANDIC

Assessment of COVID-19 surveillance case definitions and data reporting in the European Union

16-07-2020 PE 652.725 ENVI
Briefing
Summary : In a rapidly evolving pandemic, it is fundamental to ensure consistency of definitions across Member States to provide the necessary comparability to evaluate the public health response, the stress on the health system and the impact on the population’s health. All institutional bodies in the Member States follow, or base their approaches, on technical guidance by the European Centre for Diseases and Control (ECDC). The approach to defining possible and probable cases shows considerable heterogeneity, while for confirmed cases, all Member States use the same definition requiring laboratory detection of SARS-CoV-2 with Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Comparability of the numbers of confirmed cases across the EU is still heavily dependent on the testing policies adopted. This heterogeneity seems rooted in rapidly evolving scientific advances and the different perceptions of risk in the technical institutions of Member States. Many Member States still do not have an official definition of death due to COVID-19 available online and do not report on whether COVID-19 is the a primary or a secondary cause of death. Recovery definition is broadly based on either clinical criteria or testing criteria (SARS-CoV-2 not detected anymore); only a few countries adopted a definition of recovery based solely on clinical criteria. While recovery based on clinical criteria has some advantages, it also carries some risks of early discharge / end of isolation when still infectious. Harmonisation of COVID-19 case definitions is essential to mitigate disputes about data quality between Member States and coordinate, implement and evaluate EU policies.
Authors : André PERALTA-SANTOS

Covid-19 Newsletter 2: Exit strategy

03-07-2020 PE 652.710 ITRE ECON IMCO EMPL ENVI
Briefing
Summary : As EU Member States embark on a cautious de-confinement path, the economy slides into recession and the question of the proportionality of public health-related measures and their economic consequences is increasingly present in the public debate. As long as a vaccine (or an effective treatment) for the Covid-19 disease is not found and deployed, post-Covid-19 societies will have to coexist with the virus, and find an equilibrium between the social constraints resulting from health protecting measures and the need to mitigate as much as possible a huge economic shock, which if not addressed adequately, could have unpredictable social and political consequences. The Covid-19 crisis has shown above all the importance of joint European action. Although public health is primarily the competence of the Member States, the European Parliament has called on the Commission and the Member States to act together and to rise to the challenge and ensure that the Union emerges stronger from this crisis. In particular, a differentiated but coordinated post-lockdown approach in the EU should be ensured, in order to avoid a resurgence of the virus. The present Covid-19 Newsletter focuses on the de-confinement strategies and EU measures to support the economic recovery. An update of ongoing Covid-19 related expertise work for the ECON, EMPL, ENVI, ITRE and IMCO committees is provided at the end of this document.
Authors : AOIFE KENNEDY, Zsuzsanna LAKY, Adolfo BARBERA DEL ROSAL, MATTEO CIUCCI, Christina RATCLIFF, Dirk VERBEKEN

Strengthening Europe in the fight against cancer

15-06-2020 PE 642.388 ENVI
Study
Summary : This study provides an overview of the current state-of-play in Europe in respect to the fight against cancer. It focuses in particular on four main areas: causation of cancer; cancer screening and early diagnosis; access to cancer treatment, care and research; and rare and childhood cancers. It provides key findings and recommendations in each of these areas. This document was provided by the Policy Department for Economic, Scientific and Quality of Life Policies at the request of the committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI).
Authors : Norbert COUESPEL et al.

Medicine shortage in the EU during the novel coronavirus outbreak

15-05-2020 PE 652.709 ENVI
Briefing
Summary : The novel coronavirus outbreak is an unprecedented public health crisis with far-reaching consequences. It has highlighted the EU’s long-existing structural problems related to the supply of medicines, and the dependency on third-country import for certain essential and critical medicines and ingredients. While public health policy, including the organisation of the delivery of healthcare and the sales of medicines remains in the competence of the Member States, it has also become clear that cooperation with the pharmaceutical industry, amongst the Member States, and with the Commission and the Europan Medicines Agency, is key in resolving the problems of medicine shortages in these extraordinary times This paper looks into the causes of medicine shortage during the novel coronavirus pandemic in the Union, and the responses and solutions at European level.
Authors : Zsuzsanna LAKY

Brazil and the Amazon Rainforest: Deforestation, biodiversity and cooperation with the EU and international forums

15-05-2020 PE 648.792 ENVI
In-Depth Analysis
Summary : For the largest tropical rainforest on Earth, an aggravated forest fire and deforestation regime in Amazonia put at risk the world’s richest biodiversity assets and a major climate regulator. For the EU27, it highlights the need to associate the question of embodied deforestation consumption by placing deforestation-free supply chains at the centre of negotiations surrounding the EU-Mercosur Association Agreement, given the volume of trade between these economic blocs in meat, leather, soy, coffee, rubber, wood pulp, biofuel and timber.
Authors : Cristina MÜLLER

Policy Departments' Monthly Highlights - May 2020

11-05-2020 PE 630.248 ITRE ECON REGI BUDG IMCO EMPL ENVI LIBE DROI
At a Glance
Summary : The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

Covid-19 Newsletter 1

22-04-2020 PE 648.794 ITRE ECON IMCO EMPL ENVI
Briefing
Summary : In its resolution of 17 April 2020, the European Parliament called on the Commission and the Member States to act together and to ensure that the European Union will emerge stronger from the COVID-19 crisis. This newsletter on COVID-19 aims to keep the ECON, EMPL, ENVI, ITRE and IMCO committees updated about the main EU recent developments and responses to the current crisis.

Novel Coronavirus Outbreak - State of Play, and the EU’s Public Health Response

07-04-2020 PE 648.781 ENVI
Briefing
Summary : The novel coronavirus pandemic spreads globally, and the whole world, including the countries of the European Union are facing a serious public health, economic and financial, and social crises. This paper takes stock of how the pandemic evolved, and what response action the Union has taken and prepares to take, in the field of public health. It follows up on the briefing which was published in February 2020.
Authors : Zsuzsanna LAKY

Workshop proceedings "Cancer prevention-modifiable risk factors"

16-03-2020 PE 648.765 ENVI
Briefing
Summary : On 18 February 2020, the Health Working Group of the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) held a workshop on cancer prevention, focussing on modifiable risk factors. Dolores Montserrat and Sara Cerdas MEPs, the Co-Chairs of the Health Working Group, presided over the meeting. This briefing summarises the presentations that were delivered by the invited experts.
Authors : Zsuzsanna LAKY

Novel Coronavirus Outbreak - State of play with the epidemics; preparedness and response measurers

17-02-2020 PE 642.383 ENVI
Briefing
Summary : Following the extraordinary Council meeting of health ministers on 13 February 2020, this paper summarises the latest available information on the novel coronavirus outbreak, and the Union’s preparedness and response actions. It is an extended and updated version of the “At a Glance” overview, published on 14 February 2020.
Authors : Zsuzsanna LAKY

Novel Coronavirus Outbreak

13-02-2020 PE 642.382 ENVI
At a Glance
Summary : The paper summarises the latest available information on the novel coronavirus outbreak, and the Union’s preparedness and response actions .
Authors : Zsuzsanna LAKY

Policy Departments' Monthly Highlights - December 2019

16-12-2019 PE 630.243 SEDE DROI INTA BUDG AFET AGRI ENVI FEMM CONT
At a Glance
Summary : The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

Commitments made at the hearings of the Commissioners-designate - von der Leyen Commission 2019-2024

25-11-2019 PE 629.837 TRAN PETI ITRE INTA BUDG AFET DEVE EMPL ENVI CONT REGI IMCO ECON PECH CULT AGRI AFCO FEMM JURI LIBE
Briefing
Summary : This document is a compilation of all Briefings produced by the Policy Departments of the Directorate-General for Internal Policies and of the Directorate-General for External Policies of the European Parliament, with salient points and essential commitments made by the Vice-Presidents and Commissioners-designates at their respective hearings before the European Parliament, in September-November 2019 and in October 2020. For an exhaustive list of all commitments made and positions taken by the candidates, the full verbatim report of each public hearing is available on the dedicated hearings website of the European Parliament, as are the written questions and answers.

Commitments made at the hearing of Virginijus SINKEVIČIUS, Commissioner-designate - Environment, Oceans and Fisheries

22-11-2019 PE 629.208 PECH ENVI
Briefing
Summary : The commissioner-designate, Virginijus Sinkevičius, appeared before the European Parliament on 3 October 2019 to answer questions put by MEPs from the Committees on ENVI and PECH. During the hearing, he made a number of commitments which are highlighted in this document. These commitments refer to his portfolio, as described in the mission letter sent to him by Ursula von der Leyen, President-elect of the European Commission, including conserving Europe’s natural environment and prosperous and sustainable fishing and a thriving blue economy.
Authors : Marcus Ernst Gerhard BREUER, Zsuzsanna LAKY

Commitments made at the hearing of Stella KYRIAKIDES, Commissioner-designate - Health

22-11-2019 PE 638.436 ENVI
Briefing
Summary : The commissioner-designate, Stella Kyriakides, appeared before the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee of the European Parliament on 01 October 2019 to answer MEPs’ questions. During the hearing, she made a number of oral commitments which are highlighted in this document. These commitments refer to her portfolio, as described in the mission letter sent to her by Ursula von der Leyen, President-elect of the European Commission, including "protecting and promoting public health" and "food safety and animal and plant health".
Authors : Georgios AMANATIDIS

Commitments made at the hearing of Frans TIMMERMANS, Executive Vice-President-designate - European Green Deal

22-11-2019 PE 638.437 ENVI
Briefing
Summary : The commissioner-designate, Frans Timmermans, appeared before the European Parliament on 08 October 2019 to answer questions from MEPs in the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety. During the hearing, he made a number of commitments which are highlighted in this document. These commitments refer to his portfolio, as described in the mission letter sent to him by Ursula von der Leyen, President-elect of the European Commission, including "A European Green Deal" and a "Climate Action". The quotes included in this document only make reference to the oral commitments made during the hearing.
Authors : Zsuzsanna LAKY, Georgios AMANATIDIS

The Mekong River: geopolitics over development, hydropower and the environment

18-11-2019 PE 639.313 INTA AFET SEDE ENVI DROI
Study
Summary : The Mekong River is a vital source of livelihoods and economic activity in continental South-East Asia and extends from the Tibetan Plateau to the South China Sea. Its length is 4 800 km. More than half circulates in China, but its channel runs through Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam. The Mekong has the world's largest inland freshwater fishery industry, vital to the region's food security, representing around USD 3 000 million per year. Its unique and rich biological habitat provides diverse livelihoods as well as four fifths of the animal protein for more than 60 million people. At the level of biodiversity, the importance of this river for global nature is vital. The Mekong region is extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and to the degradation of ecosystems. The uncontrolled growth of the population both in China and in Southeast Asia is exerting unsustainable pressure on the Mekong in terms of a massive exploitation of all kinds of resources linked to the River: water, food, wood, energy, especially recent infrastructure and hydropower development, together with deforestation, illegal wildlife trade and habitat fragmentation. Water scarcity leads to reduced agricultural productivity, unemployment and poverty Four countries (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand, and Vietnam) formed an intergovernmental agency in 1950, The Mekong River Commission (MRC), to defend the sustainable development of the Mekong River and to plan its future. The absence of China and Myanmar mitigates and erodes the effective dialogue of the MRC on the management of the River. The lack of implementing mechanisms denatures the organization itself..
Authors : Jorge SOUTULLO SANCHEZ

Study in Focus "International Climate Negotiations - Issues at stake in view of the COP25 UN Climate Change Conference in Madrid"

15-11-2019 PE 642.365 ENVI
At a Glance
Summary : At the 25th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, delegates will negotiate the further implementation of the Paris Agreement. This study in focus provides an overview of the international framework to address climate change, the stakeholders involved, the status of the negotiations and recent developments that may affect the negotiations. This document was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI).
Authors : Lorenz MOOSMANN, Cristina URRUTIA, Anne SIEMONS, Martin CAMES, Lambert SCHNEIDER (Öko-Institut e.V.)

Study "International Climate Negotiations - Issues at stake in view of the COP25 UN Climate Change Conference in Madrid

13-11-2019 PE 642.344 ENVI
Study
Summary : At the 25th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, delegates will negotiate the further implementation of the Paris Agreement. This study provides an overview of the international framework to address climate change, the stakeholders involved, the status of the negotiations and recent developments that may affect the negotiations. This document was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI).
Authors : Lorenz MOOSMANN, Cristina URRUTIA, Anne SIEMONS, Martin CAMES, Lambert SCHNEIDER (Öko-Institut e.V.)

Guidelines for submission and evaluation of applications for the approval of active substances in pesticides

11-11-2019 PE 642.346 ENVI
At a Glance
Summary : Active substances are an essential element of pesticides. The approval of active substance occurs at EU level, and guidance documents and guidelines for this procedure exist. They aim to clarify, harmonise and standardise the complex approval process. This study examines the guidance and guidelines which exist for active substance approval; the level of harmonisation among them; the connection to the good laboratory practice (GLP) principles; and provides an overview of the studies which are required for active substance approval.
Authors : John NGANGA, Michela BISONNI and Maria CHRISTODOULOU

Study in Focus on EU Public Health Policies - State of play, current and future challenges

11-11-2019 PE 642.347 ENVI
At a Glance
Summary : This study provides an outlook on the topics that may shape the ENVI Committee’s public health agenda during the new legislature. It describes key public health definitions, principles and concepts, discusses the EU’s powers to act on health, and presents an overview of health policy developments and challenges. This document was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety of the European Parliament.
Authors : Nikolai PUSHKAREV, Fiona GODFREY, Sascha MARSCHANG, Zoltán, MASSAY-KOSUBEK, Yannis NATSIS, Ann Marie BORG, Vivana GALLI

Policy Departments' Monthly Highlights - October 2019

21-10-2019 PE 629.838 INTA BUDG CULT ENVI FEMM CONT
At a Glance
Summary : The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

EU Environment and Climate Change Policies - State of play, current and future challenges

15-10-2019 PE 642.348 ENVI
At a Glance
Summary : The 'study in focus' reviews the state of play of on-going EU environmental and climate legislation and pinpoints key challenges for the next five years. Challenges arise from the plans released by the president-elect, such as a new European Green Deal, the completion of work started in the previous term (e.g. the Regulation on a framework for sustainable finance and the completion of the multiannual finance framework), by reviews of legislation foreseen for the next term and the need for action where indicators show that current EU environment targets may not be achieved.
Authors : Anke HEROLD, Vanessa COOK, Yifaat BARON, Martin CAMES, Sabine GORES, Jakob, GRAICHEN, Peter KASTEN, Georg MEHLHART, Anne SIEMONS, Cristina URRUTIA, Franziska WOLFF

EU Environment and Climate Change Policies: State of play, current and future challenges

18-09-2019 PE 638.428 ENVI
Study
Summary : This study reviews the state of play of on-going EU environmental and climate legislation and pinpoints key challenges for the next five years. Challenges arise from the plans released by the president-elect, such as a new European Green Deal, the completion of work started in the previous term (e.g. the Regulation on a framework for sustainable finance and the completion of the multiannual finance framework), by reviews of legislation foreseen for the next term and the need for action where indicators show that current EU environment targets may not be achieved. This document was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety of the European Parliament.
Authors : Anke HEROLD, Vanessa COOK, Yifaat BARON, Martin CAMES, Sabine GORES, Jakob GRAICHEN, Peter KASTEN, Georg MEHLHART, Anne SIEMONS, Cristina URRUTIA, Franziska WOLFF

EU Public Health Policies: State of play, current and future challenges

17-09-2019 PE 638.426 ENVI
Study
Summary : This study provides an outlook on the topics that may shape the ENVI Committee’s public health agenda during the new legislature. It describes key public health definitions, principles and concepts, discusses the EU’s powers to act on health, and presents an overview of health policy developments and challenges. This document was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety of the European Parliament.
Authors : Nikolai PUSHKAREV, Fiona GODFREY, Sascha MARSCHANG, Zoltán, MASSAY-KOSUBEK, Yannis NATSIS, Ann Marie BORG, Vivana GALLI

The UN Sustainable Development Goals Summit and the Climate Action Summit, New York, 23-25 September 2019

12-09-2019 PE 638.415 ENVI
Briefing
Summary : The United Nations (UN) High Level Political Forum (HLPF) in 24-25 September 2019 is a one-and-a-halfday event that for the first time since the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) takes place under the auspices of the UN General Assembly (GA). This special event, called the SDG Summit, will be a litmus test for the 2030 Agenda. Ending a four-year review cycle of all 17 SDGs, the Summit will enable a first assessment of the progress achieved so far and the challenges ahead. So far, there has been a lack of political leadership and guidance at the international level.
Authors : Elisabeth HEGE, David LEVAÏ (IDDRI)