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Connecting Europe Facility and 'smart TEN T'

01-07-2021

To ensure efficient, modern and sustainable connections, the EU is developing trans-European networks in the areas of transport, digital and energy. In June 2018, the European Commission proposed to renew the main EU programme financing infrastructure, the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), to speed up investment in key network projects. In parallel, the Commission proposed a mechanism to facilitate the permit-granting processes in the area of transport ('smart TEN-T'). The European Parliament is ...

To ensure efficient, modern and sustainable connections, the EU is developing trans-European networks in the areas of transport, digital and energy. In June 2018, the European Commission proposed to renew the main EU programme financing infrastructure, the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), to speed up investment in key network projects. In parallel, the Commission proposed a mechanism to facilitate the permit-granting processes in the area of transport ('smart TEN-T'). The European Parliament is expected to vote at second reading during the July plenary session on the agreed texts resulting from interinstitutional negotiations.

Control of the financial activities of the European Investment Bank (EIB) – Annual report 2019

01-07-2021

During its July plenary session, Parliament is set to discuss the Committee on Budgetary Control's report on the control of the European Investment Bank's financial activities in 2019. The report highlights the role of the Bank in financing the European Green Deal, and its gradual shift towards being 'the EU Climate Bank'. It also looks into the implementation of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) and the Bank's external operations, among other things. As last year, the report strongly ...

During its July plenary session, Parliament is set to discuss the Committee on Budgetary Control's report on the control of the European Investment Bank's financial activities in 2019. The report highlights the role of the Bank in financing the European Green Deal, and its gradual shift towards being 'the EU Climate Bank'. It also looks into the implementation of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) and the Bank's external operations, among other things. As last year, the report strongly emphasises the need for more integrity, transparency and accountability, stronger external scrutiny and reinforced mechanisms to fight fraud and corruption.

Connecting Europe Facility 2021-2027: Financing key EU infrastructure networks

01-07-2021

The EU supports the development of high-performing, sustainable and interconnected trans-European networks in the areas of transport, energy and digital infrastructure. It set up the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) as a dedicated financing instrument for the 2014-2020 period, to channel EU funding into the development of infrastructure networks, help eliminate market failures and attract further investment from the public and private sectors. Following a mid-term evaluation, the European Commission ...

The EU supports the development of high-performing, sustainable and interconnected trans-European networks in the areas of transport, energy and digital infrastructure. It set up the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) as a dedicated financing instrument for the 2014-2020 period, to channel EU funding into the development of infrastructure networks, help eliminate market failures and attract further investment from the public and private sectors. Following a mid-term evaluation, the European Commission proposed to renew the programme under the long term EU budget for the 2021-2027 period. In the 2014-2019 term, the Council and the European Parliament provisionally agreed on the content, leaving aside the budget and the questions relating to third countries. Negotiations resumed in the present term, reflecting the Commission’s revised MFF proposal of May 2020 and the European Council conclusions of July 2020. Final details were agreed on 11 March 2021. The agreement has already been confirmed by the responsible parliamentary committees TRAN and ITRE, and the Council subsequently adopted its first-reading position on 14 June 2021. The Parliament is expected to vote at second reading during the July plenary session. Once adopted, the new CEF regulation will apply retroactively from 1 January 2021. Fifth edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Common Provisions Regulation 2021-2027

21-06-2021

In the context of the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), the European Commission adopted a proposal for the Common Provisions Regulation, which sets out common rules for eight EU funds: the European Regional Development Fund, the Cohesion Fund, the European Social Fund Plus, the Just Transition Fund, the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund, the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund, the Internal Security Fund, and the Border Management and Visa Instrument. The European ...

In the context of the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), the European Commission adopted a proposal for the Common Provisions Regulation, which sets out common rules for eight EU funds: the European Regional Development Fund, the Cohesion Fund, the European Social Fund Plus, the Just Transition Fund, the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund, the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund, the Internal Security Fund, and the Border Management and Visa Instrument. The European Parliament is due to vote at second reading during the June II plenary session on the agreed text of the Common Provisions Regulation, resulting from interinstitutional negotiations.

Recovery and Resilience Facility

08-03-2021

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, on 28 May 2020 the Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a Recovery and Resilience Facility (the Facility). The Facility will provide €672.5 billion in loans and grants over the coming years to help mitigate the consequences of the pandemic across the EU and to make EU economies more sustainable. The Facility will disburse funds based on the achievement of a set of milestones and targets. ...

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, on 28 May 2020 the Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a Recovery and Resilience Facility (the Facility). The Facility will provide €672.5 billion in loans and grants over the coming years to help mitigate the consequences of the pandemic across the EU and to make EU economies more sustainable. The Facility will disburse funds based on the achievement of a set of milestones and targets. The Parliament's Committees on Budgets and on Economic and Monetary Affairs have been working jointly on the file, and adopted their report in November 2020. In December 2020, the Parliament and the Council reached an agreement on the Facility in trilogue. The Parliament approved the agreed text at first reading on 9 February 2021. The act was then formally adopted by the Council, and published in Official Journal on 18 February 2021, entering into force the following day.

Responsible private funding of litigation

04-03-2021

A responsible TPLF regulatory framework should aim at lowering costs, simplifying unnecessary procedures, increasing the predictability of costs, and delivering efficient services at costs that are proportionate to the amounts in dispute. We explored additional effective safeguards and a number of policy options regarding the contractual, ethical and procedural aspects of TPLF. We then estimated the European added value (EAV) for two alternatives, namely a moderate and a strong regulatory approach ...

A responsible TPLF regulatory framework should aim at lowering costs, simplifying unnecessary procedures, increasing the predictability of costs, and delivering efficient services at costs that are proportionate to the amounts in dispute. We explored additional effective safeguards and a number of policy options regarding the contractual, ethical and procedural aspects of TPLF. We then estimated the European added value (EAV) for two alternatives, namely a moderate and a strong regulatory approach scenario using a standard benefits-costs analytical conceptual framework.

Smart villages: Concept, issues and prospects for EU rural areas

01-03-2021

Although there is no legal definition of a 'smart village' within EU legislation, there are a number of distinguishing features associated with the smart village concept, with the involvement of the local community and the use of digital tools being seen as core elements. The concept implies the participation of local people in improving their economic, social or environmental conditions, cooperation with other communities, social innovation and the development of smart village strategies. Digital ...

Although there is no legal definition of a 'smart village' within EU legislation, there are a number of distinguishing features associated with the smart village concept, with the involvement of the local community and the use of digital tools being seen as core elements. The concept implies the participation of local people in improving their economic, social or environmental conditions, cooperation with other communities, social innovation and the development of smart village strategies. Digital technologies can be applied to many aspects of living and working in rural areas. The smart village concept also suggests the adoption of smart solutions in both the public and private sectors over a wide range of policy fields such as improving access to services, developing short food supply chains and developing renewable energy sources. The smart village concept is gaining traction on the rural development agenda, coinciding with the ongoing reform of the common agricultural policy (CAP). A key element of this reform will be a new delivery model based on each Member State developing a CAP strategic plan. In December 2020, the Commission published its recommendations for each Member State on the direction their plans need to take to achieve the CAP objectives and the European Green Deal targets. The Commission's analysis highlight the gaps Member States must address if the Green Deal target of 100 % access to fast broadband internet in rural areas by 2025 is to be met. Much will depend on how Member States respond to these recommendations in drawing up their CAP strategic plans. The European Parliament has made a significant contribution to the smart village concept, taking part in a pilot project on smart eco-villages and supporting the European Commission's 2017 action plan for smarter villages. The European Committee of the Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee have meanwhile both indicated their support for the concept through events, opinions and communications.

Green and sustainable finance

04-02-2021

The dramatic consequences of climate change and environmental degradation have brought the need for a more sustainable economy to the top of the agenda. Transforming the EU economy to make it more sustainable requires large investments, especially for enabling a green and low-carbon transition. Given that the public sector alone cannot cover this financial need, solutions have been sought to bring the private sector on board. Green finance involves collecting funds for addressing climate and environmental ...

The dramatic consequences of climate change and environmental degradation have brought the need for a more sustainable economy to the top of the agenda. Transforming the EU economy to make it more sustainable requires large investments, especially for enabling a green and low-carbon transition. Given that the public sector alone cannot cover this financial need, solutions have been sought to bring the private sector on board. Green finance involves collecting funds for addressing climate and environmental issues (green financing), on the one hand, and improving the management of financial risk related to climate and the environment (greening finance), on the other. Sustainable finance is an evolution of green finance, as it takes into consideration environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues and risks, with the aim of increasing long-term investments in sustainable economic activities and projects. The European Union is a global leader in the above domain. In its 2018 action plan on financing sustainable growth, the European Commission set out the EU strategy to connect finance with sustainability. The first deliverables have been three key regulations seeking to create a classification system to determine whether an economic activity is environmentally sustainable (the 'taxonomy'); to make disclosures relating to sustainable investments and sustainability risks clearer; and to establish low-carbon benchmarks. The Taxonomy Regulation is particularly important for driving the consistent development of future legislation, as advocated, in particular, by the European Parliament. The Commission will release a renewed sustainable finance strategy in 2021, and a legislative proposal on the green bond standard. The interest in green and sustainable finance is rising very fast among investors worldwide, and several voluntary private initiatives have tried to create some market standards. Policymakers have also been very active in launching numerous regulatory and non-regulatory initiatives at global or local level. To avoid market fragmentation, there is a demand for greater harmonisation among the different measures. There is also a need to increase the standardisation and disclosure of non-financial information published by companies and used to evaluate the risks. Doing so will help to increase data availability, to make data more comparable, and to bring more transparency and clarity to investors. Given that climate change and environmental degradation are global challenges, international cooperation is in the common interest; the European Union is actively promoting this through the International Platform on Sustainable Finance.

Non-financial Reporting Directive

28-01-2021

In line with the European Green Deal, a key element to foster sustainable growth and finance the green transition will be to channel funding in economic activities that contribute to environmental, social and governance-related objectives. Directive 2014/95/EU on the disclosure of non-financial and diversity information (NFRD) has set the EU on a clear course towards greater business transparency and accountability on social and environmental issues. It helps to measure, monitor and manage companies ...

In line with the European Green Deal, a key element to foster sustainable growth and finance the green transition will be to channel funding in economic activities that contribute to environmental, social and governance-related objectives. Directive 2014/95/EU on the disclosure of non-financial and diversity information (NFRD) has set the EU on a clear course towards greater business transparency and accountability on social and environmental issues. It helps to measure, monitor and manage companies' performance and their impact on society. However, as this briefing shows, the NFRD suffers from several deficiencies such as lack of comparability, reliability and relevance of non-financial information provided. The Commission therefore intends to review the NFRD in the first quarter of 2021.

China's economic recovery and dual circulation model

11-12-2020

After a delayed response to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in late 2019, China has expanded its sophisticated digital surveillance systems to the health sector, linking security and health. It has apparently successfully contained the virus, while most other countries still face an uphill battle with Covid-19. China emerged first from lockdown, and its economy rapidly entered a V-shaped recovery. As in 2008, China is driving the global recovery and will derive strategic gains from this role ...

After a delayed response to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in late 2019, China has expanded its sophisticated digital surveillance systems to the health sector, linking security and health. It has apparently successfully contained the virus, while most other countries still face an uphill battle with Covid-19. China emerged first from lockdown, and its economy rapidly entered a V-shaped recovery. As in 2008, China is driving the global recovery and will derive strategic gains from this role. However, China's relations with advanced economies and some emerging markets have further deteriorated during the pandemic, as its aggressive foreign policy posture has triggered pushback. This has created a more hostile environment for China's economic development and has had a negative impact on China's hitherto almost unconstrained access to these economies. The need to make the Chinese economy more resilient against external shocks and the intention to tap into the unexploited potential of China's huge domestic market in order to realise the nation's ambitions of becoming a global leader in cutting-edge technologies have prompted the Chinese leadership to launch a new economic development paradigm for China. The 'dual circulation development model' still lacks specifics but is expected to be a key theme in China's 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) to be officially approved in March 2021. The concept suggests that, in future, priority will be given to 'domestic circulation' over 'international circulation'. China's more inward-looking development strategy geared towards greater self-reliance in strategic sectors requires major domestic structural reform and investment to unleash the purchasing power of China's low-end consumers and the indigenous innovation efforts to achieve the technological breakthroughs needed. These innovation efforts are expected to be largely state-driven. For the EU the envisaged shifts create challenges and opportunities. On the one hand, competition with China will become fiercer and, on the other, the EU can pursue openings for supply chain diversification with like-minded countries and thus boost its open strategic autonomy.

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