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Revising the fisheries control system

04-03-2021

During the March I part-session, Parliament is expected to vote on the European Commission's proposal to revise the fisheries control system, centred on the amendment of the Control Regulation 1224/2009. The Committee on Fisheries has adopted a report that supports the proposal on major aspects, such as tracking of all EU fishing vessels, reporting of all catches, monitoring of recreational fisheries and improving traceability along the supply chain for all fishery and aquaculture products, whether ...

During the March I part-session, Parliament is expected to vote on the European Commission's proposal to revise the fisheries control system, centred on the amendment of the Control Regulation 1224/2009. The Committee on Fisheries has adopted a report that supports the proposal on major aspects, such as tracking of all EU fishing vessels, reporting of all catches, monitoring of recreational fisheries and improving traceability along the supply chain for all fishery and aquaculture products, whether from EU fisheries or imported. The report also backs the proposal on harmonising sanctions for infringements of fisheries rules across the EU, and requires the creation of a 'Union register' of infringements centralising Member States' information. In the same line of harmonised control, the report introduces uniform formats throughout the EU for a wide range of documents. The PECH report departs from the proposal as regards the mandatory use of on-board CCTV cameras to control the landing obligation, only allowing it on a voluntary basis (if associated with incentives such as quota increases), or as an accompanying sanction for vessels that commit repeated infringements. The report amends the proposal to exempt vessels under 10 m in length from the obligation to keep electronic logbooks, and to introduce derogations to the weighing of fishery products upon landing. It increases the margin of tolerance in estimates recorded in the fishing logbook, in particular for small pelagic and tuna species. It also limits the continuous monitoring of the engine power to vessels exceeding 221 kilowatts that operate under fishing effort regimes.

Revision of the TEN-E Regulation: EU guidelines for new energy infrastructure

25-02-2021

On 15 December 2020, the European Commission adopted a proposal to revise the 2013 regulation on trans-European networks in energy (TEN-E). The revised TEN-E Regulation is currently under discussion in the European Parliament and the Council, which will prepare their negotiating positions. The 2013 TEN-E Regulation sets out EU guidelines for cross-border energy infrastructure and outlines the process for selecting projects of common interest (PCI). PCIs are infrastructure projects considered essential ...

On 15 December 2020, the European Commission adopted a proposal to revise the 2013 regulation on trans-European networks in energy (TEN-E). The revised TEN-E Regulation is currently under discussion in the European Parliament and the Council, which will prepare their negotiating positions. The 2013 TEN-E Regulation sets out EU guidelines for cross-border energy infrastructure and outlines the process for selecting projects of common interest (PCI). PCIs are infrastructure projects considered essential for delivering on EU objectives in the energy field, including improved interconnection between national markets, greater competitiveness, security of supply, and promotion of renewable energy sources. The list of PCIs is updated every two years. Some PCI projects are eligible for EU financing from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). The revised TEN-E Regulation would align closely with the ambitious climate neutrality objectives of the European Green Deal, primarily by supporting energy infrastructure that consolidates new and existing clean energy technologies, and by ending policy and financial support for fossil fuel projects, which would no longer be included on PCI lists and thus unable to receive CEF funding.

New EU regulatory framework for batteries: Setting sustainability requirements

23-02-2021

Given the important role they play in the rollout of zero-emission mobility and the storage of intermittent renewable energy, batteries are a crucial element in the EU's transition to a climate neutral economy. Global battery demand is expected to increase 14-fold by 2030, making this market an increasingly strategic one. The proposal presented by the European Commission is designed to modernise the EU's regulatory framework for batteries in order to secure the sustainability and competitiveness ...

Given the important role they play in the rollout of zero-emission mobility and the storage of intermittent renewable energy, batteries are a crucial element in the EU's transition to a climate neutral economy. Global battery demand is expected to increase 14-fold by 2030, making this market an increasingly strategic one. The proposal presented by the European Commission is designed to modernise the EU's regulatory framework for batteries in order to secure the sustainability and competitiveness of battery value chains. It would introduce mandatory requirements on sustainability (such as carbon footprint rules, minimum recycled content, performance and durability criteria), safety and labelling for the marketing and putting into service of batteries, and requirements for end-of-life management. The proposal also includes due diligence obligations for economic operators as regards the sourcing of raw materials. The legislative process is in its early stages. In the Council, the proposal is being examined by the Working Party on the Environment. In Parliament, the file has been referred to the Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection, which appointed Antonius Manders as rapporteur.

Support for fishermen affected by the eastern Baltic cod closure

22-02-2021

Eastern Baltic cod has long supported the livelihoods of many Baltic fishermen, but stocks of this valuable fish have been declining sharply in recent years. Every year since 2014, total allowable catches have been reduced accordingly. Scientific advice published in May 2019 reinforced the concerns regarding eastern Baltic cod, and estimated the stock to be below safe biological limits. Scientists point to high natural mortality resulting from various environmental pressures, including a lack of ...

Eastern Baltic cod has long supported the livelihoods of many Baltic fishermen, but stocks of this valuable fish have been declining sharply in recent years. Every year since 2014, total allowable catches have been reduced accordingly. Scientific advice published in May 2019 reinforced the concerns regarding eastern Baltic cod, and estimated the stock to be below safe biological limits. Scientists point to high natural mortality resulting from various environmental pressures, including a lack of salinity, little oxygen, pollution, high water temperatures and parasite infestation. In July 2019, as an emergency measure, the Commission imposed an immediate closure of the fishery, with the exception of a limited amount arising from by-catch. Subsequently, fishing opportunities for 2020 and 2021 were limited to by-catches. As recovery of the stock is not expected before 2024, the Commission issued a proposal in order to allow support for permanent cessation. After two trilogue meetings, the Council and Parliament reached provisional agreement on the proposal on 22 September 2020. The agreement extended the scope of the support to include fishermen targeting cod and herring in the western Baltic, due to the poor state of, and reduced fishing opportunities for, those stocks. The agreed text was adopted by the EP on 11 November 2020 and by the Council on 13 November 2020. It was published in the Official Journal on 30 November 2020. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Own resources of the European Union: Reforming the EU's financing system

12-02-2021

On 14 December 2020, the Council adopted the decision that reforms the financing system of the EU budget, in the context of a package including the new multiannual financial framework (MFF) and the Next Generation EU (NGEU) recovery instrument. The agreed increase in the maximum level of resources that can be called from Member States is a pre-condition for NGEU borrowing operations. Ratification by all Member States is now required before the decision can enter into force, with retroactive application ...

On 14 December 2020, the Council adopted the decision that reforms the financing system of the EU budget, in the context of a package including the new multiannual financial framework (MFF) and the Next Generation EU (NGEU) recovery instrument. The agreed increase in the maximum level of resources that can be called from Member States is a pre-condition for NGEU borrowing operations. Ratification by all Member States is now required before the decision can enter into force, with retroactive application from 1 January 2021. Six Member States have ratified the decision as of 12 February 2021. Parliament fast-tracked its legislative opinion, adopted in September 2020, to enable the Council to ensure the timely launch of NGEU. In the broader negotiations on EU finances, Parliament pushed for a proper reform of the financing system underlining that the introduction of a basket of new own resources should cover at least the repayment costs of NGEU (for both principal and interest). Deeming the new plastics contribution a first partial step in this direction, Parliament managed to include a detailed roadmap for the introduction of various additional new own resources by 2026 in the interinstitutional agreement on budgetary matters with the Council and the European Commission. Envisaged resources are linked to EU policies on climate and the single market. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Recovery and Resilience Facility

09-02-2021

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 is expected to vote at first reading on the agreed text during its February 2021 plenary session. First edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Implementation of the EU requirements for tax information exchange

04-02-2021

The Directive on administrative cooperation (DAC) in the field of taxation provides the basis for information exchange on direct taxation within the EU. This European Implementation Assessment evaluates the implementation of the initial directive and the first three amendments (DAC1-4). Building mainly on interviews with tax administrations and a survey among stakeholders, this publication provides additional evidence on the directive’s effectiveness and external coherence, looking at its interaction ...

The Directive on administrative cooperation (DAC) in the field of taxation provides the basis for information exchange on direct taxation within the EU. This European Implementation Assessment evaluates the implementation of the initial directive and the first three amendments (DAC1-4). Building mainly on interviews with tax administrations and a survey among stakeholders, this publication provides additional evidence on the directive’s effectiveness and external coherence, looking at its interaction with other EU legislation and with tax information frameworks at international level. Despite broad agreement among the institutions and stakeholders on the usefulness of DAC, there is a need for further work in the area of tax information exchange. This study therefore contains a list of detailed recommendations for further improvement to the directive’s effectiveness and coherence, offering a basis for discussions.

Access to justice in environmental matters: Amending the Aarhus Regulation

03-02-2021

The European Union is party to the Aarhus Convention on access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters. The Aarhus Regulation applies the Convention's provisions to EU institutions and bodies. In 2017, the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee, reviewing implementation by the parties, found that the EU fails to comply with its obligations under Article 9, paragraphs 3 and 4 of the convention concerning access to justice by members of ...

The European Union is party to the Aarhus Convention on access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters. The Aarhus Regulation applies the Convention's provisions to EU institutions and bodies. In 2017, the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee, reviewing implementation by the parties, found that the EU fails to comply with its obligations under Article 9, paragraphs 3 and 4 of the convention concerning access to justice by members of the public. To address this non-compliance issue, on 14 October 2020 the European Commission put forward a legislative proposal to amend the Aarhus Regulation, triggering mixed reactions from stakeholders. The legislative process is ongoing. In Parliament, the file is being examined by the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety. The Council reached a general approach on the file on 17 December 2020. First edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Transitional provisions for the CAP post 2020

28-01-2021

On 31 October 2019, the European Commission adopted a legislative package aimed at ensuring the continuation of the current common agricultural policy (CAP) until the legislation on the post 2020 CAP is in force. The package includes a proposal for a CAP transitional regulation setting out a number of adjustments to current CAP regulations, concerning their applicability beyond 2020 with new financial allocations. This proposal introduces transitional provisions and amendments that are necessary ...

On 31 October 2019, the European Commission adopted a legislative package aimed at ensuring the continuation of the current common agricultural policy (CAP) until the legislation on the post 2020 CAP is in force. The package includes a proposal for a CAP transitional regulation setting out a number of adjustments to current CAP regulations, concerning their applicability beyond 2020 with new financial allocations. This proposal introduces transitional provisions and amendments that are necessary to ensure the continuity of the CAP through a transitional period between policy cycles and to smooth the passage to the new policy framework envisaged by the post 2020 CAP proposals. It concerns all the basic acts which regulate how the CAP now works. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Revision of the Drinking Water Directive

25-01-2021

On 1 February 2018, the European Commission published a proposal for a recast of the Directive on the quality of water intended for human consumption (the Drinking Water Directive). The proposal responded to the European Citizens' Initiative, Right2Water, and built on a fitness check which concluded that the 20-year old directive is fit for purpose, but needs updating. The main elements of the proposal consist of updating the water quality standards, introducing a risk-based approach to the monitoring ...

On 1 February 2018, the European Commission published a proposal for a recast of the Directive on the quality of water intended for human consumption (the Drinking Water Directive). The proposal responded to the European Citizens' Initiative, Right2Water, and built on a fitness check which concluded that the 20-year old directive is fit for purpose, but needs updating. The main elements of the proposal consist of updating the water quality standards, introducing a risk-based approach to the monitoring of water, improving information provided to consumers, harmonising the standards for products in contact with drinking water, and improving access to water. In the European Parliament, the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) adopted its report in September 2018. The Parliament concluded its first reading in plenary in March 2019. A new rapporteur was appointed at the beginning of the new parliamentary term, and agreement was reached on the text in trilogue negotiations on 18 December 2019. The Parliament voted to adopt the text at second reading on 15 December 2020. The directive was published in the Official Journal on 23 December 2020, and the Member States have until 12 January 2023 to transpose it into national legislation. Fifth edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

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Hearing on Responsibilities of transport operators and other private stakeholders
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