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Zveřejněno na 19-01-2021

Brexit: The EU-UK trade deal [What Think Tanks are thinking]

19-01-2021

The European Union and the United Kingdom reached a last-minute deal on trade and other issues on 24 December 2020, thereby avoiding major disruption from 1 January 2021, the date on which the transition period ended. However, many politicians and experts have noted that the agreement does not cover all areas of potential partnership, as well as leaving some issues ambiguous, so there is much potential for complex further negotiations in the future. In practice, the EU-UK trading relationship has ...

The European Union and the United Kingdom reached a last-minute deal on trade and other issues on 24 December 2020, thereby avoiding major disruption from 1 January 2021, the date on which the transition period ended. However, many politicians and experts have noted that the agreement does not cover all areas of potential partnership, as well as leaving some issues ambiguous, so there is much potential for complex further negotiations in the future. In practice, the EU-UK trading relationship has been further complicated, at least in the short term, by the effects of the coronavirus crisis and a recent upsurge in infections in the United Kingdom. This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports from international think tanks on Brexit and related issues. More studies on the topic can be found in a previous item from this series, published in September 2020.

Understanding EU action against migrant smuggling

19-01-2021

Around 90 % of those who cross the external European Union (EU) borders illegally do so with the assistance of migrant smugglers. Furthermore, the facilitation of irregular migration is a highly profitable criminal activity, in particular when compared with the relatively low risks incurred. Even though detections of illegal border crossings are currently at their lowest level since 2013, the migrant smuggling business shows sustained high levels of demand. This demand is not only due to the fact ...

Around 90 % of those who cross the external European Union (EU) borders illegally do so with the assistance of migrant smugglers. Furthermore, the facilitation of irregular migration is a highly profitable criminal activity, in particular when compared with the relatively low risks incurred. Even though detections of illegal border crossings are currently at their lowest level since 2013, the migrant smuggling business shows sustained high levels of demand. This demand is not only due to the fact that people in severe distress – whether for economic reasons or because of a genuine fear for their lives – keep trying to reach the EU, by irregular means if necessary. Demand is also high because illegally crossing borders has become harder, due to increased external border controls and other measures put in place to prevent irregular migration. This is where migrant smuggling networks step in. Migrant smugglers are among some of the most agile criminals. They go to great lengths in order not to get caught, quickly adapting the routes they use to smuggle migrants into the EU and their means of travel. They avoid direct contact with their victims, instead using the latest digital communication technologies and involving different intermediaries along a migrant's journey. The facilitation of irregular migration is a complex crime, interconnected with many other criminal activities, such as document fraud, trafficking in human beings or other types of illicit smuggling. Although people willingly pay smugglers to help them cross borders, they do so at great personal risk. Too many lose their lives, or are at risk of serious harm or exploitation. Therefore, preventing and combatting migrant smuggling and related crimes is one of the key priorities of the EU's action against irregular migration and organised crime. The European Parliament has repeatedly called for more and better operational cooperation, data sharing and legal migration channels, and insisted on better implementation of relevant EU legislation.

CAP Amending Regulation (CMO): Amending regulations on the CMO for agricultural products, quality schemes and measures for remote regions

19-01-2021

On 1 July 2018, as part of the work on the EU's 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework, the European Commission proposed a package of three regulations with the aim of reshaping and modernising the common agricultural policy (CAP). One of these proposals, the Amending Regulation, introduces changes to rules governing the common market organisation (CMO) in agricultural products (including the rules on wine), the EU quality schemes (geographical indications) and the support measures for remote ...

On 1 July 2018, as part of the work on the EU's 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework, the European Commission proposed a package of three regulations with the aim of reshaping and modernising the common agricultural policy (CAP). One of these proposals, the Amending Regulation, introduces changes to rules governing the common market organisation (CMO) in agricultural products (including the rules on wine), the EU quality schemes (geographical indications) and the support measures for remote regions. The aim is to equip agricultural markets and support measures to face new challenges, update provisions, simplify procedures and ensure consistency with other regulations on the future CAP. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Qualified majority voting in foreign and security policy: Pros and Cons

19-01-2021

In her first State of the Union speech, and in the section of the speech most applauded by the European Parliament, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called for the use of qualified majority voting (QMV) in areas such as sanctions and human rights. The crises and security challenges accumulating in and around the European Union have added to the urgency of having a more effective and rapid decision-making process in areas pertaining to the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP ...

In her first State of the Union speech, and in the section of the speech most applauded by the European Parliament, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called for the use of qualified majority voting (QMV) in areas such as sanctions and human rights. The crises and security challenges accumulating in and around the European Union have added to the urgency of having a more effective and rapid decision-making process in areas pertaining to the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). The core encumbrance against unanimous EU agreement on foreign policy is argued to be the absence of a common strategic culture among EU Member States. The Lisbon Treaty's architects have equipped the EU Treaties with 'passerelle clauses' – provisions usually aimed at modifying the decision-making of the Council of the EU. The passerelle clause for CFSP is Article 31(3) of the Treaty on European Union, which empowers the European Council to, by unanimous agreement, allow the Council of the EU to take decisions by QMV in some areas of the CFSP. Another option is an emergency brake – cancelling a vote for vital reasons of national policy – while constructive abstention is an option which allows a Member State to abstain from a unanimous vote without blocking it. Since 2016, the EU has witnessed growing momentum to shape its identity as a security provider and peace promoter. From 2020 and until 2022, it is undertaking a strategic reflection process taking the form of a 'strategic compass', whereby the threats, challenges and objectives for the Union in security and defence will be better defined. It is in this context that the debate about QMV in foreign and security policy has resurfaced and continues to be the subject of policy discussions. Nevertheless, recent efforts to innovate in the EU’s methods for adopting sanctions in the field of human rights abuses (the European Magnitsky Act) have been unsuccessful in their attempt to move from unanimity to qualified majority voting.

Adequate minimum wages

19-01-2021

This briefing finds that the European Commission's impact assessment (IA), which accompanies the directive proposal on adequate minimum wages, is based on sound data and presents a sufficiently broad range of policy options. It would have been useful if the measures concerning collective bargaining and adequacy of minimum wages had been explained more thoroughly in relation to the chosen legal basis. The problem description would have benefited of using more information from the extensive annexes ...

This briefing finds that the European Commission's impact assessment (IA), which accompanies the directive proposal on adequate minimum wages, is based on sound data and presents a sufficiently broad range of policy options. It would have been useful if the measures concerning collective bargaining and adequacy of minimum wages had been explained more thoroughly in relation to the chosen legal basis. The problem description would have benefited of using more information from the extensive annexes. It would have clarified the text if the IA had provided the comparative analysis and selection of the preferred option separately for both minimum wage setting systems (collective agreements and legal provisions).

Zveřejněno na 18-01-2021

How coronavirus infected sport

18-01-2021

Nearly a year after its initial outbreak, the deadly strain of the coronavirus, Covid-19, is still raging across the world and the sports ecosystem has not been spared. Whilst countries' responses have varied widely, the global response prompted the almost total shutdown of competitions at all levels, including multiple postponements of mega sports events such as the Olympic Games and the European Football Championship. Estimates show that nearly a million sports-related jobs have been impacted in ...

Nearly a year after its initial outbreak, the deadly strain of the coronavirus, Covid-19, is still raging across the world and the sports ecosystem has not been spared. Whilst countries' responses have varied widely, the global response prompted the almost total shutdown of competitions at all levels, including multiple postponements of mega sports events such as the Olympic Games and the European Football Championship. Estimates show that nearly a million sports-related jobs have been impacted in the EU, not only for sports professionals but also for those in related retail and sporting services such as travel, tourism, infrastructure, transportation, catering and media broadcasting, to name but a few. Additionally, Covid-related measures are estimated to have caused the loss of some €50 million in GDP across the EU-27. The results of a 2020 survey among European national Olympic committees show that over 93 % have had to significantly review their work-related practices, and over two thirds (67 %) reported their elite athletes were unable to use training facilities. While larger clubs in major sports are likely to have the financial resources to cope with a temporary loss of income, the same is not true for grassroots sports facilities that rely on self-employed coaches and volunteers and face a greater risk of shutting down. Even though its role in the area of sport is limited to 'soft' policy instruments, the EU has responded promptly to limit the spread of the virus and help EU countries to withstand its social and economic impact. In addition to the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative (CRII) and the CRII+, both approved by the European Parliament and the Council of the EU in record time, the European Commission has set up a temporary framework allowing EU countries to derogate from State aid rules, and proposed a European instrument for temporary support (SURE) to help protect jobs and workers affected by the coronavirus pandemic. To keep their players and fans engaged, traditional sports have had to adapt their models by blurring the lines between traditional sports and Esports. However, research reveals that Covid-19-related restrictions have only increased the appeal of outdoor activities and made initiatives such as the European Week of Sport more necessary than ever.

CAP horizontal regulation: Financing, management and monitoring of the common agricultural policy for 2021-2027

18-01-2021

As part of the preparation of the EU budget for 2021-2027, the European Commission put forward a new set of regulations to shape the future EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) on 1 June 2018. The proposal for a regulation on the financing, management and monitoring of the CAP provides the legislative framework for adapting the financing, management and monitoring rules to a new CAP delivery model. This seeks to achieve more subsidiarity and simplification, with greater responsibility given to Member ...

As part of the preparation of the EU budget for 2021-2027, the European Commission put forward a new set of regulations to shape the future EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) on 1 June 2018. The proposal for a regulation on the financing, management and monitoring of the CAP provides the legislative framework for adapting the financing, management and monitoring rules to a new CAP delivery model. This seeks to achieve more subsidiarity and simplification, with greater responsibility given to Member States, a shift from ensuring single transaction compliance to monitoring system performance in each Member State, and reduced 'red tape', among other things. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

CAP strategic plans

18-01-2021

The Commission's legislative proposals on the future of the common agricultural policy (CAP) were published on 1 June 2018. They comprise three proposals: a regulation setting out rules on support for CAP strategic plans; a regulation on the single common market organisation (CMO) and a horizontal regulation on financing, managing and monitoring the CAP. The proposal for a regulation on CAP strategic plans introduces a new delivery model, described by the Commission as a fundamental shift in the ...

The Commission's legislative proposals on the future of the common agricultural policy (CAP) were published on 1 June 2018. They comprise three proposals: a regulation setting out rules on support for CAP strategic plans; a regulation on the single common market organisation (CMO) and a horizontal regulation on financing, managing and monitoring the CAP. The proposal for a regulation on CAP strategic plans introduces a new delivery model, described by the Commission as a fundamental shift in the CAP, involving a shift from compliance towards results and performance. It includes a new distribution of responsibilities between the EU and Member States. A new planning process is proposed which will cover both Pillar I (direct payments) and Pillar II (rural development) of the CAP. Second edition of a briefing originally drafted by James McEldowney and Patrick Kelly. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

EU policy on air quality: Implementation of selected EU legislation

18-01-2021

Air pollution is a cross-border problem with direct negative effects on health and the environment. It also has indirect but tangible adverse effects on economies and societies. With the aim of securing good air quality status for its citizens and the environment, the EU has established a policy framework that employs legal regulation as the main policy instrument. This European implementation assessment (EIA) presents findings on the implementation of three major pieces of EU legislation on air ...

Air pollution is a cross-border problem with direct negative effects on health and the environment. It also has indirect but tangible adverse effects on economies and societies. With the aim of securing good air quality status for its citizens and the environment, the EU has established a policy framework that employs legal regulation as the main policy instrument. This European implementation assessment (EIA) presents findings on the implementation of three major pieces of EU legislation on air quality, namely the two Ambient Air Quality Directives and the Industrial Emissions Directive, and makes recommendations for policy action. In addition, the research paper annexed to this EIA maps and assesses the local policies designed and implemented by 10 EU agglomerations with the aim of tackling air pollution from relevant sources, and, in particular, from road transport. It also makes recommendations for policy action, some of which are relevant to any other EU zone/agglomeration affected by air pollution exceedances, irrespective of specific local conditions. Furthermore, the research paper studies the effects of the first wave of pandemic lock-down measures implemented in the same 10 EU agglomerations and their effects on concentrations of certain air pollutants (particularly harmful for health), and, on this basis, outlines lessons that could be applied in future policy-making on air quality at all levels of governance.

Cash for development? The use of microcredits and cash transfers as development tools

17-12-2020

Microcredits and cash transfers are two distinct tools, but they both target poor households and individuals with cash alike. This report provides details of the latest advances in these cash-for-development tools at a time when the EU is reshaping its development finance tools for the 2021-27 period. Through a literature review, our study provides the current state of knowledge on microcredits and cash transfers. It then considers current EU support for these modalities and assesses this support ...

Microcredits and cash transfers are two distinct tools, but they both target poor households and individuals with cash alike. This report provides details of the latest advances in these cash-for-development tools at a time when the EU is reshaping its development finance tools for the 2021-27 period. Through a literature review, our study provides the current state of knowledge on microcredits and cash transfers. It then considers current EU support for these modalities and assesses this support in light of the main findings and conclusions drawn from the literature. Research reveals much evidence confirming cash-for-development tools’ contributions to poverty reduction. Furthermore, it identifies a second layer of positive economic effects resulting from their use that can be of value when determining responses to the Covid-19 crisis. Moreover, even though microfinance and cash transfers have undergone exponential growth in recent decades, their use remains very limited at EU Institution level. The report recommends that a broader and more systematic use of cash-for-development tools should be explored by EU Institutions, albeit framed within broader programming and context analysis.

Externí autor

Aitor PEREZ, Nicolas AYENSA, Maricruz LACALLE

Chystané akce

20-01-2021
EPRS online policy roundtable with the World Bank: Where next for the global economy
Další akce -
EPRS
25-01-2021
Public Hearing on "Gender aspects of precarious work"
Slyšení -
FEMM
27-01-2021
Public hearing on AI and Green Deal
Slyšení -
AIDA

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Publikace Think Tanku

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