502

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Access to justice in environmental matters: Amending the Aarhus Regulation

23-09-2021

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. The Council and Parliament adopted their positions on 17 December 2020 and 20 May 2021, respectively. Interinstitutional negotiations, launched on 4 June 2021, concluded on 12 July with a provisional agreement. The text, endorsed by Member States' ambassadors on 23 July, and by the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) on 1 September 2021, now awaits a vote in Parliament's plenary, planned for the October I session. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Common Provisions Regulation: New rules for cohesion policy for 2021-2027

20-09-2021

For the EU budget covering the 2021-2027 period, the European Commission proposed to update EU cohesion policy with a new set of rules. The proposal for a Common Provisions Regulation (CPR) set out common provisions for eight shared management funds: the European Regional Development Fund, the Cohesion Fund, the European Social Fund Plus, the Just Transition Fund, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, the Asylum and Migration Fund, the Internal Security Fund and the Border Management and Visa ...

For the EU budget covering the 2021-2027 period, the European Commission proposed to update EU cohesion policy with a new set of rules. The proposal for a Common Provisions Regulation (CPR) set out common provisions for eight shared management funds: the European Regional Development Fund, the Cohesion Fund, the European Social Fund Plus, the Just Transition Fund, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, the Asylum and Migration Fund, the Internal Security Fund and the Border Management and Visa Instrument. Additional specific regulations add certain provisions needed to cater for the particularities of individual funds, in order to take into account their different rationales, target groups and implementation methods. The new CPR is of the utmost importance as it sets the main rules that govern the above-mentioned funds for the 2021-2027 period. While it builds upon the previous sets of rules covering the 2014-2020 period, it nevertheless introduces a number of innovations. It aims, amongst other things, to simplify and improve synergies between the different EU policy tools. On 23 June 2021, the Parliament voted to adopt the text of the regulation agreed with the Council. The final act was published in the Official Journal on 30 June 2021. Fifth edition of a briefing originally drafted by Vasileios Margaras. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

European territorial cooperation (Interreg) 2021-2027

20-09-2021

On 29 May 2018, the European Commission adopted several proposals aimed at defining the EU cohesion policy for the post-2020 programming period. The package includes a proposal for the new generation of European territorial cooperation (ETC) programmes, commonly referred to as 'Interreg'. The proposed regulation would bring significant changes to the architecture of ETC, with the reshaping of the three traditional cooperation strands (i.e. cross-border, transnational and interregional cooperation ...

On 29 May 2018, the European Commission adopted several proposals aimed at defining the EU cohesion policy for the post-2020 programming period. The package includes a proposal for the new generation of European territorial cooperation (ETC) programmes, commonly referred to as 'Interreg'. The proposed regulation would bring significant changes to the architecture of ETC, with the reshaping of the three traditional cooperation strands (i.e. cross-border, transnational and interregional cooperation) and the creation of two new components, one dedicated to outermost regions, the other to interregional cooperation on innovation. Another major novelty is the incorporation of cooperation with countries other than EU Member States. The proposal was examined simultaneously by the Council and the European Parliament. In Parliament, the Committee on Regional Development (REGI) was responsible for the file. Parliament adopted its legislative resolution on the proposal at first reading on 26 March 2019, enabling trilogue negotiations to get under way with the Council. Agreement on the text was reached at the trilogue meeting of 2 December 2020, with Parliament adopting the draft regulation on 23 June 2021. Signed on 24 June 2021, the final act was published in the EU Official Journal on 30 June 2021.

Just Transition Fund

20-09-2021

The EU aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 % by 2030 and achieve climate neutrality by 2050. This will require a socio-economic transformation in regions relying on fossil fuels and high-emission industries. As part of the European Green Deal, on 14 January 2020, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation to create the Just Transition Fund, aimed at supporting EU regions most affected by the transition to a low carbon economy. In the context of recovery from the coronavirus ...

The EU aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 % by 2030 and achieve climate neutrality by 2050. This will require a socio-economic transformation in regions relying on fossil fuels and high-emission industries. As part of the European Green Deal, on 14 January 2020, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation to create the Just Transition Fund, aimed at supporting EU regions most affected by the transition to a low carbon economy. In the context of recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, an amended proposal on the Just Transition Fund (JTF) was published on 28 May 2020. The JTF is set to have a budget of €17.5 billion (€7.5 billion from the core EU budget under the Multiannual Financial Framework and €10 billion from the Next Generation EU instrument, in 2018 prices). Funding will be available to all Member States, while focusing on regions with the biggest transition challenges. The budget for the Just Transition Fund may be complemented with resources from cohesion policy funds and national co financing. The Fund will be part of a Just Transition Mechanism, which also includes resources under InvestEU and a public-sector loan facility. In the European Parliament, the file was entrusted to the Committee on Regional Development (REGI). A provisional political agreement was reached in trilogue on 9 December 2020, with the Parliament adopting the draft regulation on 18 May 2021. The final act was published in the Official Journal on 30 June 2021. Fifth edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

European climate law

31-08-2021

On 4 March 2020, the European Commission adopted a legislative proposal for a European climate law, setting the objective for the EU to become climate-neutral by 2050 and establishing a framework for achieving that objective. On 17 September 2020, the Commission amended the proposal to introduce the updated 2030 climate target of a net reduction of at least 55 % of the EU's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions compared to 1990 levels. In the European Parliament, the proposal was referred to the Committee ...

On 4 March 2020, the European Commission adopted a legislative proposal for a European climate law, setting the objective for the EU to become climate-neutral by 2050 and establishing a framework for achieving that objective. On 17 September 2020, the Commission amended the proposal to introduce the updated 2030 climate target of a net reduction of at least 55 % of the EU's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions compared to 1990 levels. In the European Parliament, the proposal was referred to the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety. The Parliament adopted its position on 6 October 2020, calling for a 60 % emissions reduction by 2030 and for an independent, inter-disciplinary scientific advisory panel. Council and Parliament reached a provisional agreement on the proposal on 21 April 2021. The agreement sets a 55 % net GHG emission target for 2030 (to be complemented by additional removals from the upcoming review of the LULUCF Regulation), an EU-wide climate neutrality target for 2050, and the aim to achieve negative emissions thereafter. It envisages the use of a GHG budget for setting the 2040 target and establishes a European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change. Parliament approved the agreed text on 24 June 2021. The regulation was published in the Official Journal on 9 July 2021 and entered into force on 29 July 2021. Fourth edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

A new neighbourhood, development and international cooperation instrument – Global Europe

20-07-2021

In the context of the Commission's proposal for a multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the 2021-2027 period, on 14 June 2018 the Commission published a proposal for a regulation establishing the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument. Council and Parliament agreed in trilogue negotiations, which ended in March 2021, that Parliament would have an enhanced role in defining the main strategic choices of the instrument, through a delegated act and twice-yearly geopolitical ...

In the context of the Commission's proposal for a multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the 2021-2027 period, on 14 June 2018 the Commission published a proposal for a regulation establishing the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument. Council and Parliament agreed in trilogue negotiations, which ended in March 2021, that Parliament would have an enhanced role in defining the main strategic choices of the instrument, through a delegated act and twice-yearly geopolitical dialogue. The Commission also committed to inform Parliament prior to any use of the 'emerging challenges and priorities cushion', and take its remarks into consideration. Parliament insisted that any activities related to migration had to be in line with the objectives of the instrument, and also secured safeguards on the amounts for capacity-building, election observation missions, local authorities, Erasmus, the Pacific and the Caribbean. Negotiators also agreed to include a reference, in a recital, to existing EU financial rules that allow for the suspension of assistance if a country fails to observe the principles of democracy, human rights and the rule of law. As a final step, negotiators agreed to change the name of the instrument to the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument - Global Europe. After formal adoption by Council and Parliament the regulation was signed on 9 June 2021, and it entered into force on 14 June 2021. The regulation applies retroactively from 1 January 2021. Sixth edition. The 'Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Boosting cooperation on health technology assessment

15-07-2021

The European Commission has proposed a regulation on health technology assessment (HTA). HTA is a research-based tool that supports decision-making in healthcare by assessing the added value of a given health technology compared to others. The proposal would provide the basis for permanent EU-level cooperation in four areas. Member States would still be responsible for assessing the non-clinical (economic, ethical, social, etc.) aspects of health technology, and for pricing and reimbursement. While ...

The European Commission has proposed a regulation on health technology assessment (HTA). HTA is a research-based tool that supports decision-making in healthcare by assessing the added value of a given health technology compared to others. The proposal would provide the basis for permanent EU-level cooperation in four areas. Member States would still be responsible for assessing the non-clinical (economic, ethical, social, etc.) aspects of health technology, and for pricing and reimbursement. While Member States could choose to delay participation in the joint work until three years after the rules enter into force, it would become mandatory after six years. Stakeholders broadly welcomed the Commission proposal. National parliaments, however, are divided in their appreciation of it. The provisional agreement, applauded by some stakeholders, has been criticised by the pharmaceutical industry, in particular, for its lack of ambition. The European Parliament adopted its final position at first reading on 14 February 2019. In the Council, work was carried out under seven consecutive presidencies. On 24 March 2021, the co-legislators reached a provisional agreement in interinstitutional trilogue negotiations. The Council's Permanent Representatives Committee endorsed the provisional agreement on 30 June 2021. Parliament's ENVI committee voted in favour of the text on 13 July 2021. Council and then Parliament are expected to formally adopt it in the coming months. Fourth edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Rail passengers' rights and obligations in the EU

12-07-2021

In 2007, the EU established a set of basic rights for rail passengers, which became applicable at the end of 2009. These rights provide for all passengers, including those with reduced mobility, a harmonised minimum level of protection, information and assistance. Reports have concluded that the implementation of these rights, although relatively smooth, is not done uniformly across the EU. Moreover, other shortcomings have prevented these rights from being used to their full potential. In September ...

In 2007, the EU established a set of basic rights for rail passengers, which became applicable at the end of 2009. These rights provide for all passengers, including those with reduced mobility, a harmonised minimum level of protection, information and assistance. Reports have concluded that the implementation of these rights, although relatively smooth, is not done uniformly across the EU. Moreover, other shortcomings have prevented these rights from being used to their full potential. In September 2017, the European Commission presented a new proposal to address these issues and to strike a new balance between keeping rail operators competitive and providing adequate passenger protection. The European Parliament adopted its first-reading position on this proposal on 15 November 2018. For its part, the Council adopted its general approach on 2 December 2019, under the Finnish Presidency. Interinstitutional negotiations began at the end of January 2020, and on 1 October 2020, under the Germany Presidency, Council and Parliament reached a provisional agreement on the text. On 29 April 2021, the European Parliament voted in favour of the agreed text as adopted by the Council. The new rules were published in the Official Journal of the EU on 17 May 2021. They will apply in principle to all international and domestic rail journeys and services in the EU from 7 June 2023. However, Member States may exempt domestic rail services for a limited time. Seventh edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Single European Sky 2+ package: Amended Commission proposal

12-07-2021

The Single European Sky (SES) initiative aims to make EU airspace less fragmented and to improve air traffic management in terms of safety, capacity, cost-efficiency and the environment. Its current regulatory framework is based on two legislative packages: SES I (adopted in 2004), which set the principal legal framework, and SES II (adopted in 2009), which aimed to tackle substantial air traffic growth, increase safety, and reduce costs and delays and the impact of air traffic on the environment ...

The Single European Sky (SES) initiative aims to make EU airspace less fragmented and to improve air traffic management in terms of safety, capacity, cost-efficiency and the environment. Its current regulatory framework is based on two legislative packages: SES I (adopted in 2004), which set the principal legal framework, and SES II (adopted in 2009), which aimed to tackle substantial air traffic growth, increase safety, and reduce costs and delays and the impact of air traffic on the environment. Nonetheless, European airspace remains fragmented, costly and inefficient. The European Commission presented a revision of the SES in 2013 (the SES 2+ package). While the Parliament adopted its first-reading position in March 2014, in December 2014 the Council agreed only a partial general approach, owing to disagreement between the UK and Spain over the application of the text to Gibraltar airport. With Brexit having removed this blockage, the Commission has amended its initial proposal. The Council and the Parliament have both adopted their positions on the revised proposal, and can thus start trilogue negotiations. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Erasmus 2021-2027: The Union programme for education, training, youth and sport

05-07-2021

The Erasmus 2021-2027 proposal was published on 30 May 2018. Establishing a new programme ensures the continuation of the Erasmus+ funding programme for education, training, youth and sport. While Erasmus+ 2014-2020 offered mobility opportunities to more than 4 million people, the new programming period aims to reach up to 12 million participants. The new generation programme maintains a lifelong learning approach and works towards the adoption of a European Education Area by 2025. Flagship initiatives ...

The Erasmus 2021-2027 proposal was published on 30 May 2018. Establishing a new programme ensures the continuation of the Erasmus+ funding programme for education, training, youth and sport. While Erasmus+ 2014-2020 offered mobility opportunities to more than 4 million people, the new programming period aims to reach up to 12 million participants. The new generation programme maintains a lifelong learning approach and works towards the adoption of a European Education Area by 2025. Flagship initiatives include the European University Networks and the European Student Card. The new regulation also focuses on inclusion and aims at greater simplification for end-users. It incorporates sports in the main structure of the programme, expands the use of digitalisation, supports new areas of knowledge and introduces DiscoverEU, a new mobility initiative. Stakeholders agree that the previous programme has been highly beneficial but lessons need to be learnt to help the next generation programme run more efficiently and effectively. The Parliament and Council reached agreement on the proposal following the overall agreement on the 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework, and it was adopted in May 2021. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

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