105

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Review of status of the Commission’s register of expert groups and their composition

30-11-2018

This report aims to provide insights into the development, since 2016, of the European Commission’s system of Expert Groups, including the Register of Expert Groups, thus updating the European Parliament’s study ‘Composition of the Commission’s expert groups and the status of the register of expert groups’ (September 2015). The Update finds that the European Commission’s revised Horizontal Rules, introduced in May 2016, triggered important improvements in terms of balance of interests, transparency ...

This report aims to provide insights into the development, since 2016, of the European Commission’s system of Expert Groups, including the Register of Expert Groups, thus updating the European Parliament’s study ‘Composition of the Commission’s expert groups and the status of the register of expert groups’ (September 2015). The Update finds that the European Commission’s revised Horizontal Rules, introduced in May 2016, triggered important improvements in terms of balance of interests, transparency and gender balance. Notwithstanding, there is further room for enhancing the system, and this Update recommends: further strengthening balance with a specific focus on the Expert Groups that continue to experience imbalance; further enhance transparency of Expert Group deliberations; remind Expert Groups about the requirement for gender balance; for the European Commission to report on the system and evaluate the system’s performance; and to conduct further research on specific types of Expert Group members and the use of Expert Groups.

Externe Autor

Roland Blomeyer, Margarita Sanz, Veronika Kubekova and Mike Beke

EU Agencies, Common Approach and Parliamentary Scrutiny

21-11-2018

Decentralised agencies were set up on a case-by-case basis over the years, to respond to emerging individual policy needs. Currently there are 36 of them and they have been operating under very diverse conditions. This study provides an overview of the different decentralised EU agencies according to a number of criteria; including their functions, legal bases, sources of financing, respective roles of Parliament, Council, Commission and Member States, stakeholder involvement and transparency. It ...

Decentralised agencies were set up on a case-by-case basis over the years, to respond to emerging individual policy needs. Currently there are 36 of them and they have been operating under very diverse conditions. This study provides an overview of the different decentralised EU agencies according to a number of criteria; including their functions, legal bases, sources of financing, respective roles of Parliament, Council, Commission and Member States, stakeholder involvement and transparency. It particularly examines how the parliamentary scrutiny over decentralised agencies is ensured and suggests possible improvements to those mechanisms in order to reach a more coherent, efficient and transparent institutional set up for the parliamentary scrutiny over agencies’ activities.

Externe Autor

EPRS, DG

Der Europäische Bürgerbeauftragte: Überlegungen zur Rolle und ihren Möglichkeiten

20-11-2018

Der Europäische Bürgerbeauftragte ist ein Amt, das geschaffen wurde, damit Verwaltungsmissstände in den EU-Institutionen aufgedeckt und nach Möglichkeit behoben werden. Seit der Schaffung des Amts des Euro¬pä¬ischen Bürgerbeauftragten trugen die Persönlich¬keiten und das offene Konzept des Verwaltungs¬miss¬stands dazu bei, die Tätigkeit des Amts zu prägen. Ein Missstand wird allgemein als eine unangemessene Verwaltungspraxis betrachtet, die über eine bloße Unrechtmäßigkeit hinausgeht. Die Besonderheit ...

Der Europäische Bürgerbeauftragte ist ein Amt, das geschaffen wurde, damit Verwaltungsmissstände in den EU-Institutionen aufgedeckt und nach Möglichkeit behoben werden. Seit der Schaffung des Amts des Euro¬pä¬ischen Bürgerbeauftragten trugen die Persönlich¬keiten und das offene Konzept des Verwaltungs¬miss¬stands dazu bei, die Tätigkeit des Amts zu prägen. Ein Missstand wird allgemein als eine unangemessene Verwaltungspraxis betrachtet, die über eine bloße Unrechtmäßigkeit hinausgeht. Die Besonderheit des Bürgerbeauftragten liegt daher in der Tatsache, dass er in der Lage ist, Probleme, die nicht unter die Kontrolle des Gerichtshofs der EU fallen würden, durch die Aus¬übung von „Soft Power“ anzugehen. In diesem Dokument wird ein Überblick über die Tätig¬keit des Bürgerbeauftragten gegeben und der Versuch unternommen, quantitativ die wichtigsten Tätigkeits¬bereiche sowie die wichtigsten Institutionen zu bestim¬men, die Gegenstand von Untersuchungen sind und an die Empfehlungen gerichtet werden, und die bisherige aktive Rolle dieses Amts beleuchtet. Die Einhaltungs¬quote in Bezug auf die Empfehlungen des Bürger¬beauf¬tragten ist recht hoch. Allerdings nimmt sie offenbar ab, wenn der Bürgerbeauftragte durch kritische Anmer-kungen seine „erzieherische“ Rolle ausübt. Außerdem werden einige Vorschläge für die Änderung des Statuts unterbreitet. Dabei werden geringfügigere Änderun¬gen, bei denen es um bereits etablierte Praktiken geht, ebenso wie umfangreichere Vorschläge behandelt, die sorgfältig abgewogen werden müssen, damit die Natur des Amts nicht verzerrt wird.

An overview of shell companies in the European Union

17-10-2018

In April 2018, the European Parliament's Special Committee on Financial Crimes, Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance (TAX3) requested a study on shell companies in the EU. In response to this request, the Ex-Post Evaluation Unit (EVAL) and the European Added Value Unit (EAVA) of the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) prepared this study. The study aims to contribute to a better understanding of the phenomenon of shell companies in the European Union. In particular, it approaches the issue through ...

In April 2018, the European Parliament's Special Committee on Financial Crimes, Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance (TAX3) requested a study on shell companies in the EU. In response to this request, the Ex-Post Evaluation Unit (EVAL) and the European Added Value Unit (EAVA) of the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) prepared this study. The study aims to contribute to a better understanding of the phenomenon of shell companies in the European Union. In particular, it approaches the issue through a set of ‘proxy’ indicators at a member state level. It proceeds by presenting main risks associated with the shell companies. Finally, if presents policies aiming at mitigating these identified risks.

VAT Fraud: Economic Impact, Challenges and Policy Issues

15-10-2018

Each year, the EU Member States lose billions of euros in VAT revenues on account of fraud. As the EU VAT system is undergoing profound modernisation, this study seeks (i) to take stock of the current state of play, (ii) to assess the current regulatory framework and the proposals under discussion, and (iii) to offer a selection of recommendations. An initial conclusion is that, while the European Commission has put a considerable amount of work into the modernisation of the EU VAT system, remaining ...

Each year, the EU Member States lose billions of euros in VAT revenues on account of fraud. As the EU VAT system is undergoing profound modernisation, this study seeks (i) to take stock of the current state of play, (ii) to assess the current regulatory framework and the proposals under discussion, and (iii) to offer a selection of recommendations. An initial conclusion is that, while the European Commission has put a considerable amount of work into the modernisation of the EU VAT system, remaining risks of fraud cannot be ignored. A second substantial conclusion is that a different approach and the use of new technologies would allow the Member States to remove significant obstacles that currently impede an effective fight against VAT fraud. This study was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the TAX3 Committee.

Externe Autor

Marie LAMENSCH, Emanuele CECI

EP-EUI Roundtable - Role of the European Parliament in promoting the use of independent expertise in the legislative process

16-08-2018

This report reflects on the role of European Parliament in promoting the use of independent expertise in the European legislative process. The European Parliament has a unique model of involving independent expertise of universities and think tanks in the European legislative process to guarantee that its decisions are based on the best available evidence. The EP-EUI roundtable discussed the general framework, best practices and the way forward for involving independent expertise in the European ...

This report reflects on the role of European Parliament in promoting the use of independent expertise in the European legislative process. The European Parliament has a unique model of involving independent expertise of universities and think tanks in the European legislative process to guarantee that its decisions are based on the best available evidence. The EP-EUI roundtable discussed the general framework, best practices and the way forward for involving independent expertise in the European legislative process. This document has been prepared in the framework of scientific cooperation between the European Parliament and the European University Institute.

EU consumer protection rules

10-07-2018

The IA is aimed at underpinning new legislation in the field of consumer protection, as called for in various European Parliament resolutions. It represents a considerable body of work, based on extensive evaluation and consultation. Methodological weaknesses include the narrow range of options to calibrate the evaluation findings. Secondly, there are some presentation issues, which do not facilitate consideration of the Commission’s choices. For instance, the large space devoted to consultation ...

The IA is aimed at underpinning new legislation in the field of consumer protection, as called for in various European Parliament resolutions. It represents a considerable body of work, based on extensive evaluation and consultation. Methodological weaknesses include the narrow range of options to calibrate the evaluation findings. Secondly, there are some presentation issues, which do not facilitate consideration of the Commission’s choices. For instance, the large space devoted to consultation comes at the expense of useful and more sound information.

New lobbying law in France

04-07-2018

Since 1 May 2018, France's new lobbying law is fully implemented. Part and parcel of recent legislation on transparency (Sapin II package), it was adopted on 9 December 2016, providing a regulatory framework for lobbying activities and establishing a mandatory national register ('le repertoire') for lobbyists. In a step-by-step process, first, the repertoire, in which all active interest representatives must sign up, was created on 1 July 2017. After registering by 1 January 2018, interest representatives ...

Since 1 May 2018, France's new lobbying law is fully implemented. Part and parcel of recent legislation on transparency (Sapin II package), it was adopted on 9 December 2016, providing a regulatory framework for lobbying activities and establishing a mandatory national register ('le repertoire') for lobbyists. In a step-by-step process, first, the repertoire, in which all active interest representatives must sign up, was created on 1 July 2017. After registering by 1 January 2018, interest representatives were then under the obligation to report their lobbying activities in this repertoire by 30 April 2018. The repertoire, with just over 1 00 registrants to date, is overseen by the 'Haute Autorité pour la Transparence de la Vie Publique' (HATVP). In France, the cultural acceptance of lobbying as a profession has been slow, and the new law will make a huge difference in terms of making lobbying activities public, with a regulation closely following the Irish example. The Sapin II package aims for a general increase in public accountability and transparency of the decision-making processes. Some incremental steps in this direction had been taken previously, primarily with the establishment of the HATVP in January 2014 as an independent body to oversee the integrity and transparency of the national public institutions.

Revolving doors in the EU and US

04-07-2018

The flow of officials and politicians between the public and private sector has in the past few years given rise to calls for more transparency and accountability. In order to mitigate the reputational damage to public institutions by problematic use of the 'revolving door', this phenomenon is increasingly being regulated at national level. In the United States, President Trump recently changed the rules put in place by his predecessor to slow the revolving door. As shown by press coverage, the US ...

The flow of officials and politicians between the public and private sector has in the past few years given rise to calls for more transparency and accountability. In order to mitigate the reputational damage to public institutions by problematic use of the 'revolving door', this phenomenon is increasingly being regulated at national level. In the United States, President Trump recently changed the rules put in place by his predecessor to slow the revolving door. As shown by press coverage, the US public remains unconvinced. Scepticism may be fuelled by new exceptions made to the rules – retroactive ethics pledge waivers – and the refusal of the White House to disclose the numbers or beneficiaries of said waivers. Watchdog organisations argue that not only has the Trump administration so far failed to 'drain the swamp', it has ended up doing quite the opposite. In the EU, where revolving door cases are increasingly being covered in the media, both the European Parliament and Commission have adopted Codes of Conduct, regulating the activities of current and former Members, Commissioners, and even staff. The European Ombudsman, Emily O'Reilly, has on numerous occasions spoken out in favour of further measures, such as 'cooling-off periods', and has carried out several inquiries into potentially problematic revolving door cases. Following calls from Parliament, the Juncker Commission adopted a new and stronger Code of Conduct for Commissioners early in 2018. Even so, no one single Code can hope to bring an end to the debate.

Mis-selling of Financial Products: Subordinated Debt and Self-placement

13-06-2018

This paper forms part of a series of five studies on mis-selling of financial products in the EU. The focus of this document is mis-selling of subordinated debt and other junior liabilities and weaknesses of MiFID. This report concludes that the mis-selling, essentially through self-placement, was due to violations of MiFID rules rather than weaknesses of the legislative scheme. The report includes proposals to strengthen the legislation and to provide compensation for retail investors. This document ...

This paper forms part of a series of five studies on mis-selling of financial products in the EU. The focus of this document is mis-selling of subordinated debt and other junior liabilities and weaknesses of MiFID. This report concludes that the mis-selling, essentially through self-placement, was due to violations of MiFID rules rather than weaknesses of the legislative scheme. The report includes proposals to strengthen the legislation and to provide compensation for retail investors. This document was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the ECON Committee.

Externe Autor

Pierre-Henri CONAC

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