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Posted on 16-04-2021

Getting to know the EU's cultural heritage sites

16-04-2021

Every year since 1983, World Heritage Day has been celebrated around the globe on 18 April. This is an opportunity to raise awareness of the diversity and vulnerability of our cultural heritage and the efforts required for its protection and conservation. With more than 380 cultural and natural sites on the Unesco World Heritage list, the EU attracts over a third of all tourists globally. Even though the pandemic caused a collapse in travel, EU countries remain extremely popular, with France, Spain ...

Every year since 1983, World Heritage Day has been celebrated around the globe on 18 April. This is an opportunity to raise awareness of the diversity and vulnerability of our cultural heritage and the efforts required for its protection and conservation. With more than 380 cultural and natural sites on the Unesco World Heritage list, the EU attracts over a third of all tourists globally. Even though the pandemic caused a collapse in travel, EU countries remain extremely popular, with France, Spain, Italy and Germany being among the world's top 10 countries in this respect.

Towards a more resilient Europe post-coronavirus: Options to enhance the EU's resilience to structural risks

16-04-2021

The coronavirus crisis has underlined the need for the European Union (EU) to devote greater efforts to anticipatory governance, and to attempt to strengthen its resilience in the face of risks from both foreseeable and unforeseeable events. This paper builds further on an initial 'mapping' in mid-2020 of some 66 potential structural risks which could confront Europe over the coming decade, and a second paper last autumn which looked at the EU's capabilities to address 33 of those risks assessed ...

The coronavirus crisis has underlined the need for the European Union (EU) to devote greater efforts to anticipatory governance, and to attempt to strengthen its resilience in the face of risks from both foreseeable and unforeseeable events. This paper builds further on an initial 'mapping' in mid-2020 of some 66 potential structural risks which could confront Europe over the coming decade, and a second paper last autumn which looked at the EU's capabilities to address 33 of those risks assessed as being more significant or likely, and at the various gaps in policy and instruments at the Union's disposal. Delving deeper in 25 specific areas, this new paper identifies priorities for building greater resilience within the Union system, drawing on the European Parliament's own resolutions and proposals made by other EU institutions, as well as by outside experts and stakeholders. In the process, it highlights some of the key constraints that will need to be addressed if strengthened resilience is to be achieved, as well as the opportunities that follow from such an approach.

Posted on 15-04-2021

Research for REGI Committee-Cohesion Policy and Climate Change

15-04-2021

This study provides an assessment of how EU Cohesion Policy currently contributes and can contribute in the future to the attainment of the goals of EU Climate Policy. It explains how much of the budget goes to climate action and to what kind of initiatives across EU regions. It also discusses the obligations from the Paris Agreement, the role of Cohesion Policy within the European Green Deal and the impact of phasing out fossil fuels. Policy recommendations for strengthening climate action financed ...

This study provides an assessment of how EU Cohesion Policy currently contributes and can contribute in the future to the attainment of the goals of EU Climate Policy. It explains how much of the budget goes to climate action and to what kind of initiatives across EU regions. It also discusses the obligations from the Paris Agreement, the role of Cohesion Policy within the European Green Deal and the impact of phasing out fossil fuels. Policy recommendations for strengthening climate action financed by Cohesion Policy are set out.

External author

Project leader: Andrea Ciffolilli (Ismeri Europa) Research team: Paolo Antonelli, Elisa Anna di Palma and Giorgia Pichini (Ismeri Europa), João Telha and Goncalo Caetano (CEDRU).

Posted on 14-04-2021

International trade dispute settlement: WTO Appellate Body crisis and the multiparty interim appeal arrangement

14-04-2021

When disputes arise in international trade, they can be settled with binding rulings under international trade or investment agreements. For World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements, members can launch such disputes through the two-step WTO dispute settlement mechanism. The European Union (EU) also includes similar dispute settlement provisions in its trade agreements. The United States' blockage of appointments to the WTO Appellate Body, the highest instance of the WTO dispute settlement, plunged ...

When disputes arise in international trade, they can be settled with binding rulings under international trade or investment agreements. For World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements, members can launch such disputes through the two-step WTO dispute settlement mechanism. The European Union (EU) also includes similar dispute settlement provisions in its trade agreements. The United States' blockage of appointments to the WTO Appellate Body, the highest instance of the WTO dispute settlement, plunged the multilateral rules-based trading system into crisis. The US grievances include questions of delay, judicial over-reach, precedence, and transition rules. As the Appellate Body is unable to hear new appeals, no disputes can now be resolved at the highest instance, causing widespread concern in the context of escalating global trade protectionism. To find a temporary solution to the impasse, the EU and a number of trade partners set up a multiparty interim appeal arbitration arrangement (MPIA). The parties continue to seek resolution of the Appellate Body crisis, and agree to use the MPIA as a second instance as long as the situation continues. The MPIA is also open for more WTO members to join. The recently amended EU Enforcement Regulation also enables swift suspension of obligations under trade agreements while the dispute settlement mechanism is blocked. While the USA has criticised the MPIA, the US approach to multilateral cooperation may change under President Joe Biden. The European Commission Trade Policy Review of February 2021 restates the EU's commitment to WTO reform.

Single market, innovation and digital: Heading 1 of the 2021-2027 MFF

14-04-2021

The European Union's long-term budget, the multiannual financial framework (MFF) sets out the maximum annual amounts of spending for a seven-year period. The 2021 2027 MFF is structured around the EU's spending priorities, reflected in broad categories of expenditure or 'headings'. Following the Covid 19 outbreak, the EU's recovery instrument, Next Generation EU (NGEU), will reinforce the EU long-term budget. Heading 1 – Single market, innovation and digital – covers spending in four policy areas ...

The European Union's long-term budget, the multiannual financial framework (MFF) sets out the maximum annual amounts of spending for a seven-year period. The 2021 2027 MFF is structured around the EU's spending priorities, reflected in broad categories of expenditure or 'headings'. Following the Covid 19 outbreak, the EU's recovery instrument, Next Generation EU (NGEU), will reinforce the EU long-term budget. Heading 1 – Single market, innovation and digital – covers spending in four policy areas: research and innovation, European strategic investments, single market, and space. With an allocation of €132.8 billion (in 2018 prices), it represents 12.4 % of the MFF. It is complemented by additional funds of €10.6 billion from the recovery instrument allocated under two flagship programmes, Horizon Europe and InvestEU for the duration of NGEU. This heading is key for the mobilisation of private investment and EU growth, issues that have been the centre of focus throughout the discussions on the future financing of the EU. This briefing presents the structure and budget allocation under Heading 1. It describes the evolution of the budgetary positions in the different steps of the negotiations and presents the policy clusters. It then details some considerations that could influence forthcoming budgetary discussions. This is an update of a briefing from January 2020.

Cohesion, resilience and values: Heading 2 of the 2021-2027 MFF

14-04-2021

Heading 2 – Cohesion, resilience and values – is the biggest of the seven headings in the multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the 2021-2027 period in terms of budget. Since about 87 % of the heading falls under shared management and will be distributed to national envelopes, for the Member States it is a particularly important part of the MFF. It is also the most diverse heading in terms of the types of programme and fund included. It encompasses expenditure on cohesion, one of the EU's long-standing ...

Heading 2 – Cohesion, resilience and values – is the biggest of the seven headings in the multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the 2021-2027 period in terms of budget. Since about 87 % of the heading falls under shared management and will be distributed to national envelopes, for the Member States it is a particularly important part of the MFF. It is also the most diverse heading in terms of the types of programme and fund included. It encompasses expenditure on cohesion, one of the EU's long-standing policies, on an entirely new budgetary instrument supporting economic recovery and resilience, and on other increasingly important goals, including youth, the creative sector, values, equality and the rule of law. Moreover, the bulk of the Next Generation EU instrument will be channelled through programmes under Heading 2. This briefing presents Heading 2 in detail. It aims to provide some clarity on its structure and allocation, and is structured around three spending areas: cohesion; recovery; and citizens and values. In the 2021-2027 MFF, the allocation on economic, social and territorial cohesion (subheading 2a) – the budget for cohesion policy – is about 10 % lower than its equivalent, subheading 1b, in the 2014-2020 MFF. Additional resources from REACT-EU, a temporary instrument financed under the Next Generation EU instrument (NGEU), will lift the cohesion policy budget to a level comparable with the allocation under the previous MFF. This is an update of a briefing from January 2019.

Natural resources and environment: Heading 3 of the 2021-2027 MFF

14-04-2021

Dedicated to programmes and funds supporting agriculture and maritime policy, and environment and climate change, Heading 3 is the second biggest in terms of funding in the new multiannual financial framework (MFF) for 2021 2027. The two agricultural funds – the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF) and the Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) – continue to absorb the greater part of the financial resources under this heading. However, the European Commission had proposed an amount ...

Dedicated to programmes and funds supporting agriculture and maritime policy, and environment and climate change, Heading 3 is the second biggest in terms of funding in the new multiannual financial framework (MFF) for 2021 2027. The two agricultural funds – the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF) and the Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) – continue to absorb the greater part of the financial resources under this heading. However, the European Commission had proposed an amount of €324 284 million (2018 prices) to cover both funds, which is a decrease of around €60 000 million (or 15 %) compared to the previous MFF (2014 2020) after deducting United Kingdom (UK) spending. In its November 2018 resolution on the European Commission proposal for the new MFF, the European Parliament raised the budget for agricultural and maritime policy back to the level of the 2014 2020 MFF, to €391 198 million (2018 prices). Parliament also asked for a new Energy Transition Fund, with a budget of €4 800 million (2018 prices) for 2021 2027, to address the negative socio-economic impact on workers and communities affected by the transition from a coal and carbon dependent economy to a low-carbon economy. According to the final agreement reached between the Council and the European Parliament on 10 November 2020, the commitment appropriations for natural resources and environment will total €356 374 million under the 2021 2027 MFF, plus €17 500 million under the recovery instrument Next Generation EU (NGEU), which represents a total amount of €373.874 million for 2021 to 2027 (2018 prices). This means the cuts in the overall budget for Heading 3 (plus NGEU) represent a reduction of 6.4 % in spending, compared to the 2014 2020 MFF. The share of Heading 3 within the overall 2021 2027 MFF will be 32.2 % or 20.5 % of the 2021 2027 MFF, plus NGEU. This is an update of a briefing from January 2020.

Migration and border management: Heading 4 of the 2021-2027 MFF

14-04-2021

The Treaty of Lisbon makes explicit reference to pooling financial resources to support common policies on asylum, immigration and external borders. Given the increasing salience of the policy areas in recent years, the European Union (EU) has for the first time established a specific heading devoted to migration and border management in its new multiannual financial framework (MFF). Endowed with €22.7 billion (2018 prices) for the years 2021 to 2027, the heading finances the activities of specific ...

The Treaty of Lisbon makes explicit reference to pooling financial resources to support common policies on asylum, immigration and external borders. Given the increasing salience of the policy areas in recent years, the European Union (EU) has for the first time established a specific heading devoted to migration and border management in its new multiannual financial framework (MFF). Endowed with €22.7 billion (2018 prices) for the years 2021 to 2027, the heading finances the activities of specific EU decentralised agencies, such as the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) and the European Asylum Support Office (EASO), as well as two funding instruments, likely to be named the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) and Integrated Border Management Fund (IBMF). The regulations governing the two funds are being finalised by the co-legislators. When designing the proposals for them, the European Commission aimed to improve synergies with other EU funding instruments and increase capacity to react to evolving needs. Expenditure for these policy areas is still a minor share of the EU budget (2.1 %, excluding the resources from the Next Generation EU recovery instrument), but these allocations represent a significant increase in relative terms, as compared with the 2014-2020 period. The reinforcement seeks to address weaknesses of the previous MFF that the 2015-2016 refugee crisis exposed, obliging EU institutions to use the flexibility provisions of the framework extensively. However, the Commission had proposed larger increases that the European Council cut. In the MFF negotiations with the Council, the European Parliament managed to strengthen the 'border management' policy cluster, which will gradually bring the overall resources of the heading to €23.7 billion by 2027. This is an update of briefing published in January 2020.

Security and defence: Heading 5 of the 2021-2027 MFF

14-04-2021

In the 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework (MFF), a separate Heading 5 is dedicated to security and defence. Although the European Union (EU) has already financed action linked to security and defence, this is the first time that this policy area has been so visibly underlined in the EU budget structure. With an allocation of €13 185 million (in 2018 prices), Heading 5 is the smallest of the seven MFF headings and represents 1.2 % of the total MFF. Under the new 2021 2027 MFF, Heading 5: Security ...

In the 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework (MFF), a separate Heading 5 is dedicated to security and defence. Although the European Union (EU) has already financed action linked to security and defence, this is the first time that this policy area has been so visibly underlined in the EU budget structure. With an allocation of €13 185 million (in 2018 prices), Heading 5 is the smallest of the seven MFF headings and represents 1.2 % of the total MFF. Under the new 2021 2027 MFF, Heading 5: Security and Defence consists of two 'policy clusters': security and defence, containing new and old initiatives. The security policy cluster includes the continuation of the Internal Security Fund – Police instrument, funding for nuclear decommissioning and funding for three EU decentralised agencies in the area of security. The defence policy cluster includes some novelties: a European Defence Fund and the military mobility programme, which is a part of the Connecting Europe Facility (TEN-Ts). This briefing presents the structure and budget allocations under Heading 5. It describes the policy clusters and programmes, including references to their new legal bases. Moreover the briefing sketches the evolution of Heading 5 in the context of MFF negotiations. This is an update of a briefing of January 2020.

Neighbourhood and the world: Heading 6 of the 2021-2027 MFF

14-04-2021

In May 2018, the European Commission published its first proposal for the multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the 2021-2027 period, and a set of individual sectoral proposals. After months of negotiations and given the significantly changed context following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Commission updated its proposals in May 2020. In the new MFF, external action is covered by Heading 6: Neighbourhood and the World, replacing the previous Heading 4: Global Europe. Taking into ...

In May 2018, the European Commission published its first proposal for the multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the 2021-2027 period, and a set of individual sectoral proposals. After months of negotiations and given the significantly changed context following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Commission updated its proposals in May 2020. In the new MFF, external action is covered by Heading 6: Neighbourhood and the World, replacing the previous Heading 4: Global Europe. Taking into account the evolving international and EU context and the conclusions of the previous MFF's mid-term review, the Commission has aimed to make the EU's external action budget simpler and more flexible, to enable the EU to engage more strategically with partner countries throughout the financing period starting in 2021. Heading 6 comes with a slightly increased budget and important structural changes. Most hitherto stand-alone external financing instruments have been merged in a single one, the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI), which also integrates the biggest EU external financing fund, the European Development Fund, previously an off-budget instrument. Another new element is the establishment of an off-budget instrument, the European Peace Facility, to fund security and defence-related actions. With these changes, the Commission aims in part to take into account the need for the EU to align its actions with its international commitments under the UN's 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, the Paris Climate Agreement, the new EU Global Strategy, the European consensus on development, and European neighbourhood policy. It also aims to make EU added value, relevance and credibility more visible. Parliament and Council reached a compromise on the 2021-2027 MFF in November 2020. In December, Council adopted the MFF Regulation by unanimity, with Parliament's consent. Political agreement on the NDICI regulation, in particular, was reached in mid-December, and Parliament gave its provisional agreement to the instrument in mid-March 2021. Finalisation of the text and other legislative documents relating to the other external financing instruments continues in 2021. This is an update of a briefing from January 2020.

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