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Posted on 23-10-2020

EU agricultural policy and health: Some historical and contemporary issues

23-10-2020

This paper examines the links between agriculture and health in the EU. Following an explanation of the links between agriculture, nutrition and diet, a chronology of some of the key studies and developments in this field is provided. This begins with an examination of efforts in the early 1970s to address high rates of cardiovascular disease before moving onto more recent assessments of the role of the EU's common agricultural policy in relation to nutrition-related public health matters, and the ...

This paper examines the links between agriculture and health in the EU. Following an explanation of the links between agriculture, nutrition and diet, a chronology of some of the key studies and developments in this field is provided. This begins with an examination of efforts in the early 1970s to address high rates of cardiovascular disease before moving onto more recent assessments of the role of the EU's common agricultural policy in relation to nutrition-related public health matters, and the extent to which the policy has influenced current dietary patterns. A brief overview is provided of the health status of EU citizens, including some key features and trends in EU health, diets and nutrition. The paper also takes account of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, including its implications for health considerations across all policies. Drawing on the range of studies and commentaries consulted, the paper concludes with a number of ways in which agriculture and agricultural policies can address or have an impact on the EU's public health challenges.

European Parliament’s Banking Union reports in 2015 - 2019

21-10-2020

This briefing provides an overview of the European Parliament’s expectations and priorities for the Banking Union as set out in its annual Banking Union reports. The first section of this briefing provides a short overview of the 2019 Banking Union report, the ECB Banking Supervisor’s response, as well as concrete actions expected from the Single Resolution Board, who as yet have not provided a formal response to any of Parliament’s Banking Union reports. In order to better contextualise the themes ...

This briefing provides an overview of the European Parliament’s expectations and priorities for the Banking Union as set out in its annual Banking Union reports. The first section of this briefing provides a short overview of the 2019 Banking Union report, the ECB Banking Supervisor’s response, as well as concrete actions expected from the Single Resolution Board, who as yet have not provided a formal response to any of Parliament’s Banking Union reports. In order to better contextualise the themes of latest Banking Union report, the subsequent section addresses the main themes raised in previous Banking Union reports (2015-2018). The annex of the briefing includes a comparison of the positions taken by the European Parliament in its Banking Union reports in the following policy areas: banking developments and structures; institutional and organisational issues; regulatory issues; completing the banking union; risk assessment; supervisory issues and priorities; crisis management; policies related to anti-money-laundering; and climate and sustainability issues.

Access to Abortion Services for Women in the EU - Slovakia

23-10-2020

This paper, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the FEMM Committee, provides basic information on access to abortion services in Slovakia. The legal status of abortions in the country is under permanent pressure despite the legally binding decision by the Constitutional Court back in 2007 which safeguarded women´s right to free choice. Eleven proposals to restrict abortion have been presented in the National ...

This paper, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the FEMM Committee, provides basic information on access to abortion services in Slovakia. The legal status of abortions in the country is under permanent pressure despite the legally binding decision by the Constitutional Court back in 2007 which safeguarded women´s right to free choice. Eleven proposals to restrict abortion have been presented in the National Parliament, in the last two years. Medical abortion is not available in the country, and together with conscientious objection applied in health services and current COVID-19 pandemics access to abortion services is further limited.

External author

Olga Pietruchova, independent gender equality expert, Slovakia.

Posted on 21-10-2020

How can international trade contribute to sustainable forestry and the preservation of the world’s forests through the Green Deal?

19-10-2020

High deforestation rates, particularly in tropical areas, remain a pressing concern for the international community, given their impacts on the global climate and the loss of biodiversity. The EU has committed to promoting sustainable forest management both domestically and internationally. However, efforts so far have concentrated on promoting the legality of trade in timber and timber products, via policy instruments such as FLEGT and the EU Timber Regulation. EU trade policy could be employed ...

High deforestation rates, particularly in tropical areas, remain a pressing concern for the international community, given their impacts on the global climate and the loss of biodiversity. The EU has committed to promoting sustainable forest management both domestically and internationally. However, efforts so far have concentrated on promoting the legality of trade in timber and timber products, via policy instruments such as FLEGT and the EU Timber Regulation. EU trade policy could be employed more systematically to promote sustainable forestry and deforestation-free value chains. The report proposes eleven measures to this end, both at the unilateral, bilateral and multilateral level, that inter alia combine market access incentives on the part of consumer markets such as the EU with obligations to promote principles of sustainable production on the part of producer countries.

External author

Werner RAZA, Bernhard TRÖSTER, Bernhard WOLFSLEHNER, Markus KRAJEWSKI.

Posted on 15-10-2020

What role for the European Semester in the recovery plan?

15-10-2020

This briefing paper argues that the political imperative to ensure that the economic stimulus from the EU’s new commonly funded facilities is provided expeditiously will prevail against desires to create a robust governance framework for these funds within the European Semester process. The pandemic-related suspension of the Stability and Growth Pact creates a need to reform the Pact ahead of its future reintroduction. This presents an opportunity to incorporate more of the Semester’s reform implementation ...

This briefing paper argues that the political imperative to ensure that the economic stimulus from the EU’s new commonly funded facilities is provided expeditiously will prevail against desires to create a robust governance framework for these funds within the European Semester process. The pandemic-related suspension of the Stability and Growth Pact creates a need to reform the Pact ahead of its future reintroduction. This presents an opportunity to incorporate more of the Semester’s reform implementation agenda directly into the Pact’s policy prescriptions.

External author

Jacob Funk KIRKEGAARD

How to provide political guidance to the Recovery and Resilience Facility?

14-10-2020

The Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) constitutes an unprecedented EU-wide resource to address the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the EU economies. As the governance of the RRF is integrated in the European Semester, it fundamentally changes its character from a non-binding structure for policy coordination to a vehicle for the allocation of a major economic impetus. In light of this, this paper analyses the ways that parliamentary control and oversight of the RRF can be best secured at the ...

The Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) constitutes an unprecedented EU-wide resource to address the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the EU economies. As the governance of the RRF is integrated in the European Semester, it fundamentally changes its character from a non-binding structure for policy coordination to a vehicle for the allocation of a major economic impetus. In light of this, this paper analyses the ways that parliamentary control and oversight of the RRF can be best secured at the EU-level.

External author

Ben CRUM

Posted on 07-10-2020

What Role for the European Semester in the recovery plan?

06-10-2020

Accessing funds of the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) depends on detailed national Recovery and Resilience Plans (RRPs) being agreed upon, and projects meeting implementation milestones. The RRPs will be embedded in the European Semester, the EU’s framework for economic policy coordination. This paper suggests that there are risks to the implementation of the RRPs, and/or to an objective evaluation of their progress. While the Treaty specifies that the execution of economic policy coordination ...

Accessing funds of the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) depends on detailed national Recovery and Resilience Plans (RRPs) being agreed upon, and projects meeting implementation milestones. The RRPs will be embedded in the European Semester, the EU’s framework for economic policy coordination. This paper suggests that there are risks to the implementation of the RRPs, and/or to an objective evaluation of their progress. While the Treaty specifies that the execution of economic policy coordination shall be done by the Member States within the Council, the involvement of the European Parliament would potentially increase transparency and accountability for national policy makers (as well as the Commission and Council), which could improve project delivery and thus benefit the recovery.

External author

Thomas Wieser

This Time is Different: The PEPP Might Not Work in a Sectoral Recession

30-09-2020

The COVID-19 recession is different from previous downturns because it originates in demand and supply disturbances which are highly specific to certain sectors (contact-intensive services). This sectoral nature renders aggregate demand policies, including monetary policy, much less effective. The PEPP was essential to prevent a financial crisis in the Spring of 2020; but there is no need to increase its size. In a sectoral recession, one should not expect much impact from central bank bond buying ...

The COVID-19 recession is different from previous downturns because it originates in demand and supply disturbances which are highly specific to certain sectors (contact-intensive services). This sectoral nature renders aggregate demand policies, including monetary policy, much less effective. The PEPP was essential to prevent a financial crisis in the Spring of 2020; but there is no need to increase its size. In a sectoral recession, one should not expect much impact from central bank bond buying on inflation. This document was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON).

External author

Angela CAPOLONGO, Daniel GROS

COVID-19 and the Future of Quantitative Easing in the Euro Area: Three Scenarios with a Trilemma

30-09-2020

We present the set of measures that the ECB has undertaken to fight the pandemic crisis by outlining the deep impact that COVID-19 is having on economic structures, and by highlighting the differences between the current policy package and previous ECB’s programmes. Moreover, we discuss what are the challenges that await the ECB in the medium to long run, contingent on different post-COVID scenarios concerning economic growth and inflation, considering its peculiar multinational jurisdiction. This ...

We present the set of measures that the ECB has undertaken to fight the pandemic crisis by outlining the deep impact that COVID-19 is having on economic structures, and by highlighting the differences between the current policy package and previous ECB’s programmes. Moreover, we discuss what are the challenges that await the ECB in the medium to long run, contingent on different post-COVID scenarios concerning economic growth and inflation, considering its peculiar multinational jurisdiction. This document was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON).

External author

Luigi BONATTI, Andrea FRACASSO, Roberto TAMBORINI

The ECB’s Asset Purchase Programmes: Effectiveness, Risks, Alternatives

30-09-2020

We summarise the empirical evidence on effects of asset purchases in the euro area, including the PEPP programme launched in response to the COVID-19 crisis. We conclude that QE is particularly effective during times of high financial stress, i.e. at the peak of a crisis, but tends to lose impact over time. At the same time, QE policies come with prominent risks which may materialise only in the longer term. We suggest a scheme of rule-based intervention in sovereign debt markets that preserves the ...

We summarise the empirical evidence on effects of asset purchases in the euro area, including the PEPP programme launched in response to the COVID-19 crisis. We conclude that QE is particularly effective during times of high financial stress, i.e. at the peak of a crisis, but tends to lose impact over time. At the same time, QE policies come with prominent risks which may materialise only in the longer term. We suggest a scheme of rule-based intervention in sovereign debt markets that preserves the role of yield spreads as a market signal, while containing the risk of bad equilibria. This document was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON).

External author

Joscha BECKMANN, Salomon FIEDLER, Klaus-Jürgen GERN, Stefan KOOTHS, Josefine QUAST, Maik WOLTERS

Upcoming events

26-10-2020
European Gender Equality Week - October 26-29, 2020
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FEMM TRAN LIBE BECA AIDA INTA CULT EMPL DROI SEDE DEVE
26-10-2020
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27-10-2020
Hearing on Rebuilding fish stocks in the Mediterranean: next steps
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The content of all documents contained in the Think Tank website is the sole responsibility of the author and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily represent the official position of the European Parliament. It is addressed to the Members and staff of the EP for their parliamentary work.

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