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Several EU directives dealing with equality require EU Member States to establish equality bodies with a focus on assisting victims of discrimination and preventing and fighting discrimination more broadly. However, their rules are too general with regard to these bodies' duties and manner of operation, leading to disparities among Member States. Additionally, the work of some bodies has been hampered by lack of resources, insufficient independence or a narrow remit. As part of a package of legislative ...

European Media Freedom Act

Briefing 11-06-2024

An independent media is a pillar of democracy and an important part of the economy, helping to shape public opinion and hold those in power to account. In recent years, however, there have been increasingly worrying trends across the EU, as documented in the annual rule of law reports by the European Commission, and by other tools such as the Media Pluralism Monitor. The European Media Freedom Act introduces a new set of rules to promote media pluralism and independence across the EU. The aim is ...

Plant reproductive material

Briefing 11-06-2024

On 24 April 2024, the European Parliament adopted its first reading position on the proposal for a regulation on the production and marketing of plant reproductive material (PRM). Put forward by the European Commission on 5 July 2023, the proposal would replace the 10 PRM directives that currently lay down the rules for seeds, tubers, cuttings, seedlings and young plants. The proposal would introduce sustainability requirements for registering new varieties of agricultural plants, vegetables and ...

Critical raw materials act

Briefing 11-06-2024

The EU's ambition to become a climate-neutral economy by 2050, and its ability to sustain the green and digital transition and achieve strategic autonomy, all rely heavily on reliable, secure and resilient access to critical raw materials (CRMs). On 16 March 2023, the Commission put forward a proposal for a regulation on CRMs. It introduced the concept of strategic raw materials (SRMs), which are key for some strategic technologies and vulnerable to shortages. The general objective of the proposed ...

Two European Union (EU) directives regulate the EU collective investment funds industry: the Directive relating to undertakings for collective investment in transferable securities (UCITS) and the Alternative Investment Funds Manager Directive (AIFMD). The UCITS Directive, which covers mutual funds, lays down uniform rules, allowing them to be offered cross-border, while the AIFMD, which covers hedge funds and private equity, lays down the rules for authorising, supervising and overseeing the managers ...

Forest reproductive material

Briefing 10-06-2024

On 24 April 2024, the European Parliament adopted its first reading position on the proposal for a regulation on the production and marketing of forest reproductive material (FRM). The proposal, put forward by the European Commission on 5 July 2023, would replace the current FRM Council Directive and widen its scope to include not only FRM for forestry purposes, but also FRM intended for biodiversity conservation, restoration of forest ecosystems and climate adaptation and mitigation. The proposed ...

On 10 April 2024, the European Parliament adopted its position at first reading on two European Commission proposals to revise the EU's pharmaceutical legislation. The revision seeks to enhance the security of supply of medicines, making them more available, accessible and affordable across EU countries, while supporting the attractiveness of the EU pharmaceutical industry by fostering research and innovation. The 'pharmaceutical package' includes proposals for a new directive and a new regulation ...

Political advertising is central to informing and influencing how people vote, and may affect citizens' perceptions of the legitimacy of their political system, mainly when published in the run-up to elections. Therefore, rules governing political advertising are vital to guaranteeing citizens' fundamental rights and the integrity of democratic processes. However, traditional campaigning regulations can be ineffective or difficult to enforce online, where new techniques are utilised to target potential ...

This document provides an overview of the public hearings of the Chair of the Supervisory Board of the European Central Bank in the ECON Committee during the 9th parliamentary term (since July 2019), and lists all research papers requested by the ECON Committee, which are in general provided by a standing panel of banking experts. The annex gives an overview of the respective legal bases for those hearings, which form part of the accountability framework of the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM). ...

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for a resilient healthcare system but also for quick access to inventions and technologies in challenging situations. To address this need, in April 2023 the Commission submitted a proposal for a regulation on compulsory licensing for crisis management. The aim is to secure the rapid deployment of patent-protected inventions in times of crisis or emergency, without eroding patent protection as an incentive to innovate. The proposal lays down rules and procedures ...