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In 2023, the EU celebrated the 30th anniversary of the single market. Recent shocks have shown not only how vulnerable to crises the single market is, but also the extent to which the EU economy relies on a well-functioning single market. It is now considered to be a key driver of EU resilience. In September 2022, the Commission put forward a single market emergency instrument (SMEI) package. It includes one main proposal for a regulation establishing a SMEI, and two accompanying proposals amending ...

On 17 November 2021, the European Commission tabled a proposal to revise EU rules on shipments of waste. The proposed regulation seeks to ease shipments of waste for reuse and recycling in the EU, to support the transition to a circular economy; ensure that waste exported from the EU is managed in an environmentally sound manner in the destination countries; and step up enforcement to counteract illegal shipments of waste. While supporting the proposed streamlining and digitalisation of procedures ...

On 15 December 2021, the Commission adopted a legislative proposal to recast the 2009 EU Gas Directive as part of the proposed hydrogen and decarbonised gas markets package. This reflects the EU's growing climate ambitions, as set out in the European Green Deal and its 'fit for 55' package. The proposal aims to support the decarbonisation of the energy sector by ramping up the production of renewable gases and hydrogen, and facilitating their integration in EU energy networks. The recast directive ...

Most products are not designed with their life cycle environmental impacts in mind, and it is difficult for consumers and economic operators to make sustainable choices when buying products. The EU still lacks an overarching legislative framework laying down rules for sustainable production and consumption of all products. Ecodesign refers to the integration of environmental sustainability considerations into the characteristics of a product, and into processes throughout its value chain. On 30 March ...

European media freedom act

Briefing 06-02-2024

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 European Union (EU), as documented in the annual rule of law reports by the European Commission, and by other tools such as the Media Pluralism Monitor. Tabled on 16 September 2022, the proposed European media freedom act (EMFA) would introduce a new set of rules to ...

On 7 November 2022, the European Commission published a proposal for a regulation on data collection and sharing relating to short-term accommodation rental services. The proposal contributes to the Commission's priority of making the EU fit for the digital age. To build a future-ready economy that works for people and builds on the recent Digital Services Act, the proposal regulates online platforms that connect hosts and guests for short-term accommodation rentals. The regulation should facilitate ...

On 27 February 2023, the European Commission published a proposal for a regulation to allow voluntary digital labelling of EU fertilising products. This initiative follows similar EU legislative initiatives establishing the digital labelling of goods in other economic sectors, such as batteries. The rationale for digital labelling is provided by the deployment of digital solutions, such as QR codes, that can lower the cost of labelling while facilitating the updating of content, and also by the increasing ...

This infographic examines some economic differences and similarities among countries of the Gulf region and the EU, like GDP growth, GDP per capita and female labour force participation rate. In terms of trade, the Gulf region stands already as an important source of oil and gas for the EU, these products contributing almost two-third of total imports of the latter from the Gulf region.

On 24 October 2023, negotiators from the Parliament and Council reached a provisional agreement on the Commission's proposal for a regulation on geographical indications for wine, spirit drinks and agricultural products. The text still has to be formally adopted by the Parliament and Council. The agreed text would bring together in a single legal document the provisions setting out the procedures for registering geographical indications (GIs) for wine, spirit drinks and agricultural products that ...

On 14 March 2023, the European Commission proposed a reform of the EU electricity market, with the aim of reducing price volatility for consumers and creating favourable conditions for investors in low-carbon energy. The reform includes two legislative proposals – one on electricity market design (EMD) and the other on protection against wholesale energy market manipulation (REMIT). The reform would improve consumer protection by offering more fixed-price contracts and enhancing supplier obligations ...