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The EU has the world's largest carbon-pricing system, the emissions trading system (ETS). Emissions pricing can encourage industrial decarbonisation, but it also risks carbon leakage, whereby EU companies move their production abroad. To date, the EU has mitigated this risk through free allocations to certain industries, but with rising climate ambition and higher carbon prices, the Commission is now seeking to phase out free allocations. A new carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) would also ...

Public financing of enterprises, which has been on the rise globally, can have a distortive effect on competitive markets. In response to this trend, in May 2021 the European Commission published a proposal for a regulation to tackle foreign subsidies with a distortive effect on the EU single market. It would enable the Commission to investigate subsidies granted by non-EU public authorities to companies operating on the single market, and to apply countervailing measures, should these subsidies ...

The current Machinery Directive (Directive 2006/42/EC) was designed to allow the free movement of machinery within the internal market, while ensuring a high level of user health and safety. To reduce the occurrence of accidents, it promotes the inherently safe design and construction of machinery, and proper installation and maintenance. On 21 April 2021, the Commission put forward a proposal for a regulation on machinery products, as part of a wider 'artificial intelligence package'. The need for ...

As part of the 'Fit for 55' package, the Commission proposed a revision to the EU's emissions trading system (ETS) as regards carbon dioxide emissions from aviation. The proposal seeks to ensure that the sector contributes to the EU's climate targets through increased auctioning of allowances, with an end to free allowances from 2027, and by applying the linear reduction of aviation allowances. The proposal would also integrate, into the revised ETS, the International Civil Aviation Organization's ...

The proposal to revise the market stability reserve (MSR) for the EU emissions trading system (ETS) consists of prolonging its current parameters. Under the current rules, the intake rate of allowances to the MSR and the minimum allowances placed in the reserve have been doubled until the end of 2023, to allow for a quick removal of surplus EU ETS allowances. The proposal is aimed at maintaining the current doubled intake rate (24 %) and minimum number of allowances placed in the reserve (200 million ...

General product safety regulation

Briefing 08-02-2023

On 28 November 2022, the European Parliament and the Council reached a political agreement on the proposal for a general product safety regulation. The co-legislators are now expected to adopt the agreed text formally, to allow the new regulation to come into force. The proposed regulation would replace the current General Product Safety Directive. It seeks to address the product safety challenges of emerging technologies, including use of artificial intelligence (AI) and connected devices, and to ...

On 19 July 2022, the Commission put forward a proposal for a regulation establishing the European defence industry reinforcement through common procurement act (EDIRPA). On 1 December 2022, the Council adopted its general approach. On 18 January 2023, the rapporteurs from the AFET and ITRE joint committee published their draft report. EDIRPA is a short-term joint defence procurement instrument worth €500 million. It seeks to address the most urgent and critical defence capability gaps and to incentivise ...

On 23 November 2022, the European Parliament and the Council signed the directive amending the 2014 Radio Equipment Directive, with the aim of mandating a common charger for mobile phones and a number of other small portable devices. The amended directive, proposed by the European Commission on 23 September 2021, will require electronic devices to be equipped with a USB Type C receptacle and to incorporate the USB Power Delivery communication protocol. A separate initiative on the eco-design of external ...

Political advertising is central to informing and influencing how people vote, and may affect citizens' perceptions of the legitimacy of their own political system, particularly when published in the run-up to elections. Rules governing political advertising are therefore key to guaranteeing citizens' fundamental rights and the integrity of democratic processes. Rules governing political propaganda during electoral periods are naturally therefore a focal point of electoral law. Traditional rules ...

As a member of the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCSBT), the European Union must transpose its measures so that they apply to vessels flying the flag of an EU Member State. During the February I plenary session, Parliament is due to vote on a provisional agreement with the Council to transpose the conservation and fisheries management measures adopted by this intergovernmental organisation.