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European gender equality strategy and binding pay transparency measures - Pre-legislative synthesis of national, regional and local positions on the European Commission's initiatives

26-11-2020

This briefing forms part of an EPRS series offering syntheses of the pre-legislative state of play and consultation on key European Commission priorities during the current five-year term. It summarises the state of affairs in the relevant policy field, examines how existing policy is working on the ground, and, where possible, identifies best practice and ideas for the future on the part of governmental organisations at all levels of European system of multi-level governance. EPRS analysis of the ...

This briefing forms part of an EPRS series offering syntheses of the pre-legislative state of play and consultation on key European Commission priorities during the current five-year term. It summarises the state of affairs in the relevant policy field, examines how existing policy is working on the ground, and, where possible, identifies best practice and ideas for the future on the part of governmental organisations at all levels of European system of multi-level governance. EPRS analysis of the positions of partner organisations at European, national, regional and local levels suggests that they would like the following main considerations to be reflected in discussion of gender equality and the forthcoming Commission proposal on binding pay transparency measures: * Input obtained from all levels of governance indicates that both gender equality and pay transparency measures require an effective combination of long- and short-term measures and legislative and non-legislative initiatives. There is a need expressed by the EU level for EU legislation covering certain aspects of violence against women. If the EU's accession to the Istanbul Convention remains blocked, an EU initiative could aim to achieve convention's main objectives. According to the European Parliament, an EU legislative initiative should also address cross-border aspects, including human trafficking and cyber-violence. Local, regional and national governmental organisations show good practice in non-legislative measures, such as helplines, counselling services and shelters for women. * When it comes to gender equality at work, a long-term perspective focused on changing harmful gender stereotypes could usefully be combined with short-term measures to ensure a good work-life balance, according to obtained input. Governmental organisations at local and regional levels show good practice in both of these areas. When it comes to binding pay transparency measures, there is broad support for an EU initiative from national governmental organisations. * All levels of government are in agreement on the importance of gender mainstreaming, for example in the budgetary processes, in order to take account of the different needs of men and women. The European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) has produced a useful toolkit for applying gender perspective to EU funds. * There are also calls from various parts of the EU system of multi-level governance to improve the availability of gender-disaggregated data in the EU.

European Institute of Innovation and Technology and its Strategic Innovation Agenda, 2021-2027

12-12-2019

The main objective of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) is to stimulate and support innovation and competitiveness in Europe. In this light, it is regrettable that the impacts on SMEs, competitiveness, or territorial impacts are not discussed in the impact assessment. The budget of the EIT under Horizon 2021-2027 proposal is EUR 3 billion. As most innovation activities managed by EIT take place in 5 countries only, improved regional outreach is one of the objectives of this ...

The main objective of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) is to stimulate and support innovation and competitiveness in Europe. In this light, it is regrettable that the impacts on SMEs, competitiveness, or territorial impacts are not discussed in the impact assessment. The budget of the EIT under Horizon 2021-2027 proposal is EUR 3 billion. As most innovation activities managed by EIT take place in 5 countries only, improved regional outreach is one of the objectives of this initiative. New activity - HEInnovate - is proposed to support entrepreneurial and innovation capacity of universities.

European Maritime and Fisheries Fund 2021-2027

21-01-2019

The 2021-2027 European Maritime and Fisheries Fund is the major financial tool supporting the EU common fisheries policy (CFP). The new EMFF is focused “on evolution rather than radical changes” - and is supposed to be simpler and more flexible for the stakeholders involved. The notes on quality, research and analysis of the impact assessment concluded that the range of options, the scope and analysis of impacts, and the stakeholder consultation seem to be not always in line with the Better Regulation ...

The 2021-2027 European Maritime and Fisheries Fund is the major financial tool supporting the EU common fisheries policy (CFP). The new EMFF is focused “on evolution rather than radical changes” - and is supposed to be simpler and more flexible for the stakeholders involved. The notes on quality, research and analysis of the impact assessment concluded that the range of options, the scope and analysis of impacts, and the stakeholder consultation seem to be not always in line with the Better Regulation Guidelines for financial programmes.

Erasmus 2021-2027

15-11-2018

The focus of the new Erasmus programme 2021-2027 is on inclusiveness and on better reach of young people with fewer opportunities. The priorities and action steps of the new programme are described in the impact assessment in detail, however, no description is given on the actual operation of these actions in practice.

The focus of the new Erasmus programme 2021-2027 is on inclusiveness and on better reach of young people with fewer opportunities. The priorities and action steps of the new programme are described in the impact assessment in detail, however, no description is given on the actual operation of these actions in practice.

Revision of the Explosives Precursors Regulation

10-07-2018

Explosives precursors can be found in various chemical products used by consumers, general professional users, and industrial users, for example, in detergents, fertilisers, special fuels, lubricants and greases, water treatment chemicals. They can be used by terrorists to produce home-made explosives (HME). In April 2018 the European Commission put forward a proposal for a new regulation, accompanied by an impact assessment (IA) and an evaluation, which have been performed at the same time. The ...

Explosives precursors can be found in various chemical products used by consumers, general professional users, and industrial users, for example, in detergents, fertilisers, special fuels, lubricants and greases, water treatment chemicals. They can be used by terrorists to produce home-made explosives (HME). In April 2018 the European Commission put forward a proposal for a new regulation, accompanied by an impact assessment (IA) and an evaluation, which have been performed at the same time. The IA has attempted to provide a rather detailed, albeit mainly qualitative, analysis of the various types of impacts, disregarding some limitations to obtain data, such as a risk of exposing vulnerabilities in Member States and of jeopardising ongoing investigations and prosecutions. The IA notes that many SMEs are not part of the EU level industry associations, which have been consulted while drafting the ex-post evaluation. A question arises if the SMEs have been targeted at the stakeholder consultation in any other way, which appears not to be the case. The public consultation took less than 12 weeks, which is not in line with the Better Regulation Guidelines.

Multi-annual plan for western Mediterranean demersal fisheries

13-06-2018

The development of a multiannual plan as the preferred policy choice seems rather pre-determined, as such plans are a priority measure for the sustainable management of fish stocks under the current CFP. The description of the impacts of the options provides certain quantitative data. However, not enough details are given in the impact assessment on the financial impacts on the fishermen and the fleets, including broken-down information per country, or on ancillary jobs, such as servicing the vessels ...

The development of a multiannual plan as the preferred policy choice seems rather pre-determined, as such plans are a priority measure for the sustainable management of fish stocks under the current CFP. The description of the impacts of the options provides certain quantitative data. However, not enough details are given in the impact assessment on the financial impacts on the fishermen and the fleets, including broken-down information per country, or on ancillary jobs, such as servicing the vessels or sale of fish. The Regulatory Scrutiny Board also criticises the impact assessment for the lack of a dedicated territorial impact assessment. A more detailed and thorough analysis of the impacts on SMEs would have benefited the analysis, as the majority of the fishing sector in the fishing areas covered by this proposal is SMEs.

Clean Vehicles Directive

22-03-2018

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above-mentioned proposal, adopted on 8 November 2017 and referred to the Parliament's Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI). The proposal aims to increase the market uptake of clean – low- and zero-emission — vehicles in the context of public procurement operations, thus contributing to reduction of transport emissions, as well ...

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above-mentioned proposal, adopted on 8 November 2017 and referred to the Parliament's Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI). The proposal aims to increase the market uptake of clean – low- and zero-emission — vehicles in the context of public procurement operations, thus contributing to reduction of transport emissions, as well as stimulating competitiveness and growth in the transport sector (explanatory memorandum of the proposal, p. 3).

Import of cultural goods

19-12-2017

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above proposal, adopted on 13 July 2017 and now under discussion in Parliament and Council. The proposal aims to prevent the import and storage in the EU of cultural goods illicitly exported from a third country, in order to reduce trafficking in cultural goods, combat terrorism financing and protect cultural heritage, especially archaeological objects ...

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above proposal, adopted on 13 July 2017 and now under discussion in Parliament and Council. The proposal aims to prevent the import and storage in the EU of cultural goods illicitly exported from a third country, in order to reduce trafficking in cultural goods, combat terrorism financing and protect cultural heritage, especially archaeological objects in source countries affected by armed conflict (explanatory memorandum of the proposal, p. 3). The market for antiques, ancient art and collectibles of older age constitutes 24 % of the global legal art and antiques market. The European market share accounts for 35 % of this global market, with the UK in the lead with 24 % (due to its large auction houses), followed by Switzerland (6 %), France (5 %), Germany (3 %), and Austria, Spain and the Netherlands (each around 0.5% respectively). Based on Eurostat figures, the estimated annual value of imports of classical antiquities and ancient art declared to EU customs may be around €3.7 billion per year (IA, p. 10). The IA explains that the current Common Nomenclature tariff heading (9705) used for import of antiquities and ancient art objects is rather broad, including also a variety of other goods of interest to collectors, making it difficult to estimate the total EU imports of cultural goods (IA, p. 10). Regarding the illicit trade of cultural goods, there are numerous underlying factors, which cannot be changed by this initiative, according to the IA (p. 11). These include, for example, poverty and military conflicts prevalent in many regions rich in cultural heritage sites, technological progress in various digging tools (such as metal-detectors, power drills, explosives), the market demand for such objects, mostly concentrated in Europe and North America, as well as cross-border transaction and e-commerce (IA, pp. 11-12). Estimates show that 80-90 % of global antiquities sales are of goods with illicit origin, and these sales are worth US$3 to 6 billion annually (IA, p. 12). The illicit sales of cultural goods often stem from terrorist activities and serve as a means to finance terrorism (IA, p. 14). For example, the Islamist profit from illicit trade in antiquities and archaeological treasures is estimated at US$150-200 million (IA, p. 15).

Audiovisual Media Services

23-09-2016

The background information, studies, and evidence base used in drafting the IA are vast and comprehensive; however, a lot of valuable information is added in the annexes, whereas it could have been more usefully included in the development of options offered and in the assessment of their impacts accordingly. The IA presents the problem and its drivers in a clear and understandable way, with numerous examples and statistics to illustrate the current situation. The objectives are also very clear and ...

The background information, studies, and evidence base used in drafting the IA are vast and comprehensive; however, a lot of valuable information is added in the annexes, whereas it could have been more usefully included in the development of options offered and in the assessment of their impacts accordingly. The IA presents the problem and its drivers in a clear and understandable way, with numerous examples and statistics to illustrate the current situation. The objectives are also very clear and in line with the problems identified. However, the IA could have examined a broader range of options to choose from, notably as regards the minor protection issue, as this is a crucial problem that is likely to worsen considering the growing popularity of video-sharing platforms among minors, as stated in the IA. The overall coherence of the IA suffers from some inaccuracy and inconsistencies, which, at times, makes it difficult to gauge the impacts of the proposal.

Fisheries technical measures

06-06-2016

The main strengths of the IA are its use of wide-ranging and apparently sound information from the external studies, meetings and consultations, as well as the cogent presentation of the stakeholder views and the results of the public consultation throughout the report. The IA appears to be well-illustrated by examples; however, they do not always facilitate a better understanding of the current issues due to their sometimes inconsistent and rather confusing presentation. The analysis of the various ...

The main strengths of the IA are its use of wide-ranging and apparently sound information from the external studies, meetings and consultations, as well as the cogent presentation of the stakeholder views and the results of the public consultation throughout the report. The IA appears to be well-illustrated by examples; however, they do not always facilitate a better understanding of the current issues due to their sometimes inconsistent and rather confusing presentation. The analysis of the various impacts on stakeholders and fishing regions is rather weak. In particular, the analysis of impacts on SMEs is brief, qualitative and very general, and might have merited a more in-depth approach. It is unclear why Options 1 and 2.1 were retained for further analysis since it is claimed that they would only have a limited contribution to solving the problems of enforcement of the technical measures. A more detailed analysis is provided for Option 2, which is the preferred option, in comparison to the other options, which might suggest that the apparent choice of options is not as broad as it may appear. Finally, the IA could have given greater insight into how the remaining technical measures regulations and the Commission acts would be affected in practice as a result of this proposal.     

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