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Single market information tool (SMIT)

30-09-2020

Competition and consumer protection in the single market are often undermined by price discrimination based on residency. While many market players do not cooperate with the Commission, for instance not disclosing their pricing structure, Member States often do not have the means or the tools to collect and deliver the required information to the Commission. The SMIT proposal would provide the Commission with powers such as to request business-related information (e.g. cost structure or product volumes ...

Competition and consumer protection in the single market are often undermined by price discrimination based on residency. While many market players do not cooperate with the Commission, for instance not disclosing their pricing structure, Member States often do not have the means or the tools to collect and deliver the required information to the Commission. The SMIT proposal would provide the Commission with powers such as to request business-related information (e.g. cost structure or product volumes sold), and to address market failures in a more efficient way. The SMIT, however, has raised some criticism in the Council and EP, inter alia, because of the Commission’s choice of the legal basis for the proposal. Parliament’s Legal Service stated in an opinion that the correct legal basis for the Commission proposal is Article 337 TFEU: a legal basis which gives no legislative role for the EP. On 12 July 2018, the IMCO committee adopted a report which would amend the proposal’s legal basis. The JURI committee subsequently adopted an opinion stating that the Commission proposal goes beyond the powers available under the proposed revised legal basis. The report was initially due to be voted in plenary in October 2018, but was taken off the agenda. As the parliamentary term has concluded, the report has now lapsed. The European Commission withdrew this legislative proposal on 29 September 2020. The procedure has thus ended.

'From Farm to Fork' strategy on sustainable food

20-01-2020

The 'Farm to Fork' strategy is one of the initiatives announced in President Ursula von der Leyen's political guidelines for the new Commission, as part of the European Green Deal. It aims at creating a sustainable food value chain through legislative and non legislative actions to be presented in spring 2020.

The 'Farm to Fork' strategy is one of the initiatives announced in President Ursula von der Leyen's political guidelines for the new Commission, as part of the European Green Deal. It aims at creating a sustainable food value chain through legislative and non legislative actions to be presented in spring 2020.

Research for REGI Committee-Urban Agenda: Assessment from the European Parliament's Perspective

15-11-2019

The 2016 Pact of Amsterdam launched the Urban Agenda for the European Union. Within its framework, partnerships of urban authorities, Member States and other stakeholders have developed action plans to achieve better funding, better knowledge and better regulation for the priority theme of their partnership. This study provides an overview and critical assessment of the current state of play including the position of the European Parliament. Two partnerships, (1) Sustainable Use of Land and Nature-based ...

The 2016 Pact of Amsterdam launched the Urban Agenda for the European Union. Within its framework, partnerships of urban authorities, Member States and other stakeholders have developed action plans to achieve better funding, better knowledge and better regulation for the priority theme of their partnership. This study provides an overview and critical assessment of the current state of play including the position of the European Parliament. Two partnerships, (1) Sustainable Use of Land and Nature-based Solutions and (2) Housing, are studied in more detail.

Autor externo

TU Delft: Willem K KORTHALS ALTES, Marietta EA HAFFNER Assisted by Danielle A GROETELAERS

EU policies – Delivering for citizens: The fight against unemployment

28-06-2019

By promoting a high level of employment, the European Union (EU) has been involved in the fight against unemployment since as long ago as the early 1950s. The issue was brought to the top of the European agenda with the onset of the 2008 economic and financial crisis, and the consequent rise in unemployment rates in all European Union (EU) Member States. In its Europe 2020 strategy, the European Commission set a target to get 75 % of 20 to 64 year-olds into employment by 2020. EU labour market conditions ...

By promoting a high level of employment, the European Union (EU) has been involved in the fight against unemployment since as long ago as the early 1950s. The issue was brought to the top of the European agenda with the onset of the 2008 economic and financial crisis, and the consequent rise in unemployment rates in all European Union (EU) Member States. In its Europe 2020 strategy, the European Commission set a target to get 75 % of 20 to 64 year-olds into employment by 2020. EU labour market conditions have significantly improved in recent years, and most labour market indicators have strengthened steadily. Since mid-2013, the unemployment rate has continued to decline, and the EU is back to its pre-crisis level (6.5 % in February 2019). Despite the recovery in economic growth and its positive impact on the labour market, the EU still has to face unemployment challenges, particularly concerning differences between Member States, youth unemployment and long-term unemployment. Since 2014, efforts have been made in a number of areas, including to help young people enter the labour market, to combat long-term unemployment, upgrade skills, and facilitate workers' mobility in the European Union. The improvement in labour market indicators has been reflected in citizens' improved evaluation of the EU's involvement in the fight against unemployment, but there is still a very high demand for even more EU intervention in this policy area (76 % of EU citizens). In the future, new or updated legislation relating to employment could modernise work to help in adjustment to a digital world, support sustainable transitions from unemployment into employment and between jobs, increase labour mobility and create closer coordination between economic and social policies. This is an update of an earlier briefing issued in advance of the 2019 European elections.

Revising the European Citizens' Initiative

10-06-2019

The ECI enables European citizens to invite the Commission to table a proposal for a legal act. The detailed rules for such initiatives are laid down in a 2011 regulation, whose main stated aim is encouraging citizens' participation in the political life of the European Union (EU). However, since the regulation became applicable in April 2012, numerous actors have raised concerns regarding the instrument's functioning and have called for reform, aiming to simplify the existing procedures and increasing ...

The ECI enables European citizens to invite the Commission to table a proposal for a legal act. The detailed rules for such initiatives are laid down in a 2011 regulation, whose main stated aim is encouraging citizens' participation in the political life of the European Union (EU). However, since the regulation became applicable in April 2012, numerous actors have raised concerns regarding the instrument's functioning and have called for reform, aiming to simplify the existing procedures and increasing the tool's usability. On 13 September 2017, the Commission presented a legislative proposal which would update the tool and replace the existing regulation on the European Citizens' Initiative. Following interinstitutional negotiations between September and December 2018, the co-legislators reached provisional agreement on the proposal for revision of the ECI. The agreed text was approved by the Parliament and Council in March 2019 and published in the OJ in May 2019. The new provisions apply in full from 1 January 2020. Fourth edition of a briefing originally drafted by Laura Tilindyte. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Lessons from ESF for ESF+: Workshop summary report

28-09-2018

This briefing summarises presentations and recommendations from a workshop having been organised for the Employment and Social Affairs Committee to support its work on the new regulation. Topics include: absorption, beneficiaries' experience, fighting child poverty, institutional capacity building, the integration of FEAD and YEI.

This briefing summarises presentations and recommendations from a workshop having been organised for the Employment and Social Affairs Committee to support its work on the new regulation. Topics include: absorption, beneficiaries' experience, fighting child poverty, institutional capacity building, the integration of FEAD and YEI.

Water in Central Asia: An increasingly scarce resource

12-09-2018

While it is rich in fossil fuels and minerals, Central Asia is poor in water. However, water plays a key role in the economies of the five Central Asian countries. In mountainous Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, hydroelectricity is already a vital energy resource; new dams could also make it a major export revenue earner. Downstream, river water irrigates the cotton fields of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Heavy water use, particularly in agriculture, is putting water supplies under pressure. Central Asian ...

While it is rich in fossil fuels and minerals, Central Asia is poor in water. However, water plays a key role in the economies of the five Central Asian countries. In mountainous Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, hydroelectricity is already a vital energy resource; new dams could also make it a major export revenue earner. Downstream, river water irrigates the cotton fields of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Heavy water use, particularly in agriculture, is putting water supplies under pressure. Central Asian countries have to share limited resources fairly, while balancing the needs of upstream hydroelectricity generation and downstream agriculture. For this reason, cooperation is vital. However, competition for water has often been a source of tensions, particularly between Uzbekistan and its upstream neighbours. The situation has improved recently, now that Uzbekistan's new president has taken a more constructive approach to resolving these regional water-related problems. Water use also has many environmental implications. Soviet engineers succeeded in turning deserts into fertile farmland, but at the expense of the Aral Sea, a formerly huge inland lake that has all but dried up. Intensive agriculture is also polluting the region's rivers and soils. Leaky irrigation infrastructure and unsustainable greening projects are wasting huge amounts of water. In future, more efficient water use and closer cooperation will become increasingly necessary, as population growth and climate change pile pressure on the region's scarce water resources. The EU has made water one of the main priorities of its development aid for the region. Among other things, EU funding supports regional cooperation and improvements to water infrastructure.

Social and Employment Policies in Austria

04-07-2018

This paper describing and analysing recent developments in employment and social policies in Austria was compiled in response to the request by the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) in view of its delegation visit to Austria in early May 2018.

This paper describing and analysing recent developments in employment and social policies in Austria was compiled in response to the request by the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) in view of its delegation visit to Austria in early May 2018.

Autor externo

Michael FUCHS, Eszter ZOLYOMI,Sonila DANAJ, Anette SCOPPETTA

European Labour Authority: Structure and tools

15-06-2018

This briefing gives an overview of structures and tools connected with the “European Labour Authority”. Further, it looks at budget to be redeployed due to the planned re-organisation. The note has been prepared in the context of a Workshop on the European Labour Authority held on 24 May 2018 at request of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee.

This briefing gives an overview of structures and tools connected with the “European Labour Authority”. Further, it looks at budget to be redeployed due to the planned re-organisation. The note has been prepared in the context of a Workshop on the European Labour Authority held on 24 May 2018 at request of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee.

EYE event - Youth unemployment: The race to zero

16-05-2018

Young people in Europe are eager to move up, to work and to participate in society, but more than 3.6 million of them are in a precarious position. How can we reduce youth unemployment to close to zero within the coming years? Has Europe taken decisive action for a real crackdown?

Young people in Europe are eager to move up, to work and to participate in society, but more than 3.6 million of them are in a precarious position. How can we reduce youth unemployment to close to zero within the coming years? Has Europe taken decisive action for a real crackdown?

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