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The six Western Balkan countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo,* Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia) are all countries with substantial economic catch-up potential. The EU-led Berlin Process estimated an annual investment need of some €7.7 billion, which would provide the region with an additional 1 % GDP growth and a positive employment effect of up to 200 000 people. However, quality investments are scarce, or often attached to political, environmental and social conditionalities ...

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 ...

Modernisation of the Energy Charter Treaty

Lühitutvustus 22-04-2022

The European Commission is currently negotiating a revision of the 1994 Energy Charter Treaty (ECT). This revision would, inter alia, reform the ECT's investor–state dispute resolution mechanisms and explicitly allow countries to take regulatory actions affecting existing investments, for reasons such as environmental protection or climate action. The overarching objective is to ensure that the ECT is modernised in a way that would avoid the EU and its Member States deciding to withdraw from the ...

The data in this infographic illustrate the extent of trade between the EU and Russia in the years up to the latter launching its war on Ukraine, as well as the state of Russia’s economy more generally in the same period. This is an update of an infographic originally drafted by Martin Russell and Giulio Sabbati in May 2016.

During its first March plenary session, Parliament is expected to vote on a report on citizenship and residence by investment schemes. The report calls on the Commission to submit legislative proposals to phase out citizenship schemes and regulate residence schemes, and makes multiple specific proposals to that end.

The Lisbon Treaty entered into force in 2009, providing the European Union (EU) with exclusive competence in the area of 'direct investment', as part of the common commercial policy. This covers the conclusion of international investment agreements (IIAs), which typically aim to protect and/or liberalise foreign direct investment. Since then, the EU has ratified protection IIAs (or provisions in trade agreements) with Canada, Singapore and Vietnam. Early on, concerns were raised as to the specific ...

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

Stepping up EU cooperation with Taiwan

Lühitutvustus 13-10-2021

Since its political transition began in the 1980s, Taiwan has become a vibrant democracy and has also joined the ranks of high-income countries. Economic relations between the EU and Taiwan are flourishing, as illustrated by the fact that the EU is Taiwan's most important source of foreign direct investment. The European Parliament has repeatedly called for the EU to take the first steps towards a bilateral investment agreement. During its October II plenary session, Parliament is expected to debate ...

The EU has helped shape an international economic system based on openness and fair competition. Over the past few years, the benefits of this approach have come under pressure from foreign trade practices which undermine the principle of recip¬rocal treatment. In particular, this is the case with subsidies granted by non-EU governments and protected public procurement markets. This in-depth analysis reviews the state of play of EU policy action on foreign subsidies and in public pro¬curement markets ...

Foreign interference has become a major security threat for democracies. The European Union (EU) provides no exception and, in the last few years, has significantly stepped up its efforts to counter this threat. A specific type of foreign interference is the foreign funding of political parties. At the national level, regulations banning or limiting foreign funding are currently in place in most member states, but there is still significant variation across them. At the EU level, the recent reforms ...