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More flexible VAT rates

Briefing 26-09-2022

Value added tax (VAT) is an important source of revenue for national governments and the European Union (EU) budget and, from an economic point of view, a very efficient consumption tax. However, the rules governing value added tax as applied to intra-Community trade are almost 30 years old and the current common EU VAT system is both complicated and vulnerable to fraud. Businesses doing cross-border trade face high compliance costs and the administrative burden of national tax administrations is ...

The assignment of a claim refers to a situation where a creditor (the assignor) transfers the right to claim a debt from the debtor to another person (the assignee) who then becomes a creditor vis-a-vis the debtor (replacing in this role the original creditor). This mechanism is used by companies to obtain liquidity and access credit. At the moment, there is no legal certainty as to which national law applies when determining who owns a claim after it has been assigned in a cross-border case. The ...

Data act

Briefing 14-07-2022

This briefing provides an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the Commission proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on harmonised rules on fair access to and use of data (data act), submitted on 23 February 2022 and referred to the European Parliament's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE). The IA explains that the data act 'complements the two other major instruments shaping ...

This briefing provides an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above-mentioned proposal, adopted on 15 February 2022 and referred to the European Parliament's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE). The proposal, which is included in the 2022 Commission work programme (see Annex I – New initiatives) and in the EU Legislative Priorities for 2022 (see the Commission's working document), seeks to establish a ...

This briefing provides an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above-mentioned proposal, submitted on 30 March 2022 and referred to the European Parliament's Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI). The proposal aims to repeal the Ecodesign Directive 2009/125/EC, which establishes a framework for adopting product-specific requirements set out in implementing measures (usually regulations) by the ...

The IA is based on solid internal and external sources, in particular several ESMA review reports, and stakeholder consultations. However, the definitions of both the problems and the objectives lack consistency and coherence, as the lines between problems, their drivers and consequences are blurred and objectives seem to overlap (and shift). This weakens the IA's intervention logic. The policy options presented to tackle the problems are assessed against two baseline scenarios, which is unusual. ...

After two negative opinions from the Commission's Regulatory Scrutiny Board and without making adaptations in the IA itself after the second negative opinion, the Commission adjusted its legislative proposal: the legislative framework for new buildings would conform largely to the preferred PO3 ('High ambition I'), while changes for existing buildings would conform broadly to PO2 ('Medium ambition'). The IA analyses the problem, the problem drivers and the likely impacts of the proposed policy options ...

The Network and Information Security (NIS) Directive is the first piece of EU-wide legislation on cybersecurity, and its specific aim was to achieve a high common level of cybersecurity across the Member States. While it increased the Member States' cybersecurity capabilities, its implementation proved difficult, resulting in fragmentation at different levels across the internal market. To respond to the growing threats posed with digitalisation and the surge in cyber-attacks, the Commission has ...

The IA provides a qualitative and quantitative assessment, which is based on the evaluation of the existing ITS Directive, the external supporting study, extensive stakeholder consultations, and various data sources. The IA informs openly about uncertainties and limitations in the analysis, for instance regarding estimates of administrative costs. The problem definition would have benefited from a further description of the expected consequences and evolution of the problem, and it would have been ...

The IA clearly identifies the problem that needs to be addressed and details the problem drivers. Furthermore, the IA discusses the evolution of the problem if the EU were to take no action. The IA relates the objectives with the problem/problem drivers in a supported manner. The options for the different policy areas to tackle appear to be sufficient and justified against the objectives. The assessment of the options retained for their economic, environmental and social impacts is thorough, but ...