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This study provides an overview of the EFSD+, a core part of the NDICI-Global Europe Instrument. The study situates the EFSD+ in the context of previous EU experiences with the use of blended finance and guarantees to address external action objectives, focusing on the EIB’s External Lending Mandate (ELM) and the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD). The study examines key challenges related to the accountability and performance of these instruments to inform oversight of EFSD+ implementation ...

Social Economy in Spain

Briefing 08-02-2022

The concept of the "social economy" has gained attention and momentum in recent years although the degree of recognition varies largely from one Member State to another.Spain is an example where the social economy benefits from wide recognition. It is the first European country to enact a law on the social economy concept in 2011. In view of the EMPL delegation visit to Madrid, this briefing elaborates first on the concept applied in the SEAP - presented by the Commission on 9 December 2021 - and ...

At least one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations (UN) will be missed in 2030 – SDG 2 – 'zero hunger' – also endangering the accomplishment of the rest of the SDG goals under Agenda 2030. Hunger and malnutrition are rising dramatically across the world, a trend aggravated by the pandemic. In 2020, 811 million people in the world were facing hunger, the highest level since 2014, and 3 billion people were without access to a healthy diet. The fight against hunger ...

On 21 September 2021, the Commission published its proposal for a new EU scheme of generalised preferences. Two of the current scheme’s three components are due to expire at the end of 2023, which would deprive developing countries of a vital opportunity to trade under preferential terms with the EU. Therefore, renewing the scheme appears to be both a necessity and an opportunity to strengthen its conditionality in the light of lessons learned and the increased urgency for dealing with the climate ...

Given the vast potential for renewable electricity generation, the production of renewable hydrogen is a promising option for the hard-to-decarbonise energy-intensive industry sectors. A growing hydrogen sector will also result in job creation and economic growth while fostering innovation and reducing pollution. The European Commission published its Hydrogen Strategy in 2020 with the aim of boosting hydrogen use in the EU while promoting the uptake of renewable hydrogen production. Recent activities ...

This Briefing forms part of an EPRS series which offers a synthesis of the pre-legislative state-of-play and advance consultation on a range of key European Commission priorities during the latter's five-year term in office. It seeks to summarise the state of affairs in the relevant policy field, examine how existing policy is working on the ground, and identify best practice and ideas for the future on the part of governmental organisations at all levels of European system of multilevel governance ...

In this study we analyse the provisions of the EU-Mercosur trade agreement (EUMETA) in its form presented by the European Commission. Our analysis covers the potential macroeconomic effects of the agreement that are based on the analysis of the extent of trade liberalisation through the lens of a computable general simulation model, as well as more detailed analysis of trade structure, tariff structure, non-tariff protection and the trade-related provisions of the agreement including trade in services ...

Sustainability-related provisions are a key part of international trade negotiations. Since the free trade agreement (FTA) signed with South Korea in 2009, EU trade deals each include dedicated trade and sustainable development (TSD) chapters encompassing issues such as environment, labour rights, climate change and responsible business conduct. In an effort to step up implementation and enforcement of these chapters, in 2018 the Commission published a non-paper setting out a 15-point action plan ...

The level playing-field (LPF) provisions of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) between the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK) constitute a key part of the agreement, and are the product of some of the more challenging issues in the negotiations. The LPF provisions seek to safeguard fair competition between the parties. A notable component are the rules on social provisions, labour, environment and climate change, often referred to as the 'trade and sustainable development' (TSD ...

European green bond standard

Briefing 21-10-2021

The IA assesses elements to be added to the 2019 TEG report on a European Green Bond Standard (EU-GBS). The range of options is therefore limited to these additional aspects and does not cover the entire set of rules for green bonds. The IA is based on reliable internal and external research, international data and several stakeholder consultations. While the definition of the objectives could have been more specific, the problem analysis and the assessment of options are overall logical and thorough ...