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Domaine politique
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Ten opportunities for Europe post-coronavirus: Exploring potential for progress in EU policy-making

29-07-2020

Whilst much commentary and analysis has understandably been focused on reaction to, and mitigation of, the immediate impact of the coronavirus crisis in Europe and worldwide, relatively little attention has been paid to areas of potential opportunity which the crisis may offer to improve policy for the future. This EPRS analysis looks at ten areas which may offer potential for progress, including working more closely together on health policy, using climate action to promote a sustainable recovery ...

Whilst much commentary and analysis has understandably been focused on reaction to, and mitigation of, the immediate impact of the coronavirus crisis in Europe and worldwide, relatively little attention has been paid to areas of potential opportunity which the crisis may offer to improve policy for the future. This EPRS analysis looks at ten areas which may offer potential for progress, including working more closely together on health policy, using climate action to promote a sustainable recovery, re-thinking the world of work, future-proofing education, harnessing e commerce and championing European values and multilateralism.

Road and rail transport and coronavirus: Mapping the way out of the crisis

27-07-2020

In the first weeks of the coronavirus crisis, the lockdown and border closures halted most passenger services in road and rail transport and left road hauliers to face uncertainty and very long waiting times at many border crossings. With the pandemic easing, some passenger services resumed in certain EU countries from late April onward, and with the introduction of 'green lanes' the situation at border crossings stabilised allowing smoother passage for road hauliers. Nonetheless, the initial estimates ...

In the first weeks of the coronavirus crisis, the lockdown and border closures halted most passenger services in road and rail transport and left road hauliers to face uncertainty and very long waiting times at many border crossings. With the pandemic easing, some passenger services resumed in certain EU countries from late April onward, and with the introduction of 'green lanes' the situation at border crossings stabilised allowing smoother passage for road hauliers. Nonetheless, the initial estimates of the costs to the transport sector are immense and the impact is expected to continue well beyond 2020. The EU took a number of steps in the early stages of the crisis to alleviate the situation and to provide relief to the transport sector. As the situation progressed, the European Commission introduced further measures to help coordinate the exit from confinement and safely restart transport services. The Commission has also tabled a European recovery plan with a number of new instruments, which will allow the provision of assistance to key sectors, including the transport sector. The European Council reached a political agreement on the recovery fund on 21 July. To support their economies, EU governments have introduced a number of economy-wide measures, but also sector-specific measures, including for transport and tourism, as well as support for individual transport companies. The Commission has further enabled governments to use State aid to help firms in difficulty by putting in place a temporary framework for State aid.

Towards a revision of the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive

14-07-2020

In the December 2019 European Green Deal communication, which aims to reboot the EU's efforts to tackle challenges related to climate change and the environment, the European Commission proposed to review the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive. The Directive was adopted in 2014 to encourage the development of alternative fuel filling stations and charging points in EU countries, and required Member States to put in place development plans for alternative fuels infrastructure. However, according ...

In the December 2019 European Green Deal communication, which aims to reboot the EU's efforts to tackle challenges related to climate change and the environment, the European Commission proposed to review the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive. The Directive was adopted in 2014 to encourage the development of alternative fuel filling stations and charging points in EU countries, and required Member States to put in place development plans for alternative fuels infrastructure. However, according to a 2017 Commission evaluation, the plans did not provide sufficient certainty for fully developing the alternative fuels infrastructure network, and development has been uneven across the EU. Car-makers and alternative fuels producers, clean energy campaigners and the European Parliament have called for the revision of the Directive, to ensure that sufficient infrastructure is in place in line with efforts to reduce emissions in the transport sector and to help meet the climate and environment goals set out in the Paris Agreement and the Green Deal. On 27 May 2020, in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Commission proposed the recovery plan for Europe in which it puts even greater focus on developing alternative fuel infrastructure, electric vehicles, hydrogen technology and renewable energy, repeating its intention to review the 2014 Directive.

EU tourism sector during the coronavirus crisis

10-07-2020

Tourism in the European Union (EU) is one of the sectors hardest hit by the coronavirus crisis, with some parts of the sector and some regions more affected than others. Most tourist facilities were closed during the peak of the crisis, and events cancelled or postponed. Tourism businesses are also among the last to resume activities, and even if they do, they still have to apply strict health protocols and containment measures, meaning that they can operate only at restricted capacity. The Organisation ...

Tourism in the European Union (EU) is one of the sectors hardest hit by the coronavirus crisis, with some parts of the sector and some regions more affected than others. Most tourist facilities were closed during the peak of the crisis, and events cancelled or postponed. Tourism businesses are also among the last to resume activities, and even if they do, they still have to apply strict health protocols and containment measures, meaning that they can operate only at restricted capacity. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development estimates that tourism will decline 60-80 % this year, depending on the length of the health crisis and on the pace of recovery. While aviation, cruise lines, hotels and restaurants are among the most affected, cycle tourism is becoming more popular during the recovery phase. An increasing number of tourists prefer domestic destinations, areas of natural value, active travel and avoiding overcrowded destinations, at least in the short-term. However, some changes might become permanent, such as the rise in purchasing tourism services online or the greater attention paid to hygiene and healthy living. At the peak of the pandemic, most EU countries introduced temporary border controls and measures restricting free movement across the EU. However, the strictness and timeline of these measures varied greatly from one country to another. Recently, many EU destinations have started to lift national confinement and quarantine measures, including restrictions on travel. By 15 June 2020, most EU countries had opened their borders to EU travellers and had begun to plan to open borders to travellers from certain third countries as of 1 July 2020. The EU has acted to support the tourism sector, whether by temporarily changing EU rules, helping to interpret current rules or by providing much-needed financial support. The European Commission helped to repatriate EU travellers. On 13 May 2020, the Commission adopted a comprehensive package of non-legislative measures for the tourism and transport sector, with the aim of helping EU countries to gradually lift travel restrictions and allow tourism and transport businesses to reopen. The Council and the European Parliament have, in general, welcomed the package, while making further suggestions on how to help the sector.

Access to the occupation of road transport operator and to the international road haulage market

07-07-2020

The regulations on admission to the occupation of road transport operator and on access to the international road transport market have been contributing to the functioning of EU road transport and fairer competition between resident and non-resident hauliers since December 2011. Despite the improvements they have brought to the sector, persistent shortcomings such as diverging national application of the rules and uneven enforcement called for a revision of both acts. On 31 May 2017, as part of ...

The regulations on admission to the occupation of road transport operator and on access to the international road transport market have been contributing to the functioning of EU road transport and fairer competition between resident and non-resident hauliers since December 2011. Despite the improvements they have brought to the sector, persistent shortcomings such as diverging national application of the rules and uneven enforcement called for a revision of both acts. On 31 May 2017, as part of a 'mobility package', the European Commission adopted a new proposal to address the main shortcomings affecting the sector, and improve its competitiveness and efficiency. In June 2018, Parliament's Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) adopted its report. After further debates and procedural developments, Parliament adopted its first-reading position on 4 April 2019. The Council, on its side, reached a general approach on this proposal in December 2018, under the Austrian Presidency. After four negotiating rounds, the Council and Parliament reached a provisional agreement on the proposal on 12 December 2019, which was approved by Coreper on 20 December. The Council formally adopted its first-reading position on 7 April 2020, and the TRAN committee recommended on 8 June that Parliament approve it at second reading. The agreed text is thus due to be voted in plenary in July at second reading. If adopted, this would put an end to three years of debate on a complex and controversial proposal. Sixth edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Road transport: Enforcement and special provisions for posted workers

07-07-2020

The EU has established a range of social measures applicable to the road transport sector, which aim at improving drivers' working conditions, road safety and competition. To give real substance to these measures, compliance is key. The 2006 Enforcement Directive was therefore adopted to effectively implement the social provisions of the Driving Time Regulation. The present proposal, published in the context of the European Commission's 2017 'Europe on the move' initiative, seeks to remedy some shortcomings ...

The EU has established a range of social measures applicable to the road transport sector, which aim at improving drivers' working conditions, road safety and competition. To give real substance to these measures, compliance is key. The 2006 Enforcement Directive was therefore adopted to effectively implement the social provisions of the Driving Time Regulation. The present proposal, published in the context of the European Commission's 2017 'Europe on the move' initiative, seeks to remedy some shortcomings of the Enforcement Directive, such as non-uniform implementation. Additionally, it puts forward specific rules on the posting of workers in the road sector, to respond to concerns raised regarding the inadequacy of the Posting of Workers Directive, when applied to the road transport sector. The European Parliament's Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) adopted its report in June 2018. After further debates and procedural developments, the Parliament adopted its first-reading position on 4 April 2019. The Council agreed a general approach in December 2018, under the Austrian Presidency. After four rounds of negotiations, Parliament and Council reached provisional agreement on the proposal on 12 December 2019, subsequently approved by Coreper on 20 December. The Council formally adopted its first-reading position on 7 April 2020, and on 8 June the TRAN committee recommended Parliament approve it at second reading. The agreed text thus returns to plenary in July for a final vote at second reading. Its adoption would put an end to three years of debate on a complex and controversial proposal. Sixth edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Road transport: Driving, breaks, rest times and tachographs

07-07-2020

The Driving Time and Tachograph Regulations were adopted to improve drivers' working conditions and road safety, as well as to enhance compliance with the rules, and competition between road operators. In the context of the European Commission's 2017 'Europe on the move' package, the present proposal aims to remedy the shortcomings of these regulations, on which a broad consensus has emerged: lack of clarity, non-uniform implementation, insufficient enforcement and a need for strengthened cooperation ...

The Driving Time and Tachograph Regulations were adopted to improve drivers' working conditions and road safety, as well as to enhance compliance with the rules, and competition between road operators. In the context of the European Commission's 2017 'Europe on the move' package, the present proposal aims to remedy the shortcomings of these regulations, on which a broad consensus has emerged: lack of clarity, non-uniform implementation, insufficient enforcement and a need for strengthened cooperation between Member States and authorities. In June 2018, Parliament's Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) adopted its report. After further debate and procedural developments, Parliament adopted its first-reading position on 4 April 2019. The Council, on its side, reached a general approach on the proposal in December 2018, under the Austrian Presidency. After four negotiating rounds, the Council and Parliament reached a provisional agreement on the proposal on 12 December 2019, which was approved by Coreper on 20 December. The Council formally adopted its first-reading position on 7 April 2020, and on 8 June the TRAN committee recommended approving it at second reading. The agreed text thus now returns to plenary for a vote at second reading in July. If adopted, this would put an end to three years of debate on a complex and controversial proposal. Sixth edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Transports routiers : règles sociales et règles du marché

06-07-2020

Parallèlement à la libéralisation des transports et à la mise en place du marché intérieur dans le secteur des transports, l’UE a adopté des mesures sociales et des règles du marché. Le 31 mai 2017, pour renforcer ces mesures dans le secteur du transport de marchandises par route, la Commission européenne a adopté un ensemble de trois propositions législatives sur les temps de conduite et de repos, le détachement de conducteurs et l’accès à la profession et le cabotage, dans le cadre du train de ...

Parallèlement à la libéralisation des transports et à la mise en place du marché intérieur dans le secteur des transports, l’UE a adopté des mesures sociales et des règles du marché. Le 31 mai 2017, pour renforcer ces mesures dans le secteur du transport de marchandises par route, la Commission européenne a adopté un ensemble de trois propositions législatives sur les temps de conduite et de repos, le détachement de conducteurs et l’accès à la profession et le cabotage, dans le cadre du train de mesures «L’Europe en mouvement». Le Parlement européen devrait procéder au vote en deuxième lecture, pendant la période de session de juillet, sur un ensemble de textes convenus avec le Conseil pendant le trilogue. Au terme de trois années d’intenses négociations, leur adoption se traduirait par des améliorations des conditions de travail et de repos des chauffeurs routiers, une meilleure application des règles et une concurrence plus loyale entre opérateurs de transport routier.

Connecting Europe Facility 2021-2027: Financing key EU infrastructure networks

17-06-2020

The EU supports the development of high-performing, sustainable and interconnected trans-European networks in the areas of transport, energy and digital infrastructure. It set up the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) as a dedicated financing instrument for the 2014-2020 period, to channel EU funding into the development of infrastructure networks, help eliminate market failures and attract further investment from the public and private sectors. Following a mid-term evaluation, the European Commission ...

The EU supports the development of high-performing, sustainable and interconnected trans-European networks in the areas of transport, energy and digital infrastructure. It set up the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) as a dedicated financing instrument for the 2014-2020 period, to channel EU funding into the development of infrastructure networks, help eliminate market failures and attract further investment from the public and private sectors. Following a mid-term evaluation, the European Commission proposed to renew the programme under the next long term EU budget. Negotiations between the Council and the European Parliament on the content of the proposal reached a partial provisional agreement, leaving aside the budget section and the questions relating to third countries. The agreement was approved by EU ambassadors and adopted by the Parliament at first reading on 17 April 2019. Discussions in the Council on the EU's 2021-2027 budget resumed when the Finnish Presidency of the Council published its ‘negotiating box’ in December 2019 and then with the proposal put forward in February 2020 by the President of the European Council, Charles Michel. However, Member States have not yet reached an agreement. In reaction to the coronavirus crisis and to the demand of the European Council, the Commission proposed an EU recovery fund and the adjusted Multiannual Financial Framework on 27 May 2020, also modifying the amounts to be allocated to the 2021-2027 CEF programme. Fourth edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Tourisme et transports en 2020 et au-delà

11-06-2020

Le 13 mai 2020, la Commission européenne a publié une communication intitulée «Tourisme et transport en 2020 et au-delà», accompagnée d’un ensemble de trois séries d’orientations et d’une recommandation visant à aider les États membres à lever progressivement les restrictions en matière de voyages et à permettre aux entreprises touristiques et de transport de rouvrir en toute sécurité, tout en respectant les précautions nécessaires en matière de santé et de sécurité. Cette question sera à l’ordre ...

Le 13 mai 2020, la Commission européenne a publié une communication intitulée «Tourisme et transport en 2020 et au-delà», accompagnée d’un ensemble de trois séries d’orientations et d’une recommandation visant à aider les États membres à lever progressivement les restrictions en matière de voyages et à permettre aux entreprises touristiques et de transport de rouvrir en toute sécurité, tout en respectant les précautions nécessaires en matière de santé et de sécurité. Cette question sera à l’ordre du jour de la session plénière du Parlement en juin.

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