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New European Commission communication on Better Regulation: Joining forces to make better laws

28-05-2021

Better Regulation ensures that EU policies and laws are prepared in an open, transparent manner, informed by the best available evidence and backed by comprehensive stakeholder involvement so that they achieve their objectives at minimum cost. It is a dynamic agenda that has gradually evolved in the European Commission since the early 2000s. Today's Better Regulation agenda covers the whole policy cycle. It was shaped under the Juncker Commission presidency, which formally declared it a priority, ...

Better Regulation ensures that EU policies and laws are prepared in an open, transparent manner, informed by the best available evidence and backed by comprehensive stakeholder involvement so that they achieve their objectives at minimum cost. It is a dynamic agenda that has gradually evolved in the European Commission since the early 2000s. Today's Better Regulation agenda covers the whole policy cycle. It was shaped under the Juncker Commission presidency, which formally declared it a priority, with the aim of strengthening the effectiveness, transparency and accountability of its actions across all policy areas. The comprehensive Better Regulation package of 2015 presented a strategy, guidelines and a toolbox, and established the Regulatory Scrutiny Board as the Commission's regulatory oversight body. It also paved the way for the Interinstitutional Agreement on Better Law-Making (IIA-BLM) concluded by the Commission, Parliament and Council in April 2016, and which, inter alia, defines their respective roles and responsibilities in the regulatory process. Following a revision in 2017, the Commission took stock of the Better Regulation agenda in 2019, concluding that in a post-fact world, evidence-based policy-making remains an imperative. The long-awaited new Commission communication, adopted on 29 April 2021, draws lessons from the Better Regulation stocktaking review. At the same time, it sets out a policy-making framework that aims at supporting post-crisis recovery and the twin digital and green transformation, in line with the Commission's intention to advance the Better Regulation agenda further, with 'future-proof legislation that can stand the test of time'.

Updating the EU regulatory framework for batteries

21-05-2021

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 10 December 2020 and referred to the European Parliament's Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO). The proposal seeks to update the EU's legislative framework for batteries as laid out in Directive 2006/66/EC (the Batteries Directive), whose objective is 'to minimise the negative impact of batteries ...

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 10 December 2020 and referred to the European Parliament's Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO). The proposal seeks to update the EU's legislative framework for batteries as laid out in Directive 2006/66/EC (the Batteries Directive), whose objective is 'to minimise the negative impact of batteries and waste batteries on the environment, to help protect, preserve and improve the quality of the environment and to ensure the smooth functioning of the internal market' (IA, p. 10). With its proposal, the Commission intends to ensure that the existing framework could contribute to the ultimate objective of achieving an economy with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions (i.e. climate neutrality) by 2050, in line with the Commission communication on the European Green Deal, COM(2019) 640. In addition, the proposal aims to contribute to environmental protection, by stimulating investments in the production of batteries with a minimised environmental impact over their life cycle.

Trans-European energy infrastructure guidelines: Updating the current framework

26-04-2021

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 December 2020 and referred to Parliament's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE). The proposal seeks to amend Regulation (EU) No 347/2013 on guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure (TEN E) with a view to ensure that the existing framework is consistent with, and contributes to, the new 2030 EU ...

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 December 2020 and referred to Parliament's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE). The proposal seeks to amend Regulation (EU) No 347/2013 on guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure (TEN E) with a view to ensure that the existing framework is consistent with, and contributes to, the new 2030 EU climate target, set out in COM(2020) 562, commonly known as the 2030 EU climate target plan, with the ultimate objective of achieving an economy with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions (i.e. climate neutrality) by 2050, and in line with the Commission communication on the European Green Deal, COM(2019) 640.

EU climate action policy: Responding to the global emergency

18-03-2021

The European Green Deal aims to make the European Union climate-neutral by 2050, a target supported by all EU institutions. With this objective, the EU takes a leading role in addressing the global climate emergency. Achieving the climate-neutrality goal requires massive investment and an unprecedented transformation of all sectors of the economy. This study explains the physical basis of climate change and highlights its expected impacts on the EU. To give an overview of EU and international climate ...

The European Green Deal aims to make the European Union climate-neutral by 2050, a target supported by all EU institutions. With this objective, the EU takes a leading role in addressing the global climate emergency. Achieving the climate-neutrality goal requires massive investment and an unprecedented transformation of all sectors of the economy. This study explains the physical basis of climate change and highlights its expected impacts on the EU. To give an overview of EU and international climate policies, it outlines international climate agreements, EU climate action and the climate policies of major economies. It assesses the coherence of EU climate policy with other policy areas, and presents the financing of EU climate action through the EU budget and other instruments. To assess the implications of the climate neutrality objective, the study analysis the challenges and opportunities for the EU economy and its impacts on issues such as international relations, migration, trade, consumers and health . The final chapter addresses the issues facing European decision-makers and the outlook for European and global climate action in the context of the coronavirus pandemic.

Protection of workers from exposure to carcinogens or mutagens: Fourth proposal

30-11-2020

The impact assessment (IA) defines clearly the problem and its underlying drivers. The IA considers a wide range of options, and those retained for further assessment appear to be reasonable and/or justified. However, the IA would have benefited from providing greater clarity on those components that were either included in (short-term exposure limit values) or excluded (biological limit values) from the preferred options. The analysis of impacts focuses on their economic and social dimension, mainly ...

The impact assessment (IA) defines clearly the problem and its underlying drivers. The IA considers a wide range of options, and those retained for further assessment appear to be reasonable and/or justified. However, the IA would have benefited from providing greater clarity on those components that were either included in (short-term exposure limit values) or excluded (biological limit values) from the preferred options. The analysis of impacts focuses on their economic and social dimension, mainly linked to health. Environmental impacts are found to be limited or small but positive, but the analysis could have been substantiated more thoroughly. A cost-benefit analysis of the transitional occupational exposure limit values included in the preferred options was not performed. Stakeholders' opinions have been satisfactorily reported. Finally, the IA appears to have addressed most of the RSB's recommendations and the legislative proposal seems to be consistent with the analysis carried out in the IA.

European Commission work programme 2021

25-11-2020

This briefing, which focuses on legislative initiatives only, is intended as a background overview for parliamentary committees (and their respective secretariats) which are planning their activities in relation to the European Commission work programme for 2021 (CWP 2021), adopted on 19 October 2020. It provides an overview of the CWP 2021 with regard to its structure and key aspects, and includes information on two types of EPRS publications that might be of interest to the relevant committees ...

This briefing, which focuses on legislative initiatives only, is intended as a background overview for parliamentary committees (and their respective secretariats) which are planning their activities in relation to the European Commission work programme for 2021 (CWP 2021), adopted on 19 October 2020. It provides an overview of the CWP 2021 with regard to its structure and key aspects, and includes information on two types of EPRS publications that might be of interest to the relevant committees in their consideration of the upcoming legislative proposals: initial appraisals of Commission impact assessments (provided by the Ex-Ante Impact Assessment Unit, IMPA) and implementation appraisals (provided by the Ex-Post Evaluation Unit, EVAL). The annex to the briefing provides, inter alia, a tentative indication of the committee concerned by the 82 legislative files included in the CWP 2021.

Adjusted European Commission work programme 2020

20-07-2020

The European Commission presented its work programme for 2020 in January. Shortly after however, the Covid-19 pandemic happened, forcing the Commission to focus its efforts on the immediate crisis management. This led to the need to recalibrate and adjust the original Commission Work Programme - this adjusted CWP was presented at the end of May. This briefing provides and overview and analysis of the main changes between the original / January CWP 2020, and the adjusted / May CWP.

The European Commission presented its work programme for 2020 in January. Shortly after however, the Covid-19 pandemic happened, forcing the Commission to focus its efforts on the immediate crisis management. This led to the need to recalibrate and adjust the original Commission Work Programme - this adjusted CWP was presented at the end of May. This briefing provides and overview and analysis of the main changes between the original / January CWP 2020, and the adjusted / May CWP.

European Commission Work Programme for 2020

11-02-2020

This briefing is intended as a background overview for parliamentary committees planning their activities in relation to the European Commission's 2020 work programme (CWP 2020). It offers a brief description of the work programme's content and of related publications provided by the Ex-Ante Impact Assessment Unit (IMPA) and the Ex-Post Evaluation Unit (EVAL) of the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), in particular initial appraisals of Commission impact assessments and implementation ...

This briefing is intended as a background overview for parliamentary committees planning their activities in relation to the European Commission's 2020 work programme (CWP 2020). It offers a brief description of the work programme's content and of related publications provided by the Ex-Ante Impact Assessment Unit (IMPA) and the Ex-Post Evaluation Unit (EVAL) of the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), in particular initial appraisals of Commission impact assessments and implementation appraisals.

Revision of the EU system for monitoring, reporting and verifying CO2 emissions from ships

18-10-2019

This initial appraisal assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment accompanying its proposals to revise the EU system to monitor, report, and verify CO2 emissions from ships, established by Regulation (EU) 2015/757. The proposal envisages aligning partially the EU system with the system adopted by the International Maritime Organization to monitor and report ship's fuel oil consumption. While the IA clearly identifies the problem – to facilitate the simultaneous ...

This initial appraisal assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment accompanying its proposals to revise the EU system to monitor, report, and verify CO2 emissions from ships, established by Regulation (EU) 2015/757. The proposal envisages aligning partially the EU system with the system adopted by the International Maritime Organization to monitor and report ship's fuel oil consumption. While the IA clearly identifies the problem – to facilitate the simultaneous application of the EU and IMO systems – its evolution could have been substantiated further. The general objectives identified by the IA are not entirely consistent with the manner in which the problem was defined; furthermore, there are no specific objectives, contrary to the requirements of the Better Regulation guidelines. The operational objective identified is not defined in operational terms. The only two options considered for further assessment, in addition to the baseline, do not appear to be substantially very different from each other, with the third option even being judged artificial by the Commission’s Regulatory Scrutiny Board. Moreover, the IA does not appear to have succeeded in structuring these two options convincingly. The analysis regarding the impacts of the identified options is very succinct. The Commission consulted a wide range of stakeholders, whose views were satisfactorily reported in the IA and were taken into account when considering the policy options. Overall, the IA appears to have taken on board most of the RSB's recommendations. However, the final revision of the IA report does not appear to have quantified the cost savings of the preferred option, as demanded by the RSB, and still contains Option 3, which the RSB had recommended to discard. As the IA does not explain how it has addressed the Board's suggestion regarding Option 3, it is unclear whether any changes were made to it or it was left untouched. Finally, the legislative proposal seems to be substantially consistent with the analysis carried out in the IA.

An EU framework to facilitate investments in environmentally sustainable economic activities

12-04-2019

This initial appraisal assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment accompanying its proposals for three regulations on: establishing a framework to facilitate sustainable investment disclosures relating to sustainable investments and sustainability risks; and on introducing two new categories of carbon benchmarks in the (benchmark) Regulation (EU) 2016/1011. The legislative package on sustainable finance deals with technical and inherently complex issues; ...

This initial appraisal assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment accompanying its proposals for three regulations on: establishing a framework to facilitate sustainable investment disclosures relating to sustainable investments and sustainability risks; and on introducing two new categories of carbon benchmarks in the (benchmark) Regulation (EU) 2016/1011. The legislative package on sustainable finance deals with technical and inherently complex issues; it is therefore not surprising that the IA accompanying it reflects such a complexity, which is not always dealt with in a clear and immediately understandable way. This might also explain the double negative opinions, unusually followed in this case by a positive opinion with reservations issued by the Commission's Regulatory Scrutiny Board (RSB). The consequences of the two identified problems (lack of incentives to consider ESG factors and high search costs faced by end-investors), and how they would evolve without EU action, are described in a satisfactory way, as well as their underlying drivers. As required, the IA identifies general and specific objectives, but no operational objectives that would have informed about how the preferred options are expected to operate in practice. This is very likely due to the fact the operational aspects of the proposals are envisaged to be defined, and analytically developed, by subsequent delegated acts. The IA's preferred options are selected after considering both a non-legislative and a regulatory approach, although two of them contains some aspects that are not entirely clear. As regards its scope, the IA has only partially succeeded in explaining the impacts considered in an entirely satisfactory way. The IA does not include an analysis of competitiveness nor an analysis of impacts, if any, on SMEs. The evidence included in the IA provides ample and detailed insights into the issues considered and some methodological limitations, regarding the proposal on low carbon and positive carbon impact benchmarks are acknowledged in the IA. The Commission has consulted extensively a broad range of stakeholders, whose views have been satisfactorily reported in the IA or in a separate document containing the results of the second open public consultation. Overall, the IA appears to have addressed the majority of the improvements requested by the RSB. Finally, the legislative proposals seem to be consistent with the analysis carried out in the IA.

Imeachtaí atá ar na bacáin

16-06-2021
Public hearing on “Future of EU-UK fisheries relations after Brexit”
Éisteacht -
PECH
16-06-2021
FISC meets with Finance Committee of the Assemblée nationale
Imeacht eile -
FISC
16-06-2021
Joint Hearing on "How to treat farmers in a fair and equal manner across the EU"
Éisteacht -
PETI AGRI

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