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Technical Support Instrument

10-11-2020

On 28 May 2020, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation on a Technical Support Instrument that would provide Member States with technical support to strengthen their institutional and administrative capacity in designing and implementing reforms. In the context of the 'Next Generation EU' recovery plan, it would support them to prepare and implement recovery and resilience plans, and make reforms and investments related to the green and digital transitions. Modelled on an instrument ...

On 28 May 2020, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation on a Technical Support Instrument that would provide Member States with technical support to strengthen their institutional and administrative capacity in designing and implementing reforms. In the context of the 'Next Generation EU' recovery plan, it would support them to prepare and implement recovery and resilience plans, and make reforms and investments related to the green and digital transitions. Modelled on an instrument proposed by the Commission in 2018, the Technical Support Instrument would replace the Structural Reform Support Programme that has helped implement over 1 000 reform projects in the Member States since 2017. Under the current Commission proposal, a budget of €864.4 million has been set aside for the instrument over the 2021-2027 period (by contrast, the Structural Reform Support Programme has a budget of €222.8 million for 2017-2020). The Council of the EU agreed its position on 22 July 2020. At the European Parliament, the Committee on Budgets (BUDG) and the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) are working jointly on this file under Rule 58 of the Parliament's Rules of Procedure. On 1 October 2020, the joint committee adopted its final report and decided to enter into interinstitutional negotiations. The Parliament confirmed the decision in its first October plenary session. First edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

How to provide political guidance to the Recovery and Resilience Facility?

14-10-2020

The Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) constitutes an unprecedented EU-wide resource to address the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the EU economies. As the governance of the RRF is integrated in the European Semester, it fundamentally changes its character from a non-binding structure for policy coordination to a vehicle for the allocation of a major economic impetus. In light of this, this paper analyses the ways that parliamentary control and oversight of the RRF can be best secured at the ...

The Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) constitutes an unprecedented EU-wide resource to address the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the EU economies. As the governance of the RRF is integrated in the European Semester, it fundamentally changes its character from a non-binding structure for policy coordination to a vehicle for the allocation of a major economic impetus. In light of this, this paper analyses the ways that parliamentary control and oversight of the RRF can be best secured at the EU-level.

Údar seachtarach

Ben CRUM

Negotiations on the next MFF and the EU recovery instrument: Key issues ahead of the July European Council

15-07-2020

The current multiannual financial framework (MFF), also known as the EU's long-term budget, comes to an end this year. While the European Commission put forward a proposal for the next MFF and its financing in May 2018, agreement has so far proved elusive under legislative procedures that give a veto power to each Member State. In recent months, the unfinished negotiations have become intertwined with the debate on the creation of a common EU tool to counter the severe socio-economic consequences ...

The current multiannual financial framework (MFF), also known as the EU's long-term budget, comes to an end this year. While the European Commission put forward a proposal for the next MFF and its financing in May 2018, agreement has so far proved elusive under legislative procedures that give a veto power to each Member State. In recent months, the unfinished negotiations have become intertwined with the debate on the creation of a common EU tool to counter the severe socio-economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. In May 2020, the Commission tabled revised proposals for a 2021-2027 MFF worth €1 100 billion and the EU own resources system, together with a proposal for a €750 billion recovery instrument, Next Generation EU (NGEU). The latter would be financed with funds borrowed on the capital markets to reinforce EU budgetary instruments in the 2021-2024 period. In addition, an amendment to the current MFF would provide a bridging solution to fund some recovery objectives this year already. The complex negotiations, which involve many different legislative procedures, are now entering a key phase. Issues expected to be under the spotlight include: the size of the MFF and of the NGEU and their interaction; reform of the financing system with the possible creation of new EU own resources; the breakdown of allocations (between policies and Member States); the contribution to the green transition; conditionalities (such as rules linking EU spending to the rule of law or to challenges identified in the European Semester); flexibility provisions to react to unforeseen events; the mix of grants and loans in the recovery instrument; and the repayment of funds borrowed under NGEU. European Council President Charles Michel has prepared a compromise package ahead of the July European Council meeting. If the Heads of State or Government find a political agreement, the next step will involve negotiations between Parliament and Council, since the former's consent is required in order for the MFF Regulation to be adopted. Parliament, which has been ready to negotiate on the basis of a detailed position since November 2018, is a strong advocate of a robust MFF and an ambitious recovery plan. It has stressed that it will not give its consent if the package does not include reform of the EU financing system, introducing new EU own resources.

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.

China: Economic indicators and trade with EU

03-12-2019

China's economy is slowing from past two-digit growth rates to a 'new normal' growth rate of 'only' 6.5% on average under the current five-year plan (2016-2020). To what extent does this slowdown affect China's public finances and other macroeconomic indicators? How has EU trade with China developed during the last decade? How important is the EU for China in terms of trade? And what about China's trade relevance for the EU? Has the huge trade imbalance in goods trade between China and the EU narrowed ...

China's economy is slowing from past two-digit growth rates to a 'new normal' growth rate of 'only' 6.5% on average under the current five-year plan (2016-2020). To what extent does this slowdown affect China's public finances and other macroeconomic indicators? How has EU trade with China developed during the last decade? How important is the EU for China in terms of trade? And what about China's trade relevance for the EU? Has the huge trade imbalance in goods trade between China and the EU narrowed in recent years? How intensive is trade in services between the EU and China? What are the EU's main export items to China? How does China's export basket look like? You can find the answers to these and other questions in our EPRS publication on China produced in collaboration with the European University Institute's GlobalStat on the world's main economies. This is an updated edition of an ‘At a Glance’ note published in October 2018.

A new neighbourhood, development and international cooperation instrument

29-11-2019

In the context of the Commission's proposal for a multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the 2021-2027 period, on 14 June 2018 the Commission published a proposal for a regulation establishing the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI), with a proposed budget of €89.2 billion (in current prices). Parliament adopted its first-reading position in plenary on 27 March 2019. MEPs agreed to accept a single instrument, but called for a stronger role for Parliament ...

In the context of the Commission's proposal for a multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the 2021-2027 period, on 14 June 2018 the Commission published a proposal for a regulation establishing the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI), with a proposed budget of €89.2 billion (in current prices). Parliament adopted its first-reading position in plenary on 27 March 2019. MEPs agreed to accept a single instrument, but called for a stronger role for Parliament on secondary policy choices, through delegated acts, and for the budget for the instrument to be increased by nearly €4 billion, to €93.154 billion. MEPs also specifically called for an increase in the funds allocated to human rights and democracy activities, the percentage of funding that fulfils the criteria for official development assistance, and funds that support climate and environmental objectives. Moreover, Parliament's amendments include the introduction of gender mainstreaming targets, the earmarking of certain financial allocations, the suspension of assistance in case of human rights violations, and the reduction of the emerging challenges and priorities cushion to €7 billion. The Council adopted a partial mandate on 13 June 2019, and an additional mandate – on the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD+) – on 25 September 2019. Following the committees' decision of 8 October 2019 to enter into interinstitutional negotiations on the basis of Parliament's first-reading position, a first trilogue meeting took place on 23 October 2019. The second is scheduled for 5 December 2019. Fourth edition. The 'Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Financing EU external action in the new MFF, 2021-2027: Heading 6 'Neighbourhood and the World'

13-11-2019

In May 2018, the European Commission published its proposals for the new multiannual financial framework (MFF), the EU's seven-year budget for the 2021-2027 period, followed by proposals for the MFF's individual sectoral programmes. In the proposals, financing external action is covered under Heading 6, 'Neighbourhood and the World', which replaces the current Heading 4, 'Global Europe'. Taking into account the evolving context both internationally and within the EU, as well as the conclusions of ...

In May 2018, the European Commission published its proposals for the new multiannual financial framework (MFF), the EU's seven-year budget for the 2021-2027 period, followed by proposals for the MFF's individual sectoral programmes. In the proposals, financing external action is covered under Heading 6, 'Neighbourhood and the World', which replaces the current Heading 4, 'Global Europe'. Taking into account the evolving context both internationally and within the EU, as well as the conclusions of the current MFF's mid-term review, the Commission has proposed changes to the EU external action budget in order to make it simpler and more flexible, and to enable the EU to engage more strategically with its partner countries in the future. The proposed Heading 6 comes with increased resources and important structural changes. It envisages merging the majority of the current stand-alone external financing instruments into a single one – the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) – as well as integrating into it the biggest EU external financing fund – the European Development Fund – currently outside the budget. Another proposed novelty is to set up an off-budget instrument – the European Peace Facility – to fund security and defence-related actions. With these changes, the Commission strives to take into account, among other things, the need for the EU to align its actions with its new and renewed international commitments under the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, the Paris Climate Agreement, the new EU Global Strategy, the European Consensus on Development, the European Neighbourhood Policy, and to make EU added value, relevance and credibility more visible. Negotiations on the 2021-2027 MFF are under way. The final decision is to be taken by the Council, acting by unanimity, with the European Parliament's consent. However, in view of current political realities and the financial implications of the UK's withdrawal from the EU, the adoption of a modern budget for the future remains a challenge that is not limited to Heading 6. Further developments are expected by the end of 2019.

Financial instruments in cohesion policy

30-09-2019

Considered a resource-efficient way of using public funding, the use of financial instruments in cohesion policy is increasing. Financial instruments provide support for investment in the form of loans, guarantees, equity and other risk-sharing mechanisms. In the 2014-2020 programming period, financial instruments can be applied in all thematic areas and funds covered by cohesion policy, and they can be combined with grants. The amounts allocated are expected to double in comparison to the previous ...

Considered a resource-efficient way of using public funding, the use of financial instruments in cohesion policy is increasing. Financial instruments provide support for investment in the form of loans, guarantees, equity and other risk-sharing mechanisms. In the 2014-2020 programming period, financial instruments can be applied in all thematic areas and funds covered by cohesion policy, and they can be combined with grants. The amounts allocated are expected to double in comparison to the previous period. The lessons learnt so far from the implementation of financial instruments show that they present both advantages and challenges. Their revolving nature can increase the efficiency and sustainability of public funds in the long term. The requirement to repay can stimulate better performance and quality of investment projects. They can improve access to finance, through targeting financially viable projects that have not been able to obtain sufficient funding from market sources. However, financial instruments can also entail high management costs and fees, as well as complex set-up procedures. Although financial instruments may be a beneficial way to optimise the use of the cohesion budget, in some situations grants can be more effective. It is also important to bear in mind that the primary goal of financial instruments is to support cohesion policy objectives, rather than just to generate financial returns. The new legislative proposals on the post-2020 cohesion policy framework have taken these considerations into account, simplifying the use of financial instruments. This is an updated edition of a 2016 Briefing.

India: Economic indicators and trade with EU

30-09-2019

At the beginning of the century, the EU and India were growing exactly at the same path: how about today? Who is the main trade partner of India: China or the EU? And would you ever think that the EU exports to India pearls and precious stones more than electronic equipment? And how much is it easy to do business in New Delhi? Find the answers to these and many more questions in our EPRS publication on ‘India: Economic indicators and trade with EU’, part of a series of infographics produced in collaboration ...

At the beginning of the century, the EU and India were growing exactly at the same path: how about today? Who is the main trade partner of India: China or the EU? And would you ever think that the EU exports to India pearls and precious stones more than electronic equipment? And how much is it easy to do business in New Delhi? Find the answers to these and many more questions in our EPRS publication on ‘India: Economic indicators and trade with EU’, part of a series of infographics produced in collaboration with the European University Institute's GlobalStat on the world's main economies. This is an updated edition of an ‘At a Glance’ note published in July 2016.

Reform Support Programme 2021-2027

13-03-2019

The European Commission adopted the proposal on the establishment of the Reform Support Programme on 31 May 2018, as part of the package for the upcoming multiannual financial framework for 2021-2027. The programme will provide financial and technical support for Member States to implement reforms aimed at increasing the resilience of their economies and modernising them, including priority reforms identified in the European Semester. The overall budget for the programme is €25 billion. It comprises ...

The European Commission adopted the proposal on the establishment of the Reform Support Programme on 31 May 2018, as part of the package for the upcoming multiannual financial framework for 2021-2027. The programme will provide financial and technical support for Member States to implement reforms aimed at increasing the resilience of their economies and modernising them, including priority reforms identified in the European Semester. The overall budget for the programme is €25 billion. It comprises three elements: a reform delivery tool (financial support); a Technical Support Instrument (technical expertise, building on the current Structural Reform Support Programme 2017-2020); and a convergence facility (preparation for adopting the euro). The Reform Support Programme will be open to all Member States on a voluntary basis, with no co-financing required. In the European Parliament, the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) and Committee on Budgets (BUDG) are working jointly on this file under Rule 55 of Parliament's Rules of Procedure. A vote in the joint committee meeting is expected on 1 April 2019, with a vote in plenary thereafter, during the second April 2019 part-session. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

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