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Outcome of the special European Council meeting, 1-2 October 2020

05-10-2020

The European Council meeting of 1-2 October 2020 was largely dedicated to external relations. EU leaders discussed a wide range of foreign policy issues, including relations with China, Nagorno-Karabakh and the Navalny poisoning attempt. Particular attention was paid to the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean, with EU leaders extending an offer to cooperate with Turkey – provided the current path to dialogue was maintained – while envisaging all options otherwise. On Belarus, the leaders agreed ...

The European Council meeting of 1-2 October 2020 was largely dedicated to external relations. EU leaders discussed a wide range of foreign policy issues, including relations with China, Nagorno-Karabakh and the Navalny poisoning attempt. Particular attention was paid to the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean, with EU leaders extending an offer to cooperate with Turkey – provided the current path to dialogue was maintained – while envisaging all options otherwise. On Belarus, the leaders agreed on restrictive measures against officials responsible for repression and election falsification. Also on the agenda were the single market, industrial policy and digital transformation, notably in the context of EU strategic autonomy. There was also an in-depth discussion on coordination of the coronavirus pandemic response. Finally, the President presented the new Leaders' Agenda 2020-21, foreseeing the main topics for discussion up to June 2021.

Trade and Economic relations between the EU and the GCC countries

06-12-2017

The EU and the six member countries of the GCC have started negotiations for an FTA long ago, in 1990, suspended since 2008. Meanwhile, GCC countries, suffering from the drop in oil price since mid-2014, have engaged in extremely ambitious economic programmes for the diversification of their economies too dependent on hydrocarbons. Within the institutional economic dialogue set between the EU and the GCC countries, the European parliament offered its diplomacy to organise this conference in order ...

The EU and the six member countries of the GCC have started negotiations for an FTA long ago, in 1990, suspended since 2008. Meanwhile, GCC countries, suffering from the drop in oil price since mid-2014, have engaged in extremely ambitious economic programmes for the diversification of their economies too dependent on hydrocarbons. Within the institutional economic dialogue set between the EU and the GCC countries, the European parliament offered its diplomacy to organise this conference in order to bring EU businesses closer to GCC institutional. Academic speakers, EU and GCC institutional as much as EU experienced companies praised for partnership instead of competition. This workshop opens the door to further initiatives of economic diplomacy by the European parliament.

Külső szerző

Oliver CORNOCK, Managing Editor for the Middle East at the Oxford Business Group, UK. Dr Jean-François SEZNEC, Professor for the Middle East and Gulf region at Georgetown and SAIS Universities in Washington, US.

EU summer-time arrangements under Directive 2000/84/EC: Ex-post Impact Assessment

25-10-2017

The purpose of summer time is to capitalise on natural daylight. By turning the clock one hour forward as the days get longer in spring, sunset is delayed by this same hour, until the clock is set back again in autumn. This practice is applied in over 60 countries worldwide. In the EU, Member States draw on a long tradition of daylight saving time (DST), and many have developed their own DST schemes. Harmonisation attempts began in the 1970s, to facilitate the effective operation of the internal ...

The purpose of summer time is to capitalise on natural daylight. By turning the clock one hour forward as the days get longer in spring, sunset is delayed by this same hour, until the clock is set back again in autumn. This practice is applied in over 60 countries worldwide. In the EU, Member States draw on a long tradition of daylight saving time (DST), and many have developed their own DST schemes. Harmonisation attempts began in the 1970s, to facilitate the effective operation of the internal market. Today, the uniform EU-wide application of DST is governed by Directive 2000/84/EC; most European third countries have aligned their summer-time schemes with that of the EU. Much academic research has been invested in examining the benefits and inconveniences of DST. It appears that: - summer time benefits the internal market (notably the transport sector) and outdoor leisure activities, and it also generates marginal savings in energy consumption; - the impact on other economic sectors remains largely inconclusive; - with regard to inconveniences, health research associates DST with disruption to the human biorhythm ('circadian rhythm').

Foreign direct investment screening: A debate in light of China-EU FDI flows

17-05-2017

In 2016, the flow of Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) into the EU hit record levels, in sharp contrast to the continued decline in EU FDI flows to China. Chinese FDI was mainly driven by market-seeking and strategic asset-seeking motives and focused on big EU economies, targeting cutting-edge technologies in particular. In 2016, a number of Chinese proposals for transactions in strategic sectors came under scrutiny during security reviews at EU Member-State level. Some were delayed, and some ...

In 2016, the flow of Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) into the EU hit record levels, in sharp contrast to the continued decline in EU FDI flows to China. Chinese FDI was mainly driven by market-seeking and strategic asset-seeking motives and focused on big EU economies, targeting cutting-edge technologies in particular. In 2016, a number of Chinese proposals for transactions in strategic sectors came under scrutiny during security reviews at EU Member-State level. Some were delayed, and some were ultimately withdrawn by the Chinese investors. In this context, new challenges going beyond national security have emerged in terms of economic security. Such challenges may arise from alleged 'unfair competition' from China, which the current regulatory framework seems unable to address. This has sparked a debate about whether the patchwork of different mechanisms for screening FDI on national security grounds currently in place in nearly half of the EU Member States, coupled with the scrutiny of mergers and acquisitions under EU competition rules, are adequate regulatory tools for tackling the perceived new challenges. It also raises the question of whether the Member States' diverging approaches should be upgraded, better coordinated or even replaced by a new consistent FDI screening mechanism at EU level. Australia, Canada, Japan and the USA operate FDI screening mechanisms, which the EU could use as sources of reference but not emulate entirely. The use of these screening mechanisms for, and their deterrence effect on, Chinese investors in a growing protectionist climate is, however, likely to have an impact on the EU.

The Juncker Commission's ten priorities: State of play at the start of 2017

12-01-2017

This publication provides an overview of the work done by the European Commission under the first two work programmes of Jean-Claude Juncker's presidency, and more specifically an update of the initiatives taken in the framework of the ten priority areas for action. The in-depth analysis draws on a wide range of publications by EPRS, and updates a previous edition 'The Juncker Commission's ten priorities: State of play in mid-2016', published in May last year. It has been compiled and edited by Isabelle ...

This publication provides an overview of the work done by the European Commission under the first two work programmes of Jean-Claude Juncker's presidency, and more specifically an update of the initiatives taken in the framework of the ten priority areas for action. The in-depth analysis draws on a wide range of publications by EPRS, and updates a previous edition 'The Juncker Commission's ten priorities: State of play in mid-2016', published in May last year. It has been compiled and edited by Isabelle Gaudeul-Ehrhart with contributions and support from across the Members' Research Service and the Directorate for Impact Assessment and European Added Value of EPRS, in particular from the following policy analysts: Piotr Bakowski, Angelos Delivorias, Gregor Erbach, Elena Lazarou, Tambiana Madiega, Anita Orav, Laura Puccio, Christian Scheinert, Andrej Stuchlik, Marcin Szczepanski, Laura Tilindyte and Sofija Voronova. The graphics are by Giulio Sabbati, and are derived from the 'Legislative Trains' application, recently launched by Parliament to track progress on the Commission's legislative proposals. As the European Commission, under its President, Jean-Claude Juncker, begins the implementation of its 2017 work programme, this publication seeks to provide an updated overview of the work already done in each of its ten priority areas since the Commission took office. Moreover, as this Commission approaches the midway point of its mandate, it is of growing interest regularly to assess progress towards the targets that the Commission has set itself, and to identify areas in which difficulties have been, or are being, encountered.

Solar Energy Policy in the EU and the Member States, from the Perspective of the Petitions Received

10-06-2016

Upon request by the PETI Committee, the Policy Department on Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs commissioned the present study in order to assess a series of petitions received in relation to solar energy policies in Member States and their compatibility with EU laws and policies. The petitions examined raise three main concerns, i.e. policy risk in support systems, self-consumption and industrial policy in EU Member States, notably Spain, Belgium, Germany and Italy. The analysis concludes ...

Upon request by the PETI Committee, the Policy Department on Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs commissioned the present study in order to assess a series of petitions received in relation to solar energy policies in Member States and their compatibility with EU laws and policies. The petitions examined raise three main concerns, i.e. policy risk in support systems, self-consumption and industrial policy in EU Member States, notably Spain, Belgium, Germany and Italy. The analysis concludes that renewables’ support policies should be stable and avoid frequent or retro-active changes; that the regulated extension of self-consumption is accompanied by measures to ensure that “prosumers” contribute to financing grid costs and other costs; and that industrial policy for renewables is stable and predictable.

Külső szerző

Jenny WINKLER and Mario RAGAWITZ (Fraunhofer ISI)

Regional Integration in the Mediterranean - Impact and Limits of Community and Bilateral Policies

25-04-2014

The economic integration of the south and east Mediterranean partner countries with Europe has made very little progress, just as relations between them are not showing signs of development. The immediate periphery of the Union has not yet become a dynamic area of trade with Europe, and Community aid, which is focused on the commercial aspects, has not managed to stimulate sufficient economic growth in its neighbours to absorb new entrants on to the labour market. This lack of regional economic dynamism ...

The economic integration of the south and east Mediterranean partner countries with Europe has made very little progress, just as relations between them are not showing signs of development. The immediate periphery of the Union has not yet become a dynamic area of trade with Europe, and Community aid, which is focused on the commercial aspects, has not managed to stimulate sufficient economic growth in its neighbours to absorb new entrants on to the labour market. This lack of regional economic dynamism is in contrast with the intensity of human relations which has developed over a long period due to the presence of an essentially North African and Turkish diaspora in Europe and the North-South tourist traffic to the Mediterranean, which are undervalued. While the Arab revolutions are a reminder that the movement of ideas and people goes hand in hand with a greater homogeneity of lifestyles and aspirations from a democratic and social viewpoint, little has been done in a Euro- Mediterranean context to encourage this movement, particularly from a social and political standpoint. We should therefore redirect the priorities of European aid from a commercial emphasis to a truly industrial policy and set out a politicial and social priority for the region.

Külső szerző

Cécile JOLLY (Commissariat général à la stratégie et à la prospective, sous l'Office du Premier ministre, France)

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