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New EU regulatory framework for batteries: Setting sustainability requirements

23-02-2021

Given the important role they play in the rollout of zero-emission mobility and the storage of intermittent renewable energy, batteries are a crucial element in the EU's transition to a climate neutral economy. Global battery demand is expected to increase 14-fold by 2030, making this market an increasingly strategic one. The proposal presented by the European Commission is designed to modernise the EU's regulatory framework for batteries in order to secure the sustainability and competitiveness ...

Given the important role they play in the rollout of zero-emission mobility and the storage of intermittent renewable energy, batteries are a crucial element in the EU's transition to a climate neutral economy. Global battery demand is expected to increase 14-fold by 2030, making this market an increasingly strategic one. The proposal presented by the European Commission is designed to modernise the EU's regulatory framework for batteries in order to secure the sustainability and competitiveness of battery value chains. It would introduce mandatory requirements on sustainability (such as carbon footprint rules, minimum recycled content, performance and durability criteria), safety and labelling for the marketing and putting into service of batteries, and requirements for end-of-life management. The proposal also includes due diligence obligations for economic operators as regards the sourcing of raw materials. The legislative process is in its early stages. In the Council, the proposal is being examined by the Working Party on the Environment. In Parliament, the file has been referred to the Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection, which appointed Antonius Manders as rapporteur.

New circular economy action plan

04-02-2021

Moving to a circular economy is key for achieving EU climate action, nature protection and sustainability ambitions, and also delivering benefits for innovation, growth and jobs. During the February session, Parliament is expected to vote on an own-initiative report on the Commission's proposed plan for more circularity.

Moving to a circular economy is key for achieving EU climate action, nature protection and sustainability ambitions, and also delivering benefits for innovation, growth and jobs. During the February session, Parliament is expected to vote on an own-initiative report on the Commission's proposed plan for more circularity.

Access to justice in environmental matters: Amending the Aarhus Regulation

03-02-2021

The European Union is party to the Aarhus Convention on access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters. The Aarhus Regulation applies the Convention's provisions to EU institutions and bodies. In 2017, the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee, reviewing implementation by the parties, found that the EU fails to comply with its obligations under Article 9, paragraphs 3 and 4 of the convention concerning access to justice by members of ...

The European Union is party to the Aarhus Convention on access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters. The Aarhus Regulation applies the Convention's provisions to EU institutions and bodies. In 2017, the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee, reviewing implementation by the parties, found that the EU fails to comply with its obligations under Article 9, paragraphs 3 and 4 of the convention concerning access to justice by members of the public. To address this non-compliance issue, on 14 October 2020 the European Commission put forward a legislative proposal to amend the Aarhus Regulation, triggering mixed reactions from stakeholders. The legislative process is ongoing. In Parliament, the file is being examined by the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety. The Council reached a general approach on the file on 17 December 2020. First edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Forest fires: Environmental stakes

19-11-2020

Covering nearly one third of the land surface of the globe, forests make a wide range of direct and indirect contributions to human well-being. Home to most of the world's terrestrial biodiversity, they also play an essential role in climate change mitigation, removing about a quarter of the CO2 that human activities add to the atmosphere. Worldwide, millions of hectares (ha) of forests and other types of vegetation burn every year. Fire dynamics are shaped by a complex set of factors, including ...

Covering nearly one third of the land surface of the globe, forests make a wide range of direct and indirect contributions to human well-being. Home to most of the world's terrestrial biodiversity, they also play an essential role in climate change mitigation, removing about a quarter of the CO2 that human activities add to the atmosphere. Worldwide, millions of hectares (ha) of forests and other types of vegetation burn every year. Fire dynamics are shaped by a complex set of factors, including human activity and climate. While a warming and drying climate increases the risk of fires, fires, by releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, contribute in turn to global warming. Forest fires that are not balanced by vegetation regrowth, i.e. fires used in the deforestation process, and fires burning on carbon-rich peatlands are of particular concern. Fires also emit air pollutants, including particulate matter, with adverse impacts on human health. Beyond emissions of particles and gases, forest fires can also affect biodiversity and ecosystem conditions, and damage soils. The European Union (EU) has committed to protecting the world's forests under several international agreements and initiatives, including the United Nations (UN) Convention on Biological Diversity and the Paris Agreement on climate change. At EU level, funding is available to support forest fire prevention and restorative measures, as well as research into fire risk management. The Union civil protection mechanism can be called upon for help by any country in the world when national response capacities to fight fires are overwhelmed. Under the European Green Deal, legislative and non-legislative measures are expected in the near future to strengthen forest protection within and outside the EU. The European Parliament recently asked the European Commission to propose an EU legal framework to tackle EU-driven global deforestation, based on mandatory due diligence for companies placing forest- and ecosystem-risk commodities and derived products on the EU market, with penalties in the event of non-compliance.

An EU legal framework to halt and reverse EU driven global deforestation

14-10-2020

EU consumption plays a significant part in global deforestation, which continues unabated and contributes considerably to climate change and biodiversity loss. During the October II session, Parliament is due to vote on a legislative-initiative report calling on the Commission to take regulatory action on this matter, and propose an EU legal framework based on mandatory due diligence for companies placing products on the EU market.

EU consumption plays a significant part in global deforestation, which continues unabated and contributes considerably to climate change and biodiversity loss. During the October II session, Parliament is due to vote on a legislative-initiative report calling on the Commission to take regulatory action on this matter, and propose an EU legal framework based on mandatory due diligence for companies placing products on the EU market.

Coronavirus and the trade in wildlife

04-05-2020

Nearly three quarters of emerging infectious diseases in humans are caused by zoonotic pathogens. The majority of them originate in wildlife. Human activities, such as trade in wildlife, increase opportunities for animal–human interactions and facilitate zoonotic disease transmission. Several significant diseases, including Ebola and the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak, have been traced, in part, to substantial animal-human contact along the trade chain. Current information suggests ...

Nearly three quarters of emerging infectious diseases in humans are caused by zoonotic pathogens. The majority of them originate in wildlife. Human activities, such as trade in wildlife, increase opportunities for animal–human interactions and facilitate zoonotic disease transmission. Several significant diseases, including Ebola and the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak, have been traced, in part, to substantial animal-human contact along the trade chain. Current information suggests that the Covid-19 pandemic may have started from a local Chinese wildlife market. Wildlife trade, though difficult to quantify, is one of the most lucrative trades in the world. It is regulated under the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES), an international agreement to which the European Union (EU) and its Member States are parties. Through a permit system, CITES aims to ensure that international trade in listed species is sustainable, legal and traceable. Curbing illegal trade, however, remains a challenge. In 2016, the EU adopted an action plan on wildlife trafficking, which runs until 2020 and is currently under evaluation. The European Parliament supports its renewal and the strengthening of its provisions. The coronavirus crisis has thrown into sharp focus the threat of disease transmission posed by trade in and consumption of wild animal species, prompting calls for bans on wildlife trade and closure of wildlife markets. Others advocate better regulation, including enhanced health and safety and sanitation measures. With matters relating to zoonotic diseases outside CITES' mandate, some have suggested the development of a new international convention to address the issue. To reduce the risks of future outbreaks, many recommend an integrated approach, which would notably also cover nature preservation and restoration.

Water reuse: Setting minimum requirements

20-04-2020

Although freshwater is relatively abundant in the European Union (EU), water stress occurs in many areas, particularly in the Mediterranean region and parts of the Atlantic region, with environmental and economic impacts. In May 2018, the European Commission put forward a proposal for a regulation setting EU-wide standards that reclaimed water would need to meet in order to be used for agricultural irrigation, with the aim of encouraging greater use of reclaimed water and contributing to alleviating ...

Although freshwater is relatively abundant in the European Union (EU), water stress occurs in many areas, particularly in the Mediterranean region and parts of the Atlantic region, with environmental and economic impacts. In May 2018, the European Commission put forward a proposal for a regulation setting EU-wide standards that reclaimed water would need to meet in order to be used for agricultural irrigation, with the aim of encouraging greater use of reclaimed water and contributing to alleviating water scarcity. The Commission estimates that the proposal could increase water reuse in agricultural irrigation from 1.7 billion m³ to 6.6 billion m³ per year, thereby reducing water stress by 5 %. The European Parliament adopted its first-reading position on 12 February 2019, and the Council agreed on a general approach on 26 June 2019. Trilogue negotiations concluded with a provisional agreement on 2 December. The agreed text, endorsed by the ENVI committee on 21 January 2020, was adopted at first reading by the Council on 7 April. It now returns to the Parliament for final adoption at second reading. Second edition of a briefing originally drafted by Didier Bourguignon. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Preparing the post-2020 biodiversity framework

09-01-2020

In October 2020, the parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the main international agreement on biodiversity protection, will meet in Kunming (China) to agree on a post-2020 global biodiversity framework, with conservation and restoration goals for the next decade. A party to the CBD, the European Union (EU) aims 'to lead the world' at this conference (COP15), as it did at the Paris climate conference. A debate is scheduled in view of the COP15 during Parliament's ...

In October 2020, the parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the main international agreement on biodiversity protection, will meet in Kunming (China) to agree on a post-2020 global biodiversity framework, with conservation and restoration goals for the next decade. A party to the CBD, the European Union (EU) aims 'to lead the world' at this conference (COP15), as it did at the Paris climate conference. A debate is scheduled in view of the COP15 during Parliament's January I plenary session.

Hearings of the Commissioners-designate: Virginijus Sinkevičius - Environment, Oceans and Fisheries

26-09-2019

This briefing is one in a set looking at the Commissioners-designate and their portfolios as put forward by Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen. Each candidate faces a three-hour public hearing, organised by one or more parliamentary committees. After that process, those committees will judge the candidates' suitability for the role based on 'their general competence, European commitment and personal independence', as well as their 'knowledge of their prospective portfolio and their communication ...

This briefing is one in a set looking at the Commissioners-designate and their portfolios as put forward by Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen. Each candidate faces a three-hour public hearing, organised by one or more parliamentary committees. After that process, those committees will judge the candidates' suitability for the role based on 'their general competence, European commitment and personal independence', as well as their 'knowledge of their prospective portfolio and their communication skills'. At the end of the hearings process, Parliament votes on the proposed Commission as a bloc, and under the Treaties may only reject the entire College of Commissioners, rather than individual candidates. The Briefing provides an overview of key issues in the portfolio areas, as well as Parliament's activity in the last term in that field. It also includes a brief introduction to the candidate.

EU sports policy: Going faster, aiming higher, reaching further

20-09-2019

Sport has a growing impact both on the European Union (EU) economy and on society as a whole. Over 7 million people work in sport-related jobs, and sport-related goods and services amount to nearly 3 % of total EU gross value added. It was not until 2009, with the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, that the Union received a clear mandate to build up and implement an EU-coordinated sports policy supported by a specific budget, and to develop cooperation with international bodies in the area of ...

Sport has a growing impact both on the European Union (EU) economy and on society as a whole. Over 7 million people work in sport-related jobs, and sport-related goods and services amount to nearly 3 % of total EU gross value added. It was not until 2009, with the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, that the Union received a clear mandate to build up and implement an EU-coordinated sports policy supported by a specific budget, and to develop cooperation with international bodies in the area of sport. However, EU competence in sport is limited and only allows the EU to support, coordinate or complement sports policy measures taken by national governments. This rules out the adoption of legislation or any other legally binding measure. The EU has therefore opted to act via 'soft' policy tools, such as guidelines, recommendations and – most importantly – funding, to support its sport-related objectives. Over the years, the EU has been actively involved in tackling transnational issues such as doping, match-fixing and lack of physical activity. In recent years, various health-related EU initiatives have grown increasingly popular. In 2018, the European Week of Sport attracted nearly 14 million people to over 50 000 events across Europe, with the Western Balkans and the countries from the Eastern Partnership joining the initiative in 2019. The #BeActive Night, a new feature first introduced in 2018, will continue encouraging participants to discover and try the different sports activities available in their area. None of this would have been possible without the introduction of a specific budget for sport, in which the European Parliament played a key role. As the popularity of sport-related initiatives grows, so do the Commission's plans and ambitions for the broader role of sport in society. The executive's proposal for the 2021-2027 Erasmus programme confirms this ambition. Accordingly, the amount available for Erasmus would be doubled, to reach €30 billion, with €550 million dedicated to sport.

Būsimi renginiai

25-02-2021
Hearing on Long distance transports inside EU
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ANIT
25-02-2021
The EU-Mercosur Trade Agreement
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INTA
25-02-2021
Joint Public Hearing ‘Plastics and waste management in the circular economy’
Klausymas -
PETI ENVI

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