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SMEs and Better Regulation

07-02-2020

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the European economy. However, numerous internal and external constraints, such as red tape and stringent business regulations, can make running a small business very difficult for entrepreneurs. Creating a business-friendly regulatory environment is a long-standing EU objective. The European Commission's cross-cutting policy on better regulation spearheads improvements, and its 'SME Test' scrutinises the impact of EU proposals on SMEs ...

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the European economy. However, numerous internal and external constraints, such as red tape and stringent business regulations, can make running a small business very difficult for entrepreneurs. Creating a business-friendly regulatory environment is a long-standing EU objective. The European Commission's cross-cutting policy on better regulation spearheads improvements, and its 'SME Test' scrutinises the impact of EU proposals on SMEs. The Commission is due to make a statement during the February plenary session on SMEs and better regulation.

CETA implementation: SMEs and regions in focus

18-11-2019

The majority of provisions of the EU-Canada Comprehensive Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) have been implemented since 21 September 2017, with the agreement’s provisional application pending full ratification. The aim of this EPRS analysis is to chart the state of play of CETA's ratification procedures, its key objectives, remaining controversies, and the initial results stemming from two years of provisional application, with a focus on regions and small and medium-sized enterprises ...

The majority of provisions of the EU-Canada Comprehensive Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) have been implemented since 21 September 2017, with the agreement’s provisional application pending full ratification. The aim of this EPRS analysis is to chart the state of play of CETA's ratification procedures, its key objectives, remaining controversies, and the initial results stemming from two years of provisional application, with a focus on regions and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It is important to note that it is too early to evaluate the economic and social impacts of CETA. That will be the remit of the ex-post evaluation usually carried out by the European Commission five years after the start of provisonal application. By providing an overview of the early results of CETA implementation two years in, this analysis seeks to inform forthcoming deliberations on both CETA itself and other free trade agreements between the EU and various partner countries.

Amending capital requirements: The 'CRD-V package'

30-07-2019

In May 2019, the European Parliament and the Council (the co-legislators) adopted the legislative proposals amending the Capital Requirements Directive and Regulation, which establish the prudential framework for financial institutions operating in the EU. The amendments implement the most recent regulatory standards for banks, set at international level ('Basel III framework'). They also address some regulatory shortcomings and aim to contribute to sustainable bank financing of the economy. The ...

In May 2019, the European Parliament and the Council (the co-legislators) adopted the legislative proposals amending the Capital Requirements Directive and Regulation, which establish the prudential framework for financial institutions operating in the EU. The amendments implement the most recent regulatory standards for banks, set at international level ('Basel III framework'). They also address some regulatory shortcomings and aim to contribute to sustainable bank financing of the economy. The final acts were published in the Official Journal on 7 June 2019. The new provisions will for the most part apply as of 2021. Fourth edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

European Accessibility Act

15-07-2019

To ensure the full participation of people with disabilities in society, and to reduce the fragmentation of legislation governing access to products and services, the European Commission has adopted a proposal for a directive – often referred to as the European Accessibility Act. This proposal, published on 2 December 2015, provides for a common EU definition of, and implementation framework for, accessibility requirements for certain products and services. It also aims to use the same accessibility ...

To ensure the full participation of people with disabilities in society, and to reduce the fragmentation of legislation governing access to products and services, the European Commission has adopted a proposal for a directive – often referred to as the European Accessibility Act. This proposal, published on 2 December 2015, provides for a common EU definition of, and implementation framework for, accessibility requirements for certain products and services. It also aims to use the same accessibility requirements to provide a clear definition of the existing general accessibility obligation laid down in European law. Many stakeholders welcomed the European Union's wish to honour its responsibilities under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, but they were divided on the means to reach this objective. In the European Parliament, the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) adopted its report on 25 April 2017, which was discussed in plenary on 15 September. At the same time, Parliament gave a mandate to start negotiations with the Council. On 7 December 2017, the Council agreed on a position (general approach). On 8 November 2018, the EP and the Council came to a provisional agreement. The agreed text was adopted by the EP on 13 March 2019, then by the Council on 27 March, and published in the Official Journal on 7 June 2019. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Unfair trading practices in the food supply chain

06-05-2019

The food supply chain ensures that food and drink products are delivered to the public. It affects all consumers in the EU. The final price paid by the consumer is impacted by the number of participants in the food supply chain. While the single market has brought benefits to operators in the supply chain through more market opportunities and a larger customer base, it has also brought challenges. Structural changes have occurred, leading to different levels of bargaining power and imbalances between ...

The food supply chain ensures that food and drink products are delivered to the public. It affects all consumers in the EU. The final price paid by the consumer is impacted by the number of participants in the food supply chain. While the single market has brought benefits to operators in the supply chain through more market opportunities and a larger customer base, it has also brought challenges. Structural changes have occurred, leading to different levels of bargaining power and imbalances between actors in the chain. The abuse of such differences may lead to unfair trading practices. To strengthen the position of smaller operators (farmers) in the food supply chain, in April 2018 the European Commission proposed a new directive on unfair trading practices. Trilogue discussions began in October 2018 after a successful vote in plenary. The final agreed text was adopted by both Parliament and Council at first reading, and signed on 17 April. Member States must now incorporate its provisions into national law, and apply them by 1 November 2021.

Enabling SMEs' access to capital markets

09-04-2019

Making it easier for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to access financing through public markets lies at the heart of the capital markets union – the plan to mobilise capital in Europe. Among the various reasons for going ahead with this union is the fact that existing requirements and listing costs in both regulated and multilateral trading venues continue to be disproportionate to the size and level of sophistication of SMEs. To further respond to this situation, the Commission has proposed ...

Making it easier for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to access financing through public markets lies at the heart of the capital markets union – the plan to mobilise capital in Europe. Among the various reasons for going ahead with this union is the fact that existing requirements and listing costs in both regulated and multilateral trading venues continue to be disproportionate to the size and level of sophistication of SMEs. To further respond to this situation, the Commission has proposed adopting a regulation to address the administrative burden placed on SMEs when listing or issuing equity and bonds, with the aim to increase liquidity on SME growth markets. The latter are a new category of multilateral trading facilities, which was established under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II. To this end, the proposal provides for targeted amendments to two key pieces of financial services legislation, namely the Market Abuse Regulation (MAR) and the Prospectus Regulation. Following interinstitutional negotiations the co-legislators reached a provisional agreement on the proposal on 6 March 2019, and this is due to be voted in Parliament during the April II plenary session.

Unfair trading practices in the food supply chain

06-03-2019

To strengthen the position of smaller operators (farmers) in the food supply chain, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a directive on unfair trading practices. The Parliament and Council reached a negotiated agreement on the proposal, which is scheduled to be voted by Parliament at first reading during the March I plenary session.

To strengthen the position of smaller operators (farmers) in the food supply chain, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a directive on unfair trading practices. The Parliament and Council reached a negotiated agreement on the proposal, which is scheduled to be voted by Parliament at first reading during the March I plenary session.

Global and regional value chains: Opportunities for European SMEs' internationalisation and growth

14-02-2019

International value chains have emerged as the new paradigm for the organisation of production globally. Today, most production processes across the world are vertically fragmented as a result of the increased unbundling of tasks and functions and their sourcing from different geographical locations. The extent to which this expansion in supply-chain trade is global in character (which some describe as the 'Factory World' phenomenon), or is rather based on more intra-regional ties clustered around ...

International value chains have emerged as the new paradigm for the organisation of production globally. Today, most production processes across the world are vertically fragmented as a result of the increased unbundling of tasks and functions and their sourcing from different geographical locations. The extent to which this expansion in supply-chain trade is global in character (which some describe as the 'Factory World' phenomenon), or is rather based on more intra-regional ties clustered around Europe, Asia and the Americas, is still being debated in the literature. Notwithstanding their geographical characteristics, international value chains offer increased opportunities for enterprises, by fostering their growth and internationalisation irrespective of their scale and size. To SMEs, they offer a broader range of channels through which they can participate more actively in global markets. By linking with international supply chains, SMEs can take a first step up the ladder, which – through spill-overs and knowledge transfers – can often give them access to assignments of higher added value. With greater interconnectedness, however, comes greater complexity. Not all SMEs are able to take advantage of the opportunities and link with international value chains in an effective way. More importantly, however, for those that do manage to integrate into international production chains, the magnitude and nature of the benefits will critically depend on the SMEs' entry point and position in global production networks and the links they can develop within those networks.

International Agreements in Progress: Bilateral trade deal with Japan – largest to date for EU

01-02-2019

Following the signature of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) in July 2018, and the conclusion of the ratification procedures by both partners at the end of 2018, the agreement entered into force on 1 February 2019. The agreement is the EU's largest bilateral trade agreement to date. It establishes a free trade area with a combined market of around 640 million consumers, accounting for roughly a third of the world's gross domestic product (GDP). The European Commission's analysis of ...

Following the signature of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) in July 2018, and the conclusion of the ratification procedures by both partners at the end of 2018, the agreement entered into force on 1 February 2019. The agreement is the EU's largest bilateral trade agreement to date. It establishes a free trade area with a combined market of around 640 million consumers, accounting for roughly a third of the world's gross domestic product (GDP). The European Commission's analysis of the economic impact of the agreement, published in June 2018, indicated that the EU's GDP could rise by approximately 0.14 %, and EU exports to Japan by around €13 billion by the time the EPA is fully implemented in 2035. The agreement will provide for significant economic opportunities for sectors such as agri-food and textiles, and it is predicted that no EU sector will be impacted by noticeable losses. In addition to exploiting the untapped potential of bilateral trade and strengthening the EU's economic presence in the Asia-Pacific region, the EPA, together with the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA), will provide a platform for stronger relations between the EU and Japan. The agreement also conveys a strong message on the parties' commitment to promoting a free and fair trading system and to rejecting trade protectionism.

Economic and Budgetary Outlook for the European Union 2019

30-01-2019

This EPRS study, the third in an annual series, provides an overview of the economic and budgetary situation in the EU and beyond. It summarises the main economic indicators in the Union and euro area, and their two-year trends. The figures show that growth was moderate in 2018, at 2.1 %, although this is expected to deteriorate slightly in the coming months, given the poorer global outlook than a year ago. That said, unemployment is at a post-crisis low, and is expected to improve further, given ...

This EPRS study, the third in an annual series, provides an overview of the economic and budgetary situation in the EU and beyond. It summarises the main economic indicators in the Union and euro area, and their two-year trends. The figures show that growth was moderate in 2018, at 2.1 %, although this is expected to deteriorate slightly in the coming months, given the poorer global outlook than a year ago. That said, unemployment is at a post-crisis low, and is expected to improve further, given positive labour market conditions. The study explains the annual EU budget, providing an overview of its headings for 2019, with the total amounting to €165.8 billion (or around 1 % of EU gross national income). The budget focuses on priorities that include stimulating investment, growth and research, the creation of new jobs – especially for young people – and addressing migration and security challenges. The wider budgetary framework – the multiannual financial framework (MFF) – is also analysed in the study, with key decisions on spending for the 2021-2027 period due to be taken during 2019. In this year's edition, the special 'economic focus' offers a bird's eye view of SMEs and SME policy in Europe, and of various recent EU-level initiatives in this field. The EU budget devotes particular attention to SMEs, given their central role in the European economy and in job creation. The EU needs to continue devoting efforts to improving European SMEs' access to finance, since despite recent improvements, they are still too heavily reliant on debt financing which puts them at risk in a downturn.

Avvenimenti fil-ġejjieni

28-10-2020
Climate Change and Health
Sessjoni ta' ħidma -
ENVI
28-10-2020
Public Hearing "Women and digitalisation"
Smigħ -
FEMM AIDA
28-10-2020
Worskhop on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Sessjoni ta' ħidma -
PETI

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