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An EU legal framework to halt and reverse EU-driven global deforestation: European added value assessment

08-09-2020

Deforestation caused by agricultural activity is continuing at an alarming rate, threatening irreplaceable tropical forests that, among other things, are crucial for fighting climate change. The EU bears its share of responsibility for this environmental loss, as it is one of the major importers of several forest-risk commodities. To date, action has been taken at different levels to stop commodity-driven deforestation. Nevertheless, the impact on forest loss has been low as deforestation continues ...

Deforestation caused by agricultural activity is continuing at an alarming rate, threatening irreplaceable tropical forests that, among other things, are crucial for fighting climate change. The EU bears its share of responsibility for this environmental loss, as it is one of the major importers of several forest-risk commodities. To date, action has been taken at different levels to stop commodity-driven deforestation. Nevertheless, the impact on forest loss has been low as deforestation continues and new hot spots occur. There has been a recent commitment at EU level to propose new measures to minimise the risk of deforestation and forest degradation associated with products placed on the EU market. This European added value assessment (EAVA) accompanies the European Parliament's own-initiative legislative report calling on the European Commission to take legislative action on the matter. The EAVA looks at why EU action is needed and analyses four potential demand-side regulatory policy options at EU level. A quantitative analysis reveals that to varying extents, all options have the potential to reduce EU-driven deforestation and associated carbon emissions, while having a relatively small impact on the EU economy

Textile workers in developing countries and the European fashion industry: Towards sustainability?

24-07-2020

As fashion becomes increasingly globalised, garment and footwear production has shifted to low-wage, mostly Asian countries. Thanks to lower manufacturing costs, clothes have become increasingly affordable for European consumers. For developing countries, fashion exports create jobs and growth, helping to bring poverty rates down. While there are benefits on both sides, the fashion industry highlights inequalities between the global North and South. With almost unlimited flexibility between countries ...

As fashion becomes increasingly globalised, garment and footwear production has shifted to low-wage, mostly Asian countries. Thanks to lower manufacturing costs, clothes have become increasingly affordable for European consumers. For developing countries, fashion exports create jobs and growth, helping to bring poverty rates down. While there are benefits on both sides, the fashion industry highlights inequalities between the global North and South. With almost unlimited flexibility between countries and factories, European and North American brands and retailers can dictate conditions to developing-country manufacturers, forcing them to cut costs in order to compete. The ultimate victims are factory workers, toiling long hours in harsh and sometimes dangerous conditions, for wages that barely enable subsistence. In many countries, restrictions on trade unions make it harder for workers to assert their rights. With employers reluctant or financially unable to invest in safety, many have died in industrial accidents, such as the Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh, which claimed over 1 000 lives. Decent work has become a priority for the United Nations, the International Labour Organization and other international organisations. The EU supports decent work, for example through its international trade agreements. European consumers and companies are also increasingly interested in sustainable fashion. After the Rana Plaza disaster, over 200 mostly European companies joined the Bangladesh Accord, which has helped to eliminate some of the worst safety hazards. While these are positive developments, a lot more still needs to be done.

Medicine shortage in the EU during the novel coronavirus outbreak

15-05-2020

The novel coronavirus outbreak is an unprecedented public health crisis with far-reaching consequences. It has highlighted the EU’s long-existing structural problems related to the supply of medicines, and the dependency on third-country import for certain essential and critical medicines and ingredients. While public health policy, including the organisation of the delivery of healthcare and the sales of medicines remains in the competence of the Member States, it has also become clear that cooperation ...

The novel coronavirus outbreak is an unprecedented public health crisis with far-reaching consequences. It has highlighted the EU’s long-existing structural problems related to the supply of medicines, and the dependency on third-country import for certain essential and critical medicines and ingredients. While public health policy, including the organisation of the delivery of healthcare and the sales of medicines remains in the competence of the Member States, it has also become clear that cooperation with the pharmaceutical industry, amongst the Member States, and with the Commission and the Europan Medicines Agency, is key in resolving the problems of medicine shortages in these extraordinary times This paper looks into the causes of medicine shortage during the novel coronavirus pandemic in the Union, and the responses and solutions at European level.

EU imports and exports of medical equipment

21-04-2020

The crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic has, with tragic consequences, brought to the fore the fact that the European Union (EU) is dependent on non-EU sources for medical equipment such as personal protection equipment (including masks) and artificial respiratory equipment, as well as other products needed in the fight against the virus. In response to shortages, Member States have taken initiatives to produce and distribute medical equipment and the EU has put in place a number of coordinated ...

The crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic has, with tragic consequences, brought to the fore the fact that the European Union (EU) is dependent on non-EU sources for medical equipment such as personal protection equipment (including masks) and artificial respiratory equipment, as well as other products needed in the fight against the virus. In response to shortages, Member States have taken initiatives to produce and distribute medical equipment and the EU has put in place a number of coordinated responses, such as the creation of the rescEU stockpile of emergency medical equipment, and the restriction of exports of personal protective equipment outside the European Union. A mapping of EU trade in four categories of product – pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, personal protection and medical supplies – shows that, in all four categories, as few as five trade partners provide about 75 % of EU imports. Exports are more diffuse, with five partners receiving approximately half of EU exports. In 2019, the EU was a net exporter of medical products in all four categories, with pharmaceutical products representing most of its trade surplus of medical products. The weaker domain is personal protection products. The main EU import partners are Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States, China, and Singapore, with the first three appearing among the top four countries in all categories. Additional insights into the value chains of chemical and pharmaceutical sector production in the EU's top five import partners suggest that China and other countries provide a far larger share in raw materials and manufacturing than direct imports suggest. These results imply that the production of medical products is far more scattered than direct import numbers would suggest.

Four briefings on Trade-related aspects of carbon border adjustment mechanisms

14-04-2020

Compilation of four briefings made up by European Parliament's external contractors to the attention of INTA Committee, on trade-related aspects of carbon border adjustment mechanisms.

Compilation of four briefings made up by European Parliament's external contractors to the attention of INTA Committee, on trade-related aspects of carbon border adjustment mechanisms.

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Dr. Cecilia Bellora and Prof. Lionel Fontagné, Centre d'Etudes Prospectives et d'Informations Internationales (CEPII) ; Prof. Gabriel Felbermayr and Prof. Sonja Peterson, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel); Prof. Joost Pauwelyn, The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) and Georgetown University Law School and Dr. David Kleimann, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies; Prof. André Sapir and Prof. Henrik Horn, Bruegel.

Australia: Economic indicators and trade with EU

24-02-2020

Australia was the world's 13th largest economy in 2018, with growth in gross domestic product (GDP) at 2.9 %. It has a strong and dynamic relationship with the EU. Negotiations for a free trade agreement between Australia and the EU were formally launched in June 2018. In 2018, Australia was the EU's 19th largest trading partner, with a 1.2% share of the EU's total trade. Further information on EU-Australia trade relations, such as the composition of trade between the two partners, can be found in ...

Australia was the world's 13th largest economy in 2018, with growth in gross domestic product (GDP) at 2.9 %. It has a strong and dynamic relationship with the EU. Negotiations for a free trade agreement between Australia and the EU were formally launched in June 2018. In 2018, Australia was the EU's 19th largest trading partner, with a 1.2% share of the EU's total trade. Further information on EU-Australia trade relations, such as the composition of trade between the two partners, can be found in this infographic, which also provides an economic snapshot of Australia.

Strengthening market surveillance of harmonised industrial products

29-07-2019

Harmonised products represent 69 % of the overall value of industrial products in the internal market. However, a significant part of these products does not comply with harmonised EU rules. This has negative effects on the health and safety of consumers, and on fair competition between businesses. To remedy the situation, in 2017 the Commission proposed to strengthen market surveillance rules for non-food products harmonised by EU legislation. Parliament and Council reached a provisional agreement ...

Harmonised products represent 69 % of the overall value of industrial products in the internal market. However, a significant part of these products does not comply with harmonised EU rules. This has negative effects on the health and safety of consumers, and on fair competition between businesses. To remedy the situation, in 2017 the Commission proposed to strengthen market surveillance rules for non-food products harmonised by EU legislation. Parliament and Council reached a provisional agreement on the proposal in February 2019. The new regulation was signed on 20 June and published in the Official Journal on 25 June 2019, applying in full from July 2021. It aims to increase EU-level coordination of market surveillance and clarify the procedures for the mutual assistance mechanism. Non-EU manufacturers of products that could cause an elevated level of risk to public interest will have to designate an importer, an authorised representative or a fulfilment service provider established in the EU. Fifth edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Regulating imports of cultural goods

28-06-2019

Until now, with the exception of two specific measures for Iraq and Syria, there has been no EU legislation covering the import of cultural goods from non-EU countries entering the EU. By ensuring that these imports are subject to uniform controls along all EU external borders, the new regulation aims to prevent the introduction, import and storage in the EU of cultural goods illegally removed from a third country, thereby protecting cultural heritage and combatting illegal trade, in particular where ...

Until now, with the exception of two specific measures for Iraq and Syria, there has been no EU legislation covering the import of cultural goods from non-EU countries entering the EU. By ensuring that these imports are subject to uniform controls along all EU external borders, the new regulation aims to prevent the introduction, import and storage in the EU of cultural goods illegally removed from a third country, thereby protecting cultural heritage and combatting illegal trade, in particular where it may serve as an income source for terrorist groups. Both Parliament and Council agreed positions on the Commission’ proposal in autumn 2018, and reached an agreement in trilogue negotiations in December that year. Adopted by both institutions in spring 2019, the new regulation lays down the conditions for the introduction, as well as the conditions and procedures for the import, of cultural goods from third countries. The regulation does not apply to cultural goods that have been created or discovered in the EU. To focus the measures established by the regulation on the goods considered most at risk of pillage in conflict areas and to avoid a disproportionate burden for licit trade, the new legislative act introduces age and value thresholds for certain goods categories. The regulation will apply at the latest six years after it comes into force, i.e. from June 2025. Third edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Common rules for gas pipelines entering the EU internal market

27-05-2019

In November 2017, the European Commission adopted a legislative proposal to fully apply key provisions of the 2009 Gas Directive to gas pipelines between the European Union (EU) and third countries. Member States would need to cooperate with third countries to ensure full compliance with EU rules. The revised directive was seen by many observers as a part of the broader EU response to the Gazprom-led Nord Stream 2 project, which the European Commission publicly opposes. The Parliament adopted its ...

In November 2017, the European Commission adopted a legislative proposal to fully apply key provisions of the 2009 Gas Directive to gas pipelines between the European Union (EU) and third countries. Member States would need to cooperate with third countries to ensure full compliance with EU rules. The revised directive was seen by many observers as a part of the broader EU response to the Gazprom-led Nord Stream 2 project, which the European Commission publicly opposes. The Parliament adopted its position on the gas directive in plenary on April 2018, whereas the Council adopted its general approach on 8 February 2019. This was swiftly followed by a single trilogue meeting on 12 February 2019 at which the EU institutions reached a provisional agreement. The agreed text was later formally adopted by Parliament and Council, and entered into force on 23 May 2019. Fourth edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Understanding trade balances

08-02-2019

Trade policy discourse on both sides of the Atlantic has recently focused on trade deficits and surpluses. In the United States (US), President Donald Trump has routinely referred to the US trade deficit as a central indicator of the country's economic woes and made its reduction a key objective of US trade policy. In Europe, the world's largest trade surplus, run by Germany, has come under scrutiny. However, focusing on trade balances of exports and imports can be misleading in the trade policy ...

Trade policy discourse on both sides of the Atlantic has recently focused on trade deficits and surpluses. In the United States (US), President Donald Trump has routinely referred to the US trade deficit as a central indicator of the country's economic woes and made its reduction a key objective of US trade policy. In Europe, the world's largest trade surplus, run by Germany, has come under scrutiny. However, focusing on trade balances of exports and imports can be misleading in the trade policy context. Trade balances need to be considered as an integral part of a larger whole, the balance of payments of an economy. The imposition of specific trade policy measures, such as unilateral tariffs, cannot be expected to improve a trade balance significantly.

Avvenimenti fil-ġejjieni

25-01-2021
Public Hearing on "Gender aspects of precarious work"
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FEMM
26-01-2021
Public hearing on Co-management of EU fisheries at local level
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PECH
26-01-2021
The impact of Brexit on the level playing field in the area of taxation
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FISC

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