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Public economic support in the EU: State aid and special economic zones

06-02-2020

State aid can be defined as an advantage given by a government that may provide a company with an unfair competitive edge over its commercial rivals. State aid can take several forms, such as public subsidies, tax relief, or the purchasing of goods and services on preferential terms. While the European Union (EU) competition rules consider State aid to be incompatible with the internal market, they allow such aid when it promotes general economic development, for example, when tackling the challenges ...

State aid can be defined as an advantage given by a government that may provide a company with an unfair competitive edge over its commercial rivals. State aid can take several forms, such as public subsidies, tax relief, or the purchasing of goods and services on preferential terms. While the European Union (EU) competition rules consider State aid to be incompatible with the internal market, they allow such aid when it promotes general economic development, for example, when tackling the challenges of global competition, the ongoing financial crisis, the digital revolution, and demographic change. To this end, all EU Member States provide some public economic support, for instance, to the coal mining sector, banks, or the digital economy. To contribute to regional development and to increase competitiveness, some Member States have created special economic zones (SEZs), which offer an attractive combination of tax-and-tariff incentives, streamlined customs procedures, less laws, provision of infrastructure, and creation of business clusters. The European Commission is currently evaluating the State aid modernisation (SAM) package and some of its related laws, as these will expire by the end of 2020. The European Parliament takes a two fold stance towards public economic support in the EU. On the one hand, Parliament stresses that State aid should support ecological transformation and foster the development of services, knowledge, and infrastructure rather than providing support to specific companies. On the other hand, it calls on the Commission to ensure that State aid is reduced in the long term, given its distortive effects on the internal market. While the temporary State aid offered to the financial sector to stabilise the EU financial system might have been necessary, Parliament calls on the Commission to scrutinise and eventually remove this aid. Parliament, inter alia, also calls on the Member States to abandon unfair competition practices based on unjustified tax incentives and to adopt appropriate rules in the Council.

The von der Leyen Commission's priorities for 2019-2024

28-01-2020

In her statements to the European Parliament in July and November 2019, as candidate for European Commission President and President-elect respectively, Ursula von der Leyen outlined the six political priorities that would shape the working programme of the European Commission over the next five years. While the former Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, had claimed to lead a 'political Commission', his successor, Ursula von der Leyen, has pledged to lead a 'geopolitical Commission'. Such ...

In her statements to the European Parliament in July and November 2019, as candidate for European Commission President and President-elect respectively, Ursula von der Leyen outlined the six political priorities that would shape the working programme of the European Commission over the next five years. While the former Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, had claimed to lead a 'political Commission', his successor, Ursula von der Leyen, has pledged to lead a 'geopolitical Commission'. Such a Commission will have a political agenda in which reinforcing the EU's role as a relevant international actor, and trying to shape a better global order through reinforcing multilateralism, is to become a key priority ('A stronger Europe in the world'). The other main political priorities of the Commission are brought together under five broad headings: 'A European Green Deal', 'A Europe fit for the digital age', 'An economy that works for people', 'A new push for European democracy', and 'Promoting the European way of life'. Together they define the framework within which the Commission will act in the coming five years. The structure and working methods announced by von der Leyen show that her Commission will differ from its predecessors in a number of ways.

Is data the new oil? Competition issues in the digital economy

08-01-2020

The global debate on the extent to which current competition policy rules are sufficient to deal with the fast-moving digital economy has never been more pertinent. An important part of this debate concerns the market power of large high-tech companies that dominate many online markets. The main factors behind these developments are economies of scale and scope, network externalities, and the rising economic significance of data, which are a highly valuable commodity in an online economy. While being ...

The global debate on the extent to which current competition policy rules are sufficient to deal with the fast-moving digital economy has never been more pertinent. An important part of this debate concerns the market power of large high-tech companies that dominate many online markets. The main factors behind these developments are economies of scale and scope, network externalities, and the rising economic significance of data, which are a highly valuable commodity in an online economy. While being indispensable to the development of potential game changers – such as artificial intelligence – data are also a crucial input to many online services, production processes, and logistics – making it a critical element in the value chain of many different industries. Data-dependent markets are also characterised by a high level of concentration and, according to many experts, high entry barriers relating to access to and ownership of data – which make it difficult to challenge the incumbent companies. On the other hand, the large players are generally considered to be very productive and innovative. Some studies, however, show that the diffusion of know-how and innovation between the market leaders and the rest of the economy may be affecting competiveness in general. One possible way to correct these shortcomings is to regulate the sharing of data. While the risks of policy-making in this field are generally well-known and centre around the need to protect privacy – particularly where personal data are involved – and to prevent the collusive aspects of data sharing, there is currently no global model to follow. The European Union has taken multiple initiatives to unlock data markets through modern, user-centred laws such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the regulation on the reuse of public sector information. The global thinking seems to gradually favour more prudent oversight of the market, considering its economic heft.

EU competition policy: Key to a fair single market

30-10-2019

Competition policy has been found to make a positive contribution to the EU's economic growth and the EU has one of the most robust competition policy systems in the world. European competition policy encompasses many fields, not least antitrust measures, merger control and State aid. It is enforced by the European Commission, whose decisions can be contested in the Court of Justice of the European Union. Recent policy developments include the antitrust damages system and the framework empowering ...

Competition policy has been found to make a positive contribution to the EU's economic growth and the EU has one of the most robust competition policy systems in the world. European competition policy encompasses many fields, not least antitrust measures, merger control and State aid. It is enforced by the European Commission, whose decisions can be contested in the Court of Justice of the European Union. Recent policy developments include the antitrust damages system and the framework empowering national competition authorities. Topics discussed in this paper include the role of competition policy in the digital era, merger control, instruments such as the leniency programme, commitments and settlements, and the potential impact of current political developments.

Contributing to Growth: European Digital Single - Market Delivering improved rights for citizens and businesses

15-05-2019

TThis study reviews all the rules adopted during the 8th Parliamentary legislature (2014-2019) to strengthen the Digital Single Market. On that basis, the report analyses the rights and obligations as well as the institutions and procedures created or improved in the main policy fields of the Digital Single Market (e-commerce and online platforms, e-government, data and AI, cybersecurity, consumer protection and electronic communications networks and services). Finally, the report identifies remaining ...

TThis study reviews all the rules adopted during the 8th Parliamentary legislature (2014-2019) to strengthen the Digital Single Market. On that basis, the report analyses the rights and obligations as well as the institutions and procedures created or improved in the main policy fields of the Digital Single Market (e-commerce and online platforms, e-government, data and AI, cybersecurity, consumer protection and electronic communications networks and services). Finally, the report identifies remaining gaps and possible actions for the forthcoming Parliament’s legislature. This study has been prepared for the IMCO Committee at the request of the Policy Department A of the European Parliament.

Awtur estern

Prof. Alexandre de STREEL, University of Namur and CERRE (Centre on Regulation in Europe) Christian HOCEPIED, University of Namur With the assistance of Michael LOGNOUL and Zorana ROSIC, University of Namurl

Policy Departments' Monthly Highlights - March 2019

11-03-2019

In this edition of the newsletter, Jean Arthuis and Ingeborg Grässle, Chairs of the BUDG and the CONT committees respectively, present the priorities of both committees and describe several examples of good joint efforts made in the course of the legislative term. Other issues dealt with in this edition include performance based budgeting, sustainable development, taxation, agriculture and cooperation with the Council. Forthcoming publications and events are also announced.

In this edition of the newsletter, Jean Arthuis and Ingeborg Grässle, Chairs of the BUDG and the CONT committees respectively, present the priorities of both committees and describe several examples of good joint efforts made in the course of the legislative term. Other issues dealt with in this edition include performance based budgeting, sustainable development, taxation, agriculture and cooperation with the Council. Forthcoming publications and events are also announced.

Research for AGRI Committee - Impacts of the digital economy on the food chain and the CAP

15-02-2019

The study presents a state-of-the-art overview on digital agriculture, the impacts of new technologies on the agri-food value chains and opportunities for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Using case studies and examples the study demonstrates the needs for further deployment of innovation in the agriculture sector, fostering research and investments in digital agriculture and integrating Agri-tech into the policy agenda.

The study presents a state-of-the-art overview on digital agriculture, the impacts of new technologies on the agri-food value chains and opportunities for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Using case studies and examples the study demonstrates the needs for further deployment of innovation in the agriculture sector, fostering research and investments in digital agriculture and integrating Agri-tech into the policy agenda.

Awtur estern

K. Soma; M.-J. Bogaardt; K. Poppe; S. Wolfert; G. Beers; D. Urdu; M. Pesce; M. Kirova; C. Thurston; C. Monfort Belles

Contribution to growth. The European Digital Single Market. Delivering economic benefits for citizens and businesses

15-01-2019

Numerous legislative measures have been initiated or enacted in support of the overall achievement of a Digital Single Market (DSM). This in-depth analysis provides a brief stock-taking of what has been achieved in economic terms, of what remains to be done, and of candidate initiatives for the next legislative term. The study was prepared by Policy Department A on the request of European Parliament´s Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection.

Numerous legislative measures have been initiated or enacted in support of the overall achievement of a Digital Single Market (DSM). This in-depth analysis provides a brief stock-taking of what has been achieved in economic terms, of what remains to be done, and of candidate initiatives for the next legislative term. The study was prepared by Policy Department A on the request of European Parliament´s Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection.

Awtur estern

J. Scott Marcus, Dr Georgios Petropoulos, Dr Timothy Yeung

Avvenimenti fil-ġejjieni

07-12-2020
Health and environmental impacts of 5G
Sessjoni ta' ħidma -
STOA
07-12-2020
What role can trade policy play to advance the objectives of the Green Deal?
Smigħ -
INTA
07-12-2020
Public Hearing on Women's Rights Defenders
Smigħ -
FEMM

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