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Publicado em 25-01-2021

Outcome of the European Council video-conference of 21 January 2021

25-01-2021

Discussions at the 21 January video-conference meeting of EU leaders largely focused on a coordinated response to the coronavirus pandemic, including the evolving public health situation with the spread of new virus variants coming from the UK and South Africa, vaccination strategies and international solidarity. While agreeing to further restrictive measures to limit non-essential travel, keeping borders open to ensure the functioning of the EU's single market was emphasised as essential. At the ...

Discussions at the 21 January video-conference meeting of EU leaders largely focused on a coordinated response to the coronavirus pandemic, including the evolving public health situation with the spread of new virus variants coming from the UK and South Africa, vaccination strategies and international solidarity. While agreeing to further restrictive measures to limit non-essential travel, keeping borders open to ensure the functioning of the EU's single market was emphasised as essential. At the meeting, EU leaders also raised the issue of the detention of Alexei Navalny, condemning it and calling on the Russian authorities to release him.

Revision of the Drinking Water Directive

25-01-2021

On 1 February 2018, the European Commission published a proposal for a recast of the Directive on the quality of water intended for human consumption (the Drinking Water Directive). The proposal responded to the European Citizens' Initiative, Right2Water, and built on a fitness check which concluded that the 20-year old directive is fit for purpose, but needs updating. The main elements of the proposal consist of updating the water quality standards, introducing a risk-based approach to the monitoring ...

On 1 February 2018, the European Commission published a proposal for a recast of the Directive on the quality of water intended for human consumption (the Drinking Water Directive). The proposal responded to the European Citizens' Initiative, Right2Water, and built on a fitness check which concluded that the 20-year old directive is fit for purpose, but needs updating. The main elements of the proposal consist of updating the water quality standards, introducing a risk-based approach to the monitoring of water, improving information provided to consumers, harmonising the standards for products in contact with drinking water, and improving access to water. In the European Parliament, the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) adopted its report in September 2018. The Parliament concluded its first reading in plenary in March 2019. A new rapporteur was appointed at the beginning of the new parliamentary term, and agreement was reached on the text in trilogue negotiations on 18 December 2019. The Parliament voted to adopt the text at second reading on 15 December 2020. The directive was published in the Official Journal on 23 December 2020, and the Member States have until 12 January 2023 to transpose it into national legislation. Fifth edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Publicado em 22-01-2021

Plenary round-up - January 2021

22-01-2021

The main debates of the January 2021 plenary session were on the inauguration of the new President of the United States, and the presentation of the Portuguese EU Council Presidency. Members also debated the humanitarian situation of refugees and migrants at the EU's external borders, as well as the EU global strategy on Covid 19 vaccinations, and the social and employment crisis caused by the pandemic and the EU's response. Lack of transparency in Council appointments to the European Public Prosecutor's ...

The main debates of the January 2021 plenary session were on the inauguration of the new President of the United States, and the presentation of the Portuguese EU Council Presidency. Members also debated the humanitarian situation of refugees and migrants at the EU's external borders, as well as the EU global strategy on Covid 19 vaccinations, and the social and employment crisis caused by the pandemic and the EU's response. Lack of transparency in Council appointments to the European Public Prosecutor's Office and the consequences of earthquakes in Croatia were also discussed. Members discussed the Court of Auditors' annual report, and Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borell made statements on the arrest of Aleksei Navalny, on enhancing EU external action in Latin America and the Caribbean, and on the latest developments in the National Assembly of Venezuela.

Banking Union: Postponed Basel III reforms

22-01-2021

This briefing summarises the Basel Committee’s decision to postpone the implementation of the outstanding Basel III standards, their main content, and their estimated impact on banks’ capital needs.

This briefing summarises the Basel Committee’s decision to postpone the implementation of the outstanding Basel III standards, their main content, and their estimated impact on banks’ capital needs.

Economic dialogue with the President of the Eurogroup

22-01-2021

Paschal Donohoe has been invited to his first Economic Dialogue in the ECON Committee since his election as President of the Eurogroup in July 2020. The previous dialogue with Mário Centeno took place on 21 April 2020. The exchange of views with Members of the ECON Committee will cover the ongoing work of the Eurogroup, notably short term policy measures intended to combat the economic, financial and social consequences of COVID-19, medium term policies to support a sustainable recovery and increase ...

Paschal Donohoe has been invited to his first Economic Dialogue in the ECON Committee since his election as President of the Eurogroup in July 2020. The previous dialogue with Mário Centeno took place on 21 April 2020. The exchange of views with Members of the ECON Committee will cover the ongoing work of the Eurogroup, notably short term policy measures intended to combat the economic, financial and social consequences of COVID-19, medium term policies to support a sustainable recovery and increase resilience of the Euro Area and longer term objectives relating to the robustness of the EMU governance framework, including completing the Banking Union. This briefing covers the following issues: the Eurogroup work programme until June 2021 (Section 1); Economic situation and developments (Section 2); the Recovery and Resilience Facility and the 2021 European Semester Cycle (Section 3); EU/EA policy measures taken to mitigate the economic effects of the pandemic (Section 4); Financial assistance programmes and reform of European Stability Mechanism (Section 5) and Banking Union developments (Section 6). For an overview of the role of the President of the Eurogroup, please see Briefing: The role (and accountability) of the President of the Eurogroup.

The use of pesticides in developing countries and their impact on health and the right to food

08-01-2021

This study provides a broad perspective on the main trends regarding the use of pesticides in developing countries and their impacts on human health and food security. Information is provided on the challenges of controlling these hazardous substances, along with the extent to which pesticides banned within the European Union (EU) are exported to third countries. The analysis assesses the factors behind the continuation of these exports, along with the rising demand for better controls. Recommendations ...

This study provides a broad perspective on the main trends regarding the use of pesticides in developing countries and their impacts on human health and food security. Information is provided on the challenges of controlling these hazardous substances, along with the extent to which pesticides banned within the European Union (EU) are exported to third countries. The analysis assesses the factors behind the continuation of these exports, along with the rising demand for better controls. Recommendations are intended to improve the ability for all people, including future generations, to have access to healthy food in line with United Nations declarations. These recommendations include collaborating with the Rotterdam Convention to strengthen capacity building programmes and the use of the knowledge base maintained by the Convention; supporting collaboration among developing countries to strengthen pesticide risk regulation; explore options to make regulatory risk data more transparent and accessible; strengthen research and education in alternatives to pesticides; stop all exports of crop protection products banned in the EU; only allow the export of severely restricted pesticides if these are regulated accordingly and used properly in the importing country; and support the re-evaluation of pesticide registrations in developing countries to be in line with FAO/WHO Code of Conduct.

Autor externo

Swagata SARKAR, Juliana DIAS BERNARDES GIL, James KEELEY, Niklas MÖHRING, Kees JANSEN

Publicado em 21-01-2021

Mexico's Parliament and other political institutions

21-01-2021

The United Mexican States is the third-largest country in Latin America, with the second-largest economy and population. It is a federal republic, composed of 31 states plus Mexico City. The country is an electoral democracy with universal suffrage, a presidential system of government and separation of powers. The executive power is vested in the President of the Republic, the legislative power in the bicameral Congress of the Union and the judicial power in the Federal Courts of Justice. States ...

The United Mexican States is the third-largest country in Latin America, with the second-largest economy and population. It is a federal republic, composed of 31 states plus Mexico City. The country is an electoral democracy with universal suffrage, a presidential system of government and separation of powers. The executive power is vested in the President of the Republic, the legislative power in the bicameral Congress of the Union and the judicial power in the Federal Courts of Justice. States are headed by a governor and have unicameral legislatures. Mexico has always had a multilateral vocation, maintaining a wide presence in global and regional organisations. It has close historical and cultural ties with the EU, with which it shares fundamental values. Mexico was the first Latin American country to sign an economic partnership, political coordination and cooperation agreement (a 'Global Agreement', which has just been modernised) with the EU, and is – alongside Brazil – a strategic partner to the EU in the region. Relations between the European Parliament and the Mexican Congress of the Union are mainly maintained through the EU-Mexico Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC), made up of delegations from both sides. The European Parliament and the Congress of the Union also work together at the bi-regional level in the framework of the Euro-Latin America Parliamentary Assembly (EuroLat).

Reimbursement and compensation in case of transport cancellation or delay: rights and their enforcement

21-01-2021

Following the COVID-19 outbreak, many trips have been cancelled as a result of measures introduced by Member States that substantially restricted travelling. Some companies have refused to refund customers and have imposed on them to use vouchers instead. This briefing aims to provide consumers with guidance and practical advice concerning their claims for reimbursement and compensation following travel cancellations or delays. It points at complaint forms to use, facilitations such as an alternative ...

Following the COVID-19 outbreak, many trips have been cancelled as a result of measures introduced by Member States that substantially restricted travelling. Some companies have refused to refund customers and have imposed on them to use vouchers instead. This briefing aims to provide consumers with guidance and practical advice concerning their claims for reimbursement and compensation following travel cancellations or delays. It points at complaint forms to use, facilitations such as an alternative dispute resolution and European small claims procedure. It also gives more precise information on claims concerning travel cancellations due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Economic Dialogue and Exchange of Views with the President of the Council (ECOFIN)

21-01-2021

João Leão, Minister of Finance of Portugal, is participating in the ECON Committee in his capacity of President of the ECOFIN Council during the Portuguese Presidency (January-June 2021). In accordance with the Treaty of the Union, “Member States shall regard their economic policies as a matter of common concern and shall coordinate them within the Council”. This briefing provides an overview of the Portuguese presidency priorities in ECON matters, including the Council’s work relating to the implementation ...

João Leão, Minister of Finance of Portugal, is participating in the ECON Committee in his capacity of President of the ECOFIN Council during the Portuguese Presidency (January-June 2021). In accordance with the Treaty of the Union, “Member States shall regard their economic policies as a matter of common concern and shall coordinate them within the Council”. This briefing provides an overview of the Portuguese presidency priorities in ECON matters, including the Council’s work relating to the implementation of the European Semester for economic coordination, notably the application of the Recovery and Resilience Facility and deepening of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU).

Publicado em 20-01-2021

Treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons ─ The 'Ban Treaty'

20-01-2021

On 22 January 2021, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (the TPNW) enters into force. On that day, nuclear weapons development, testing, production, possession, stockpiling, use and threat of use, as well as the stationing or deployment of another country's nuclear weapons on a state party's national territory will become prohibited under international law. The TPNW has been hailed as historic by supporters of an initiative, which has gained ground in recent years, to rid the world of ...

On 22 January 2021, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (the TPNW) enters into force. On that day, nuclear weapons development, testing, production, possession, stockpiling, use and threat of use, as well as the stationing or deployment of another country's nuclear weapons on a state party's national territory will become prohibited under international law. The TPNW has been hailed as historic by supporters of an initiative, which has gained ground in recent years, to rid the world of the most destructive weapon known to humankind. The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), which spearheaded these efforts, was awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize. Supporters hope that the TPNW will strengthen the international legal framework and gradually advance the political norm against nuclear weapons possession and use. Opponents of the Treaty argue that the conditions for disarmament do not currently exist and that promoters of the TPNW fail to recognise this. They also point to the danger of undermining the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), recognised as the cornerstone of the global non-proliferation and disarmament regime, including by proponents of the TPNW. The nine states known to have military nuclear programmes have not signed the TPMW. Nor have Member States of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which in 2016 re-confirmed its commitment to nuclear deterrence. This raises doubts about the impact of this new instrument and its ability to create normative values. Most EU Member States, 21 of which are members of NATO, oppose the TPNW, and only three have ratified it. The European Parliament has noted that the TPNW provided evidence of the desire to achieve the objective of a nuclear weapons-free world. This is an updated version of an earlier briefing, from January 2018.

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