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More flexible VAT rates

Briefing 26-09-2022

Value added tax (VAT) is an important source of revenue for national governments and the European Union (EU) budget and, from an economic point of view, a very efficient consumption tax. However, the rules governing value added tax as applied to intra-Community trade are almost 30 years old and the current common EU VAT system is both complicated and vulnerable to fraud. Businesses doing cross-border trade face high compliance costs and the administrative burden of national tax administrations is ...

The assignment of a claim refers to a situation where a creditor (the assignor) transfers the right to claim a debt from the debtor to another person (the assignee) who then becomes a creditor vis-a-vis the debtor (replacing in this role the original creditor). This mechanism is used by companies to obtain liquidity and access credit. At the moment, there is no legal certainty as to which national law applies when determining who owns a claim after it has been assigned in a cross-border case. The ...

The e-CODEX system is the technological backbone of the digitalisation of EU judicial cooperation in both civil and criminal matters. It comprises a package of software products that allow for secure digital communication between courts, and between citizens and the courts, in particular enabling the secure exchange of judicial documents. The project, launched in 2010 with EU funding, has until now been managed by a consortium of Member States and other organisations, and coordinated by the Ministry ...

On 14 July 2021 the European Commission adopted the 'fit for 55' package, which adapts existing climate and energy legislation to meet the new EU objective of a minimum 55 % reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030. The 'fit for 55' package is part of the European Green Deal, which aims to put the EU firmly on the path towards climate neutrality by 2050. A key element in the 'fit for 55' package is the revision of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED II), to help the EU deliver the new ...

On 17 November 2021, the European Commission tabled a legislative proposal aimed at curbing deforestation and forest degradation driven by the expansion of agricultural land used to produce specific commodities, namely cattle, cocoa, coffee, palm oil, soya and wood. Following up on a 2020 European Parliament resolution, which called for regulatory action to tackle EU-driven global deforestation, the proposal would impose due diligence obligations on operators placing these commodities and some derived ...

On 14 July 2021, the European Commission adopted the 'fit for 55' package with a view to adapting existing EU climate and energy legislation to meet the EU objective of a minimum 55 % reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030, as required under the European Climate Law. The 'fit for 55' package includes a recast of the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED), aligning its provisions to the -55 % GHG target. The EED is currently designed to meet the existing goal of 32.5 % energy efficiency improvements ...

General product safety regulation

Briefing 30-08-2022

The European Parliament and the Council have adopted their mandates for interinstitutional negotiations on the proposal for a general product safety regulation. These are expected to start in mid-September 2022. The proposed regulation would replace the current General Product Safety Directive. It seeks to address the product safety challenges of emerging technologies, including use of artificial intelligence (AI) and connected devices, and to establish clear obligations for online marketplaces, ...

The EU has implemented the world's largest carbon-pricing system, the emissions trading system (ETS). While pricing emissions can encourage industrial decarbonisation, it also risks carbon leakage, whereby EU companies move their production abroad. To date, the EU has mitigated carbon leakage through free allocations to certain industries, but with rising climate ambition and higher carbon prices, the Commission seeks to phase out free allocations. In parallel, a novel carbon border adjustment mechanism ...

Data act

Briefing 14-07-2022

This briefing provides an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the Commission proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on harmonised rules on fair access to and use of data (data act), submitted on 23 February 2022 and referred to the European Parliament's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE). The IA explains that the data act 'complements the two other major instruments shaping ...

On 7 June 2022, the European Parliament and the Council reached a provisional agreement on the legislative proposal to amend the 2014 Radio Equipment Directive. The amended directive, proposed by the European Commission on 23 September 2021, is a first step towards mandating a common charger for mobile phones and other small portable devices, which will have to be equipped with a USB Type-C receptacle and will have to incorporate the USB Power Delivery communication protocol. A separate initiative ...