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Trans-European energy infrastructure guidelines: Updating the current framework

26-04-2021

This briefing provides an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above-mentioned proposal, adopted on 15 December 2020 and referred to Parliament's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE). The proposal seeks to amend Regulation (EU) No 347/2013 on guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure (TEN E) with a view to ensure that the existing framework is consistent with, and contributes to, the new 2030 EU ...

This briefing provides an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above-mentioned proposal, adopted on 15 December 2020 and referred to Parliament's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE). The proposal seeks to amend Regulation (EU) No 347/2013 on guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure (TEN E) with a view to ensure that the existing framework is consistent with, and contributes to, the new 2030 EU climate target, set out in COM(2020) 562, commonly known as the 2030 EU climate target plan, with the ultimate objective of achieving an economy with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions (i.e. climate neutrality) by 2050, and in line with the Commission communication on the European Green Deal, COM(2019) 640.

EU climate action policy: Responding to the global emergency

18-03-2021

The European Green Deal aims to make the European Union climate-neutral by 2050, a target supported by all EU institutions. With this objective, the EU takes a leading role in addressing the global climate emergency. Achieving the climate-neutrality goal requires massive investment and an unprecedented transformation of all sectors of the economy. This study explains the physical basis of climate change and highlights its expected impacts on the EU. To give an overview of EU and international climate ...

The European Green Deal aims to make the European Union climate-neutral by 2050, a target supported by all EU institutions. With this objective, the EU takes a leading role in addressing the global climate emergency. Achieving the climate-neutrality goal requires massive investment and an unprecedented transformation of all sectors of the economy. This study explains the physical basis of climate change and highlights its expected impacts on the EU. To give an overview of EU and international climate policies, it outlines international climate agreements, EU climate action and the climate policies of major economies. It assesses the coherence of EU climate policy with other policy areas, and presents the financing of EU climate action through the EU budget and other instruments. To assess the implications of the climate neutrality objective, the study analysis the challenges and opportunities for the EU economy and its impacts on issues such as international relations, migration, trade, consumers and health . The final chapter addresses the issues facing European decision-makers and the outlook for European and global climate action in the context of the coronavirus pandemic.

Protection of workers from exposure to carcinogens or mutagens: Fourth proposal

30-11-2020

The impact assessment (IA) defines clearly the problem and its underlying drivers. The IA considers a wide range of options, and those retained for further assessment appear to be reasonable and/or justified. However, the IA would have benefited from providing greater clarity on those components that were either included in (short-term exposure limit values) or excluded (biological limit values) from the preferred options. The analysis of impacts focuses on their economic and social dimension, mainly ...

The impact assessment (IA) defines clearly the problem and its underlying drivers. The IA considers a wide range of options, and those retained for further assessment appear to be reasonable and/or justified. However, the IA would have benefited from providing greater clarity on those components that were either included in (short-term exposure limit values) or excluded (biological limit values) from the preferred options. The analysis of impacts focuses on their economic and social dimension, mainly linked to health. Environmental impacts are found to be limited or small but positive, but the analysis could have been substantiated more thoroughly. A cost-benefit analysis of the transitional occupational exposure limit values included in the preferred options was not performed. Stakeholders' opinions have been satisfactorily reported. Finally, the IA appears to have addressed most of the RSB's recommendations and the legislative proposal seems to be consistent with the analysis carried out in the IA.

European Commission work programme 2021

25-11-2020

This briefing, which focuses on legislative initiatives only, is intended as a background overview for parliamentary committees (and their respective secretariats) which are planning their activities in relation to the European Commission work programme for 2021 (CWP 2021), adopted on 19 October 2020. It provides an overview of the CWP 2021 with regard to its structure and key aspects, and includes information on two types of EPRS publications that might be of interest to the relevant committees ...

This briefing, which focuses on legislative initiatives only, is intended as a background overview for parliamentary committees (and their respective secretariats) which are planning their activities in relation to the European Commission work programme for 2021 (CWP 2021), adopted on 19 October 2020. It provides an overview of the CWP 2021 with regard to its structure and key aspects, and includes information on two types of EPRS publications that might be of interest to the relevant committees in their consideration of the upcoming legislative proposals: initial appraisals of Commission impact assessments (provided by the Ex-Ante Impact Assessment Unit, IMPA) and implementation appraisals (provided by the Ex-Post Evaluation Unit, EVAL). The annex to the briefing provides, inter alia, a tentative indication of the committee concerned by the 82 legislative files included in the CWP 2021.

Adjusted European Commission work programme 2020

20-07-2020

The European Commission presented its work programme for 2020 in January. Shortly after however, the Covid-19 pandemic happened, forcing the Commission to focus its efforts on the immediate crisis management. This led to the need to recalibrate and adjust the original Commission Work Programme - this adjusted CWP was presented at the end of May. This briefing provides and overview and analysis of the main changes between the original / January CWP 2020, and the adjusted / May CWP.

The European Commission presented its work programme for 2020 in January. Shortly after however, the Covid-19 pandemic happened, forcing the Commission to focus its efforts on the immediate crisis management. This led to the need to recalibrate and adjust the original Commission Work Programme - this adjusted CWP was presented at the end of May. This briefing provides and overview and analysis of the main changes between the original / January CWP 2020, and the adjusted / May CWP.

European Commission Work Programme for 2020

11-02-2020

This briefing is intended as a background overview for parliamentary committees planning their activities in relation to the European Commission's 2020 work programme (CWP 2020). It offers a brief description of the work programme's content and of related publications provided by the Ex-Ante Impact Assessment Unit (IMPA) and the Ex-Post Evaluation Unit (EVAL) of the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), in particular initial appraisals of Commission impact assessments and implementation ...

This briefing is intended as a background overview for parliamentary committees planning their activities in relation to the European Commission's 2020 work programme (CWP 2020). It offers a brief description of the work programme's content and of related publications provided by the Ex-Ante Impact Assessment Unit (IMPA) and the Ex-Post Evaluation Unit (EVAL) of the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), in particular initial appraisals of Commission impact assessments and implementation appraisals.

Revision of the EU system for monitoring, reporting and verifying CO2 emissions from ships

18-10-2019

This initial appraisal assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment accompanying its proposals to revise the EU system to monitor, report, and verify CO2 emissions from ships, established by Regulation (EU) 2015/757. The proposal envisages aligning partially the EU system with the system adopted by the International Maritime Organization to monitor and report ship's fuel oil consumption. While the IA clearly identifies the problem – to facilitate the simultaneous ...

This initial appraisal assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment accompanying its proposals to revise the EU system to monitor, report, and verify CO2 emissions from ships, established by Regulation (EU) 2015/757. The proposal envisages aligning partially the EU system with the system adopted by the International Maritime Organization to monitor and report ship's fuel oil consumption. While the IA clearly identifies the problem – to facilitate the simultaneous application of the EU and IMO systems – its evolution could have been substantiated further. The general objectives identified by the IA are not entirely consistent with the manner in which the problem was defined; furthermore, there are no specific objectives, contrary to the requirements of the Better Regulation guidelines. The operational objective identified is not defined in operational terms. The only two options considered for further assessment, in addition to the baseline, do not appear to be substantially very different from each other, with the third option even being judged artificial by the Commission’s Regulatory Scrutiny Board. Moreover, the IA does not appear to have succeeded in structuring these two options convincingly. The analysis regarding the impacts of the identified options is very succinct. The Commission consulted a wide range of stakeholders, whose views were satisfactorily reported in the IA and were taken into account when considering the policy options. Overall, the IA appears to have taken on board most of the RSB's recommendations. However, the final revision of the IA report does not appear to have quantified the cost savings of the preferred option, as demanded by the RSB, and still contains Option 3, which the RSB had recommended to discard. As the IA does not explain how it has addressed the Board's suggestion regarding Option 3, it is unclear whether any changes were made to it or it was left untouched. Finally, the legislative proposal seems to be substantially consistent with the analysis carried out in the IA.

An EU framework to facilitate investments in environmentally sustainable economic activities

12-04-2019

This initial appraisal assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment accompanying its proposals for three regulations on: establishing a framework to facilitate sustainable investment disclosures relating to sustainable investments and sustainability risks; and on introducing two new categories of carbon benchmarks in the (benchmark) Regulation (EU) 2016/1011. The legislative package on sustainable finance deals with technical and inherently complex issues; ...

This initial appraisal assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment accompanying its proposals for three regulations on: establishing a framework to facilitate sustainable investment disclosures relating to sustainable investments and sustainability risks; and on introducing two new categories of carbon benchmarks in the (benchmark) Regulation (EU) 2016/1011. The legislative package on sustainable finance deals with technical and inherently complex issues; it is therefore not surprising that the IA accompanying it reflects such a complexity, which is not always dealt with in a clear and immediately understandable way. This might also explain the double negative opinions, unusually followed in this case by a positive opinion with reservations issued by the Commission's Regulatory Scrutiny Board (RSB). The consequences of the two identified problems (lack of incentives to consider ESG factors and high search costs faced by end-investors), and how they would evolve without EU action, are described in a satisfactory way, as well as their underlying drivers. As required, the IA identifies general and specific objectives, but no operational objectives that would have informed about how the preferred options are expected to operate in practice. This is very likely due to the fact the operational aspects of the proposals are envisaged to be defined, and analytically developed, by subsequent delegated acts. The IA's preferred options are selected after considering both a non-legislative and a regulatory approach, although two of them contains some aspects that are not entirely clear. As regards its scope, the IA has only partially succeeded in explaining the impacts considered in an entirely satisfactory way. The IA does not include an analysis of competitiveness nor an analysis of impacts, if any, on SMEs. The evidence included in the IA provides ample and detailed insights into the issues considered and some methodological limitations, regarding the proposal on low carbon and positive carbon impact benchmarks are acknowledged in the IA. The Commission has consulted extensively a broad range of stakeholders, whose views have been satisfactorily reported in the IA or in a separate document containing the results of the second open public consultation. Overall, the IA appears to have addressed the majority of the improvements requested by the RSB. Finally, the legislative proposals seem to be consistent with the analysis carried out in the IA.

Protection of workers from exposure to carcinogens or mutagens: Third proposal

17-12-2018

This detailed appraisal focuses on the process and evidence base used in the IA for setting the limit values for cadmium and beryllium, notably in light of some knowledge gaps and methodological challenges identified in the IA in relation to the number of workers exposed and the estimation of the burden of disease. The appraisal concludes that the IA has relied on a vast and updated amount of information, including scientific journals, guidelines, manuals, surveys, published by authoritative research ...

This detailed appraisal focuses on the process and evidence base used in the IA for setting the limit values for cadmium and beryllium, notably in light of some knowledge gaps and methodological challenges identified in the IA in relation to the number of workers exposed and the estimation of the burden of disease. The appraisal concludes that the IA has relied on a vast and updated amount of information, including scientific journals, guidelines, manuals, surveys, published by authoritative research centres, publishers and international organisations, making the overall analysis sufficiently convincing and robust. As regards the limitations of the analysis, which are transparently acknowledged, the analysis carried out by the external contractors and endorsed in the IA recognises that the full current and future disease burden deriving from historic exposures to cadmium and beryllium is not captured; consequently, the disease burdens may be underestimated. As regards the estimated number of workers exposed to cadmium, the value of 10 000 workers considered by the external contractors for their modelling (in addition to a higher value of 30 000), and taken over in the IA, is coherently justified in light of the recognised wide divergences among the different estimates. This value appears to be reasonable, based on the availability of data at national and EU level, and the way some of them were gathered. As regards the estimated number of workers exposed to beryllium, the figure of 54 071 workers exposed in the EU 28 (excluding the construction sector) identified by the external contractor and used in the IA appears to be plausible, based on the justifications provided. However, it is acknowledged that higher exposure levels would imply higher costs and benefits at all target OEL values.

Establishing the Connecting Europe Facility 2021-2027

13-11-2018

This initial appraisal assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment accompanying its proposal for establishing the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) for the 2021-2027 period. CEF is an EU funding instrument designed to promote and part-finance the construction of pivotal cross border transport, energy and telecommunications infrastructure links between the EU's Member States. The proposal intends to support the achievement of the EU policy objectives in the ...

This initial appraisal assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment accompanying its proposal for establishing the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) for the 2021-2027 period. CEF is an EU funding instrument designed to promote and part-finance the construction of pivotal cross border transport, energy and telecommunications infrastructure links between the EU's Member States. The proposal intends to support the achievement of the EU policy objectives in the transport, energy and digital sectors as regards the trans-European networks and to support cross-border cooperation between Member States on renewables planning and deployment. The appraisal concludes that the impact assessment (IA) provides a good description of the policy challenges of the new CEF based on the mid-term evaluation of the programme. The IA envisages a change in the scope for the digital and energy sectors. Alternative options are identified for the energy sector only. The IA would have benefited from better illustrating if, and in case how, the preferred option would take advantage from the existing, or forthcoming, legislation in establishing the envisaged enabling framework for cross-border cooperation on renewables. The IA does not discuss social or environmental impacts of the proposed measures and economic impacts are discussed for the energy sector only. Potential impacts on SMEs are not discussed, although SMEs might have deserved some analysis considering the specific objectives of the trans-European networks for the digital sector. An analysis regarding the impact on competitiveness appears to be missing as well. The final version of the IA appears to have addressed almost entirely the improvements requested by the Regulatory Scrutiny Board.

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