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Rail passengers' rights and obligations in the EU

25-11-2020

In 2007, the EU established a set of basic rights for rail passengers, which became applicable at the end of 2009. These rights provide for all passengers, including those with reduced mobility, a harmonised minimum level of protection, information and assistance. Recent reports have concluded that the implementation of these rights, although relatively smooth, is not done uniformly across the EU. Moreover, other shortcomings have prevented these rights from being used to their full potential. In ...

In 2007, the EU established a set of basic rights for rail passengers, which became applicable at the end of 2009. These rights provide for all passengers, including those with reduced mobility, a harmonised minimum level of protection, information and assistance. Recent reports have concluded that the implementation of these rights, although relatively smooth, is not done uniformly across the EU. Moreover, other shortcomings have prevented these rights from being used to their full potential. In September 2017, the European Commission presented a new proposal to address these shortcomings and to strike a new balance between keeping rail operators competitive and providing adequate passenger protection. The European Parliament’s Committee on Transport and Tourism adopted its report on the proposal on 9 October 2018 and, subsequently, the Parliament adopted its first-reading position on 15 November 2018. For its part, the Council adopted its general approach on 2 December 2019, under the Finnish Presidency. Interinstitutional negotiations began at the end of January 2020, and on 1 October 2020, under the Germany Presidency, Council and Parliament reached a provisional agreement. The agreed text must still be formally adopted by Council before it returns to Parliament for adoption at second reading. Fifth edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Multiannual plan for small pelagic fish stocks in the Adriatic Sea

14-11-2020

Multiannual fisheries management plans are essential tools for the sustainable exploitation of marine resources, offering better predictability over time and a framework for improved cooperation between Member States at sea basin level. As part of a series of such plans adopted since the last reform of the common fisheries policy, the European Commission put forward, in February 2017, a proposal for a multiannual plan intended to manage fisheries of small pelagic fish stocks (anchovy and sardine) ...

Multiannual fisheries management plans are essential tools for the sustainable exploitation of marine resources, offering better predictability over time and a framework for improved cooperation between Member States at sea basin level. As part of a series of such plans adopted since the last reform of the common fisheries policy, the European Commission put forward, in February 2017, a proposal for a multiannual plan intended to manage fisheries of small pelagic fish stocks (anchovy and sardine) in the Adriatic Sea. These stocks, which have long been in a poor state, are exploited mainly by fishing vessels from Italy and Croatia, and to a smaller extent from Slovenia. They are managed under a complex legal framework at EU, regional and national level, which includes, since 2017, setting annual catch limits for the concerned Member States. With the multiannual plan for Adriatic small pelagic stocks, the Commission proposed, among other changes, to introduce a longer-term system of setting allowable catches - a major shift in fisheries management in this area, traditionally based on fishing effort. The Parliament examined the proposal and adopted a legislative resolution in November 2018, making significant modifications to the plan and opposing the proposed catch limits system. The Commission considered that the amended plan was not fit for purpose, and subsequently withdrew the proposal.

Support for fishermen affected by the eastern Baltic cod closure

10-11-2020

Eastern Baltic cod has long supported the livelihoods of many Baltic fishermen, but stocks of this valuable fish have been declining sharply in recent years. Every year since 2014, total allowable catches have been reduced accordingly. Recent scientific advice, published in May 2019, reinforced concerns regarding eastern Baltic cod, showing an even steeper decline and estimating the stock to be below safe biological limits for the past two years. Scientists point to high natural mortality resulting ...

Eastern Baltic cod has long supported the livelihoods of many Baltic fishermen, but stocks of this valuable fish have been declining sharply in recent years. Every year since 2014, total allowable catches have been reduced accordingly. Recent scientific advice, published in May 2019, reinforced concerns regarding eastern Baltic cod, showing an even steeper decline and estimating the stock to be below safe biological limits for the past two years. Scientists point to high natural mortality resulting from various environmental pressures, including a lack of salinity, little oxygen, pollution, high water temperatures and parasite infestation. On 22 July 2019, as an emergency measure, the Commission imposed an immediate closure of the fishery for six months, with the exception of a limited amount arising from the unavoidable by-catch. Subsequently, fishing opportunities for 2020 were cut by 92 %. As recovery of the stock is not expected before 2024, on 31 October 2019 the Commission issued a proposal amending the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Regulation in order to allow support for permanent cessation and introducing parallel changes to the Baltic multiannual plan by setting capacity limits for the fishing segments concerned and by including additional control and data collection measures. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

European Maritime and Fisheries Fund 2021-2027

06-10-2020

As part of the next EU budget framework for the 2021-2027 period, the European Commission proposed a new regulation on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) in order to continue the support to the common fisheries policy and the integrated maritime policy. The new fund would give the Member States more flexibility in the implementation of the priorities. Small-scale coastal fisheries and outermost regions would receive greater preferential treatment. Support for permanent cessation and ...

As part of the next EU budget framework for the 2021-2027 period, the European Commission proposed a new regulation on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) in order to continue the support to the common fisheries policy and the integrated maritime policy. The new fund would give the Member States more flexibility in the implementation of the priorities. Small-scale coastal fisheries and outermost regions would receive greater preferential treatment. Support for permanent cessation and temporary cessation would be supported under strict conditions. It further proposes increased support for international ocean governance and stronger synergies with other EU policies. The fund is also expected to contribute to the development of the blue economy and support the EU's climate objectives. In reaction to the coronavirus crisis, the Commission published in May 2020 a revised multiannual financial framework proposal, significantly reducing the budget cut for the EMFF as compared to its initial proposal. Both Parliament and Council have agreed positions on the proposal, and trilogue negotiations started in November 2019. An important area of discussion is subsidies to fishing vessels, on which both co-legislators want to go further than the Commission proposal. The next trilogue meeting is scheduled for 29 October 2020. Fourth edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure

Single market information tool (SMIT)

30-09-2020

Competition and consumer protection in the single market are often undermined by price discrimination based on residency. While many market players do not cooperate with the Commission, for instance not disclosing their pricing structure, Member States often do not have the means or the tools to collect and deliver the required information to the Commission. The SMIT proposal would provide the Commission with powers such as to request business-related information (e.g. cost structure or product volumes ...

Competition and consumer protection in the single market are often undermined by price discrimination based on residency. While many market players do not cooperate with the Commission, for instance not disclosing their pricing structure, Member States often do not have the means or the tools to collect and deliver the required information to the Commission. The SMIT proposal would provide the Commission with powers such as to request business-related information (e.g. cost structure or product volumes sold), and to address market failures in a more efficient way. The SMIT, however, has raised some criticism in the Council and EP, inter alia, because of the Commission’s choice of the legal basis for the proposal. Parliament’s Legal Service stated in an opinion that the correct legal basis for the Commission proposal is Article 337 TFEU: a legal basis which gives no legislative role for the EP. On 12 July 2018, the IMCO committee adopted a report which would amend the proposal’s legal basis. The JURI committee subsequently adopted an opinion stating that the Commission proposal goes beyond the powers available under the proposed revised legal basis. The report was initially due to be voted in plenary in October 2018, but was taken off the agenda. As the parliamentary term has concluded, the report has now lapsed. The European Commission withdrew this legislative proposal on 29 September 2020. The procedure has thus ended.

European territorial cooperation (Interreg) 2021-2027

24-08-2020

On 29 May 2018, the European Commission adopted several proposals aimed at defining the architecture of EU cohesion policy for the post-2020 programming period. The package includes a proposal for the new generation of European territorial cooperation (ETC) programmes, commonly referred to as 'Interreg'. The proposed regulation would bring significant changes to the current architecture of ETC, with the reshaping of the three traditional cooperation strands (i.e. cross-border, transnational and interregional ...

On 29 May 2018, the European Commission adopted several proposals aimed at defining the architecture of EU cohesion policy for the post-2020 programming period. The package includes a proposal for the new generation of European territorial cooperation (ETC) programmes, commonly referred to as 'Interreg'. The proposed regulation would bring significant changes to the current architecture of ETC, with the reshaping of the three traditional cooperation strands (i.e. cross-border, transnational and interregional cooperation) and the creation of two new components, one dedicated to outermost regions, the other to interregional cooperation on innovation. Another major novelty is the incorporation of cooperation with countries other than EU Member States. The proposal is being examined simultaneously by the Council and the European Parliament. In Parliament, the Committee on Regional Development (REGI) is responsible for the file. Parliament adopted its legislative resolution on the proposal at first reading on 26 March 2019, enabling trilogue negotiations to get under way with the Council. Third edition of a briefing originally drafted by Vivienne Halleux. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Creative Europe programme 2021-2027

24-08-2020

Having considered the possibility of merging the Creative Europe programme with other programmes supporting European values, rights and justice, the European Commission has decided to continue the Creative Europe programme as a stand-alone programme, increasing its budget by 17 %. The only programme focusing exclusively on cultural and creative activities and enterprises, it falls under the 'Cohesion and values' heading of the 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework. The existing programme focuses ...

Having considered the possibility of merging the Creative Europe programme with other programmes supporting European values, rights and justice, the European Commission has decided to continue the Creative Europe programme as a stand-alone programme, increasing its budget by 17 %. The only programme focusing exclusively on cultural and creative activities and enterprises, it falls under the 'Cohesion and values' heading of the 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework. The existing programme focuses on the economic dimension of the cultural sector and its contribution to job creation and economic growth. Some stakeholders have voiced concern at taking such a strongly economic approach to culture. Under the proposed programme, the economic dimension is one axis alongside the social dimension, and culture's contribution to international relations. The proposed framework for cultural policy therefore highlights not only the economic dimension of the cultural and creative sectors, but also the role of culture in social cohesion and its relation to creative and artistic freedom and diversity, and freedom and plurality of media. Both Parliament and Council have agreed positions on the proposal, and trilogue negotiations started in autumn 2019 with a view to finding agreement before Council’s first reading. Fourth edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Electronic freight transport information

24-08-2020

The movement of goods in the European Union has increased by almost 25 % over the last 20 years, and this growth is projected to continue. A large amount of information accompanies this movement, exchanged mostly in paper format. Yet the digitalisation of information exchange could make the transport of goods much more efficient and reliable, and yield significant savings. As one way to speed up the digitalisation of freight transport, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation on ...

The movement of goods in the European Union has increased by almost 25 % over the last 20 years, and this growth is projected to continue. A large amount of information accompanies this movement, exchanged mostly in paper format. Yet the digitalisation of information exchange could make the transport of goods much more efficient and reliable, and yield significant savings. As one way to speed up the digitalisation of freight transport, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation on electronic freight transport information on 17 May 2018. The aim of this regulation is to provide for a fully digital and harmonised environment for information exchanges between transport operators and authorities. The legislative proposal is part of the Commission's third 'Europe on the Move' package, which is designed to complete its agenda for the modernisation of mobility. The European Parliament adopted its position on the proposal on 12 March 2019. The Council, on its side, reached a general approach on this proposal on 6 June 2019. The Council and Parliament reached a provisional agreement on the proposal on 26 November 2019. The Council adopted the text at first reading on 7 April 2020, and the Parliament approved it at second reading on 8 July. The final act was published in the Official Journal on 31 July 2020. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

The new European cybersecurity competence centre and network

24-07-2020

On 13 September 2017, the Commission adopted a cybersecurity package containing a series of initiatives to further improve EU cyber-resilience, deterrence and defence. A year later, the Commission presented a proposal for the creation of a European cybersecurity competence centre with a related network of national coordination centres. The initiative aims to improve and strengthen the EU's cybersecurity capacity, by stimulating the European technological and industrial cybersecurity ecosystem as ...

On 13 September 2017, the Commission adopted a cybersecurity package containing a series of initiatives to further improve EU cyber-resilience, deterrence and defence. A year later, the Commission presented a proposal for the creation of a European cybersecurity competence centre with a related network of national coordination centres. The initiative aims to improve and strengthen the EU's cybersecurity capacity, by stimulating the European technological and industrial cybersecurity ecosystem as well as coordinating and pooling necessary resources in Europe. The competence centre is supposed to become the main body that would manage EU financial resources dedicated to cybersecurity research under the two proposed programmes – Digital Europe and Horizon Europe – within the next multiannual financial framework, for 2021-2027. Within the European Parliament, the file was assigned to the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE). The report was adopted on 19 February 2019 in the ITRE committee and voted by Parliament during the March I 2019 plenary. Although trilogue negotiations took place in March 2019, given the short timeframe until the end of the legislative term no agreement could be reached, and Parliament then adopted its first-reading position ahead of the May 2019 elections. A third trilogue meeting took place more than a year later, on 25 June 2020, and further negotiations are planned for September 2020. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT): Regulation and new strategic innovation agenda

15-07-2020

On 11 July 2019, the Commission presented its new legislative package on the European Institute of Innovation and Technology. The package consists of a recast of the current regulation and the new strategic innovation agenda. Created in 2008 at the start of the seventh EU research and development framework programme, the EIT is dedicated to increasing competitiveness, sustainable economic growth and job creation by promoting knowledge triangle activities (higher education, research and innovation ...

On 11 July 2019, the Commission presented its new legislative package on the European Institute of Innovation and Technology. The package consists of a recast of the current regulation and the new strategic innovation agenda. Created in 2008 at the start of the seventh EU research and development framework programme, the EIT is dedicated to increasing competitiveness, sustainable economic growth and job creation by promoting knowledge triangle activities (higher education, research and innovation). It operates through eight 'knowledge and innovation communities' that address specific societal challenges, such as digitalisation, urban mobility, climate and raw materials and is part of Horizon 2020. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

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