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Own resources of the European Union: Reforming the EU's financing system

12-02-2021

On 14 December 2020, the Council adopted the decision that reforms the financing system of the EU budget, in the context of a package including the new multiannual financial framework (MFF) and the Next Generation EU (NGEU) recovery instrument. The agreed increase in the maximum level of resources that can be called from Member States is a pre-condition for NGEU borrowing operations. Ratification by all Member States is now required before the decision can enter into force, with retroactive application ...

On 14 December 2020, the Council adopted the decision that reforms the financing system of the EU budget, in the context of a package including the new multiannual financial framework (MFF) and the Next Generation EU (NGEU) recovery instrument. The agreed increase in the maximum level of resources that can be called from Member States is a pre-condition for NGEU borrowing operations. Ratification by all Member States is now required before the decision can enter into force, with retroactive application from 1 January 2021. Six Member States have ratified the decision as of 12 February 2021. Parliament fast-tracked its legislative opinion, adopted in September 2020, to enable the Council to ensure the timely launch of NGEU. In the broader negotiations on EU finances, Parliament pushed for a proper reform of the financing system underlining that the introduction of a basket of new own resources should cover at least the repayment costs of NGEU (for both principal and interest). Deeming the new plastics contribution a first partial step in this direction, Parliament managed to include a detailed roadmap for the introduction of various additional new own resources by 2026 in the interinstitutional agreement on budgetary matters with the Council and the European Commission. Envisaged resources are linked to EU policies on climate and the single market. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Water reuse: Setting minimum requirements

20-04-2020

Although freshwater is relatively abundant in the European Union (EU), water stress occurs in many areas, particularly in the Mediterranean region and parts of the Atlantic region, with environmental and economic impacts. In May 2018, the European Commission put forward a proposal for a regulation setting EU-wide standards that reclaimed water would need to meet in order to be used for agricultural irrigation, with the aim of encouraging greater use of reclaimed water and contributing to alleviating ...

Although freshwater is relatively abundant in the European Union (EU), water stress occurs in many areas, particularly in the Mediterranean region and parts of the Atlantic region, with environmental and economic impacts. In May 2018, the European Commission put forward a proposal for a regulation setting EU-wide standards that reclaimed water would need to meet in order to be used for agricultural irrigation, with the aim of encouraging greater use of reclaimed water and contributing to alleviating water scarcity. The Commission estimates that the proposal could increase water reuse in agricultural irrigation from 1.7 billion m³ to 6.6 billion m³ per year, thereby reducing water stress by 5 %. The European Parliament adopted its first-reading position on 12 February 2019, and the Council agreed on a general approach on 26 June 2019. Trilogue negotiations concluded with a provisional agreement on 2 December. The agreed text, endorsed by the ENVI committee on 21 January 2020, was adopted at first reading by the Council on 7 April. It now returns to the Parliament for final adoption at second reading. Second edition of a briefing originally drafted by Didier Bourguignon. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Parliament's right of legislative initiative

12-02-2020

The European Commission has a near monopoly on legislative initiative in the European Union (EU), with special initiative rights for other institutions applying only in certain specific cases. However, the European Parliament and the Council may invite the Commission to submit legislative proposals. Whilst this 'indirect' initiative right does not create an obligation on the Commission to propose the legislation requested, the Treaty of Lisbon codified the Commission's obligation to provide reasons ...

The European Commission has a near monopoly on legislative initiative in the European Union (EU), with special initiative rights for other institutions applying only in certain specific cases. However, the European Parliament and the Council may invite the Commission to submit legislative proposals. Whilst this 'indirect' initiative right does not create an obligation on the Commission to propose the legislation requested, the Treaty of Lisbon codified the Commission's obligation to provide reasons for any refusal to follow a parliamentary initiative. Against this backdrop, some argue that Parliament could take the Commission to the Court of Justice of the EU if it fails to justify a negative decision. Others see Parliament's increasing participation in overall political planning – particularly through negotiations on the Commission's annual work programme (CWP) – as a further channel for Parliament to increase its influence on EU legislation. It is thus argued that the increased role of Parliament in the legislative procedure should have reduced the need for its Members to make use of legislative initiatives. Notwithstanding that, there is a trend towards greater use of formal parliamentary legislative initiatives to assert greater influence on the political process. Most recently, in her inaugural address in July 2019 and in her Political Guidelines, the then newly elected President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, pledged to strengthen the partnership with the European Parliament, inter alia, by responding with a proposal for a legislative act whenever Parliament, acting by a majority of its members, adopts a resolution requesting that the Commission submit legislative proposals. She added that this commitment would have to be in full respect of the proportionality, subsidiarity and better law-making principles. President von der Leyen also declared herself supportive of moves towards recognition of a right for Parliament of legislative initiative. This briefing is an update of a European Parliament Library briefing from 2013, by Eva-Maria Poptcheva.

European business statistics

15-01-2020

In the context of the work of reviewing the fitness of current regulations (REFIT), the Commission has decided to amend Regulation (EC) No 184/2005 and repeal 10 legal acts in the field of business statistics. The aim is to reduce the administrative burden for businesses, especially SMEs, and to put an end to legal fragmentation in the field of European business statistics. The Commission is proposing to establish a common legal framework for the development, production and dissemination of European ...

In the context of the work of reviewing the fitness of current regulations (REFIT), the Commission has decided to amend Regulation (EC) No 184/2005 and repeal 10 legal acts in the field of business statistics. The aim is to reduce the administrative burden for businesses, especially SMEs, and to put an end to legal fragmentation in the field of European business statistics. The Commission is proposing to establish a common legal framework for the development, production and dissemination of European statistics related to business structure, economic activities and performance, as well as on international transactions and research and development activities in the EU economy; and for the European network of national statistical business registers and the EuroGroups Register. The regulation includes provisions covering business registers, the data sources to be used, and the exchange of confidential data for the purpose of intra-Union trade in goods statistics. The final act was signed on 27 November 2019 and published in the Official Journal on 17 December 2019. It will apply from 1 January 2021, with the exception of certain articles, which will apply from 1 January 2022. Second edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

The powers of the European Parliament

04-11-2019

Since its inception in 1951, the European Parliament has come a long way. Initially a consultative body composed of delegations of national parliaments, it became a directly elected institution, obtained budgetary and legislative powers, and now exercises influence over most aspects of EU affairs. Together with representatives of national governments, who sit in the Council, Parliament co-decides on European legislation, in what could be seen as a bicameral legislature at EU level. It can reject ...

Since its inception in 1951, the European Parliament has come a long way. Initially a consultative body composed of delegations of national parliaments, it became a directly elected institution, obtained budgetary and legislative powers, and now exercises influence over most aspects of EU affairs. Together with representatives of national governments, who sit in the Council, Parliament co-decides on European legislation, in what could be seen as a bicameral legislature at EU level. It can reject or amend the European Commission's proposals before adopting them so that they become law. Together with the Council of the EU, it adopts the EU budget and controls its implementation. Another core set of European Parliament prerogatives concerns the scrutiny of the EU executive – mainly the Commission. Such scrutiny can take many forms, including parliamentary questions, committees of inquiry and special committees, and scrutiny of delegated and implementing acts. Parliament has made use of these instruments to varying degrees. Parliament has the power to dismiss the Commission (motion of censure), and it plays a significant role in the latter's appointment process. Parliament has a say over the very foundations of the EU. Its consent is required before any new country joins the EU, and before a withdrawal treaty is concluded if a country decides to leave it. Most international agreements entered into by the EU with third countries also require Parliament's consent. Parliament can initiate Treaty reform, and also the 'Article 7(1) TEU' procedure, aimed at determining whether there is a (risk of) serious breach of EU values by a Member State.

How EU Treaties are changed

20-09-2019

The EU's founding Treaties have been revised by the Member States in numerous rounds of reforms. Such Treaty revision is a way to ensure that EU primary law evolves, adapts, and responds to new developments and changing needs. The last comprehensive Treaty reform dates back to the Lisbon Treaty, which entered into force on 1 December 2009. While another comprehensive Treaty change is not yet on the agenda, the recent debates on the 'Future of Europe' triggered a number of reform proposals, some of ...

The EU's founding Treaties have been revised by the Member States in numerous rounds of reforms. Such Treaty revision is a way to ensure that EU primary law evolves, adapts, and responds to new developments and changing needs. The last comprehensive Treaty reform dates back to the Lisbon Treaty, which entered into force on 1 December 2009. While another comprehensive Treaty change is not yet on the agenda, the recent debates on the 'Future of Europe' triggered a number of reform proposals, some of which would necessitate revision of the EU Treaties. Such revision is governed by Article 48 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU), which provides for two main procedures: the ordinary and the simplified revision procedures. The former applies to the TEU, to the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU) and to the Euratom Treaty; the latter only to part of the TFEU.

CO2 emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles

30-08-2019

In May 2018, the Commission proposed a regulation setting the first-ever CO2 emission performance standards for new heavy-duty vehicles in the EU, as part of the third mobility package. It would require the average CO2 emissions from new trucks in 2025 to be 15 % lower than in 2019. For 2030, the proposal sets an indicative reduction target of at least 30 % compared to 2019. Special incentives are provided for zero- and low-emission vehicles. The proposed regulation applies to four categories of ...

In May 2018, the Commission proposed a regulation setting the first-ever CO2 emission performance standards for new heavy-duty vehicles in the EU, as part of the third mobility package. It would require the average CO2 emissions from new trucks in 2025 to be 15 % lower than in 2019. For 2030, the proposal sets an indicative reduction target of at least 30 % compared to 2019. Special incentives are provided for zero- and low-emission vehicles. The proposed regulation applies to four categories of large trucks, which together account for 65 %-70 % of CO2 emissions from heavy-duty vehicles. The Commission proposes to review the legislation in 2022 in order to set a binding target for 2030, and to extend its application to smaller trucks, buses, coaches and trailers. In the European Parliament, the proposal was referred to the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, which adopted its report on 18 October 2018. Parliament voted on the report on 14 November. Trilogue negotiations were concluded on 18 February 2019 with an agreement that sets a legally binding 30 % reduction target for the average fleet emissions of new trucks by 2030. The Parliament adopted it during the April II 2019 plenary session, and the Council on 13 June. The Regulation was published in the Official Journal on 25 July and entered into force on 14 August 2019.

Ensuring more transparent and predictable working conditions

26-08-2019

An employer's obligation to inform employees of the conditions applicable to their contracts is regulated by Directive 91/533/EEC. Major shifts in the labour market due to demographic trends and digitalisation, spawning a growing number of non-standard employment relationships, have made it necessary to revise this directive. The European Commission therefore came forward with a proposal for a directive aimed at updating and extending the information on employment-related obligations and working ...

An employer's obligation to inform employees of the conditions applicable to their contracts is regulated by Directive 91/533/EEC. Major shifts in the labour market due to demographic trends and digitalisation, spawning a growing number of non-standard employment relationships, have made it necessary to revise this directive. The European Commission therefore came forward with a proposal for a directive aimed at updating and extending the information on employment-related obligations and working conditions, and at creating new minimum standards for all employed workers, including those on atypical contracts. In the European Parliament, the Committee for Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) considered the proposal and adopted a report focusing in particular on the scope, on employees' working hours, on the conditions for making information available to them, and on employers' responsibilities. Following trilogue negotiations, the European Parliament and the Council reached an agreement on the content of the draft legislation. The final act was signed on 20 June 2019 and published in the Official Journal on 11 July 2019. Member States have until 1 August 2022 to take the necessary measures to comply with the new directive. Third edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Impact Assessment and European Added Value work during the eighth legislative term, 2014-2019

03-07-2019

The responsibility for better law-making is shared between the European Union institutions. In recent years Parliament has developed its own instruments to guarantee proper and independent assessment and to support parliamentary committees in their work. The concept of impact assessment is applied throughout the whole policy cycle – on both an ex-ante and an ex-post basis – from the design of legislation through to its implementation, evaluation and revision. The European Parliament also advocates ...

The responsibility for better law-making is shared between the European Union institutions. In recent years Parliament has developed its own instruments to guarantee proper and independent assessment and to support parliamentary committees in their work. The concept of impact assessment is applied throughout the whole policy cycle – on both an ex-ante and an ex-post basis – from the design of legislation through to its implementation, evaluation and revision. The European Parliament also advocates a proper assessment of European added value, in terms of what savings will result from a European solution and if supplementary costs would arise in the absence of a European solution. This briefing provides a look back over five years’ experience in support of better regulation for the benefit of citizens.

Continuation of work in progress from last term

28-06-2019

With European elections held on 23-26 May 2019, the eighth parliamentary term formally ends on 1 July 2019, a day before the constituent part-session of the newly elected Parliament. Despite the efforts of the co-legislators, agreement could not be found on a number of legislative proposals before the end of the parliamentary term, and these form a major part of the business that needs to be picked up again in the new term. In order to ensure continuity in its work, therefore, Parliament has adopted ...

With European elections held on 23-26 May 2019, the eighth parliamentary term formally ends on 1 July 2019, a day before the constituent part-session of the newly elected Parliament. Despite the efforts of the co-legislators, agreement could not be found on a number of legislative proposals before the end of the parliamentary term, and these form a major part of the business that needs to be picked up again in the new term. In order to ensure continuity in its work, therefore, Parliament has adopted rules on how to deal with unfinished files.

Futuros eventos

15-03-2021
EPRS online Book Talk with Vivien Schmidt: Legitimacy and power in the EU
Outro evento -
EPRS
16-03-2021
EPRS online policy roundtable: Inside the New European Bauhaus
Outro evento -
EPRS
16-03-2021
Public Hearing on Defence planning and procurement in the EU - a joint approach
Audição -
SEDE

Parceiros