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Outcome of the European Council video-conference of 19 November 2020

24-11-2020

Initially planned to discuss only the EU response to the coronavirus pandemic, recent developments required EU leaders to dedicate attention to other issues during the European Council video-conference meeting of 19 November 2020. In this context, they addressed notably the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), specifically the rule-of-law conditionality linked to the MFF, and the fight against terrorism. While the vast majority of Member States agree with the compromise reached between negotiators ...

Initially planned to discuss only the EU response to the coronavirus pandemic, recent developments required EU leaders to dedicate attention to other issues during the European Council video-conference meeting of 19 November 2020. In this context, they addressed notably the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), specifically the rule-of-law conditionality linked to the MFF, and the fight against terrorism. While the vast majority of Member States agree with the compromise reached between negotiators from the Council and the European Parliament on the issue of rule-of-law conditionality, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia are currently not able to support it. The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, indicated that discussions to find an acceptable solution for all would continue. The exchange of information on the coronavirus pandemic focused in particular on the development of vaccines, ensuring that they would be available and affordable to all EU citizens, and on the coordination of the exit from the second-wave restrictions. The European Council agreed once more to further strengthen coordination of action against the coronavirus pandemic.

Airport charges: Revision of Directive 2009/12/EC

18-11-2020

The Airports Charges Directive 2009/12/EC is the main legislative act regulating the essential features of airport charges. Airport charges are the charges that the airlines pay to the airports for using their infrastructure and facilities. The two main issues that the directive aims to tackle are the risk that some airports might set prices and terms that are not in line with a competitive market, and the diverging and non-transparent charging systems in the Member States. If the evaluation of the ...

The Airports Charges Directive 2009/12/EC is the main legislative act regulating the essential features of airport charges. Airport charges are the charges that the airlines pay to the airports for using their infrastructure and facilities. The two main issues that the directive aims to tackle are the risk that some airports might set prices and terms that are not in line with a competitive market, and the diverging and non-transparent charging systems in the Member States. If the evaluation of the directive revealed positive effects of the regulation, it also identified problematic issues, which hampers the full achievement of its objectives. The European Commission is expected to submit a new proposal by the end of the year.

Asylum procedures at the border

13-11-2020

Fast-tracking procedures at European Union external borders for determining whether individuals are entitled to international protection is a priority in the proposed Pact on Migration and Asylum. This European Implementation Assessment concludes that current Member State practice does not result in uniform and effective reviews of applications for international protection on the basis of a fair process. In particular, certain Member States apply time-lines within which no serious consideration of ...

Fast-tracking procedures at European Union external borders for determining whether individuals are entitled to international protection is a priority in the proposed Pact on Migration and Asylum. This European Implementation Assessment concludes that current Member State practice does not result in uniform and effective reviews of applications for international protection on the basis of a fair process. In particular, certain Member States apply time-lines within which no serious consideration of an application is feasible. Furthermore, applicants are placed in detention or restricted in their freedom of movement without considering alternatives and deprived of opportunities to effectively exercise their procedural rights. A number of recommendations are made to address the shortcomings identified in future legal and practical arrangements for border procedures.

Better cooperation against tax fraud and evasion

10-11-2020

This briefing analyses the strengths and weaknesses of the IA accompanying the Commission proposal on better cooperation in the area of taxation of digital platform sellers’ revenues. The IA’s strengths are an overall good problem definition, solid research quality and full transparency regarding the scarcity of relevant data, as well as regarding the methods and assumptions underlying the analysis. Weaknesses concern the objectives of the initiative, which could have been more specific, and the ...

This briefing analyses the strengths and weaknesses of the IA accompanying the Commission proposal on better cooperation in the area of taxation of digital platform sellers’ revenues. The IA’s strengths are an overall good problem definition, solid research quality and full transparency regarding the scarcity of relevant data, as well as regarding the methods and assumptions underlying the analysis. Weaknesses concern the objectives of the initiative, which could have been more specific, and the presentation of the policy options, which lacks clarity and structure. The IA mainly assesses the economic impacts of the actions under the preferred legislative option, concluding that the benefits would significantly exceed the costs. Social and environmental effects are considered briefly, the former namely in terms of tax fairness and transparency, as well as data protection safeguards.

Directive on security of network and information systems (NIS Directive)

10-11-2020

Directive on security of network and information systems across the Union (Directive (EU) 2016/1148, NIS Directive) is the first horizontal EU cybersecurity legal act, which will be reviewed in 2020 with the aim to increase cybersecurity in the EU. The NIS Directive entered into force in August 2016 and Members States transposed it into national laws by 9 May 2018. The NIS Directive was designed to improve Member States' cybersecurity capabilities; the cooperation between Member States; and Member ...

Directive on security of network and information systems across the Union (Directive (EU) 2016/1148, NIS Directive) is the first horizontal EU cybersecurity legal act, which will be reviewed in 2020 with the aim to increase cybersecurity in the EU. The NIS Directive entered into force in August 2016 and Members States transposed it into national laws by 9 May 2018. The NIS Directive was designed to improve Member States' cybersecurity capabilities; the cooperation between Member States; and Member States' supervision of critical sectors. The Directive established a culture of risk management and incident reporting among key economic actors - operators providing essential services (OES) and Digital Service Providers (DSPs). The Directive also set out cooperation mechanisms, such as the NIS Cooperation Group and the network of national computer security incident response teams (CSIRTs).

Outcome of the European Council video-conference of 29 October 2020

03-11-2020

On 29 October 2020, the Heads of State or Government met by video-conference to exchange information and coordinate efforts to defeat the pandemic, placing testing, tracing and vaccines at the centre of their strategy. EU leaders stressed the urgency of ensuring mutual recognition of rapid tests so as to enable the free movement of persons and to maintain open borders within the EU, as this is key to preserve a functional internal market. They condemned recent terrorist attacks in France and have ...

On 29 October 2020, the Heads of State or Government met by video-conference to exchange information and coordinate efforts to defeat the pandemic, placing testing, tracing and vaccines at the centre of their strategy. EU leaders stressed the urgency of ensuring mutual recognition of rapid tests so as to enable the free movement of persons and to maintain open borders within the EU, as this is key to preserve a functional internal market. They condemned recent terrorist attacks in France and have also discussed the tense situation in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Revision of the TEN-E Regulation

27-10-2020

The general objective of TEN-E policy is to link the energy infrastructure of EU countries. The current guidelines for the trans-European energy infrastructure were established by Regulation (EU) No 347/2013 (the TEN-E Regulation). The European Commission is currently carrying out a multi-step revision process of the regulation, with a view to making the EU energy infrastructure fully consistent with and a driver for the EU's 2050 climate neutrality ambition. In this respect, a new proposal is expected ...

The general objective of TEN-E policy is to link the energy infrastructure of EU countries. The current guidelines for the trans-European energy infrastructure were established by Regulation (EU) No 347/2013 (the TEN-E Regulation). The European Commission is currently carrying out a multi-step revision process of the regulation, with a view to making the EU energy infrastructure fully consistent with and a driver for the EU's 2050 climate neutrality ambition. In this respect, a new proposal is expected by the end of 2020.

European climate pact - Pre-legislative synthesis of national, regional and local positions on the European Commission's initiative

26-10-2020

This briefing forms part of an EPRS series offering syntheses of the pre-legislative state of play and consultation on key European Commission priorities during the current five-year term. It summarises the state of affairs in the relevant policy field, examines how existing policy is working on the ground, and, where possible, identifies best practice and ideas for the future on the part of governmental organisations at all levels of European system of multi-level governance. Based on EPRS analysis ...

This briefing forms part of an EPRS series offering syntheses of the pre-legislative state of play and consultation on key European Commission priorities during the current five-year term. It summarises the state of affairs in the relevant policy field, examines how existing policy is working on the ground, and, where possible, identifies best practice and ideas for the future on the part of governmental organisations at all levels of European system of multi-level governance. Based on EPRS analysis, partner organisations at European, national, regional and local levels point to the following main considerations that they consider should shape discussion of the forthcoming European climate pact: * In the area of energy-efficient building, the climate pact would offer added value in better coordinating the roles and responsibilities of different governmental levels, so as to increase the return on investment that would be felt by citizens. This could, for instance, be achieved by focusing investment on the largest energy consumers, such as public hospitals, schools and social housing. * In terms of low-carbon mobility, the climate pact would provide a platform to exchange ideas regarding the appropriate level of taxation for carbon-intensive means of transport, further tax reforms in the EU Member States to remove fossil fuel subsidies, and a shift of the tax burden towards polluters. * When it comes to working together on climate change, the climate pact would facilitate multi-level cooperation to ensure that the shared goals of climate neutrality translate into concrete action at the local and regional levels, which will eventually be responsible for implementing them, by 2050. This would in particular require improved integration of existing consultation strategies and developing new tools, including comparable geographical maps online. The overall input received indicates that the EU level is expected to set the standards in climate policy through 'shared leadership'. At the same time, each level of governance, from small isolated communities to large cities, and from regional governments and national parliaments to EU institutions, has generated concrete ways to contribute in this process, often by providing examples of good practice and lessons learnt, which could be applied and adapted across the EU.

Outcome of the European Council meeting of 15-16 October 2020

19-10-2020

Without reaching any new decisions, the European Council meeting of 15-16 October 2020 addressed a series of important issues, including the coronavirus pandemic, EU-United Kingdom relations and climate change. It also discussed numerous external relations issues, notably relations with Africa, the EU's southern neighbourhood, Belarus and Turkey. In the context of rising Covid-19 infections across all Member States, the European Council expressed its very serious concern about the developing pandemic ...

Without reaching any new decisions, the European Council meeting of 15-16 October 2020 addressed a series of important issues, including the coronavirus pandemic, EU-United Kingdom relations and climate change. It also discussed numerous external relations issues, notably relations with Africa, the EU's southern neighbourhood, Belarus and Turkey. In the context of rising Covid-19 infections across all Member States, the European Council expressed its very serious concern about the developing pandemic situation and agreed to intensify overall coordination at EU level and between Member States. Regarding the negotiations on future EU-UK relations, EU leaders expressed their concern about the lack of progress and called on the UK to make the necessary moves. They stressed that the Withdrawal Agreement and its Protocols needed to be implemented in a full and timely manner.

EU Defence Package: Defence Procurement and Intra-Community Transfers Directives

19-10-2020

This study examines the implementation of the European Union (EU) defence package, which consists of the Defence Procurement Directive 2009/81/EC and the Intra-Community Transfers Directive 2009/43/EC, during the period from 2016 to 2020. It is organised in two parts. The first part of the study, prepared internally, examines the evaluations carried out on the implementation of the two directives to identify persisting challenges. It surveys institutional and policy novelties in the field of EU defence ...

This study examines the implementation of the European Union (EU) defence package, which consists of the Defence Procurement Directive 2009/81/EC and the Intra-Community Transfers Directive 2009/43/EC, during the period from 2016 to 2020. It is organised in two parts. The first part of the study, prepared internally, examines the evaluations carried out on the implementation of the two directives to identify persisting challenges. It surveys institutional and policy novelties in the field of EU defence cooperation so as to place the implementation of the two directives in context, and then examines Parliament's oversight work. It goes on to lay out the main elements that are likely to affect the future of EU defence industrial cooperation, and provides options for moving forward. The second part of the study, which was outsourced, is based on primary research (a survey and interviews) and aims to assess the effectiveness, efficiency, relevance and added value of the Defence Procurement Directive and the Intra-Community Transfers Directive. It also seeks to identify limitations and challenges, and explore – where possible – the links between the implementation of the two directives.

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30-11-2020
EPRS online Book Talk | How to own the room (and the zoom) [...]
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EPRS
30-11-2020
Hearing on Future-proofing the Tourism Sector: Challenges and Opportunities Ahead
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TRAN
30-11-2020
LIBE - FEMM Joint Hearing: Combating Gender based Violence: Cyber Violence
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FEMM LIBE

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