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Implementation of Country Specific Recommendations under the MIP - July 2020

02-07-2020

This note provides an overview of the implementation rate of Country-Specific Recommendations (CSRs) issued under the Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure (see a separate EGOV note for details on the MIP procedure). Figures presented in this overview refer only to Member States experiencing macroeconomic imbalances and are based on the implementation assessments performed by the Commission in its annual Country Reports.

This note provides an overview of the implementation rate of Country-Specific Recommendations (CSRs) issued under the Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure (see a separate EGOV note for details on the MIP procedure). Figures presented in this overview refer only to Member States experiencing macroeconomic imbalances and are based on the implementation assessments performed by the Commission in its annual Country Reports.

A new approach to EU enlargement

11-03-2020

The Thessaloniki Summit (2003) opened the door to a European future for the Western Balkans. However, since then progress towards EU membership has been slow. The countries of the region have struggled to implement economic and political reforms, and the rule of law remains particularly problematic. The 2018 Enlargement Strategy for the Western Balkans gave new impetus to the enlargement policy, offering the six countries of the region a 'credible strategy' through enhanced EU engagement and indicating ...

The Thessaloniki Summit (2003) opened the door to a European future for the Western Balkans. However, since then progress towards EU membership has been slow. The countries of the region have struggled to implement economic and political reforms, and the rule of law remains particularly problematic. The 2018 Enlargement Strategy for the Western Balkans gave new impetus to the enlargement policy, offering the six countries of the region a 'credible strategy' through enhanced EU engagement and indicating 2025 as a possible accession date. In June 2019, and again in October 2019, the Council postponed the decision to open negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia, despite the positive recommendation from the European Commission and the agreement of the European Parliament. By delaying this decision, the European Union was sending an ambiguous message to the region, reducing its credibility and potentially fuelling nationalistic rhetoric, whilst opening the door to the influence of third-country powers, in particular China and Russia. These problems have sparked a debate which has led to a fundamental re-think of the EU's enlargement policy. In February 2020, European Enlargement Commissioner, Olivér Várhelyi, announced a revised methodology. The new approach aims to strengthen the process. It improves tools to push reforms forward, notably in the areas of the rule of law and the economy. It makes the accession negotiations more credible, more predictable, more dynamic and guided by a stronger political steer. The candidate countries need to deliver on the reforms they promised and the EU needs to deliver when they do so. The criteria will be made clearer and more concise on what is required. Dynamism also means that related issues will be negotiated together in clusters. This can speed up the process. However, if there is backtracking, the process can go backwards with chapters reopened and the level of negotiations scaled back. The Commission's new proposals also envisage further integration of Western Balkan countries into EU policies, programmes and markets, which would deliver some of the benefits of EU membership even before accession. These proposed changes, together with the updated report of the Commission on Albania and North Macedonia pave the way for a decision of the Council, on opening accession negotiations with these two countries, before the EU-Western Balkans summit, to be held in May 2020 in Zagreb, Croatia.

Net operating balances indicator: A distorted indicator of a Member's benefit from the EU budget

19-02-2020

Operating budgetary balance (OBB) calculations imply that EU spending is a zero-sum game. This feature is inconsistent with the main argument that EU spending creates European added value. Thus, taking simple net operating balances as an indicator of a Member State’s ‘net benefit’ from the Union’s fiscal activities can lead to misleading results, as demonstrated in the following points of argument.

Operating budgetary balance (OBB) calculations imply that EU spending is a zero-sum game. This feature is inconsistent with the main argument that EU spending creates European added value. Thus, taking simple net operating balances as an indicator of a Member State’s ‘net benefit’ from the Union’s fiscal activities can lead to misleading results, as demonstrated in the following points of argument.

Autor extern

Zareh Astryan, Annika Havlik, Friedrich Heinemann, Justus Nover

EU membership benefits: Not measured by net operating balances

19-02-2020

National operating budgetary balances (OBBs) do not take into account all of the economic and non-monetary benefits that Member States gain from EU membership. In many policy areas with cross-border characteristics and demand for critical mass, common action at the EU level may lead to better results than fragmented national initiatives. Several studies show that the Single Market has increased employment and growth. The effect of the Single Market deepening since 1990 has been quantified by 3.6 ...

National operating budgetary balances (OBBs) do not take into account all of the economic and non-monetary benefits that Member States gain from EU membership. In many policy areas with cross-border characteristics and demand for critical mass, common action at the EU level may lead to better results than fragmented national initiatives. Several studies show that the Single Market has increased employment and growth. The effect of the Single Market deepening since 1990 has been quantified by 3.6 million new jobs. Additionally, EU GDP would be 8.7% lower if there had been no Single Market integration. The average EU citizen gains €840 more per year thanks to the Single Market. While all EU citizens benefit from income gains thanks to the Single Market, these effects are higher for Western Europeans in absolute terms. Relative to GDP, gains and losses are more similar.

Autor extern

Marta Pilati, Fabian Zuleeg

The Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure – Overview

14-05-2019

The Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure (MIP) is a policy tool introduced within the reinforced economic governance framework adopted in 2011. The MIP aims at preventing and correcting macroeconomic imbalances in Member States, with specific attention to imbalances with potential spillovers effects on other Member States.

The Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure (MIP) is a policy tool introduced within the reinforced economic governance framework adopted in 2011. The MIP aims at preventing and correcting macroeconomic imbalances in Member States, with specific attention to imbalances with potential spillovers effects on other Member States.

Outcome of the Special European Council (Article 50) meeting, 10 April 2019

12-04-2019

At the special European Council (Article 50) meeting on 10 April 2019, Heads of State or Government agreed to further extend the Article 50 period until 31 October 2019 at the latest. This goes beyond the request made by the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May (30 June 2019), but represents only half the time period some European Council members had been seeking to offer. The compromise found, which maintains unity amongst the EU-27, is esigned to reduce as much as possible the disruptive effects of the ...

At the special European Council (Article 50) meeting on 10 April 2019, Heads of State or Government agreed to further extend the Article 50 period until 31 October 2019 at the latest. This goes beyond the request made by the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May (30 June 2019), but represents only half the time period some European Council members had been seeking to offer. The compromise found, which maintains unity amongst the EU-27, is esigned to reduce as much as possible the disruptive effects of the Brexit negotiations on EU affairs at the start of the new institutional cycle. With the longer extension period – and if the Withdrawal Agreement, is not ratified by 22 May – the UK will be required to organise European elections. The decision excludes any reopening of the Withdrawal Agreement.

Outcome of the special European Council (Article 50), 25 November 2018

29-11-2018

EU-27 leaders endorsed the withdrawal agreement and approved the political declaration on future EU-UK relations on 25 November 2018. After last minute statements regarding Gibraltar and clarification on a possible extension to the transition period removed all obstacles. The agreement is due to enter into force on 30 March 2019. President Tajani stressed that the European Parliament ‘welcomes the Political Declaration on the future relationship and regards it as an excellent basis on which to develop ...

EU-27 leaders endorsed the withdrawal agreement and approved the political declaration on future EU-UK relations on 25 November 2018. After last minute statements regarding Gibraltar and clarification on a possible extension to the transition period removed all obstacles. The agreement is due to enter into force on 30 March 2019. President Tajani stressed that the European Parliament ‘welcomes the Political Declaration on the future relationship and regards it as an excellent basis on which to develop [the EU’s] post-Brexit cooperation with the United Kingdom’.

Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA III)

23-11-2018

On 14 June 2018, the European Commission published a proposal for a regulation establishing the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) III as part of a set of external action instruments under the new 2021 to 2027 multiannual financial framework (MFF). The proposed financial envelope represents a 1.1 % decrease compared with current funding (€12.9 billion in 2018 prices). Beneficiaries include the Western Balkan countries and Turkey. The IPA, set up for the 2007 to 2013 MFF, aims to prepare ...

On 14 June 2018, the European Commission published a proposal for a regulation establishing the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) III as part of a set of external action instruments under the new 2021 to 2027 multiannual financial framework (MFF). The proposed financial envelope represents a 1.1 % decrease compared with current funding (€12.9 billion in 2018 prices). Beneficiaries include the Western Balkan countries and Turkey. The IPA, set up for the 2007 to 2013 MFF, aims to prepare candidate and potential candidate countries for EU membership and supports them in adopting and implementing the necessary political, institutional, legal, administrative, social and economic reforms. IPA III is clearly positioned in the context of the new Western Balkan strategy, adopted in February 2018, and builds in flexibility via à vis the evolving situation in Turkey. It is also designed to complement the EU's internal policies. In Parliament, the file has been allocated to the Committee for Foreign Affairs (AFET), with José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra (EPP, Spain) and Knut Fleckenstein (S&D, Germany) as co-rapporteurs. The draft report presented by the rapporteurs on 30 October 2018 is now awaiting adoption by AFET. First edition. EU Legislation in Progress briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Research for CULT Committee - Europe for Citizens: Towards the Next Programme Generation

15-05-2018

Citizenship is a key element of democracy, and citizens’ participation is needed for democracy to function. As interests and challenges touching citizens do not follow state borders, it is important that citizens’ activity also crosses borders. The funding distributed through the Europe for Citizens programme is therefore crucial. Due to its combination of participation and remembrance, the programme allows addressing the complex challenges and promises related to democracy, citizenship and diversity ...

Citizenship is a key element of democracy, and citizens’ participation is needed for democracy to function. As interests and challenges touching citizens do not follow state borders, it is important that citizens’ activity also crosses borders. The funding distributed through the Europe for Citizens programme is therefore crucial. Due to its combination of participation and remembrance, the programme allows addressing the complex challenges and promises related to democracy, citizenship and diversity, the core topics of the programme.

Autor extern

Katja MÄKINEN

The (ir-)revocability of the withdrawal notification under Article 50 TEU

11-01-2018

This in-depth analysis examines the issue of the possible revocation of a withdrawal notification under article 50 TEU. In light of the ongoing negotiations on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, the possibility for the UK to revoke its withdrawal notification has become a significant political and legal/institutional issue. The analysis examines the case of revocation of a withdrawal notification under international law and under the EU law and assesses the various positions expressed so far on the ...

This in-depth analysis examines the issue of the possible revocation of a withdrawal notification under article 50 TEU. In light of the ongoing negotiations on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, the possibility for the UK to revoke its withdrawal notification has become a significant political and legal/institutional issue. The analysis examines the case of revocation of a withdrawal notification under international law and under the EU law and assesses the various positions expressed so far on the matter.

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