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Policy Departments' Monthly Highlights - October 2019

21-10-2019

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

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.

European Council conclusions:A rolling check-list of commitments to date

16-10-2019

The role of the European Council – to 'provide the Union with the necessary impetus for its development' and to define its 'general political directions and priorities' – has evolved rapidly over the last decade. Since June 2014, the European Council Oversight Unit within the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), the European Parliament's in-house research service and think tank, has been monitoring and analysing the European Council's delivery on commitments made in the conclusions of ...

The role of the European Council – to 'provide the Union with the necessary impetus for its development' and to define its 'general political directions and priorities' – has evolved rapidly over the last decade. Since June 2014, the European Council Oversight Unit within the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), the European Parliament's in-house research service and think tank, has been monitoring and analysing the European Council's delivery on commitments made in the conclusions of its meetings. This overview of European Council conclusions is the latest edition of the Rolling Check-List which has been published regularly by the European Council Oversight Unit since 2014. It is designed to review the degree of progress in achieving the goals that the European Council has set itself and to assist the Parliament in exercising its important oversight role in this field.

Key issues in the European Council - State of play in October 2019

16-10-2019

This EPRS publication, 'Key issues in the European Council', which will be updated quarterly to coincide with European Council meetings, aims to provide an overview of the institution’s activities on major EU issues. It analyses nine policy areas, explaining the legal and political background and the main priorities and orientations defined by the European Council. It also assesses the results of European Council involvement to date and identifies future challenges in the various policy fields.

This EPRS publication, 'Key issues in the European Council', which will be updated quarterly to coincide with European Council meetings, aims to provide an overview of the institution’s activities on major EU issues. It analyses nine policy areas, explaining the legal and political background and the main priorities and orientations defined by the European Council. It also assesses the results of European Council involvement to date and identifies future challenges in the various policy fields.

Outlook for the meetings of EU leaders, 17-18 October 2019

15-10-2019

The EU leaders will meet on 17-18 October for a summit expected to be dominated by Brexit. They will also discuss the recently adopted Strategic Agenda 2019-24, the priorities of the incoming Commission, the current state of play on the MFF negotiations, the external dimension of climate policy, and could consider the possibility of opening accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia. As part of their foreign policy debate, EU leaders could consider the evolution of the situations in ...

The EU leaders will meet on 17-18 October for a summit expected to be dominated by Brexit. They will also discuss the recently adopted Strategic Agenda 2019-24, the priorities of the incoming Commission, the current state of play on the MFF negotiations, the external dimension of climate policy, and could consider the possibility of opening accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia. As part of their foreign policy debate, EU leaders could consider the evolution of the situations in Ukraine and Syria, where a Turkish military operation has commenced in the northern part of the country.

Mainstreaming of climate action in the EU budget: Impact of a political objective

11-10-2019

Facilitating the transition to a climate-friendly and resilient economy requires huge investments. The EU has committed to spending 20 % of its 2014-2020 financial resources on climate-related measures. Against the backdrop of the Paris Agreement and of the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations, such a high-level political objective acquires new salience in the negotiations for the post-2020 EU budget. The European Commission has proposed to raise this objective to 25 % of the EU ...

Facilitating the transition to a climate-friendly and resilient economy requires huge investments. The EU has committed to spending 20 % of its 2014-2020 financial resources on climate-related measures. Against the backdrop of the Paris Agreement and of the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations, such a high-level political objective acquires new salience in the negotiations for the post-2020 EU budget. The European Commission has proposed to raise this objective to 25 % of the EU budget in the next programming period, while the European Parliament has called for an even more ambitious approach. Tracking and reporting climate-related expenditure pose several challenges. This analysis describes how climate action has been mainstreamed in the EU budget so far, as well as possible developments for the 2021 2027 period. The EU appears on track to almost reach its 20 % objective by 2020. Assessments of the tracking methodology and of its impact have identified both achievements and shortcomings. The creation of a broad political objective is deemed to act as a driver of increased focus on climate considerations across different policies. Recommendations for improvements include the development of a stronger performance framework.

What next for Europe? A strategic foresight perspective

10-10-2019

The ESPAS report examines the challenges posed for the European Union by megatrends such as digitisation, demographic change and the climate crisis. It emphasises the need for judicious responses, arguing that inaction heightens the risk of bad outcomes. It also notes that the more equal our societies are, the better prepared we are to face the future. Topics examined The report is the fruit of an inter-institutional strategic foresight exercise.

The ESPAS report examines the challenges posed for the European Union by megatrends such as digitisation, demographic change and the climate crisis. It emphasises the need for judicious responses, arguing that inaction heightens the risk of bad outcomes. It also notes that the more equal our societies are, the better prepared we are to face the future. Topics examined The report is the fruit of an inter-institutional strategic foresight exercise.

Monitoring, reporting and verification of CO2 emissions from maritime transport

04-10-2019

In February 2019, the Commission adopted a proposal to revise the EU system for monitoring, reporting and verification of CO2 emissions from maritime transport, in order to align it with the global data collection system introduced by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The existing EU system requires ships above 5 000 gross tonnes using European ports to monitor and report fuel consumption and CO2 emissions per voyage and on an annual basis, starting with the year 2018. The IMO system ...

In February 2019, the Commission adopted a proposal to revise the EU system for monitoring, reporting and verification of CO2 emissions from maritime transport, in order to align it with the global data collection system introduced by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The existing EU system requires ships above 5 000 gross tonnes using European ports to monitor and report fuel consumption and CO2 emissions per voyage and on an annual basis, starting with the year 2018. The IMO system requires ships above 5 000 gross tonnes on international voyages to report consumption data for fuel oil, hours underway and distance travelled. The system entered into force on 1 March 2018, and reporting starts with the year 2019. The proposed revision aims to facilitate the simultaneous application of the two systems, while preserving the objectives of the current EU legislation. In the European Parliament, the ENVI committee has appointed Jutta Paulus (Greens/EFA, Germany) as rapporteur for the file. The Environment Council discussed the proposal in June 2019. First edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Hearings of the Commissioners-designate: Frans Timmermans – Vice-President: European Green Deal

26-09-2019

This briefing is one in a set looking at the Commissioners-designate and their portfolios as put forward by Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen. Each candidate faces a three-hour public hearing, organised by one or more parliamentary committees. After that process, those committees will judge the candidates' suitability for the role based on 'their general competence, European commitment and personal independence', as well as their 'knowledge of their prospective portfolio and their communication ...

This briefing is one in a set looking at the Commissioners-designate and their portfolios as put forward by Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen. Each candidate faces a three-hour public hearing, organised by one or more parliamentary committees. After that process, those committees will judge the candidates' suitability for the role based on 'their general competence, European commitment and personal independence', as well as their 'knowledge of their prospective portfolio and their communication skills'. At the end of the hearings process, Parliament votes on the proposed Commission as a bloc, and under the Treaties may only reject the entire College of Commissioners, rather than individual candidates. The Briefing provides an overview of key issues in the portfolio areas, as well as Parliament's activity in the last term in that field. It also includes a brief introduction to the candidate.

Hearings of the Commissioners-designate: Stella Kyriakides - Health

26-09-2019

This briefing is one in a set looking at the Commissioners-designate and their portfolios as put forward by Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen. Each candidate faces a three-hour public hearing, organised by one or more parliamentary committees. After that process, those committees will judge the candidates' suitability for the role based on 'their general competence, European commitment and personal independence', as well as their 'knowledge of their prospective portfolio and their communication ...

This briefing is one in a set looking at the Commissioners-designate and their portfolios as put forward by Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen. Each candidate faces a three-hour public hearing, organised by one or more parliamentary committees. After that process, those committees will judge the candidates' suitability for the role based on 'their general competence, European commitment and personal independence', as well as their 'knowledge of their prospective portfolio and their communication skills'. At the end of the hearings process, Parliament votes on the proposed Commission as a bloc, and under the Treaties may only reject the entire College of Commissioners, rather than individual candidates. The Briefing provides an overview of key issues in the portfolio areas, as well as Parliament's activity in the last term in that field. It also includes a brief introduction to the candidate.

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