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Connecting Europe Facility 2021-2027: Financing key EU infrastructure networks

08-04-2019

The EU supports the development of high-performing, sustainable and interconnected trans-European networks in the areas of transport, energy and digital infrastructure. The trans-European networks policy was consolidated in 2013, and the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) set up as a dedicated financing instrument to channel EU funding into the development of infrastructure networks, help eliminate market failures and attract further investment from the public and private sectors. Following a mid-term ...

The EU supports the development of high-performing, sustainable and interconnected trans-European networks in the areas of transport, energy and digital infrastructure. The trans-European networks policy was consolidated in 2013, and the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) set up as a dedicated financing instrument to channel EU funding into the development of infrastructure networks, help eliminate market failures and attract further investment from the public and private sectors. Following a mid-term evaluation, which confirmed the CEF programme's capacity to bring significant EU added value, the European Commission proposed to renew the programme under the next long term EU budget. The Transport Council of 3 December 2018 agreed a partial general approach on the proposal, excluding financial and horizontal issues, which are still under discussion as part of the EU budget for 2021-2027. The European Parliament adopted its negotiating position on 12 December 2018. Interinstitutional negotiations (trilogues) concluded on 8 March with a partial provisional agreement on the architecture of the future programme. Having been endorsed by Coreper and jointly by the Parliament's TRAN and ITRE committees, the agreement is due to be voted at first reading by Parliament in April. The remaining issues will have to be agreed at second reading. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Covered bonds – Issue and supervision, exposures

25-02-2019

Covered bonds are debt securities issued by credit institutions and secured by a pool of mortgage loans or credit towards the public sector. They are characterised further by the double protection offered to bondholders, the segregation of assets in their cover pool, over-collateralisation, and their strict supervisory frameworks. Currently, their issuance is concentrated in five Member States. National regulatory regimes vary widely in terms of supervision and composition of the cover pool. Lastly ...

Covered bonds are debt securities issued by credit institutions and secured by a pool of mortgage loans or credit towards the public sector. They are characterised further by the double protection offered to bondholders, the segregation of assets in their cover pool, over-collateralisation, and their strict supervisory frameworks. Currently, their issuance is concentrated in five Member States. National regulatory regimes vary widely in terms of supervision and composition of the cover pool. Lastly, despite benefiting from preferential treatment under the Capital Requirements Regulation (CRR), they share no common definition, which can lead to different securities benefiting from this treatment. To remedy this, the Commission has adopted proposals for, on the one hand, a directive, which would lay down investor protection rules and provide common definitions, and on the other, a regulation, which would amend the CRR with regard to covered bond exposures. In November 2018, Parliament and Council both adopted their respective negotiating positions. The file is currently the subject of trilogue negotiations. Second edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Environment action programme: Living well, within the limits of our planet

11-12-2018

The European Union (EU) has been protecting the environment since the early 1970s, under the premise that economic prosperity and environmental protection are interdependent. Successive environment action programmes have set the framework for EU environmental policy. The seventh environment action programme, a binding decision adopted by the European Parliament and Council in 2013, covers the period from 2014 to 2020. Bearing the title 'Living well, within the limits of our planet', it seeks to achieve ...

The European Union (EU) has been protecting the environment since the early 1970s, under the premise that economic prosperity and environmental protection are interdependent. Successive environment action programmes have set the framework for EU environmental policy. The seventh environment action programme, a binding decision adopted by the European Parliament and Council in 2013, covers the period from 2014 to 2020. Bearing the title 'Living well, within the limits of our planet', it seeks to achieve a 2050 vision for sustainability. The seventh environment action programme sets nine priority objectives: three 'thematic' objectives (on natural capital; on a resource-efficient, green and competitive low-carbon economy; and on health and well-being), four 'enabling' objectives (on implementation of EU law; on the knowledge and evidence base; on investments and externalities; and on policy coherence), and two 'horizontal' objectives (on cities; and on the international dimension). The three thematic objectives are linked to a large number of initiatives, legislative acts and international agreements. A 2017 report by the European Environment Agency sums up progress towards meeting the three thematic objectives as follows: on natural capital, the EU is not on track to meet the 2020 objectives; on a resource-efficient, green and competitive low-carbon economy, and on health and well-being, the 2020 outlook is mixed. The European Parliament is supportive of the action programme. In 2018, it urged the Commission and the Member States to step up its implementation. The European Commission is expected to publish its evaluation of the seventh environment action programme by mid-2019, and could subsequently put forward a proposal for an eighth environment action programme.

Establishing the Connecting Europe Facility 2021-2027

13-11-2018

This initial appraisal assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment accompanying its proposal for establishing the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) for the 2021-2027 period. CEF is an EU funding instrument designed to promote and part-finance the construction of pivotal cross border transport, energy and telecommunications infrastructure links between the EU's Member States. The proposal intends to support the achievement of the EU policy objectives in the ...

This initial appraisal assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment accompanying its proposal for establishing the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) for the 2021-2027 period. CEF is an EU funding instrument designed to promote and part-finance the construction of pivotal cross border transport, energy and telecommunications infrastructure links between the EU's Member States. The proposal intends to support the achievement of the EU policy objectives in the transport, energy and digital sectors as regards the trans-European networks and to support cross-border cooperation between Member States on renewables planning and deployment. The appraisal concludes that the impact assessment (IA) provides a good description of the policy challenges of the new CEF based on the mid-term evaluation of the programme. The IA envisages a change in the scope for the digital and energy sectors. Alternative options are identified for the energy sector only. The IA would have benefited from better illustrating if, and in case how, the preferred option would take advantage from the existing, or forthcoming, legislation in establishing the envisaged enabling framework for cross-border cooperation on renewables. The IA does not discuss social or environmental impacts of the proposed measures and economic impacts are discussed for the energy sector only. Potential impacts on SMEs are not discussed, although SMEs might have deserved some analysis considering the specific objectives of the trans-European networks for the digital sector. An analysis regarding the impact on competitiveness appears to be missing as well. The final version of the IA appears to have addressed almost entirely the improvements requested by the Regulatory Scrutiny Board.

Establishing the InvestEU programme

26-10-2018

Building on the Investment Plan for Europe, the Commission proposes to create the InvestEU programme, which would bring various existing EU financial instruments into a single structure. This would contribute to the cross-cutting MFF objectives (simplification, flexibility, synergies, coherence) and to the budgetary aim of ‘doing more with less’. This proposal, which would seek to mobilise public and private investments to reduce investment gaps, is based on the stakeholder consultation and different ...

Building on the Investment Plan for Europe, the Commission proposes to create the InvestEU programme, which would bring various existing EU financial instruments into a single structure. This would contribute to the cross-cutting MFF objectives (simplification, flexibility, synergies, coherence) and to the budgetary aim of ‘doing more with less’. This proposal, which would seek to mobilise public and private investments to reduce investment gaps, is based on the stakeholder consultation and different ex post evaluations of the programmes having relevancy for the InvestEU programme. The IA accompanying the proposal provides a thorough description of the challenges in investment, comprising both qualitative and quantitative elements, and links the proposed measures to the identified challenges. The IA discusses also risks and mitigating measures, although the risks and risk management could perhaps have elaborated in more detail. As regards alternative options, the IA discusses some options (implementing partners, organisation of governance, blending and combinations of the support) but does not provide an assessment and comparison of various options as is normally required under the better regulation guidelines. It would have benefited the analysis if the assessment of the expected competitiveness, economic, social and environmental impacts had been more elaborated as in this respect the IA is not very informative.

Level-2 measures under the new Securitisation framework

29-08-2018

This briefing focuses on the state of play of the implementing measures under the new Securitisation Regulation (EU) 2017/2402 and the amending Regulation (EU) 2017/2401 on the treatment of regulatory capital requirements for credit institutions that originate, sponsor or invest in securitisations. Items for discussion include the draft measures that have been prepared by the European Supervisory Agencies, and those currently under preparation, including – for the European Securities and Markets ...

This briefing focuses on the state of play of the implementing measures under the new Securitisation Regulation (EU) 2017/2402 and the amending Regulation (EU) 2017/2401 on the treatment of regulatory capital requirements for credit institutions that originate, sponsor or invest in securitisations. Items for discussion include the draft measures that have been prepared by the European Supervisory Agencies, and those currently under preparation, including – for the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) – technical standards on information in the STS notification and information to be provided in the application for the authorisation of a third party verifying STS compliance, and – for the European Banking Authority (EBA) – on the homogeneity of asset classes and on risk retention.

Establishing a basis for European crowdfunding service providers

05-06-2018

Crowdfunding, an open call to the wider public for raising money online, can help ensure that both individuals and companies get access to finance, especially in the seed and early growth stages of their projects or business. Member States with a developed crowdfunding market have designed bespoke regulatory regimes that differ from each other with regard to the conditions under which platforms can operate, their scope of permitted activities and the licensing requirements applicable to them. As ...

Crowdfunding, an open call to the wider public for raising money online, can help ensure that both individuals and companies get access to finance, especially in the seed and early growth stages of their projects or business. Member States with a developed crowdfunding market have designed bespoke regulatory regimes that differ from each other with regard to the conditions under which platforms can operate, their scope of permitted activities and the licensing requirements applicable to them. As a result of this diversity, cross-border flows remain limited and crowdfunding service providers face challenges in scaling up their operations. To remedy this, the Commission has proposed a regulation providing for uniform, proportionate and directly applicable requirements for the authorisation and supervision of crowdfunding platforms, together with a single point of supervision, and a directive exempting crowdfunding service providers from the scope of MiFID II. First edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Free movement of capital within the European Union

31-05-2018

Amongst the four fundamental freedoms that underpin the EU single market (free movement of persons, goods, services and capital), the free movement of capital is the most recent. Until the mid-1990s it did not exist in practice in a number of Member States. Financial operations in other Member States or in other currencies within the EU were subject to prior authorisation requirements by national authorities. These controls enabled national authorities to prevent or restrict financial operations. ...

Amongst the four fundamental freedoms that underpin the EU single market (free movement of persons, goods, services and capital), the free movement of capital is the most recent. Until the mid-1990s it did not exist in practice in a number of Member States. Financial operations in other Member States or in other currencies within the EU were subject to prior authorisation requirements by national authorities. These controls enabled national authorities to prevent or restrict financial operations. Free movement of capital became applicable with the 1993 Maastricht treaty, which removed all restrictions on capital movements and payments, both between Member States and with third countries. The principle has direct effect, meaning that it requires no further legislation at either EU or Member State level.

European crowdfunding service providers for business

29-05-2018

This briefing provides an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above-mentioned proposal, published on 8 March 2018 and referred to Parliament's Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON). The strengthening of the capital markets to boost long-term investment in the EU is a priority EU goal. In this context, the Commission's 2017 mid-term review of the capital markets union (CMU) action plan noted that access to ...

This briefing provides an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above-mentioned proposal, published on 8 March 2018 and referred to Parliament's Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON). The strengthening of the capital markets to boost long-term investment in the EU is a priority EU goal. In this context, the Commission's 2017 mid-term review of the capital markets union (CMU) action plan noted that access to finance for small, innovative businesses is a challenge in all EU countries, even those where access to bank finance has remained stable during the financial crisis. Start-ups and other unlisted firms lack risk finance to invest in innovation and growth, in particular in the early stages of their development (IA, p. 6, 8). In view of closing this gap and complementing bank financing, the Commission supports alternative sources of financing, including technology-enabled financial services, the largest part of which consists in crowdfunding. In this context, crowdfunding is defined as an 'open call for the collecting of resources ... from the wider public through an internet-based platform for a specific project' (IA, p. 8). A 2016 Commission staff working document noted that crowdfunding has been developing rapidly since 2013, but remained concentrated in a few EU countries, with 81 % market share in the United Kingdom (UK) (IA, p. 16). Some Member States introduced national rules to regulate their online platforms and/or apply elements of existing EU legislation on financial services to specific types of crowdfunding, while others leave some aspects of the activity unregulated. This regulatory patchwork hinders cross-border crowdfunding and creates considerable market fragmentation (IA, pp. 26-30).

A framework for EU covered bonds

18-05-2018

The Commission proposed a legislative framework for covered bonds. The supporting impact assessment (IA) provided a coherent problem analysis and the corresponding set of objectives. The impacts analysis focused mainly on the costs and benefits of enhancing the Capital Markets Union potential. However, the IA did not assess the options in terms of their proportionality and did not check the subsidiarity or proportionality of the regulatory options.

The Commission proposed a legislative framework for covered bonds. The supporting impact assessment (IA) provided a coherent problem analysis and the corresponding set of objectives. The impacts analysis focused mainly on the costs and benefits of enhancing the Capital Markets Union potential. However, the IA did not assess the options in terms of their proportionality and did not check the subsidiarity or proportionality of the regulatory options.

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