In July 2016, the European Commission presented a proposal for a regulation to limit post-2020 national emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) in sectors not covered by the EU emissions trading system (ETS). These include transport, buildings and agriculture. The proposed regulation would be the successor of the Effort Sharing Decision that sets annual national GHG emission limits for the period 2013-2020. The proposed regulation is part of the EU’s efforts to reduce its GHG emissions by at least 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. This target was set by the European Council in October 2014, and also constitutes the EU’s international commitment under the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. In January 2017, Parliament’s Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety discussed the draft report which the rapporteur presented in December 2016. The proposal has been discussed in several Council meetings. The European Economic and Social Committee adopted its opinion in December 2016. Second edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.
Posted on 22-02-2017
On 30 November 2015, the European Commission published a proposal for a regulation on prospectuses (legal documents that provide details about an investment offer in an easily analysable format) to replace Directive 2003/71/EC, as amended by Directives 2008/11/EC, 2010/73/EU and 2010/78/EU. The aims of the regulation are to contribute to further financial market integration and to improve investor protection in the European Union. The proposal broadens the scope of the legislation and introduces changes to how the prospectus is drawn up. On 3 June 2016, the Dutch EU Council Presidency published its proposal for a general approach on the Commission proposal and on 15 September 2016, the European Parliament adopted its amendments to the Commission proposal. Finally, on 16 December 2016, the European Parliament and the Council stroke a compromise on the prospectus Regulation, which is to be voted by the co-legislators. This briefing updates an earlier edition, of May 2016: PE 582.019.
In 2015 the Council and European Parliament agreed in Regulation 2015/2120 that on 15 June 2017 roaming charges for mobile phone use would be abolished in the EU. After that date, 'roam like at home' (RLAH) would become a reality for all Europeans. The regulation did not, however, address the wholesale roaming market, on account of the need to investigate market conditions in more depth. A review for the European Commission concluded that national wholesale roaming markets are not working well and need regulatory intervention. It therefore proposed a regulation establishing the maximum level of wholesale roaming charges that telecoms operators can charge each other for calls, text messages and data, to take effect from 15 June 2017. On 29 November, Parliament's Industry Committee voted for a significant reduction in the data wholesale caps proposed by the Commission. During the third trilogue meeting on 31 January, an agreement was reached between the Parliament and the Council that lowers significantly the wholesale data caps originally proposed. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. To view earlier editions of this briefing, please see: PE 595.834, 6 December 2016.
On 16 February 2016 the European Commission proposed a new regulation on security of gas supply as part of its sustainable energy security package, in order to develop a stronger collective response to future supply risks. The Commission proposal would replace and repeal an existing regulation on the subject, in force since December 2010. The Commission proposal seeks to improve rather than overhaul the existing regulation, and keeps many of its key features intact. Major innovations include a solidarity principle that prioritises households and essential social services during an emergency situation; mandatory regional preventive action and emergency plans based on new templates; fewer exemptions on bidirectional capacity in order to facilitate reverse gas flows; an increase in the scope of contractual information relating to security of supply that is provided to the Commission; and involving the contracting parties of the Energy Community further in security of gas supply measures. On 13 October 2016 the ITRE Committee approved a report on the regulation. On 5 December 2016 the Council held a policy debate on the regulation and reached agreement on a general approach. Trilogue negotiations started on 6 February 2017. This updates an earlier edition, of October 2016: PE 593.487.
The European Social Fund (ESF) is one of the European Structural and Investment Funds. It promotes quality employment, social inclusion, education and training, and enhances the institutional capacity of public authorities. All EU Member States are eligible for ESF support through corresponding operational programmes. The Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) complements the ESF actions addressing youth unemployment. The ESF was created in 1957 and has a long history of actions and achievements. It has also not avoided criticism. In the current MFF the implementation of the Fund has been rather slow, but it is expected to reach full cruising speed in 2017.
This paper provides an overview of the empirical evidence concerning the potential gains from collaborative economy and the economic impact some of its business models on. It discusses how we can distinguish professional and non-professional services and provides a list of 9 tentative recommendations for the better protection of the users of the collaborative platforms. It also summarises the main regulatory concerns that emerge from the operation of such platforms. This document was prepared by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection.
The workshop, organized by the Policy Department for Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs upon request by the AFCO Committee, provides insight in the issue of apportionment of seats in the European Parliament, one of the most politically sensitive decisions with direct impact on citizens' representation in the European Parliament. The workshop examined methods for the apportionment of seats in Parliament that would satisfy the requirements of the principle of degressive proportionality and that would be able to automatically adjust to the changing demographic picture in the Union as well as be able to accommodate changes in the number of EU Member States.
With the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) negotiations concluded and subsequently signed by both parties, the European Union and Canada’s most progressive trade agreement to date is set to provisionally enter into force soon. However, as developed countries move to negotiate preferential trade agreements between themselves (like the CETA), extending beyond current multilateral trade obligations, the improved market access, trade harmonisation and cross-cutting issues included in the agreements can have a much wider impact, affecting countries not party to them. As far as CETA is concerned, in our judgement those impacts are likely to be relatively small, and confined to a small group of vulnerable states, especially those with concentrated export structures, and notably of primary products in direct competition with Canadian exports to the EU. However, given the limitations of this paper the conclusion is fairly speculative, and so a key recommendation is that more detailed analysis of potentially vulnerable exporters be conducted to narrow down a subsequent mitigation strategy. That mitigation strategy mainly revolves around the impact of non-tariff measures (NTMs), focusing on product standards, and Rules of Origin. Essentially the focus needs to be on a targeted development assistance package referencing the need to upgrade product standards capacities in vulnerable states, in order to maximise the potential of trade to contribute to economic growth and, thereby, poverty reduction.
This study was prepared at the request of the European Parliament's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE). The paper provides an overall assessment of European investments in the electricity sector. It concludes by providing policy recommendations to facilitate the investments in the electricity sector which are needed to enable a transition to a low carbon energy supply, while realising a fully integrated and interconnected electricity system, enhancing competitiveness and ensuring security of electricity supply.
Posted on 21-02-2017
Although waste management in the EU has improved considerably in recent decades, over a quarter of municipal waste is still landfilled and less than half is recycled or composted, with wide variations between Member States. Improving waste management could deliver positive effects for the environment, climate, human health and the economy. As part of a shift towards a circular economy, the European Commission made four legislative proposals introducing new waste-management targets regarding reuse, recycling and landfilling, strengthening provisions on waste prevention and extended producer responsibility, and streamlining definitions, reporting obligations and calculation methods for targets. This updates an earlier edition, of September 2016; PE 589.797.