selection

Economic and Social Policies

This category contains 773 posts

Ensuring healthy living conditions [What is Europe doing for its citizens?]

Written by Anne Altmayer, Our natural environment has improved measurably since the European Community first took up its environmental policy in the early 1970s. These improvements are a result of the comprehensive EU environmental legislation, which is applicable in all Member States alike. EU environmental policy is committed to protecting natural resources essential to human … Continue reading

Energy efficiency and reducing consumption [What is Europe doing for its citizens?]

Written by Alex Benjamin Wilson, Greater energy efficiency can help to reduce the bills that consumers pay for their heating and electricity, and contributes to the fight against climate change because lower energy consumption leads to fewer greenhouse gas emissions. Energy efficiency can also foster greater energy security in the EU, by reducing the need … Continue reading

Framework for energy efficiency labelling [EU legislation in progress]

Written by Alex Wilson (5th edition), In July 2015, the Commission proposed a new regulation on energy efficiency labelling as part of its summer energy package. The proposed regulation seeks to restore the A-G scale for energy labelling; create a mechanism for rescaling products that can accommodate further improvements in energy efficiency; establish a product … Continue reading

Europe leading the way in global climate action [What is Europe doing for its citizens?]

Written by Gregor Erbach, EU climate and energy policies have performed well: carbon emissions have fallen significantly while the economy has continued to grow. Europe is on track to meet or even exceed its 2020 climate and energy targets. Having been key actors in concluding the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, the EU and … Continue reading

Roam like at home as of summer 2017 [What is Europe doing for its citizens?]

Written by Mar Negreiro, From 15 June 2017 on, using your mobile phone anywhere in the EU will cost you the same as at home. The long-awaited end to roaming charges within the EU was agreed upon by the Council of the EU and the European Parliament two years ago. The Parliament played a crucial … Continue reading

Rights for consumers of digital content [What is Europe doing for its citizens?]

Written by Rafał Mańko, In December 2015, the European Commission proposed legislation that would grant consumers of digital content a set of uniform rights across the EU. The proposal is now before the European co-legislators – the Parliament and Council. A growing online market Contracts for the supply of digital content are concluded on a … Continue reading

Hybrid mismatches with third countries [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Cécile Remeur (2nd edition), Hybrid mismatch is a situation where a cross-border activity is treated differently for tax purposes by the countries involved, resulting in favourable tax treatment. Hybrid mismatches are used as aggressive tax planning structures, which in turn trigger policy reactions to neutralise their tax effects. When adopting the Anti-Tax Avoidance … Continue reading

What is the EU doing about regulating banks? [What is Europe doing for its citizens?]

Written by Andrej Stuchlik, One of the few positive outcomes of the worldwide financial crisis that began in 2007 was renewed vigour in EU banking regulation. New capital requirements laws now strengthen the resilience of European banks and protect everyone’s savings from future financial shocks. Better banking regulation Since the financial crisis, the EU has … Continue reading

Drinking Water Directive

Written by Ivana Kiendl Kristo, The Drinking Water Directive (DWD) sets quality standards for drinking water and requires that Member States ensure monitoring and compliance with these standards. By and large, it has been successful, best exemplified by the high, and increasing, levels of compliance across the European Union (EU) with the microbiological, chemical and … Continue reading

Money Market Funds: Measures to improve stability and liquidity [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Marcin Szczepański (3rd edition), Money Market Funds (MMFs) are a type of collective fund that invest in short-term debt and provide financing for financial institutions, corporations and governments. During the financial crisis their liquidity and stability were challenged, which prompted the Commission to propose a regulation on MMFs, in 2013. Its proposal aimed … Continue reading

Passenger rights in the EU [What is Europe doing for its citizens?]

Written by Damiano Scordamaglia, Over the past 20 years, EU passenger transport has been growing. With a much wider choice of transport operators, passengers should benefit from the same standards of treatment across modes and EU Member States, and clearly understand their legitimate rights and how to exercise them. Context The EU has adopted a … Continue reading

Workers’ rights in the EU [What is Europe doing for its citizens?]

Written by Monika Kiss, The 1957 Treaty of Rome gave the European Community competences in certain areas of labour law. Subsequently, the EU has acted to facilitate the free movement of workers, introducing common measures on working conditions, information and consultation of workers, and gender equality at work. In other areas of labour law, the … Continue reading

Ten more technologies which could change our lives

Written by Christian Kurrer, with James Tarlton Technological developments, even those still at an early stage, could massively impact our lives in the very short- or longer-term future. To draw attention to ten specific technologies, but also to promote further reflection about other innovations, EPRS is publishing ‘Ten more technologies which could change our lives‘ … Continue reading

Euro area recovery and reform [What Think Tanks are thinking]

Written by Marcin Grajewski, The euro area’s economic recovery has gained pace as investor confidence has strengthened. The election of the reform-minded Emmanuel Macron as French President in May reignited the debate on overhauling the euro area’s economic governance. This note offers links to recent commentaries and studies on the economic situation of the euro … Continue reading

The European Council in 2016: Overview of decisions and discussions

Written by Suzana Elena Anghel Gavrilescu, Izabela Cristina Bacian, Ralf Drachenberg and Susanna Tenhunen, The European Council held five formal meetings in 2016. The analysis of the conclusions of the debates shows that it dedicated 50 % of its attention to migration. The two other main topics were foreign and security policy; and economic governance, competitiveness, … Continue reading

Single market information tool (SMIT) [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Cemal Karakas (1st edition), Competition and consumer protection in the single market are often undermined by measures such as price discrimination based on residency, geo-blocking of online audio-visual content, or limited cross-border parcel delivery. While many businesses do not cooperate with the Commission by e.g. disclosing their pricing structure, Member States often do … Continue reading

Effort sharing regulation, 2021-2030: Limiting Member States’ carbon emissions [EU Legislation in Progress]

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. Continue reading

Wholesale roaming regulation: A precondition for ‘roam like at home’ [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Mar Negreiro (3rd edition), 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 … Continue reading

New radio frequencies for mobile internet services [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Marcin Szczepański (4th edition), While radio spectrum management is predominantly a national competence, EU policy plays an increasingly important role in its coordination and harmonisation. The EU actively seeks ways to harmonise use of the different bands of the spectrum to meet the ever-growing demand for wireless mobile broadband. Nevertheless, spectrum allocation in … Continue reading

Public country-by-country reporting by multinational enterprises [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Cécile Remeur (2nd edition), Tax transparency has gained particular importance as a tool in the fight against tax avoidance and tax evasion, particularly in the field of corporate income tax and aggressive tax planning. Cooperation between tax authorities aims at allowing them to obtain information covering the global business of multinational enterprises (MNEs), … Continue reading

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The content of all documents (and articles) contained in this blog is the sole responsibility of the author and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily represent the official position of the European Parliament. It is addressed to the Members and staff of the EP for their parliamentary work. Reproduction and translation for non-commercial purposes are authorised, provided the source is acknowledged and the European Parliament is given prior notice and sent a copy. Copyright © European Union, 2014. All rights reserved