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Economic and Social Policies

This category contains 746 posts

EU public private partnerships in research

Written by Vincent Reillon, Around 70 EU public-private partnerships (PPPs) in research help define common priorities and visions for EU, national and regional research and innovation activities. Six different types of PPPs now exist. They were first set up in the context of the development of European Research Area policy in 2003 with two main … Continue reading

Intergovernmental agreements in the field of energy [EU legislation in progress]

Written by Gregor Erbach (4th edition), The Commission has proposed a decision which would require Member States to submit draft intergovernmental agreements with non-EU countries in the field of energy to it before they are signed. The Commission would then check whether they are compliant with EU law, and Member States would have to take … Continue reading

The digital economy in the EU [What Think Tanks are thinking]

Written by Marcin Grajewski, The digital revolution is reshaping the European Union’s economy, from financial services and telecoms to creative industries and the way workers are employed. While posing certain threats, such as cyber-attacks, new technologies offer vast opportunities, provided that people acquire the right skill-sets to underpin their use. Seeking to tap the full … Continue reading

Plastics in a circular economy: Opportunities and challenges

Written by Didier Bourguignon, Plastics pervade modern life; plastics production has been growing exponentially since the 1960s and is expected to double by 2036. Although there are over 1 000 types of plastic, 90 % of plastics are derived from virgin fossil fuels. In Europe, post-consumer plastic waste is either incinerated with energy recovery (39 %), landfilled (31 %) or … Continue reading

Limits on exposure to carcinogens and mutagens at work: Second proposal [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Nicole Scholz (1st edition), The European Commission has proposed to amend Directive 2004/37/EC by expanding its scope and by including and/or revising occupational exposure limit values for a number of cancer- or mutation-causing chemical agents. The initiative is proceeding in steps. The first proposal, submitted in May 2016, covered 13 priority chemical agents. … Continue reading

Consumer Protection Cooperation [EU Legislation in Progress]

The Commission estimates that the detriment to consumers caused by non-compliance with basic EU consumer rules in certain cross-border online markets and also by inefficient cross-border enforcement amounts to €770 million per year.
To remedy this, the Commission has presented a legislative proposal to review the existing rules on consumer protection cooperation between enforcement authorities as part of its e-commerce package in May 2016. Continue reading

Registration of persons on board passenger ships [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Marketa Pape (2nd edition), The European Commission, in line with its regulatory fitness and performance programme (REFIT), has evaluated existing EU legislation on passenger ship safety and presented three proposals for directives, aimed at simplifying rules and cutting administrative costs, while at the same time making sea travel safe. This proposal seeks to … Continue reading

CO2 emissions from aviation [Policy Podcast][EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Gregor Erbach (1st edition), CO2 emissions from all flights to and from airports in the European Economic Area (EEA) have been included in the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) since 2012. Although this would include flights between an airport within the EEA and an airport outside it, the application of the ETS to … Continue reading

Cross-border portability of online content [Plenary Podcast]

Written by Tambiama Madiega, The European Parliament is to vote in plenary in May on new rules on cross-border portability, which would enable consumers to access their online subscriptions for content services when they travel across the EU and are temporarily outside their Member State of residence. Background On 9 December 2015, the European Commission … Continue reading

Resource efficiency: Reducing food waste, improving food safety [Plenary Podcast]

Written by Ivana Katsarova, As part of its action plan on the circular economy, the EU is aiming to give substance to a more efficient use of resources by reducing food waste and increasing food security. The European Parliament is due to vote in May 2017 on an own-initiative report proposing measures to cut the … Continue reading

What if blockchain changed social values? [Science and Technology Podcast]

Written by Philip Boucher, Blockchain technology could shake up many aspects of our daily lives, from the currency we use to the purchases we make. But what is the impact on our social values, and what can policy-makers do about it? Blockchain technology is a remarkably transparent and decentralised way of recording lists of transactions. … Continue reading

Medical devices and in vitro diagnostic medical devices [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Nicole Scholz (4th edition) Medical devices and in vitro diagnostic medical devices cover a wide array of products. The EU legal framework for such devices was harmonised in the 1990s. The European Commission presented a pair of proposals for regulations in September 2012. Following Parliament’s first readings in April 2014, the Council agreed … Continue reading

European business statistics [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Angelos Delivarios (1st edition), In the context of the work of reviewing the fitness of current regulations (REFIT), the Commission has decided to amend Regulation (EC) No 184/2005 and repeal 10 legal acts in the field of business statistics. The aim is to reduce the administrative burden for businesses, especially SMEs, and to … Continue reading

Extension of the European statistical programme (ESP) to 2018-2020 [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Angelos Delivorias (1st edition), The ESP 2013-2017 is ‘the legal framework for the development, production and dissemination of European statistics’. The European Commission is of the view that the current statistical infrastructure is not flexible enough and that the European Statistical System partnership does not yet deliver sufficient cost savings because of lack … Continue reading

EU social policies [What Think Tanks are thinking]

Written by Marcin Grajewski, On 26 April, the European Commission presented a European Pillar of Social Rights, which is a package of legislative proposals and recommendations aimed at enhancing work-life balance, fostering equal opportunities and better access to the labour market, as well as improving working conditions. Under the proposal, for example, new fathers would … Continue reading

Reduced VAT rate for e-publications [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Cécile Remeur (1st edition), The fact that print and digital publications are currently subject to separate value added tax (VAT) rates essentially means that products that are considered to be comparable and substitutable are being treated differently to one another. This situation results from rules which, on the one hand, allow Member States … Continue reading

Using technology in the fight against drug addiction

Written by Gianluca Quaglio and Amr Dawood, Disorders due to the abuse of licit and illicit drugs are a major public health concern in the EU, with considerable interpersonal, physical and societal consequences. In the EU, 23 million people are affected by alcohol-related disorders, 24 % of the population smoke, and more than 16 million Europeans (aged 15–34) … Continue reading

ECB policies [What Think Tanks are thinking]

Written by Marcin Grajewski, The European Central Bank is pushing ahead with its monetary stimulus programme, which was launched more than two years ago to counter deflationary pressures in the euro zone economy, and to strengthen then fragile economic growth. Some economists and politicians say the time is becoming ripe for the ECB to taper … Continue reading

The Audiovisual Media Services Directive [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Ivana Katsarova (3nd edition), On 25 April 2017, the European Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education voted to amend the proposal for an updated EU Audiovisual Media Services Directive, presented by the Commission on 25 May 2016.  The overarching goal of the proposal is to bring about a balance between competitiveness and consumer … Continue reading

Inspections of ro-ro ferries and high-speed passenger craft [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Marketa Pape (2nd edition), The European Commission, in line with its regulatory fitness and performance programme (REFIT), has evaluated existing EU legislation on passenger ship safety and presented three proposals for directives, aimed at simplifying rules and cutting administrative costs, while at the same time making sea travel safer. This proposal seeks to … 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