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Economic and Social Policies

This category contains 720 posts

Spirit drinks: Definition, labelling and geographical indications [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Tarja Laaninen (1st edition), In December 2016, the European Commission proposed to replace Regulation (EC) No 110/2008 – the Spirit Drinks Regulation – with a new one, with the aim of aligning it with the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). The proposal mainly involves grouping the provisions adopted by the … Continue reading

Understanding social dumping in the European Union

Written by Monika Kiss, Although a recurring term in discussions related to working mobility, wages and the social security of workers, social dumping has neither a generally accepted definition, nor easily definable limits. It is rather a set of practices on an international, national or inter-corporate level, aimed at gaining an advantage over competitors, which … Continue reading

Hybrid mismatches with third countries [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Cécile Remeur (1st 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

Structural reform support programme 2017-2020 [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Agnieszka Widuto (3rd edition), Structural reforms have been identified as crucial to accelerating economic recovery, boosting growth and reducing unemployment. In November 2015, the European Commission proposed to establish the Structural Reform Support Programme 2017-2020, to provide Member States with technical assistance in designing and implementing structural reforms. The proposed budget is €142.8 million, … Continue reading

Risk-preparedness in the electricity sector [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Gregor Erbach (1st edition), On 30 November 2016, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation on risk-preparedness in the electricity sector. This proposal addresses shortcomings in the existing legislation, notably a lack of regional coordination, and differing national rules and procedures. It would replace the existing legislation, and establish common rules … Continue reading

EU support for social entrepreneurs

Written by Agnieszka Widuto, Social enterprises combine social goals with entrepreneurial activity. They represent a business model focused on having a positive social or environmental impact rather than simply making profit for shareholders. Social enterprises make a valuable contribution to the economy and society, operating mainly in local communities and covering areas such as education, … Continue reading

Recovery and resolution of central counterparties (CCPs) [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Carla Stamegna (1st edition), In recent years, the role and systemic importance of central counterparties (CCPs) has expanded with the gradual implementation of the obligation to centrally clear liquid and standardised over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives. The relevant EU regulatory framework lays down prudential requirements for CCPs, as well as requirements regarding their operation, oversight … Continue reading

Ranking of unsecured debt instruments in insolvency hierarchy [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Angelos Delivorias (1st edition), Following the global financial crisis, the European Union extensively reformed its regulatory framework for financial services. With legislation such as the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD), it ensures that, through mechanisms such as ‘bail-in’, the recovery or restructuring of distressed financial institutions is done without spreading to other … Continue reading

EU Research Policy: Tackling the major challenges facing European society

Written by Christian Salm, 2014 – 2020, EU funds for research and innovation near €120 billion. €31 billion of EU funds are set aside for research into societal challenges (2014 – 2020) A fully established European Research Area will generate annual gains of €16 billion. A European Research Area to boost growth and jobs in Europe In … Continue reading

CE marked fertilising products [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Didier Bourguignon (2nd edition), Fertilising products are used to improve plant growth, mainly in agriculture, enabling higher crop yields. However, they are associated with some challenges as regards security of supply, the environment and health. Although the 2003 Fertilisers Regulation, which aimed at ensuring an internal market in fertilisers, has been effective, it … Continue reading

Euro-area reforms: Challenges and policies [What Think Tanks are thinking]

Written by Marcin Grajewski, Reforms to the system of governance of the euro area, launched in the wake of the 2008-09 financial crisis, have included, inter alia, the creation of authorities to better supervise the financial markets, improved mechanisms to coordinate fiscal policies, and procedures to correct economic imbalances. While the drive to overhaul the … Continue reading

Fundamental rights implications of big data [Plenary Podcast]

Written by Shara Monteleone, The development of smart devices connected online and of big data practices, allowing unprecedented availability, sharing and automated use of data, brings both opportunities in terms of efficiency and improvement in our lives and risks for individuals’ fundamental rights. The European Parliament will vote on an own-initiative report on these issues … Continue reading

What if intensification of farming could enhance biodiversity? [Science and Technology Podcast]

Written by Lieve Van Woensel with James Tarlton, Could introducing more precision agriculture in Europe allow us to obtain food resilience, while ensuring sustainability and jobs, and taking into account the EU’s wide agricultural diversity? Precision agriculture (PA), or precision farming, involves using technology to improve the ratio between agricultural output (usually food) and agricultural … Continue reading

Amending social security coordination [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Monika Kiss (1st edition), Approximately 14 million EU residents (mobile workers, unemployed and economically inactive citizens) are not living in their home country. In order to grant them the social and health benefits to which they are entitled, coordination between the social security systems of the Member States is necessary. However, the current … Continue reading

The Audiovisual Media Services Directive [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Ivana Katsarova (2nd edition), To address remaining discrepancies, achieve a level playing field and reflect on market, consumption and technological changes as part of its Digital Single Market strategy, the European Commission presented an update of the EU Audiovisual Media Services Directive on 25 May 2016. The overarching goal of the proposal is … Continue reading

Contracts for supply of digital content to consumers [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Rafał Mańko (2nd edition), In November 2016 the co-rapporteurs delivered their draft report on the Commission’s proposal for a directive on contracts for supply of digital content. They propose to expand the directive’s scope to include digital content supplied against data that consumers provide passively, while also strengthening the position of consumers as … Continue reading

Servicing government debt: The impact of rising interest rates

Written by Christian Scheinert, Graphics by Christian Dietrich, Interest rates are at historically low levels, both in the European Union and worldwide. For the euro area, a reason for low market interest rate levels is the accommodative monetary policy of the European Central Bank (ECB), which endeavours to increase inflation levels. Most of the time, … Continue reading

Sovereign debt restructuring: Main drivers and mechanism

Written by Risto Nieminen with Mattia Osvaldo Picarelli, This briefing provides an overview of the main issues relating to the restructuring of sovereign debt, and outlines the factors which impact the decision as to whether or not to proceed with debt restructuring. Restructuring is a complex issue – it involves positive and negative aspects, which … Continue reading

How blockchain technology could change our lives

Written by Philip Boucher, At their simplest, blockchains can be described as lists of all transactions that have ever been executed in a specific domain. They are organised into ‘blocks’, connected in linear, chronological ‘chains’, and – unlike traditional records of transactions – public, and decentralised. This means that, instead of having a central ‘middleman’ … Continue reading

Protecting and empowering EU consumers [European Added Value in Action]

Written by Pierre Goudin, Wide-ranging consumer protection: The European system has developed over 30 years, with direct benefits for consumers in various areas of their daily lives. High standards and more choice : EU rules impose the highest safety requirements in the world, not least for toys. Lower prices: Mobile phone roaming costs have decreased … 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