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Economic and Social Policies

This category contains 759 posts

Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Cemal Karakas (2nd edition), On 14 September 2016, the European Commission proposed an updated regulation on the Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communications (BEREC) as part of its wider telecoms package. The new proposal aims at transforming BEREC into a single fully fledged agency. The Commission proposes allocating new tasks to BEREC … Continue reading

New rules on security of gas supply [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Alex Wilson (4th edition), In 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. Major innovations in the Commission proposal include a solidarity principle that prioritises households and … Continue reading

Control of the acquisition and possession of weapons [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Jana Valant (4th edition), In the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks, in November 2015 the European Commission presented a package of measures aiming to tighten control on the acquisition and possession of firearms in the European Union, improve traceability of legally held firearms and enhance cooperation between Member States, as well as … Continue reading

Motor vehicles: New approval and market surveillance rules [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Didier Bourguignon (5th edition), The automotive industry is a major player in the European economy, accounting for 6.4% of gross domestic product and 2.3 million jobs in the European Union (EU). In September 2015, the Volkswagen (VW) case highlighted weaknesses in the implementation of type-approval rules for motor vehicles in the European Union, … Continue reading

Revision of the Fourth Anti-Money-Laundering Directive [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Angelos Delivorias (1st edition), Directive (EU) 2015/849, which forms part of the EU regulatory framework to combat financial crime, has shown gaps in the light of recent terrorist attacks and the ‘Panama papers’ revelations. In this context, the European Commission proposed to amend the directive, along with Directive 2009/101/EC, to broaden their scope, … Continue reading

Protection from dumped and subsidised imports [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Gisela Grieger (2nd edition), On 9 November 2016, the European Commission published a proposal for targeted changes to the EU anti-dumping and anti-subsidy regulations. The proposal is a response to the expiry of parts of China’s WTO accession protocol in December 2016 and to unfair trade practices from third countries. At the core … Continue reading

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

Written by Agnieszka Widuto (4th 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

EU abolishes mobile roaming charges

Written by Cornelia Klugman. As of 15 June 2017, all European Union (EU) residents can use their mobile phones throughout the EU without additional charges. Consumers saved €9.6 billion between 2009 and 2013 thanks to lower roaming charges. A genuine digital single market would bring additional growth of €415 billion per year. Almost all EU … Continue reading

Regulation of OTC derivatives: Amending the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Angelos Delivorias (1st edition), The European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR – Regulation (EU) No 648/2012), adopted in 2012, forms part of the European regulatory response to the financial crisis, and specifically addresses the problems observed in the functioning of the ‘over-the-counter’ (OTC) derivatives market during the 2007-2008 financial crisis. In the last three years, the … Continue reading

European Accessibility Act [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Marie Lecerf (1st edition), To ensure the full participation of people with disabilities in society and to reduce the fragmentation of legislation governing access to products and services, the European Commission has adopted a proposal for a directive – often referred to as the European Accessibility Act. This proposal provides for a common … Continue reading

What if your personal health tracker could save your life? [Science and Technology Podcast]

Written by Christian Kurrer, Through advances in technology, big data has become a major asset and can open up numerous opportunities in all areas, but how can we use this in the context of health care and ensure it benefits everyone? Advances in healthcare have led to dramatic increases in life expectancy and quality of … Continue reading

Towards a European gigabit society: Connectivity targets and 5G

Written by Mar Negreiro. In September 2016, the Commission put forward new strategic connectivity objectives for 2025 as part of its digital single market strategy. These should prepare Europe for the roll-out of the next generation of broadband infrastructure with gigabit speeds, including both fixed and mobile internet access (5G). Once available, from 2020 onwards, … Continue reading

Paris Agreement: United States withdrawal

Written by Gregor Erbach, On 1 June 2017, US President Donald Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change and try to negotiate a deal that is more favourable to the USA. The withdrawal could come into effect in November 2020 at the earliest, coinciding with the next … Continue reading

Côte d’Ivoire: bright economic prospects overshadowed by recent instability

Written by Ionel Zamfir, On 14 June 2017, the European Parliament will welcome Côte d’Ivoire’s President, Alassane Ouattara, who will address the Plenary. Alassane Ouatarra will be the first African president to visit the EP during President Antonio Tajani’s term of office. President Tajani, in a speech on the state of the Union delivered in May, the, emphasised that ‘we … Continue reading

Reflection paper on the social dimension of the EU

Written by Nora Milotay, The paper on the EU’s social dimension, the first of five papers within the white paper process, is the European Commission’s contribution to a debate among the leaders of the 27 Member States (other than the UK), EU institutions, social partners and citizens on two major issues in the social and … Continue reading

Plastics and the circular economy [Policy Podcast]

Written by Didier Bourguignon, Plastics are everywhere in our daily life: they are used in packaging, buildings, cars, electronics, agriculture, and other sectors. Plastics production is now 20 times higher than in the 1960s, and is forecast to almost quadruple by 2050. Although there are thousands of types of plastics, 90 % of plastics are derived … Continue reading

Framework for energy efficiency labelling [Plenary Podcast]

Written by Alex Benjamin Wilson, In July 2015, the European Commission proposed a regulation on energy labelling that would replace and repeal the 2010 directive on the subject. The Parliament proposed a series of amendments in July 2016, setting the stage for interinstitutional ‘trilogue’ negotiations. An agreement was eventually reached in March 2017, and the … Continue reading

Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area (PRIMA) [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Vincent Reillon  (3rd edition), Following a request made by nine Member States in December 2014, on 18 October 2016 the European Commission adopted a proposal to establish a new public-public Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area (PRIMA) under Article 185 TFEU. PRIMA would focus on two key socioeconomic issues that … Continue reading

Amending the bank resolution framework – BRRD and SRMR [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Andrej Stuchlik (1st edition), The completion and implementation of the significant overhaul of the financial regulatory framework in response to the financial crisis, including the revision of the resolution framework for banks, remains a major area of the European Commission’s work. On 23 November 2016, the Commission proposed amending the Bank Recovery and … Continue reading

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

Written by Cécile Remeur (2nd 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

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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