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This tag is associated with 690 posts

Russia [What Think Tanks are thinking]

The policies of President Vladimir Putin, who was re-elected earlier this year, pose a dilemma for the European Union and the United States, with some observers accusing him of trying to sabotage Western liberal democracy and others saying that he wants to regain the position of global player that the Soviet Union once occupied. Continue reading

Review of the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR): Updated rules on supervision of central counterparties (CCPs) [EU Legislation in Progress]

The increasing importance of central counterparties (CCPs) and challenges such as the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU call for a more comprehensive supervision of CCPs in EU and non-EU countries to secure financial market infrastructure and build confidence. Continue reading

Road infrastructure safety management [EU Legislation in Progress]

On 17 May 2018, the Commission adopted the proposal for a directive amending Directive 2008/96/EC on road infrastructure safety management. It is part of the third and last ‘Europe on the Move’ package that includes initiatives supporting the transition towards a safe, clean, automated and connected mobility for all. Continue reading

European Maritime and Fisheries Fund 2021-2027 [EU Legislation in Progress]

As part of the next EU budget framework for the 2021-2027 period, the European Commission published its proposal for a regulation on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) on 12 June 2018. Continue reading

‘Fake news’ [What Think Tanks are thinking]

Attempts at influencing or distorting elections in the United States and other countries, including some European Union Member States, have drawn attention to what is commonly referred to as ‘fake news’, or false news posing as factual stories. Continue reading

Detailed technical measures for the definitive VAT system [EU Legislation in Progress]

The common European value added tax (VAT) system was set up in 1967 and reformed to adapt it to the entry into force of the internal market in 1993. Therefore, the existing rules governing intra‑Community trade, which were intended to be transitory, are 25 years old. Continue reading

Material use in the European Union: Towards a circular approach

Global material use has tripled during the past four decades, in particular as a result of increasing living standards. The use of materials, which need to be extracted from our environment, can pose environmental challenges. It can also be threatened by resource scarcity and price volatility. Continue reading

Digital technology in elections: Efficiency versus credibility?

Digital technology brings greater efficiency in many walks of life, and elections are no exception. Online databases hugely facilitate the task of creating and managing accurate and up-to-date electoral rolls. In less developed countries, whose citizens often lack reliable identity documents, biometric technology can help to identify voters, thus preventing fraud in the form of multiple voting. Continue reading

Revision of the Drinking Water Directive [EU Legislation in Progress]

On 1 February 2018, the European Commission published a proposal for a recast of the Directive on the quality of water intended for human consumption (the Drinking Water Directive). The proposal responds to the European Citizens’ Initiative, Right2Water, and builds on a fitness check which concluded that the 20-year old directive is fit for purpose, but needs updating. The main elements of the proposal consist of updating the water quality standards, introducing a risk-based approach to the monitoring of water, improving and streamlining the information provided to consumers, harmonising the standards for products in contact with drinking water, and imposing obligations to improve access to water. In the European Parliament, the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) considered the draft report on 7 June 2018; the vote in committee is planned for 10 September 2018. Continue reading

Unfair trading practices in the food supply chain [EU Legislation in Progress]

The food supply chain ensures that food and drink products are delivered to the public. It affects all consumers in the EU. The final price paid by the consumer is impacted by the number of participants in the food supply chain. While the single market has brought benefits to operators in the supply chain through more market opportunities and a larger customer base, it has also brought challenges. Structural changes have occurred, leading to different levels of bargaining power and imbalances between actors in the chain. The abuse of such differences may lead to unfair trading practices. Continue reading

The State of the Union [What Think Tanks are thinking]

The President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, will deliver his last State of the Union address to the European Parliament on Wednesday 12 September, a little more than eight months before the next European elections. In this annual speech in Strasbourg, President Juncker is expected to take stock of the state of play on his ten priorities for the 2014-2019 political cycle and present his remaining initiatives on building a ‘more united, stronger and more democratic Union’. Juncker’s 2017 address was marked by cautious optimism: since then, whilst the European economy has continued to recover, several other challenges have proved persistent. Continue reading

The 2018 State of the Union debate in the European Parliament

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s State of the Union address to the European Parliament, and the subsequent debate, on 12 September 2018 is to be the last one during the current mandate. Continue reading

President Trump’s trade and international policies [What Think Tanks are thinking]

US President Donald Trump has pushed ahead in recent months with his controversial policies on trade and defence, which critics say could undermine the global rules-based order and create new uncertainties. Continue reading

Sovereign bond-backed securities: Risk diversification and reduction [EU Legislation in Progress]

As a part of the European regulatory responses to the financial and sovereign debt crises, the European Commission has proposed a regulation on sovereign bond-backed securities (SBBS), a new class of low-risk securities backed by a diversified pool of national government bonds. Continue reading

Common Provisions Regulation: New rules for cohesion policy for 2021-2027 [EU Legislation in Progress]

For the next EU budget, covering the 2021-2027 period, the European Commission proposed to update EU cohesion policy with a new set of rules, on 29 May 2018. Continue reading

European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) 2021-2027 [EU Legislation in Progress]

In preparation for the upcoming Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027, the European Commission published a proposal for a regulation on the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) on 30 May 2018. Continue reading

Reform Support Programme 2021 2027 [EU Legislation in Progress]

The European Commission adopted the proposal on the establishment of the Reform Support Programmeon 31 May 2018, as part of the package for the upcoming multiannual financial framework for 2021-2027. The programme will provide financial and technical support for Member States to implement reforms aimed at increasing the resilience and modernising their economies, including priority reforms identified in the European Semester. Continue reading

Brexit: Latest state of play [What Think Tanks are thinking]

he politically charged negotiations on the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union moved forward a little in July, when the British Cabinet put detailed proposals on the table for the future framework of EU-UK relations. The document, which envisages relatively close ties between the EU and UK, in trade and several other areas, after Britain leaves in March 2019, prompted the resignations of two senior ministers David Davis and Boris Johnson, who favour an even harder Brexit. EU officials have said that the new proposals contain some constructive elements, although many questions remain unanswered. This note offers links to reports and commentaries from some major international think-tanks and research institutes on Brexit negotiations and related issues. Continue reading

Mechanism to resolve legal and administrative obstacles in a cross-border context [EU Legislation in Progress]

Often isolated, and with generally poorer access to public services, the EU’s border regions face a unique set of challenges. This has been recognised under Article 174 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which provides that particular attention should be paid to cross-border regions when developing action to strengthen the EU’s economic, social and territorial cohesion. Yet while the EU has provided significant support over the years, particularly within the framework of European territorial cooperation, helping to strengthen connectivity and create new growth and jobs, numerous obstacles continue to hamper cross-border cooperation. Continue reading

New EU rules on labelling of tyres [EU Legislation in Progress] [Policy Podcast]

On 17 May 2018, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a new regulation on the labelling of tyres for the purposes of fuel efficiency, safety, and noise reduction. This would repeal and replace the 2009 Tyre Labelling Regulation (TLR), while maintaining and reinforcing most of its key provisions. Continue reading

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