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At a Glance - Outlook for the meetings of EU leaders in Prague on 6 and 7 October 2022 - 05-10-2022

On 6 and 7 October 2022, the EU Heads of State or Government will meet in Prague for an informal meeting of the European Council, preceded by the inaugural meeting of the European Political Community (EPC). Seventeen non-EU European heads of state or governme
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At a Glance - Outlook for the meetings of EU leaders in Prague on 6 and 7 October 2022 - 05-10-2022

On 6 and 7 October 2022, the EU Heads of State or Government will meet in Prague for an informal meeting of the European Council, preceded by the inaugural meeting of the European Political Community (EPC). Seventeen non-EU European heads of state or government will join the EU-27 leaders for the first meeting of the European Political Community. The 44 leaders are expected to focus, in smaller groups, on peace and security, climate and energy, migration and economic cooperation. They could also grasp the opportunity to define jointly the modes and pace of future political and security cooperation under the new EPC format. At their subsequent informal European Council meeting, EU leaders will discuss Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine, energy (notably a possible gas price cap), as well as economic issues. These three interlinked topics have been on their agenda since the outbreak of Russia's war on Ukraine. Reaffirming unity and a common vision will be central to the meeting, which serves as preparation for the regular European Council meetings of October and December 2022, at which decisions are expected to be taken. As with other such meetings held earlier this year, the European Parliament's President, Roberta Metsola, will attend the informal European Council meeting. Source : © European Union, 2022 - EP

Briefing - Debt-equity bias reduction allowance (DEBRA) - 04-10-2022

In most countries in the European Union (EU) and in the rest of the world, debt is treated more favourably from a tax perspective than equity, with interest payments to loans generally being tax deductible. In contrast, costs related to equity financing, suc
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Briefing - Debt-equity bias reduction allowance (DEBRA) - 04-10-2022

In most countries in the European Union (EU) and in the rest of the world, debt is treated more favourably from a tax perspective than equity, with interest payments to loans generally being tax deductible. In contrast, costs related to equity financing, such as dividends, are mostly non-tax deductible. This unequal treatment between debt and equity induces a bias towards debt in businesses' investment decisions and can therefore lead to high levels of indebtedness in the European corporate sector. On 11 May 2022, to support the creation of a harmonised tax environment that places debt and equity financing on an equal footing across the EU, the European Commission presented a proposal for a debt-equity bias reduction allowance (DEBRA). The DEBRA lays down rules on both a tax allowance on increases in equity and on a limitation of the tax deductibility of interest payments. First edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Source : © European Union, 2022 - EP

Briefing - 2023-2027 EU secure connectivity programme: Building a multi-orbital satellite constellation - 04-10-2022

Satellite communication is becoming a strategic asset for governments and civil society alike, in the context of the twin digital and ecological transition. Complementary to terrestrial networks, it can contribute to seamless digital communication, even when
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Briefing - 2023-2027 EU secure connectivity programme: Building a multi-orbital satellite constellation - 04-10-2022

Satellite communication is becoming a strategic asset for governments and civil society alike, in the context of the twin digital and ecological transition. Complementary to terrestrial networks, it can contribute to seamless digital communication, even when such networks are absent or disrupted. It builds on technological advances to ensure both low latency and global coverage, as well as the deployment of other emerging technologies such as quantum-based cybersecurity. Today, the EU does not have a dedicated infrastructure (including space and ground segments) to offer satellite communication services to governments, the economy and civil society. Several EU global partners and competitors are investing in parallel in such capabilities. On 15 February 2022, the European Commission presented a proposal to improve the resilience of EU communication services by developing and operating a multi-orbital connectivity infrastructure (with both space and ground segments), based on a public-partnership model. Governmental services would be operational from 2025, and private services at a later stage. In the European Parliament, the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) is handling the file, with Christophe Grudler as rapporteur (Renew Europe, France). The draft report is scheduled for adoption by ITRE on 13 October 2022. Work in the Council is ongoing in the Working Party on Space. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Source : © European Union, 2022 - EP

At a Glance - Nominations for Members of the European Court of Auditors (Lithuania) - 03-10-2022

The Lithuanian national audit office, the Valstybes Kontrole, performs three different functions: (1) it audits the state and all public institutions as the country’s supereme audit institution as well as (2) all use of European funds as its audit authority
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At a Glance - Nominations for Members of the European Court of Auditors (Lithuania) - 03-10-2022

The Lithuanian national audit office, the Valstybes Kontrole, performs three different functions: (1) it audits the state and all public institutions as the country’s supereme audit institution as well as (2) all use of European funds as its audit authority. In addition, (3) it monitors the soundness of the Lithuianian budget from a fiscal point of view, including the country’s compliance with the EU’s Maastricht criteria (independent fiscal institution). Source : © European Union, 2022 - EP

Study - The COP27 Climate Change Conference - 03-10-2022

This study provides an overview of the status of international climate negotiations and issues at stake at the COP27 climate change conference. It also addresses the current implementation of the Paris Agreement, the stakeholders in the negotiations and the c
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Study - The COP27 Climate Change Conference - 03-10-2022

This study provides an overview of the status of international climate negotiations and issues at stake at the COP27 climate change conference. It also addresses the current implementation of the Paris Agreement, the stakeholders in the negotiations and the climate policies of key Parties. This document was provided by the Policy Department for Economic, Scientific and Quality of Life Policies at the request of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI). Source : © European Union, 2022 - EP

Briefing - European Union beef sector: Main features, challenges and prospects - 03-10-2022

In 2020, there were over 76 million cattle in the European Union (EU) and beef production reached 6.8 million tonnes – output that makes the EU the world's third largest producer, after the United States and Brazil. The sector is diverse in terms of herd si
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Briefing - European Union beef sector: Main features, challenges and prospects - 03-10-2022

In 2020, there were over 76 million cattle in the European Union (EU) and beef production reached 6.8 million tonnes – output that makes the EU the world's third largest producer, after the United States and Brazil. The sector is diverse in terms of herd size, farm structure and geographical distribution of farms between EU regions. Beef is an important element of most European diets, and it is the third most widely consumed meat in the world. EU beef, together with other EU food products, is known for its quality, and widely exported to third countries. To facilitate trade, the EU negotiates bilateral free trade agreements with those countries. While offering a wide range of opportunities, the opening of global markets can also have a negative impact on the EU beef industry: beef produced outside the EU is more competitive, which threatens to weaken EU internal production. In recent years, threats other than the opening of new markets have been putting pressure on EU beef producers. These include the declining consumption of red meat, citizens' concerns about environmental impact, climate change and animal welfare, and low farm incomes. The EU's common agricultural policy offers a wide range of instruments to support farmers and address market changes. These instruments include export refunds, public intervention, and private storage aid. Farmers should also now be able to exert greater leverage over big retailers with the protection provided by the 2019 Unfair Trading Practices Directive. Source : © European Union, 2022 - EP

At a Glance - United States: Economic indicators and trade with EU - 30-09-2022

The infographic illustrates the economic development in the United States in comparison with the EU economy in the past decade. Besides showing strong economic recovery capacity in both regions, it gives an insight into economic phenomena, such as rising infl
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At a Glance - United States: Economic indicators and trade with EU - 30-09-2022

The infographic illustrates the economic development in the United States in comparison with the EU economy in the past decade. Besides showing strong economic recovery capacity in both regions, it gives an insight into economic phenomena, such as rising inflation and growing public debt - unfavourable trends that started before 2022, a year marked by war in Europe. It also portrays trade relations between the two blocs, which, despite having suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic, grew to record levels in EU exports of goods and services in 2021. This is a further updated edition of an infographic, the last edition of which was published in June 2021. Source : © European Union, 2022 - EP

Briefing - Review of the Regulation on fluorinated greenhouse gases: Fit for 55 package - 30-09-2022

On 5 April 2022, the Commission presented a proposal for a regulation on fluorinated greenhouse gases that would repeal Regulation (EU) No 517/2014. The proposal is amongst the last in the 'fit for 55' package, aiming to align EU climate and energy laws with
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Briefing - Review of the Regulation on fluorinated greenhouse gases: Fit for 55 package - 30-09-2022

On 5 April 2022, the Commission presented a proposal for a regulation on fluorinated greenhouse gases that would repeal Regulation (EU) No 517/2014. The proposal is amongst the last in the 'fit for 55' package, aiming to align EU climate and energy laws with the EU Climate Law's 2030 target. The proposal aims to further reduce emissions of fluorinated greenhouse gases (F-gases). It would change the existing quota system, gradually reducing the supply of hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) to the EU market to 2.4 % of 2015 levels by 2048. It would also ban F-gases in specific applications and update the rules in respect to implementing best practices, leak checking, record keeping, training, waste treatment and penalties. The current licensing system and labelling obligations would be strengthened in order to improve enforcement of trade restrictions. Finally, the proposal would align EU legislation with the requirements of the Montreal Protocol to reduce production of HFCs. In Parliament, the proposal is being discussed in the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI). First edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Source : © European Union, 2022 - EP

Briefing - The floods in Pakistan and the global and EU humanitarian responses - 30-09-2022

With a population of almost 236 million, Pakistan is the fifth most populous country in the world. The country has been hit by extreme weather events this year. In March and April 2022, an extreme heat wave hit Pakistan and India. This was followed in June b
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Briefing - The floods in Pakistan and the global and EU humanitarian responses - 30-09-2022

With a population of almost 236 million, Pakistan is the fifth most populous country in the world. The country has been hit by extreme weather events this year. In March and April 2022, an extreme heat wave hit Pakistan and India. This was followed in June by the heaviest monsoon rains in over a century. The rains left a third of the country under water – an area almost three times the size of Portugal. The damage is significant – over 1 600 people have been killed by the rains, floods and landslides, while over 12 850 people have been injured. It is reported that 7.9 million people have been displaced, including some 598 000 currently living in relief camps. In total, it is estimated that more than 33 million people have been affected. On top of the human tragedy, there has also been considerable material damage: over 805 000 houses have been completely destroyed; over 1.2 million houses have been damaged; the communications infrastructure (including 12 700 km of roads) has been severely damaged; 2 million acres of crops have been adversely affected; and 1.1 million livestock have perished. Pakistan was one of the countries worst affected by climate change in the 2000-2019 period, and this climate-induced crisis has come on top of an ongoing political and economic crisis. The latter has been caused by loose fiscal policies and international developments (inflation, and food and fuel price increases in the context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine). Much of the blame has fallen on the former prime minister for his government's handling of the economy; the former finance minister recently resigned as well. Given the above, the domestic, international and EU responses to this climate-induced humanitarian crisis are key to limiting the impact of the catastrophe in a vulnerable and populous region. Relations between the EU and Pakistan are framed by the EU-Pakistan Strategic Engagement Plan of June 2019, the 2021-2027 Multiannual Indicative Programme (MIP) for Pakistan and the GSP+ trade preference scheme. Source : © European Union, 2022 - EP

At a Glance - Question time: Tackling depopulation through cohesion policy instruments - 30-09-2022

Several Member States and regions are facing population decline, caused by factors such as low fertility rates and net emigration. The emigration of skilled workers, referred to as 'brain drain', undermines the growth potential of the areas concerned. An agei
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At a Glance - Question time: Tackling depopulation through cohesion policy instruments - 30-09-2022

Several Member States and regions are facing population decline, caused by factors such as low fertility rates and net emigration. The emigration of skilled workers, referred to as 'brain drain', undermines the growth potential of the areas concerned. An ageing society also plays a part in depopulation. Depopulated regions are often low-income rural or post-industrial areas, with fewer job opportunities. In the context of its oversight over other EU institutions, the European Parliament has recently reived the practice of holding 'question time' with the Commission. During the October I session, the Commission is due to answer question on the issue of tackling depopulation through cohesion policy instruments. Source : © European Union, 2022 - EP

At a Glance - Protests in Iran over the death of Mahsa Amini - 30-09-2022

For the past two weeks, Iran has seen massive protests over the death in police custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, a Kurdish woman arrested for allegedly violating Iran's compulsory veiling laws. Protests have spread to more than 150 cities across Iran, incl
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At a Glance - Protests in Iran over the death of Mahsa Amini - 30-09-2022

For the past two weeks, Iran has seen massive protests over the death in police custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, a Kurdish woman arrested for allegedly violating Iran's compulsory veiling laws. Protests have spread to more than 150 cities across Iran, including universities. The government has reacted violently to the protests, leading to at least 75 deaths and over a thousand arrests. Iranians are protesting not just against Amini's death, but also against an increasingly repressive regime that targets women, journalists and minorities. During its current mandate, the European Parliament has adopted eight resolutions condemning human rights violations in Iran. Source : © European Union, 2022 - EP

At a Glance - International development: EU-US Explainer - 29-09-2022

International development has become an important tool in both promoting equity and fostering greater global responsibility in an interconnected world. As the COVID 19 pandemic swept across the world, developed nations acted in solidarity with developing nati
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At a Glance - International development: EU-US Explainer - 29-09-2022

International development has become an important tool in both promoting equity and fostering greater global responsibility in an interconnected world. As the COVID 19 pandemic swept across the world, developed nations acted in solidarity with developing nations by providing medical supplies and financial support to countries hardest hit by the pandemic. In 2021, foreign aid hit an all-time high of US$179 billion in response to the pandemic. With a new humanitarian crisis following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, developing nations most impacted by supply shortages and higher prices for key commodities will require support, and developed nations must have comprehensive instruments to react to global challenges. Source : © European Union, 2022 - EP

At a Glance - Countering food loss and waste: From awareness to tangible change - 29-09-2022

The United Nations General Assembly designated 29 September as the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste in order to promote global efforts towards meeting the UN sustainable development goals' target 12.3, where the aim is to halve per capit
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At a Glance - Countering food loss and waste: From awareness to tangible change - 29-09-2022

The United Nations General Assembly designated 29 September as the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste in order to promote global efforts towards meeting the UN sustainable development goals' target 12.3, where the aim is to halve per capita food waste at the retail and consumer level by 2030, and reduce food loss along the food production and supply chains. Source : © European Union, 2022 - EP

Briefing - Updating the European digital identity framework - 29-09-2022

The 2014 Regulation on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market (eIDAS Regulation or eIDAS) was the first digital identity legislation to provide the basis for cross-border electronic identification, auth
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Briefing - Updating the European digital identity framework - 29-09-2022

The 2014 Regulation on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market (eIDAS Regulation or eIDAS) was the first digital identity legislation to provide the basis for cross-border electronic identification, authentication and website certification throughout the EU. Application of eIDAS has been mixed. However, the pandemic increased the need for such solutions to be put in place to access public and private services. On 3 June 2021, the Commission put forward a proposal building on the eIDAS framework, with the aim of giving at least 80 % of citizens the possibility to use a digital identity to access key public services by 2030 and to do so across EU borders. The updated European digital identity framework would also allow citizens to identify and authenticate themselves online (via their European digital identity wallet) without having to resort to commercial providers, a practice that raises trust, security and privacy concerns. In parallel, the Commission adopted a recommendation to design a toolbox supporting the framework so as to avoid fragmentation and barriers due to diverging standards. Within the European Parliament, the file has been assigned to the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE). In the draft report, published on 31 May 2022, the rapporteur Romana Jerković (S&D, Croatia) proposed significant changes to the regulation, particularly regarding the European digital identity wallet. The Council has not yet reached a general approach on the file. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Source : © European Union, 2022 - EP

Briefing - Energy saving and demand reduction - 29-09-2022

Since Russia invaded Ukraine, Europe has found itself in an energy crisis. Skyrocketing gas and electricity prices, coupled with energy supply concerns, have obliged the European Union (EU) to take action to mitigate the situation. Reducing energy consumptio
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Briefing - Energy saving and demand reduction - 29-09-2022

Since Russia invaded Ukraine, Europe has found itself in an energy crisis. Skyrocketing gas and electricity prices, coupled with energy supply concerns, have obliged the European Union (EU) to take action to mitigate the situation. Reducing energy consumption is seen as one of the key measures the EU Member States can take to reduce energy bills and tackle supply issues. It can help them reduce their energy import dependency and prepare for a winter of possible gas supply disruptions. It can also help the EU reach its climate goals in line with the European Green Deal. The EU has taken a number of steps both to align its policies with more ambitious climate goals and to boost energy independence. In terms of long-term measures, the Energy Efficiency Directive is currently being revised to increase the EU-wide targets for the reduction of energy consumption by 2030. Similarly, the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive is also under revision to further improve the energy efficiency of buildings. One of the ways to achieve this would be through an enhanced energy performance certification system, boosting renovation rates and popularising solar panels. Further EU measures aimed at saving energy and reducing demand in the short term include: a plan to reduce gas demand so as to ensure sufficient supplies in the winter; a proposed reduction of electricity demand as part of efforts to combat high energy prices; and an EU energy saving plan under REPowerEU, to cut the EU's reliance on Russian fossil fuels. Key actions leading to reduced energy consumption include stepping up building renovation, implementing energy efficiency solutions, accelerating the rollout of renewables and promoting behavioural change by means of information campaigns. Reducing energy demand is part of broader ongoing efforts to address the energy crisis, complementing action aimed at diversifying imports, boosting EU energy production and redesigning the EU energy market. The European Parliament has supported measures to reduce energy demand reduction, improve energy efficiency and increase energy savings in a number of resolutions. Source : © European Union, 2022 - EP

At a Glance - A common charger for electronic devices: Revision of the Radio Equipment Directive - 28-09-2022

During its first plenary session in October, Parliament is expected to vote on the provisional agreement resulting from interinstitutional negotiations on the legislative proposal to amend the 2014 Radio Equipment Directive. The proposal is to introduce commo
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At a Glance - A common charger for electronic devices: Revision of the Radio Equipment Directive - 28-09-2022

During its first plenary session in October, Parliament is expected to vote on the provisional agreement resulting from interinstitutional negotiations on the legislative proposal to amend the 2014 Radio Equipment Directive. The proposal is to introduce common chargers and charging ports – USB Type-C – for mobile phones and other small portable devices sold in the EU. The expectation is that this would benefit consumers and reduce electronic waste. Source : © European Union, 2022 - EP

At a Glance - Statistics on agricultural input and output - 28-09-2022

To finalise the overhaul of the EU agricultural statistics framework, the European Commission has proposed new rules on collecting data on the input and output of agriculture and related activities, including on farms' use of agro chemicals. The European Parl
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At a Glance - Statistics on agricultural input and output - 28-09-2022

To finalise the overhaul of the EU agricultural statistics framework, the European Commission has proposed new rules on collecting data on the input and output of agriculture and related activities, including on farms' use of agro chemicals. The European Parliament is set to vote in plenary on the first-reading agreement during October. Source : © European Union, 2022 - EP

At a Glance - Transposition of management measures for Indian Ocean tuna fisheries - 28-09-2022

During the October I plenary session, Parliament is due to vote on a provisional agreement with the Council on tuna fisheries management measures adopted by the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC). As a contracting party to this organisation, the EU must tran
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At a Glance - Transposition of management measures for Indian Ocean tuna fisheries - 28-09-2022

During the October I plenary session, Parliament is due to vote on a provisional agreement with the Council on tuna fisheries management measures adopted by the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC). As a contracting party to this organisation, the EU must transpose its measures into EU law so that they apply to all Union vessels. Source : © European Union, 2022 - EP

At a Glance - Customs single window - 28-09-2022

As the EU is the largest trading bloc in the world, millions of customs declarations pass through national authorities each year. To ensure a simplified and digital approach, the European Commission has proposed the establishment of a European customs single
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At a Glance - Customs single window - 28-09-2022

As the EU is the largest trading bloc in the world, millions of customs declarations pass through national authorities each year. To ensure a simplified and digital approach, the European Commission has proposed the establishment of a European customs single window, which would allow traders to fulfil all their documentary requirements at once. Following interinstitutional negotiations, European Parliament and Council negotiators reached a provisional agreement in May 2022, which is expected to be put to the vote during Parliament's October I plenary session. Source : © European Union, 2022 - EP

At a Glance - The Horn of Africa - 28-09-2022

Food insecurity and violent conflict plague the eight Horn of Africa countries (Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda). A hub on the Red Sea trade and migration routes, bordering the unstable areas of the Sahel and centra
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At a Glance - The Horn of Africa - 28-09-2022

Food insecurity and violent conflict plague the eight Horn of Africa countries (Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda). A hub on the Red Sea trade and migration routes, bordering the unstable areas of the Sahel and central Africa, the region is of strategic interest for the EU. The EU's policy for the Horn of Africa initially focused on development, but is now set to tackle security issues too in the wake of piracy attacks and the rise in instability. Parliament will debate the new strategy in plenary in October. Source : © European Union, 2022 - EP

Briefing - Bulgaria's National Recovery and Resilience Plan: Latest state of play - 28-09-2022

Under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), the unprecedented EU response to the crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, Bulgaria was initially allocated €6 267.3 million in grants. In accordance with Article 11(2) of Regulation (EU) 2021/241 (t
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Briefing - Bulgaria's National Recovery and Resilience Plan: Latest state of play - 28-09-2022

Under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), the unprecedented EU response to the crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, Bulgaria was initially allocated €6 267.3 million in grants. In accordance with Article 11(2) of Regulation (EU) 2021/241 (the RRF Regulation), on 30 June 2022, the European Commission recalculated the maximum grant amounts for all Member States; this resulted in a just over 9 % cut for Bulgaria and a new total of €5 690 million. The country's National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP) has an estimated cost of €6 897.9, higher than the maximum financial contribution under the RRF, which is expected to be supplemented with national (and private) cofinancing. Under the RRF Regulation, Member States can request RRF loans until 31 August 2023, which Bulgaria has not yet done. Bulgaria's NRRP ranks as one of the largest (after Croatia) as a share of grants in relation to gross domestic product (GDP) – originally 10.2 % of its 2019 GDP, the RRF amounting to 5.2 % of EU-27 GDP in 2019. The RRF funding should be committed by the end of 2023, and paid out to Bulgaria by the end of 2026. Bulgaria is among the five Member States that cannot receive the 13 % pre-financing; a prerequisite for requesting it was for the Council implementing decision to be adopted by 31 December 2021. The NRRP aims to address the main challenges and systemic weaknesses of Bulgaria's economy. It builds on the national development programme BULGARIA 2030, which proposes solutions for growth and development in the medium term by setting out strategic objectives, such as accelerated economic development, demographic upswing and reduced inequalities. The NRR aims to extend the scope of reforms and investment while ensuring coherence with measures planned under EU cohesion policy. Bulgaria is one of the main beneficiaries of EU funds (measured as a share of GDP) over the 2021-2027 financing period, and complementarity with RRF resources is particularly relevant in several fields. 58.9 % of funds support climate objectives, making Bulgaria's NRRP one of the greenest, 5.8 % support digital objectives. Both minimum spending targets (green and digital) laid down in the RRF Regulation have thus been exceeded. The European Parliament participates in interinstitutional forums for cooperation and discussion on the implementation of the RRF, and scrutinises the Commission's work. This briefing is one in a series covering all EU Member States. First edition. The 'NGEU delivery' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the lifecycle of the plans. Source : © European Union, 2022 - EP

Briefing - Towards new rules for European elections? - 27-09-2022

In May 2022, the European Parliament adopted a draft legislative act proposing to repeal the 1976 European Electoral Act and replace it with a new Council regulation on the election of the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) by direct universal suffrage
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Briefing - Towards new rules for European elections? - 27-09-2022

In May 2022, the European Parliament adopted a draft legislative act proposing to repeal the 1976 European Electoral Act and replace it with a new Council regulation on the election of the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) by direct universal suffrage. The aim is to harmonise a number of rules applicable to European elections, which are currently a combination between the common principles under the European Electoral Act and the different national rules implementing them. Harmonisation would affect several areas, such as the age for voting or standing as a candidate; the electoral calendar for European elections; the principles applicable to the selection of candidates, including from a gender perspective; and the electoral threshold. In addition, the proposal would establish a common electoral system for the election of 28 MEPs in a Union-wide constituency comprising the entire territory of the European Union. The ambition is to further Europeanise the elections to the European Parliament, which are frequently criticised for focusing mainly on domestic political considerations and less so on the EU project. To enter into force, the proposal needs to be adopted by the Council unanimously, after obtaining Parliament’s consent by a majority of its component members. Moreover, all Member States need to approve it as per their constitutional requirements. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Source : © European Union, 2022 - EP

Study - Towards a permanent citizens' participatory mechanism in the EU - 27-09-2022

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the AFCO Committee, examines the EU participatory system and its existing participatory channels against mounting cit
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Study - Towards a permanent citizens' participatory mechanism in the EU - 27-09-2022

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the AFCO Committee, examines the EU participatory system and its existing participatory channels against mounting citizens’ expectations for greater participation in EU decision-making in the aftermath of the Conference on the Future of Europe. It proposes the creation of a permanent deliberative mechanism entailing the participation of randomly selected citizens tasked to vet proposals originating from either existing participation channels or the EU institutions, in an attempt at making the EU more democratically responsive. Source : © European Union, 2022 - EP

Briefing - European Parliament scrutiny of Frontex - 26-09-2022

Regulation (EU) 2019/1896 transformed Frontex into the European Border and Coast Guard Agency and considerably increased its tasks, powers, responsibilities and budget. The regulation also gave the European Parliament a range of tools affording it oversight o
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Briefing - European Parliament scrutiny of Frontex - 26-09-2022

Regulation (EU) 2019/1896 transformed Frontex into the European Border and Coast Guard Agency and considerably increased its tasks, powers, responsibilities and budget. The regulation also gave the European Parliament a range of tools affording it oversight of the agency's activities. In addition to budgetary discharge, these include an obligation for the agency to provide Parliament with information, a key role for Parliament in appointing the agency's executive director, and attendance, on invitation, by a Parliament expert at Frontex management board meetings. These tools effectively make Parliament the key player in terms of democratic oversight of the agency. In 2020, Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) decided to investigate the allegations of Frontex's possible involvement in pushbacks and violations of fundamental rights by Member States' authorities at the EU's external borders. Parliament used both ex-ante and ex-post accountability instruments, as part of which it asked questions demanding oral and written answers, requested the Frontex executive director to appear before LIBE to answer Members' questions, and decided to postpone the discharge of Frontex's accounts for the financial year 2019; it granted discharge in October 2021. In May 2022, Parliament decided to once again postpone the discharge of Frontex's accounts, this time in respect of the financial year 2020. In January 2021, LIBE stepped up its action and established the Frontex Scrutiny Working Group (FSWG) to monitor all aspects of the functioning of the agency, including compliance with fundamental rights, and transparency and accountability towards Parliament. The FSWG conducted a fact-finding investigation, collected evidence and presented its final report in July 2021. In December 2020, the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) also opened an investigation into FRONTEX's affairs. In April 2022, Frontex Executive Director, Fabrice Leggeri, resigned with immediate effect, after having been given the opportunity to comment on OLAF's findings. This briefing looks at the Parliament's accountability mechanisms and how they have been used to ensure that migrants' fundamental rights are respected and upheld at the EU's external borders. This is an update of a previous version first published in November 2021. Source : © European Union, 2022 - EP

Briefing - More flexible VAT rates - 26-09-2022

Value added tax (VAT) is an important source of revenue for national governments and the European Union (EU) budget and, from an economic point of view, a very efficient consumption tax. However, the rules governing value added tax as applied to intra-Communi
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Briefing - More flexible VAT rates - 26-09-2022

Value added tax (VAT) is an important source of revenue for national governments and the European Union (EU) budget and, from an economic point of view, a very efficient consumption tax. However, the rules governing value added tax as applied to intra-Community trade are almost 30 years old and the current common EU VAT system is both complicated and vulnerable to fraud. Businesses doing cross-border trade face high compliance costs and the administrative burden of national tax administrations is also excessive. In January 2018, the European Commission adopted a proposal to amend Directive 2006/112/EC (the VAT Directive) and reform the rules by which Member States set VAT rates. Whilst the Commission's proposal was heavily amended, the Council adopted a revision to the VAT rate-setting rules in April 2022, modernising the list of products to which non-standard VAT rates can be applied, and in particular bringing the rules closer in line with the wider objectives of the EU (EU Green Deal, digitalisation, health). Third edition of a briefing originally drafted by Ana Claudia Alfieri. 'EU legislation in progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Source : © European Union, 2022 - EP

Briefing - EU economic developments and projections - 26-09-2022

This briefing provides a summary of the recent economic developments in the EU Member States and gives an overview of relevant economic projections forecasted by major international and EU institutions Source : © European Union, 2022 - EP
Documents - Think Tank - European Parliament

Briefing - EU economic developments and projections - 26-09-2022

This briefing provides a summary of the recent economic developments in the EU Member States and gives an overview of relevant economic projections forecasted by major international and EU institutions Source : © European Union, 2022 - EP

Briefing - Revision of the Central Securities Depositories Regulation - 23-09-2022

The IA provides a convincing justification for revising the CSD Regulation. The analysis, both qualitative and quantitative, is based on the targeted evaluation of the existing CSD Regulation, targeted stakeholder consultation and various data sources (ESMA)
Documents - Think Tank - European Parliament

Briefing - Revision of the Central Securities Depositories Regulation - 23-09-2022

The IA provides a convincing justification for revising the CSD Regulation. The analysis, both qualitative and quantitative, is based on the targeted evaluation of the existing CSD Regulation, targeted stakeholder consultation and various data sources (ESMA). However, the IA would have benefited from a more detailed description of the problems, the policy options, and the stakeholder consultation, including the consultation results. Moreover, views of stakeholder groups on the policy options and support for the preferred package of options are not indicated. The IA transparently explains the uncertainties and limitations in the analysis, such as the effect of the lack of data concerning third-country CSDs in the EU, and difficulties in quantifying the impacts of policy options in the area of banking services. When analysing the impacts on stakeholder groups, the IA does not differentiate in terms of company size, even though one objective of this REFIT initiative is to reduce the burden on small companies. Source : © European Union, 2022 - EP

Briefing - Economic repercussions of Russia’s war on Ukraine – Weekly Digest 23 September 2022 - 23-09-2022

This paper provides a summary of recent economic, financial and budgetary decisions and developments following President Vladimir Putin’s decision of 24 February to start a military attack against Ukraine. It includes recent information relating to the EU s
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Briefing - Economic repercussions of Russia’s war on Ukraine – Weekly Digest 23 September 2022 - 23-09-2022

This paper provides a summary of recent economic, financial and budgetary decisions and developments following President Vladimir Putin’s decision of 24 February to start a military attack against Ukraine. It includes recent information relating to the EU sanctions regime, recent economic estimates, and policies supporting economic and financial resilience, including the coordination of national economic and fiscal measures. It also highlights policy recommendations made in the public domain to mitigate any adverse economic, financial and social effects and to support economic recovery in the EU and the Euro Area. Source : © European Union, 2022 - EP

At a Glance - The eight edition of the European Week of Sport - 22-09-2022

After two autumns of restrictive measures during the coronavirus pandemic, this year's event can be enjoyed with more freedom. The annual European Week of Sport (23-30 September) opens on 23 September in Prague, Czechia. The Week is an initiative of the Europ
Documents - Think Tank - European Parliament

At a Glance - The eight edition of the European Week of Sport - 22-09-2022

After two autumns of restrictive measures during the coronavirus pandemic, this year's event can be enjoyed with more freedom. The annual European Week of Sport (23-30 September) opens on 23 September in Prague, Czechia. The Week is an initiative of the European Commission to promote sport and physical activity across Europe with the slogan #BeActive. The aim is to #BeActive during the Week, but also to stay active throughout the rest of the year. Source : © European Union, 2022 - EP

Briefing - A new European innovation agenda - 22-09-2022

Since the Lisbon strategy, launched by the European Council on 23-24 March 2000, the EU's ambition has been to become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world. The growing effects of the ecological crisis, from climate change to t
Documents - Think Tank - European Parliament

Briefing - A new European innovation agenda - 22-09-2022

Since the Lisbon strategy, launched by the European Council on 23-24 March 2000, the EU's ambition has been to become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world. The growing effects of the ecological crisis, from climate change to the loss of biodiversity, digitalisation and mounting geopolitical tensions have broadened the scope of innovation policies to the transformations required by both sustainability and preparedness to crises, such as the Covid-19 pandemic. Today, the EU's innovation performance gives a mixed picture. While the EU has managed to keep its scientific base at the forefront of the global race, it has not been able to disseminate the new knowledge, technologies and solutions created by EU actors across Member States. Consequently, since the early 1990s, the euro area's average productivity rate has lagged behind that of the United States, and the gap in productivity among EU regions signals the existence of an innovation divide. With the adoption of a communication on a new European innovation agenda on 5 July 2022, the European Commission aims to encourage innovators to make better use of EU single market finance opportunities, as well as to attract new private and public investors to reinforce EU financial and capital markets. The communication presents a set of legislative and non-legislative initiatives based on five flagships areas – access to finance; framework conditions for deep tech innovation; tackling the innovation divide; deep tech talents; and improving innovation policies – which cut across the von der Leyen Commission's political priorities. The initiatives will allow EU investment to be targeted to promoting scale-up of EU innovative businesses, and to provide additional cooperative opportunities for all EU actors in the fields of education and research and innovation (R&I). The forthcoming adoption of the revised State aid framework for R&I is expected to incentivise further national and regional R&I investments, thus delivering on the five flagships. Source : © European Union, 2022 - EP

Study - Assessment of the ECB’s current monetary policy stance - 22-09-2022

This paper was provided by the Policy Department for Economic, Scientific and Quality of Life Policies at the request of the committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) ahead of the Monetary Dialogue with the ECB President on 26 September 2022. Sourc
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Study - Assessment of the ECB’s current monetary policy stance - 22-09-2022

This paper was provided by the Policy Department for Economic, Scientific and Quality of Life Policies at the request of the committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) ahead of the Monetary Dialogue with the ECB President on 26 September 2022. Source : © European Union, 2022 - EP

Study - Implementation of the European agenda for culture and of the EU strategy for international cultural relations - 22-09-2022

This publication provides an assessment of the implementation of the European agenda for culture and of the EU strategy on international cultural relations. It highlights achievements and shortcomings of EU cultural policies, so as to inform and support polic
Documents - Think Tank - European Parliament

Study - Implementation of the European agenda for culture and of the EU strategy for international cultural relations - 22-09-2022

This publication provides an assessment of the implementation of the European agenda for culture and of the EU strategy on international cultural relations. It highlights achievements and shortcomings of EU cultural policies, so as to inform and support policy makers ahead of the adoption of the next Council work plan for culture and the potential future revision of the agenda and of the strategy. Source : © European Union, 2022 - EP

In-Depth Analysis - FATCA LEGISLATION AND ITS APPLICATION AT INTERNATIONAL AND EU LEVEL: - AN UPDATE - 22-09-2022

This in depth analysis updates a previous report commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs and describes the most relevant developments in the period 2018-2022 in chronological order and th
Documents - Think Tank - European Parliament

In-Depth Analysis - FATCA LEGISLATION AND ITS APPLICATION AT INTERNATIONAL AND EU LEVEL: - AN UPDATE - 22-09-2022

This in depth analysis updates a previous report commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs and describes the most relevant developments in the period 2018-2022 in chronological order and then draws conclusions which include a systemic view of the current institutional dynamics, a provisional legal analysis on the basis of existing rules and policy suggestions. Source : © European Union, 2022 - EP

Briefing - Consumer protection for the green transition - 21-09-2022

The IA is based on solid expertise, with ample information in 13 annexes, some of which form an integral part of the analysis (namely Annexes 5 and 12 for the problem definition and Annex 8 for the assessment of the options' impacts). The qualitative and quan
Documents - Think Tank - European Parliament

Briefing - Consumer protection for the green transition - 21-09-2022

The IA is based on solid expertise, with ample information in 13 annexes, some of which form an integral part of the analysis (namely Annexes 5 and 12 for the problem definition and Annex 8 for the assessment of the options' impacts). The qualitative and quantitative assessment of the options is concise, balanced and logical. The IA is transparent regarding methods, assumptions and uncertainties in the analysis, which it addresses through a sensitivity analysis to ensure a robust evidence base. The impacts of all options are assessed against a set of 16 criteria and compared to the baseline in terms of their effectiveness, efficiency, coherence and proportionality. The IA decides against options it considers disproportionate, such as an EU body to pre-approve sustainability labels. It highlights the importance of coherence with other complementary EU actions, but potential interactions could have been indicated in a more precise and structured manner, to better illustrate potential overlaps. Source : © European Union, 2022 - EP

Briefing - The State of the Union [What Think Tanks are thinking] - 21-09-2022

The European Commission's President, Ursula von der Leyen, unveiled a package of measures to curb energy prices, which skyrocketed in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and stressed the EU’s unwavering solidarity with Ukraine, in her annual State o
Documents - Think Tank - European Parliament

Briefing - The State of the Union [What Think Tanks are thinking] - 21-09-2022

The European Commission's President, Ursula von der Leyen, unveiled a package of measures to curb energy prices, which skyrocketed in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and stressed the EU’s unwavering solidarity with Ukraine, in her annual State of the Union address delivered on 14 September. The plan envisages cuts in the use of electricity across the bloc, a cap on the revenues of companies which produce electricity at low cost, aid for companies and individuals hit by the energy crisis and, possibly, mandatory limits on the price of gas. On Ukraine, von der Leyen promised to maintain EU sanctions on Russia, to continue financial aid to the country devastated by the war, and work to ensure Ukraine’s seamless access to the EU’s single market. During her speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, she also vowed determination in pursuing green energy goals, including the creation of a hydrogen energy market. She said the Commission would propose new ideas for the EU's economic governance, including more flexibility on Member States' paths to debt reduction, and an SME relief package that would include a single set of tax rules for doing business in Europe. This note offers links to recent commentaries and reports from international think tanks on the State of the Union and related issues. Recent papers on the war on Ukraine can be found in a recent edition of What Think Tanks are Thinking, and on the energy crisis in another publication from the series. Source : © European Union, 2022 - EP