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Financial Supervision and Regulation in the US - Dodd-Frank Reform

13-12-2018

The paper provides a concise overview of the Dodd-Frank Act, the challenges of its implementation, and efforts to roll back the Act, in large part due to what are viewed to be vague and impractical provisions. This document was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the ECON Committee.

The paper provides a concise overview of the Dodd-Frank Act, the challenges of its implementation, and efforts to roll back the Act, in large part due to what are viewed to be vague and impractical provisions. This document was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the ECON Committee.

Externí autor

Prof Joseph R. Mason; Jeff D. Balcombe; W. Scott Dalrymple

Quality Differences in Consumer Products In the EU Legislation

30-11-2018

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the PETI Committee, deals with so called dual quality products, that is goods (food products, detergents, cosmetics, toiletries and products intended for babies, etc.) marketed on the Single Market under the same brand or trademark but with differences in content, composition or quality in individual EU Member States. The issue of dual quality products is one of ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the PETI Committee, deals with so called dual quality products, that is goods (food products, detergents, cosmetics, toiletries and products intended for babies, etc.) marketed on the Single Market under the same brand or trademark but with differences in content, composition or quality in individual EU Member States. The issue of dual quality products is one of the recent issues that the EU has only begun to focus on in recent years. Initially, it was rather an individual initiative of the individual MEPs, subsequently the European Parliament as a whole and the European Commission began to deal with it. The European Commission issued several legal standards that initially interpreted the existing legal regulation, later directly identified dual quality as an unfair commercial practice.

Externí autor

doc. JUDr. Blanka VÍTOVÁ, Vice-dean for Science and Research, Palacký University Olomouc (Czech Republic)

Digital technology in elections: Efficiency versus credibility?

10-09-2018

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. However, for some aspects of election management, digitalisation is more controversial. Electronic voting ...

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. However, for some aspects of election management, digitalisation is more controversial. Electronic voting machines count votes quickly and accurately. First used in the United States, they have spread to several Latin American and Asian countries. However, the intangible nature of digital processes makes detecting tampering more difficult; as a result, most European countries are sticking to tried-and-trusted conventional paper ballots. Even more controversial is the idea of internet voting. On the one hand, allowing citizens the convenience of casting their vote online without the need to visit polling stations could help to reverse a worrying decline in voter turnout across the world. On the other hand, current technology does not allow internet voting systems to be fully secured against hackers, a major concern given the growing sophistication of cyber-attacks (for example, from Russia). To date, only Estonia gives all voters the option of online voting in national elections.

Motor vehicles: new approval and market surveillance rules

05-07-2018

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, in particular as regards standards on emissions of air pollutants and carbon dioxide. In 2016, as part of preparations from previous years but also in response to the VW case, the European ...

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, in particular as regards standards on emissions of air pollutants and carbon dioxide. In 2016, as part of preparations from previous years but also in response to the VW case, the European Commission proposed strengthening the type-approval system for motor vehicles. Its goal is to ensure effective enforcement of rules (including through market surveillance), to strengthen the quality and independence of technical tests and to introduce EU oversight on the type-approval process. After completion of the legislative procedure, the final act was signed on 30 May 2018. The regulation will apply from 1 September 2020.

How demanding and consistent is the 2018 stress test design in comparison to previous exercises?

14-06-2018

We provide an assessment of the design and calibration of the 2018 EU-wide stress test. The adverse scenario for the 2018 stress test is more severe than for previous stress tests in terms of the assumed GDP decline in the EU area. However, the test is less severe in terms of the losses that banks are expected to incur under the scenario. The adverse scenario has a highly asymmetric impact on different European countries, such that countries with a high degree of trade openness are affected considerably ...

We provide an assessment of the design and calibration of the 2018 EU-wide stress test. The adverse scenario for the 2018 stress test is more severe than for previous stress tests in terms of the assumed GDP decline in the EU area. However, the test is less severe in terms of the losses that banks are expected to incur under the scenario. The adverse scenario has a highly asymmetric impact on different European countries, such that countries with a high degree of trade openness are affected considerably more. It seems unlikely that the assumed scenario constitutes the most plausible threat scenario for the EU economy. Since banks use heterogeneous models to forecast the stress scenario impact on loan losses and since the EBA does not publish its own respective benchmark parameters, the public cannot fully assess the true severity of the test in terms of its impact on banks’ capital. We argue that both the lack of transparency and the heterogeneity of banks’ practices to forecast stress scenario induced losses considerably weaken the credibility of the stress test and limit its usefulness in supporting market discipline among European banks.

Externí autor

Rainer HASELMANN , Mark WAHRENBURG

How demanding and consistent is the 2018 stress test design in comparison to previous exercises?

13-06-2018

The 2018 EU-wide stress test requires banks to evaluate the impact on profits and capital of common macroeconomic scenarios for 2018-2020. The methodology set up by the EBA addresses four main sources of uncertainty: credit risk, market risk, financial risks on net interest income and operational risk. Credit risk is assessed on the basis of the new IFRS 9 accounting standard. Market risk includes a valuation of illiquid, hard-to-price level 2/3 financial instruments. Net interest income is assumed ...

The 2018 EU-wide stress test requires banks to evaluate the impact on profits and capital of common macroeconomic scenarios for 2018-2020. The methodology set up by the EBA addresses four main sources of uncertainty: credit risk, market risk, financial risks on net interest income and operational risk. Credit risk is assessed on the basis of the new IFRS 9 accounting standard. Market risk includes a valuation of illiquid, hard-to-price level 2/3 financial instruments. Net interest income is assumed to suffer from an asymmetric increase in the rates earned on assets and paid on liabilities. Operating risk includes conduct risk and takes into account past loss events. This written advice highlights some weaknesses in the EBA methodology, which may lead to a different degree of conservativeness for some business models or countries. It also discusses ways to make future stress tests more realistic and reliable, by addressing resource gaps and improving governance.

Externí autor

Andrea Resti

Results of the 2018 stress test of the four significant Greek banks

30-05-2018

This briefing summarises the results of the 2018 stress test of the four significant Greek banks directly supervised by the European Central Bank (ECB), and puts them into perspective, comparing them with previous results.

This briefing summarises the results of the 2018 stress test of the four significant Greek banks directly supervised by the European Central Bank (ECB), and puts them into perspective, comparing them with previous results.

Regulation (EC) 1107/2009 on the Placing of Plant Protection Products on the Market

24-04-2018

Regulation (EC) 1107/2009 lays down the main instruments for placing effective plant protection products (using pesticide substances) on the market that are safe for humans, animals and the environment, while at the same time ensuring effective functioning of the internal market and improved agricultural production. This European Implementation Assessment found that the above objectives, while largely relevant to real needs, are not being achieved in practice. In particular, implementation of the ...

Regulation (EC) 1107/2009 lays down the main instruments for placing effective plant protection products (using pesticide substances) on the market that are safe for humans, animals and the environment, while at the same time ensuring effective functioning of the internal market and improved agricultural production. This European Implementation Assessment found that the above objectives, while largely relevant to real needs, are not being achieved in practice. In particular, implementation of the main instruments of the regulation – substance approval, plant protection products authorisation and enforcement of the regulatory decisions taken in the frame of the approvals and authorisations, is problematic, which also affect other related EU policies. Nevertheless, despite the implementation challenges observed, stakeholders – including national competent authorities, health/environment NGOs, manufacturers of substances and plant protection products and their users (farmers) – agree that the EU is the appropriate level at which regulatory action in the field of pesticides (used in plant protection products) should continue to take place.

Externí autor

Annex I written by Florent PELSY and Lise OULÈS from Milieu Ltd (Belgium) and Evelyn UNDERWOOD (Institute for European Environmental Policy, IEEP). Annex II written by Dr Emanuela BOZZINI (University of Trento, Italy). Annex III written by Dr Olivia HAMLYN (University of Leicester, United Kingdom). Annex IV written by Dr Dovilė RIMKUTĖ (University of Leiden, The Netherlands)

Approval of glyphosate: Latest developments

10-11-2017

Glyphosate, one of the world's most widely used active substances in herbicides, has become the subject of controversy. A proposal by the European Commission to renew its approval for five years failed to gather a qualified majority of Member States and is to be submitted to an appeal body. The European Parliament has called for glyphosate to be phased out by 2022.

Glyphosate, one of the world's most widely used active substances in herbicides, has become the subject of controversy. A proposal by the European Commission to renew its approval for five years failed to gather a qualified majority of Member States and is to be submitted to an appeal body. The European Parliament has called for glyphosate to be phased out by 2022.

European Commission guidelines on dual quality of branded food products

07-11-2017

On 26 September 2017, the European Commission published a notice laying out guidelines on the application of EU food and consumer protection law to issues of dual quality of food products. This legally non-binding notice follows tests in seven 'new' EU Member States that compared the composition and sensory qualities of branded products sold in those countries with some of the 'old' Member States. The tests showed that some of the products included less of the main ingredient, included ingredients ...

On 26 September 2017, the European Commission published a notice laying out guidelines on the application of EU food and consumer protection law to issues of dual quality of food products. This legally non-binding notice follows tests in seven 'new' EU Member States that compared the composition and sensory qualities of branded products sold in those countries with some of the 'old' Member States. The tests showed that some of the products included less of the main ingredient, included ingredients that were considered to be less healthy and of poorer quality, or had different taste, consistency, and other sensory characteristics. Manufacturers have questioned the reliability of the tests, claiming the differences were the result of adjusting their products to local tastes or using local ingredients and different places of manufacture. The Commission notice acknowledges that producers have a right to differentiate their products, but warns that consumers must not be misled. It clarifies the provisions of EU legislation which should enable the national authorities in Member States to act. It introduces the notion of a 'product of reference', against which consumer expectations are to be measured. Consumers need to be adequately informed if a product differs from their expectations, as when inadequate information leads them to buy a product they would not otherwise buy, such dual quality may be contrary to the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive. Members of the European Parliament have regularly spoken out against the practice of dual quality of food, with the European Parliament asking the Commission to verify the extent of the problem as early as 2013.

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