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What if hydrogen could help decarbonise transport?

22-11-2019

Cheap hydrogen produced with excess electricity from fluctuating renewable energy sources such as wind could help fuel-cell technology to break into the mainstream. This could at the same time further boost the competitiveness of wind and solar energy production

Cheap hydrogen produced with excess electricity from fluctuating renewable energy sources such as wind could help fuel-cell technology to break into the mainstream. This could at the same time further boost the competitiveness of wind and solar energy production

Commitments made at the hearing of Mariya GABRIEL, Commissioner-designate - Innovation and Youth

22-11-2019

The commissioner-designate, Mariya Gabriel, appeared before the European Parliament on 30 September 2019 to answer questions from MEPs’ in the Committees on Industry, Research and Energy and on Culture and Education. During the hearing, Ms Gabriel made a number of commitments which are highlighted in this document. These commitments refer to her portfolio, as described in the mission letter sent to her by Ursula von der Leyen, President-elect of the European Commission, including: - Education, ...

The commissioner-designate, Mariya Gabriel, appeared before the European Parliament on 30 September 2019 to answer questions from MEPs’ in the Committees on Industry, Research and Energy and on Culture and Education. During the hearing, Ms Gabriel made a number of commitments which are highlighted in this document. These commitments refer to her portfolio, as described in the mission letter sent to her by Ursula von der Leyen, President-elect of the European Commission, including: - Education, research and innovation; and - Culture, youth and sport.

Commitments made at the hearing of Paolo GENTILONI, Commissioner-designate - Economy

22-11-2019

The commissioner-designate, Paolo Gentiloni, appeared before the European Parliament on 03 October 2019 to answer questions from MEPs in the Committees on Economic and Monetary Affairs and on Budgets. During the hearing, he made a number of commitments which are highlighted in this document. These commitments refer to his portfolio, as described in the mission letter sent to him by Ursula von der Leyen, President-elect of the European Commission and include economic and financial affairs, fair and ...

The commissioner-designate, Paolo Gentiloni, appeared before the European Parliament on 03 October 2019 to answer questions from MEPs in the Committees on Economic and Monetary Affairs and on Budgets. During the hearing, he made a number of commitments which are highlighted in this document. These commitments refer to his portfolio, as described in the mission letter sent to him by Ursula von der Leyen, President-elect of the European Commission and include economic and financial affairs, fair and effective taxation and a strong and modern Customs Union.

Commitments made at the hearing of Margrethe VESTAGER, Executive Vice-President-designate - Europe Fit for Digital Age

22-11-2019

The commissioner-designate, Margrethe Vestager, appeared before the European Parliament on 8 October 2019 to answer questions from MEPs in the Committees on Industry, Research and Energy, Internal Market and Consumer Protection and Economic and Monetary Affairs. During the hearing, she made a number of commitments which are highlighted in this document. These commitments refer to her portfolio, as described in the mission letter sent to her by Ursula von der Leyen, President-elect of the European ...

The commissioner-designate, Margrethe Vestager, appeared before the European Parliament on 8 October 2019 to answer questions from MEPs in the Committees on Industry, Research and Energy, Internal Market and Consumer Protection and Economic and Monetary Affairs. During the hearing, she made a number of commitments which are highlighted in this document. These commitments refer to her portfolio, as described in the mission letter sent to her by Ursula von der Leyen, President-elect of the European Commission and include a Europe fit for the digital age and competition.

Hearings of the Commissioners-designate: Thierry Breton - Internal Market

11-11-2019

This briefing is one in a set looking at the Commissioners-designate and their portfolios as put forward by Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen. Each candidate faces a three-hour public hearing, organised by one or more parliamentary committees. After that process, those committees will judge the candidates' suitability for the role based on 'their general competence, European commitment and personal independence', as well as their 'knowledge of their prospective portfolio and their communication ...

This briefing is one in a set looking at the Commissioners-designate and their portfolios as put forward by Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen. Each candidate faces a three-hour public hearing, organised by one or more parliamentary committees. After that process, those committees will judge the candidates' suitability for the role based on 'their general competence, European commitment and personal independence', as well as their 'knowledge of their prospective portfolio and their communication skills'. At the end of the hearings process, Parliament votes on the proposed Commission as a bloc, and under the Treaties may only reject the entire College of Commissioners, rather than individual candidates. The Briefing provides an overview of key issues in the portfolio areas, as well as Parliament's activity in the last term in that field. It also includes a brief introduction to the candidate.

Geographical indications for non-agricultural products

07-11-2019

This Cost of Non-Europe report seeks to quantify the costs arising from the lack of European Union (EU) legislation protecting Geographical Indications (GIs) for non-agricultural products and to analyse the benefits foregone for citizens, businesses and Member States. The report estimates that introducing EU-wide GI protection for non-agricultural products would have an overall positive effect on trade, employment and rural development. More precisely, after approximately 20 years of implementation ...

This Cost of Non-Europe report seeks to quantify the costs arising from the lack of European Union (EU) legislation protecting Geographical Indications (GIs) for non-agricultural products and to analyse the benefits foregone for citizens, businesses and Member States. The report estimates that introducing EU-wide GI protection for non-agricultural products would have an overall positive effect on trade, employment and rural development. More precisely, after approximately 20 years of implementation, such a protection scheme would yield an overall expected increase in intra-EU trade of about 4.9-6.6 % of current exports (€37.6-50 billion) in the more relevant sectors. Expectations are that regional-level employment would rise by 0.12-0.14 % and that 284 000-338 000 new jobs would be created in the EU as a whole. The expected positive impact on rural development would materialise, among other things, through direct support for locally based high-quality producers, rural economic diversification and local producers' capacity to organise collectively.

EU competition policy: Key to a fair single market

30-10-2019

Competition policy has been found to make a positive contribution to the EU's economic growth and the EU has one of the most robust competition policy systems in the world. European competition policy encompasses many fields, not least antitrust measures, merger control and State aid. It is enforced by the European Commission, whose decisions can be contested in the Court of Justice of the European Union. Recent policy developments include the antitrust damages system and the framework empowering ...

Competition policy has been found to make a positive contribution to the EU's economic growth and the EU has one of the most robust competition policy systems in the world. European competition policy encompasses many fields, not least antitrust measures, merger control and State aid. It is enforced by the European Commission, whose decisions can be contested in the Court of Justice of the European Union. Recent policy developments include the antitrust damages system and the framework empowering national competition authorities. Topics discussed in this paper include the role of competition policy in the digital era, merger control, instruments such as the leniency programme, commitments and settlements, and the potential impact of current political developments.

Payment service providers and the fight against e-commerce VAT fraud

24-10-2019

This briefing analyses the quality of the IA accompanying the Commission’s proposal to transmit payment service providers’ data to the national tax authorities of the EU Member States in order to combat cross-border e-commerce VAT fraud. The IA focuses on the economic impacts, namely the potential recovery of VAT loss by Member States, which is expected to outweigh the costs of the initiative (even though benefits and costs could not be quantified with certainty). Regional divergences are acknowledged ...

This briefing analyses the quality of the IA accompanying the Commission’s proposal to transmit payment service providers’ data to the national tax authorities of the EU Member States in order to combat cross-border e-commerce VAT fraud. The IA focuses on the economic impacts, namely the potential recovery of VAT loss by Member States, which is expected to outweigh the costs of the initiative (even though benefits and costs could not be quantified with certainty). Regional divergences are acknowledged in the IA, but not assessed. The IA also admits that a key assumption, the improved cooperation with third countries, remains uncertain (it could imply counterproductive trade diversion towards extra-EU areas).

Outcome of the European Council (Article 50) meeting on 17 October 2019

22-10-2019

Leaders of the 27 EU Member States endorsed the agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union with a revised Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland, as well as a revised political declaration on the framework of the future EU-UK relationship. They invited the Commission, the European Parliament and the Council to take steps to ensure the entry into force of the withdrawal agreement by 1 November 2019. Following postponement of the House of Commons vote to approve the deal ...

Leaders of the 27 EU Member States endorsed the agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union with a revised Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland, as well as a revised political declaration on the framework of the future EU-UK relationship. They invited the Commission, the European Parliament and the Council to take steps to ensure the entry into force of the withdrawal agreement by 1 November 2019. Following postponement of the House of Commons vote to approve the deal, President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, will consult the EU-27 Heads of State or Government as to whether to agree to the request he received on 19 October for an extension of the Article 50 negotiation period to 31 January 2020.

Digital challenges for Europe [What Think Tanks are thinking]

18-10-2019

The rapid development of digital technologies is posing a challenge to the European Union, spurring initiatives to catch up with the US and China in the area, notably in the context of the digital single market. Among the dilemmas are how to reconcile Europe’s sensitivity towards protecting private data with the need to use them in many algorithms, and ensure that automation and artificial intelligence strengthen rather than weaken labour market participation. This note offers links to a series of ...

The rapid development of digital technologies is posing a challenge to the European Union, spurring initiatives to catch up with the US and China in the area, notably in the context of the digital single market. Among the dilemmas are how to reconcile Europe’s sensitivity towards protecting private data with the need to use them in many algorithms, and ensure that automation and artificial intelligence strengthen rather than weaken labour market participation. This note offers links to a series of some recent commentaries and reports from major international think tanks and research institutes on digital challenges. Many earlier papers on the issue can be found in a previous item in the series, published in July 2018. Many reports on cybersecurity are available in a publication from October 2018.

Προσεχείς εκδηλώσεις

11-12-2019
Take-aways from 2019 and outlook for 2020: What Think Tanks are Thinking
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