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Policy Departments' Monthly Highlights - June 2020 EN

12-06-2020 PE 630.249 INTA BUDG REGI IMCO LIBE
V stručnosti
Zhrnutie : The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

EU-China trade and investment relations in challenging times EN

25-05-2020 PE 603.492 INTA
Štúdia
Zhrnutie : This report examines key aspects of the European Union-China economic relationship, including trade, investment and China’s key strategic project overseas, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). We conclude that China is, and will continue to be, a major trade and investment partner for EU countries. In this context, it seems clear that regardless of the direction of the United States-China relationship, the EU needs to explore options for fruitful co-existence with China. Trade continues to be the least problematic aspect of the EU-China economic relationship, although challenges need to be dealt with in a number of areas. There is hardly any EU-China trade in services, and the value added of Chinese exports and competition on third markets is increasing. As for investment, although EU companies have built up more foreign direct investment in China than the other way around, Chinese investment in Europe is growing and has focused strongly on technology. This raises the question of whether the EU should fear losing its technological edge, especially when Chinese state-owned companies might distort competition, not only in China, but also overseas through acquisitions. Finally, we review the significance of the BRI from the European perspective. The BRI offers potential trade gains for Europe by improving physical connectivity with countries along the route to China, but it also poses challenges for the EU. The main challenge is China’s increasing soft power, which is being felt in the EU’s neighbourhood and even in a growing number of EU countries. A more united approach to managing the EU-China economic relationship is required to improve the bargaining power of EU countries when dealing with China.
Autori : Alicia GARCIA-HERRERO, Guntram WOLFF, Jianwei XU, Nicolas POITIERS, Gabriel FELBERMAYR, Rolf LANGHAMMER, Wan-Hsin LIU, Alexander SANDKAMP

Four briefings on Trade-related aspects of carbon border adjustment mechanisms EN

14-04-2020 PE 603.493 INTA
Briefing
Zhrnutie : Compilation of four briefings made up by European Parliament's external contractors to the attention of INTA Committee, on trade-related aspects of carbon border adjustment mechanisms.
Autori : Dr. Cecilia Bellora and Prof. Lionel Fontagné, Centre d'Etudes Prospectives et d'Informations Internationales (CEPII) ; Prof. Gabriel Felbermayr and Prof. Sonja Peterson, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel); Prof. Joost Pauwelyn, The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) and Georgetown University Law School and Dr. David Kleimann, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies; Prof. André Sapir and Prof. Henrik Horn, Bruegel.

Possible carbon adjustment policies: An overview EN

14-04-2020 PE 603.500 INTA
Briefing
Zhrnutie : The new European Commission has announced policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions drastically. Reaching an ambitious target for a global good – the climate – would require a common price for carbon worldwide. This however clashes with the free-riding problem. Furthermore, unilateral policies are not efficient since they lead to carbon leakages and distort competitiveness. To tackle these issues, the European Union can rely on different policies. Firstly, a carbon pricing of imports can combined with an export rebate to constitute a ‘complete CBA’ (Carbon Border Adjustment) solution. Alternatively, a simple tariff at the border can compensate for differences in carbon prices between domestic and imported products. A consumption-based carbon taxation can also be contemplated. Last, a uniform tariff on imports from countries not imposing (equivalent) carbon policies may help solving the free-riding problem.
Autori : Dr. Cecilia Bellora and Prof. Lionel Fontagné, Centre d'Etudes Prospectives et d'Informations Internationales (CEPII)

Economic assessment of Carbon Leakage and Carbon Border Adjustment EN

14-04-2020 PE 603.501 INTA
Briefing
Zhrnutie : The European Union is the world’s largest importer of virtual CO2-emissions: its net imports of goods and services contain more than 700 million tons of CO2 emitted outside of the EU’s territory. This is more than 20 % of the EU’s own territorial CO2 emissions. Therefore, shifting carbon pricing away from pricing the EU’s territorial emissions to pricing the EU’s CO2-footprint (by means of carbon border adjustment) enhances the reach of European climate policy activities and increases their effectiveness for promoting global abatement activities. The above result relies only on the EU being a net importer of CO2 emissions embodied in international trade. It does not rely on the answer to the question, whether stronger unilateral CO2 mitigation efforts in the EU cause the imports of embodied carbon to increase (direct carbon leakage). Direct carbon leakage refers to the possibility that stringent unilateral CO2 policies in the EU, e.g. in the form of high carbon prices or regulatory measures, might lead to an increase in the carbon imports embodied in trade of goods and services: as European firms’ relative production costs are driven up relative to firms in non-committed foreign countries, domestic production is replaced by imports and domestic emissions are replaced by foreign ones. This compromises the effectiveness of the EU’s climate policies and endangers jobs and value added in exposed sectors. Ex post evaluations of existing carbon policies arrive at mixed conclusions. On the one hand, emission pricing in the EU ETS, so far, is mostly not found to cause direct carbon leakage. On the other hand, studies based on a broader focus of climate policies (not just carbon prices) suggest that measures, e.g., in the context of the Kyoto Protocol, have indeed led to carbon leakage. In countries that have committed to emission targets, imports of goods have gone up by about 5 % and the carbon-intensity of imports has gone up by 8 %. Ex-ante predictions by simulation models indicate that direct leakage is indeed likely. Its size depends on the difference between the EU’s carbon prices and those of its trading partners. On average, studies indicate that about 15 % of domestic emission savings are offset by additional foreign emissions. However, the range of estimates is very large. In most studies, indirect carbon leakage that operates through global markets for fossil fuels, however, is quantitatively more important than direct carbon leakage operating through international markets for goods and services. Ex-ante models show that carbon border adjustment can reduce carbon leakage. In complete setups, it can fully eliminate direct leakage. It does little to reduce leakage through energy markets, or to incentivise countries to engage into more ambitious climate policies. Results depend crucially on the design of the mechanism. Moreover, simulations also show that the adjustment burden is shifted to non-abating countries, many of which are poor and underdeveloped. The note concludes that carbon leakage is an empirically relevant concern. Carbon border adjustments (CBAs) can lower carbon leakage occurring through goods markets. CBAs need to be treated very carefully because they might provoke retaliation by non-committed countries and because they may shift the burden of adjustment to poor countries. In the context of the EU ETS, one promising strategy could be to grant free allocations of emission permits to leakage-prone industries but combine this with a consumption tax, applied to domestic and foreign goods produced by those exempted industries.
Autori : Prof. Gabriel Felbermayr and Prof. Sonja Peterson, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel)

Trade Related Aspects of a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism. A Legal Assessment EN

14-04-2020 PE 603.502 INTA
Briefing
Zhrnutie : This briefing provides a legal assessment – under WTO and EU law - of three policy options for an EU carbon border adjustment mechanism. These options are, first, a carbon tax adjusted at the border; second, the inclusion of importers under the EU emission trading scheme; and, third, import tariffs on products from third countries that do not pursue climate policies in line with the Paris Agreement. In the first part of the briefing, these three policies are evaluated against the benchmark of vulnerability to WTO legal challenge. The second part of the briefing assesses the EU decision-making procedures that are applicable to the three policies and the varying degrees of efficiency and democratic participation they imply.
Autori : Prof. Joost Pauwelyn, The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) and Georgetown University Law School and Dr. David Kleimann, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies

Political Assessment of Possible Reactions of EU Main Trading Partners to EU Border Carbon Measures EN

14-04-2020 PE 603.503 INTA
Briefing
Zhrnutie : This briefing discusses the possible reactions of the European Union’s larger trading partners to carbon border measures. Section 1 discusses experiences of carbon border adjustment-like regimes prior to the European Commission’s announcement of the Green Deal. It focuses on the EU Aviation Directive, the US policy debate, and the Californian CBA for electricity. Section 2 considers reactions to the Green Deal announcement, based on informal discussion with officials from major trading partners to the EU. It identifies positive and negative reactions to the principle of an EU CBA, concerns about its design, criticisms and potential policy responses by these partners. Section 3 discusses the implications of our findings. It points to several features in the design and introduction of an EU CBA mechanism that we believe will importantly affect how partners will react to such mechanism.
Autori : Prof. André Sapir and Prof. Henrik Horn, Bruegel

Balancing Integration and Autonomy. How EFTA countries reconcile EU-approximation and independence EN

27-02-2020 PE 639.315 INTA
Štúdia
Zhrnutie : In 2020, the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) celebrates its 60th anniversary. During this respectable lifetime, its composition has frequently changed, starting with seven founding members in 1960 and having four today. EFTA has turned out to be an ‘antechamber’ for the EU, as well as a distinct organisation with its own purpose. Since the foundation of the European Economic Area (EEA) in 1992, EFTA states Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein have joined this area, whereas Switzerland has chosen a relationship with the EU based on a number of bilateral agreements. These four EFTA states have in common that they perform a delicate and dynamic balancing act between integration into the EU and preservation of their own autonomy. Reasons for the strong desire for autonomy can partly be found in geographic or historic factors, but these cannot explain their position entirely, as existing EU Member States may also have such particularities. That all EFTA countries have a strong economy based on specific sets of natural resources and/or financial legislation, certainly is another element that explains the desire to keep matters in their own hands as far as possible. Strong consensus oriented democratic systems with components of direct democracy complete the picture. External events, such as the creation of the Internal Market, EU enlargement or the 2008 financial crisis have regularly challenged the balance EFTA countries have built with the EU. Even though they have led to initiatives to integrate closer with the EU or apply for membership, in the end such steps have not been completed. Whereas the UK is an important partner of all EFTA countries, mostly of Norway, its withdrawal from the EU has created another challenge to the balance. In a larger perspective, balancing autonomy and integration is not unique to EFTA countries, but happens also within the EU in the form of opt outs or arrangements for enhanced cooperation. And in view of a large number of countries aspiring for future EU membership, concepts such as flexible arrangements or associate memberships are not likely to disappear from the EU agenda.
Autori : Mario DAMEN

Policy Departments' Monthly Highlights - December 2019 EN

16-12-2019 PE 630.243 SEDE DROI INTA BUDG AFET AGRI ENVI FEMM CONT
V stručnosti
Zhrnutie : The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

Policy Departments' Monthly Highlights - November 2019 EN

26-11-2019 PE 630.242 INTA BUDG AGRI JURI ECON
V stručnosti
Zhrnutie : The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

Commitments made at the hearings of the Commissioners-designate - von der Leyen Commission 2019-2024 EN

25-11-2019 PE 630.241 TRAN PETI ITRE INTA BUDG AFET DEVE EMPL ENVI CONT ECON REGI IMCO PECH CULT AGRI AFCO FEMM JURI LIBE
V stručnosti
Zhrnutie : This document provides links to all Briefings produced by the Policy Departments of the Directorate-General for Internal Policies and of the Directorate-General for External Policies of the European Parliament, with salient points and essential commitments made by the Vice-Presidents and Commissioners-designates at their respective hearings before the European Parliament. For an exhaustive list of all commitments made and positions taken by the candidates, the full verbatim report of each public hearing is available on the dedicated hearings website of the European Parliament, as are the written questions and answers.

Záväzky z vypočutí dezignovaných komisárov - Von der Leyenovej komisia, 2019 – 2024

25-11-2019 PE 629.837 TRAN PETI ITRE INTA BUDG AFET DEVE EMPL ENVI CONT REGI IMCO ECON PECH CULT AGRI AFCO FEMM JURI LIBE
Briefing
Zhrnutie : Tento dokument obsahuje hlavné body a najdôležitejšie záväzky, ktoré dezignovaní podpredsedovia a komisári uviedli na vypočutiach pred Európskym parlamentom. Jeho účelom je poskytnúť vám praktický a stručný nástroj, ktorý umožní sledovať úsilie a kroky budúcej Komisie. Úplný zoznam všetkých záväzkov a pozícií zaujatých kandidátmi je k dispozícii v doslovných zápisoch z jednotlivých verejných vypočutí na osobitnej webovej lokalite o vypočutiach Európskeho parlamentu spolu s písomnými otázkami a odpoveďami.

Commitments made at the hearing of Phil HOGAN, Commissioner-designate - Trade EN

22-11-2019 PE 639.308 INTA
Briefing
Zhrnutie : The Commissioner-designate, Phil Hogan, appeared before the European Parliament on 30 September 2019 to answer questions from MEPs in the Committee on International Trade (INTA). 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, including: - A level playing field for all; - Strengthening Europe’s global leadership; - Trade for sustainable development and climate action; and - Making trade more transparent.
Autori : Mario DAMEN, WOLFGANG IGLER

The Mekong River: geopolitics over development, hydropower and the environment EN

18-11-2019 PE 639.313 INTA AFET SEDE ENVI DROI
Štúdia
Zhrnutie : The Mekong River is a vital source of livelihoods and economic activity in continental South-East Asia and extends from the Tibetan Plateau to the South China Sea. Its length is 4 800 km. More than half circulates in China, but its channel runs through Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam. The Mekong has the world's largest inland freshwater fishery industry, vital to the region's food security, representing around USD 3 000 million per year. Its unique and rich biological habitat provides diverse livelihoods as well as four fifths of the animal protein for more than 60 million people. At the level of biodiversity, the importance of this river for global nature is vital. The Mekong region is extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and to the degradation of ecosystems. The uncontrolled growth of the population both in China and in Southeast Asia is exerting unsustainable pressure on the Mekong in terms of a massive exploitation of all kinds of resources linked to the River: water, food, wood, energy, especially recent infrastructure and hydropower development, together with deforestation, illegal wildlife trade and habitat fragmentation. Water scarcity leads to reduced agricultural productivity, unemployment and poverty Four countries (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand, and Vietnam) formed an intergovernmental agency in 1950, The Mekong River Commission (MRC), to defend the sustainable development of the Mekong River and to plan its future. The absence of China and Myanmar mitigates and erodes the effective dialogue of the MRC on the management of the River. The lack of implementing mechanisms denatures the organization itself..
Autori : Jorge SOUTULLO SANCHEZ

Diversifying unity. How Eastern Partnership countries develop their economy, governance and identity in a geopolitical context EN

30-10-2019 PE 639.307 INTA
Štúdia
Zhrnutie : This study analyses the Eastern Partnership (EaP) in the year of its 10th anniversary. The Eastern Partnership was set up in 2009 as a joint policy initiative aiming at deepening and strengthening relations between the European Union, its Member States and the six EaP countries of Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. While each of these countries shares a past in the former Soviet Union, they have developed over time in different directions. Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia have concluded Association Agreements with the EU, which include Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas. They will have to fulfil conditions laid down in the Association Agreements to make progress on reforms of governance, the judiciary and fighting corruption. Moreover, Georgia and Ukraine are seeking to integrate more deeply into the Western world order, aspiring to membership of NATO and the EU. Armenia and Azerbaijan have different ways of cooperating with the EU. Belarus is furthest from the EU because of its poor record on democracy and human rights. All six countries are to a certain extent within Russia’s sphere of influence and have to deal with several geopolitical constraints, but they have increasingly developed economic relations and national identities of their own. It will be a challenge to maintain a common perspective for the next 10 years of the Eastern Partnership and a further divergence between the countries is likely. This will not only be between countries with an Association Agreement and the others, but along multiple vectors. While further developing statehood, the eastern partners will want to decide increasingly for themselves which forms of cooperation they want to pursue in the future. They may choose international partners according to their perceived needs, including Russia, the US, China or Turkey. The EU for its part should continue to pursue its strengths of assisting in achieving better governance and democracy and strengthening economic ties, while contributing to diminishing geopolitical tensions.
Autori : Mario DAMEN

Policy Departments' Monthly Highlights - October 2019 EN

21-10-2019 PE 629.838 INTA BUDG CULT ENVI FEMM CONT
V stručnosti
Zhrnutie : The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

Free trade or geo-economics? Trends in world trade EN

27-09-2019 PE 639.306 INTA
Hĺbková analýza
Zhrnutie : The European Union (EU) is the biggest integrated economic zone and a guarantor of an open and predictable regulatory system able to determine its own economic destiny. But the behaviour of other global powers is increasingly calling this ability into question. China and the United States, especially, do not separate economic interests from geopolitical interests in the same way the EU does and are increasingly trying to gain geopolitical advantage using their economic might. The EU is known as a fierce defender of a multilateral rules - based trade system with free but fair trade as its strategic policy objective. The EU will therefore do its utmost to save a ‘meaningful multilateralism’ by helping to reform the WTO, improve multilateral investment protection and conclude multilateral trade agreements. At the same time, the EU will defend its own interests by negotiating bilateral trade deals and applying trade defence and investment screening where needed. The EU has a strong interest in keeping the use of geo-economic measures manageable and avoid escalation into a trade war.
Autori : Mario DAMEN, WOLFGANG IGLER

Policy Departments' Monthly Highlights - September 2019 EN

16-09-2019 PE 629.836 PETI INTA REGI BUDG EMPL
V stručnosti
Zhrnutie : The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.