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Outcome of the European Council meeting of 15-16 October 2020

19-10-2020

Without reaching any new decisions, the European Council meeting of 15-16 October 2020 addressed a series of important issues, including the coronavirus pandemic, EU-United Kingdom relations and climate change. It also discussed numerous external relations issues, notably relations with Africa, the EU's southern neighbourhood, Belarus and Turkey. In the context of rising Covid-19 infections across all Member States, the European Council expressed its very serious concern about the developing pandemic ...

Without reaching any new decisions, the European Council meeting of 15-16 October 2020 addressed a series of important issues, including the coronavirus pandemic, EU-United Kingdom relations and climate change. It also discussed numerous external relations issues, notably relations with Africa, the EU's southern neighbourhood, Belarus and Turkey. In the context of rising Covid-19 infections across all Member States, the European Council expressed its very serious concern about the developing pandemic situation and agreed to intensify overall coordination at EU level and between Member States. Regarding the negotiations on future EU-UK relations, EU leaders expressed their concern about the lack of progress and called on the UK to make the necessary moves. They stressed that the Withdrawal Agreement and its Protocols needed to be implemented in a full and timely manner.

Minimum wage in the EU

19-10-2020

In 2020, most European Union (EU) Member States have a statutory minimum wage (21 of 27), while six others have wage levels determined though collective bargaining. Expressed in euros, monthly minimum wages vary widely across the EU ranging from €312 in Bulgaria to €2 142 in Luxembourg (July 2020). The disparities are significantly smaller when price level differences are eliminated. Expressed in purchasing power standard, the minimum wage ranges from PPS 547 in Latvia to PPS 1 634 in Luxembourg. ...

In 2020, most European Union (EU) Member States have a statutory minimum wage (21 of 27), while six others have wage levels determined though collective bargaining. Expressed in euros, monthly minimum wages vary widely across the EU ranging from €312 in Bulgaria to €2 142 in Luxembourg (July 2020). The disparities are significantly smaller when price level differences are eliminated. Expressed in purchasing power standard, the minimum wage ranges from PPS 547 in Latvia to PPS 1 634 in Luxembourg. The question of setting a minimum wage is one of the most analysed and debated topics in economics. Over recent years and in the context of the economic and social crisis engendered by the Covid 19 outbreak, the creation of a European minimum wage is increasingly considered as a useful instrument to ensure fair wages and social inclusion. In November 2017, the EU institutions jointly proclaimed the European Pillar of Social Rights, setting out the European Union's commitment to fair wages for workers. Since then, the European Commission has shown its willingness to address this issue. In particular, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stated in her political guidelines that she will propose a legal instrument to ensure that every worker in the Union has a fair minimum wage. Such minimum wages should be set according to national traditions, through collective agreements or legal provisions. On 14 January 2020, the Commission launched the first phase of consultation with social partners on fair minimum wages for workers in the EU, to gather social partners' views on the possible direction of EU action. Based on the replies received, the Commission concluded that there is a need for EU action. The second phase of consultation was launched on 3 June 2020; with a deadline of 4 September 2020 for social partners to provide their opinion. A Commission proposal is expected by the end of 2020. The European Trade Union Confederation welcomed the European Commission's initiative and called for the Commission to propose a directive. Conversely, employers' organisations believe wage-setting should be left to social partners at national level. In their view, if the Commission wished to act, only an EU Council recommendation would be acceptable. The European Parliament has often debated the issue of low income and minimum income over the last decade, advocating a more inclusive economy.

EU Defence Package: Defence Procurement and Intra-Community Transfers Directives

19-10-2020

This study examines the implementation of the European Union (EU) defence package, which consists of the Defence Procurement Directive 2009/81/EC and the Intra-Community Transfers Directive 2009/43/EC, during the period from 2016 to 2020. It is organised in two parts. The first part of the study, prepared internally, examines the evaluations carried out on the implementation of the two directives to identify persisting challenges. It surveys institutional and policy novelties in the field of EU defence ...

This study examines the implementation of the European Union (EU) defence package, which consists of the Defence Procurement Directive 2009/81/EC and the Intra-Community Transfers Directive 2009/43/EC, during the period from 2016 to 2020. It is organised in two parts. The first part of the study, prepared internally, examines the evaluations carried out on the implementation of the two directives to identify persisting challenges. It surveys institutional and policy novelties in the field of EU defence cooperation so as to place the implementation of the two directives in context, and then examines Parliament's oversight work. It goes on to lay out the main elements that are likely to affect the future of EU defence industrial cooperation, and provides options for moving forward. The second part of the study, which was outsourced, is based on primary research (a survey and interviews) and aims to assess the effectiveness, efficiency, relevance and added value of the Defence Procurement Directive and the Intra-Community Transfers Directive. It also seeks to identify limitations and challenges, and explore – where possible – the links between the implementation of the two directives.

Study in focus: Regulatory Sandboxes and Innovation Hubs for FinTech

15-10-2020

The original full study analyses the design and operation of regulatory sandboxes and innovation hubs as part of jurisdictions’ regulatory response to financial innovation, focusing on the models adopted in the EU and the EFTA countries. This document was prepared by the Policy Department for Economic, Scientific and Quality of Life Policies at the request of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON).

The original full study analyses the design and operation of regulatory sandboxes and innovation hubs as part of jurisdictions’ regulatory response to financial innovation, focusing on the models adopted in the EU and the EFTA countries. This document was prepared by the Policy Department for Economic, Scientific and Quality of Life Policies at the request of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON).

Online Platforms’ Moderation of Illegal Content Online

15-10-2020

The original full study reviews and assesses the EU regulatory framework on content moderation and current practices by key online platforms. It assesses the regulation in six countries/regions and makes recommendations to improve the EU legal framework on content moderation in the context of the forthcoming Digital Services Act.

The original full study reviews and assesses the EU regulatory framework on content moderation and current practices by key online platforms. It assesses the regulation in six countries/regions and makes recommendations to improve the EU legal framework on content moderation in the context of the forthcoming Digital Services Act.

Външен автор

Alexandre DE STREEL et al.

What role for the European Semester in the recovery plan?

15-10-2020

This briefing paper argues that the political imperative to ensure that the economic stimulus from the EU’s new commonly funded facilities is provided expeditiously will prevail against desires to create a robust governance framework for these funds within the European Semester process. The pandemic-related suspension of the Stability and Growth Pact creates a need to reform the Pact ahead of its future reintroduction. This presents an opportunity to incorporate more of the Semester’s reform implementation ...

This briefing paper argues that the political imperative to ensure that the economic stimulus from the EU’s new commonly funded facilities is provided expeditiously will prevail against desires to create a robust governance framework for these funds within the European Semester process. The pandemic-related suspension of the Stability and Growth Pact creates a need to reform the Pact ahead of its future reintroduction. This presents an opportunity to incorporate more of the Semester’s reform implementation agenda directly into the Pact’s policy prescriptions.

Външен автор

Jacob Funk KIRKEGAARD

Key issues in the European Council: State of play in October 2020

15-10-2020

This EPRS publication, 'Key issues in the European Council', is updated quarterly to coincide with European Council meetings. It aims to provide an overview of the institution’s activities on major EU issues, by analysing twelve broad policy areas, explaining the legal and political background and the main priorities and orientations defined by the European Council in each field. It also assesses the results of European Council involvement in these policy areas to date, and identifies future challenges ...

This EPRS publication, 'Key issues in the European Council', is updated quarterly to coincide with European Council meetings. It aims to provide an overview of the institution’s activities on major EU issues, by analysing twelve broad policy areas, explaining the legal and political background and the main priorities and orientations defined by the European Council in each field. It also assesses the results of European Council involvement in these policy areas to date, and identifies future challenges in the various policy fields.

Mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund – Shipbuilding ancillary sectors in Spain

14-10-2020

The European Commission has proposed to mobilise €2 054 400 under the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) to address redundancies in the ancillary sectors linked to shipbuilding in Galicia (Spain), resulting from the financial difficulties of two shipyards in the region. The European Parliament’s Committee on Budgets backs the proposal and reiterates that assistance from the EGF must not replace actions which are the responsibility of companies, by virtue of national law or collective agreements ...

The European Commission has proposed to mobilise €2 054 400 under the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) to address redundancies in the ancillary sectors linked to shipbuilding in Galicia (Spain), resulting from the financial difficulties of two shipyards in the region. The European Parliament’s Committee on Budgets backs the proposal and reiterates that assistance from the EGF must not replace actions which are the responsibility of companies, by virtue of national law or collective agreements. Parliament is expected to vote on this proposal during the October II plenary session.

Discharge for 2018 budget: Second reports for the European Council and Council, and the Economic and Social Committee

14-10-2020

In May 2020, the European Parliament decided to postpone the decision on granting discharge to the European Council and Council, and to the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) for the 2018 budget, and presented a number of observations. Parliament’s Committee on Budgetary Control has examined the situation again, and, in its second reports, recommends not granting discharge to these institutions. The votes on the second discharge reports are scheduled for the October II plenary session. ...

In May 2020, the European Parliament decided to postpone the decision on granting discharge to the European Council and Council, and to the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) for the 2018 budget, and presented a number of observations. Parliament’s Committee on Budgetary Control has examined the situation again, and, in its second reports, recommends not granting discharge to these institutions. The votes on the second discharge reports are scheduled for the October II plenary session.

How to provide political guidance to the Recovery and Resilience Facility?

14-10-2020

The Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) constitutes an unprecedented EU-wide resource to address the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the EU economies. As the governance of the RRF is integrated in the European Semester, it fundamentally changes its character from a non-binding structure for policy coordination to a vehicle for the allocation of a major economic impetus. In light of this, this paper analyses the ways that parliamentary control and oversight of the RRF can be best secured at the ...

The Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) constitutes an unprecedented EU-wide resource to address the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the EU economies. As the governance of the RRF is integrated in the European Semester, it fundamentally changes its character from a non-binding structure for policy coordination to a vehicle for the allocation of a major economic impetus. In light of this, this paper analyses the ways that parliamentary control and oversight of the RRF can be best secured at the EU-level.

Външен автор

Ben CRUM