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European territorial cooperation (Interreg) 2021-2027

24-08-2020

On 29 May 2018, the European Commission adopted several proposals aimed at defining the architecture of EU cohesion policy for the post-2020 programming period. The package includes a proposal for the new generation of European territorial cooperation (ETC) programmes, commonly referred to as 'Interreg'. The proposed regulation would bring significant changes to the current architecture of ETC, with the reshaping of the three traditional cooperation strands (i.e. cross-border, transnational and interregional ...

On 29 May 2018, the European Commission adopted several proposals aimed at defining the architecture of EU cohesion policy for the post-2020 programming period. The package includes a proposal for the new generation of European territorial cooperation (ETC) programmes, commonly referred to as 'Interreg'. The proposed regulation would bring significant changes to the current architecture of ETC, with the reshaping of the three traditional cooperation strands (i.e. cross-border, transnational and interregional cooperation) and the creation of two new components, one dedicated to outermost regions, the other to interregional cooperation on innovation. Another major novelty is the incorporation of cooperation with countries other than EU Member States. The proposal is being examined simultaneously by the Council and the European Parliament. In Parliament, the Committee on Regional Development (REGI) is responsible for the file. Parliament adopted its legislative resolution on the proposal at first reading on 26 March 2019, enabling trilogue negotiations to get under way with the Council. Third edition of a briefing originally drafted by Vivienne Halleux. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Use of financial data for preventing and combatting serious crime

19-07-2019

On 17 April 2018, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a directive intended to facilitate law enforcement authorities' access to and use of financial information held in other jurisdictions within the EU for investigations related to terrorism and other serious crime. The proposed directive would grant competent authorities direct access to bank account information contained in centralised registries set up in each Member State, according to the Fifth Anti-Money-Laundering Directive. The ...

On 17 April 2018, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a directive intended to facilitate law enforcement authorities' access to and use of financial information held in other jurisdictions within the EU for investigations related to terrorism and other serious crime. The proposed directive would grant competent authorities direct access to bank account information contained in centralised registries set up in each Member State, according to the Fifth Anti-Money-Laundering Directive. The proposal also aims to strengthen domestic and cross-border exchange of information between EU Member States' competent authorities, including law enforcement authorities and financial intelligence units, as well as with Europol. The provisional agreement reached in February 2019 in interinstitutional negotiations was adopted by the European Parliament on 17 April 2019, followed by the Council on 14 June. On 20 June 2019, the directive was signed into law and then published in the Official Journal on 11 July. Member States have until 1 August 2021 to transpose its provisions into national law.

Politische Maßnahmen der EU im Interesse der Bürger: Terrorismusbekämpfung

28-06-2019

Angesichts der zunehmenden Bedrohung durch den Terrorismus weltweit engagiert sich die Europäische Union (EU) mehr denn je bei der Terrorismusbekämpfung. Für die Bekämpfung von Kriminalität und die Wahrung der Sicherheit sind zwar in erster Linie die Mitgliedstaaten verantwortlich; die EU bietet allerdings Instrumente für die Zusammenarbeit, die Koordinierung und (in gewissem Umfang) die Harmonisierung sowie finanzielle Unterstützung, um gegen dieses grenzüberschreitende Phänomen vorzugehen. Darüber ...

Angesichts der zunehmenden Bedrohung durch den Terrorismus weltweit engagiert sich die Europäische Union (EU) mehr denn je bei der Terrorismusbekämpfung. Für die Bekämpfung von Kriminalität und die Wahrung der Sicherheit sind zwar in erster Linie die Mitgliedstaaten verantwortlich; die EU bietet allerdings Instrumente für die Zusammenarbeit, die Koordinierung und (in gewissem Umfang) die Harmonisierung sowie finanzielle Unterstützung, um gegen dieses grenzüberschreitende Phänomen vorzugehen. Darüber hinaus ist das Handeln der EU über ihre eigenen Grenzen hinweg von der Prämisse geprägt, dass ein Zusammenhang besteht zwischen Entwicklung und Stabilität sowie zwischen interner und externer Sicherheit. Die Ausgaben der EU für die Terrorismusbekämpfung sind im Laufe der Jahre gestiegen und sollen dies auch in Zukunft tun; so soll die Zusammenarbeit zwischen den nationalen Strafverfolgungsbehörden verbessert und die für die Sicherheit zuständigen EU-Einrichtungen wie Europol und eu-LISA stärker unterstützt werden können. Auch die für die Zusammenarbeit mit Drittstaaten vorgesehenen Mittel wurden aufgestockt, unter anderem durch das Stabilitäts- und Friedensinstrument (IcSP). Seit 2014 wurden zahlreiche neue Vorschriften und Instrumente verabschiedet: Die betroffenen Bereiche reichen von der Vereinheitlichung der Begriffsbestimmungen terroristischer Straftaten und der entsprechenden Sanktionen über den Informations- und Datenaustausch, den Grenzschutz und die Bekämpfung der Terrorismusfinanzierung bis hin zur Regulierung von Feuerwaffen. Zur Bewertung der Wirksamkeit der bestehenden Instrumente und zur Bestimmung von Lücken und möglichen künftige Vorgehensweisen hat das Europäisches Parlament den Sonderausschuss Terrorismus (TERR) eingerichtet, der im November 2018 seinen Bericht vorlegte. Der Sonderausschuss TERR gab umfassende Empfehlungen für umgehende und längerfristige Maßnahmen zur Terrorismusprävention, Bekämpfung der Ursachen, zum Schutz der Unionsbürger und zur bestmöglichen Unterstützung der Opfer ab. Im Einklang mit diesen Empfehlungen werden sich die zukünftigen EU-Maßnahmen zur Terrorismusbekämpfung sehr wahrscheinlich auf die Reaktion auf existierende und neue Bedrohungen, die Bekämpfung von Radikalisierung – unter anderem durch die Verhinderung der Verbreitung von Terrorpropaganda im Internet – und die Steigerung der Widerstandsfähigkeit kritischer Infrastruktur konzentrieren. Die zu erwartenden Entwicklungen umfassen darüber hinaus einen besseren Informationsaustausch, einschließlich geplanter Interoperabilität, zwischen den sicherheits- und grenzbezogenen EU-Datenbanken sowie die Ermittlung und Verfolgung terroristischer Straftaten auf EU-Ebene durch die vorgeschlagene Erweiterung des Mandats der jüngst eingerichteten Europäischen Staatsanwaltschaft. Dies ist die aktualisierte Fassung eines Briefings, das vor der Europawahl 2019 veröffentlicht wurde.

Reform of the Service of Documents Regulation

14-06-2019

In May 2018, the Commission put forward a proposal for amending the existing Regulation on Cross-border Service of Documents in civil proceedings. The proposal aims, above all, to replace the existing mechanisms of paper transmission with an electronic system. National information technology (IT) systems would be connected into one network, and the use of paper transmission would become an exception, available only in the event of a failure of the electronic system. Within Parliament, a draft report ...

In May 2018, the Commission put forward a proposal for amending the existing Regulation on Cross-border Service of Documents in civil proceedings. The proposal aims, above all, to replace the existing mechanisms of paper transmission with an electronic system. National information technology (IT) systems would be connected into one network, and the use of paper transmission would become an exception, available only in the event of a failure of the electronic system. Within Parliament, a draft report was prepared by the Legal Affairs Committee in October 2018, and in February 2019, the institution adopted its first-reading position on the proposal. Within Council, following an exchange of views between delegations and work at technical level, a policy debate is envisaged. Once Council reaches a general approach, trilogue negotiations will be able to start.

Police cooperation achievements during the legislative term 2014-2019: the role of the European Parliament

13-05-2019

Effective police cooperation is a key step in turning the EU into an area of freedom, security and justice (AFSJ) based on respect for fundamental rights. Cross-border law enforcement cooperation – involving the police, customs and other law enforcement services – is designed to prevent, detect and investigate criminal offences across the EU. In practice, this cooperation mainly concerns serious crime (organised crime, drug trafficking, trafficking in human beings and cybercrime) and terrorism. Considerable ...

Effective police cooperation is a key step in turning the EU into an area of freedom, security and justice (AFSJ) based on respect for fundamental rights. Cross-border law enforcement cooperation – involving the police, customs and other law enforcement services – is designed to prevent, detect and investigate criminal offences across the EU. In practice, this cooperation mainly concerns serious crime (organised crime, drug trafficking, trafficking in human beings and cybercrime) and terrorism. Considerable progress in strengthening police cooperation was made during the 2014-2019 legislative term. Most importantly, the new Europol Regulation took effect in May 2017. In Parliament, the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE Committee) is responsible for measures relating to police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters, including terrorism, and substantive and procedural measures relating to the development of a more coherent EU approach to criminal law, in accordance with Parliament’s Rules of Procedure.

European research area (ERA) – Regional and cross-border perspectives

30-04-2019

The ERA is a coordination system for national research infrastructures, and itself constitutes an infrastructure designed to create a single market for science. The main implementing instrument for the ERA is the European Union (EU) framework programme for research and innovation (R&I), currently Horizon 2020, alongside national roadmaps for implementing the common priorities. While the ERA offers a way to improve joint programming for research and innovation activities, interaction between research ...

The ERA is a coordination system for national research infrastructures, and itself constitutes an infrastructure designed to create a single market for science. The main implementing instrument for the ERA is the European Union (EU) framework programme for research and innovation (R&I), currently Horizon 2020, alongside national roadmaps for implementing the common priorities. While the ERA offers a way to improve joint programming for research and innovation activities, interaction between research infrastructures, the use of public-public partnerships between Member States, the application of smart specialisation strategies (S3) and the mobility of researchers, challenges still remain. The Horizon 2020 focus on excellence as the main criterion for receiving funding – a requirement designed to cement the EU's reputation in science and its global competitiveness – has led to a concentration of funding as well as R&I capacities in some countries and regions, while increasing the (innovation) gap between EU-15 and EU-13 countries. Other main challenges include the absence of a clear, shared definition of the ERA concept, the multiplication of instruments, and the non-use of binding legislation for ERA implementation. One way to improve the ERA and to broaden participation and cohesion without undermining the criterion of excellence might be to enhance the interoperability between funding and programmes and to continue working on making the EU state aid rules more R&I-friendly.

Revision of the European Electronic Tolling Service (EETS) Directive

25-04-2019

On 31 May 2017, the Commission adopted a proposal for a directive on the interoperability of electronic road toll systems and facilitating cross-border exchange of information on the failure to pay road fees in the Union. It was presented within the context of the Commission's first 'Europe on the Move' package that seeks to modernise mobility and transport. Tying in with the 2015 energy union strategy and the Commission's 2016 European strategy for low emission mobility, and announced in the 2017 ...

On 31 May 2017, the Commission adopted a proposal for a directive on the interoperability of electronic road toll systems and facilitating cross-border exchange of information on the failure to pay road fees in the Union. It was presented within the context of the Commission's first 'Europe on the Move' package that seeks to modernise mobility and transport. Tying in with the 2015 energy union strategy and the Commission's 2016 European strategy for low emission mobility, and announced in the 2017 Commission work programme, the revision of the European Electronic Tolling Service (EETS) was presented together with the revision of the directive on the charging of heavy goods vehicles for the use of certain infrastructures (the Eurovignette Directive). Interinstitutional (trilogue) negotiations concluded on 20 November 2018. The agreed text was formally adopted by Parliament on 14 February 2019 and by Council on 4 March 2019. The final act was then published in the Official Journal on 29 March 2019. Member States now have until 19 October 2021 to apply the directive’s measures in their national laws.

Boosting cooperation on health technology assessment

15-04-2019

The European Commission has proposed a regulation on health technology assessment (HTA). HTA is a research-based tool that supports decision-making in healthcare by assessing the added value of a given health technology compared to others. The proposal would provide the basis for permanent EU-level cooperation in four areas. Member States would still be responsible for assessing the non-clinical (economic, ethical, social, etc.) aspects of health technology, and for pricing and reimbursement. While ...

The European Commission has proposed a regulation on health technology assessment (HTA). HTA is a research-based tool that supports decision-making in healthcare by assessing the added value of a given health technology compared to others. The proposal would provide the basis for permanent EU-level cooperation in four areas. Member States would still be responsible for assessing the non-clinical (economic, ethical, social, etc.) aspects of health technology, and for pricing and reimbursement. While Member States could choose to delay participation in the joint work until three years after the rules enter into force, it would become mandatory after six years. Stakeholders have broadly welcomed the proposal. National parliaments, however, are divided in their appreciation of it. The Council has not yet agreed its position; technical discussions continue. Parliament's Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety adopted its report on 13 September 2018, and the report was voted in plenary on 3 October. However, with interinstitutional trilogue negotiations unable to start, on the Council side, Parliament adopted its final position at first reading on 14 February 2019.

Europäische Grenz- und Küstenwache

10-04-2019

Das Europäische Parlament und der Rat haben eine vorläufige Einigung über die Annahme einer neuen Verordnung über die Europäische Grenz- und Küstenwache erzielt. Der Text zielt darauf ab, aufbauend auf früheren Bemühungen der Organe der Union um die Entwicklung eines Systems für ein integriertes europäisches Grenzmanagement den Schutz der Außengrenzen der Union zu stärken. Das Parlament wird während der April-II-Plenartagung über den Vorschlag abstimmen.

Das Europäische Parlament und der Rat haben eine vorläufige Einigung über die Annahme einer neuen Verordnung über die Europäische Grenz- und Küstenwache erzielt. Der Text zielt darauf ab, aufbauend auf früheren Bemühungen der Organe der Union um die Entwicklung eines Systems für ein integriertes europäisches Grenzmanagement den Schutz der Außengrenzen der Union zu stärken. Das Parlament wird während der April-II-Plenartagung über den Vorschlag abstimmen.

Transnational clusters and the Danube macro-regional strategy

18-03-2019

As geographical concentrations of enterprises, which work together in the same field to develop a high level of expertise, services and skills, clusters are hotbeds of innovation and play an important role in the EU economy. Known as transnational clusters when they involve actors from two or more countries in the same geographical area, clusters tend to generate higher employment growth than firms located outside clusters, and are estimated to account for a significant proportion of jobs in the ...

As geographical concentrations of enterprises, which work together in the same field to develop a high level of expertise, services and skills, clusters are hotbeds of innovation and play an important role in the EU economy. Known as transnational clusters when they involve actors from two or more countries in the same geographical area, clusters tend to generate higher employment growth than firms located outside clusters, and are estimated to account for a significant proportion of jobs in the European Union. Linking countries from across a wide geographical region, the EU's macro-regional strategies provide a useful framework to support transnational clusters. Launched in December 2010, the EU strategy for the Danube region (EUDSR) covers 14 countries that differ both in terms of their development and their relationship with the EU, including nine EU Member States and five third countries. With one of the major challenges in the Danube region being the uneven levels of innovation performance between the highly developed western part of the region and the less-developed east, transnational clusters have the potential to help redress this balance and to increase regional competiveness. The development of clusters is firmly supported by the EUSDR's action plan, which outlines a number of actions to foster clusters across the Danube region. This has led to several cluster projects, with a particular emphasis on the bio-based and agri-food sectors, building on the expertise of local enterprises in this field. The European Commission and academic experts have welcomed the progress made in the development of clusters in the Danube region in recent years, yet challenges remain, with issues such as funding difficulties, the lack of visibility of macro-regional strategies and declining political commitment all causes for concern. Future discussions on the content of cohesion programmes post-2020 provide a golden opportunity to highlight the potential of macro-regional strategies for fostering regional development and how transnational clusters can contribute to this process. This briefing has been produced at the request of a member of the Committee of the Regions, in the framework of the Cooperation Agreement between the Parliament and the Committee.

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