318

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Sustainable finance and benchmarks: Low-carbon benchmarks and positive-carbon-impact benchmarks

20-01-2020

In May 2018, the European Commission presented a package of measures on the financing of sustainable growth. The package includes three proposals aimed at establishing an EU taxonomy on sustainable economic activities, improving disclosure requirements and creating a new category of financial benchmarks to help investors measure the carbon footprint of their investments. Financial benchmarks have an important impact on investment flows. Many investors rely on them for creating investment products ...

In May 2018, the European Commission presented a package of measures on the financing of sustainable growth. The package includes three proposals aimed at establishing an EU taxonomy on sustainable economic activities, improving disclosure requirements and creating a new category of financial benchmarks to help investors measure the carbon footprint of their investments. Financial benchmarks have an important impact on investment flows. Many investors rely on them for creating investment products, measuring their performance and devising asset allocation strategies. The Commission proposes to create a new category of benchmarks comprising low-carbon and positive-carbon-impact benchmarks, by amending the Benchmark Regulation. As the regulation is directly applicable, amending it would restrict the possibility of divergent measures being taken by the competent authorities at national level. Parliament voted in plenary on 26 March 2019 to approve the compromise text agreed in trilogue negotiations. Following approval of a corrigendum by Parliament in October, the Council adopted the text on 8 November 2019. The final act was signed on 27 November 2019, published in the Official Journal on 9 December and entered into force the following day. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Sustainable finance and disclosures: Bringing clarity to investors

15-01-2020

On 24 May 2018, the Commission published three proposals for regulations reflecting the EU's efforts to connect finance with its own sustainable development agenda. The proposals include measures to: create an EU sustainable finance taxonomy; make disclosures relating to sustainable investments and sustainability risks clearer; and establish low-carbon benchmarks. In particular, the proposal for a regulation on disclosures aims to integrate environmental, social and governance considerations into ...

On 24 May 2018, the Commission published three proposals for regulations reflecting the EU's efforts to connect finance with its own sustainable development agenda. The proposals include measures to: create an EU sustainable finance taxonomy; make disclosures relating to sustainable investments and sustainability risks clearer; and establish low-carbon benchmarks. In particular, the proposal for a regulation on disclosures aims to integrate environmental, social and governance considerations into the decision-making process of investors and asset managers. It also aims to increase the transparency duties of financial intermediaries towards final-investors, with regard to sustainability risks and sustainable investment targets. This should reduce investors' research costs as regards sustainable investments and enable easier comparison between sustainable financial products in the EU. Following agreement with the Council in trilogue, Parliament voted to adopt the agreed text at first reading on 18 April 2019. Because of the tight timeline for finalisation before the end of the parliamentary term, linguistic corrections to the voted text were needed. Under the corrigendum procedure, the ECON committee and subsequently the plenary endorsed the corrected text in October 2019, allowing the Council to adopt it at first reading. Signed on 27 November, the regulation entered into force on 29 December, and will become applicable as of March 2021. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

A new neighbourhood, development and international cooperation instrument

29-11-2019

In the context of the Commission's proposal for a multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the 2021-2027 period, on 14 June 2018 the Commission published a proposal for a regulation establishing the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI), with a proposed budget of €89.2 billion (in current prices). Parliament adopted its first-reading position in plenary on 27 March 2019. MEPs agreed to accept a single instrument, but called for a stronger role for Parliament ...

In the context of the Commission's proposal for a multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the 2021-2027 period, on 14 June 2018 the Commission published a proposal for a regulation establishing the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI), with a proposed budget of €89.2 billion (in current prices). Parliament adopted its first-reading position in plenary on 27 March 2019. MEPs agreed to accept a single instrument, but called for a stronger role for Parliament on secondary policy choices, through delegated acts, and for the budget for the instrument to be increased by nearly €4 billion, to €93.154 billion. MEPs also specifically called for an increase in the funds allocated to human rights and democracy activities, the percentage of funding that fulfils the criteria for official development assistance, and funds that support climate and environmental objectives. Moreover, Parliament's amendments include the introduction of gender mainstreaming targets, the earmarking of certain financial allocations, the suspension of assistance in case of human rights violations, and the reduction of the emerging challenges and priorities cushion to €7 billion. The Council adopted a partial mandate on 13 June 2019, and an additional mandate – on the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD+) – on 25 September 2019. Following the committees' decision of 8 October 2019 to enter into interinstitutional negotiations on the basis of Parliament's first-reading position, a first trilogue meeting took place on 23 October 2019. The second is scheduled for 5 December 2019. Fourth edition. The 'Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Implementing the Urban Agenda for the EU

02-10-2019

Our towns and cities are home to nearly three quarters of the EU's population, and most EU policies concern them, be it directly or indirectly. While the revised 2014-2020 cohesion policy framework introduced a number of new instruments intended to enhance the urban dimension of cohesion funding, a shared vision of urban development has gradually taken shape at inter-governmental level, accompanied by increasing calls to give city authorities and stakeholders a greater say in policy-making. To help ...

Our towns and cities are home to nearly three quarters of the EU's population, and most EU policies concern them, be it directly or indirectly. While the revised 2014-2020 cohesion policy framework introduced a number of new instruments intended to enhance the urban dimension of cohesion funding, a shared vision of urban development has gradually taken shape at inter-governmental level, accompanied by increasing calls to give city authorities and stakeholders a greater say in policy-making. To help guide these discussions, the European Commission launched a public consultation following its July 2014 communication on the urban dimension of EU policies. Its findings indicated broad support among city stakeholders for an Urban Agenda for the EU. The European Parliament also prepared an own-initiative report on the issue, as part of a process that would ultimately lead to the signing of the Pact of Amsterdam on 30 May 2016, a clear political commitment to deliver an Urban Agenda. With the pact providing for the creation of urban partnerships focusing on key urban themes, all partnerships are now in operation. A total of 12 partnerships have now drawn up action plans, allowing the partners involved to contribute to the design of future, or the revision of current, EU legislation. As many of these plans are currently at the implementation stage, this is leading to a series of concrete deliverables, helping to ensure that the Urban Agenda for the EU is making a real difference on the ground. Developments such as better coordination at the Commission on urban issues have further consolidated the Urban Agenda, yet challenges remain. In this context, the Commission's proposals for the cohesion framework post-2020, which include creating a European urban initiative to support the Urban Agenda, the imminent Commission assessment of Urban Agenda implementation and the planned renewal of the Leipzig Charter in 2020, all have the potential to strengthen the Urban Agenda. Successfully implementing the Urban Agenda, however, will ultimately depend on the partnerships' ability to deliver actions and on the extent to which they are taken up by the Commission, a process requiring full commitment from all partners involved.

Hearings of the Commissioners-designate: Jutta Urpilainen - International Partnerships

26-09-2019

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.

Hearings of the Commissioners-designate: Elisa Ferreira - Cohesion and Reforms

26-09-2019

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.

EU Environment and Climate Change Policies: State of play, current and future challenges

18-09-2019

This study reviews the state of play of on-going EU environmental and climate legislation and pinpoints key challenges for the next five years. Challenges arise from the plans released by the president-elect, such as a new European Green Deal, the completion of work started in the previous term (e.g. the Regulation on a framework for sustainable finance and the completion of the multiannual finance framework), by reviews of legislation foreseen for the next term and the need for action where indicators ...

This study reviews the state of play of on-going EU environmental and climate legislation and pinpoints key challenges for the next five years. Challenges arise from the plans released by the president-elect, such as a new European Green Deal, the completion of work started in the previous term (e.g. the Regulation on a framework for sustainable finance and the completion of the multiannual finance framework), by reviews of legislation foreseen for the next term and the need for action where indicators show that current EU environment targets may not be achieved. This document was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety of the European Parliament.

Externe Autor

Anke HEROLD, Vanessa COOK, Yifaat BARON, Martin CAMES, Sabine GORES, Jakob GRAICHEN, Peter KASTEN, Georg MEHLHART, Anne SIEMONS, Cristina URRUTIA, Franziska WOLFF

The UN Sustainable Development Goals Summit and the Climate Action Summit, New York, 23-25 September 2019

12-09-2019

The United Nations (UN) High Level Political Forum (HLPF) in 24-25 September 2019 is a one-and-a-halfday event that for the first time since the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) takes place under the auspices of the UN General Assembly (GA). This special event, called the SDG Summit, will be a litmus test for the 2030 Agenda. Ending a four-year review cycle of all 17 SDGs, the Summit will enable a first assessment of the progress achieved so far and the challenges ahead. So far ...

The United Nations (UN) High Level Political Forum (HLPF) in 24-25 September 2019 is a one-and-a-halfday event that for the first time since the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) takes place under the auspices of the UN General Assembly (GA). This special event, called the SDG Summit, will be a litmus test for the 2030 Agenda. Ending a four-year review cycle of all 17 SDGs, the Summit will enable a first assessment of the progress achieved so far and the challenges ahead. So far, there has been a lack of political leadership and guidance at the international level.

Externe Autor

Elisabeth HEGE, David LEVAÏ (IDDRI)

Politische Maßnahmen der EU im Interesse der Bürger: Umweltschutz

28-06-2019

Mit ihrer Umweltpolitik trägt die Europäische Union (EU) seit 1972 dazu bei, das Wohlergehen der Europäer zu verbessern. Aktuell ist es das Ziel der EU-Umweltpolitik, bis 2050 zu erreichen, dass wir ein gutes Leben führen, ohne die Ressourcen der Erde überzustrapazieren. Deshalb strebt die EU an, zu einer CO2-armen und ressourceneffizienten Wirtschaft überzugehen, die biologische Vielfalt zu schützen und die Gesundheit der Bevölkerung durch Rechtsvorschriften zu Luftqualität, Chemikalien, Klima, ...

Mit ihrer Umweltpolitik trägt die Europäische Union (EU) seit 1972 dazu bei, das Wohlergehen der Europäer zu verbessern. Aktuell ist es das Ziel der EU-Umweltpolitik, bis 2050 zu erreichen, dass wir ein gutes Leben führen, ohne die Ressourcen der Erde überzustrapazieren. Deshalb strebt die EU an, zu einer CO2-armen und ressourceneffizienten Wirtschaft überzugehen, die biologische Vielfalt zu schützen und die Gesundheit der Bevölkerung durch Rechtsvorschriften zu Luftqualität, Chemikalien, Klima, Natur, Abfall und Wasser zu schützen. Obwohl diese Politik konkrete Vorteile bringt (z. B. ein ausgedehntes Netz von Natura-2000-Schutzgebieten, geringere Treibhausgasemissionen, mehr Recycling von Ressourcen sowie sauberere Luft und Wasser), ergibt sich für die europäische Umwelt in 20 Jahren mittlerweile ein düstereres Bild. Der Übergang zur Nachhaltigkeit könnte jedoch über den Umweltschutz hinaus auf vielerlei Art positiv wirken und der Schaffung von Arbeitsplätzen und der Konjunktur ebenso zugutekommen wie dem Wohlergehen und der Gesundheit der Bevölkerung. In einer kürzlich im Auftrag des Europäischen Parlaments durchgeführten Umfrage sprachen sich drei Viertel der Unionsbürger für mehr Umweltschutzmaßnahmen der EU aus. Seit 2014 werden Anstrengungen in zahlreichen Bereichen unternommen, z. B. in Bezug auf Abfallwirtschaft (z. B. neue Recyclingziele, Beschränkungen für Plastiktragetaschen, Maßnahmen in Bezug auf Kunststoffe und die Eindämmung von Abfällen im Meer), Klima (z. B. Ziele für Treibhausgasemissionen bis 2030 und Maßnahmen für ein Verkehrswesen mit geringeren CO2-Emissionen), Natur (vor allem zur Verbesserung der Umsetzung der EU-Vorschriften zum Schutz der biologischen Vielfalt) und Luftqualität (neue Vorschriften für Höchstmengen fünf wichtiger Luftschadstoffe, die in den EU-Mitgliedstaaten in die Atmosphäre emittiert werden können). Das Europäische Parlament hat sich für ambitionierte Strategien in vielen dieser Bereiche ausgesprochen. In Zukunft dürften die EU-Ausgaben für Umwelt- und Klimaschutz steigen. Die Kommission schlägt vor, den Anteil der EU-Ausgaben für die Erreichung der Klimaziele von 20 % auf 25 % zu erhöhen, und das Parlament schlägt sogar eine Erhöhung auf 30 % vor. In den kommenden Jahren soll der Schwerpunkt der Strategien auf den Bereichen Klima- und Naturschutz, Luftqualität, Kreislaufwirtschaft und Pestizide liegen. Dies ist die aktualisierte Fassung eines Briefings, das vor der Europawahl 2019 veröffentlicht wurde.

Politische Maßnahmen der EU im Interesse der Bürger: Menschenrechte

28-06-2019

Vor 70 Jahren wurde die Allgemeine Erklärung der Menschenrechte – das erste internationale Dokument, in dem gemeinsame Normen festgelegt wurden, die alle Staaten erreichen sollten – angenommen, und mittlerweile sind die zentrale Rolle sowie die moralische, rechtliche und politische Bedeutung der Menschenrechte im internationalen Kontext unumstritten. Obwohl in vielen Bereichen große Fortschritte hinsichtlich der Anerkennung, Kodifizierung und Umsetzung erzielt wurden, geraten die Menschenrechte immer ...

Vor 70 Jahren wurde die Allgemeine Erklärung der Menschenrechte – das erste internationale Dokument, in dem gemeinsame Normen festgelegt wurden, die alle Staaten erreichen sollten – angenommen, und mittlerweile sind die zentrale Rolle sowie die moralische, rechtliche und politische Bedeutung der Menschenrechte im internationalen Kontext unumstritten. Obwohl in vielen Bereichen große Fortschritte hinsichtlich der Anerkennung, Kodifizierung und Umsetzung erzielt wurden, geraten die Menschenrechte immer stärker unter Druck. Ob auf Kriegsschauplätzen oder in der Politik: Die Menschenrechte werden heute oft aus ideologischen Gründen verschmäht. Auch die EU bleibt von dem aktuellen Rückschlag nicht verschont. In ihren Mitgliedstaaten ist der Populismus auf dem Vormarsch, wodurch politische Kräfte an Bedeutung gewinnen, die die Bedeutung grundlegender Menschenrechte wie des Rechts auf freie Meinungsäußerung zunehmend infrage stellen. In diesen schweren Zeiten für die Menschenrechte zeigen Umfragen, dass die Bürger der Europäischen Union die Menschenrechte für sich selbst als einen der wichtigsten Werte und insgesamt als einen der Werte wahrnehmen, der die EU am besten repräsentiert. Als der Zweite Weltkrieg mit seinen schrecklichen Gräueln endlich vorbei war, wollten die Länder Europas den Frieden auf Dauer sichern. Deshalb gründeten sie eine Gemeinschaft, die sich auf die Wahrung der Demokratie und die Achtung des Rechtsstaatsprinzips und der Menschenrechte stützt. Genau dies ist die Grundlage ihrer Rechtsvorschriften, ihrer Politik und deren konkreter Gestaltung. Die jüngsten Maßnahmen in der EU umfassen neue Rechtsvorschriften zum Datenschutz und zum Zugang zur Justiz, die europäische Säule sozialer Rechte sowie Initiativen zur Bekämpfung von Ungleichheit, Diskriminierung und Hetze. Anerkannt wird auch, dass mehr dafür getan werden muss, den Rechtsrahmen zur Bekämpfung von Diskriminierung und zur Stärkung der internen Verfahren für den Schutz der Rechtsstaatlichkeit zu vervollständigen. Überdies sind die Menschenrechte ein allgemeines Ziel des auswärtigen Handelns der EU. Im Einklang mit den internationalen Abkommen engagiert sich die EU im Rahmen ihrer Beziehungen zu Drittstaaten und anderen multilateralen regionalen und globalen Institutionen mit Nachdruck für die Förderung der Menschenrechte. In der vergangenen Wahlperiode des Europäischen Parlaments wandte die EU zahlreiche politische Ansätze, die ihre Bedeutung und ihr Ansehen als normative Kraft und nachahmenswertes Vorbild stärken, konsequent an und vertiefte sie. Diese Strategie muss auch künftig beibehalten und konsolidiert werden, um das Ansehen und die Glaubwürdigkeit der EU als auf Werten beruhender normativer Kraft aufrechtzuerhalten, die in Zeiten handlungsfähig ist, in denen der Grundsatz des Multilateralismus immer stärker infrage gestellt wird. Dies ist die aktualisierte Fassung eines Briefings, das vor der Europawahl 2019 veröffentlicht wurde.

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