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Just Transition Fund

03-07-2020

The EU aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50-55 % by 2030, and achieve climate neutrality by 2050. This will require a socio-economic transformation in regions relying on fossil fuels and carbon intensive industries. As part of the European Green Deal, on 14 January 2020, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation to create the Just Transition Fund, aimed at supporting EU regions most affected by the transition to a low carbon economy. In the context of recovery from the coronavirus ...

The EU aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50-55 % by 2030, and achieve climate neutrality by 2050. This will require a socio-economic transformation in regions relying on fossil fuels and carbon intensive industries. As part of the European Green Deal, on 14 January 2020, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation to create the Just Transition Fund, aimed at supporting EU regions most affected by the transition to a low carbon economy. In the context of recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, an amended proposal on the Just Transition Fund (JTF) was published on 28 May 2020, increasingly the previously proposed JTF budget from €7.5 to €40 billion (in 2018 prices, with €10 billion under the core EU budget and €30 billion from Next Generation EU). Funding will be available to all Member States, while focusing on regions with the biggest transition challenges. The proposed budget for the Just Transition Fund is to be complemented with resources from cohesion policy funds and national co financing. The Fund will be part of a Just Transition Mechanism, which also includes resources under InvestEU and a public-sector loan facility. Total funding mobilised under the mechanism is expected to reach at least €150 billion. In the European Parliament, the file has been entrusted to the Committee on Regional Development (REGI). The rapporteur's draft report was published on 23 March and presented on 12 May. The REGI committee is due to vote on the report on 6 July, with a view to fixing Parliament's position for trilogue negotiations.

Cross-border regional healthcare cooperation to combat the coronavirus pandemic

22-06-2020

The pandemic has led to a situation where the healthcare systems of European regions have been heavily over burdened, with more patients to treat than they have capacity for. Several healthcare projects between cross-border regions, funded by Interreg programmes, have contributed to the fight against the virus, in particular in regions of Germany, France, Italy and Spain, some of the worst affected EU Member States.

The pandemic has led to a situation where the healthcare systems of European regions have been heavily over burdened, with more patients to treat than they have capacity for. Several healthcare projects between cross-border regions, funded by Interreg programmes, have contributed to the fight against the virus, in particular in regions of Germany, France, Italy and Spain, some of the worst affected EU Member States.

Policy Departments' Monthly Highlights - June 2020

12-06-2020

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.

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.

Demography on the European agenda: Strategies for tackling demographic decline

02-06-2020

The EU faces a number of demographic challenges such as ageing, a declining birth rate and depopulation in some of its regions. The EU represents an ever-shrinking proportion of the world population, at just 6.9 % today (down from 13.5 % in 1960), and is projected to fall further to just 4.1 % by the end of this century. This is explained by the low fertility rates as the numbers of children being born has fallen from an EU-28 average of around 2.5 children per woman in 1960, to a little under 1.6 ...

The EU faces a number of demographic challenges such as ageing, a declining birth rate and depopulation in some of its regions. The EU represents an ever-shrinking proportion of the world population, at just 6.9 % today (down from 13.5 % in 1960), and is projected to fall further to just 4.1 % by the end of this century. This is explained by the low fertility rates as the numbers of children being born has fallen from an EU-28 average of around 2.5 children per woman in 1960, to a little under 1.6 today. This is far below the 2.1 births per woman considered necessary to maintain a stable population in the long term. Ageing is also another population trend in the EU. Due to advances in medicine and quality of life, the average life expectancy the EU has increased considerably and now stands at about 81 years on average. Demography matters. The economy, labour market, healthcare, pensions, regional development, and election results – all are driven by demography. EU Member States have their own strategies and policies in order to counteract demographic decline. The EU also has an auxiliary role when it comes to tackling demographic challenges. Nevertheless, the EU has limited legal powers when it comes to dealing with issues that are related to demography. The coronavirus epidemic also has an impact on demography. Covid-19 has caused many deaths of elderly people. Certain EU regions have been affected more than others from the spread of the coronavirus. Studies suggest that coronavirus has a considerable impact on EU population trends (such as number of deaths per country, reduction of life expectancy and family planning). Both the European Parliament and the European Committee of the Regions are preparing their own reports and opinions on issues that are related to demography.

Investigación para la Comisión REGI - El papel de la evaluación en la política de cohesión

27-05-2020

La política de cohesión, que representa alrededor de una tercera parte del presupuesto total de la Unión Europea, es la política más evaluada de la Unión. Se ha establecido un ambicioso marco de evaluación. La aplicación práctica muestra un panorama contradictorio. Si bien el marco facilita un análisis cada vez más preciso de los logros de la política de cohesión, las evaluaciones no siempre se trasladan a la política y se perciben en ocasiones como un ejercicio que genera una «carga administrativa ...

La política de cohesión, que representa alrededor de una tercera parte del presupuesto total de la Unión Europea, es la política más evaluada de la Unión. Se ha establecido un ambicioso marco de evaluación. La aplicación práctica muestra un panorama contradictorio. Si bien el marco facilita un análisis cada vez más preciso de los logros de la política de cohesión, las evaluaciones no siempre se trasladan a la política y se perciben en ocasiones como un ejercicio que genera una «carga administrativa». Las propuestas de la Comisión para el período posterior a 2020 tienen como objetivo simplificar las normas mediante la reducción de las disposiciones obligatorias y limitar las directrices escritas. Sin embargo, esto entraña algunos riesgos. El Parlamento Europeo tiene un importante papel que desempeñar. Se trata, entre otras cosas, de hacer balance de los resultados de la evaluación para aumentar la dimensión política de la política de cohesión y contribuir a una cultura de evaluación en los Estados miembros y las regiones.

Autor externo

CSIL: Julie PELLEGRIN, Louis COLNOT, with support from Matteo PEDRALLI Country experts: University of Warsaw Diana IONESCU (RO), Tomasz KUPIEC (PL) Agnieszka OLECHNICKA (PL) CSIL: Matteo PEDRALLI (IT) ESTEP: Neringa VIRŠILIENĖ (LT) Scientific Advisers: FREE UNIVERSITY OF BRUSSELS-VUB: Nicola FRANCESCO DOTTI and THE UNIVERSITY OF MILAN: Massimo FLORIO

Exceptional coronavirus support measures of benefit to EU regions

19-05-2020

The coronavirus pandemic is affecting the EU's regions in various ways. Although the virus has spread all over Europe, certain western EU regions have recorded relatively higher numbers of Covid-19 cases and deaths. Most of the deaths from the virus have so far been particularly concentrated in certain Italian, Spanish and French regions. Healthcare systems in many EU regions are under tremendous pressure as they tackle the inflated needs caused by the coronavirus. What is more, the pandemic is also ...

The coronavirus pandemic is affecting the EU's regions in various ways. Although the virus has spread all over Europe, certain western EU regions have recorded relatively higher numbers of Covid-19 cases and deaths. Most of the deaths from the virus have so far been particularly concentrated in certain Italian, Spanish and French regions. Healthcare systems in many EU regions are under tremendous pressure as they tackle the inflated needs caused by the coronavirus. What is more, the pandemic is also having a severe impact on the European economy. As many economic sectors have reduced their activities, the social and economic impact of the pandemic is likely to be felt in all EU regions. Although it is still too early to make concrete predictions, the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic could well further impede the social, economic and territorial cohesion of the EU by increasing the existing divisions between EU regions. The European Commission has put forward a number of proposals to alleviate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on EU territories. The European Parliament has been supportive overall of the Commission's proposals. It triggered urgent procedures in order to approve them swiftly so that EU citizens could benefit quickly from their positive impact. Actions under various EU funds and policy instruments are now geared towards health-related purposes and the reigniting of the economy. In these critical times, cohesion policy could be no exception to the rule and is being drawn on increasingly to provide emergency relief. A number of amendments to the regulation governing the European structural and investment (ESI) funds have been approved by Parliament in order to allow flexible use of the funds in addressing the challenges posed by the crisis. A number of additional regulations and policy instruments meanwhile complement the ESI funds in the fight against the pandemic's negative consequences. Local and regional authorities are at the forefront of the pandemic as they are often responsible for providing much of the emergency response. They can use the newly adopted EU measures to reinforce their coronavirus action and to support their economic sectors.

Las regiones ultraperiféricas de la UE

15-05-2020

Las regiones ultraperiféricas de la Unión Europea tienen derecho a recibir un trato especial debido a las dificultades estructurales a las que se enfrentan, como por ejemplo su gran lejanía, difícil topografía o dependencia económica de algunos productos, que pueden obstaculizar gravemente su desarrollo. Las políticas en materia de cohesión, agricultura y pesca disponen de mecanismos de apoyo específicos, y la Comisión presentó medidas destinadas a ayudar a las regiones ultraperiféricas en comunicaciones ...

Las regiones ultraperiféricas de la Unión Europea tienen derecho a recibir un trato especial debido a las dificultades estructurales a las que se enfrentan, como por ejemplo su gran lejanía, difícil topografía o dependencia económica de algunos productos, que pueden obstaculizar gravemente su desarrollo. Las políticas en materia de cohesión, agricultura y pesca disponen de mecanismos de apoyo específicos, y la Comisión presentó medidas destinadas a ayudar a las regiones ultraperiféricas en comunicaciones publicadas en 2004, 2008 y 2012. No obstante, debido a que las regiones ultraperiféricas se seguían enfrentando a varios problemas en ámbitos como la movilidad, el desempleo y el cambio climático, se iniciaron debates sobre la formulación de una nueva estrategia, que se publicó en octubre de 2017. Tras un amplio proceso de consultas con las partes interesadas, la Comunicación de 2017 ofreció un nuevo enfoque para apoyar el desarrollo de las regiones ultraperiféricas mediante la optimización de sus activos, la explotación de las nuevas oportunidades disponibles para el crecimiento y la creación de empleo, así como una mayor atención a sus circunstancias y necesidades específicas. Con este fin, la Comunicación propuso una serie de medidas concretas y coordinadas para su adopción a nivel de la Unión, de los Estados miembros y de las regiones ultraperiféricas, y pidió una asociación más fuerte entre los tres niveles. En mayo de 2018, la Comisión Europea presentó un amplio conjunto de propuestas para el período 2021-2027, proporcionando así el marco legislativo necesario para conducir esta estrategia más allá de 2020. Teniendo en cuenta las necesidades específicas de las regiones ultraperiféricas en un total de veintiuna propuestas, la Comisión ha garantizado la continuación de muchas de las medidas especiales que apoyan su desarrollo. Sin embargo, las regiones ultraperiféricas han respondido de forma desigual a estas propuestas, particularmente en cuanto a las reducciones propuestas de las tasas de cofinanciación y los recursos financieros. El informe de la Comisión Europea sobre la aplicación de la Comunicación de 2017, publicado en marzo de 2020, considera que se han logrado resultados específicos y que el proceso de aplicación de la Comunicación se dirige en la dirección adecuada. Pero el desarrollo continúa a la zaga en las regiones ultraperiféricas, por lo que está claro que sigue habiendo problemas. Queda por ver si la estrategia de 2017 y las medidas especiales presentadas para después de 2020 serán suficientes para cerrar la brecha de desigualdades con respecto al resto de la Unión y lograr los ambiciosos nuevos objetivos del Pacto Verde. Esta es una versión revisada y actualizada de un briefing de enero de 2018.

Coronavirus and the cost of non-Europe: An analysis of the economic benefits of common European action

11-05-2020

This EPRS paper focuses on the economic benefits of common action at European level and the risk involved if the current coronavirus crisis and its aftermath were to stall or reverse the process of European integration. It attempts to quantify the losses from: (i) any gradual dismantling of the EU project - where cautious estimates suggest that erosion of the EU single market alone would cost the European economy between 3.0 and 8.7 per cent of its collective GDP (this would be existing 'European ...

This EPRS paper focuses on the economic benefits of common action at European level and the risk involved if the current coronavirus crisis and its aftermath were to stall or reverse the process of European integration. It attempts to quantify the losses from: (i) any gradual dismantling of the EU project - where cautious estimates suggest that erosion of the EU single market alone would cost the European economy between 3.0 and 8.7 per cent of its collective GDP (this would be existing 'European added value' permanently lost); and (ii) a parallel failure to take advantage of the unexploited potential of collective public goods that have yet be achieved (this would be future GDP growth foregone). The latter 'cost of non-Europe' in 50 policy areas was identified by EPRS in 2019 as around 14 per cent of EU GDP by the end of a ten-year running-in period.

Specific flexibility measures for ESI funds in response to the coronavirus outbreak

15-04-2020

With much of Europe in the grip of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), on 2 April, the European Commission announced a further series of measures to help Member States cope with the socio-economic impact of the crisis. Amongst them is a proposal aiming to provide more flexibility in the use of European structural and investment funds (ESI funds). It is expected to be voted under the urgent procedure during the 16-17 April plenary session.

With much of Europe in the grip of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), on 2 April, the European Commission announced a further series of measures to help Member States cope with the socio-economic impact of the crisis. Amongst them is a proposal aiming to provide more flexibility in the use of European structural and investment funds (ESI funds). It is expected to be voted under the urgent procedure during the 16-17 April plenary session.

Towards a renewed territorial agenda for the EU

31-03-2020

The main objective of the territorial agenda is to strengthen territorial cohesion, an EU principle that seeks to ensure the balanced development of the EU and reduce its regional disparities. Agreed in May 2011 and the culmination of a process begun many years earlier with the European Spatial Development Perspective, the Territorial Agenda 2020 is currently being revised with a view to establishing a continued role for this initiative within the EU's new cohesion policy framework beyond 2020. Aimed ...

The main objective of the territorial agenda is to strengthen territorial cohesion, an EU principle that seeks to ensure the balanced development of the EU and reduce its regional disparities. Agreed in May 2011 and the culmination of a process begun many years earlier with the European Spatial Development Perspective, the Territorial Agenda 2020 is currently being revised with a view to establishing a continued role for this initiative within the EU's new cohesion policy framework beyond 2020. Aimed at ensuring the implementation of the Europe 2020 strategy in line with the principle of territorial cohesion, the Territorial Agenda 2020 strives to promote the integration of the territorial dimension across many different policies. To deliver on this ambition, it has established an action-oriented political framework based around six territorial priorities and a series of implementation mechanisms to make EU territorial cohesion a reality. However, with the territorial agenda a low political priority in past years, implementation has remained weak, while the process itself has been beset by challenges, such as fragile intergovernmental cooperation and a low level of awareness. This situation has been compounded by the complex and abstract nature of the territorial agenda, making it difficult to communicate its aims and objectives. Set up in 2018 during the Austrian Presidency, an intergovernmental taskforce is currently leading the work on the renewal of the territorial agenda, the aim being to conclude the process under the German Presidency, with the signing of a 2030 territorial agenda in December 2020. A draft version of the territorial agenda was published in December 2019, underpinned by two overarching priorities, a 'just Europe' and a 'green Europe', establishing a clear link with the European Commission's current priorities and its strategy for sustainable growth, the European Green Deal. While this structure could well help embed the territorial agenda more firmly within the EU's policy-making system, increasing its relevance and improving its visibility, the ongoing coronavirus crisis looks set to overshadow these discussions in the coming months. This briefing has been drafted at the request of a member of the Committee of the Regions, under the Cooperation Agreement between Parliament and the Committee.

Próximos actos

06-07-2020
Geopolitical implications of the COVID-19 crisis - online hearing
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06-07-2020
Follow-up of OLAF case files, fighting fraud, corruption and other irregularities
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07-07-2020
STOA roundtable on deconfinement going digital: The rise of contact tracing apps
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