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Outcome of the meetings of EU leaders, 21-22 March 2019

25-03-2019

Discussions at the March 2019 European Council meeting focussed on agreeing on a both legally and politically workable response to the request of the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, that Brexit be delayed until 30 June 2019. The European Council (Article 50) agreed to extend the Article 50 period until 22 May 2019, provided that the Withdrawal Agreement is approved by the House of Commons by 29 March. If not approved, the extension would end on 12 April, with the UK required to indicate a way forward ...

Discussions at the March 2019 European Council meeting focussed on agreeing on a both legally and politically workable response to the request of the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, that Brexit be delayed until 30 June 2019. The European Council (Article 50) agreed to extend the Article 50 period until 22 May 2019, provided that the Withdrawal Agreement is approved by the House of Commons by 29 March. If not approved, the extension would end on 12 April, with the UK required to indicate a way forward. The EU-27 also formally approved the texts agreed by the UK and the European Commission on 11 March, which add further clarification to the Withdrawal Agreement and the political declaration, in particular regarding the ‘Irish backstop’. On Friday 22, the European Council discussed jobs, growth and competitiveness, climate, external relations and fighting disinformation. As part of these discussions, EU leaders endorsed the Annual Growth Survey, decided to strengthen the EU’s economic base and called for a more assertive industrial policy. They reiterated their commitment to the Paris Agreement and called on the Council to intensify its work on a long-term climate strategy. Regarding external relations, EU Heads of State or Government prepared the forthcoming EU-China summit, reiterated their commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and expressed the EU’s readiness to provide humanitarian relief assistance to Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. The European Council also marked the 25th anniversary of the European Economic Area, together with the Prime Ministers of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Finally, it also appointed Philip Lane as a member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank.

Outlook for the meetings of EU leaders, 21-22 March 2019

20-03-2019

The European Council of 21-22 March 2019, is expected to discuss the future development of the single market, the capital markets union, industrial policy and European digital policy, in preparation for the next strategic agenda. In the external relations field, the focus will be on the forthcoming EU-China summit. EU leaders will also look at developments on fighting disinformation and will give guidance on the future EU climate policy. However, Brexit will again take centre stage following recent ...

The European Council of 21-22 March 2019, is expected to discuss the future development of the single market, the capital markets union, industrial policy and European digital policy, in preparation for the next strategic agenda. In the external relations field, the focus will be on the forthcoming EU-China summit. EU leaders will also look at developments on fighting disinformation and will give guidance on the future EU climate policy. However, Brexit will again take centre stage following recent developments in the House of Commons.

Empowering national competition authorities (NCAs)

18-02-2019

Since 2003, national competition authorities (NCAs) have boosted the enforcement of EU competition and antitrust rules significantly. However, each year losses of €181-320 billion accrue because of undiscovered cartels, which increase prices by between 17 % and 30 % on average. In March 2017, the Commission proposed a new directive to ensure that all NCAs have effective investigation and decision-making tools, could impose deterrent fines, and have well-designed leniency programmes and enough resources ...

Since 2003, national competition authorities (NCAs) have boosted the enforcement of EU competition and antitrust rules significantly. However, each year losses of €181-320 billion accrue because of undiscovered cartels, which increase prices by between 17 % and 30 % on average. In March 2017, the Commission proposed a new directive to ensure that all NCAs have effective investigation and decision-making tools, could impose deterrent fines, and have well-designed leniency programmes and enough resources to enforce EU competition rules independently. On 30 May 2018, Parliament and Council reached an agreement on the proposal in trilogue. It increases the independence, resources and powers of NCAs and envisages more harmonisation of the national leniency programmes and reduced burdens on undertakings. Parliament adopted the text on 14 November 2018, the final act was signed on 11 December 2018. Third edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Research for CULT Committee – Film Financing and the Digital Single Market: its Future, the Role of Territoriality and New Models of Financing

15-01-2019

This report studies the role of territoriality in film financing, the legal and market challenges territoriality faces as a key model for film financing and the consequences if EU policies were to reduce or mitigate the scope of territorial exclusivity in the audiovisual sector. It provides information on Member States’ and EU models of film financing, explores the challenges film financing faces from digital developments and evolving consumer behaviour and analyses possible alternatives to traditional ...

This report studies the role of territoriality in film financing, the legal and market challenges territoriality faces as a key model for film financing and the consequences if EU policies were to reduce or mitigate the scope of territorial exclusivity in the audiovisual sector. It provides information on Member States’ and EU models of film financing, explores the challenges film financing faces from digital developments and evolving consumer behaviour and analyses possible alternatives to traditional methods of financing and policies to support this.

Údar seachtarach

Institute for Information Law (IViR): Joost POORT, P. Bernt HUGENHOLTZ, Peter LINDHOUT, Gijs van TIL

Data flows- Future Scenarios

14-11-2017

Prepared by Policy Department A at the request of the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE), this report examines the current state of play in the open data market and the legal framework in the EU. Barriers and possible solutions are identified in the form of future scenarios to 2020-25. The key policy recommendation is to instigate a system of Open Data Licensing to drive access to open data, akin to open source software licensing.

Prepared by Policy Department A at the request of the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE), this report examines the current state of play in the open data market and the legal framework in the EU. Barriers and possible solutions are identified in the form of future scenarios to 2020-25. The key policy recommendation is to instigate a system of Open Data Licensing to drive access to open data, akin to open source software licensing.

Údar seachtarach

Colin BLACKMAN, Camford Associates Ltd; Associate Research Fellow, CEPS. Simon FORGE, SCF Associates Ltd.

Protection from dumped and subsidised imports

08-11-2017

Dumping and subsidising of exports by third countries are unfair trade practices, which may cause injury to the importing country. WTO law allows countering such injury by introducing specific duties called trade defence instruments (TDI). To enable EU TDIs to address current circumstances, notably overcapacity, in the international trading environment, the European Commission has proposed to amend the Anti-Dumping (AD) Regulation and Anti-Subsidy (AS) Regulation. The European Parliament is due to ...

Dumping and subsidising of exports by third countries are unfair trade practices, which may cause injury to the importing country. WTO law allows countering such injury by introducing specific duties called trade defence instruments (TDI). To enable EU TDIs to address current circumstances, notably overcapacity, in the international trading environment, the European Commission has proposed to amend the Anti-Dumping (AD) Regulation and Anti-Subsidy (AS) Regulation. The European Parliament is due to vote on the provisional agreement reached in trilogue during its November plenary session.

Policy Departments’ Monthly Highlights - September 2017

11-09-2017

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.

Competition Policy and an Internal Energy Market

18-07-2017

This study identifies selected important competition-related issues in the internal energy market. It discusses the role of competition law with respect to the following issues: State aid, congestion management, capacity remuneration mechanisms, balancing markets, effective competition between suppliers, integration of new players in the market, and energy poverty. To tackle these present and possible upcoming issues, the study provides indications regarding the current and future need for applying ...

This study identifies selected important competition-related issues in the internal energy market. It discusses the role of competition law with respect to the following issues: State aid, congestion management, capacity remuneration mechanisms, balancing markets, effective competition between suppliers, integration of new players in the market, and energy poverty. To tackle these present and possible upcoming issues, the study provides indications regarding the current and future need for applying instruments of competition law as well as other types of instruments. The study was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the ECON Committee.

Údar seachtarach

Robert Haffner, Olga Batura, Karolina Ryszka, Kimberley van den Bergen, Ecorys Netherlands

Empowerment of national competition authorities

13-07-2017

The IA consistently emphasises the benefits of effective enforcement of EU competition law throughout the EU and assesses the contribution of the screened policy options to the general and specific objectives of the proposal. Its strengths lie in the solid expertise, based on internal and external research, its clear structure and its overall coherence. The analysis of the problems and their causes, and of the objectives, is comprehensive and concise. However, despite a clear attempt to comply with ...

The IA consistently emphasises the benefits of effective enforcement of EU competition law throughout the EU and assesses the contribution of the screened policy options to the general and specific objectives of the proposal. Its strengths lie in the solid expertise, based on internal and external research, its clear structure and its overall coherence. The analysis of the problems and their causes, and of the objectives, is comprehensive and concise. However, despite a clear attempt to comply with the BR guidelines, there are some weaknesses. These include the limited quantification of costs and benefits, the rather limited range of policy options – considering that option 1 and 2 are identified from the start as being ineffective – and the limited assessment of the options, except for option 3, which appears to have been identified very early in the process as the preferred option. Finally, the IA does not develop any operational objectives for the preferred option. Consequently, the proposed core indicators relate to the specific objectives, which, in this case, are rather general. This might imply some challenges for the monitoring, measuring and evaluation of the implementation of the provisions in the future.

State aid in sport: Striking a difficult balance

07-06-2017

Under the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, a measure constitutes state aid if it grants a selective economic advantage to one or more enterprises through state resources, thus distorting or threatening to distort competition. However, not all forms of state aid are prohibited. Indeed, under certain conditions the European Commission may consider the state aid acceptable. This is notably the case when the support measures pursue a common objective or underpin the general interest. ...

Under the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, a measure constitutes state aid if it grants a selective economic advantage to one or more enterprises through state resources, thus distorting or threatening to distort competition. However, not all forms of state aid are prohibited. Indeed, under certain conditions the European Commission may consider the state aid acceptable. This is notably the case when the support measures pursue a common objective or underpin the general interest. The Commission has developed a methodology to determine the compatibility of support measures with the Treaty provisions. It includes a 'balancing test', which is based on various questions aimed at analysing the negative effects of the aid measure and weighing them against its positive effects in reaching the objective of common interest. The decisions on state aid for sports infrastructure adopted up until recently revealed a consistent and favourable approach on the part of the Commission towards aid measures for sports infrastructure. In the process, the Commission translated some recurring general principles into operational exemption criteria. Building on those principles, in 2014, the Commission’s General Block Exemption Regulation clarified the types of sports infrastructure investment that should be considered exempt from the EU’s general laws on state aid. The European Commission has not yet articulated sector-specific rules regarding support measures granted to individual professional sports clubs. However, prompted by complaints from individual citizens, the case law on the Commission’s discretion in handling complaints, and the impact of the European Ombudsman’s recommendations, the Commission has substantially increased the number of in-depth investigations into various public support measures in favour of certain professional football clubs in the last few years.

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