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Introduction to the European Semester: Coordinating and monitoring economic and fiscal policies in the EU

11-12-2019

The European Semester is a framework for the coordination of economic policies across the European Union that was established after the European sovereign debt crisis. This paper aims to provide a simple but comprehensive introduction, explaining the main steps of the Semester from November to July each year. It also provides a short review of the academic and institutional debates around the Semester, before closing with the priorities in the relevant areas identified by the new European Commission ...

The European Semester is a framework for the coordination of economic policies across the European Union that was established after the European sovereign debt crisis. This paper aims to provide a simple but comprehensive introduction, explaining the main steps of the Semester from November to July each year. It also provides a short review of the academic and institutional debates around the Semester, before closing with the priorities in the relevant areas identified by the new European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen.

Linking cohesion policy and the European Semester: Partnership and multi-level governance to boost investment and structural reforms

06-12-2019

Multi-level governance requires the involvement of all levels of government, central, regional and local, in decision-making. Obstacles to appropriate and adequate involvement may lead to infringements of the principles of subsidiarity. However, under the cycle of EU economic and fiscal policy coordination known as the European Semester, local and regional administrations are considered to be 'stakeholders' – that is, they are not categorised as part of general government. Recent extension of the ...

Multi-level governance requires the involvement of all levels of government, central, regional and local, in decision-making. Obstacles to appropriate and adequate involvement may lead to infringements of the principles of subsidiarity. However, under the cycle of EU economic and fiscal policy coordination known as the European Semester, local and regional administrations are considered to be 'stakeholders' – that is, they are not categorised as part of general government. Recent extension of the European Semester to aspects of cohesion policy may consequently strengthen a top-down policy approach. A Code of Conduct, such as that proposed by the European Committee of the Regions, may help correct this imbalance.

Appointment of Christine Lagarde as president of the European Central Bank

13-09-2019

During its September 2019 plenary sitting, the European Parliament is expected to vote on a resolution on the candidate (Christine Lagarde) for president of the European Central Bank (ECB). While it is the European Council that appoints the ECB president, it must first consult Parliament. Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON) held a hearing with Christine Lagarde in September 2019 and then voted favourably on the candidacy. The ECB president is a key figure within the Eurosystem ...

During its September 2019 plenary sitting, the European Parliament is expected to vote on a resolution on the candidate (Christine Lagarde) for president of the European Central Bank (ECB). While it is the European Council that appoints the ECB president, it must first consult Parliament. Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON) held a hearing with Christine Lagarde in September 2019 and then voted favourably on the candidacy. The ECB president is a key figure within the Eurosystem when setting monetary policy for the euro area.

Appointment of the President of the ECB

24-07-2019

During the September 2019 plenary sitting, the European Parliament is expected to vote on a resolution on the candidate (Christine Lagarde) for the position of President of the European Central Bank (ECB), to succeed Mario Draghi, whose term is due to end on 1 November 2019. The President is appointed by the European Council, while Parliament and the Bank’s Governing Council are consulted. Prior to the vote, the candidate will receive a series of questions for written answer, and be invited to a ...

During the September 2019 plenary sitting, the European Parliament is expected to vote on a resolution on the candidate (Christine Lagarde) for the position of President of the European Central Bank (ECB), to succeed Mario Draghi, whose term is due to end on 1 November 2019. The President is appointed by the European Council, while Parliament and the Bank’s Governing Council are consulted. Prior to the vote, the candidate will receive a series of questions for written answer, and be invited to a hearing before the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON). The ECB President is a key figure within the Eurosystem when setting monetary policy for the euro area.

Istituzione del Fondo monetario europeo

06-03-2019

Il 6 dicembre 2017, la Commissione europea ha presentato una proposta che mira a trasformare il meccanismo europeo di stabilità (MES), operante a livello intergovernativo, in un Fondo monetario europeo (FME) a norma del diritto dell'UE. Per questo strumento sono previste ulteriori prerogative e i meccanismi decisionali verrebbero radicalmente modificati, riducendo i poteri degli Stati membri. Data la notevole resistenza che la proposta ha incontrato in seno al Consiglio, al vertice europeo di dicembre ...

Il 6 dicembre 2017, la Commissione europea ha presentato una proposta che mira a trasformare il meccanismo europeo di stabilità (MES), operante a livello intergovernativo, in un Fondo monetario europeo (FME) a norma del diritto dell'UE. Per questo strumento sono previste ulteriori prerogative e i meccanismi decisionali verrebbero radicalmente modificati, riducendo i poteri degli Stati membri. Data la notevole resistenza che la proposta ha incontrato in seno al Consiglio, al vertice europeo di dicembre 2018 è stato deciso di mantenere il carattere intergovernativo del MES. Il Parlamento europeo dovrebbe votare una relazione interlocutoria durante la tornata di marzo I, in vista del suo futuro voto di approvazione della proposta, qualora il Consiglio raggiunga un accordo in merito.

Establishment of a European monetary fund (EMF)

06-03-2019

The European Commission's proposal for transforming the intergovernmental European Stability Mechanism (ESM) into a European monetary fund (EMF) under EU law would provide it with wide-ranging tasks. The ESM was created at the height of the European sovereign debt crisis in order to provide financial assistance for governments that had lost, or were about to lose, access to financial markets. It was established outside the Community framework by an intergovernmental treaty and is a permanent rescue ...

The European Commission's proposal for transforming the intergovernmental European Stability Mechanism (ESM) into a European monetary fund (EMF) under EU law would provide it with wide-ranging tasks. The ESM was created at the height of the European sovereign debt crisis in order to provide financial assistance for governments that had lost, or were about to lose, access to financial markets. It was established outside the Community framework by an intergovernmental treaty and is a permanent rescue mechanism aimed at safeguarding the financial stability of the euro area. The proposal met with considerable opposition at Council level, as the Council wishes to maintain the ESM's intergovernmental character, and would expand its remit only slightly. The European Parliament, whose legislative powers are limited within the consent procedure, will vote on an interim report in plenary.

European Investment Stabilisation Function (EISF)

10-01-2019

The idea behind the Commission's proposed European Investment Stabilisation Function is to use dedicated financial means from the EU budget to help Member States stabilise their economies in the event of a major asymmetric shock. The Commission would borrow on the financial markets and then lend to the country concerned, which would use the money to finance public investment. Once the crisis was over, the Member State would reimburse the debt. The Commission hopes the other Member States would agree ...

The idea behind the Commission's proposed European Investment Stabilisation Function is to use dedicated financial means from the EU budget to help Member States stabilise their economies in the event of a major asymmetric shock. The Commission would borrow on the financial markets and then lend to the country concerned, which would use the money to finance public investment. Once the crisis was over, the Member State would reimburse the debt. The Commission hopes the other Member States would agree to subsidise the interest payments incurred. The function would be limited to euro-area countries, but those that have entered the exchange rate mechanism II (ERM II) might also benefit. The lending would be quasi automatic once statistical data showed an exceptional and steep rise in unemployment. The dossier has met with considerable opposition at Council level.

Single digital gateway

19-12-2018

As part of the ‘compliance package’, the Commission intends to provide a single digital entry point to offer easy and efficient online access for businesses and citizens, comprising: (1) information about Union and national law and administrative requirements, (2) procedures, such as company registration, and (3) services providing assistance upon request. The portal would serve start-ups and growing companies, as well as helping companies conducting business in another country. Access to these services ...

As part of the ‘compliance package’, the Commission intends to provide a single digital entry point to offer easy and efficient online access for businesses and citizens, comprising: (1) information about Union and national law and administrative requirements, (2) procedures, such as company registration, and (3) services providing assistance upon request. The portal would serve start-ups and growing companies, as well as helping companies conducting business in another country. Access to these services would be non-discriminatory, i.e. citizens and businesses from other Member States would have full access to the information and services, and this not only in the language used in the country in which they want to do business. The proposal builds on several existing schemes, such as single points of entry at national level; these cover only a few fields, are not always interconnected, suffer from being little known and are therefore underutilised. In May 2018, trilogues concluded with a provisional agreement, which was then confirmed by both Parliament and Council. The final act was signed on 2 October 2018.

European defence industrial development programme (EDIDP)

28-09-2018

The European Union is facing new security threats amid growing uncertainty about the reliability of some of its allies. As a consequence, it has embarked on a general scalingup of its defence capabilities. A European defence action plan has been agreed and a European Defence Fund created to provide financial support, ranging from the research phase to the acquisition phase of military equipment and technologies. The EDIDP, which will be part of that fund, is destined to provide the European defence ...

The European Union is facing new security threats amid growing uncertainty about the reliability of some of its allies. As a consequence, it has embarked on a general scalingup of its defence capabilities. A European defence action plan has been agreed and a European Defence Fund created to provide financial support, ranging from the research phase to the acquisition phase of military equipment and technologies. The EDIDP, which will be part of that fund, is destined to provide the European defence industry with financial support during the development phase of new products and technologies in areas selected at European level. An agreement was reached in trilogue negotiations in May 2018, and after Parliament and Council had approved the deal, the final legislative act was signed on 18 July 2018. This programme, with a financial envelope of €500 million, is due to run from January 2019 to December 2020.

Sportello digitale unico

05-09-2018

Il Parlamento europeo si appresta, nel corso della sessione plenaria di settembre 2018, a votare una proposta legislativa relativa alla creazione di uno sportello digitale unico. L'obiettivo è di istituire uno sportello digitale unico per i cittadini e le imprese dell'UE, che consenta di accedere a una serie di informazioni, offra un uso completo e non discriminatorio delle procedure online e faciliti il lavoro dei servizi che forniscono assistenza su richiesta.

Il Parlamento europeo si appresta, nel corso della sessione plenaria di settembre 2018, a votare una proposta legislativa relativa alla creazione di uno sportello digitale unico. L'obiettivo è di istituire uno sportello digitale unico per i cittadini e le imprese dell'UE, che consenta di accedere a una serie di informazioni, offra un uso completo e non discriminatorio delle procedure online e faciliti il lavoro dei servizi che forniscono assistenza su richiesta.

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Understanding EU policy on data protection: State-of-play and future challenges
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