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Spirit drinks: Definition, labelling and geographical indications

28-05-2019

In December 2016, the European Commission proposed to replace Regulation (EC) No 110/2008 – the Spirit Drinks Regulation – with a new one, with the aim of aligning it with the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). The proposal mainly involves grouping the provisions adopted by the Commission into delegated and implementing acts. In addition, it replaces the existing procedures for the protection of geographical indications (GIs) of spirit drinks with new ones, modelled on the recently ...

In December 2016, the European Commission proposed to replace Regulation (EC) No 110/2008 – the Spirit Drinks Regulation – with a new one, with the aim of aligning it with the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). The proposal mainly involves grouping the provisions adopted by the Commission into delegated and implementing acts. In addition, it replaces the existing procedures for the protection of geographical indications (GIs) of spirit drinks with new ones, modelled on the recently updated procedures for quality schemes applied to agricultural products and foodstuffs. According to spirits industry representatives, the proposal contained some substantive changes that needed to be studied in detail to determine their impact. The Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) was responsible for the file in the European Parliament. A provisional agreement was reached at the third trilogue meeting, on 27 November 2018. The agreement was confirmed by the Special Committee on Agriculture in December 2018 and approved in the ENVI committee on 22 January 2019. A plenary vote in the EP was held on 13 March 2019. The act was signed on 17 April and the regulation published in the Official Journal on 17 May 2019. Third edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

Strengthening market surveillance of harmonised industrial products

28-03-2019

Harmonised products represent 69 % of the overall value of industrial products in the internal market. However, a significant part of these products does not comply with harmonised EU rules. This has negative effects on the health and safety of consumers, and on fair competition between businesses. To remedy the situation, the Commission proposed, on 19 December 2017, to strengthen market surveillance rules for non-food products harmonised by EU legislation. The proposal for a compliance and enforcement ...

Harmonised products represent 69 % of the overall value of industrial products in the internal market. However, a significant part of these products does not comply with harmonised EU rules. This has negative effects on the health and safety of consumers, and on fair competition between businesses. To remedy the situation, the Commission proposed, on 19 December 2017, to strengthen market surveillance rules for non-food products harmonised by EU legislation. The proposal for a compliance and enforcement regulation would increase EU-level coordination of market surveillance, clarify the procedures for the mutual assistance mechanism, and require non-EU manufacturers to designate a natural or legal person responsible for compliance information. On 7 February 2019, Parliament and Council reached a provisional agreement on the proposal. Parliament is due to vote on that agreement during the April II plenary session. Fourth edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

Explosives precursors: Fighting the misuse of chemicals by terrorists

13-03-2019

Since 2008, in line with its action plan to enhance the security of explosives, the European Union has considered regulating chemicals that could be used to produce homemade explosives to be a priority. A first legislative act in this regard – Regulation (EU) No 98/2013 on the marketing and use of explosives precursors – was adopted in 2013. The 2015 Paris and 2016 Brussels terrorist attacks and their operating modes, which were based on the use of homemade explosives, led to an assessment of the ...

Since 2008, in line with its action plan to enhance the security of explosives, the European Union has considered regulating chemicals that could be used to produce homemade explosives to be a priority. A first legislative act in this regard – Regulation (EU) No 98/2013 on the marketing and use of explosives precursors – was adopted in 2013. The 2015 Paris and 2016 Brussels terrorist attacks and their operating modes, which were based on the use of homemade explosives, led to an assessment of the efficiency of the 2013 regulation. To take into account existing challenges, and increase stakeholders' ability to implement and enforce restrictions and controls under the regulation, the European Commission launched its revision in February 2017. On 17 April 2018, it adopted a proposal for a new regulation on explosives precursors. Following trilogue negotiations, an agreement between the European Parliament and the Council was reached on 5 February 2019. The Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE), approved the agreed text on 19 February 2019. The vote in plenary is due to take place in April 2019. First edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

The EU fruit and vegetable sector: Main features, challenges and prospects

11-03-2019

Fruit and vegetables accounted for approximately 14 % of the total value of the EU's agricultural production in 2018. This is a fundamental sector for many EU Member States, especially those where it is particularly well developed, such as in the Mediterranean region and in some northern and eastern European countries. Moreover, all EU Member States produce at least a few types of fruit and vegetables. Apples and tomatoes are the main products of the richly diversified produce of the EU's fruit and ...

Fruit and vegetables accounted for approximately 14 % of the total value of the EU's agricultural production in 2018. This is a fundamental sector for many EU Member States, especially those where it is particularly well developed, such as in the Mediterranean region and in some northern and eastern European countries. Moreover, all EU Member States produce at least a few types of fruit and vegetables. Apples and tomatoes are the main products of the richly diversified produce of the EU's fruit and vegetable farms. Mostly small-sized with relatively high labour input, these farms earn incomes ranging from average (for fruit specialists) to very high (for horticulture specialists, including also flower and ornamental plant production). EU trade in fruit and vegetables is characterised by the predominance of internal over external flows, where the EU is traditionally a net importer. To strengthen the resilience of both the fruit and vegetable sector and its operators, and to boost the consumption of their produce, the EU has in place a comprehensive support system, especially through the regulatory framework for the common organisation of the markets in agricultural products. Rules on producer organisations and their operational programmes, crisis management and marketing standards, help the functioning of the sector, with additional support from the EU school fruit and vegetables scheme, as well as from the EU promotion and quality policies, income support and rural development measures, valid for all agricultural sectors. Recently passed EU legislation has already brought in important adjustments for the fruit and vegetable sector and no further major policy changes are currently anticipated. It will be its capacity to overcome its structural vulnerability and weak organisation, adopt innovation and respond to consumer needs that will shape its future.

Revision of the Explosives Precursors Regulation

10-07-2018

Explosives precursors can be found in various chemical products used by consumers, general professional users, and industrial users, for example, in detergents, fertilisers, special fuels, lubricants and greases, water treatment chemicals. They can be used by terrorists to produce home-made explosives (HME). In April 2018 the European Commission put forward a proposal for a new regulation, accompanied by an impact assessment (IA) and an evaluation, which have been performed at the same time. The ...

Explosives precursors can be found in various chemical products used by consumers, general professional users, and industrial users, for example, in detergents, fertilisers, special fuels, lubricants and greases, water treatment chemicals. They can be used by terrorists to produce home-made explosives (HME). In April 2018 the European Commission put forward a proposal for a new regulation, accompanied by an impact assessment (IA) and an evaluation, which have been performed at the same time. The IA has attempted to provide a rather detailed, albeit mainly qualitative, analysis of the various types of impacts, disregarding some limitations to obtain data, such as a risk of exposing vulnerabilities in Member States and of jeopardising ongoing investigations and prosecutions. The IA notes that many SMEs are not part of the EU level industry associations, which have been consulted while drafting the ex-post evaluation. A question arises if the SMEs have been targeted at the stakeholder consultation in any other way, which appears not to be the case. The public consultation took less than 12 weeks, which is not in line with the Better Regulation Guidelines.

Regulation 98/2013 on the marketing and use of explosives precursors: Implementation Appraisal

29-05-2018

Explosives precursors are chemical substances that can be (and have been) misused to manufacture homemade explosives (HMEs). Regulation 98/2013 on the marketing and use of explosives precursors, applicable since September 2014, has two general aims: to increase public security through a reduced risk of misuse of explosives precursors for the manufacture of HMEs and, at the same time, to enable the free movement of explosives precursor substances in the EU internal market, given their many legitimate ...

Explosives precursors are chemical substances that can be (and have been) misused to manufacture homemade explosives (HMEs). Regulation 98/2013 on the marketing and use of explosives precursors, applicable since September 2014, has two general aims: to increase public security through a reduced risk of misuse of explosives precursors for the manufacture of HMEs and, at the same time, to enable the free movement of explosives precursor substances in the EU internal market, given their many legitimate uses. The regulation establishes a system of restrictions and controls on a number of explosives precursors with the aim of limiting the general public's access to these substances. The regulation also establishes an obligation for economic operators to report suspicious transactions, disappearances and thefts of explosives precursors. Evidence collected through the Commission's evaluation and stakeholder consultation confirms the existence of significant challenges related to the application of the regulation. These include a fragmented landscape of restrictions and controls across Member States (which apply an outright ban, a licensing or a registration regime, or a combination of these); insufficient awareness along the supply chain about rules and obligations arising from the regulation; and a lack of clarity about certain provisions that focus particularly on the identification of products that fall within the scope of the regulation and the identification of legitimate/professional users. Lack of clarity as to the application of the regulation to online marketplaces is yet another problem, given the absence of an explicit reference to e-commerce in the regulation. Non-inclusion of all threat substances in the list of restricted explosives precursors is seen as yet another important challenge, and so is the perceived inflexibility of the procedure for adding new threat substances to the list, especially in view of the need to react quickly to new and evolving threats. In light of the above, in April 2018 the European Commission put forward a proposal for a new regulation, accompanied by an impact assessment and an evaluation.

Post-2020 reform of the EU Emissions Trading System

28-05-2018

In July 2015, the European Commission proposed a reform of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) for the 2021-2030 period, following the guidance set by the October 2014 European Council meeting. The proposed directive introduces a new limit on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the ETS sector to achieve the EU climate targets for 2030, new rules for addressing carbon leakage, and provisions for funding innovation and modernisation in the energy sector. It encourages Member States to compensate for ...

In July 2015, the European Commission proposed a reform of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) for the 2021-2030 period, following the guidance set by the October 2014 European Council meeting. The proposed directive introduces a new limit on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the ETS sector to achieve the EU climate targets for 2030, new rules for addressing carbon leakage, and provisions for funding innovation and modernisation in the energy sector. It encourages Member States to compensate for indirect carbon costs. In combination with the Market Stability Reserve agreed in May 2015, the proposed reform sets out the EU ETS rules for the period until 2030, giving greater certainty to both industry and investors. In the European Parliament, the ENVI Committee took the lead on the proposal, while it shared competence with the ITRE Committee on some aspects. The European Parliament and the Council adopted their respective positions in February 2017, and interinstitutional trilogue negotiations were concluded in November 2017. After its adoption by Council and Parliament, the Directive entered into force on 8 April 2018.

Strengthening the market surveillance of products

27-03-2018

An initial appraisal of the impact assessment suggests that methodological strengths outweigh the weaknesses in this overall convincing analysis. This impact assessment is underpinned by a substantial body of work and clearly shows expertise. Nonetheless, the impact assessment could have provided more information on the links with two pending legislative procedures. Its presentation could have further facilitated consideration of the choices made by the Commission.

An initial appraisal of the impact assessment suggests that methodological strengths outweigh the weaknesses in this overall convincing analysis. This impact assessment is underpinned by a substantial body of work and clearly shows expertise. Nonetheless, the impact assessment could have provided more information on the links with two pending legislative procedures. Its presentation could have further facilitated consideration of the choices made by the Commission.

Revamping the regulation on spirit drinks

22-02-2018

In December 2016, the European Commission proposed to replace the current Spirit Drinks Regulation with a new one. The Parliament is expected to vote during the February II plenary on the ENVI committee's report on the proposal and on a mandate for interinstitutional trilogue negotiations.

In December 2016, the European Commission proposed to replace the current Spirit Drinks Regulation with a new one. The Parliament is expected to vote during the February II plenary on the ENVI committee's report on the proposal and on a mandate for interinstitutional trilogue negotiations.

EU emissions trading system: Post-2020 reform

31-01-2018

In July 2015, the European Commission proposed a reform of the EU emissions trading system (ETS) for the 2021-2030 period. The proposed directive introduces tighter limits on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to achieve the EU's 2030 climate targets, while protecting energy-intensive industries from the risk of 'carbon leakage'. The Parliament is expected to vote on it in plenary in February.

In July 2015, the European Commission proposed a reform of the EU emissions trading system (ETS) for the 2021-2030 period. The proposed directive introduces tighter limits on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to achieve the EU's 2030 climate targets, while protecting energy-intensive industries from the risk of 'carbon leakage'. The Parliament is expected to vote on it in plenary in February.

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