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Overhauling fisheries technical measures

11-04-2019

Technical measures in fisheries govern the different fishing practices that can be used to catch fish, as well as the areas and seasons for fishing. Aimed at limiting unwanted catches and the impact of fishing on marine ecosystems, EU technical measures have developed over time into a notoriously complicated regulatory structure, which came to be seen as a plethora of ineffective rules under rigid governance. During the April II session, Parliament is due to vote on giving formal approval to a new ...

Technical measures in fisheries govern the different fishing practices that can be used to catch fish, as well as the areas and seasons for fishing. Aimed at limiting unwanted catches and the impact of fishing on marine ecosystems, EU technical measures have developed over time into a notoriously complicated regulatory structure, which came to be seen as a plethora of ineffective rules under rigid governance. During the April II session, Parliament is due to vote on giving formal approval to a new legislative framework that would change the governance structure of technical measures. The proposed framework is designed to simplify the current system, to increase its flexibility through a regionalised approach adapted to the specificities of each EU sea basin, and to optimise the contribution of the technical measures to the objectives of the common fisheries policy. The text also provides for a total ban on electric pulse trawl fishing from 1 July 2021, with the possibility for Member States to immediately prohibit or restrict this type of fishing in their coastal waters.

VAT for small enterprises

25-10-2018

Value added tax (VAT) is a consumption tax borne by the final consumers and collected by businesses as taxable persons. Businesses have VAT administrative obligations and act as VAT collectors. This generates compliance costs that are higher for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) than for bigger businesses, in spite of the small business exemption, especially in the case of cross-border activities. The proposal for a revision of the VAT Directive relating to the common system of value added ...

Value added tax (VAT) is a consumption tax borne by the final consumers and collected by businesses as taxable persons. Businesses have VAT administrative obligations and act as VAT collectors. This generates compliance costs that are higher for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) than for bigger businesses, in spite of the small business exemption, especially in the case of cross-border activities. The proposal for a revision of the VAT Directive relating to the common system of value added tax as regards the special scheme for small enterprises simplifies the rules, so as to reduce VAT compliance costs for SMEs by introducing simpler measures regarding invoicing, VAT registration, accounting and returns for SMEs, whether they operate in wholly domestic markets only or also across borders in the EU. The legislative proposal falls under the consultation procedure. The European Parliament adopted its resolution on 11 September 2018, and the proposal is now with the Council. Second 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.

Proportionality test for new national regulations for professions

08-06-2018

In the EU, professions are regulated at either Union or Member State level. In the latter case, qualification requirements can differ widely between Member States, due to their respective historical development and experience. This can lead to a lack of clarity on the criteria used, and result in fragmentation of the single market. The proposed directive on a proportionality test before adoption of new regulation of professions, tabled by the European Commission, intends to harmonise the way in which ...

In the EU, professions are regulated at either Union or Member State level. In the latter case, qualification requirements can differ widely between Member States, due to their respective historical development and experience. This can lead to a lack of clarity on the criteria used, and result in fragmentation of the single market. The proposed directive on a proportionality test before adoption of new regulation of professions, tabled by the European Commission, intends to harmonise the way in which proportionality tests are carried out before Member States introduce new regulation on professions. The directive will supplement provisions of Directive 2005/36/EC on the recognition of professional qualifications, last amended by Directive 2013/55/EU. The European Parliament proposes a specific status for healthcare services, and explicitly addresses gold-plating practices (unnecessary national requirements). With a text agreed between Parliament and Council in trilogue in March, Parliament is due to vote on whether to confirm this text in June. Second 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.

Safety rules and standards for passenger ships

15-02-2018

The European Commission has evaluated existing EU legislation on passenger ship safety and presented three proposals for directives, aimed at simplifying rules and cutting administrative costs, while at the same time making sea travel safer. This proposal sought to clarify the technical requirements introduced by Directive 2009/45/EC, which vessels must respect in areas of construction, stability and fire protection. The newly defined standards should provide for uniform national interpretations ...

The European Commission has evaluated existing EU legislation on passenger ship safety and presented three proposals for directives, aimed at simplifying rules and cutting administrative costs, while at the same time making sea travel safer. This proposal sought to clarify the technical requirements introduced by Directive 2009/45/EC, which vessels must respect in areas of construction, stability and fire protection. The newly defined standards should provide for uniform national interpretations and make the rules easier to update, monitor and enforce. After the negotiations between the Council, the European Parliament and the Commission concluded on 15 June 2017, the Parliament adopted the agreed text on 4 October 2017 and the Council on 23 October 2017. The deadline for Member States to transpose the final legislative act into their respective laws is 21 December 2019. 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.

Registration of persons on board passenger ships

15-02-2018

The European Commission has evaluated existing EU legislation on passenger ship safety and presented three proposals for directives, aimed at simplifying rules and cutting administrative costs, while at the same time making sea travel safer. This proposal sought to amend the requirements set by Directive 98/41/EC for counting and registering passengers and crew on board passenger ships, and to remove any overlap in reporting obligations or disproportionate requirements. The main change introduced ...

The European Commission has evaluated existing EU legislation on passenger ship safety and presented three proposals for directives, aimed at simplifying rules and cutting administrative costs, while at the same time making sea travel safer. This proposal sought to amend the requirements set by Directive 98/41/EC for counting and registering passengers and crew on board passenger ships, and to remove any overlap in reporting obligations or disproportionate requirements. The main change introduced was the digitalisation of reporting obligations. After the interinstitutional negotiations concluded on 14 June 2017, the European Parliament adopted the agreed text on 4 October 2017 and the Council on 23 October 2017. The new provisions will apply from 21 December 2019. Fourth edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. See also briefings on the related proposals, on safety rules (PE 595.900) and vessel inspections (PE 595.902).

Inspections of ro-ro ferries and high-speed passenger craft

15-02-2018

The European Commission, in line with its regulatory fitness and performance programme (REFIT), has evaluated existing EU legislation on passenger ship safety and presented three proposals for directives, aimed at simplifying rules and cutting administrative costs, while at the same time making sea travel safer. This proposal seeks to rationalise inspections conducted by national administrations while ensuring a high level of passenger ship safety and without unnecessarily limiting the ship’s commercial ...

The European Commission, in line with its regulatory fitness and performance programme (REFIT), has evaluated existing EU legislation on passenger ship safety and presented three proposals for directives, aimed at simplifying rules and cutting administrative costs, while at the same time making sea travel safer. This proposal seeks to rationalise inspections conducted by national administrations while ensuring a high level of passenger ship safety and without unnecessarily limiting the ship’s commercial operations, making the inspections system for these ships simpler, more effective and cheaper. This would be achieved by changing focus from initial company-based inspections to ship-based ones and by ensuring that subsequent inspections occur at regular intervals. After interinstitutional negotiations concluded on 14 July 2017, the European Parliament adopted the agreed text on 4 October 2017 and the Council on 23 October 2017. The final act entered into force on 20 December 2017 and the new provisions will apply from 21 December 2019. 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.

Common rules for certain types of combined transport of goods

11-01-2018

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above proposal, submitted on 8 November 2017 and referred to Parliament’s Committee on Transport and Tourism. The proposal aims to amend Directive 92/106/EEC (Combined Transport Directive, hereafter CTD) in order to improve its effectiveness and further enhance the shift towards intermodal transport, in particular combined transport, as an alternative ...

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above proposal, submitted on 8 November 2017 and referred to Parliament’s Committee on Transport and Tourism. The proposal aims to amend Directive 92/106/EEC (Combined Transport Directive, hereafter CTD) in order to improve its effectiveness and further enhance the shift towards intermodal transport, in particular combined transport, as an alternative to road transport, through simpler use of the regulatory regime and greater effectiveness of economic support measures. Intermodal transport largely uses modes of transport – such as rail, inland waterways and maritime transport – that cause less negative externalities (emissions, noise and accidents). While aiming at the specific target for modal shift defined in the European Commission's 2011 White Paper on a Single European Transport Area, the proposal is expected to reduce the negative effects of transport activities (IA, p. 39). The proposal, which is a REFIT initiative and part of the 2017 Commission work programme, aims at more sustainable and efficient freight transport and is in line with the low-emission mobility strategy, the United Nations' 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change (IA, p. 39). The European Parliament has supported multimodality and intermodality in transport in a number of resolutions.

Proportionality test before adoption of new regulation of professions

12-05-2017

In general, the IA appears to set out logical reasoning linking the problem, its underlying drivers, the objectives and the policy options to tackle the problem. It seems to be based on sound research and analysis, while nevertheless recognising that there are still data gaps to be filled. With regard to the analysis of impacts, a more targeted analysis of the likely impacts on SMEs might have been desirable. Also, the IA does not seem to identify operational objectives for its preferred policy option ...

In general, the IA appears to set out logical reasoning linking the problem, its underlying drivers, the objectives and the policy options to tackle the problem. It seems to be based on sound research and analysis, while nevertheless recognising that there are still data gaps to be filled. With regard to the analysis of impacts, a more targeted analysis of the likely impacts on SMEs might have been desirable. Also, the IA does not seem to identify operational objectives for its preferred policy option and corresponding monitoring indicators. More generally, a proof-reading of the final text, and different choices as to its organisation and presentation, would almost certainly have considerably improved the IA's clarity and readability and its effectiveness in supporting the policy choices made in the proposal.

European business statistics

09-05-2017

In the context of the work of reviewing the fitness of current regulations (REFIT), the Commission has decided to amend Regulation (EC) No 184/2005 and repeal 10 legal acts in the field of business statistics. The aim is to reduce the administrative burden for businesses, especially SMEs, and to put an end to legal fragmentation in the field of European business statistics. The Commission is proposing to establish a common legal framework for the development, production and dissemination of European ...

In the context of the work of reviewing the fitness of current regulations (REFIT), the Commission has decided to amend Regulation (EC) No 184/2005 and repeal 10 legal acts in the field of business statistics. The aim is to reduce the administrative burden for businesses, especially SMEs, and to put an end to legal fragmentation in the field of European business statistics. The Commission is proposing to establish a common legal framework for the development, production and dissemination of European statistics related to business structure, economic activities and performance, as well as on international transactions and research and development activities in the EU economy; and for the European network of national statistical business registers and the EuroGroups Register. The regulation includes provisions covering business registers, the data sources to be used, and the exchange of confidential data for the purpose of intra-Union trade in goods statistics. It is expected to reduce red tape for businesses by at least 13.5 % annually.

Common Agricultural Policy 2014-2020: Direct payments - A reference note

20-12-2016

This document aims to explain the principles and rules of the direct payments system in the context of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) for 2014-2020. Indeed, direct payments are the backbone of the CAP and they take the largest share of the CAP budget, more than 70 % of the €408.31 billion budget or about €42 billion each year. In Europe, more than 7.3 million farmers are beneficiaries of direct payments, and they manage more than 170 million hectares of agricultural land. In terms of farm income ...

This document aims to explain the principles and rules of the direct payments system in the context of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) for 2014-2020. Indeed, direct payments are the backbone of the CAP and they take the largest share of the CAP budget, more than 70 % of the €408.31 billion budget or about €42 billion each year. In Europe, more than 7.3 million farmers are beneficiaries of direct payments, and they manage more than 170 million hectares of agricultural land. In terms of farm income, direct payments represent, at the EU level, more than 25 % of the gross value added of EU agriculture and in some Member States more than 50 %.

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