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Own resources of the European Union: Reforming the EU's financing system

06-10-2020

In July 2020, the European Council reached political agreement on the reform of the own resources system that finances the EU budget, in the context of a package including the new multiannual financial framework (MFF) and the Next Generation EU (NGEU) recovery instrument. The agreed increase in the maximum level of resources that can be called from Member States is a pre-condition for NGEU borrowing operations. The Council’s adoption of the own resources decision, translating the deal on the revenue ...

In July 2020, the European Council reached political agreement on the reform of the own resources system that finances the EU budget, in the context of a package including the new multiannual financial framework (MFF) and the Next Generation EU (NGEU) recovery instrument. The agreed increase in the maximum level of resources that can be called from Member States is a pre-condition for NGEU borrowing operations. The Council’s adoption of the own resources decision, translating the deal on the revenue side of the EU budget into a legal text, must be preceded by Parliament’s legislative opinion and followed by the ratification of the decision by all Member States. Parliament fast-tracked its legislative opinion, adopted in September 2020, to enable the Council to ensure the timely launch of NGEU. Parliament has repeatedly stressed that it will not give its consent to the MFF without proper reform of the financing system, and negotiations continue on the rest of the package. Notably, Parliament underlines that the introduction of a basket of new own resources should cover at least the repayment costs of NGEU. Deeming the new plastics contribution a first partial step in this direction, Parliament intends to negotiate a legally binding calendar on the introduction of five additional new own resources, linked to EU policies on climate and the single market. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Water reuse: Setting minimum requirements

20-04-2020

Although freshwater is relatively abundant in the European Union (EU), water stress occurs in many areas, particularly in the Mediterranean region and parts of the Atlantic region, with environmental and economic impacts. In May 2018, the European Commission put forward a proposal for a regulation setting EU-wide standards that reclaimed water would need to meet in order to be used for agricultural irrigation, with the aim of encouraging greater use of reclaimed water and contributing to alleviating ...

Although freshwater is relatively abundant in the European Union (EU), water stress occurs in many areas, particularly in the Mediterranean region and parts of the Atlantic region, with environmental and economic impacts. In May 2018, the European Commission put forward a proposal for a regulation setting EU-wide standards that reclaimed water would need to meet in order to be used for agricultural irrigation, with the aim of encouraging greater use of reclaimed water and contributing to alleviating water scarcity. The Commission estimates that the proposal could increase water reuse in agricultural irrigation from 1.7 billion m³ to 6.6 billion m³ per year, thereby reducing water stress by 5 %. The European Parliament adopted its first-reading position on 12 February 2019, and the Council agreed on a general approach on 26 June 2019. Trilogue negotiations concluded with a provisional agreement on 2 December. The agreed text, endorsed by the ENVI committee on 21 January 2020, was adopted at first reading by the Council on 7 April. It now returns to the Parliament for final adoption at second reading. Second edition of a briefing originally drafted by Didier Bourguignon. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Parliament's right of legislative initiative

12-02-2020

The European Commission has a near monopoly on legislative initiative in the European Union (EU), with special initiative rights for other institutions applying only in certain specific cases. However, the European Parliament and the Council may invite the Commission to submit legislative proposals. Whilst this 'indirect' initiative right does not create an obligation on the Commission to propose the legislation requested, the Treaty of Lisbon codified the Commission's obligation to provide reasons ...

The European Commission has a near monopoly on legislative initiative in the European Union (EU), with special initiative rights for other institutions applying only in certain specific cases. However, the European Parliament and the Council may invite the Commission to submit legislative proposals. Whilst this 'indirect' initiative right does not create an obligation on the Commission to propose the legislation requested, the Treaty of Lisbon codified the Commission's obligation to provide reasons for any refusal to follow a parliamentary initiative. Against this backdrop, some argue that Parliament could take the Commission to the Court of Justice of the EU if it fails to justify a negative decision. Others see Parliament's increasing participation in overall political planning – particularly through negotiations on the Commission's annual work programme (CWP) – as a further channel for Parliament to increase its influence on EU legislation. It is thus argued that the increased role of Parliament in the legislative procedure should have reduced the need for its Members to make use of legislative initiatives. Notwithstanding that, there is a trend towards greater use of formal parliamentary legislative initiatives to assert greater influence on the political process. Most recently, in her inaugural address in July 2019 and in her Political Guidelines, the then newly elected President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, pledged to strengthen the partnership with the European Parliament, inter alia, by responding with a proposal for a legislative act whenever Parliament, acting by a majority of its members, adopts a resolution requesting that the Commission submit legislative proposals. She added that this commitment would have to be in full respect of the proportionality, subsidiarity and better law-making principles. President von der Leyen also declared herself supportive of moves towards recognition of a right for Parliament of legislative initiative. This briefing is an update of a European Parliament Library briefing from 2013, by Eva-Maria Poptcheva.

European business statistics

15-01-2020

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. The final act was signed on 27 November 2019 and published in the Official Journal on 17 December 2019. It will apply from 1 January 2021, with the exception of certain articles, which will apply from 1 January 2022. Second edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.