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Access to the occupation of road transport operator and to the international road haulage market

07-07-2020

The regulations on admission to the occupation of road transport operator and on access to the international road transport market have been contributing to the functioning of EU road transport and fairer competition between resident and non-resident hauliers since December 2011. Despite the improvements they have brought to the sector, persistent shortcomings such as diverging national application of the rules and uneven enforcement called for a revision of both acts. On 31 May 2017, as part of ...

The regulations on admission to the occupation of road transport operator and on access to the international road transport market have been contributing to the functioning of EU road transport and fairer competition between resident and non-resident hauliers since December 2011. Despite the improvements they have brought to the sector, persistent shortcomings such as diverging national application of the rules and uneven enforcement called for a revision of both acts. On 31 May 2017, as part of a 'mobility package', the European Commission adopted a new proposal to address the main shortcomings affecting the sector, and improve its competitiveness and efficiency. In June 2018, Parliament's Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) adopted its report. After further debates and procedural developments, Parliament adopted its first-reading position on 4 April 2019. The Council, on its side, reached a general approach on this proposal in December 2018, under the Austrian Presidency. After four negotiating rounds, the Council and Parliament reached a provisional agreement on the proposal on 12 December 2019, which was approved by Coreper on 20 December. The Council formally adopted its first-reading position on 7 April 2020, and the TRAN committee recommended on 8 June that Parliament approve it at second reading. The agreed text is thus due to be voted in plenary in July at second reading. If adopted, this would put an end to three years of debate on a complex and controversial proposal. Sixth edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

European maritime single window: Harmonised digital reporting for ships

26-08-2019

Every time a ship calls at a port, its maritime transport operator has to submit a set of pre-arrival information to a range of entities and agencies. Currently, the reporting process is not harmonised across EU ports. In addition, the information provided by ships is not efficiently shared among the actors concerned. The resulting multiple reporting places an excessive administrative burden on shipping operators, with negative impacts rippling down the logistics chain. Within broader efforts to ...

Every time a ship calls at a port, its maritime transport operator has to submit a set of pre-arrival information to a range of entities and agencies. Currently, the reporting process is not harmonised across EU ports. In addition, the information provided by ships is not efficiently shared among the actors concerned. The resulting multiple reporting places an excessive administrative burden on shipping operators, with negative impacts rippling down the logistics chain. Within broader efforts to modernise EU transport, the European Commission is proposing to bring all the reporting linked to a port call together into one digital space – the 'European Maritime Single Window', to harmonise reporting procedures for shipping operators and to ensure data can be shared and reused efficiently. Interinstitutional negotiations concluded on 7 February, the agreed text was adopted by the Parliament in plenary on 18 April and by Council on 13 June 2019. After publication in the Official Journal, the new regulation entered into force on 14 August 2019, while the measures within it will apply from 15 August 2025. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Single market information tool (SMIT)

06-05-2019

Competition and consumer protection in the single market are often undermined by price discrimination based on residency. While many market players do not cooperate with the Commission, for instance not disclosing their pricing structure, Member States often do not have the means or the tools to collect and deliver the required information to the Commission. The SMIT proposal would provide the Commission with powers such as to request business-related information (e.g. cost structure or product volumes ...

Competition and consumer protection in the single market are often undermined by price discrimination based on residency. While many market players do not cooperate with the Commission, for instance not disclosing their pricing structure, Member States often do not have the means or the tools to collect and deliver the required information to the Commission. The SMIT proposal would provide the Commission with powers such as to request business-related information (e.g. cost structure or product volumes sold), and to address market failures in a more efficient way. The SMIT, however, has raised some criticism in the Council and EP, inter alia, because of the Commission’s choice of the legal basis for the proposal. Parliament’s Legal Service stated in an opinion that the correct legal basis for the Commission proposal is Article 337 TFEU: a legal basis which gives no legislative role for the EP. On 12 July 2018, the IMCO committee adopted a report which would amend the proposal’s legal basis. The JURI committee subsequently adopted an opinion stating that the Commission proposal goes beyond the powers available under the proposed revised legal basis. The report was initially due to be voted in plenary in October 2018, but was taken off the agenda. As the parliamentary term has concluded, the report has now lapsed. 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.

Mutual recognition of goods

25-04-2019

The revision of the regulation on mutual recognition of goods was announced in the 2015 Single Market Strategy. The Commission adopted its proposal in December 2017, which aimed to revise previous rules dating from 2008. This regulation aims to improve the rules governing the trade of goods in the single market. Intra-EU trade remains twice as big as extra-EU trade, and is rising constantly. This is, in large part, due to free movement of goods in the EU, which is based on either harmonised product ...

The revision of the regulation on mutual recognition of goods was announced in the 2015 Single Market Strategy. The Commission adopted its proposal in December 2017, which aimed to revise previous rules dating from 2008. This regulation aims to improve the rules governing the trade of goods in the single market. Intra-EU trade remains twice as big as extra-EU trade, and is rising constantly. This is, in large part, due to free movement of goods in the EU, which is based on either harmonised product rules at the EU level or, where there are no harmonised rules, the principle of mutual recognition under which goods lawfully marketed in one Member State may be sold in another Member State. The proposal addressed a number of shortcomings in the application of the mutual recognition principle. A provisional agreement between the co-legislators was reached on 22 November 2018. The text was adopted in plenary in February 2019. The new rules will improve collaboration among national authoritites and enhance the role of national product contact points. They will introduce a faster problem-solving procedure for disputes between companies and national authorities, as well as a new voluntary declaration to be filled in by economic operators to prove lawful marketing in an EU Member State. The new rules will apply from 19 April 2020. 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.

Revision of the Visa Code

10-04-2019

In March 2018, the European Commission submitted a proposal to revise the Community Code on Visas (the Visa Code). The proposal's main objective is to strengthen the common visa policy while taking into account migration and security concerns, through increasing the role of visa policy in the EU's cooperation with third countries. Economic considerations will also come into play, with the facilitation of visa processing for legitimate travellers who contribute to the EU's economy and its cultural ...

In March 2018, the European Commission submitted a proposal to revise the Community Code on Visas (the Visa Code). The proposal's main objective is to strengthen the common visa policy while taking into account migration and security concerns, through increasing the role of visa policy in the EU's cooperation with third countries. Economic considerations will also come into play, with the facilitation of visa processing for legitimate travellers who contribute to the EU's economy and its cultural and social development. The agreement on the proposal, reached after trilogue negotiations, now needs to be confirmed by Parliament, with a vote expected during the April II plenary session.

EU anti-fraud programme 2021-2027

07-02-2019

On 30 May 2018, the European Commission published a proposal for a regulation establishing an EU anti-fraud programme under the new 2021 to 2027 multiannual financial framework (MFF). The regulation would replace the Hercule III programme currently in force. The European Court of Auditors (ECA) published a special opinion concerning the proposal on 15 November 2018. The BUDG committee adopted its opinion for CONT on 23 November 2018 and the CONT committee issued its draft report on 26 November 2018 ...

On 30 May 2018, the European Commission published a proposal for a regulation establishing an EU anti-fraud programme under the new 2021 to 2027 multiannual financial framework (MFF). The regulation would replace the Hercule III programme currently in force. The European Court of Auditors (ECA) published a special opinion concerning the proposal on 15 November 2018. The BUDG committee adopted its opinion for CONT on 23 November 2018 and the CONT committee issued its draft report on 26 November 2018. More than 30 amendments were tabled ahead of the vote on the report in the CONT committee on 29 January 2019. The vote in plenary is expected to take place in February 2019. The Commission is proposing to streamline budgetary management in the area of protection of the EU's financial interests by grouping the Hercule III programme together with Anti-Fraud Information System (AFIS) and Irregularity Management System (IMS) operational activities. However, the proposed EU anti-fraud programme does not specify possible maximum co-financing rates for eligible actions. The proposal has also been criticised for its lack of specific and measurable objectives and its vague performance indicators, as well as for not having indicated the frequency of performance reporting. The amendments proposed by the ECA, and also by the BUDG and CONT committees attempt to tackle these issues. Moreover, both Parliament committees are in favour of increasing the budget for this programme. First edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Mechanism to resolve legal and administrative obstacles in a cross-border context

25-01-2019

Often isolated, and with generally poorer access to public services, the EU's border regions face a unique set of challenges. This has been recognised under Article 174 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which provides that particular attention should be paid to cross-border regions when developing action to strengthen the EU's economic, social and territorial cohesion. Yet while the EU has provided significant support over the years, particularly within the framework of European ...

Often isolated, and with generally poorer access to public services, the EU's border regions face a unique set of challenges. This has been recognised under Article 174 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which provides that particular attention should be paid to cross-border regions when developing action to strengthen the EU's economic, social and territorial cohesion. Yet while the EU has provided significant support over the years, particularly within the framework of European territorial cooperation, helping to strengthen connectivity and create new growth and jobs, numerous obstacles continue to hamper cross-border cooperation. Organised to identify these remaining bottlenecks, the Commission's 2015 cross-border review revealed legal and administrative barriers to be the main obstacle to cross-border cooperation while, in parallel, the 2015 Luxembourg Presidency put forward plans for an EU cross-border mechanism, with an informal working group set up to develop the idea. Both processes have fed into discussions in recent years to create a mechanism for cross-border areas, leading to the current proposal, introduced as part of the multiannual financial framework's cohesion policy package. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Stronger administrative cooperation in the VAT field

15-01-2019

Value added tax (VAT) is a very efficient consumption tax and an important source of revenue for both national and European budgets. However, the rules governing common EU VAT system are 25 years old. A substantial review was initiated from 2016 onwards in order to update it and make it less vulnerable to fraud. The reform of the VAT framework towards a definitive VAT system for intra-Community business-to-business (B2B) transactions was planned in several consecutive steps. The Commission proposal ...

Value added tax (VAT) is a very efficient consumption tax and an important source of revenue for both national and European budgets. However, the rules governing common EU VAT system are 25 years old. A substantial review was initiated from 2016 onwards in order to update it and make it less vulnerable to fraud. The reform of the VAT framework towards a definitive VAT system for intra-Community business-to-business (B2B) transactions was planned in several consecutive steps. The Commission proposal to amend Regulation 904/2010 (Regulation on VAT administrative cooperation) was initially put forward on October 2017, as part of the ‘definitive VAT system package' and was itself amended on 30 November 2017. The resulting Regulation 2018/1541 was adopted on 2 October 2018, and applies in full as of 1 January 2020. It introduces the concept of the 'certified taxable person' and measures aimed at enhancing cooperation between Member States, improving cooperation between tax authorities and law enforcement bodies and addressing cross-border refund issues. Second edition of a briefing originally drafted by Ana Claudia Alfieri. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

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 Maritime Single Window environment

18-12-2018

This briefing analyses the impact assessment accompanying the legislative proposal of the Commission to establish the European Maritime Single Window environment (EMSWe). The goal of the EMSWe is to decrease and harmonise throughout the EU, the reporting formalities and obligations of the maritime operators when calling at ports in the EU. The IA provides the overview of the main problems of the existing legislation and the policy options considered by the Commission to deal with them. Despite some ...

This briefing analyses the impact assessment accompanying the legislative proposal of the Commission to establish the European Maritime Single Window environment (EMSWe). The goal of the EMSWe is to decrease and harmonise throughout the EU, the reporting formalities and obligations of the maritime operators when calling at ports in the EU. The IA provides the overview of the main problems of the existing legislation and the policy options considered by the Commission to deal with them. Despite some minor inconsistencies, the IA provides a solid analysis of the current problems related to reporting obligations of ships when calling at a port.

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