Месечни архиви: октомври 2016

The European Neighbourhood Policy

Written by Philippe Perchoc,

Since 2004, the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) has provided a framework for relations between the EU and its 16 geographically closest eastern and southern neighbours, affording enhanced cooperation and access to the EU market under bilateral action plans, which are intended to lead eventually to association agreements.

Birth, objectives and scope

The European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) was designed in the early 2000s, to provide a consistent institutional framework with instruments for the EU to negotiate its relationship with partner countries in the eastern neighbourhood (Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova in 2004, and then Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan after 2005) and in the southern neighbourhood (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, the Palestinian Authority, Syria and Tunisia) after the 2004 enlargement.

The European Neighbourhood

The European Neighbourhood

The ENP provides a common series of principles and methods to be used with each of the partners when negotiating individual action plans. This cooperation is funded by the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI), which amounts to €15 billion for the 2014-2020 period. In 2015, the EU devoted €2.336 billion to the ENI (26.82 % of the ‘Global EU’ budget).

Regional dimensions

The EU has taken multilateral, and more politically oriented, initiatives to complement the ENP – in 2008 with the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) and subsequently with the Eastern Partnership. The two initiatives have created a more complex backdrop for the ENP, which was intended as – and on paper remains – a uniform policy, despite the high profile of the regional initiatives. These two initiatives have been designed as a way to address the specific needs of these two very different geopolitical regions and foster ownership of the policies by the partner countries in a multilateral forum. They encourage cooperation and projects through the UfM secretariat in Barcelona, and the different platforms of cooperation and flagship initiatives under the Eastern Partnership.

Reform of the ENP

After the Arab Spring revolutions, the European Commission under President Jean-Claude Juncker decided to launch a major reform of the ENP. Under the reform adopted in 2015, the European institutions committed themselves to the promotion of universal values but also to more differentiation between partners, and greater mutual ownership over the ENP by the EU and its partners. Differentiation will be taken more into account when it comes to the definition of priorities in trade, security, connectivity, governance, migration and mobility. In this context, reinforcing the links between civil society in the EU and partners, as well as among partner countries is a priority.

The role of civil society in the ENP

European Neighbourhood Instrument, 2014 (commitments, in € million)

European Neighbourhood Instrument, 2014 (commitments, in € million)

Civil society is involved in the ENP either through participation in projects financed in the partner countries though the European Neighbourhood Instrument or the UfM secretariat, or through participation in the Eastern Partnership thematic platforms on Democracy, good governance and stability; Economic integration and convergence with EU policies; and Energy security; or through contacts between individuals. These platforms involve the European Commission, the European External Action Service, and the partner countries, as well as the European Parliament, and partner international organisations like the Council of Europe, European Investment Bank and European Bank for Development and Reconstruction. The EaP Civil Society Forum (EaPCSF) is composed of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) from the EaP countries. More than 700 NGOs have participated in the activities of the EaPCSF since its launch in 2009, and they elect a steering committee which takes part in the work of the six thematic platforms of the Eastern Partnership.

Download this at a glance note on ‘The European Neighbourhood Policy‘ in PDF.

Source Article from https://epthinktank.eu/2016/10/25/the-european-neighbourhood-policy/

Counter-terrorist sanctions regimes: Legal framework and challenges at UN and EU levels

Written by Carmen-Cristina Cîrlig,

sanctions, red rubber stamp with grunge edges

© Argus / Fotolia

Targeted sanctions against individuals and entities suspected of supporting terrorism are an important part of the United Nations Security Council’s counter-terrorism programme. Under the main counter-terrorist sanctions regimes created under Chapter VII of the United Nations (UN) Charter, UN member states are obliged to impose an asset freeze, travel ban and arms embargo on persons and entities designated by the United National Security Council (UNSC), and also to take all necessary domestic measures to criminalise support of terrorism and to establish their own sanctions systems. The European Union (EU) implements all UN Security Council-imposed sanctions and has also instituted its own autonomous counter-terrorist restrictive measures regime.

However, both the UN and EU sanctions regimes have been severely criticised for infringing key fundamental rights, including due process rights. Legal challenges before national and regional courts prompted a series of procedural reforms, but critics still consider the regimes to fall short of accepted standards. The EU Court of Justice (CJEU) has been the leading jurisdiction to perform reviews of counter-terrorist sanctions, but the secrecy surrounding listings has impeded review of cases on the merits. Nevertheless, the CJEU has repeatedly annulled restrictive measures on procedural grounds, and in the process, affirmed the autonomy of the EU legal order. It is argued that, until the UNSC allows for judicial review, counter-terrorist sanctions will continue to be contested both in court and in the political arena.

Read the complete briefing on ‘Counter-terrorist sanctions regimes: Legal framework and challenges at UN and EU levels‘.

Source Article from https://epthinktank.eu/2016/10/25/counter-terrorist-sanctions-regimes-legal-framework-and-challenges-at-un-and-eu-levels/

Public-public partnerships in research

Written by Vincent Reillon,

Ideas coming from a lightbulb

© freshidea / Fotolia

Since 1974, the objective of coordinating national research policies to create a pan-European research system has been at the heart of European research policy. However, despite a long history of efforts to coordinate research policy throughout the EU, barriers remain at Member State level. In 2000, the launch of the European Research Area (ERA) concept aimed to address the fragmentation of European research resulting from topics and research programmes being defined at national level. As a result, EU public-public partnerships were developed to support national research funding organisations and ministries for research in aligning their research programmes.

The ERANET scheme was the first instrument developed in 2002 to support joint programming of national research activities. The ERANET scheme created European networks of programme owners and programme managers from national or regional research funding institutions fostering mutual knowledge and exchange of good practice. However, this instrument revealed the administrative and legal barriers at national level that prevent the implementation of transnational joint programmes. Despite some developments, the scheme has a limited impact on the fragmentation of the research landscape.

Article 185 initiatives are policy initiatives from Member States on a given research area, supported by EU funds from the framework programme for research. They were promoted by the Commission in 2001 as an instrument to implement the joint programming of research activities. The first initiative on a ‘European and Developing countries Clinical Trial Partnership’ was adopted in 2003. The objective of Article 185 initiatives is scientific, managerial and financial integration of national research programmes at the European level in a given field. Five partnerships have been established so far and another one is planned. However, the implementation of the three levels of integration have been hindered by a lack of political will to remove the existing legal and administrative barriers to transnational funding.

Despite these two initiatives, the overall research budget coordinated between the Member States remained low (around 15% of the total research budget in the EU). In 2008, to push the coordination process further, the Commission proposed joint programming. This high-level strategic process would be led by the Member States and designed to better coordinate national research activities at the EU level. Joint programming also aimed to pool national resources to address European or global challenges such as climate change. Ten Joint Programming Initiatives (JPIs) were set up between 2009 and 2011 to implement this concept.

The JPIs developed joint strategic research agendas (SRA) in their respective areas and started to issue joint calls for research projects. However, evaluation of this initiative revealed a continued lack of political and financial commitment from the Member States, and the persistence of administrative and legal barriers. In order to fully implement joint programming, Member States are expected to modify their research systems to align their national programmes, priorities or activities with the adopted SRAs. The goal of creating a pan-European research system seems further away than ever.

Find more in-depth information in our publications on the topic:


Source Article from https://epthinktank.eu/2016/10/25/public-public-partnerships-in-research/

The case for a European public credit rating agency

Written by Christian Scheinert,

Euro coin under umbrella

© Atelier W. / Fotolia

The ‘Big Three’ credit rating agencies – Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch – enjoy an oligopolistic position on the market for the rating of private and public debt. In the run-up to the financial crisis, we now know, they were over-optimistic with their ratings, but once the crisis hit, their ratings went into a very fast downward spiral. This is considered to have contributed to the severity of the crisis. A similar pattern could be observed when the sovereign debt crisis started in the European Union.

In both the USA and in Europe, legislation was enacted to rein in the agencies’ power as well as to prevent possible conflicts of interest which might lead to biased ratings. The backward-looking character of the ratings, which were based more on past performance than on a thorough analysis of likely future evolution, came under scrutiny.

Calls were made to create new credit rating agencies, which could, if necessary, be public ones. After some initial enthusiasm, these ideas – and at least one serious attempt – stalled. The main problems were possible accusations of market manipulation, insufficient credibility, and the lack of financing. The European Commission has recently said a new European rating agency would add little to investors’ information. It is unclear whether new attempts will be made to create an alternative rating agency, but there are still ways to reduce the hold of the ‘Big Three’ on the ratings market, including by putting more weight on internal ratings, as well as by relying on third-party assessment.

Read the complete briefing on ‘The case for a European public credit rating agency‘.

Rating equivalence between the 'Big Three'

Rating equivalence between the ‘Big Three’

Source Article from https://epthinktank.eu/2016/10/24/the-case-for-a-european-public-credit-rating-agency/

Science meets Parliaments – Launch of the MEP-Scientist Pairing Scheme 2016

Written by Zsolt G. Pataki,

Science meets Parliaments 2016Expert information on scientific and technological developments is crucial to MEPs’ policy-making role. Ensuring MEPs have regular access to reliable information is an essential part of the European Parliament’s Science and Technology Options Assessment (STOA) Panel’s mission. It is in this context that STOA is co-organising, with the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC), the 2016 ‘Science meets Parliaments’ event on 8 November 2016.

This event will also see the launch of the 5th round of STOA’s MEP-Scientist Pairing Scheme, which is being led by the First STOA Vice-Chair, Eva Kaili. A significant number of MEPs and scientists applied to take part in the scheme this year. Members have now completed their selection of scientists, resulting in a final list of 16 MEP-scientist pairs.

During the ‘Brussels week’, taking place from 8 to 10 November 2016, the paired scientists will learn about the work of the European Parliament’s committees and research services, and will shadow their MEP counterparts in their daily activities. This activity is vital for both sides to highlight the areas where the partners’ knowledge and experience can be combined to feed into better legislation. Follow-up visits for MEPs to see their paired scientists at work will hopefully be agreed bilaterally during the scientists’ visit to Brussels.

MEPs meet scientists to promote mutual understanding

©Photo Landa 2010

The draft programme includes a lunchtime welcome session upon the scientists’ arrival at the European Parliament, hosted by Eva Kaili, followed by this year’s ‘Science meets Parliaments’ event. The scientists will then have the opportunity to listen to presentations by the European Parliament’s services, and to present their research activities in plenary. The first day will close with a networking reception for all participants, before MEPs and scientists start the shadowing activities.

On the second day, the scientists will begin to shadow the MEPs in their activities, including attending committee meetings. A World Science Café, a dynamic participatory session organised by the JRC, will follow, with scientists continuing their shadowing activities into the third day. Finally, a meeting to reflect on their experience will take place, before the scientists’ departure.

To keep up to date on the activities linked to this round of the ‘Science meets Parliaments’ initiative and MEP-Scientist Pairing Scheme, see information on the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), or follow us on Twitter @EP_ThinkTank.

Follow the event and get interesting insights into the work of pairs via the hashtag:


Source Article from https://epthinktank.eu/2016/10/24/science-meets-parliaments-launch-of-the-mep-scientist-pairing-scheme-2016/

Resettlement of refugees: EU framework [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Anja Radjenovic (1st edition),

Resettlement of refugees: EU framework

© julia_lazarova / Fotolia

Resettlement is one tool to help displaced persons in need of protection reach Europe safely and legally, and receive protection for as long as necessary. It is a durable solution which includes selection and transfer of refugees from a country where they seek protection to another country. Apart from providing international protection to refugees, its aim is also to strengthen solidarity and responsibility-sharing between countries. For a resettlement to take place, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has to determine an applicant is a refugee according to the 1951 Geneva Convention, and has to identify resettlement as the most appropriate solution.

On 13 July 2016, as part of the reform of the Common European Asylum System and the long-term policy on better migration management, the Commission presented a proposal which aims to provide for a permanent framework with standard common procedures for resettlement across the EU, and will complement current national and multilateral resettlement initiatives.



Stage: Commission's proposal

Source Article from https://epthinktank.eu/2016/10/24/resettlement-of-refugees-eu-framework-eu-legislation-in-progress/

The EU’s new approach to funding peace and security [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Patryk Pawlak (1st edition),
Graphic by Christian Dietrich,

red text Military Training under the piece of torn paper

© Maksim Kabakou / Fotolia

The link between security, peace and development is recognised by both security and development communities. However, the practical implications of this nexus still pose challenges – especially in the light of a rapidly evolving security environment. While the EU’s assistance for peace and security comes in different forms – for instance through budgetary support or under common security and defence policy – the existing rules of financing under the EU budget exclude activities aimed at enhancing cooperation with the defence sector and the military in third countries.

The proposed amendment to Regulation (EU) No 230/2014 of 11 March 2014 aims to remedy this situation by creating the conditions to allow EU budgetary support for capacity-building programmes in third countries aimed at training and mentoring, the provision of non-lethal equipment and assistance with infrastructure improvements, and help with strengthening the capacity of military actors in order to contribute to the achievement of peaceful and inclusive societies and sustainable development.


Stage: Commission's proposal

Capacity building in the EU's missions and operations

Capacity building in the EU’s missions and operations

Source Article from https://epthinktank.eu/2016/10/22/the-eus-new-approach-to-funding-peace-and-security-eu-legislation-in-progress/

Brexit: Implications and outlook [What Think Tanks are Thinking]

Written by Marcin Grajewski,

Uncertainty about the future relations between the European Union and the United Kingdom has contributed to turbulence on financial markets and in European politics, following the country’s vote by referendum on 23 June to leave the EU. The new British Prime Minister, Teresa May, detailed some of her plans in a speech at the Conservative Party conference in October 2016, indicating that the UK would invoke the Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union by March 2017, a move needed for a member state to leave the Union.

There is still lack of clarity on crucial aspects of the UK’s departure, such as whether it wishes to remain part of the EU’s single market or customs union, what the impact may be on EU’s and the UK’s economies and how the country’s Parliament may be involved in process of leaving the EU.

This note offers links to recent commentaries and reports published by major international think tanks and other research centres in response to the UK referendum. More studies on issues raised by the vote can be found in a previous edition of ‘What Think Tanks are thinking’ in July 2016

UK and EU puzzle


Beyond hard, soft and no Brexit
Bruegel, October 2016

Which model for Brexit?
Centre for European Policy Studies, October 2016

Why the 27 are taking a hard line on Brexit
Centre for European Reform, October 2016

How to ensure UK and European financial services continue to thrive after Brexit
Open Europe, October 2016

Theresa May’s reckless gamble on a “hard” Brexit
Peterson Institute for International Economics, October 2016

Brexit, the pound and the UK current account
Bruegel, October 2016

What future for the EU after Brexit?
Centre for European Policy Studies, October 2016

Is Europe drifting towards a hard Brexit?
Bruegel, October 2016

The UK trade landscape after Brexit
Chatham House, October 2016

What consequences would a post-Brexit China-UK trade deal have for the EU?
Bruegel, October 2016

After Brexit: A new association agreement between Britain and Europe
Policy Network, October 2016

Brexit could lift all boats, if the EU will let it
Heritage Foundation, October 2016

The lessons of Brexit: how British and European leaders can deal with the disruption
Friends of Europe, October 2016

Fall in pound shows sovereignty’s limits
Chatham House, October 2016

British Brexiters call the shots
German Marshall Fund, October 2016

All or nothing? European and British strategic autonomy after the Brexit
Egmont, September 2016

EU financial market access after Brexit
Centre for European Policy Studies, September 2016

Brexit Britain: The poor man of Western Europe?
Centre for European Reform, September 2016

Growth and the euro after Brexit
Jacques Delors Institute, September 2016

The City will decline and we will be the poorer for it
Bruegel, September 2016

The economics of Brexit: It’s not about the internal market
Centre for European Policy Studies, September 2016

What do EU capital markets look like post-Brexit?
New Financial, September 2016

How Brexit opens a window of opportunity for treaty reform in the EU
Jacques Delors Institute, September 2016

Giving meaning to Brexit
Open Europe, September 2016

Brexit will make Britain’s mediocre economic record worse
Centre for European Reform, September 2016

Brexit: An impossibly complex task for the UK’s new  trade negotiators?
Peterson Institute for International Economics, September 2016

The impact of Brexit on the EU budget: A non-catastrophic event
Centre for European Policy Studies, September 2016

The border after Brexit: How technology can help secure Britain’s borders
Adam Smith Institute, September 2016

How to build a more flexible EU after Brexit
Carnegie Europe, September 2016

Merkel keeping one eye on Britain’s “UK first” approach
European Council on Foreign Relations, September 2016

Can the EU survive without Britain?
Carnegie Europe, September 2016

Brexit: What have we learned so far?
Rand, September 2016

Europe after Brexit: A proposal for a continental partnership
Bruegel, August 2016

Leaving the European Union, the Union way: A legal analysis of Article 50 TEU
Swedish Institute for European Policy Studies, August 2016

Brexit: impact across policy areas
House of Commons Library, August 2016

Brexit: Free movement of persons
Shearman and Sterling, August 2016

The EU Single Market: The value of membership versus access to the UK
Institute for Fiscal Studies, August 2016

Ein Brexit ohne Schotten und Nordiren? Großbritannien droht der Staatszerfall: Hintergründe und Auswege
Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, August 2016

Brexit: Limiting the damage
German Marshall Fund, August 2016

What next after Brexit? Immigration and integration in post-referendum Britain
British Future, August 2016

Immigration and integration after Brexit: A policy exchange agenda
Policy Exchange, August 2016

Nordeuropa nach dem Brexit-Votum: Die fünf nordischen Länder stellen ihre Beziehungen zur EU auf den Prüfstand
Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, August 2016

Die Visegrád-Staaten und der Brexit: Im östlichen Mitteleuropa herrscht Sorge angesichts des britischen EU-Austritts
Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, August 2016

Brexiting into uncharted waters: British referendum initiates complex exit negotiations and perhaps renewal of the European Union
Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, August 2016

Catch of today: A ten-point plan for British fishing
Adam Smith Institute, August 2016

Boris Johnson the counter-revolutionary
European Council on Foreign Relations, August 2016

What does Brexit mean for the EU’s Area of Freedom, Security and Justice?
Centre for European Policy Studies, July 2016

Economic implications of a United Kingdom Exit from the European Union
Congressional Research Service, July 2016

Brexit and the future of the United Kingdom
Istituto Affari Internazionali, July 2015

One step removed? Six possible futures for the UK’s economic relationship with the EU
Institute for Public Policy Research, July 2016

Rebooting Britain: Making the most of Brexit
Adam Smith Institute, July 2016

The impact of Brexit on the City and the British economic model
Policy Network, Foundation for European Progressive Studies, July 2016

Rising inequality in the UK and the political economy of Brexit
Foundation for European Progressive Studies, July 2016

Beyond free movement? Six possible futures for the UK’s EU migration policy
Institute for Public Policy Research, July 2016

The elements of a new EU-UK relationship
Institute of International and European Affairs, July 2016

Brexit : Les opportunités d’une Europe sans Royaume-Uni
Terra Nova, July 2016

The case for the (interim) EEA option
Adam Smith Institute, July 2016

One step removed? Six possible futures for the UK’s economic relationship with the EU
Institute for Public Policy Research, July 2016

The EU after Brexit, Russia and the countries in-between
European Policy Centre, July 2016

Rebooting Britain: Making the most of Brexit
Adam Smith Institute, July 2016

¿Quién liderará la UE post-Brexit? El retorno de la política a Bruselas
Barcelona Centre for International Affairs, July 2016

Brexit or not? What consequences for the enlargement policy?
European Policy Centre (Czech), July 2016

What does Brexit mean for TTIP?
German Development  Institute, July 2016

Source Article from https://epthinktank.eu/2016/10/21/brexit-implications-and-outlook-what-think-tanks-are-thinking/

Values and Budget – October EP Plenary Session 2

Written by Clare Ferguson,

The European Parliament’s plenary session agenda in October covers many of the main priorities facing the European Union today, with items on fundamental EU values, youth and employment, agriculture, energy and how EU actions are decided and paid for.

Listen to podcast: EU mechanism on democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights

The EU is built on the fundamental values of democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights. However, when these values come under attack in a particular Member State, the high thresholds required in the Council for decisions on sanctions leave them vulnerable. This session, Members will debate moves to create a mechanism to enforce compliance with the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Treaties, which all EU Member States have signed. The proposed ‘Union pact’ on democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights includes annual reports on the situation in all Member States. Countries which do not comply risk infringement action under the Treaty on European Union.

Tackling youth unemployment is a continuing EU priority. While waiting for the employment market to improve, some 100 000 young people have joined the European Voluntary Service in the past 20 years. Many more could benefit from this opportunity to gain skills and knowledge by volunteering abroad, however a clear and consistent policy on volunteering at is lacking at national level, hampering development of the cross-border voluntary sector. On Thursday morning, Members will invite the Commission to outline the measures it plans to remove barriers to volunteering in the EU such as uneven skills recognition, inadequate training, and uneven legal recognition of rights.

Listen to podcast: Volunteering in the EU

High unemployment, low income, education and skills levels, and few opportunities for young people and women are not exclusively urban problems, but also affect many rural areas in the EU. Rural areas were particularly hard hit by the economic crisis and Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture are preparing for future EU common agricultural policy reform, looking at how CAP payments can boost employment in rural areas. Up for debate on Thursday morning, Members will discuss the report’s recommendations for using this funding to create a more flexible rural employment field, with better support for a more diversified range of businesses. Continuing on agricultural topics, Members will debate a compromise text on new legislation to protect plant health in the EU from risks posed by pests and disease which spread thanks to globalisation and climate change, on Tuesday afternoon. The damage caused to EU agriculture, such as the devastation wrought on Italian olive trees by Xylella fastidiosa, can be considerable. The legislation introduces controls against such plant pests entering the EU, with new risk management, quarantine, and rules on notification and eradication. If the Parliament agrees, plant products could be subject to phytosanitary certification and passporting as early as 2017.

Also on Tuesday afternoon, Parliament will vote its reading of the 2017 general EU budget, and is expected to try to reverse the Council’s cuts, and even increase the funding available to counter the crises in youth, job creation and growth; migration, asylum and security; and emergency measures to help the dairy sector. Should the Council disagree with Parliament’s proposals, this will trigger a conciliation procedure, with a deadline to agree by 17 November 2016. If, on this date, the two institutions remain opposed, the Commission will need to present a new draft budget.

The Council and Commission are due to give statements on Wednesday morning on the conclusions of the
European Council meeting held on 20 and 21 October. This will include the results of discussions on border and immigration issues, and free trade negotiations, notably the EU-Canada Free Trade Agreement.

Parliament verifies that the use of the EU general budget complies with the relevant rules, including sound financial management. While Parliament already granted discharge for the 2014 budget of the majority of EU institutions, it postponed decisions in some cases. On Wednesday afternoon, Members will consider a report on implementation of EU budget section II (European Council and Council), where the Council has failed to provide the necessary information to make a decision. Members will also discuss reports on three joint undertakings, Artemis, ENIAC and F4E-ITER, where additional information was received and progress made, making it likely that discharge will be granted this time around.

The Common Provisions Regulation ensures EU funding is spent properly. However, to carry out programmes funded by the European Structural and Investment funds, countries with temporary liquidity problems, due to a difficult economic situation, may need some assistance to adjust. On Tuesday afternoon, Members are likely to vote to agree, without amendment, to a Commission proposal allowing an extension of these facilitating measures for Greece and Cyprus. This provision for financial assistance, furthermore, also applies to any other eligible Member State that is in need.

Another major EU priority is the security of the bloc’s energy supplies. As we head into winter, Members will vote on a resolution proposing an EU strategy for liquefied natural gas (LNG) and gas storage on Monday evening. The strategy would boost the distribution and use of LNG in the EU, as a low-carbon alternative to over-dependency on gas imports from Russia. Although the Commission proposes investment in LNG infrastructure, the Parliament’s Committees are cautious about creating excess, and possibly vulnerable, and storage capacity.

Finally, good legislation depends on a basis of full knowledge of the facts. Public perception of the impact of legislation also depends on access to a complete picture of EU actions and their consequences. Creating a dynamic rail sector and a Single European Railway Area means collecting comparable statistics on rail services for the whole of the European market, and making them public. Parliament would like to improve rail safety by collecting data on rail accidents. Voting on a second reading of the Transport Committee’s report on rail transport statistics in the EU is expected on Tuesday lunchtime, just before a vote on proposed legislation on statistical standards for quality data collection on goods transport by inland waterway. This proposal encourages optimal development of EU inland navigation, with measures based on solid data. Members will vote on a compromise text which allows for voluntary pilot studies on passenger data and a possible financial contribution from the EU budget.


Source Article from https://epthinktank.eu/2016/10/21/values-actions-funding-october-ep-plenary-session-2/

Developing health technology assessment in the European Union

Written by Nicole Scholz,

A question mark

© jianghaistudio / Fotolia

Health Technology Assessment (HTA) is a research-based tool to support decision-making in healthcare. HTA assesses the added value of new health technologies – medicines, medical devices and diagnostic tools, surgical procedures as well as measures for disease prevention, diagnosis or treatment – over existing ones.

HTA is used with a view to improving the quality and efficiency of public health interventions and the sustainability of healthcare systems. It has been growing in importance, given rising demand for healthcare and economic pressures.

HTA in the EU involves multiple national and regional players. European HTA cooperation consists of a strategic level (HTA Network) and a scientific and technical level (EUnetHTA Joint Action).

Efforts to advance certain aspects of voluntary cooperation on HTA are gaining momentum. Industry and non-industry stakeholders, as well as academia, generally agree on the benefit of stepping up EU cooperation on HTA. Members of the European Parliament have regularly asked for enhanced EU-level cooperation.

The European Commission has recently published an inception impact assessment for an initiative on HTA, planned for the fourth quarter of 2017. It will be preceded by a public stakeholder consultation due to be launched in autumn 2016.

Read the complete briefing on ‘Developing health technology assessment in the European Union‘.

Source Article from https://epthinktank.eu/2016/10/21/developing-health-technology-assessment-in-the-european-union/