Месечни архиви: January 2018

Mutual recognition of goods [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Marcin Szczepański (1st edition),

Empty road and containers in harbor at sunset

© zhu difeng / Fotolia

Despite significant progress in recent decades, the EU single market for goods is not yet fully integrated. Intra-EU trade is important as it remains twice as big as extra-EU trade and is consistently rising. This is due to free movement of goods in the EU, which is based on either harmonised product rules at the EU level or the principle of mutual recognition under which goods lawfully marketed in one Member State may be sold in another Member State.

The Commission identified a number of shortcomings in the application of the mutual recognition principle. These include unclear scope, difficulties in demonstrating that the product was lawfully marketed in a given Member State, the slow and costly process of challenging the decisions of authorities, and insufficient communication among the actors involved.

In December 2017, the Commission proposed to address these issues with a new regulation on mutual recognition of goods that enhances the role of national product contact points and introduces a faster problem-solving procedure involving the SOLVIT network, as well as a new voluntary ‘mutual recognition declaration’ to be filled by economic operators to prove lawful marketing in a Member State.


Stage: Commission proposal

Source Article from https://epthinktank.eu/2018/01/23/mutual-recognition-of-goods-eu-legislation-in-progress/

2018 EU-China Tourism Year

Written by Vasileios Margaras,

EU-China Tourism Year-2018

EU-China Tourism Year-2018

EU-China Tourism Year (ECTY) was launched in Venice on 19 January 2018. This initiative, agreed at the 2017 EU China Summit, aims at supporting the development of new and better travel itineraries, promoting inter-cultural understanding, and enhancing travel and tourism experiences, including greater promotion and more sustainable tourism.

Europe is the leading destination for international tourist arrivals worldwide. Tourism is one of the economic sectors with considerable potential for generating growth and jobs in the EU. However, the sector faces quite a number of challenges in its efforts to remain competitive. One of these is the increasing competition from emerging non-European destinations. After Asia, Europe was the second destination of choice for Chinese tourists in 2015, accounting for about 11.5 % of the total population – or 12.5 million people. However, the great majority of Chinese tourists prefer to travel to their neighbouring countries.

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), China continues to consolidate its position as the world’s largest travel market in terms of both outbound travel and expenditure. As the Chinese economy is booming, larger sectors of the population can afford international travel. Prospects for growth in terms of Chinese tourist arrivals in the EU are therefore considerable. In addition, according to the European Travel Commission (ETC) 11/2017 Barometer, Chinese tourists are likely to spend much more in Europe than travellers from other overseas markets.

To attract more Chinese tourists to the EU, the EU and China are committed to making progress on visa facilitation. The negotiations were formally launched in Beijing in 2017 by Commissioner Avramopoulos and his Chinese counterpart, Guo Shengkun, the State Councillor and Minister for Public Security. In addition, the EU and China are working to ensure that EU airlines can benefit from the opportunities of the existing bilateral air transport agreements between individual EU Member States and China.

The European Commission supports the ETC in its marketing role preparing cooperative campaigns advertising trans-European itineraries and EU destinations designed specifically for the Chinese market. The EU-China Tourism Year will include a number of campaigns funded through public-private partnerships, business summits, and business-to-business meetings, for tourism operators funded by the COSME programme. A number of events commemorating the 2018 EU-China Tourism Year are planned in EU countries and China throughout the year.

On World Tourism Day, 27 September 2017, the European Parliament organised a high-level conference on tourism under the initiative of its President, Antonio Tajani (EPP, Italy), where the importance of the EU-China Tourism Year was underlined. The European Parliament monitors developments in tourism through the work of its Committee on Transport and Tourism as well as a dedicated task force, the Intergroup on Tourism, and through the work of other relevant committees.

Source Article from https://epthinktank.eu/2018/01/23/2018-eu-china-tourism-yea/

EU framework for FDI screening [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Gisela Grieger (1st edition),

FDI, acronyms business concept

© kenary820 / Fotolia

On 13 September 2017, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation establishing a framework for screening foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows into the EU on grounds of security or public order. The proposal is a response to a rapidly evolving and increasingly complex investment landscape. It aims to strike a balance between maintaining the EU’s general openness to FDI inflows and ensuring that the EU’s essential interests are not undermined. Recent FDI trends and policies of emerging FDI providers have cast doubt on the effectiveness of the EU’s decentralised and fragmented system of monitoring FDI inflows to adequately address the potential (cross-border) impact of FDI inflows on security or public order without EU-coordinated cooperation among Member States.

The proposal’s objective is neither to harmonise the formal FDI screening mechanisms currently used by less than half of the Member States nor to replace them with a single EU mechanism. It aims to enhance cooperation on FDI screening between the Commission and Member States, to increase legal certainty and transparency.

Member States, stakeholders and academia are divided in their views on the proposal.


Source Article from https://epthinktank.eu/2018/01/22/eu-framework-for-fdi-screening-eu-legislation-in-progress/

Free movement of goods within the EU single market

Truck transporting construction materials.


Written by Cornelia Klugman,

  • 75 % of the EU’s internal trade is in goods, which accounts for 21 % of EU GDP.
  • Trade in goods between Member States reached a volume of 3.1 trillion in 2016.
  • Removing barriers to trade could inject 183 billion into the EU economy.

The free movement of goods is one of the four fundamental freedoms of the EU – together with services, capital and people – and a cornerstone of the single market. The rationale of an open market throughout the EU has always been to assist economic growth and competitiveness and therefore promote employment and prosperity. Legislation on the single market for goods (based mainly on Article 28 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, TFEU) aims at ensuring that products placed on the EU market conform to high health, safety and environmental requirements. Once a product is sold legally in the EU, it should circulate without barriers to trade, with a minimum of administrative burden.

intra EU exports of goods as a share of GDP

intra EU exports of goods as a share of GDP

From 1957, the European Commission and EU Member States concentrated their efforts on bringing tariffs (customs duties) down within the newly formed European Economic Community, which led to the establishment of the customs union in 1968. Intra-EU tariffs and quantitative restrictions to imports (quotas) disappeared, and the EEC had a common external tariff for trading with the rest of the world.

To ease market activities across internal borders, the customs union was gradually upgraded to an internal/single market. Buying and selling, lending and borrowing, producing and consuming were facilitated first by harmonising rules EU-wide. However, this harmonisation could not keep pace with the continual creation and change in national rules. In addition, measures with an effect equivalent to quotas and customs duties remained in place. These could be fees for placing a product on the market or, for example, prohibiting the sale of a product that could compete with a national/regional/local product a Member State wanted to protect. In its landmark Cassis de Dijon ruling, the European Court of Justice stipulated that other Member States had to allow imports of any product legally placed on another national market. The Commission’s comprehensive single market programme of 1985 stipulated 1992 as the date for completion of the single market, and the 1987 Single European Act introduced qualified majority voting in the Council, which helped to speed up the process.

How does the free movement of goods work in practice?

Since the abolition of intra-EU tariff barriers in 1968, much of EU policy-making has been aimed at reducing non-tariff barriers to trade (NTBs). These can be different product standards, health and safety rules, tax systems, or currency devaluations. The European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA) countries, Iceland, Norway, and Liechtenstein (but not Switzerland), are also part of the single market since the creation of the European Economic Area in 1994. The EU institutions consult EFTA countries when taking decisions on the single market.

The free movement of goods applies to both harmonised and non-harmonised products:

  • In the majority of sectors falling into the category of harmonised products (for example electronic and electric equipment, machinery, lifts), harmonisation is now limited to the ‘essential requirements’ (health, safety, and environmental protection), and when the difference between national rules is too wide. It aims at ensuring free movement of goods, as well as protecting the public interest, for example in the case of toys or gas appliances. Other sectors (automotive, chemicals) are governed by more detailed rules.
  • In the case of non-harmonised products, Member States may adopt national rules, but the EU ensures that these do not constitute undue NTBs. Mutual recognition of national product standards, specifications, etc. is the guiding principle here.

However, this principle of mutual recognition is not absolute, as Member States may still restrict imports if higher principles, such as public health, security, and consumer protection, are at stake (Article 36 TFEU).

In addition, the European standardisation organisations CEN, CENELEC and ETSI are increasingly replacing national standards with voluntary EU-wide standards, which complement the harmonised ‘essential requirements’. For example, European standards exist for firefighting tools and hospital equipment.

The EU customs union and what its rules mean for consumers

The 28 national customs services of the Member States work together within the EU customs union, applying the Union Customs Code, which streamlines customs procedures, especially for imports from outside the EU. When individuals travel from one Member State to another, they can buy goods without restriction, if they transport them themselves, and if the goods are for their personal use and not for resale. New cars and other transport vehicles are an exception to this rule, and there are also restrictions concerning products subject to excise duties. For instance, a person may not carry across borders more than:

  • 10 litres of spirit, 90 litres of wine, 60 litres of sparkling wine, or 200 litres of beer;
  • 800 cigarettes or equivalent (coming from some Member States with low excise duty the importing Member States can reduce this to 300).

Restrictions also apply to energy products such as petrol, heating oil and gas, coal, coke and electricity. For more information on rights and benefits for consumers see the EPRS briefing, ‘European added value in action: Protecting and empowering consumers’.

European added value of the free movement of goods

Research confirms that the European single market created 2.75 million jobs from 1992 to 2006 and 9 million from 1986 to 1990. This increased wealth in the EU by €877 billion from 1992 to 2002. The share of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the EU’s GDP (gross domestic product) additionally rose by one quarter since 1992. About 75 % of all intra-EU trade is in goods, and this generates 21 % of EU GDP. Trade in goods between Member States reached a volume of €3.1 trillion in 2016, rising steadily since 2003 (with a single dip, owing to the global economic crisis of 2008).

The free movement of goods allows businesses to access a market of over 500 million people. The Commission considers that the single market has given producers easier access to a wide range of suppliers and consumers, has reduced unit costs in production, and created greater commercial opportunities. Helping companies place goods on other markets within the EEA also favours technological innovation. EU consumers profit from lower prices, EU-wide consumer legislation, environmental protection standards in manufacturing, and safety rules. The EU has already boosted trade significantly by dismantling NTBs; indeed trade in goods was found to be 73 % higher in the internal market than it would have been in a free trade area (where only tariffs have been removed).

Challenges to improving the free movement of goods

When companies wishing to trade across borders encounter regulatory barriers, this creates compliance costs that business have to bear in order to exploit the full potential of the single market. EU-wide rules solve these problems, provided that they are implemented correctly, uniformly across Member States, and promptly. According to the European Commission, the transposition deficit across all Member States for EU directives reached 1.5 % in 2017 (above the target of 1 % set by the European Council), and the average delay in transposing directives into national law is 6.7 months. Only 0.7 % of directives were incorrectly implemented.

Of existing EU single market legislation, 24 infringement proceedings on average per Member State were open in 2017, a slight decrease over the previous six months. Resolving these cases however takes on average three years, which makes life more difficult for the companies hoping to do business in the countries affected. A majority of these cases were due to the incorrect application of EU law, principally concerning environmental regulation, (indirect) taxation and public procurement. In 2014, a ‘cost of non-Europe report’ on the free movement of goods estimated that only 3.4 % of public tenders were awarded to foreign bidders (2006-2010), because of discriminatory practices by public bodies and national differences in environmental regulation and taxation regimes. These differences are especially hard on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which frequently lack the resources to keep themselves up-to-date on legal changes in other Member States. Furthermore, when implementing EU single market legislation, Member States often take the opportunity to add further standards of their own (‘gold plating’), making business yet more difficult for foreign companies. In conclusion, the study identified two remaining obstacles to intra-EU trade: barriers to FDI and non-tariff barriers, including a lack of harmonised rules and different treatment of foreign suppliers. In its resolution of 26 May 2016 on non-tariff barriers in the single market, the European Parliament stated that SMEs and micro-enterprises are disproportionally affected, and underlined the importance of the mutual recognition principle.

Perspectives: Removing barriers to trade in goods could add €183 billion to EU GDP

single market for consumers and citizens

single market for consumers and citizens

The graphic below, from the European Parliamentary Research Service publication, Mapping the Cost of Non-Europe 2014-19 (4th edition), illustrates how many billion euros could be gained from the pursuit of further integration. In particular, it shows that the EU economy would gain at least €183 billion if all barriers to FDI and non-tariff barriers were to fall with immediate effect (2013 calculations). The potential gains for the single market for goods are smaller than for services because integration for goods is quite far advanced, although potential remains for yet greater growth. This gain would be achieved in the long term because it is assumed that barriers would be lowered gradually. Removing both barriers to FDI and non-tariff barriers could help increase exports of goods in the internal market for all EU countries and more than 10 % for the countries that stand to gain most: Croatia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Slovenia. Larger firms would profit more than smaller ones from removing obstacles to FDI, as they are often the first and main beneficiary of FDI. SMEs are set to gain most from the removal of non-tariff barriers: at present, companies incur fixed costs for every export market they enter in order to comply with regulatory requirements. For SMEs, these costs can be too high to make exports profitable. If one regulatory system applied across the EU, there would be enormous potential for SMEs to gain economies of scale: making the effort to comply once would open all other markets in the EU-28. The economic boost stemming from such a widening of opportunities for companies would lead to the creation of 2 % more jobs. Consumers would also benefit from an increase in supply, which should help to reduce domestic prices.

Read the complete briefing on ‘Free movement of goods within the EU single market‘ on the Think tank pages of the European Parliament.

Source Article from https://epthinktank.eu/2018/01/19/free-movement-of-goods-within-the-eu-single-market/

Plenary round-up – Strasbourg, January 2018

The Future of Europe: debate with Leo VARADKAR, Irish Prime Minister

© European Union 2018 – Source : EP

Written by Katarzyna Sochacka and Clare Ferguson,

The January session highlights were the European Council conclusions debate and a presentation of Bulgarian Presidency priorities, as well as the first in a series of debates with EU leaders on the future of Europe, with the Irish prime minister, Leo Varadkar. Parliament voted, inter alia, on three clean energy package proposals; a review of dual-use items export controls; its opinion on the revised Brussels IIa Regulation; and gave its consent for the conclusion of the Marrakesh Treaty.

December European Council conclusions

During the debate on the conclusions of last December’s European Council, President Donald Tusk underlined the progress made in the negotiations between the European Union and the UK government on the first phase of talks, which have been addressing citizens’ rights, Ireland and the financial settlement. He did not exclude the possibility that the people of the United Kingdom might change their minds on the future relationship of their country with the European Union.

Conclusion of Estonian and presentation of Bulgarian Presidencies

Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas highlighted the main achievements of the Estonian Presidency, pointing out the importance of the digital dimension of EU policies. He also underlined defence cooperation, climate policy and the social dimension as the main policy fields in which the EU noted progress during the presidency.

As for the Bulgarian Presidency’s priorities, Prime Minister Boyko Borissov concentrated on the future of Europe and young people. The Western Balkans, digital economy, social issues, defence and the normalisation of relations with Turkey and Russia, and stability and security, including migration issues, are also on the agenda. Regarding negotiations on the next MFF, Bulgaria, as an EU budget beneficiary, supports maintaining the common agricultural and cohesion policies.

Statements on the Colombian peace process, Iran and Kenya

Commissioners Stylianides, Hahn and Malmström made statements on behalf of VP/HR Federica Mogherini regarding EU support for the Colombian peace process, the situation in Iran and Kenya. During debate, Members underlined the importance the EU places on supporting the practical implementation of the peace agreement in Colombia. They called for the release of all demonstrators imprisoned in Iran for taking part in protests against unemployment and the low standard of living. The uncertainty over the agreement with Iran on nuclear issues should not be seen as an excuse not to defend human rights in the country.

Commission statement on the EU strategy on plastics

The European Commission presented its strategy on plastics, expecting it – a key factor for the EU transition towards a circular economy – to have a positive effect on innovation, investment prospects, growth, jobs and competitiveness. It includes a range of means – legislation, economic incentives, voluntary agreements with industry – to transform product design, production, use, and recycling and reduction of marine litter. The aim is to cut the use of disposable plastics, restrict the intentional use of microplastics, encourage demand for recycled plastics, create a genuine single market for plastics, and to work to mobilise all European players and encourage international cooperation.

Clean energy – joint debate

Parliament adopted a strong position in line with EU climate commitments on three of the eight Commission proposals in the clean energy package: namely those for a revised energy efficiency directive, a recast directive on the promotion of renewable energy sources, and a new regulation on energy union governance. The existing legislation seeks to deliver 20% reductions by 2020. For the next period, to 2030, the Commission had proposed increased targets: to 30 % for improved energy efficiency, and for energy consumption to comprise 27 % renewable energy sources. For Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, these ambitions are insufficient (they proposed 40 % and 35 % respectively). The plenary voted for binding targets of 35 % for both, and Parliament’s representatives will now negotiate with the Council on that basis.

New framework for fisheries technical measures

Parliament adopted its position for trilogue negotiations on the proposals for a new framework for fisheries technical measures, and against the authorisation, on an experimental basis in the EU, of ‘electro fishing’, or electric pulse trawling, in the North Sea. The current technical measures, which govern which fish are caught, where and how, are much derided for their complexity and rigidity.

South Pacific fisheries management measures

Parliament’s Fisheries Committee considers that the proposal to transpose South Pacific fisheries management measures into EU law so that they are applicable to fishing vessels flying the flag of a Member State has already largely been carried out by the Commission. Members adopted their position, making specific changes to the text to cover use of certain nets that were not addressed, by an overwhelming majority, which will allow trilogue negotiations to proceed smoothly.

Implementation of EU macro-regional strategies

Where cooperation benefits all participants, the EU macro-regional strategy framework allows countries from the same geographical area to pool together resources to work on issues such as nature protection or transport, regardless of borders. By a large majority, Members adopted an own-initiative resolution calling for continued support for macro-regional strategies in the next multi-annual financial framework and for reinforced horizontal and vertical cooperation.

Review of dual-use export controls

Members adopted by an overwhelming majority the EP position for negotiations with the Council on the proposal to update EU rules on the control of exports, transfer, brokering, technical assistance and transit of dual-use items – goods and technologies that are usually used for legitimate purposes, but that can also be used as weapons, or for torture. The review also seeks to adapt the position to take account of the dangers of human rights violations due to the use by dictators of dual-use goods produced in Europe.

Implementation of the Youth Employment Initiative

The EU’s young people and children are the future citizens of Europe and therefore a high priority for Parliament. A large majority voted in favour of adoption of a resolution calling for a Parliament resolution on the implementation of the Youth Employment Initiative. It underlines the need to reach out to the most excluded young people, ensure that they receive good quality offers of employment, and that the Commission and Member States set realistic and achievable goals for the initiative.

Brussels IIa Regulation

With the best interests of the child its priority, Parliament adopted by large majority its opinion (under the consultation procedure) on the proposal to recast the Brussels IIa Regulation governing the jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement of decisions in matrimonial matters and matters of parental responsibility, and international child abduction. Parliament’s Committees on Petitions and Legal Affairs consider that the current proposals can be strengthened, particularly in cross-border cases, and to expand the child’s right to be heard in such proceedings.

Marrakesh Treaty

Following years of legal debate as to whether or not the EU could conclude the Marrakesh Treaty, which aims to facilitate access to published works for persons who are blind, visually impaired, or otherwise print disabled, Parliament gave its consent to Council for the conclusion of the treaty.

Opening of trilogue negotiations

The Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee announced its decision to enter into interinstitutional negotiations on three legislative files, all of which were confirmed unopposed.

This ‘at a glance’ note is intended to review some of the highlights of the plenary part-session, and notably to follow up on key dossiers identified by EPRS. It does not aim to be exhaustive. For more detailed information on specific files, please see other EPRS products, notably our ‘EU legislation in progress’ briefings, and the plenary minutes.

Read this at a glance note on ‘Plenary round-up – Strasbourg, January 2018‘ in PDF on the Think tank pages of the European Parliament.

Source Article from https://epthinktank.eu/2018/01/19/plenary-round-up-strasbourg-january-2018/

Europe’s challenges in 2018: Ten issues to watch

Written by Naja Bentzen, with contributions from Joanna Apap, Piotr Bakowski, Etienne Bassot,  Jesus Carmona, Denise Chircop, Enrico D’Ambrogio, Isabelle Gaudeul-Ehrhart, Nora Milotay, Eva‑Maria Poptcheva, Magdalena Sapala and Christian Scheinert,

DG EPRS discussion - 2018 : Navigating currents and winds - Ten issues to watch‘Ten issues to watch in 2018’ was presented in the Library of the European Parliament on 11 January, in the context of a roundtable discussion that attracted an audience of more than 130 people. The significant attendance demonstrated the high interest in the publication – the second edition of an annual EPRS publication designed to identify key issues and policy areas that are likely to feature prominently on the political agenda of the European Union over the coming year.

Following Director-General Anthony Teasdale’s introduction, European Parliament Vice-President Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso (EPP, Spain) opened the roundtable discussion. He pointed out that defending European values is today more necessary than ever, and that ‘2018 has to be the year in which the European Union stands firm in continuing to protect what is under threat: the rule of law in some countries and regions, the fight against corruption and the freedom of the press in others’. He underlined that ‘the European Union still needs to act as the guarantor of the European way of life, in opposition to all those who seek to destroy or weaken it: global terrorism, the aggressiveness of Putin’s Russia, or even the United States of President Trump’s return to conflictual positions.’

Members’ Research Service Director, Etienne Bassot then took the helm for the discussion, pointing out that — although the shocks of 2016 that shaped 2017 (the Brexit vote and the US presidential election) continue to play a key role, and the sea might continue to be rough — there is new hope and a new optimism for the European project. There is a feeling that Europe has a good wind in its sails, but even if we still face some headwinds, we can use the skills and tools that we have at our disposal to navigate the currents and obstacles we face. The roundtable discussion, during which ten EPRS ‘crew members’ presented these currents, obstacles, skills and tools, was followed by a short Q&A session.


DG EPRS discussion - 2018 : Navigating currents and winds - Ten issues to watch


To begin with the underlying currents — issues that have been underway for a while and are likely to continue to impact Europe’s course — Etienne Bassot highlighted migration, Brexit, disinformation/cybersecurity, youth empowerment, and inequality.

Migration (Joanna Apap, policy analyst, External Policies Unit): Due to record levels of displacement, human suffering, climate change, socio-economic impact on host communities as well as complex political ramifications in many countries, migration will continue to be high on the EU agenda in 2018 and beyond. The question as to how to ensure that the different interests and needs are addressed within a strong human rights framework is at the very heart of the debate on migration management, Joanna argued, concluding that ‘Migrants are not statistics. They are human beings. And human rights are universal’.

Brexit (Jesus Carmona, Head of the Citizens Policies Unit): We can expect the following for 2018 as regards Brexit negotiations: First, discussions about the transitional arrangements for the period between the end of the United Kingdom’s EU membership on 29 March 2019 and the start of a future relationship between the EU and UK. Second, the future framework for EU-UK relations. The Council is expected to adopt guidelines for the future relationship in March. Even if it is still early, some models for the future relationship have already being identified as possible scenarios: EFTA country model, EU-Canada type (CETA) or a Canada plus option, or the EU association agreement with Ukraine. Alternatively, even a ‘no-deal’ scenario. Negotiations on Brexit need to be finalised by the end of 2018, to allow time for the European Parliament to consent to the agreement, and for the UK parliament to approve, so that UK membership can end on 29 March 2019, as expected.

Disinformation and cybersecurity (Naja Bentzen, policy analyst, External Policies Unit): The EU’s responses to the threats from disinformation campaigns and cyberattacks will continue to evolve in 2018, in part pushed up the agenda by the European Parliament. For instance, the East StratCom TaskForce will have a real budget in 2018, for the first time since its creation in 2015. The Commission will publish a communication on fake news and online disinformation in spring 2018. Against the backdrop of evolving cyber-threats, EU cyber resilience will feature prominently in the coming year, and the EU is responding with host of measures, some yet to be launched, and others due to come to fruition in 2018.

Youth empowerment (Denise Chircop, policy analyst, Social Policies Unit): The EU’s policies, tools and funding dedicated to youth empowerment do not seem enormous compared to the challenges they address. Yet, if they reach citizens at grassroots level, where they are needed, their power of leverage can be significant. Decisions on the renewal of these tools will be made in 2018. The outcomes will determine how well the EU can support youth empowerment in the years to come.

Inequality (Nora Milotay, policy analyst, Social Policies Unit): The big divisions within and between European societies, along gender, generation, place of birth, and education lines, have led to a sharp decline in trust in governments. The role of policy is to shape co-production and fair distribution in line with new economic theory that considers the market as an outcome of an ongoing interaction between economic actors and institutions. EU policies will continue to address inequalities in this manner in 2018. The European Pillar of Social Rights will be further implemented through the European Semester and other legislative and non-legislative measures, like the social fairness package, that are meant to support Member States in their efforts to update their national welfare systems. This will happen within the framework of the further reflection of the future of EU competences and their added value in the different policy fields.


DG EPRS discussion - 2018 : Navigating currents and winds - Ten issues to watch

Etienne Bassot, Members’ Research Service Director

Etienne Bassot pointed out that, in navigation, currents are not the only influence to take into account – there are also obstacles, typified by issues such as terrorism and North Korea.

Terrorism (Piotr Bakowski, policy analyst, Citizens Policies Unit): With the challenge of terrorism unlikely to diminish in the near future, the EU will continue consolidating its counter-terrorism capabilities by improving the implementation of existing instruments and applying new approaches to this evolving phenomenon.

North Korea (Enrico D’Ambrogio, policy analyst, External Policies Unit): In the North Korean crisis, there is no war on the horizon. Nevertheless, further provocations by Pyongyang are still possible in 2018. Kim Jong-un is unlikely to give up on the nuclear and missile programme, as he sees them as the guarantee of his regime. This has distracted the international community from the appalling situation of human rights in North Korea, and perhaps time has come the EU to take up this challenge.

Tools and skills

As Etienne Bassot pointed out, navigation requires tools; including a solid financial framework, a stable euro area as well as European elections that opens a dialogue with the European voters.

Future financing of the Union (Magdalena Sapala, policy analyst, Budget Policies Unit): The Commission plans to propose a post-2020 multiannual financial framework (MFF) in May 2018. The first post-Brexit MFF presents an opportunity for reform on both the revenue and the expenditure side of the EU budget, possibly including new own resources. The debate on the future financing of the European Union has already begun and the expectations regarding the new system of financing the EU are high.

Future of the euro area (Christian Scheinert, policy analyst, Social Policies Unit): Current proposals for modifying the Economic and Monetary Union‘s architecture may result in incremental change, but not in a ‘great leap’ forward. The stability of the euro area will therefore continue to depend on the framework which was put in place six years ago, in response to the sovereign debt crisis. This framework, known as ‘EMU 2.0’, already contains powerful tools which are not only suited to avoid the resurgence of a crisis, but are also geared towards supporting growth and employment.

European elections (Eva-Maria Poptcheva, policy analyst, Members’ Research Service): In the run-up to the 2019 European elections, we are still facing the challenge of making the elections to the European Parliament truly ‘European’. The electoral reform proposed by Parliament back in 2015 seeks to make elections more European both in form and substance. However, the consolidation of the Spitzenkandidaten-process was met with particular opposition in the Council. The nomination of lead candidates for the European election by the European political families seeks not only to Europeanise the electoral campaigns, but creates a direct political link between Parliament and the European executive, which has already translated into a further parliamentarisation of EU decision-making. This, as well as a possible future joint EU constituency with transnational lists and the composition of the Parliament after the UK leaves the EU, remain exciting issues to watch during 2018.

By collectively reflecting upon the ‘known unknowns’ in this roundtable discussion — sharing our findings and exchanging views — EPRS initiated a forward-looking debate to gain a better overview of the ‘big picture’, identify strategic issues for 2018, and find drivers for the European Parliament’s work. The topics for the 2018 edition of ‘Ten issues to watch’ were selected in a collective manner, and EPRS covers a wide spectrum of other issues in its publications, which can be found on our website.

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Source Article from https://epthinktank.eu/2018/01/17/europes-challenges-in-2018-ten-issues-to-watch/

How assistive technologies could make society more inclusive of people with disabilities

Written by Philip Boucher,


© Zerbor / Shutterstock.com

Assistive technologies (ATs) are designed to improve the functional capabilities of people with disabilities. Some are relatively low-tech and very familiar, such as reading glasses, crutches and hearing aids. Others are more advanced, using cutting-edge science and technology, with future ATs under development that could have a huge impact on all our lives.

This week, STOA published the results of its study on ATs for people with disabilities. The study was requested by Ádám Kósa (EPP, Hungary) and carried out by the European Technology Assessment Group (ETAG), under the management of STOA.

The key results of the study are presented in a video, and are further summarised and developed in an In-Depth Analysis, published by STOA, which highlights that many current and future ATs could have a substantial positive impact on the inclusion of people with disabilities in society, education and employment. However, just because current ATs already bring many opportunities, that does not mean that social or regulatory action is not needed, nor does it mean that by waiting for future ATs we will inherit a more inclusive society. Indeed, if they are not developed and introduced carefully, ATs can pose risks for human rights, privacy, dignity, access to employment, freedom and social inclusion.

The first phase of the study focused upon the context of ATs, in particular the regulatory, health and demographic aspects. Three disabilities were considered: blindness and visual impairment, deafness and hearing impairment, and autism spectrum disorder. The three disabilities exhibit several similarities and differences that are important for current and future ATs. The analysis of the regulatory environment focused on Germany, Hungary, Portugal and Sweden, highlighting divergence in their approaches to supporting the use of ATs. These reviews are presented in Part I of the study. A review of current, emerging and future ATs is presented in Part II of the study.

The project then entered its primary research stage, which included surveys, expert interviews and a stakeholder workshop. People from each disability group, including users and non-users of ATs, participated in the survey, which focused upon their perspectives and needs with regard to technology and regulation. This was supplemented by expert interviews, selected so as to gain a deeper understanding of the potential and challenges of current and future ATs. The workshop brought together stakeholders from policy-making, NGOs, academia and industry to consider a wide range of potential impacts of ATs on society. These activities are presented in Part III of the study.

Through this combination of primary and secondary research, several social, technical, ethical, demographic, regulatory, economic and environmental trends were identified. These were used to compile four explorative scenarios about the future of ATs, which are published as an appendix to Part III of the study.

The final stage of the study was to develop legal and social-ethical reflections on the role of the European Parliament’s current and future initiatives. These were produced in-house by STOA, and led to a range of potential policy options regarding accessibility as a human right, privacy by design, informed consent, user-centred technology design, ethics oversight structures, AT classification systems, safety, the autonomy of choice to use ATs, and the availability of human care. The full range of reflections and policy options are presented in Part IV of the study.

The In-Depth Analysis concludes with several key messages. First, a proactive approach should be taken to ensure that current and future ATs respond to the needs and challenges of society. Second, a ‘one size fits all’ approach to promoting ATs may be inappropriate, as individuals have different needs, desires and preferences, and live in different social, economic and infrastructural contexts. Third, technology alone is not enough and should be combined with social and regulatory action. Fourth, actions should not exclusively focus on individuals with disabilities. Adequate responses to discrimination and stigma will require broad attitudinal and organisational change that permeates society. Some professions, particularly those at the front line of public services, need to understand how to communicate using ATs effectively, so as to ensure that they can deliver their services to all citizens. The designers and developers of all technologies – whether assistive or mainstream – would also benefit from a better understanding of the challenges of inclusion. Practical steps include co-creation and the enhanced involvement of people with disabilities from the earliest stages of technology development, and support for the emergence of a range of AT professionals who could support people with disabilities, technology developers, and other citizens to maximise the benefits of ATs. Fifth, and finally, it calls for more effective use of current technologies and regulations, combined with social action against discrimination and stigma, which could have a profound positive effect on all of our lives.

Your opinion counts for us. To let us know what you think, get in touch via email or complete a survey. Surveys are available for all STOA studies (click on the title and follow the link).

Source Article from https://epthinktank.eu/2018/01/17/how-assistive-technologies-could-make-society-more-inclusive-of-people-with-disabilities/

The new EPRS App is available now!

Written by Mitja Brus,

EPRSWe begin 2018 with an exciting new European Parliamentary Research Service product! As of this week, you can download our brand new app to keep up-to-date with EPRS publications, and read them anywhere at any time on your smartphone or tablet.

The app gives you access to some 4 000 publications from July 2014 onwards, each of them available in full-text. All publications are sorted according to their length, so depending on how much time you have, you can quickly select what type of publication you need. You can also browse all publications by policy area, for example, if you are only interested in foreign affairs, all our publications are only two clicks away.

For those who prefer searching, we have added a powerful and fast search engine. Simply type your search term or keyword in the search box and publications are adapted to your search immediately. If you still have too many results, filters help you to narrow the results down by policy area, author, type of publication, and date of publication.

To allow you to read our publications when it’s most convenient for you, we also provide offline access. Inside the app, your Reading List is your personal folder, where you can collect the publications you want to read while travelling and not connected to the internet. Just swipe the title of the publication, then ‘add to reading list’, and the full text of the publication will be stored on your mobile device to read later.

Available for smartphones and tablets, you can download both versions of the app from Google Play and App Store.

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Source Article from https://epthinktank.eu/2018/01/17/the-new-eprs-app-is-available-now/

Western Balkans in the spotlight in 2018

Written by Velina Liliyanova,

With positive messages and increased attention coming from the EU, 2017 seems to have ended on a high note for the Western Balkans. 2018 starts with the region being high on the agenda of Bulgaria’s EU Council Presidency, and promises a favourable context for advancing its EU bids. For this to happen, however, the six WB countries need to show results on the core EU-related reforms.

2003-2018: progress made over 15 years

Closeup of businessman and woman with jigsaw puzzle pieces in office

© Rido / Fotolia

At the 2003 EU-Western Balkans Thessaloniki Summit, the EU declared its ‘unequivocal support’ for the region’s European perspective. Over the ensuing 15 years, Croatia did become an EU Member State, but for Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia the path to accession has been strewn with multiple (some shared, others specific) challenges that have prevented more concrete developments. There is progress, albeit slow: four countries have candidate status; BiH has applied for it; and only Kosovo has not. Visa-free travel, one of the most tangible results of the process, benefits all but Kosovo. All six have stabilisation and association agreements (SAA) with the EU, and Montenegro and Serbia, currently dubbed ‘frontrunners’, are negotiating multiple chapters of the EU acquis.

Since 2003, the EU has also changed: having had three enlargements (2004, 2007 and 2013) and welcomed 13 new members, it is currently negotiating one departure from its ranks for the first time. Over time, its approach to enlargement has grown stricter, involving stronger focus on the ‘fundamentals’: rule of law, economic governance and democratic institutions. The EU has been criticised for having side-lined the WBs’ accession process; a 2017 Balkan barometer shows that the WBs’ enthusiasm has also waned. The Berlin process, on the other hand, is often highlighted as a trigger of positive dynamics in regional cooperation, most recently with the agreed set up of a regional economic area and a transport community at the Trieste Summit.

Enlargement in the spotlight: will 2018 be a year of opportunity?

In 2014, the newly elected European Commission stated that there would be no enlargement during its term. Following this initial message, however, a number of events in 2017 pointed to growing willingness to bring enlargement higher on the EU agenda, thus also boosting the Western Balkans’ expectations for 2018.

In March 2017, HR/VP Federica Mogherini visited the region and acknowledged its fragility and exposure to internal and external challenges. The March 2017 European Council reaffirmed the EU’s commitment to the region. In his 2017 State of the Union address, Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, stated that the EU has to maintain a credible enlargement perspective for the WBs. In a subsequent letter of intent to the EP and the Estonian Prime Minister, the Commission announced a new initiative, to be launched with a 2025 perspective: an EU accession strategy for Serbia and Montenegro as frontrunner candidates. In a recent address, French President, Emmanuel Macron, said that a clear EU perspective for the region would keep external powers at bay. Bulgaria, holding the EU Council Presidency since January 2018, has WB enlargement among its priorities; accordingly, an EU-WB summit is scheduled for May 2018 and there are plans to extend EU ‘roam like at home’ policy to the region. These initiatives, together with the Commission’s soon-to-be-published enlargement reports, promise to shape a packed agenda until mid-2018 (Figure 1).

Enlargement-related agenda, first half of 2018.Supporters of WB enlargement argue that it is in the EU’s interest, as the WB are part of Europe and stability in them is linked to stability in the EU. Other supporters see further enlargement as a test for the EU’s aptitude to act as a global player and as a ‘success story’ that the European project needs.

The Western Balkan six: state of play and priority issues

Apart from the country-specific issues, experts observing the region have identified a number of trends, such as erosion of democracy, rule of law and media freedom, slack economic performance, fast-rising nationalist sentiments, and external influences, all of which require priority action. The challenge lies, therefore, in speeding up the enlargement process, but without compromising the quality of reforms.

With their ongoing EU accession talks, Montenegro and Serbia are currently seen as the region’s frontrunners. Despite domestic political polarisation and tensions with Russia, in June 2017 Montenegro joined NATO. It is ahead in the EU accession process, having opened 30 chapters and provisionally closed three, and having no major bilateral issues with its neighbours. The Commission urges it to keep the pace of reforms and economic growth and to deliver results with regard to the rule of law and the fight against corruption. Serbia has opened 12 of 35 chapters, two of which are provisionally closed. It expects to open three new ones in early 2018. Progress with the rule of law and the normalisation of relations with Kosovo (Chapter 35) are the two critical issues that are essential to the pace of its talks. Achieving greater independence of the judiciary and freedom of the press, lowering corruption and aligning more strongly with EU foreign policy are key to progress.

Albania expects a green light to start accession talks in 2018. The EU has commended Albania’s constructive regional role, alignment with EU foreign policy and reform efforts that include the adoption of a new vetting procedure for the judiciary, a key judicial-reforms package and constitutional amendments. To advance, Albania needs to implement judiciary reforms and tackle corruption and organised crime more efficiently.

From a frontrunner in the 2000s (the first to get candidate status and sign a SAA), the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’s EU prospects have dimmed, reaching their lowest during the country’s recent political crisis. While its new government, in office since mid-2017, has shown resolve to remedy the situation, FYR Macedonia has to deliver on a sizeable ‘3-6-9 reform agenda’ that builds upon a set of ‘urgent reform priorities‘ and the Pržino Agreement. It has also yet to address sensitive issues with some neighbours. Relations with Bulgaria are said to be on a good track after a recently signed friendship treaty, but to unblock the country’s EU bid, a breakthrough on its name dispute with Greece is needed. Conditions appear to be favourable: both parties have shown readiness to cooperate. With elections coming up in 2019 (parliamentary in Greece, presidential in FYR Macedonia, and European elections), the timing appears right for the next steps.

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) hopes to receive candidate status, but is delaying in answering the Commission questionnaire of late 2016. Its complex decision-making process has made reaching political compromise a daunting task even for simple issues, and keeps the country entangled in a ‘zero-sum game’. While the region expects positive momentum, 2018 has difficulties in store for BiH. With elections to be held in October 2018, ethnic and political tensions have started to rise. As ruled by its constitutional court in December 2016, BiH has to reform its electoral law or risk further chaos and delays to the implementation of its reform agenda.

Kosovos EU bid faces many challenges, not least the fact that five EU Member States have not yet recognised it. It has pledged to deliver quick progress on key SAA reforms and hopes to get a clear commitment on its EU future. However, despite support from the EU’s rule of law mission, organised crime and corruption levels are high and the judiciary remains vulnerable to political interference. Normalisation of relations with Serbia is a top priority, as is the implementation of key reforms. Additionally, to benefit from visa-free travel to the EU like the rest of the region, Kosovo has to meet two requirements: ratify a border demarcation deal with Montenegro and improve its track record in the fight against corruption.

The European Parliament’s position

EP President, Antonio Tajani, recently stated that ‘the future will be one of enlargement‘, confirming the EP’s traditional support for the Western Balkans’ EU integration, expressed in its annual resolutions over the years. In its 2017 annual report on human rights and democracy, the EP stressed that ‘enlargement policy is one of the strongest tools for reinforcing respect for democratic principles and human rights’ in countries aspiring to become EU members. The EP supports democratic processes therein through mediation, election observation and engagement in debate on topics relevant to accession. A recent example of an EP contribution is the EP-mediated dialogue in FYR Macedonia, which started in 2015 and helped lead the country’s political parties to agreement. In January 2018, the EP is to launch the ‘Jean Monnet’ process, to continue its debate with the Macedonian parliament. To increase its credibility in external policy, the EP has repeatedly urged full recognition of Kosovo by all EU Member States. As for the Western Balkans, the EP has continually stressed that the region needs political resolve to address outstanding issues on a national and regional level.

Read this At a glance on ‘Western Balkans in the spotlight in 2018‘ on the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.

Source Article from https://epthinktank.eu/2018/01/16/western-balkans-in-the-spotlight-in-2018/

Common agricultural policy

Written by Risto Nieminen,

Word cloud for Agricultural policy

© fotolia

  • Jobs, growth and investment – Employment in the EU’s rural areas is above its pre-crisis level. In 2015, 65 % of the working-age population had jobs.
  • Energy union and climate change – Net greenhouse gas emissions from EU agriculture continued to fall in 2014 to 516 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent, down from nearly 522 million tonnes in the baseline year of 2012. Emissions continued their positive long-term trend, having fallen by 24 % since 1990 in the EU-28.
  • Digital single market – Broadband access in rural areas is improving. Next-generation access in rural areas had reached 40 % of homes by mid-2016 while standard access had climbed to 93 % of homes by mid-2016.

Source: European Commission.

What is agricultural policy for?

After World War II, Europe was in pieces, devastated and facing a shortage of food. The main objective of the European Coal and Steel Community, a new institution set up in 1952, was therefore to work to unite a fragmented Europe. Lack of food was one of earliest challenges; action at European level was necessary in order to make Europe self-sufficient in food and to secure an adequate food supply and the free flow of food and agricultural products within Europe. The common agricultural policy (CAP) was formed in 1962 to ensure that people could have food at affordable prices and that farmers would earn a fair living for their work. CAP is one of the European Union’s oldest common polices.

A sizeable world import-export market exists for agricultural products. In 2016 the EU28 exported €131 billion and imported €112 billion in agri-food products, with a balance of €19 billion (European Commission). Global agricultural prices are determined freely, based on supply and demand. If producer prices for agricultural products were higher, farmers would earn more and there would be less need for agricultural support; higher food prices do not benefit consumers however. The OECD-FAO expects real prices to remain flat or decline for most commodities. The reduction in prices poses existential challenges for many farmers who cannot compensate for price reductions by increasing their (production) efficiency or production levels. The European Union’s agri-food sector is one of its biggest economic sectors, numbering 22 million farmers and agricultural workers. Around 44 million jobs in food processing, food retail and food services are dependent on agriculture (European Commission).

The role of the EU’s common agricultural policy is to assist in providing a decent standard of living for Europe’s farmers and agricultural workers, along with a stable, varied and safe food supply for European citizens. It contributes to job creation and economic growth, helps to mitigate climate change (by means of financial incentives for greener farming for instance) and also encourages sustainable development.

Figure 1 below describes CAP’s objectives and the channels through which these are to be reached.

General and specific objectives of CAP

CAP also has an essential role to play in achieving the Juncker Commission’s 10 priorities, in full coherence with other policies, namely: boosting quality employment, growth and investment; harnessing the potential of the energy union, the circular economy and the bio-economy while bolstering environmental care and fighting and adapting to climate change; bringing research and innovation out of the labs and onto the fields and markets; fully connecting farmers and the countryside to the digital economy; and contributing to the European Commission’s agenda on migration (Source: European Commission).

Share of direct payments (DPs) in CAP spendingCAP has three inter-connected elements. These are income support for farmers (direct payments), market measures, and rural development. CAP operates by means of the European Union budget for agriculture. Under the 2014-2020 multiannual financial framework €408.31 billion is reserved for CAP (approximately 38 % of the EU’s total budget). CAP expenditure is financed via two funds, which form part of the EU’s general budget. These are first the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF) for direct payments to farmers (Pillar I), which includes measures to regulate agricultural markets, such as intervention buying and private storage aid; and second the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) for the rural development programmes of the Member States (Pillar II).

CAP spending primarily takes the form of direct payments to farmers (roughly 70 % of total CAP spending – which is close to 30 % of the EU’s total annual budget). Direct payments (DPs) are paid fully from the EU budget (there is no national co-financing) and are made to farmers in the form of basic income support based on the number of hectares farmed. On average this amounts to €267 per eligible hectare, on the condition that farmers respect strict rules on human and animal health and welfare, plant health and the environment. The amount of support is not linked to the volume of agricultural products produced. Around 7.3 million EU farmers receive direct payments. Currently approximately 70 % of payments go to 10 % of all recipients.

Over the years, the CAP financing structure has changed considerably. Export subsidies and market support measures have gradually decreased. Coupled direct payments (payments linked to production) have almost been phased out and replaced by decoupled direct payments (payments linked to hectares owned). The share of rural development financing has remained stable on the whole.

Europeans want good quality food products

According to Eurobarometer (2016):

  • More than half of Europeans think the EU’s main objectives in terms of agriculture and rural development policy should be ensuring agricultural products are of good quality, healthy and safe (56 %) and ensuring reasonable food prices for consumers (51 %).
  • Europeans believe the EU is fulfilling its role in securing the food supply in the EU (70 % agree) and in ensuring agricultural products are of good quality, healthy and safe (65 %).
  • Whilst an absolute majority agree the EU is fulfilling its role in ensuring a fair standard of living for farmers (52 %), a high proportion of respondents do not hold this view (35 % disagree). Similarly, important minorities disagree the EU is fulfilling its role in ensuring reasonable food prices (33 % disagree) and protecting the environment (31 % disagree).
  • The majority of Europeans consider all of the listed priorities of the CAP to be important, with two priorities mentioned more often as being ‘very important’: investing in rural areas to stimulate economic growth and job creation (47 %), and strengthening the farmer’s role in the food chain (45 %).

Examples of CAP-financed projects

A wide variety of projects have been financed through the CAP for example:

  • Fruit and vegetable producer organisations (EU wide – €736 million)
    The EU encourages farmers to set up producer organisations (associations and producer groups) and, by so doing, to strengthen their position on the market.
  • School milk scheme and school fruit scheme (EU wide – €250 million; €150 million for fruit and vegetables and €100 million for milk).
    This programme aims to increase the consumption of fruit and vegetables and dairy products at school so as to encourage healthier eating habits, in the context of declining consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables and an increased incidence of child obesity.
  • Market emergency measures, Poland (€72 million)
  • Broadband infrastructure in rural Lithuania (€51 million)
  • Restructuring a winery bottling plant (Spain)
  • Investment for adding value to meat products (Czech Republic)
  • Complex development of a Mangalica farm (Hungary)
  • Introducing new machinery and market innovations on Eberlin’s Apiary (Latvia)

Source – European Commission.

Focus on rural development

Key targets from the 2014-2020 rural development programmes include the following:

  • At least 30 % of funding for each rural development programme to be dedicated to measures relevant for the environment and climate change
  • 8 million training places
  • 15 000 cooperation projects
  • 333 000 agricultural holdings to invest in restructuring or modernisation
  • 178 000 agricultural holdings to be set up or further developed
  • 310 000 farms to become involved in quality schemes, short supply chains, local markets or producer groups/organisations
  • 646 000 farms to be covered by risk management schemes
  • 113 000 non-agricultural jobs to be created, of which 79 000 from the creation, diversification and development of small businesses;44 000 through the LEADER approach to local development
  • 50 million rural citizens to benefit from improved services

Source: European Commission.

Future challenges

According to the OECD and the FAO, the food and agriculture sector is up against a critical global challenge, namely that of securing access to safe, healthy and nutritious food for a growing world population, while at the same time using natural resources more sustainably and making an effective contribution to climate change adaptation and mitigation. In the face of this and numerous other global challenges, the future shape and format that CAP should take is still unknown. Eurobarometer provides insight into the expectations Europeans hold regarding common agricultural policy, and thus underpins continued improvements to CAP to reflect societal changes and shifting priorities.

The European Commission considers in its reflection paper on the future of EU finances that ‘there is a growing call for the policy to focus further on the provision of public goods, such as safe and healthy food, nutrient management, response to climate change, protection of the environment and its contribution to the circular economy’. Consequently the Commission has presented various options, including the ‘introduction of a degree of national co-financing for direct payments in order to sustain the overall levels of current support’.

A modernised CAP should be better able to respond to global challenges. It should provide more common public goods and generate more added value via better coordination and internal cooperation. Smarter and more efficient, economic and effective use of the EU’s common resources will be key factors for success in the next 60 years of common agricultural policy.

Read this briefing on ‘Common agricultural policy‘ on the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.

Source Article from https://epthinktank.eu/2018/01/16/common-agricultural-policy/