Месечни архиви: July 2018

Revision of the European Electronic Tolling Service (EETS) Directive [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Ariane Debyser (1st edition),

The highway between woods, in the middle of the highway electronic toll gates, three moving trucks, in the distance Bridges

© am / Fotolia

On 31 May 2017, the Commission adopted a proposal for a directive on the interoperability of electronic road toll systems and facilitating cross-border exchange of information on the failure to pay road fees in the Union. It was presented within the context of the Commission’s first ‘Europe on the Move’ package that seeks to modernise mobility and transport.

Tying in with the 2015 energy union strategy and the Commission’s 2016 European strategy for low‑emission mobility, and announced in the 2017 Commission work programme, the revision of the European Electronic Tolling Service (EETS) was presented together with the revision of the directive on the charging of heavy goods vehicles for the use of certain infrastructures (the Eurovignette Directive).

In June 2018, both Parliament and Council adopted their positions on the Commission’s proposal, opening the way for interinstitutional (trilogue) negotiations to begin.

Versions

timeline

Source Article from https://epthinktank.eu/2018/07/20/revision-of-the-european-electronic-tolling-service-eets-directive-eu-legislation-in-progress/

European Regional Development Fund and Cohesion Fund 2021-2027 [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Agnieszka Widuto (1st edition),

Florence (Firenze) cityscape, Italy.

© waku / Fotolia

In preparation for the upcoming Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027, the European Commission published a proposal for a regulation on the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund (CF) on 29 May 2018. The new single regulation on the ERDF and CF (previously covered by two separate regulations) identifies the specific objectives and scope of support for both funds, including non-eligible activities. In line with evidence regarding impact, investments will focus on activities with the highest added value, such as support for SMEs, smart specialisation, the low carbon economy, sustainable urban development and regional cooperation. The ERDF will focus mainly on smart growth and the green economy, and the CF on environmental and transport infrastructure. A special approach is adopted for territories such as urban areas and outermost regions. The indicator framework for monitoring progress will include new common results indicators. At the European Parliament, the file has been allocated to the Committee on Regional Development, with Andrea Cozzolino (S&D, Italy) as rapporteur. The rapporteur’s draft report is expected in the autumn.

Versions

Stage: Commission proposal

Source Article from https://epthinktank.eu/2018/07/19/european-regional-development-fund-and-cohesion-fund-2021-2027-eu-legislation-in-progress/

Introducing the definitive VAT system for B2B cross-border trade [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Ana Claudia Alfieri (1st edition),

Important of VAT, tax in buy and sell business, colorful arrows pointing to the word VAT at the center on black cement wall, financial income have to pay government tax by law.

© Nuthawut / Fotolia

Value added tax (VAT) is an important source of revenue for national governments and the European Union (EU) budget and, from an economic point of view, it is a very efficient consumption tax. However, the existing rules governing intra-Community trade are 25 years old and the current common EU VAT system presents such problems as vulnerability to fraud, high compliance costs for businesses and also a heavy administrative burden for national authorities.

The reform of the system is planned in several consecutive steps, first for goods and then for services, and will take some years. This proposal introduces the basic features of the definite VAT system for business-to-business (B2B) transactions of goods and aims to harmonise and simplify certain rules of the current VAT system, by amending the VAT Directive (Directive 2006/112/EC).

Versions

Stage: National Parliaments opinion

Source Article from https://epthinktank.eu/2018/07/19/introducing-the-definitive-vat-system-for-b2b-cross-border-trade-eu-legislation-in-progress/

More flexible VAT rates [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Ana Claudia Alfieri (1st edition),

VAT Concept with wooden block with stacked coins

© Art_Photo / Fotolia

Value added tax (VAT) is an important source of revenue for national governments and the European Union (EU) budget and, from an economic point of view, a very efficient consumption tax. However, the rules governing value added tax as applied to intra-Community trade are 25 years old and the current common EU VAT system is both complicated and vulnerable to fraud. Businesses doing cross-border trade face high compliance costs and the administrative burden of national tax administrations is also excessive.

The reform towards the definitive system is planned in several consecutive steps and will take some years. In the meantime, this proposal will amend the VAT Directive (Directive 2006/112/EC) and reform the rules by which Member States set VAT rates. The reform will enter into force when the definitive system is in place; it will give more flexibility to Member States to set VAT rates and will end the current arrangements and their many ad-hoc derogations.

Versions

Stage: National Parliaments opinion

Source Article from https://epthinktank.eu/2018/07/18/more-flexible-vat-rates-eu-legislation-in-progress/

EPRS conference: EU needs policy overhaul to spur disruptive innovation

Written by Marcin Grajewski,

harnessing disruptive technologyThe European Union lags behind the United States and China in fostering disruptive technology and needs a policy overhaul to catch up with, or even leapfrog, its rivals. Spending on research and development by the EU and its Member States should be streamlined, more agile and, above all, funds should be disbursed much faster than at present, notably to start-up companies. A risk-taking bias should replace a sometimes over-cautious attitude on the part of programme managers. These were some key messages from analysts and industry practitioners speaking at a conference on ‘Harnessing disruptive technologies: Converting EU research into successful start-ups’, organised by the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) on 10 July 2018 in the European Parliament’s Library Room.

‘The EU, and indeed the Member States, spend a lot of money on promoting research of various kinds, and the question is how to make sure that as much of it as possible can be commercialised in a way that adds over time to GDP. There is a general perception that Europe is less successful than some of its competitors in doing so,’ said EPRS Director-General, Anthony Teasdale, opening the debate.

Dr Alexander Waibel

Dr Alexander Waibel

Indeed, the EU is good at funding basic research and incrementally improving traditional engineering-based industries, but its achievements in information technology, artificial intelligence and creating the environment for innovative start-ups to flourish is less impressive, said Dr Alexander Waibel, Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany. ‘Europe is doing a fantastic job in basic sciences, fundamental research programmes in physics, chemistry and human brain projects. We have companies that are the envy of the world, manufacturing products of a quality that no one can match’, he said.

However, ‘future growth and the economy’s ability to create jobs lies elsewhere’, Waibel added. ‘Disruption is absolutely key for society. Famous investor, Warren Buffet, once said: first come the innovators, then come the imitators, and then come the idiots. Uber, Google, Apple Facebook, they all in some way disrupted the way we do things and now dominate the market.’

The EU is spending considerable sums on research and development as part of its GDP. In Germany, the ratio is higher than in the USA.

However, André Loesekrug-Pietri, former venture capital investor and then adviser to the French government, noted that no European company is among the world’s 10 top firms in terms of market capitalisation. The market capitalisation of the seven largest platforms (four American, and three Chinese), is four times higher than the same parameter for the 30 biggest German and 40 largest French companies. China accounts for 48 % of investment in artificial intelligence, the US for 38 %, and the rest of the world, including the EU, for 14 %. This is because the current IT-based economy creates a ‘winner takes all’ market for the best conceived disruptive innovations.

André Loesekrug-Pietri

André Loesekrug-Pietri

To be able to compete in this area, the EU and its Member States need to reform their system of awarding research grants. ‘We are too much focused on research papers. No venture capitalist is interested in research paper, we need prototypes,’ said Loesekrug-Pietri. In the current, fast-changing world, speed is of the essence. Project submissions should be 10 pages long, rather than 120, as is the case at present, and reviewed in six weeks by temporarily hired scientists acting as project managers, rather than by civil servants. A winner would receive funding swiftly, but it would face tough regular scrutiny on progress.

This is how the major US innovation incubator, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) works. DARPA is responsible for the development of emerging technologies for military and later civilian use. With a current budget of some $3.4 billion, it has 240 employees. DARPA was responsible for inventions such as the internet, global positioning systems, or driverless vehicles. Waibel listed some commandments for a DARPA-destined project. An applicant needs to answer questions as to: what they are trying to do, without any jargon; what the limits of current practice are; who cares if you are successful; what the risks and payoffs are; how much it will cost; how long it will take to implement; what the ‘mid-term and final exams’ for success are.

Both Waibel and Loesekrug-Pietri agreed that creating a European DARPA is worth considering, although the former advocated a pan-EU approach, while the latter said a few most committed countries should first launch the project. Loesekrug-Pietri is now the speaker of the Joint European Disruptive Initiative (JEDI), a private-public project aimed at accelerating French and German leadership in disruptive innovation.

The EPRS’ Head of the Scientific Foresight Service, Lieve Van Woensel, stressed that the EP attaches great importance to innovation, and its members are well briefed on the issue, to address the numerous concerns of ordinary people regarding the speed of technological change.

‘Disruption is about individual creativity. At the beginning of many disruptive technologies, we have an individual daring to do what others thought impossible, daring to test what others thought not worth testing’, concluded Franck Debié, the Acting Head of the Innovation and Project Management Unit in the EP.


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Source Article from https://epthinktank.eu/2018/07/18/eprs-conference-eu-needs-policy-overhaul-to-spur-disruptive-innovation/

Security of ID cards and of residence documents issued to EU citizens and their families

Written by Katharina Eisele with Anne van Heijst,

it gives a young man ID - carte d'identit nationale

© Mike Fouque / Fotolia

This briefing provides an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission’s impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above-mentioned proposal, submitted on 17 April 2018 and referred to the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE).

Currently, there are at least 86 different versions of identity cards (ID cards) and 181 types of residence documents in circulation in the EU. The Free Movement Directive (2004/38/EC) stipulates the conditions that EU citizens and their third-country-national family members need to meet in order to exercise their right of free movement and residence within the Union. However, it does not regulate the format and minimum standards for the ID cards and residence documents to be used for entering or leaving an EU Member State (IA, pp. 9-10). This proposal aims to strengthen the security features of ID cards and residence documents of EU citizens and their non-EU family members. Passports and travel document issued by Member States are already regulated by EU law.

Directive 2004/38/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States amending Regulation (EEC) No 1612/68 and repealing Directives 64/221/EEC, 68/360/EEC, 72/194/EEC, 73/148/EEC, 75/34/EEC, 75/35/EEC, 90/364/EEC, 90/365/EEC and 93/96/EEC.

See also the European Commission’s inception impact assessment of 6 September 2017.


Read the complete briefing on ‘Security of ID cards and of residence documents issued to EU citizens and their families‘ on the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.

Source Article from https://epthinktank.eu/2018/07/16/security-of-id-cards-and-of-residence-documents-issued-to-eu-citizens-and-their-families/

Tables rondes à Niamey : Numérique, eau et agriculture, et énergies renouvelables

Écrit par Etienne Bassot,

Le Président du Parlement européen se rendra au Niger les 17 et 18 juillet.EPRS mobilisé pour appuyer la visite du président Tajani au Niger : tables-rondes à Niamey sur la recherche en matière de numérique, d’eau et d’agriculture, et d’énergies renouvelables

Le Président du Parlement européen se rendra au Niger les 17 et 18 juillet. Une nouveauté totale pour ce genre de déplacement : il a tenu à ce que sa visite comporte un important volet dédié à la recherche et que s’engagent un dialogue et une réflexion sur les expériences de l’Europe, les expériences du Niger, les enjeux et les défis communs, les réponses possibles. Autour de trois tables-rondes, les chercheurs et experts de haut niveau d’Europe et d’Afrique vont échanger leurs expériences sur la transformation numérique, l’agriculture et la gestion de l’eau, et les énergies renouvelables.

Transformation numérique

Les technologies de l’information et de la communication (TIC) apparaissent aujourd’hui comme un maillon clé du développement durable. Le Niger a adopté récemment un Plan stratégique sur les technologies de l’information et de la communication autour de plusieurs axes stratégiques : e-gouvernement, villages intelligents, cité de l’innovation, et promotion du numérique. La mise en œuvre de la stratégie numérique pour l’Europe initiée en 2010 dans l’Union européenne a été réalisée en partie – avec le développement des réseaux et services numériques et l’amélioration de l’accès aux biens et services numériques pour les citoyens, consommateurs et les entreprises – mais de nouveaux défis liés au développement de la société de l’information apparaissent. La table-ronde ‘Transformation numérique’ sera l’occasion de croiser les expériences et points de vues entre experts nigériens, européens et internationaux en discutant des enjeux, défis, contraintes et réponses réglementaires, notamment en matière de commerce électronique et de formation au numérique.

Agriculture et gestion de l’eau

Le panel ‘agriculture et gestion de l’eau’ discutera les défis rencontrés par le secteur agricole qui doit à la fois gérer les ressources naturelles – l’eau en particulier – tout en assurant la production alimentaire et le maintien des territoires ruraux. La politique agricole commune (PAC) est l’une des politiques les plus emblématiques ayant marqué le processus d’intégration à l’Union européenne depuis ses débuts dans les années 1960 jusqu’à aujourd’hui. L’Union Européenne s’efforce d’adapter cette politique aux nouveaux défis. Dans ce contexte, la recherche et l’innovation sont considérées comme des éléments clés de la gestion durable des ressources naturelles. Ce dernier point est décisif pour maximiser l’impact du secteur agricole du Niger sur la réduction de la pauvreté. De plus, mobiliser les ressources en eau en vue de sécuriser les différentes productions est une des lignes d’intervention prioritaires dans la stratégie de développement rural du Niger. Le partage des résultats de la recherche et des réussites en matière d’innovation peut bénéficier à la fois à l’Europe et au Niger. Les orateurs discuteront des exemples concrets de recherche menée en Europe et en Afrique et des projets réalisés au Niger sur la thématique de la gestion de l’eau dans l’agriculture.

Énergies renouvelables

Les énergies renouvelables, comme l’éolien et le solaire peuvent aider à réduire la dépendance en matière d’importations d’énergie, réduire la pollution et lutter contre les effets du changement climatique. L’Union européenne soutient les énergies renouvelables dans tous les secteurs économiques et s’est fixé l’objectif d’atteindre une part de marché de 32 % d’énergie renouvelable pour 2030. Pour le Niger, les énergies renouvelables peuvent contribuer à améliorer l’accès à l’énergie, par le réseau électrique ou par les solutions ‘off-grid’ (hors réseau). Lors de la table ronde, des experts vont aborder les thèmes suivants : le potentiel et les bénéfices des énergies renouvelables, le cadre réglementaire, les expériences et les plans pour l’avenir en Europe et au Niger, l’état du développement des énergies renouvelables en Afrique de l’Ouest, les obstacles rencontrés ainsi que les conditions de succès – y compris le financement – pour leur déploiement.

Pour en savoir plus

Promotion des sources d’énergie renouvelables dans l’UE, EPRS, analyse approfondie, 2016

Financer la transition vers les énergies propres en Europe, EPRS, briefing, 2017

Énergies renouvelables, PE, fiche technique, 2018

L’innovation dans l’agriculture de l’Union européenne EPRS En bref 2016

Solutions technologiques pour une agriculture durable EPRS En bref 2016

L’agriculture de précision et l’avenir de l’agriculture en Europe. Étude de prospective scientifique EPRS, étude, 2016

Une stratégie numérique pour L’Europe, PE, fiche technique, Mai 2018

S’adapter aux nouvelles réalités numériques, EPRS briefing 2018 (traduction en FR imprimée)

L’économie européenne des applis : Situation actuelle, enjeux et politique de l’Union, EPRS briefing 2018

Vers une société européenne du gigabit : Objectifs en matière de connectivité et de 5G, EPRS briefing 2017

Preparing FP9: Designing the successor to the Horizon 2020 research and innovation framework programme, EPRS analyse approfondie (traduction en FR imprimée)

Source Article from https://epthinktank.eu/2018/07/16/tables-rondes-a-niamey-numerique-eau-et-agriculture-et-energies-renouvelables/

People living in mountainous regions [What Europe does for you]

With European elections coming up in May 2019, you probably want to know how the European Union impacts your daily life, before you think about voting. In the latest in a series of posts on what Europe does for you, your family, your business and your wellbeing, we look at what Europe does for people living in mountainous regions.

Mountains cover nearly 30 % of EU territory. Highly valued for their rich natural resources, their fresh, bracing air and their beautiful landscapes, mountain areas are attractive places to live. Mountain dwellers know first-hand, however, that their regions’ specific geographical features (remoteness, topography and climate) also pose concrete problems for day-to-day activities, the most obvious being difficult access to key infrastructure, facilities and services, be that transport, education, healthcare, broadband, or business support.


Twitter Hashtag #EUandME


Through its regional policy programmes, the EU supports a wide range of projects offering practical solutions to these problems, including cross-border initiatives. The construction of a French-Spanish hospital in Cerdanya in the Pyrenees is one prominent example. The EU has also set up a specific strategy for the Alps, within which 7 countries and 48 regions have joined forces to secure the sustainable development of their territory. The focus ranges from accessibility and mobility to employment and energy.

Italy dolomites - Val di Funes in summer

© Adisorn/ Fotolia

Altitude, climate and steep slopes sometimes prevent the use of conventional machinery, and mountain farmers work in a particularly challenging environment. The EU, through its common agricultural policy, supports farmers located in mountainous areas and facing ‘natural or other specific constraints‘, compensating them for their agricultural production under difficult conditions. It has also launched a ‘mountain product‘ quality label to help mountain farmers market and raise the profile of their produce.

Further information

Source Article from https://epthinktank.eu/2018/07/15/people-living-in-mountainous-regions-what-europe-does-for-you/

People living in mountainous regions [What Europe does for you]

With European elections coming up in May 2019, you probably want to know how the European Union impacts your daily life, before you think about voting. In the latest in a series of posts on what Europe does for you, your family, your business and your wellbeing, we look at what Europe does for people living in mountainous regions.

Mountains cover nearly 30 % of EU territory. Highly valued for their rich natural resources, their fresh, bracing air and their beautiful landscapes, mountain areas are attractive places to live. Mountain dwellers know first-hand, however, that their regions’ specific geographical features (remoteness, topography and climate) also pose concrete problems for day-to-day activities, the most obvious being difficult access to key infrastructure, facilities and services, be that transport, education, healthcare, broadband, or business support.


Twitter Hashtag #EUandME


Through its regional policy programmes, the EU supports a wide range of projects offering practical solutions to these problems, including cross-border initiatives. The construction of a French-Spanish hospital in Cerdanya in the Pyrenees is one prominent example. The EU has also set up a specific strategy for the Alps, within which 7 countries and 48 regions have joined forces to secure the sustainable development of their territory. The focus ranges from accessibility and mobility to employment and energy.

Italy dolomites - Val di Funes in summer

© Adisorn/ Fotolia

Altitude, climate and steep slopes sometimes prevent the use of conventional machinery, and mountain farmers work in a particularly challenging environment. The EU, through its common agricultural policy, supports farmers located in mountainous areas and facing ‘natural or other specific constraints‘, compensating them for their agricultural production under difficult conditions. It has also launched a ‘mountain product‘ quality label to help mountain farmers market and raise the profile of their produce.

Further information

Source Article from https://epthinktank.eu/2018/07/15/people-living-in-mountainous-regions-what-europe-does-for-you/

People living in border regions [What Europe does for you]

With European elections coming up in May 2019, you probably want to know how the European Union impacts your daily life, before you think about voting. In the latest in a series of posts on what Europe does for you, your family, your business and your wellbeing, we look at what Europe does for people living in border regions.

If you are one of the 150 million people living near an internal EU border, you probably cross it regularly, whether for work, study, shopping or leisure. The EU makes such trips easier. As an EU citizen, you have the right to free movement when travelling within the EU. If, in addition, your country and its neighbour are in the Schengen area, there are no border checks.


Twitter Hashtag #EUandME


The EU has put various tools and mechanisms in place to facilitate cross-border work, including: the European network of employment services (EURES), which provides information and advice on all kinds of issues relating to cross-border commuting; the rules for the coordination of social security systems; the European Qualifications Framework, which makes qualifications more readable and understandable across borders; the Europass Framework, which enables users to present their skills, qualifications and experience by means of five standardised documents, including a CV; and the European Professional Card, an electronic procedure for the recognition of professional qualifications.

French border road sign with European Union blue flag and yellow stars between France and Spain frontier

© tanjakolosjko / Fotolia

Since 1990, as part of its regional policy, the EU has been funding projects to support cross-border cooperation between European countries and regions, helping them to find joint solutions to common challenges and enhance their citizens’ quality of life. Examples of activities funded include measures to improve cross-border transport, increased cooperation between emergency and firefighting services, the development of cross-border healthcare services, and environmental protection, to name but a few.

Further information

Source Article from https://epthinktank.eu/2018/07/15/people-living-in-border-regions-what-europe-does-for-you/