Publication Archive

This archive contains all documents published by cep over the last few years:

cepAdhoc: Incisive comment on current EU policy issues.

cepPolicyBrief: Concise 4-page reviews of EU proposals (Regulations, Directives, Green Papers, White Papers, Communications) – including a brief summary and economic and legal assessments.

cepInput: Impulse to current discussions of EU policies.

cepStudy: Comprehensive examination of EU policy proposals affecting the economy.

 

 

2014

In its Green Paper „Adequate, sustainable and safe European pension systems”, published on 7 July 2010, the Commission addresses all the challenges that pay-as-you-go and funded pension schemes are facing. With regard to the pay-as-you-go – usually public – systems, the Commission sees urgent need for action in order to tackle demographic change. Regarding funded systems, the Commission manly calls for EU-wide, harmonised regulation and supervision. The Commission’s aim is to improve the sustainability and security of pension systems. Furthermore, the Commission is considering whether or not it should define “when” pension is adequate.

2014

Since 2005 the framework of EU emission trading system (ETS) allows for certain stationary installations (e.g. for power and heat supply, for metal production and processing, for paper production and for the chemical industry) and, as of 2012, air traffic  may emit greenhouse gases only if the operators possess the according allowances. Pursuant to the ETS Directive as of 2012 Member States must auction all allowances for aviation and as of 2013 for stationary installations which are not allocated free of charge. The submitted Regulation Draft affects the timing, administration and other aspects of auctioning of these greenhouse gas emission allowances.

2014

Research and development agreements can stipulate provisions on the partial outsourcing of R&D activities, R&D co-operations or the common distribution and marketing of jointly developed products. Thus they can increase efficiency, lower costs and intensify the exchange of ideas and experience. The revised version of the Block Exemption Regulation for research & development agreements provides for a new exemption condition, namely that, prior to starting an R&D, all parties must disclose their existing and pending rights in intellectual property. Moreover, the Commission extends the scope of “hardcore restrictions” for both, the passive and active distribution.

2014

Since 2009, the Rating-CR regulates the registration and supervision of credit rating agencies at an EU-wide level. National supervisory authorities are key to this procedure. Now, the Commission wishes to change this: In September 2009, the Commission proposed to establish the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) which is to be responsible for the supervision of credit rating agencies in future.

2014

The “Digital Agenda” designates “key actions” which will facilitate “smarter work” and the establishment of the Digital Single Market. It aims at a sustainable economic and social use of the Digital Single Market, rooted in fast internet connections for EU-wide services.

The Commission names as “key performance targets” for 2015, amongst other things, that 50% of the population buy online, the removal of tariff differences between telephone calls at home and abroad (“roaming”) and an average price per minute of 13 cents (including roaming).

2014

Specialisation agreements are horizontal agreements between undertakings on the specialisation requirements regarding the production of certain goods or the provision of services. With regard to specialisation agreements on intermediary products captively used for the production of downstream products the recast version of the Block Exemption Regulation requires a second market share threshold. Moreover, the Commission specifies the definition of “potential competition“ and clearly states that specialisations can be exempted even if a party chooses to cease production only “partly”.

2014

According to the Commission, a solid vocational education is key to a smooth entry into the labour market. In addititon, the expected shortage of skilled professionals can be best tackled through a consistent vocational training based on a solid vocational education. Moreover, the cross-border mobility of employees can be improved if the comparability of national educational qualifications is ensured and if skills acquired abroad are equally recognised at home. In its Communication, the Commission clearly stresses the necessity to give “a new impetus” to the Copenhagen process which forms the basis of modernising the system of vocational education in Member States in order to establish future-oriented and sustainable vocational education and training systems.

2014

The new „dual layer structure consist of: the comprehensive network (1st level) which is to be maintained. It serves as a basis for the construction of a coherent “core network” (2nd level). The latter is to be made up of links of “the highest strategic and economic importance” and of a “genuine European planning perspective”. The ideas presented for discussion by the Commission concern the future planning of TEN-T, its implementation and its institutional and legal framework.

2014

The latest economic crisis has led to a substantial reduction in EU greenhouse gas emissions. The Commission is examining the option of tightening greenhouse gas emission targets in 2020 from 20% to 30%. At the same time, it stresses that the current Communication’s purpose “is not to decide now” to move to a 30% target since “the conditions set are have clearly not yet been met”. However, it keeps this option still open.

2014

Within the framework of the Europe 2020 strategy, Member States agreed to improve there coordination of their economic policies. To this end, the Commission recommends to the Member States guidelines to harmonise their economic policies. In shaping their economic and fiscal policies and in developing national reform programmes, Member States should act in line with these guidelines.

2014

Member States have agreed to improve the coordination of their employment policies, in the scope of the Europe 2020 strategy. To this end, the Commission presented to the Council guidelines for employment policies outlining the direction which educational, labour and social policies of Member States should take. The headline targets of the guidelines are identical to those proposed to the European Council within the context of the Europe 2020 strategy.

2014

The Commission promotes the expansion of the EU internal energy market and announces a legal framework for the safe storage of nuclear waste. The expansion of EU energy grids is to be better coordinated. The Commission wishes to promote technological innovation and initiate a shift towards a low-carbon energy system by 2020 through market-based instruments.

2014

The Commission presents a strategy for encouraging the development and uptake of green road vehicles. In particular, it wishes to promote “clean and energy efficient” vehicles based on conventional combustion engines and “ultra-low-carbon vehicles“ through the deployment of new technologies such as alternative fuels, electric motors and fuel cells.

2014

The Commission is reviewing the European standardisation procedures in terms of their efficiency and transparency. The aim is to develop a reform proposal (“standardisation package”) facilitating a more efficient and transparent European standardisation. Moreover, the Commission wishes to simplify the access to standards for SME and to increase the capacity for innovation of European enterprises.

2014

The action plan is intended to implement the objectives laid down in the Stockholm Programme. It cites 354 measures and a precise timetable for this purpose.

2014

The Commission criticises the fact that the agreement among 29 Heads of State and Government on the Copenhagen Accord “falls well short“ of the EU’s objective to reach a “robust and effective legally binding“ follow-up agreement to the Kyoto Protocol. The Commission gives its view on financing of climate actions and adaptation measures, on the shortcoming of the Kyoto Protocol ant on international emissions trading. In order to keep up the momentum of global efforts to tackle climate change, the Commission outlines the main features of its further strategy.

2014

Following the failure of its last Amendment Proposal, the Commission is again planning a review of the Working Time Directive. Based on a questionnaire, the Commission intends to undertake a full-scale consultation of the social partners (workers and employers associations) at European level, in order to clarify whether the social partners also consider a review of the Working Time Directive to be necessary and, if so, what such a review could look like.
The key issues are the rules on the maximum working time, dealing with on-call time, determining rest periods and calculating the average weekly working time.