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

The Commission is changing the rules regarding derivatives which are concluded and traded directly between counterparties (“over-the-counter“, OTC). It wishes that having OTC deals be cleared by central counterparties (CCPs) seated in the EU. Different regulations for financial service providers on the one hand and undertakings on the other hand, and a distinction between speculative OTC derivatives and those serving to hedge real corporate risks are to help improve the stability of the financial system.

2014

The current Euro crisis is mainly rooted in the Member States excessive public debts. Consequently, settling the problem of debt should be at the heart of crisis management. To this end, the Commission published a reform package on 29 September. It encompasses amendments to the Stability and Growth Pact and, at the same time, a macroeconomic surveillance flanking the Pact. Thus the Commission wishes to ensure that, in future, the Stability and Growth Pact will be applied in a more efficient, sharper and more thorough manner.

2014

The Commission proposes to entitle undertakings established in a third country to transfer their managers and specialists to their EU subsidiaries. To this end, a uniform procedure for granting residence and working permits should be established in all Member States. The permit is granted for the duration of the transfer and can be extended by up to three years. It is equally valid for transfers to subsidiaries in other Member states if limited to 12 months. Family member should be entitled to enter the EU along with the employee concerned without any integration measures being required before their entry.

2014

The first railway package of 2001 consists of three Directives which form the basis for the European railway legislation. According to the Commission, the present summary and recast version is to remove any insufficiencies, uncertainties and gaps in the regulatory framework. It further encompasses the removal of barriers to competition and the reform of regulatory oversight (1. Part), as well as questions regarding the development and operation of the railway infrastructure (2. Part).Its major aim is to provide for a non-discriminatory competition in the railway traffic market.

2014

The EU Energy Strategy 2020 is focusing on five „priorities“: (1) increase in energy efficiency, (2) building a “pan-European integrated energy market“, (3) consumer protection and safety and security standards, (4) further development of energy technologies and (5) strengthening the external dimension of the EU energy market.

The Commission criticises the current EU energy policy in that the internal energy market is still fragmented and the efforts by Member States to increase energy efficiency are “disappointing“. Moreover, there is a lack of energy system investments of EUR 1 trillion and technological progress.

2014

With the Lisbon Treaty the EU acquired new competences in the field of tourism which are anchored in primary law. In its Communication the Commission describes the “challenges” and presents an “action framework for tourism in Europe”. The Commission wishes to make the cultural and natural wealth of Europe better known, for example by introducing a “European Cultural Heritage Seal”. Furthermore, a publicly funded “voluntary” exchange mechanism for tourists is to enable “key groups” such as young people (up to the age of 30) and the elderly (65+) to travel to tourist destinations in other Member States during the low season. Finally, the Commission plans to conduct “awareness-raising campaigns relating to the choice of destinations and the means of transport to promote “sustainable and responsible high-quality tourism”.

2014

The aim of this Green Paper is to outline options for developing a European contract law (available in all official languages). To this end, the Commission presents for discussion various options for an “instrument of European contract law”. By this it means a construct of EU contract laws which needs further developing in particular with regard to the degree of its legally binding nature (legal form), the regulation radius (material scope) and the applicability to contract relations that do not cross borders.

2014

The EU patent is a third option flanking the national and the European patent and providing EU-wide patent protection. At the same time, a European patents court system is to be established. The aim of the EU patent is to provide applicants with an easier and cheaper EU-wide patent protection. With a court for European patents and EU patents, the solving of legal disputes on patent granting and patent infringements is to be more consistent and calculable as it avoids parallel proceedings before national courts.

2014

Vertical agreements are entered into by companies operating in the production or distribution chain at different levels. Such agreements are generally prohibited, however, the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union provides for exemptions from the general prohibition. The Commission decides whether or not an exemption is given. In its Block Exemption Regulation in the Motor Vehicle Sector (EC) No. 1400/2002 and its Guidelines, the Commission is presenting the conditions according to which an agreement is deemed in line with competition law. Said Regulation will expire on 31 May 2010. At the end of last December the Commission has submitted a follow-up Draft Regulation and Draft Guidelines.

2014

Under horizontal agreements, undertakings co-operate as competitors at the same level in the value-added chain. The Guidelines are intended to make it easier for undertakings to assess themselves whether or not their intended horizontal agreements infringe the ban on cartels of Art. 101(1) TFEU and whether an exemption applies. They contain general and agreement-specific explanations of the assessment of horizontal agreements for goods and services. The revised version contains also contains explanations on “information exchange” between undertakings which are relevant in terms of competition law.

2014

The Commission intends to restrict the maximum repayable amount of EU deposit guarantee schemes to € 100,000 in future. Deposit guarantee schemes are being obliged to mutually grant loans.

In the middle of the financial crisis the Council and the European Parliament decided to increase the minimum coverage level to Euro 50,000 and – by the end of 2010 – up to 100,000. Issues such as the EU-wide harmonisation of the financing of deposit guarantee schemes and the establishment of a European deposit guarantee scheme were postponed to 2010.

The latest plans face substantial opposition. Several national parliaments intend to file a subsidiarity complaint, a procedure newly introduced by the Lisbon Treaty, in order to force the Commission to reassess the Proposal.

2014

Pursuant to the Waste Framework Directive, the Commission is obliged to evaluate the management of bio-waste and, where necessary, to make proposals for action. According to the Commission, the existing EU waste legislation is adequate, but poorly implemented in several Member States. To this end, such Member States are to receive EU subsidies. Moreover, the Commission assesses whether or not minimum requirements for the management of bio-waste and quality standards for compost and digestate from bio-waste should be set.

2014

The EU is to be entitled to monitor and avoid “macroeconomic imbalances” in and between Member States. Furthermore, it is to be entitled to carry out a “thematic surveillance“ in order to ensure that Member States comply with the “Europe 2020 targets”. A reform of the Stability and Growth Pact is to safeguard that Member States consolidate their state budgets sufficiently. In addition, the EU is to be entitled to coordinate the economic policies in Member States. To this end, a “European Semester” is to be established.

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.