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.
The Commission has published a Directive Proposal which is to replace the existing Procurement Directive (2004/18/EC). The Commission’s proposal aims to eliminate legal uncertainty in the procurement between public entities and their cooperation. Moreover, it is to facilitate access to public procurement for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME). Public procurement will continue to be used in support of societal and environmental goals.
South-Europe’s creditworthiness keeps eroding as demonstrated by the latest assessment of the cepDefault Index. Italy’s erosion consolidated in 2011; as regards Greece, the negative trend did not only continue but declined even further; Spain is somewhat crumbling but – apart from the banking crisis – not doing too badly.
In Portugal, however, the vigorous structural reforms now bear fruit – an upward trend is soon to emerge. It is very likely that Portugal will regain its full creditworthiness in 2015.
All other South-European countries need to improve their competitiveness through structural reforms too.
The Commission aims to implement a fully integrated payment market in the EU. In its Green Paper, the Commission presents action plans for the market integration.
Motor vehicles and their exhaust systems are subject to an EU-wide type-approval procedure which, among other things, prescribes noise emission limits and a uniform test method. The existing test method is to be replaced, since according to the Commission the test procedure does not reflect real world driving behaviour. At the same time it wishes to lower the noise limit values in order to ensure a high level of environmental protection and public safety.
The Commission wishes to boost competition on the audit market by the obligation to change auditors regularly (“rotation rule”). A prohibition of non-audit services (e.g. tax advice) is to strengthen the independence of auditors.
In its Restructuring Green Paper, the Commission calls upon all Member States to make use of instruments such as short-time working schemes, working time accounts and corporate work alliances during times of crisis, as they are suitable for safeguarding jobs. Moreover, it proposes reforms of the tax and benefit schemes in order to minimize the impact of the crisis on the labour market. In the case of company restructurings due to economic changes, the Commission requests an early involvement of “all relevant stakeholders” and a harmonisation of parts of the insolvency law. Thus the chances of future adjustment measures of restructuring processes are to be improved. Moreover, “amendments” of employment termination rules are to safeguard a high level of employment and social protection.
According to the Commission, there is not enough eco-innovation in the EU. Therefore, it wishes to speed up eco-innovation and to improve its marketing. To this end, the environmental legislation is to be revised and small and, in particular, medium-sized undertakings be subsidised.
The Commission wishes to promote the digital single market by setting new framework conditions and removing obstacles. To this end, it presents an action plan.
According to the “balanced approach” of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), noise abatement around airports is to be achieved by selecting the “most cost-effective range of measures”. The Commission’s Regulation Proposal serves to improve coherence both within the EU and also with ICAO requirements to introduce noise-related operating restrictions.
The Commission wishes to improve the transparency of financial market transactions, move derivatives trading to organised trading venues and strengthen supervision and competition. Moreover, it intends to strengthen investor protection.