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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).