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Author: EP think tank

At a Glance – Digitising European industry – 24-05-2017

In response to the European Commission’s recent efforts to advance the digitalisation of EU industry, the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) drew up an own-initiative report on the subject which is to be debated in plenary in May. The report proposes to develop an integrated strategy aimed at creating conditions conducive to reindustrialising the European economy so that it can fully benefit from opportunities offered by digitalisation. Source : © European Union, 2017 –...

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Briefing – Preventive restructuring, second chance and efficient restructuring, insolvency and discharge procedures – 24-05-2017

This Commission impact assessment is based on a wealth of information drawing from both research and consultation. Research quoted spans the last decade and encompasses international organisation, academic and think tank work. The consultation performed by the Commission has been essential to prioritising the issues to be further harmonised and in choosing the detailed sub-options. Among the strengths of the IA, there is a genuine attempt to comply as much as possible with the Commission Better Regulation Guidelines and transparency in providing information. This is particularly evident in the broad range of options presented and in the presentation of...

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At a Glance – The same VAT rate for print and e-publications – 24-05-2017

On 1 December 2016, the European Commission adopted a proposal on value added tax (VAT) on books, newspapers and periodicals, which would amend the VAT Directive and broaden the possibility to apply reduced rates to all publications, be they print or digital. For this consultation procedure, the report is scheduled to be voted in plenary in May. Source : © European Union, 2017 –...

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Briefing – From TPP to new trade arrangements in the Asia-Pacific region – 24-05-2017

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), signed in February 2016 by the representatives of its 12 member countries, is a comprehensive regional agreement dealing with a wide range of trade and trade-related issues. In January 2017, President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the TPP, making it impossible for the agreement, as it is currently drafted, to take effect. Despite the US withdrawal, the remaining TPP participating countries are determined to salvage the benefits of the agreement, and are working to develop alternative approaches to bring the trade deal into force. The failure of the TPP is likely to influence...

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Briefing – Limitations of scope for aviation activities in the EU ETS – 24-05-2017

The IA defines the problems and objectives of the proposed initiative clearly, and relies on comprehensive, and updated, sources of information. Overall, most of the objectives seem to be relevant, sufficiently measurable, and achievable, though not always specific or time-bound. The selection of policy options regarding the 2017-2020 period is not entirely convincing, especially considering that those included in the initial selection were quickly discarded. The IA assesses, with a considerable level of depth, the environmental, economic, and social impacts of the options retained. The analysis is, in general, balanced, clear and comprehensive, and is supported by two quantitative...

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At a Glance – Internet for growth competitiveness and cohesion: European gigabit society and 5G – 24-05-2017

In response to the Commission’s European gigabit society communication, the Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) Committee of the European Parliament has adopted an own-initiative report, due to be discussed in plenary in May. It calls for European global leadership in 5G, the next generation of wireless communication. Due to be available in 2020, 5G is expected to enable an array of new innovative services that will transform sectors such as manufacturing, energy, automotive, and health, bringing them into the era of the internet of things. Source : © European Union, 2017 –...

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Briefing – President Trump’s first months in office: The course of transatlantic relations – 23-05-2017

On 25 May 2017, President Trump attends the NATO Summit in Brussels, as well as meeting with top EU officials, including the Presidents of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, European Council, Donald Tusk, and European Parliament, Antonio Tajani. A review of Trump’s term thus far (using the 100-day benchmark) sheds light on current issues in transatlantic affairs in the context of this visit. While an address to Congress on 3 May by the Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, has helped to clarify the administration’s approach, the implications of Trump’s ‘America First’ policy for EU-US cooperation are still far from...

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Briefing – Capacity mechanisms for electricity – 22-05-2017

Concerns about a lack of investment in electricity generation capacity to meet peak demand have prompted several EU Member States to introduce rewards for making capacity available, in the form of capacity mechanisms. Such mechanisms must conform to the EU guidelines on state aid for environmental protection and energy. However, capacity mechanisms are considered problematic because they risk distorting the internal electricity market. Moreover, purely national mechanisms are not as cost-effective as mechanisms that allow for cross-border participation. To tackle these issues, the European Commission carried out a sector inquiry, in which it analysed capacity mechanisms in the EU...

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