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Author: EP think tank

Briefing – Ukraine and the EU [What Think Tanks are thinking] – 25-07-2017

Relations between the European Union and Ukraine have been improving since the Maidan protests ousted President Viktor Yanukovych in 2014, leading to the election of pro-Western Petro Poroshenko as head of state. At their meeting on 12-13 July, EU and Ukrainian leaders welcomed the completion of the ratification of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement and the recent entry into force of visa liberalisation for Ukrainian citizens. However, Ukraine’s security situation remains precarious following Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine, in which Russia’s role is unclear. The EU is also urging Ukraine to fight corruption with...

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Briefing – Drinking Water Directive – 24-07-2017

The Drinking Water Directive (DWD) sets quality standards for drinking water and requires that Member States ensure monitoring and compliance with these standards. By and large, it has been successful, best exemplified by the high, and increasing, levels of compliance across the European Union (EU) with the microbiological, chemical and indicator parameters and values set in the DWD. Notwithstanding this overall success, evidence collected over the past years, most notably through evaluation as well as public and stakeholder consultation, confirm the existence of challenges. These include an outdated list of parameters and parametric values; over-reliance on compliance testing at...

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Study – In Pursuit of an International Investment Court. Recently Negotiated Investment Chapters in EU Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements in Comparative Perspective – 04-07-2017

The study compares the revised and signed text of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EUVFTA) and the EU Singapore Free Trade Agreement (EUSFTA) in respect of important procedural aspects relating to investor State dispute settlement. The findings are juxtaposed to the procedural rules governing the preliminary reference procedure and direct action (action for annulment) before the Court of Justice of the European Union as well as the individual application before the European Court of Human Rights. In doing so, it provides a tool and manual to evaluate the EU’s todays and...

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Study – Liability in Subcontracting Chains: National Rules and the Need for a European Framework – 10-07-2017

This study was commissioned upon request by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs, upon request of the Committee on Legal Affairs. It provides a comprehensive update on recent developments on a European and national level concerning liability in subcontracting chains and the protection of workers involved in subcontracting chains. A strong focus lies on the existing European legal framework and recent developments in that regard. By assessing the country reports and the findings on a European level, the study closes with “Policy Recommendations” and answers the question from its authors view, if the European...

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In-Depth Analysis – EU-Cuba relations: a new chapter begins – 18-07-2017

The Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement (PDCA) between the EU and Cuba, endorsed by the European Parliament (EP) on 5 July 2017, opens a new phase in EU-Cuba relations. Until now Cuba was the only country in Latin America without a cooperation or political dialogue agreement with the EU. The PDCA creates a framework for political dialogue and closer bilateral cooperation, including in trade. The parts of the agreement (mostly related to cooperation and trade issues) that fall within EU competence can already be applied provisionally, but the agreement will only enter into force in full after it has...

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Briefing – Money Market Funds: Measures to improve stability and liquidity – 17-07-2017

Money Market Funds (MMFs) are a type of collective fund that invest in short-term debt and provide financing for financial institutions, corporations and governments. During the financial crisis their liquidity and stability were challenged, which prompted the Commission to propose a regulation on MMFs, in 2013. Its proposal aimed to improve their ability to weather stressed market conditions, mainly through establishing a capital buffer, introducing conditions on portfolio structure, addressing over-reliance on external credit rating agencies and improving their internal risk management, transparency and reporting. The final text lays down rules and common standards to ensure that MMFs have...

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Study – Online and other distance sales of goods – 14-07-2017

This study was requested by the European Parliament’s Committee for Internal Market and Consumer Protection as part of the Parliament’s general commitment to improving the quality of EU legislation, and in particular in undertaking to carry out impact assessments of its own substantial amendments when it considers it appropriate and necessary for the legislative process. The aim of this ex-ante impact assessment is to evaluate two substantial amendments being proposed to the Commission proposal for a directive on certain aspects concerning contracts for the online and other distance sales of goods. The amendments would extend the scope of the...

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In-Depth Analysis – Ten more technologies which could change our lives – 14-07-2017

In 2015, the European Parliament’s Directorate-General for Parliamentary Research Services (DG EPRS) broke new ground with its publication ‘Ten technologies which could change our lives – potential impacts and policy implications’, with each chapter highlighting a particular technology, its promises and potential negative consequences, and the role that the European Parliament could and should play in shaping these developments. This new study continues this work, presenting ten additional technologies that will increasingly require the attention of policy-makers. The topics for the current study have been chosen to reflect the wide range of topics that the Parliament’s Science and Technology...

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