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Author: EP think tank

Briefing – Cross-border payments in the European Union – 06-10-2017

The European single market for payments is based on the idea of providing safer and more innovative payment services across the EU. To this end, the European institutions are working on establishing rules and tools to make payment services easier and to foster competition. The aim is to guarantee common standards in all Member States, efficient, faster and diversified types of payment, and consumer protection. The EU has already put several legislative tools in place, has established common criteria and requirements, and provided alternatives (such as e-money) to ‘traditional’ payment channels. ‘Payment services’ mean those defined by the EU...

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Briefing – Cities: Front line of climate action – 05-10-2017

Cities have a crucial role to play in addressing the climate change challenge and delivering on the ambitions of the Paris Agreement. In the European Union (EU), where nearly three quarters of the population live in urban areas, many cities are leading the way in this regard, taking action in three areas central to increasing energy efficiency and reducing emissions – namely, buildings, energy supply, and transport – and acting as living laboratories of climate-change-related innovation. The EU supports cities in their efforts by providing guidance, promoting experience-and knowledge-sharing, fostering cooperation, and funding climate action. Climate-relevant initiatives are in...

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Briefing – Single Market Information Tool – 05-10-2017

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission’s impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above proposal, submitted on 2 May 2017 and referred to Parliament’s Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection. The creation of a deeper and fairer single market is one of the ten main priorities of the Juncker Commission. To this end, the Commission proposed a new single market strategy in 2015. One of the key areas of the single market strategy’s targeted actions is dedicated to a smart enforcement strategy and the culture of compliance and is...

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Briefing – European Solidarity Corps – 04-10-2017

The Commission launched the European Solidarity Corps in a December 2016 communication, and this proposed regulation aims to set the legal basis for the Corps, defining the budgetary and implementation arrangements for the initiative as well as setting specific objectives and defining key terms. The Corps would have a very strong volunteering strand on the one hand and a much smaller occupational strand on the other. All placements focus on solidarity actions and will last between 2 to 12 months. The proposal sets a target of 100 000 participants with a proposed budget of €341.5 million for the period...

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EU Fact Sheets – General principles of EU industrial policy – 01-09-2017

The EU’s industrial policy aims to make European industry more competitive so that it can maintain its role as a driver of sustainable growth and employment in Europe. Various strategies have been adopted in order to ensure better framework conditions for EU industry, the most recent being described in the communication ‘For a European Industrial Renaissance’, of January 2014. Source : © European Union, 2017 –...

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Briefing – Secondary movements of asylum-seekers in the EU asylum system – 03-10-2017

Secondary movements occur when refugees or asylum-seekers move from the country in which they first arrived to seek protection or for permanent resettlement elsewhere. While most asylum-seekers seek protection in countries close to their countries of origin, some are compelled or choose to move (often in an irregular manner) onwards from or through countries in which they had, or could have sought, international protection, to other countries where they may request such protection. Many different factors may influence such movements and the decision to settle in a particular country. The objective of the current instruments of the Common European...

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Briefing – Definitive VAT system and fighting VAT fraud – 03-10-2017

Council Directive 2006/112/EC lays down the rules applicable to the common system of value added tax (VAT). Among other issues, the Council Directive establishes a temporary VAT system based on ‘the origin principle’, which requires that a VAT rate applicable to transactions is determined by the Member State of the seller’s location. The temporary VAT system, established by the directive was supposed to be replaced by a definitive system. This however has not happened yet despite the latest VAT system having been set up approximately two decades ago. The temporary nature of the current VAT system brings several challenges,...

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Briefing – Horizon 2020 – 03-10-2017

Horizon 2020 – the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020) – is the main instrument financing research and innovation in the European Union and the successor to seven previous Framework Programmes. It is an ambitious, flexible programme, unique in the world in terms of budget, duration, budgetary stability and scope. Since 2014 it has supported more than 13 000 projects in more than 130 participating countries and helped to respond to urgent societal challenges, such as the Ebola crisis. Source : © European Union, 2017 –...

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