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Author: EP think tank

Briefing – Integrated social services for more efficient service delivery – 07-06-2016

For the past four decades, and even more so since the crisis of 2008, integrated social services have been considered an efficient tool for helping all people, but particularly vulnerable ones, to participate successfully in society. What are these services, what can they really achieve and what are their limitations? Due to their complex nature, resulting from combining several services from employment, through health, social protection and education, they have only partly been mapped systematically across Europe. Several European policies provide support for social innovation and within this context also for integrated social services. The policy dilemmas surrounding the implementation of these services go to the heart of the concept shaping traditional welfare state models. Integrated social services and the policies related to them can contribute to the realisation of ‘Social Triple A’ for the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), which is a major objective of the Juncker Commission. Source : © European Union, 2016 –...

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Briefing – The Implementation of the Environmental Liability Directive: A Survey of the Assessment Process Carried Out by the Commission – 06-06-2016

By letter dated 26 January 2016 the Legal Affairs Committee requested the Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs to commission a research project looking into the way Directive 2004/35/CE of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004 on environmental liability with regard to the prevention and remedying of environmental damage (ELD) is applied in the Member States with a view to putting forward conclusions and recommendations for future policy steps. Source : © European Union, 2016 –...

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In-Depth Analysis – Promotion of renewable energy sources in the EU: EU policies and Member State approaches – 07-06-2016

This paper analyses the development of renewable energy sources (RES) in the EU, with a focus on support mechanisms at the EU and Member State level, including current and upcoming reforms. It presents the principal support mechanisms for RES, as well as developments in selected Member States, outlines the main technical and regulatory challenges associated with an increasing share of renewable energy and highlights the involvement and positions of the European Parliament. The development of renewable energy sources (RES) is a priority for the European Union. One of the goals of the EU Energy Union strategy is making the EU the world leader in renewable energies. The Renewable Energy Directive sets national targets for all Member States, which remain free to decide how they support RES within the EU energy market rules. The Commission plans to revise the Renewable Energy Directive and other RES-related legislation in 2016. Renewables have a growing share in energy consumption in the EU. However, RES investments in Europe have fallen in recent years due to regulatory changes, economic slowdown and falling technology costs. The development of RES poses a number of technical and regulatory challenges, notably their integration into electricity grids and the sustainability of biofuels, and requires a market design that encourages investment while keeping costs under control. The European Parliament supports the growth of RES in the EU and has called for...

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Briefing – Medical devices and in vitro diagnostic medical devices – 07-06-2016

Medical devices and in vitro diagnostic medical devices cover a wide array of products, from sticking plasters, to heart valves, to state-of-the-art analytical laboratory equipment, with over 500 000 devices on the EU market. The EU legal framework for such devices was harmonised in the 1990s. The European Commission presented a pair of proposals for regulations in September 2012, to update the framework. Following Parliament’s first readings in April 2014, the Council agreed its positions in October 2015. At the conclusion of the tenth trilogue meeting, agreement was reached on both proposals on 25 May 2016. The compromise centres on stricter requirements for notified bodies, stronger pre-market scrutiny and post-marketing surveillance; strengthened rules for high-risk devices and certain other categories of devices; and increased transparency and traceability. This updates a previous edition from December 2015: PE 572.819. Source : © European Union, 2016 –...

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Study – The Cost of Non-Schengen: the Impact of Border Controls within Schengen on the Single Market – 07-06-2016

This paper considers the costs of four scenarios for the reintroduction of border controls within the Schengen area: for two years for seven countries; for two years across the Schengen area; indefinitely for seven countries; and indefinitely across the Schengen area. It identifies how a reintroduction of borders would create costs of ‘non-Schengen’ and estimates that cost quantitatively. For the highest-cost scenario — indefinite suspension of the whole Schengen area – the cost is 0.06-0.14 per cent of EU GDP, or some €100 billion to €230 billion over ten years. Source : © European Union, 2016 –...

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Study – The Legal and Political Context for Setting Up a European Identity Document – 02-06-2016

This study was commissioned and supervised by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the AFCO Committee. It assesses the added value of setting up a European identity card. It also analyses the legal and political feasibility of and challenges for setting up an operable European identity card given the current legislative and political context. Moreover, it puts forward recommendations as regards the legal and technical components required for the setting up of an operable European ID card. Source : © European Union, 2016 –...

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Briefing – Vicious circles: The interplay between Europe’s financial and sovereign debt crises – 06-06-2016

From 2007 a series of crises in the economic and financial sphere hit the European Union. These were partly linked and tended to amplify each other. Two of the hardest hitting, the financial and sovereign debt crises, were closely intertwined and put immense pressure on the euro area, stressing the financial sector and pushing Member State governments’ budgets to their very limits. Several Member States lost access to the capital markets, and required financial assistance from both the euro area and the IMF. Unlike the United States economy, the euro area economy has failed to bounce back from the economic crisis owing to its ongoing sovereign debt crisis. Although the initial shock of the financial crisis came from the United States of America, the crisis took a different twist in the euro area, which was not prepared for such an event. There were no proper crisis resolution mechanisms in place, nor were there sufficient budgetary margins available to save the banks and reinvigorate the economy without putting the sustainability of public finances in jeopardy. The Stability and Growth Pact, a central element of Economic and Monetary Union, had failed to produce the necessary fiscal margin. Problems were compounded by macroeconomic imbalances that had built up inside several Member States. The European Union fought on two parallel fronts: saving banks and supporting stressed sovereigns in order to extinguish the fire,...

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Study – Potential and Challenges of e-Participation in the European Union – 06-06-2016

This study was commissioned and supervised by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the AFCO Committee. European countries have started exploring e-participation as a way to regain citizens’ trust and revitalise European democracy by developing a more responsive, transparent and participatory decision-making process. The main objectives of the study are to identify best practices in EU Member States, describe e-participation tools and initiatives at the EU level, and explain the benefits and challenges of e-participation. Source : © European Union, 2016 –...

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