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Author: EP think tank

Briefing – Improving global value chains key for EU trade – 13-06-2016

Global value chains, and the related trade in intermediate goods and services, dominate today’s interconnected economy. Tragic events, such as the collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory in 2013, have shed new light on the operation of these chains. Pressure is mounting on the various stakeholders involved at both national and international levels to prevent and mitigate the risks of the adverse effects linked to their functioning. Although a number of promising initiatives have been launched and some improvements have been made, much remains to be done. Promotion of sustainability and responsible management of global value chains figure prominently on the agendas of organisations such as the United Nations (UN), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the International Labour Organization (ILO). The EU also plays a part. One of the main objectives of the EU is to integrate sustainability, with its various economic, social and environmental dimensions, into all relevant internal policies and external action. Against this backdrop and building on its ongoing initiatives, existing policy frameworks and instruments, the EU is and has been encouraging efforts to promote sustainable value chains. How best to address this challenge is key to the EU’s new trade and investment strategy ‘Trade for all’. The new European Commission initiatives currently under development, such as the EU Garment Initiative and the EU Action Plan on Responsible Business Conduct, and...

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In-Depth Analysis – Airports in the EU: Challenges ahead – 09-06-2016

With soaring passenger traffic and an increasing number of destinations and connections, air transport in the EU has been undergoing profound change in recent decades, impacting on airports as key players in the aviation value chain and civil aviation infrastructure. EU airports, which differ significantly in size and role, had to adapt following the liberalisation of the internal market for aviation; they now have commercial objectives and compete to attract and retain traffic. This analysis provides a comprehensive overview of the challenges confronting EU airports, beginning with an overview of historical developments up to today, and focusing in particular on connectivity issues, the economics of airports, and future trends. The second part looks at the measures taken by the EU to tackle the challenges facing airports, including the Commission’s recent Aviation Strategy for Europe. Source : © European Union, 2016 –...

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EU Fact Sheets – Consumer policy: principles and instruments – 01-05-2016

European consumer policy is a vital element of a well-functioning internal market. It aims to guarantee consumers rights vis-à-vis merchants and to provide additional protection, for example for vulnerable consumers. Empowering consumers and effectively protecting their safety and economic interests have become essential goals of European policy in the area of consumer protection. Source : © European Union, 2016 –...

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EU Fact Sheets – Consumer protection measures – 01-05-2016

European measures for consumer protection aim to protect the health, safety and economic and legal interests of European consumers, wherever they live, travel or shop in the EU. EU provisions regulate both physical transactions and e-commerce, and contain rules of general applicability together with provisions targeting specific products, including drugs, genetically modified organisms, tobacco products, cosmetics, toys and explosives. Source : © European Union, 2016 –...

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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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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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