FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS
TTIP: COMMISSION PRESENTS INVESTMENT PROTECTION PROPOSAL
Following a round of in-depth consultation with the Council and the European Parliament, the European Commission has finalised its new approach to investment protection and investment dispute resolution in the context of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The proposal has thus now been formally transmitted to the United States and, as part of the Commission’s ongoing transparency drive, has also been made publically available. Read More→
EU FIREARMS CONTROL STRENGTHENED
The European Commission has adopted a new package of measures aiming to tighten firearms control across the EU. Presented on 18th November, the proposal was already foreseen in the European Security Agenda adopted in April but it was significantly accelerated in the wake of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris.
While there is very little official data available on the types of firearms circulating in the EU, the illegal use and trafficking of weapons or indeed criminal activities involving civilian firearms, events such as those in Paris have demonstrated that gaps in the current legislation on firearms and shortcomings at national level are having a significantly negative impact on the level of security in the EU. Read More→
AN IMPORTANT DECEMBER FOR THE EU PNR
On 2nd December 2015, the Council and the European Parliament (EP) achieved an agreement in trialogue on a compromise text on the EU PNR. On 4th December 2015, the Council approved the compromise text. Dimitris Avramopoulos, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, praised it as a “balanced and proportionate agreement,” and Etienne Schneider, Luxembourg’s Deputy Prime Minister for internal Security, said that “we are coming close to our common goal of equipping the EU with an effective PNR system that respects fundamental rights and freedoms.” Timothy Kirkhope (ECR, UK), Rapporteur of the Directive, welcomed the news. While calling for a positive vote in the LIBE Committee, he reminded MEPs that the choice was not “between an EU PNR system and no EU PNR system; it is between an EU PNR system and 28 national PNR systems that will have vastly different, or absent, standards for protecting passengers’ data.” Read More→
PARLIAMENT DEMANDS OVERHAUL OF EU ELECTIONS
Following a debate on 27th October, the European Parliament has adopted a proposal for a set of reforms to the EU Electoral Act with 315 votes in favour, 234 against and 55 abstentions. The Parliament believes that the 1976 act needs to be updated to reflect the new European reality and has moreover suggested that differences in national rules are causing an imbalance for EU citizens.
Indeed, some rather striking divergences appear when you consider the EU as a whole. Voting methods are one area in which important differences arise: while the majority of EU Member States offer some sort of long-distance voting option – be it by post, by proxy, at embassies or electronically – for citizens living abroad, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Malta and Slovakia had no such provisions in place for the 2014 élections. Read More→
ETAT DE L’UNION DE L’ENERGIE
La Commission européenne a publié, le 18 novembre, un premier rapport sur l’état de l’union de l’énergie. Adoptéau mois de février, le cadre stratégique pour une union de l’énergie visait à faciliter la transition vers une économie faible en émissions de carbone, sûre et compétitive au travers d’actions dans cinq domaines clés : la sécurité d’approvisionnement, un marché intérieur de l’énergie totalement intégré, l’efficacitééergéique, le climat et la réduction des émissions et la recherche et l’innovation. L’objectif de ce nouveau rapport est d’examiner les progrès déjà accomplis, d’indiquer les actions clés pour l’anné àvenir et d’en tirer des conclusions pour les politiques à mener aux niveaux régional, national et européen. Read More→