Briefing – Improving corporate sustainability reporting – 27-07-2021

The European Commission proposed to improve sustainability reporting by revising the non-financial reporting directive 2014/95/EU. The accompanying impact assessment (IA) provides a well-defined problem that is substantiated with evidence, a clear set of objectives that correspond to the problems identified and makes effort to cover SMEs in the consultation strategy. Overall, the evidence used in the IA seems recent and reliable. However, the IA has not set any concrete targets, indicators or timelines for achieving its objectives. The range of options in the IA appears rather imbalanced, the analysis has been predominantly economic and has focused on the effectiveness of meeting the specific objectives and their costs, while the discussion of benefits has remained rather descriptive. Environmental impacts seem to have been completely excluded, the costs of indirect effects on SMEs in the supply chains of large companies have not been quantified and the benefits for listed SMEs have not been elaborated on.

Source : © European Union, 2021 – EP

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Briefing – Application of the equal pay principle through pay transparency measures – 22-07-2021

This briefing provides an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the impact assessment (IA) accompanying the Commission proposal for a directive aimed at strengthening the application of the principle of equal pay for equal work or work of equal value between men and women, enshrined in Article 119 of the Treaty of Rome. Following two negative opinions of the Regulatory Scrutiny Board and an exceptional third positive one, the IA provides a good problem definition. The IA coherently identifies the problem drivers and makes a compelling case for the consequences should situation remain unchanged. The options retained for assessment seem built around a pre-selected preferred option package. The analysis regarding the impact on SMEs appears to be insufficiently developed while the one on competitiveness is missing. The proposal includes all the measures presented in the IA’s preferred package as well as two extra measures which were suggested, but not explicitly included in the preferred package.

Source : © European Union, 2021 – EP

Study – The European Commission’s New Pact on Migration and Asylum. Horizontal substitute impact assessment – 12-08-2021

This ‘Horizontal Substitute Impact Assessment of the European Commission’s New Pact on Migration and Asylum’ was requested by the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE). The impact assessment focuses on the main proposed changes implied by the European Commission’s New Pact, with a particular focus on the following four proposals: 1) Asylum and Migration Management Regulation (RAMM); 2) Crisis and Force Majeure Regulation; 3) Amended Asylum Procedure Regulation (APR); and 4) Screening Regulation. The horizontal substitute impact assessment critically assesses the ‘system’ and underlying logic of the proposed New Pact with the aim to analyse how the four Commission proposals would work and interact in practice. The impact assessment also assesses whether and to what extent the proposed New Pact addresses the identified shortcomings and implementational problems of the current EU asylum and migration law and policy. Moreover, the impact assessment identifies and assesses the expected impacts on fundamental rights, as well as economic, social and territorial impacts of the proposed New Pact.

Source : © European Union, 2021 – EP

Briefing – Artificial intelligence act – 26-07-2021

The Commission is proposing a new Artificial Intelligence Act laying down rules harmonised rules on AI. This initial appraisal of the Commission’s impact assessment on the proposal notes how the impact assessment the impact assessment banks on a wealth of available research on the topic at hand and uses numerous sources to underpin the discussion. It observes that the impact assessment offers a diverse and realistic range of options and traces a clear intervention logic connecting the problems and their drivers with the specific objectives and the policy options.

Source : © European Union, 2021 – EP

Briefing – EU rural development policy: Impact, challenges and outlook – 08-07-2021

On 30 June 2021, the European Commission adopted a communication on its long-term vision for the EU’s rural areas. The communication identifies areas of action with a view to creating new momentum for the EU’s rural areas, while recognising their diversity. In recent decades, in many Member States rural areas have experienced depopulation. Such regions face a range of environmental and socio-economic challenges. These include, for example, lower income per capita, a higher percentage of the population at risk of poverty and social exclusion, a lack of access to basic infrastructure and services, and lower levels of access to fast broadband internet. The EU’s rural development policy has sought to help address these challenges. Evaluation evidence is emerging on the impact of the common agricultural policy (CAP) on the territorial development of the EU’s rural areas. Measures relating to village renewal and LEADER (Liaison entre Actions de Développement de l’Économie rurale) measures are considered to be well-targeted and relevant to local needs, although they represent a small proportion of CAP financing. Administrative burdens have been raised as an issue that can impact on the developmental process. Recommendations from this evaluation evidence point to the need for better integration of funding streams, the need to maintain a dialogue across the European structural funds, and all the implications this may have for the new CAP strategic plans. The Commission’s recommendations to Member States on their CAP strategic plans highlight a number of recurring themes relating to the employment, education and training needs of rural areas, including the need to address rural depopulation, promote generational renewal, improve connectivity, and address the role played by action taken at local level. The Commission’s communication on a long-term vision for rural areas includes provision for a ‘rural pact’ to engage actors at EU, national, rural and local levels and an EU rural action plan, setting out a range of initiatives and actionable projects. The vision and its supporting analyses will provide a framework for addressing the future of the EU’s rural areas.

Source : © European Union, 2021 – EP

Briefing – Strengthening Europol’s mandate – 20-07-2021

Europol has been at the forefront of fighting serious and organised crime in the EU. However, with digital transformations and a global interconnectedness emerging, security threats have become more complex. Against this background, the Commission has published a recast proposal of the Europol Regulation with the objective of, inter alia, (1) enabling Europol to support Member States and their investigations through big data analysis; (2) enabling Europol to directly exchange data with private parties; and (3) strengthening Europol’s role on research and innovation. While the Commission made efforts to analyse the problems at hand in the accompanying Impact Assessment, more detailed information on the scale and size of the different problems would have been useful. The Commission conducted several targeted consultations for this initiative, but did not carry out a mandatory 12-week open public consultation. The IA assesses relevant impacts, including fundamental rights impacts.

Source : © European Union, 2021 – EP

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