Highlights – Meetings with Slovenian Presidency representatives in committees

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Parliament’s committees will meet representatives of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union to discuss its priorities in relation to the committees’ respective areas of responsibility. These meetings will start taking place in the week of 12 July 2021. The Slovenian Presidency started in the beginning of July and will run until the end of December 2021.

Source : © European Union, 2021 – EP

Related Articles

Briefing – Rail passengers’ rights and obligations in the EU – 12-07-2021

In 2007, the EU established a set of basic rights for rail passengers, which became applicable at the end of 2009. These rights provide for all passengers, including those with reduced mobility, a harmonised minimum level of protection, information and assistance. Reports have concluded that the implementation of these rights, although relatively smooth, is not done uniformly across the EU. Moreover, other shortcomings have prevented these rights from being used to their full potential. In September 2017, the European Commission presented a new proposal to address these issues and to strike a new balance between keeping rail operators competitive and providing adequate passenger protection. The European Parliament adopted its first-reading position on this proposal on 15 November 2018. For its part, the Council adopted its general approach on 2 December 2019, under the Finnish Presidency. Interinstitutional negotiations began at the end of January 2020, and on 1 October 2020, under the Germany Presidency, Council and Parliament reached a provisional agreement on the text. On 29 April 2021, the European Parliament voted in favour of the agreed text as adopted by the Council. The new rules were published in the Official Journal of the EU on 17 May 2021. They will apply in principle to all international and domestic rail journeys and services in the EU from 7 June 2023. However, Member States may exempt domestic rail services for a limited time. Seventh edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

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 – Re-starting tourism in the EU amid the pandemic – 13-07-2021

Tourism plays an enormously important role in the EU economy and society. It generates foreign exchange, supports jobs and businesses, and drives forward local development and cultural exchanges. It also makes places more attractive, not only as destinations to visit but also as locations to live, work, invest and study. Furthermore, as tourism is closely linked with many other sectors – particularly transport – it also affects the wider economy. The coronavirus pandemic has hit the tourism sector hard. The impact on various tourist destinations in the EU has been asymmetrical and highly localised, reflecting differences in types of tourism on offer, varying travel restrictions, the size of domestic tourism markets, level of exposure to international tourism, and the importance of tourism in the local economy. At the beginning of summer 2021, several EU Member States started to remove certain travel restrictions (such as the requirements for quarantine or testing for fully vaccinated travellers coming from certain countries). However, all continue to apply many sanitary and health measures (such as limits on the number of people in common areas, and cleaning and disinfection of spaces). Such measures and restrictions change in line with the evolving public health situation, sometimes at short notice, making recovery difficult for the sector. The EU and its Member States have provided the tourism sector with financial and other support. Some measures were already adopted in 2020. Others were endorsed only shortly before the beginning of summer 2021. One flagship action has been the speedy adoption of an EU Digital Covid Certificate. This certificate harmonises, at EU level, proof of vaccination, Covid-19 test results and certified recovery from the virus. However, it does not end the patchwork of travel rules. Despite efforts to harmonise travel rules at Council level, Member States still apply different rules to various categories of traveller (such as children or travellers arriving from third countries).

Source : © European Union, 2021 – EP

In-Depth Analysis – Economic Dialogue and Exchange of Views with the President of the Council (ECOFIN) – 09-07-2021

Minister Andrej Šircelj, Minister of Finance of Slovenia, is participating in the ECON Committee in his capacity of President of the ECOFIN Council during the Slovenian Presidency (July-December 2021). In accordance with the Treaty of the Union, “Member States shall regard their economic policies as a matter of common concern and shall coordinate them within the Council”.
This briefing provides an overview of the Slovenian Presidency priorities in ECON matters, including the Council’s work relating to the implementation of the European Semester for economic coordination, notably the application of the Recovery and Resilience Facility and deepening of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU).

Source : © European Union, 2021 – EP

Briefing – European Defence Fund: Multiannual financial framework 2021-2027 – 02-07-2021

In June 2018, the European Commission presented a legislative proposal on a European Defence Fund, including a budget allocation of €11.5 billion in constant 2018 prices for the 2021-2027 period. The proposal aimed to streamline and simplify the set-up in place at the time by integrating the Preparatory Action on Defence Research (research window) and the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (as one part of the capability window) into a single Fund. The main aims of the Fund would be to foster the competitiveness and innovativeness of European defence and to contribute to the EU’s strategic autonomy. In this regard, the Fund would inter alia support collaborative industrial projects; co finance the costs of prototype development; encourage the participation of small and medium-sized enterprises; and promote projects in the framework of permanent structured cooperation. Synergies were expected with other EU initiatives in the field of cybersecurity, maritime transport, border management, Horizon Europe, the space programme and the European Peace Facility. In April 2019, after several trilogue meetings, Parliament and Council reached a partial agreement on the Fund, covering the content, but not, among other things, budgetary issues. Parliament adopted its position at first reading in April 2019. A provisional political agreement on the outstanding issues was reached in December 2020. The Council adopted its first-reading position in March 2021 and the Parliament adopted the text at second reading on 29 April. The final act was published in the Official Journal on 12 May.

Source : © European Union, 2021 – EP

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