Tag Archives: regulation

Proposals for the Cohesion Policy 2014-2020

The Commission has published its proposals which will frame cohesion policy for 2014-2020. The first part of the proposal sets out common rules governing the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the Cohesion Fund, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). The second part sets out common rules governing the three main funds delivering the objectives of cohesion policy: the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Cohesion Fund (CF).

When adopted, the legislation package will establish a common strategic framework for the ERDF, ESF, CF, the EAFRD and EMFF. A Partnership Contract will be agreed between the Commission and each EU Member State, bringing together all the country’s commitments to delivering European objectives and targets. Before funds are paid out, authorities will have to demonstrate that satisfactory strategic, regulatory and institutional frameworks are in place to ensure the funds are used effectively. The release of additional funds will be dependent on performance. Deficiencies in macroeconomic policy (excessive budget deficits, etc.) will lead to suspension of the cohesion financing. Procedures will be simplified and computerised where possible. Eligibility rules for EU funding instruments will be harmonised.



Final Compromise on the Citizens’ Initiative

The Constitutional Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, the Commission and the Council have reached an agreement on the so-called citizens’ initiative (art. 24 TFEU). The citizens’ initiative allows one million citizens to ask the Commission to propose a new EU law. The main points:

  • the admissibility check on an initiative will be made at the point of registration,
  • a citizens’ committee of at least seven members coming from seven Member States should be set up to register an initiative,
  • the signatories must come from a minimum one-quarter of the Member States,
  • the Commission will help initiative organisers by providing a user-friendly guide and setting up a point of contact,
  • if an initiative manages to collect one million signatures, a proper follow-up will be guaranteed, including a public hearing,
  • Member States will choose how to verify the authenticity of signatures.



Member States Criticize Proposal on GMO

The Member States have criticized and in fact rejected a proposal by the European Commission on a new type of regulation on genetically modified organisms (GMOs). According to EUobserver both pro-GMO and anti-GMO Member States have objected the newly proposed regime. The Commission proposal provides that the general approval of the GMO will still be made on EU level under current rules, but once GMOs are approved, Member States will be able to decide whether to allow the introduction of the GMOs on their territory or not.

This reaction is not surprising, but the current discord on GMOs must be managed somehow. So the Commission proposal at least provides a starting point for negotiations. Member States should also keep in mind that they need the approval of the European Parliament, where reaching a consensus will also be difficult.

Call for Expert Help in Financial Regulation by the MEPs

This is both extraordinary and unusual. A group of MEPs has publicly complained of the pressure exerted by the financial and banking industry to influence the laws governing it (hat tip: Hajo Friedrich). The MEPs call on NGOs, trade unions, academic researchers, think-tanks, etc., to organize to create one (or more) non-governmental organizations capable of developing a counter-expertise on activities carried out on financial markets.

More, the declaration states that:

“In the U.S. the connections between Goldman Sachs and the government are known. But in Europe this proximity is by no means smaller.”

Although somewhat self-deprecating, this call should be taken seriously. The financial services sector is too important  to be governed by one-sided expertise.

New EU Legislation on Investment Issues

Two new legal acts have been published in the Official Journal that deal with the investment process. Regulation (EC) No 1060/2009 on credit rating agencies introduces a common regulatory approach in order to enhance the integrity, transparency, responsibility, good governance and reliability of credit rating activities. Directive 2009/65/EC applies to undertakings for collective investment in transferable securities (UCITS) established within the territory of the European Union.

Both acts are quite detailed.


Common EU Rules for Exports

The new Regulation (EC) No 1061/2009 establishing common rules for exports has been published in the Official Journal.

The principle set out in the regulation is that the exportation of all goods from the European Union shall be free, with the exception of the restrictions provided for in that regulation.


The Economic and Financial Crisis – the EU Legal Perspective

A new, useful report by Prof. Sideek Mohamed Seyad provides a legal analysis of the global financial crisis from a European perspective.

According to Prof. Seyad, it is difficult to coordinate a common approach in an emergency situation under the EU legal system. One of the reasons is that the European Union has no competence to legislate in some areas, such as taxation. In other sectors, such as the cross-border provision of banking services, regulation is to a great extent handled at the national level.

The report says that in responding to the crisis, national interests began to override the broader goal of European integration as Member States adopted various measures to protect their own industries.

A general conclusion is that the future stability and unity of the EU would largely depend on the restoration of normalcy in the eastern part of its territory.

New Regulation on Feed

The new Regulation (EC) No 767/2009 on the placing on the market and use of feed has been published in the Official Journal. This means that the production, distribution and use of feed will now be regulated by a single regulation.

Useful Tool on Financial Regulation Reform in the EU and US

A graphic tool by the Financial Times explains the existing framework and proposed changes to financial regulation in the EU, US and UK.

To my best knowledge, the UK is still an EU Member State. However, it is not part of the eurozone and London is the biggest financial centre in Europe. That explains the separate heading.

Proposal for New Regulation on Gas Supplies

The European Commission has adopted a proposal for a new regulation to improve security of gas supplies in the framework of the internal gas market.

The proposed Regulation on security of gas supply provides a common indicator to define a serious gas supply disruption. This is known as N-1, i.e. the shutdown of a major supply infrastructure or equivalent (e.g. import pipeline or production facility). It requires all Member States to have a competent authority that would be responsible for monitoring gas supply developments, assessing risks to supplies, establishing preventive action plans and setting up emergency plans.