Insights | EU Insight, 31 March 2023

03/04/2023

EU Insight, 31 March 2023

Brussels, 31 March 2023

 

FIT FOR 55: DEALS ON ALTERNATIVE FUELS INFRASTRUCTURE AND RENEWABLE ENERGY

The European Parliament and the Council agreed on revised rules on infrastructure for alternative fuels. The agreement seeks to expand the deployment of charging or alternative refuelling stations for cars, trucks and other transport modes to bring Europe closer to its climate ambitions. The Parliament and Council also concluded the revision of the Renewable Energy Directive, where they agreed to raise the share of renewables in the EU’s final energy consumption to 42.5% by 2030, with a voluntary target of 45%. The legislation also aims to speed up permit procedures for new renewable energy power plants.

 

COUNCIL AGREES ON GAS AND HYDROGEN PACKAGE

The Council agreed on its negotiating position on the proposal setting out common EU rules for renewable and natural gases and hydrogen. The proposals aim to foster the transition of the gas sector towards renewable and low-carbon gases, particularly biomethane and hydrogen. Notably, negotiations on the package stumbled on provisions related to hydrogen produced by nuclear power, which in the end, despite France’s efforts, were removed. Additionally, the Council agreed to prolong the EU gas demand reduction measures in relation to the energy crisis. These set an indicative target for EU member states to voluntarily reduce their demand by 15%.

 

PARLIAMENT ADOPTS POSITION ON MIGRATION AND ASYLUM PROCEDURES

The European Parliament adopted its position on new migration and asylum rules. Concretely, the position calls for new measures for checks at EU borders for individuals not fulfilling the entry conditions of an EU member state, those entering the EU irregularly or disembarking following a search and rescue operation, and asylum seekers at a border point. Notably, the rules provide guidance on the length of the screening procedure, which should not take more than 5 days (10 during crises). Furthermore, the screening procedure should include identification control, fingerprinting, security checks, and preliminary health and vulnerability assessment, and should end with a debriefing to the national authorities.

 

PRESIDENT VON DER LEYEN ON EU-CHINA RELATIONS

The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, held a speech on EU-China relations, ahead of her trip to China next week. Underlining the importance of the relationship, the President explained that managing the relations will be a determining factor for the EU’s future national security and economic prosperity. Nevertheless, she emphasised the need for the EU to develop new trade defensive tools to safeguard a number of critical sectors which could be used for dual-use purposes or human rights violations. In this context, the Commission is developing an instrument for the screening of outbound investments as part of a new European Economic Security Strategy to be unveiled later in the year.

 

PARLIAMENT ADOPTS POSITION ON MONEY LAUNDERING AND TERRORIST FINANCING

The European Parliament’s responsible committees adopted a position on the new provisions of EU Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism policy. The adopted package includes a EU single rulebook Regulation, providing more stringent rules on customers’ due diligence, transparency of beneficial owners, and the use of anonymous instruments. The package provides for the sixth revision of the Anti-Money Laundering Directive, harmonising supervision, the use of Financial Intelligence Units, as well as access for competent authorities to necessary and reliable information. Finally, the package purports the Regulation establishing the European Anti-Money Laundering Authority.

 

COMING UP NEXT WEEK

  • 5 April: College of Commissioners. On the agenda: Save Bees and Farmers Initiative, Initiative on transfer of criminal proceeding.

 

Karl Isaksson, Managing Partner Brussels, Kreab

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Kreab • Tel: +32 2 737 6900 • karl.isaksson@kreab.comwww.kreab.com/brussels • Twitter: @KreabEU.

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