Insights | EU Insight May 18, 2018

EU Insight May 18, 2018

THIRD MOBILITY PACKAGE ADOPTED BY THE COMMISSION

The Commission adopted the third and final part of its Europe On The Move initiative for “safe, connected and clean mobility”. It includes several legislative initiatives as well as non-legislative actions that address CO2 standards for trucks, road safety, infrastructure safety management, connected and automated mobility, and permitting procedures for trans-European transport network (TEN-T) projects. The package also presents a Strategic Action Plan for Batteries. Depending on the nature of the file, some will now go through the legislative procedure, whilst others will be pushed by the Commission itself. 

SINGLE-USE PLASTICS STRATEGY PROPOSES BAN ON STRAWS, CUTLERY

The European Commission’s legislative proposal on reducing the impact of certain plastic products on the environment has leaked. The leaked version includes a ban on several single-use plastic items including cotton sticks, straws, cutlery, plates and balloon sticks, as well as encourage a reduction in the use of food containers and beverage cups through the introduction of consumption reduction targets and minimum targets for reusable packaging. Other measures put forward include a 90% separate collection rate for single-use plastic bottles by weight, plus labelling requirements for sanitary items made of plastic. The proposal is expected to be published by the end of May.

COMMISSION PUBLISHES MEASURES TO FIGHT AIR POLLUTION

The Commission outlined measures to help Member States fight air pollution. The measures rest on three pillars that consist of ambient air quality standards, national emission reduction targets, and emission standards for key sources of pollution. Furthermore, the Commission referred six Member States to court for persistently exceeding limit values for key pollutants with health impacts, namely nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter. Finally, as part of the fitness check on the Ambient Air Quality Directive, the Commission launched a public consultation seeking views on the future of the air quality legislation. The responses are due by the end of July.

START-UPS AND INVESTORS IN MARITIME ECONOMY BROUGHT TOGETHER

The Commission hosted ‘Blue Invest’ this week, the first ever event that aims to bring together start-ups and investors in the maritime economy from across the EU. Commissioner Vella said: “Our experience shows that matching the right maritime start-up to the right investor can create an ocean of opportunity. That is the goal of Blue Invest. The huge turn-out at Blue Invest illustrates how the European Commission is at the forefront of ocean investment.” The ‘blue’ economy constitutes activities such as aquaculture, tourism, ocean energy and biotechnology, with the sector growing at a quicker pace than the rest of the EU economy. 

COMMISSION REPORT FINDS EUROPEAN AGENDA ON MIGRATION FRAGILE

The European Commission published a report outlining progress made under the European Agenda on Migration and the Commission’s roadmap from December 2017. While the report finds that some progress has been made, the overall situation remains fragile. This is due to continuous migratory pressure, as can be witnessed by new arrivals from the Eastern and Western Mediterranean routes. The report outlines further steps to be taken, particularly the need for Member States to implement the pledges made to support the work of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency at the external border.

COMING UP NEXT WEEK

  • 22 May: Foreign Affairs Council (Development). On the agenda: EU trust fund for Africa, post-Cotonou framework, external financing instruments, gender and development.
  • 22 May: Foreign Affairs Council (Trade). On the agenda: Australia and New Zealand FTAs, new architecture of trade agreements, multilateral trading system, Japan and Singapore, EU-US relations.
  • 22-23 May: Education, Youth, Culture and Sports Council. On the agenda: education, youth, culture, sport.
  • 23 May: European Economic Area Council. On the agenda: overall functioning of the EEA Agreement, review of the European Supervisory Authorities, EEA Agreement and UK withdrawal from the EU.
  • 24 May: Eurogroup.
  • 25 May: Economic and Financial Affairs Council. On the agenda: banking industry, macroeconomic imbalances, age-related expenditure, administrative cooperation.

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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