COMMISSION PUBLISHES 2050 ENERGY AND CLIMATE STRATEGY
The Commission published a communication outlining the EU’s energy and climate strategy for 2050, detailing eight possible decarbonisation scenarios including two pathways towards net-zero emissions by 2050. A clear focus is put on the energy and transport sectors to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, whilst more investments should be made in renewable energy and related infrastructure. The strategy aims to kick off discussions on the EU’s long-term strategy for fighting climate change, as per the Union’s commitments to the international Paris Climate Agreement. A strategy must be adopted and sent to the United Nations by early 2020.
COUNCIL ADOPTS POSITION ON REVISION OF GENERAL SAFETY REGULATION
Ministers have agreed a position on a draft regulation on motor vehicles safety aimed at reducing serious road injuries, revising the EU’s General Safety Regulation. A key file of the 3rd Mobility Package, the new text aims to reduce road accidents and better protect vulnerable road users by requiring various mandatory safety features for a range of vehicles, including cars, trucks and buses. The Council now waits for the Parliament to adopt its position, which is not expected to be finalised until Spring 2019.
AGREEMENT REACHED ON PRODUCTION AND LABELLING OF SPIRIT DRINKS
After months of negotiations, the European Parliament and Council have struck a deal on new rules for the production and labelling of spirit drinks and for the registration and protection of spirit drinks registered as geographical indications (GIs). The new agreement will improve labelling for drinks that are combined with other products, define maximum sweetening levels, better protect GIs for products including Cognac, Irish Cream and Ouzo, and further simplify the GI procedure system. The new regulation is expected to come into force in early 2019, once both legislators have signed off on the agreement.
TRILOGUES ON COVERED BONDS TO START IN EARNEST AFTER COUNCIL ADOPTS POSITION
The EU Ambassadors signed off the Council’s General Approach on the harmonised EU framework for covered bonds. The framework comprises a Regulation as regards exposures in the form of covered bonds, plus a Directive on the issue of covered bonds and covered bond public supervision. The new rules provide a common definition of covered bonds, set out the rules allowing the use of the ‘European Covered Bonds’ label and strengthen the conditions for granting preferential prudential treatment to covered bonds under the Capital Requirement Regulation. Given that the European Parliament has already adopted its negotiating position, trilogues are expected to begin in earnest.
NEW RULES ON VETERINARY MEDICINES AND MEDICATED FEED WILL APPLY IN 2021
The Council approved new rules to step up the fight against antimicrobial resistance and improve the availability and safety of veterinary medicines and medicated feed. The adopted animal medicines package includes regulations on veterinary products and the manufacture, placing on the market and use of medicated feed. Together, they lay down procedures for the authorisation and supervision of medicinal products for human and veterinary use. The Council and the European Parliament now need to sign the adopted regulations before they enter into force. The new rules will subsequently apply 24 months later, as of end of 2021.
COMING UP NEXT WEEK
• 3 December: Eurogroup. On the agenda: Assessment of member states’ draft budget plans, deepening EMU – preparation of the December Euro Summit.
• 3-4 December: Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council. On the agenda: Market access and social aspects of the road transport sector, Connecting Europe Facility, Digital Europe, European Cybersecurity competence centre.
• 4 December: Economic and Financial Affairs Council. On the agenda: Digital taxation, banking union, anti-money laundering, European Semester 2019.
• 6-7 December: Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council.
• 6-7 December: Justice and Home Affairs Council.
Karl Isaksson, Managing Partner Brussels, Kreab