EU Public & Regulatory Affairs

Weekly EU news: Monday 5 January - Friday 9 January 2015


Monday 5 January

On 1 January:

  • Lithuania joined the euro area. memo.
  • Latvia took over the presidency of the EU Council for the first time. It will lead and coordinate member states’ work for the next six months. https://eu2015.lv/
    According to its programme, the objectives of the Lithuanian Presidency will be as follows:
    • Credible Europe with a stable financial sector and public finance and effective growth oriented EU economic governance and stronger social dimension,
    • Growing Europe through greater investment into research and technological development, deeper integration of the internal
    market, as well as better employment opportunities and sustainable social security,
    • Open Europe able to tackle global challenges effectively, promoting democratic values, contributing to safe neighbourhood, and actively protecting the rights of EU citizens.

 

Tuesday 6 January

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Wednesday 7 January

The European Commission published a raft of texts setting out EU proposals for legal text in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) it is negotiating with the US. The so-called 'textual proposals' set out actual language and binding commitments which the EU would like to see in the parts of the agreement covering regulatory and rules issues. The eight EU textual proposals cover competition, food safety and animal and plant health, customs issues, technical barriers to trade, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and government-to-government dispute settlement (GGDS, not to be confused with ISDS). The Commission has also published TTIP position papers explaining the EU's approach on engineering, vehicles, and sustainable development, bringing the total number of position papers it has made public up to 15. Press release.

 

Thursday 8 January

The European Commission published its latest Employment and Social Situation Quarterly Review. The review shows that despite the weak macroeconomic background, employment has shown a small but consistent growth in the EU since mid-2013.
Two reports supplement the review:

  • Towards tax reforms that reconcile efficiency and equity concerns (link). This report shows that the reduction of the tax burden on labour has been an essential part of the 2014 Country-Specific Recommendations.
  • Health and social services from an employment and economic perspective (link).

 

Friday 9 January 

Statistics

  • In November 2014 compared with October 2014, the seasonally adjusted volume of retail trade rose by 0.6% in the euro area (EA18) and by 0.8% in the EU28. Details
  • In November 2014, compared with October 2014, industrial producer prices fell by 0.3% in the euro area (EA18) and by 0.4% in the EU28. Details.
  • In 2013, flows of money sent by EU28 residents to a non-EU country, referred to as personal transfers, amounted to €28.3 billion, while inflows to the EU28 totalled €10.3 bn. Details

New rules applying as of tomorrow mean businesses and consumers will be able to resolve cross-border legal disputes more easily – bringing expected savings of up to €48 million each year in the EU. The rules abolish the costly and lengthy procedure, which is currently used 10,000 times per year to get judgments in civil and commercial matters recognised in other EU countries. Press release.