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ESBA Bulletin of 30 October 2017

30 October 2017
by ESBA -- last modified 30 October 2017


IN BRIEF

EU/Digital Single Market: EP greenlight LIBE position on e-Privacy

On 27 October 2017, with a majority of almost 40 votes, the European Parliment adopted it's position on the revision of revise the European Union's e-privacy rules. One of the main features of the EP position is a ban on "cookie walls"as well as measures to prohibit companies from spying on personal devices via cookies or software updates. As indicated by MEP Laristin, "The e-privacy regulation is designed to adapt the rules on the confidentiality of communication for the reality of the 21st Century.Talks with the Council will start as soon as member states reach an agreement on the issue

For more information about the EU e-Privacy regulation, please click here

EU/Finance: EU Banking reform is finally on the speed-lane

On 26 Octobe 2017, the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission have agreed to fast-track a number of elements of the EU Banking Reform pachage proposed in Novemnber 2016: the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD), the Capital Requirements Regulation (CRR) and Directive (CRD). In particular, the agreement on the BRRD is expected to create a new category of unsecured debt in bank creditors' insolvency ranking, amd it will establishe an EU harmonised approach on the priority ranking of bank bond holders in insolvency and in resolution.

For more information on the EU Banking Reform please click here

EU/Posted Workers: Despite persisting disagreemts, the EP pleanary voted in favour of starting negotiations with member states on the controvertial Directive on Posted Workers

On 25 October 2017, the EP plenary followed the Employment Committee's decision to start negotiations with the Council on the Posted Worker Directive. The proposed reforms  aims to ensure better protection of posted workers and fair competition for companies.

For more information on the Posted Worker Directive please click here

EU/Social Pillar: The Council puts final stone on the Proclametion of the European Pillar of Social Rights

On 24 October 2017, the President of the Council, Jevgeni Ossinovski, Minister for Health and Labour of Estonia, announced that the EU Employment and Social Policy ministers reached a unanimous agreement on the text of the Proclamation of the European Pillar of Social Rights. Mr. Ossinovski stated that the Proclamation is the EU answer  to safeguard its principles of equality, fairness and support for the vulnerable in the face of globalisation, digitalisation and the changing nature of work.

For more information on the European Pillar of Social Rights please click here

EU/Social affairs: the new index on gender equality

On 23 October 2017, the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) presented its new index on gender equality, intersected with the issue of disability, age (therefore pensions), violence, gender segregation and the quality of spare time. Ten years after the release of the first index on gender equality, the gap remains an important issue to address, in particular in some member states where the gap hasn't changed much. The European Commission presented its initiatives on gender equality as well, addressing the paternity leave, the violence against women, etc.

For more information on the Gender Equality Index 2017 please click here

EU/Social affairs: Pillar of Social Rights: Council gives green light for proclamation by the institutions

On 23 October 2017, in Luxembourg, EU Employment and Social Policy ministers agreed unanimously on the text of the Proclamation of the European Pillar of Social Rights and gave the authorisation to sign it on behalf of the member states at the Gothenburg Summit. The President of the Council, Jevgeni Ossinovski, Minister for Health and Labour of Estonia, said: "The ministers were unanimous in their support for the Social Pillar. We all recognise that in the face of globalisation, digitalisation and the changing nature of work, our social systems need to change but remain robust. The proclamation summarises what Europe believes in and what makes it unique: a continent of equality, fairness and support for the vulnerable." 

For more information on the Council proclamation please click here

EU\Digital Single Martet: More local economy in the service economy!

On 12 October 2017, The Committee of the Regions took position on the EC agenda for the implementation of the DSM. Removing barriers to cross-border trade and investment in services is one of the key pillars of the European Commission's strategy to fully realize the potential of the internal market, with measures such as the European service e-card, the notification procedure, and the proportionality test. However, according to the CoR, despite the potential benefit those proposals do not take sufficiently into account regional and local economies and risk to cause additional administrative burdens and to interfere in national legislative procedures. In particular, CoR rapporteur Vanraes warned against a "one size fits all" approach and remarked that "it is solely for Member States, be it at national, regional, or local level, to decide whether and how to regulate professions".

For more information on EU Digital Single Market, please click here.

EU/Tax: A fairer system for Businesses and Citizens: new rules to resolves tax disputes

On 10 October 2017, during the ECOFFIN meeting in Luxembourg the finance Minister of the Member States decide to give accept the new rules in resolving tax dispute. It will ensure disputes related to the interpretation of tax treaties can be resolved more swiftly and effectively. This new system will improve the legal certainty and should somehow solve the double taxation related problems. The new rules will touch a wider range of cases and the Member States will now need to meet clear deadlines to settle the matter agree on binding solution. This will give the taxpayer timely decisions. Member States will now have a legal duty to take conclusive and enforceable decisions under the improved dispute resolution mechanism. If not, the national courts will do this for them.

For more information double taxation resolution mechanism, please click here

EU/Trade: Commission launches new system for traders to deal with customs procedures in the EU

On 2 October, European Commission today launched a new pan-EU electronic system to make it easier for businesses to get permission to import goods. In turn, this means faster delivery and cheaper prices for consumers. The new Customs Decision System (CDS) will allow traders to handle up to 22 different types of customs applications online through the EU Trader Portal. Access to the CDS is more secure than current procedures and importers in all Member States can use the same portal with applications being exchanged between all relevant customs authorities. The new system is one of the first outcomes of the new Union Customs Code (UCC), a major overhaul of existing EU customs legislation which came into force on 1 May 2016.

PUBLICATIONS

Capital Markets Union and the fintech opportunity

Complementing Europe's bank-based system with both deeper capital markets and more cross-border financial integration promises benefits. Deeper capital markets that diversify the financial system and reduce its reliance on banks are empirically less prone to financial crises, and can also be associated with higher growth (Langfield and Pagano, 2016). Greater cross-border integration has the benefit of increasing the size of markets, enabling more liquidity and efficiency. Integration can also increase cross-border risk-sharing, in particular if cross-border equity ownership increases. Empirical studies show that deep and integrated capital markets can play a significant role in absorbing country/state-specific shocks (Allard et al, 2013).

To access this publication, please click here.

An innovation deficit behind Europe's overall productivity slowdown?

Europe maintains lofty ambitions for building its future prosperity and safeguarding its social model through innovation. An ambitious target of devoting 3% of GDP to R&D was already set in 2002. The same 3% was again targeted in the EU2020 strategy. Despite attention to innovation as a driver of growth and despite R&D targeting, Europe's performance on innovation remains weak to date. At the same time, Europe's TFP growth continues to display a lacklustre performance. Rather than looking at productivity growth through the residual TFP construction, this contribution looks directly into the evidence on innovation as a potential source of productivity growth. We look at the evidence on an innovation deficit behind Europe's overall productivity slowdown in Sections 1 and 2. Sections 3 and 4 try to get at why it is so hard to improve Europe's innovative performance and identify some policy implications.

To access this publication, please click here.

Can the EU structural funds reconcile growth, solidarity and stability objectives?

Yesterday, the Commission launched its 7th Cohesion Report in the context of the European Week of Regions and Cities (EWRC). Today, EU Finance Ministers took stock of the 2017 'European Semester' policy monitoring process with a view to making the exercise smoother and more effective. As the debate concerning the post-2020 Cohesion Policy takes shape, the European Policy Centre (EPC) publishes a report that offers a fresh contribution and a new direction for the policy's future at the heart of the EU's economic growth agenda.

To access this publication, please click here.

Remaking Europe: the new manufacturing as an engine for growth

A few years ago, the European Union's institutions promoted the goal of increasing the manufacturing sector's share of EU value added to 20 percent. Meanwhile, the labels 'made in Europe' or 'made in country x' resonate with many politicians in Europe while US president Donald Trump believes that his policies would create "millions of manufacturing jobs". The different chapters of this report suggest that manufacturing is indeed a special sector. It scores high in terms of value added, salaries in the sector are often higher than elsewhere and innovation is strong. But calls for targeted industrial policy ring hollow: what constitutes 'manufacturing' is a fluid concept.

To access this publication, please click here.   CONSULTATIONS

Public consultation on transparency and fees in cross-border transactions in the EU

DEADLINE: 30/10/2017

Earlier this year, the Commission presented its action plan on consumer financial services. Actions 1 and 2 of the action plan announced measures related to the fees paid payment services users for cross-border transactions and their transparency. The consultation seeks to collect views from a broad range of stakeholders, as well as from the public and will help the Commission define the best way forward to complete the objective of reducing the cost of cross-border payments. It looks into the different components of cross-border payments in non-euro currencies of the EU but also inquires about how euro transactions are priced in non-euro Member States. The consultation specifically explores two dimensions of cross-border payments: the cost of a transaction and the cost of currency conversion.

To access this publication, please here

Public consultation on post-trade in a Capital Market Union: dismantling barriers and strategy for the future

DEADLINE: 15/11/2017

The purpose of this consultation is to learn stakeholders' views about the current state of post-trade markets, the main trends and challenges faced by post-trade services providers and their users, and to determine the existence and scale of remaining or new barriers, the risks associated with such barriers and the best ways to address them.
To access this publication, please here

Public consultation on the review of the directive on the re-use of Public Sector Information (PSI Directive)

DEADLINE: 12/12/2017

The Commission is launching a public consultation in view of reviewing the directive on the re-use of public sector information (PSI Directive). As foreseen in the May 2017 mid-term Review of the Digital Single Market strategy (COM(2017) 228), and in order to fulfil the goals of the strategy in the field of the data economy, the Commission is preparing an initiative on accessibility and re-use of public and publicly funded data, and is at the same time further exploring the issue of privately held data which are of public interest.

To access this publication, please here

COMING-UP

EU Institutions: important dates
30 October Working Party on Consumer Protection and Information
30 October Working Party on Information Exchange and Data Protection (DAPIX)
30 October Working Party on Social Questions
30 October Working Party on the Environment
30 October Working Party on Transport
31 October Working Party on Competitiveness and Growth - Internal Market
03 November COREPER I
03 November COREPER II
06 November ECON Committee
06 November ENVI committee
06 November EMPL committee
06 November FEMM committee
06 November LIBE committee
06 November ITRE committee
06 November Working Party on Social Questions
06 November Working Party on the Environment
07 November Working Party on Land Transport
08 November Working Party on Social Questions
08 November Working Party on the Environment
08 November Working Party on Tax Questions - Direct Taxation
08 November Coreper I
09 November EMPL committee
09 November ECON Committee
09 November TRAN committee
09 November CULT committee
09 November Working Party on Tax Questions - Indirect Taxation
09 November Working Party on Social Questions
10 November Working Party on the Environment
10 November Coreper I
13 November LIBE committee
13 November Working Party on Financial Services
13 November Working Party on Social Questions
13 November Working Party on Transport - Intermodal Questions and Networks
14 November Working Party on Social Questions
14 November Working Party on Tax Questions - Indirect Taxation
15 November Working Party on Competitiveness and Growth - Internal Market
15 November Working Party on Information Exchange and Data Protection (DAPIX)
15 November Working Party on Social Questions
15 November Working Party on Tax Questions - Direct Taxation
16 November Working Party on Land Transport
16 November Working Party on Social Questions
16 November Working Party on the Environment
16 November Coreper I
17 November Working Party on Social Questions
17 November Working Party on the Environment
17 November Coreper I
20 November EMPL committee
20 November ENVI committee
20 November JURI committee
20 November ITRE committee
20 November ECON Committee
20 November LIBE committee
20 November IMCO committee
20 November IMCO committee
21 November ECON Committee
21 November EMPL committee
21 November LIBE committee
21 November TRAN committee
21 November ENVI committee
21 November JURI committee
21 November FEMM committee
22 November TRAN committee
22 November CULT committee
23 November CULT committee
23 November TRAN committee
27 November ECON Committee
27 November LIBE committee
28 November LIBE committee
28 November ITRE committee

Other SME-related events

How to better support SMEs during the financial period 2020 – 2027

06-11-2017

On 6 November the European Economic and Social Committee organized a meeting for SME to discuss priorities for the next financial period 2020 – 2027. The meeting will be divided in two panels:

Panel 1 will focus on "How to better take into account the needs of SMEs when formulating and implementing supporting policies and measures? What are the specific challenges SMEs are confronted with and what possible solutions can be found? Do we need any legislative solutions?"
Panel 2 will focus on "How to improve access to finance for SMEs when formulating and implementing supporting policies and measures?"

A Second Chance for Entrepreneurs

07-11-2017

SME Europe of the EPP and CSU Brussels organized a Working Breakfast on "A Second Chance for Entrepreneurs" to discuss the Commission proposal "on preventive restructuring frameworks, second chance and measures to increase the efficiency of restructuring, insolvency and discharge procedures and amending Directive 2012/30/EU" currently being debated in the Parliament.

To find more about this event, please click here

Small Scale, Big Impact: How Can an Appropriate Policy Framework Support Growth and Jobs for European Food and Drink SMEs?

20-11-2017

Members of the European Parliament will welcome SME entrepreneurs from several member states who will present their products and showcase their knowhow and traditions. They will talk about what they see as opportunities and challenges, and provide insight into how the EU can continue fostering an entrepreneurial spirit. On this occasion, FoodDrinkEurope will launch a White Paper calling for specific policy measures to help food and drink SMEs thrive and grow.

To find more about this event, please click here

REDUCING FOOD WASTE: WHAT ROLE FOR PACKAGING?

22-11-2017

EURACTIV organised a workshop to discuss the EU's approach in reducing food waste and the role that packaging plays on this matter. Questions will include: What legislative measures are needed to reduce the waste of food? - How to encourage food producers and retail sector to use active & intelligent packaging? - Which international initiatives could be adapted to the European market?

To find more about this event, please click here

SME Assembly 2017

22-11-2017 to 24-11-2017

This annual conference, organised in the frame of the European SME Week, is one of the most significant event for Europe's SMEs and entrepreneurs, and those that support them. Together with the network of SME Envoys, the assembly creates the governance structure of the Small Business Act. The event focuses on how to make SME policy work on the ground, in order for Europe's SMEs to really thrive.

To find more about this event, please click here

FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT FOR WORKERS: HOW TO RESPOND TO LOCAL WORKERS FEARS OF BEING CROWDED OUT OF THE LABOUR MARKET

28-11-2017

Freedom of movement for workers is one of the founding principles of the European Union but it has also created fears of unfair competition. How can we address these doubts, protect the working conditions and, at the same time, avoid distortions in the labour market?
EURACTIV organised a high-level forum to discuss the future of freedom of movement for workers. Questions will include:

- What are the best measures to protect workers? How can States avoid social dumping?
- What is the role of the EU and national institutions?
- How can social stakeholders be involved and make a difference?
- What lessons can be drawn from the Swiss experience in managing FMP to inspire similar measures in the EU?

To find more about this event, please click here

European Retail Day – Innovation at the Heart of Retail

30-11-2017

On the 30th November, the European retail industry will gather in Brussels for the inaugural European Retail Day. The purpose of the conference is to give further impetus and drive to the development of Europe's single market project, to look at how the retail sector could contribute to it, and to analyse future steps and positive innovation needed to ensure the growth and global competitiveness of the sector.

To find more about this event, please click here



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The European Small Business Alliance (ESBA) is a non-party political group, which cares for small business entrepreneurs and the self-employed and represents them through targeted EU advocacy and profiling activities.

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