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European Parliament - EPRS Policy podcasts


Listen to a selection of EPRS policy podcasts here. An in-depth look at different topical EU policy areas based on objective authoritative and independent research.

Listen to a selection of EPRS policy podcasts here. An in-depth look at different topical EU policy areas based on objective authoritative and independent research.




Listen to a selection of EPRS policy podcasts here. An in-depth look at different topical EU policy areas based on objective authoritative and independent research.




Revision of the EU's Waste Shipment Regulation

On 17 November 2021, the European Commission tabled a proposal to revise EU rules governing shipments of waste. The proposed regulation aims at easing shipments of waste for reuse and recycling in the EU, to support the transition to a circular economy; ensuring that waste exported from the EU is managed in an environmentally sound manner in the destination countries; and stepping up enforcement to counteract illegal shipments of waste. While supporting the proposed streamlining and...


Sustainable maritime fuels - 'Fit for 55' package: the FuelEU Maritime proposal

The FuelEU Maritime regulation seeks to steer the EU maritime sector towards decarbonisation. The proposal sets up a fuel standard for ships and introduces a requirement for the most polluting ship types to use onshore electricity when at berth. It puts the responsibility for compliance on the shipping company. The legislative outcome of this proposal will be closely linked to the simultaneously proposed rules on including the maritime sector in the EU emissions trading system, as well as...


Temporary protection directive

The EU Temporary Protection Directive enables EU Member States to move rapidly to offer protection and rights to people in need of immediate protection and to avoid overwhelming national asylum systems in cases of mass arrivals of displaced persons. Although invoked several times in the past, the directive has never been activated before. Russia's military aggression prompted a unanimous decision in the Council to grant temporary protection (for an initial period of one year) to people...


Equal pay for equal work between men and women: Pay transparency and enforcement mechanisms

Equal pay for equal work is one of the European Union's founding principles, enshrined in Article 157 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). However, the implementation and enforcement of this principle remain a challenge. Due to a lack of pay transparency, pay discrimination often goes undetected and victims face difficulties in making a claim for redress. On 4 March 2021, the European Commission adopted a legislative proposal on binding pay transparency measures....


EU space policy: Boosting EU competitiveness and accelerating the twin ecological and digital transition

Over the past decade, space has gained increasing importance as an economic sector offering opportunities for established and emerging markets. Space policies and their applications have also gained in political relevance due to their capacity to tackle global challenges, such as the climate and biodiversity crises, but also due to the growing reliance of the EU economy and society on space infrastructure, services and data. This briefing focuses on the state of play in regard to the EU's...


EU taxonomy: Delegated acts on climate, and nuclear and gas

The EU taxonomy is a classification system that aims to channel public and private investment into environmentally sustainable economic activities in order to achieve environmental objectives, such as those in the fight against climate change. It establishes a dynamic list of economic activities considered to be environmentally sustainable, provided they contribute substantially to at least one environmental objective and do not significantly harm any other. The European Commission claims...


Russia's war on Ukraine: The EU's financing of military assistance to Ukraine

In an unprecedented and unanimous reaction to the Russian war on Ukraine that began on 24 February 2022, the EU swiftly decided to provide €500 million from the European Peace Facility to fund and coordinate EU military assistance and to deliver military (including lethal) equipment to Ukraine. The Council had already adopted an assistance measure of €31 million for non-lethal assistance to Ukraine on 2 December 2021. For the first time in its history, the EU is now using a dedicated,...


Review of the EU ETS: 'Fit for 55' package

As part of the 'Fit for 55' package, the Commission presented a legislative proposal to review the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS). The aim of the review is to align the EU ETS Directive with the EU target set out in the European Climate Law to reduce net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 55 % by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. To this end, the amount of emission allowances would be reduced, fewer allowances would be allocated for free, and the ETS would be extended to maritime transport....


Revision of EU ETS as regards aviation: 'Fit for 55' package

As part of the 'Fit for 55' package, the Commission is proposing a revision to the EU's emissions trading system (ETS) as regards carbon dioxide emissions from aviation. The proposal seeks to ensure that the sector contributes to the EU's climate targets through increased auctioning of allowances, with an end to free allowances from 2027, and by applying the linear reduction of aviation allowances. The proposal will also integrate, into the revised ETS, the International Civil Aviation...


Understanding EU policy on firearms trafficking

Precise figures about the numbers of illegal firearms in the European Union (EU) are lacking, but several indicators point to their widespread availability and accessibility. According to the Small Arms Survey, over half of the estimated total number of firearms held by civilians in the EU in 2017 were unlicensed. While most of these citizens had no criminal intentions, their illicit firearms could be used for self-harm or domestic violence, or end up in the hands of criminals or terrorists....


Right to repair

The European Commission has announced the establishment of a 'right to repair', with a view of saving costs for consumers and facilitating the development of a circular economy. The right to repair may refer to different issues and situations: repair during the legal guarantee, the right to repair after the legal guarantee has expired, and the right for consumers to repair products themselves. Research shows that consumers favour products that are easily repaired, but their willingness to...


Fighting money laundering and counter terrorist financing

On 20 July 2021, the European Commission presented a package of legislative proposals in the area of anti-money-laundering efforts and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT). The package includes a proposal for a regulation on preventing the use of the financial system for money laundering or terrorist financing. The proposed regulation would be the central element of what is commonly referred to as an EU 'single rulebook' on AML/CFT. Its detailed and directly applicable provisions...


European green bonds: A standard for Europe, open to the world

Green bonds are committed to financing or re-financing investments, projects, expenditure or assets helping to address climate and environmental issues. Both governments and companies use them to finance the transition to a more sustainable and low-carbon economy. Since the EIB inaugurated the green bond market in 2007 with its Climate Awareness Bond, the market has grown very fast, but it still represents only about 3 to 3.5 % of overall bond issuance. The green bond market needs to grow...


Resilience of global supply chains: Challenges and solutions

The growing importance of global supply chains has fundamentally changed the way the global economy and goods manufacturing are organised. While trade conducted through global supply chains has fallen somewhat as a share of total trade since the 2008-2010 global financial and economic crisis, more than two-thirds of international trade still involves transactions made possible by such chains. In this podcast, we'll focus on global supply chains. We'll analyse how dependent we are on them,...


A common charger for electronic devices: Revision of the Radio Equipment Directive

On 23 September 2021, the European Commission adopted a legislative proposal to amend the 2014 Radio Equipment Directive, as a first step towards mandating a common charger for mobile phones and other small portable devices. Under the proposal, these devices would have to be equipped with a USB Type-C receptacle that can be charged with cables compatible with USB Type C, and to incorporate the USB Power Delivery communication protocol. In this podcast, we'll talk about a common charger for...


Central bank digital currencies: Evolution or revolution?

Payment systems are of vital importance for today's economies and are the core activity of central banks. To adapt to recent trends – including the decline in cash usage, the surge in online commerce and contactless forms of payment, and the creation of cryptocurrencies – central banks have, in recent years, explored the possibility of issuing digital currencies themselves. In this podcast, we'll talk about digital currencies issued by central banks. We'll look at the different design...


Artificial intelligence act

The European Commission proposes to establish a technology-neutral definition of AI systems in EU law and to lay down a classification for AI systems with different requirements and obligations tailored on a 'risk-based approach'. Some AI systems presenting 'unacceptable' risks would be prohibited. A wide range of 'high-risk' AI systems would be authorised, but subject to a set of requirements and obligations to gain access to the EU market. Those AI systems presenting only 'low or minimal...


Social climate fund: Fit for 55 package

The fit for 55 package is part of the Commission's European Green Deal, which aims to set the EU firmly on the path towards net zero GHG emissions (climate neutrality) by 2050. The fit for 55 package includes a regulation establishing a new social climate fund (SCF). The aim of the SCF is to help vulnerable households, micro-businesses and transport users meet the costs of the green energy transition in the buildings and road transport sector. The SCF is designed to counter the additional...


Global human rights sanctions - Mapping Magnitsky laws: The US, Canadian, UK and EU approach

Human rights sanctions are nothing new, but the death in 2009 of Russian whistle-blower Sergei Magnitsky in detention resulted in calls for more vigorous action to counter continuing abuses in many countries. Adopted by the US in 2016, the Global Magnitsky Act was the first of a new generation of human rights sanctions programmes, which, in contrast to traditional sanctions targeted at individual countries, can be flexibly applied to perpetrators from all over the world, regardless of their...


How State aid works in the EU

Key to a fair single market, EU rules do not allow State aid, unless it is used to promote general economic development, for example, when tackling the challenges of global competition or the ongoing financial crisis … The European Parliament agrees with this general principle, but calls for less and better targeted state aid in the future. Source: © European Union - EP