On 14 October 2020, the European Commission the European Commission adopted a legislative proposal (COM(2020) 642 final) amending the Aarhus Regulation to allow for better public scrutiny of EU acts affecting the environment. The proposed amendments improve the possibilities particularly for environmental NGOs to request that the EU institutions review such acts to better ensure environmental protection. This will foster openness and accountability when it comes to environmental protection, contribute to greater transparency and a more effective pursuit of the EU environmental objectives and, thus, help achieve the systemic societal changes required by the European Green Deal.
The EU chemicals strategy aims to address the cumulative and combined effects of chemicals, including pesticides, stressing a need to accelerate work on methodologies that ensure existing provisions can be fully implemented.
The strategy is intended as a first step towards a zero pollution ambition for a toxic-free environment, as announced in the European Green Deal.
Within the EU customs union, the customs authorities of EU Member States are responsible for carrying out a wide range of checks before goods are carried out on EU customs territory, aimed at protecting EU revenues as well as the security, safety, health and prosperity of EU citizens and businesses. The Commission communication sets out an action plan to translate President von der Leyen's policy directions into tangible benefits for European society, businesses and citizens. Given the significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to ensure an efficient management of the EU customs union.
With the New Consumer Agenda, the European Commission wants consumers to be key drivers in the green and digital transitions and key actors in the economic recovery.
Ενημερωτικό σημείωμα: A new consumer agenda
The Single Window is defined as a facility which allows parties involved in trade and transport to lodge standardised information and documents with a single entry point to fulfill all import, export and transit-related regulatory requirements. The proposal establishing the European Union Single Window Environment for Customs is the first step in implementing a wider action plan launched in September 2020, fully in line with the Commission’s long-term vision of taking the Customs Union to the next level.
Administrator in charge: David Hoić / Assistant: Nadja Kačičnik
On 5 February 2020, the European Commission adopted the 2020 Communication “Enhancing the accession process – A credible EU perspective for the Western Balkans” (COM(2020) 57 final). The Communication proposes changes to reinvigorate the process based on four principles: more credibility, a stronger political steer, a more dynamic process, and greater predictability.
In September 2020, the European Commission presented the Action Plan on Critical Raw Materials, which also contains the 2020 List of Critical Raw Materials.
The EESC welcomes the Commission proposal on cross-border payments in the Union aiming at lowering the costs for cross-border payments in euros and at bringing more transparency regarding currency-conversion fees. It endorses the fact that the Commission should analyse further possibilities – and the technical feasibility of those possibilities – of extending the equal charges rule to all Union currencies and of further improving the transparency and comparability of currency conversion charges.