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.
On 9 September 2020, the European Commission adopted its first annual Strategic Foresight Report, presenting Commission’s strategy to integrate strategic foresight into EU policy-making. Strategic foresight aims to identify emerging challenges and opportunities to better steer the European Union's strategic choices and to inform major policy initiatives. It will support the Commission in designing future-proof policies and legislation that serves both the current needs and longer-term aspirations of European citizens.
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.
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.