Commission Activities

19 May: Questions and Answers about 2022 EU Justice Scoreboard

(Source: European Commission)

Today, the European Commission has published the 2022 EU Justice Scoreboard, which gives a comparative overview of the efficiency, quality and independence of justice systems in EU Member States. This is already the tenth edition, which allows for a long- term overview of how the situation in Member States has evolved in all three areas of effective justice.

What is the EU Justice Scoreboard?

The EU Justice Scoreboard is a comparative information tool which aims to assist the EU and Member States to improve the effectiveness of national justice systems. It does this by providing data on …

18 May: Questions and Answers on the REPowerEU Communication

(Source: European Commission)

1. Why is the Commission proposing the REPowerEU Plan?

Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine has massively disrupted the world’s energy system. It has caused hardship as a result of high energy prices and it has heightened energy security concerns, bringing to the fore the EU’s over-dependence on gas, oil and coal imports from Russia. The high amounts paid by Europe for Russian fossil fuels – almost €100 billion per year – are helping Russia sustain its war against Ukraine.

Therefore, on 8 March 2022, the Commission called for a rapid phase out of Russian …

18 May: Questions and Answers on the Commission Communication on Short-Term Energy Market Interventions and Long Term Improvements to the Electricity Market Design

(Source: European Commission)

1. What is the Communication on energy markets about and how is it linked to REPowerEU?

The European Union has been facing the consequences of a global energy market supply squeeze since last summer, and the Commission has taken a wide range of measures to help Member States tackle the high energy prices that have hit EU households and businesses. Today’s Communication on short-term market interventions and electricity market design builds on an existing framework. In particular, it extends the short-term crisis response interventions contained in the ‘Energy Prices Toolbox‘ communication of last October, as well as …

18 May: Questions and Answers: Defence Investment Gaps and measures to address them

(Source: European Commission)

What is the context of this Joint Communication?

During their meeting in Versailles on 11 March, EU Heads of State or Government committed to “bolster European defence capabilities” in light of the Russian military aggression against Ukraine. They agreed to: 1) increase defence expenditures; 2) step up cooperation through joint projects; 3) close shortfalls and meet capability objectives; 4) boost innovation including through civil/military synergies; and 5) strengthen and develop our defence industry, including SMEs. They invited “the Commission, in coordination with the European Defence Agency, to put forward an analysis of the defence investment gaps by …

18 May: Questions and answers on the Joint Communication on a Strategic Partnership with the Gulf

(Source: European Commission)

Why do we need a strategic partnership with the Gulf?

We are living at a time of insecurity and significant global challenges. The rules-based international order is put into question, the world faces the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global economy will need to recover and we have an imperative to act on the green and digital transition.

The EU is a global actor that is taking the lead in addressing those challenges, from climate change to a human-centric approach to digitalisation that respects fundamental values. The Gulf is a dynamic neighbouring region and an important …

16 May: Questions and Answers: Targeted adjustments to the Financial Regulation

(Source: European Commission)

Overview

What is the Financial Regulation?

The Financial Regulation lays down the principles and general financial rules for establishing, implementing and controlling the EU budget. It provides guidance to beneficiaries how they can receive EU funds and what rules they need to follow to demonstrate these funds have been well-spent.

In addition, the Financial Regulation sets out rules on how the EU institutions procure works, supplies and services, award grants and prizes, and make use of financial instruments or budgetary guarantees.

The EU financial rules went through a major revision in 2018. Why is another revision necessary?…

11 May: Questions and Answers –New rules to fight child sexual abuse

(Source: European Commission)

Why are new rules needed?

The internet has proven to be a great connector, including for children and especially throughout the pandemic. However, children may also be exposed to risks online, including when it comes to child sexual abuse. The past years have seen an overwhelming increase of sexual abuse online, both in sharing child sexual abuse material online, and in solicitation of children into sexually abusing themselves or even meeting perpetrators offline. According to Europol’s analysis, in the first months of the COVID-19 crisis the demand for child sexual abuse material increased by up to 25% …

11 May: New European strategy for a Better Internet for Kids – Questions and Answers

(Source: European Commission)

1.   Why are you coming forward with a new European strategy for a Better Internet for Kids (BIK+)?

Since the adoption of the first “European Strategy for a Better Internet for Children (BIK) in 2012, digital technologies and the way children use them have changed dramatically. Modern devices allow children to easily interact, contact and share information with others, often without parental supervision. Most children use their smartphones daily and almost twice as much compared to 2012, as well as from a much younger age (EU Kids online 2020).

Digital technologies offer children unprecedented prospects for online …

11 May: Questions and Answers on the Commission’s proposal to tackle the debt-equity bias in taxation (DEBRA)

(Source: European Commission)

What is the debt-equity bias?

Most countries, including in the European Union, treat debt more favourably than equity from a tax perspective. They do so by allowing interest payments to be deducted from their taxable income, while not offering the same allowance to equity. This gives businesses a major incentive to borrow, rather than to fund new investments by increasing capital.

Why is the debt-equity bias a problem?

The debt-equity bias can encourage companies to make their business decisions based on the related tax treatment, rather than on commercial considerations. This can lead to some companies choosing …

10 May: Questions and Answers on Croatia’s disbursement request under NextGenerationEU

(Source European Commission)

 

How did the Commission assess Croatia’s first payment request?

On 15 March 2022, Croatia submitted to the Commission a request for the disbursement of €700 million under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). The request was based on the achievement of the 33 milestones and one target for the first instalment, as outlined in the Council Implementing Decision approving the plan. They cover reforms in the areas of health, social policy, adult education, anti-corruption, audit and control, anti-money laundering, energy, transport, water and waste management as well as energy efficiency of buildings. The Commission carried out …