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The European Commission today publishes its annual analysis of the economic and social situation in the Member States, including an assessment of remaining imbalances.
The Council agreed its position on rules aimed at closing down 'hybrid mismatches' with the tax systems of third countries. It also set its priorities for the 2018 EU budget, calling for a realistic budget that strikes the right balance between fiscal consolidation and new investments conducive to growth and jobs.
The Council agreed on a general approach to strengthen consumer protection cooperation in the internal market. Effective consumer protection has to respond in particular to the challenges of the digital economy and the development of cross-border retail trade in the EU.
MEPs approved Ceta during this week's plenary session followed by a visit by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau telling them how the EU-Canada trade deal was not just about commerce, but also about improving people's lives. Newly-elected Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen also addressed the Parliament, while MEPs adopted new anti-terrorism measures and set out their ideas for the future of the EU.
All EU citizens and third country nationals entering or leaving the EU will be systematically checked against databases, e.g. of lost and stolen documents, under a regulation voted on Thursday. The new rules were agreed by Parliament’s negotiators and the Council of Ministers on 5 December 2016.
The EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), which aims to boost goods and services trade and investment flows, was approved by the European Parliament on Wednesday. The landmark trade deal could apply provisionally from as early as April 2017.
In its monthly package of infringement decisions, the European Commission is pursuing legal action against Member States for failing to comply with their obligations under EU law.
The package of four targeted amendments will enhance transparency about the positions taken by Member States, allow for greater political guidance, and ensure more accountability in the decision-making process.
Having proven resilient to global challenges last year, the European economic recovery is expected to continue this year and next: for the first time in almost a decade, the economies of all EU Member States are expected to grow throughout the entire forecasting period (2016, 2017 and 2018). However, the outlook is surrounded by higher-than-usual uncertainty.
Today, the Commission adopted its ninth progress report on the EU's emergency relocation and resettlement schemes, assessing actions taken since 8 December 2016.
Europeans will soon be able to fully use their online subscriptions to films, sports events, e-books, video games or music services when travelling within the EU, according to the agreement reached by negotiators of the European Parliament, the Member States and the European Commission.
The Investment Plan for Europe is now expected to trigger more than €168 billion in total investments. This comes just two years after the Plan was launched by the Juncker Commission and represents well over half of the €315 billion target of total investments mobilised that was originally earmarked.
The Council began preparations for the Spring European Council. Moreover, it registered the absence of unanimity in support of the regulation creating a European Public Prosecutor's office and recommended that Austria, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway prolong temporary border controls for a maximum period of three months.
EU foreign ministers reaffirmed the importance of Libya regaining its stability through an inclusive political settlement under the framework of the Libyan political agreement. The Council also discussed the Middle East peace process and the situation in Ukraine and in Egypt.
Today the Commission adopted the Environmental Implementation Review, a new tool to improve implementation of European environmental policy and commonly agreed rules. The Commission will address with Member States the causes of implementation gaps and find solutions before problems become urgent.