European Parliament approves the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)

The European Parliament’s plenary approved on February 15 2017 the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), concluding the ratification process of this deal in the EU.

Once the agreement is also ratified by the Canadian side, it will enter into force provisionally. CETA will be fully implemented when EU Member States’ national Parliaments also ratify the deal.

Emissions Trading Reform

On February 15 2017, the European Parliament approved its report on the cost-effective reduction of emissions and low-carbon investments. The plenary approval also provides a negotiating mandate for the Parliament to enter trilogue negotiations with the Council and the European Commission.

Environment Implementation Review

The European Commission adopted on February 6 2017 an Environment Implementation Review. The review includes country reports for the EU28 Member States identifying the national strengths, opportunities and weaknesses of individual Member States. A Communication was also issued which summarizes the political conclusions of the country reports and proposes recommendations for improvements to all Member States.

The review is aiming to be used as a new tool to improve the implementation gaps and find solutions in areas such as waste management, nature and biodiversity, air quality and water quality.

Corporate Taxation

As part of the EU Corporate Taxation package, the EU28 Finance Ministers reached a General Approach on extending the Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive to hybrid mismatches with third countries at the ECOFIN meeting on February 21 2017. The Council will be now expecting the report from the European Parliament, having a consultative role in this proposal, before formally approving the piece of legislation. The legislation is expected to be implemented on January 1, 2020.

EU Commissioner responsible for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, Pierre Moscovici welcomed the General Approach and called for further progress on the EU Corporate Taxation proposals.

Cross-border Online Portability Services

A political agreement was achieved on February 7 2017 in the trilogue negotiations between the European Parliament, Council and European Commission on the Regulation on cross-border portability of online content services. The agreed Regulation will give the opportunity to EU citizens to access their digital subscriptions across the EU without any constraints.

The Council approved the trilogue agreement on February 15 2017. Once the European Parliament also approves the trilogue agreement and the procedural steps are finalized, the piece of legislation will be published at the Official Journal of the EU.