Energy Union Progress Report
The European Commission published on February 1 its second progress report on the State of the Energy Union. The updated Energy Union Roadmap was also issued, as well as the 5-dimensions of the Energy Union and the key indicators for progress on the Energy Union.
According to the report, Europe is on track to reach the 2020 targets on greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency and renewable energy. In order to achieve the overall goals of the Energy Union, the European Commission is expected to perform in-depth analysis of Member States policies throughout 2017.
EU Emissions Trading System
Similarly, on February 3 the European Commission amended the EU Emissions Trading System following an agreement with the International Civil Aviation Organization aiming to stabilize the international aviation emissions. According to this system, airlines will be required to monitor and report their annual CO2 emissions on international routes and balance those exceeding the 2020 levels.
In December 2015, the European Commission has published a Circular Economy package containing several legislative initiatives. On January 26, a Report on the Implementation of the Circular Economy Action Plan was issued along with:
- The Annex to the Implementation Report;
- The Communication (COM(2017) 34) on the role of waste-to-energy in the circular economy;
- A Review of the Directive (2017/0013 (COD)) on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (RoHS); and
- An Impact Assessment on the proposed review of the RoHS Directive.
EU-Mexico Free Trade Agreement
The EU and Mexico have agreed to accelerate their negotiations to reform a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) standing since 2000. The negotiations to reform the FTA started last year with the aim to broaden and modernize the existing agreement. The next two rounds of negotiations are now scheduled for April and June 2017.
Wholesale Mobile Roaming
On January 31, a provisional agreement was reached at the trilogue negotiations between the Council of the EU, the European Parliament and the European Commission. The trilogue agreement marks the way towards the abolition of mobile roaming charges for consumers in the EU by 15 June 2017. The maximum wholesale roaming charge will fall from €50 per gigabyte to €7.7 per gigabyte and will continue to gradually decrease until 2022.
The provisional agreement has to be reviewed and approved both by the European Parliament and Council of the EU before it can formally become EU legislation.