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April in Brussels: What's on the horizon

3 April 2017

The UK has fired the starting pistol on Brexit by triggering Article 50 and the EU27 must now come together to determine their intentions for the negotiations ahead.

Here, DeHavilland EU's Policy Analysts highlight key themes and events from each sector for the coming month.

Financial Services

The major event of April will be a Commission public hearing on the mid-term review of the Capital Markets Union, gauging the progress of the EU's flagship financial services project.

A number of major files are also currently in the crucial trilogue phase: a revision of money laundering rules, new venture capital regulations, and the securitisation package. The first plenary session of April will also see the final votes on money market funds and the prospectus regulation.

Meanwhile there is plenty to chew over from March, with the publication of the Action Plan on Retail Finance and the accompanying FinTech consultation. And of course, there is the thorny question of Brexit, now that Article 50 has officially been triggered.

Energy

Discussions will start in the Parliament this month on remaining aspects of the Clean Energy for All Europeans package, namely electricity markets, security of supply and a revised framework for the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators. While the Parliament and the Council reached an informal agreement on the revised energy efficiency labelling framework in March, discussions related to gas supply are expected to continue through April.

Finally, trilogue negotiations on the proposal for a revised Emissions Trading System (ETS) are expected to start this month. The month will conclude with an informal meeting of Environment Ministers, who are expected to focus on two key issues for the Maltese Presidency: climate change and the transition to a circular economy.

Transport

The biggest item for the automotive sector this month will be the discussion and vote on draft recommendations following the inquiry into emission measurements and the draft report on type approval and market surveillance of vehicles. Both documents are pivotal for mapping out the future direction the EU will take on reducing emissions from vehicles and ensuring that car manufacturers are no longer able to avoid declaring true fuel consumption and emissions figures.

For the aviation sector, and particularly for airports, the Commission is set to present an initiative on the Working Time Directive, which regulates working hours. Trilogues on the EASA basic regulation will also continue in the month of April as colegislators try to reach an amicable agreement on the proposal.

Digital and Technology

The Council and Parliament will have their hands full in April with work on ongoing legislative files from the Digital Single Market Strategy. The Committee vote on the revision of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive was once again postponed, and is now set to take place this month.

MEPs are also expected to adopt their report on another key file concerning geoblocking in the internal market. Discussions will continue on the proposals for EU copyright reform, as well as on the telecoms package. Furthermore, the LIBE Committee holds a hearing with key stakeholders to kick off the debate on the important ePrivacy Regulation proposal, which has a wide impact on various sectors.

In the April plenary session, MEPs will approve the informal agreement reached with the Council on wholesale roaming markets, which contributes to making the abolition of roaming charges from 15 June this year a reality.

Health

Early April will see the controversial legislative dossiers on medical devices and in vitro diagnostic medical devices coming to an end, with a second reading plenary vote taking place on the 5th. From the 4th to the 6th, the Commission is to host a conference on global health topics, while the International e-Health, Telemedicine and Health ICT Forum is to take place from the 5th to the 7th. The month will conclude with the closure of the Commission consultation on antimicrobial resistance, on the 28th.

What's on your agenda?

To discuss your public affairs priorities for April and find out how DeHavilland EU can help you with definitive political monitoring and research support, contact us for a free trial today.

The DeHavilland EU Team

Based in London and Brussels, the DeHavilland EU Team is dedicated to bringing clients informative and timely political information in a format that suits their needs.