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December in Brussels: What's on the horizon

1 December 2016

Financial Services

The end of November saw a flurry of financial services legislation, in the form of a new proposal on business insolvency, a new framework for the recovery and resolution of central counterparties, and a comprehensive package of proposals on capital requirements to implement reforms agreed at the global level. Work will now begin in the Council and Parliament on all of these.

The Commission has now ticked off most of its to-do list for 2016, but is still expected to table a package of measures on terrorist financing in the run-up to Christmas, rounding off a busy year.

The Battle of Basel: Read an article by Senior EU Policy Analyst Alex Boxell on the Basel IV reforms on capital requirements.


The end of November saw the launch of the "Clean Energy for All" package as the last major building block of the Energy Union strategy. The package, which includes new measures on energy markets, energy efficiency and renewables in particular, is expected to be presented to Energy Ministers in early December. Furthermore, they are also set to discuss ongoing work on several key dossiers, including on the energy security package and energy efficiency labelling.

Meanwhile, the European Parliament's Environment Committee is still scheduled to vote on amendments to Ian Duncan MEP's report on the proposal for a post-2020 Emission Trading System in December.

Confused messages? Read an article by EU Policy Analyst Alexis Thuau on current directions in EU energy efficiency policy.


Vehicle emissions remain a big topic in Brussels. While the EMIS Committee continues to interview current and previous EU officials as well as industry representatives on the Volkswagen scandal, the European Parliament Committees did not meet their 2016 deadlines for finalising related type approval and market surveillance legislation. The final document is now expected in the first month of 2017.

In the aviation sector, November saw the completion of the EASA basic regulation, one of the biggest pieces of aviation legislation in recent years, finalising a lot of the aviation related work for the year. However, work continues as new proposals, such as on screening equipment in airports, are presented.

In the rail sector, the Parliament is preparing to complete its work on the market pillar of the 4th Railway Package, possibly paving the way for the final approval of the package before the end of December.

Back to Basics: Read an article by EU Policy Analyst Darius Mikulenas on the EASA Basic Regulation proposals on aviation safety.

Digital and Technology

The Commission launched another package in efforts to complete its Digital Single Market strategy at the end of November, a package consisting of measures to simplify VAT rules for e-commerce, e-publications and e-books.

For December, no new proposals are foreseen, but the Parliament and Council will have work to do to make progress on ongoing files. For example, the European Parliament is expected to finalise its position on the geo-blocking proposal, after the Council agreed on its common position at the end of November.

The work on the proposal for portability of online content has almost come to an end in Parliament, and it is likely that the file will be finalised in the first half of next year. 


December will be busy for the area of health, with the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council meeting on the 8th and the 9th of December. Ministers are expected to tackle antimicrobial resistance, alongide access to and affordability of medicines.

The month will kick off with a meeting of the EU Health Policy Platform, while on the European Parliament side, MEPs are scheduled to vote on access to medicines during their final Plenary.

Meanwhile, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) is expected to hold a workshop on pharmacovigilance, and the Committee of Orphan Medicinal Products will also meet in early December.

What's on your agenda?

To discuss your public affairs priorities for December 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.