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Agriculture

EU energy, transport and GHG emissions trends to 2050. Reference scenario 2013

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Abstract in English: 
This report is an update and extension of the previous trend scenarios for development of energy systems taking account of transport and GHG emissions developments, such as the “European energy and transport - Trends to 2030” published in 2003 and its 2005, 2007 and 2009 updates1. The purpose of this publication is to present the new "EU Reference scenario 2013" ("Reference scenario" later in the text). This Reference scenario was finalised in July 2013. It focuses even more than previous ones on the energy, transport and climate dimensions of EU developments and the various interactions among policies, including now also specific sections on emission trends not related to energy. Its time horizon has been extended up to 2050. It reports for the first time on EU28 including Croatia. Moreover, the modelling process has included four rounds of consultation of Member States experts on Member State specific assumptions and draft modelling results. The responsibility for the results rests, however, with the authors of the scenario who were commissioned to do this work by Directorate General for Energy, Directorate General for Climate Action and Directorate General for Mobility and Transport.

This new update is based on the latest available statistical year from EUROSTAT at the time of the modelling (the year 2010). In comparison to the previous version, the newest macro-economic data already shows the statistical effects of the on-going EU's economic downturn in activity of different sectors as well as energy consumption and GHG emissions. The demographic and economic forecasts reflect recent projections by EUROSTAT and the joint work of the Economic Policy Committee and the European Commission (DG ECFIN) respectively. The "Ageing Report 2012"2 has been the starting point of this exercise giving long term population and GDP growth trends up to 2060 while the short and medium term GDP growth projections were taken from DG ECFIN.

The recent boom in shale gas development and exploration of unconventional oil reserves are increasing the fossil fuel reserve basis and thus changing the projections about the developments of international fuel prices. The fuel prices have been updated in the new scenario to take into account the recent developments. Significant progress has been made towards the achievement of the targets set out in the EU Energy and Climate Package, and new legislative measures, most notably the Energy Efficiency Directive3, have been adopted at EU level. Several changes have occurred at national levels as well.

This report focuses on trend projections understood in the sense of a Reference scenario. Similar to the Reference scenario latest update from 2009, this Reference scenario starts from the assumption that the legally binding GHG and RES targets for 2020 will be achieved and that the policies agreed at EU level by spring 2012 (notably on energy efficiency) as well as relevant adopted national policies will be implemented in the Member States. Following this approach the Reference scenario can help enlightening the debate on where currently adopted policies might lead the EU and whether further policy development, including for the longer term, would be needed. This Reference scenario can therefore also serve as benchmark or reference for assessing the impacts of envisaged policy initiatives at EU level in the areas of energy, transport and climate. Some technology development forecasts have changed since the latest update in 2009 both in positive way: faster than expected development for solar PV technology and negative: slower than expected developments for CCS and remote off-shore wind technologies.

Furthermore, international events, such as the Fukushima nuclear accident of March 2011, have changed the perception related to nuclear power generation and tightened the security requirements for nuclear technologies. In the context of climate change policies, specific Copenhagen/Cancun pledges for 2020 have been also set in other world regions, which have been considered in the world energy price modelling part of this exercise.
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Update of Analysis of Prospects in the Scenar 2020 study. Preparing for change

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Abstract in English: 
"The objective of the Scenar 2020-II study was to refine and improve the identification of major future trends and driving factors – and the perspectives and challenges resulting from them – provided by the initial Scenar 2020 study (December 2006) on the future of European agriculture and the rural world. In this respect the study does not aim at evaluating the impact of potential policy changes but to compare how the agricultural sector might evolve under different, and somewhat extreme, pathways which, to a large, although not full extent, follow the assumptions of the first study.

To reflect elements of the public debate, without prejudging future policy proposals, three policy scenarios are proposed within Scenar 2020-II.

The first is a 'Reference' scenario, in which reference policy decisions are carried forward in the time period of the study. For illustrative purposes it assumes a 20% reduction of CAP budget in real terms, the implementation of a Single Payment System (SPS) as of 2013, full decoupling, a 30% decrease in direct payments (DP) in nominal terms and a 105% increase of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). Trade agreements are synthetically represented, e.g. the WTO Agreement is based on the December 2008 Falconer paper. To some extent this reflects similarities with the 'baseline' scenario of the first study.

The second is called 'Conservative CAP' scenario, and keeps the overall level of the budget devoted to agriculture but changes the balance between pillars. It assumes a continuation of the results of the Health Check (HC) after 2013, a flat rate (regional model) implemented at national level, coupling as HC, and a 15% decrease of direct payments in nominal terms, a reduced (45%) increase of EAFRD. Trade policies are maintained as in the Reference scenario.

The third is a 'Liberalisation' scenario, in which all agricultural trade-related measures are discontinued. The CAP budget is reduced by 75% in real terms, all direct payments and market instruments are removed, and there is a 100% increase of EAFRD. Like in the previous study extreme scenarios were chosen in order to test what would be the maximum range of impacts the agricultural sector would be faced with over the medium term.
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Strategic Options for Europe’s Future

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, December 9, 2013
Abstract in English: 
This report, which reflects the work and discussions of a Reflection Group including EU experts from different Member States, analyses the 'state of the Union', describes the key challenges Europe faces and presents the following five potential strategic options for the future of European integration:

Option 1 - Going back to the basics: Supporters of the option argue that the events of recent years have shown that European integration has gone too far and that the EU should abandon moves towards an "ever closer union". For them performing a U-turn and undoing mistakes of the past is the most promising way forward to rescue the most worthwhile result of European integration: the Single Market. Dismantling the euro in its current form would according to advocates of this option – not lead to a collapse of the Union, but rather herald the start of a more pragmatic, effective approach to European integration.

Option 2 – Consolidating past achievements: Proponents of this option argue that the EU has already introduced most of the reforms needed to overcome the euro crisis and these should be given time to work. There is a need to be realistic and accept that Member States are not willing to go further and pool sovereignty in key areas. The EU should, at this difficult moment, steer clear of overambitious attempts to deepen integration, which could backfire given the negative political and public attitudes in many countries towards the EU and euro.

Option 3 – Moving ahead ambitiously: Those supporting this option argue that simply consolidating past achievements will not be enough: further integration, including measures to further deepen integration in the Economic and Monetary Union and boost the Union's democratic legitimacy in the public's eyes, and an honest public debate about the EU's future are vital not only to overcome the crisis but also to prepare for future challenges. All this will require significant changes to the EU Treaties. But reforms will have to be done jointly and cautiously, step by step, to avoid creating new dividing lines between EU countries.

Option 4 – Leaping forward: Advocates of this option say that recent experience has provided ample proof that the EU is insufficiently equipped to face current and future challenges, and that there is a need to take a major qualitative leap towards a fully-fledged economic, fiscal, financial, social and political union, with a strong European executive ('European government') and legislature (parliament) able to take autonomous decisions reflecting genuine European interests. Potential opposition from some countries should not prevent the 'willing and able' from making a major leap forward, even if this leads to a 'core Europe' including only those countries ready to deepen integration significantly.

Option 5 – Changing the 'more/less Europe' logic: Supporters of this option believe that the traditional debate about European integration along the lines of more or less Europe has been exhausted. The experience of the last six decades has shown that a further transfer of national political and democratic concepts to the European level would not work. They say that the EU and its members should concentrate on efforts aiming to make the Union more accountable to the public for its actions, find new ways to involve the public in policy-making, and boost the EU's capacity to safeguard the fundamental rights of its citizens and guarantee their basic social rights by strengthening the Union's caring dimension.
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