nuances newsletter - December 2013

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nuances newsletter December 2013 covers topics including the results of the coalition talks in Germany to form a Grand Coalition of CDU/CSU and SPD, regulatory compliance issues in the shipping business and an update on the EU General Data Protection Regulation. In the Finance section we inform about the price peak of Bitcoins. The nuances newsletter is written, edited and published by nuances public affairs, Berlin.

Text of nuances newsletter - December 2013

  • 1...........................................................................................Topics / Themen:LATEST NEWSLATEST NEWS1..........................................................................................A Review of the prospective German coalition contract / berblick ber den KoalitionsvertragA REVIEW OF THE PROSPECTIVE GERMAN COALITION CONTRACTENERGY / ENERGY EFFICIENCY6INTRODUCTIONGermany to close 12 power plants / Zwlf Kraftwerke werden in Deutschland abgeschaltetGermanys potential new grand coalition, consisting of Angela Merkels CDU/CSU party and the social democratic party the SPD, have finally come to agreement on a plan for government for the legislative period 2013 to 2017. Twelve committees and four subcommittees produced a 185 page contract that details the agreed approach to numerous issues including energy, energy efficiency, digitalisation, finance and transport. The agreement now needs to be voted on by some 475,000 SPD members before it can be officially accepted. By the 14 or at the latest by the 15 December 2013 the results of the vote will be published.Merkel and Solberg discuss German-Norwegian Energy Policy / Solberg und Merkel diskutieren die deutsch-norwegische Energiepolitik 6TRANSPORT7Regulatory compliance issue face shipping Industry / Schifffahrt steht vor regulatorischen HerausforderungenDIGITALISATIONDIGITALISATION9The preamble of the agreements lists digitalisation as the 4th evolutionary step of our economy after the computer age, the industrial revolution and the invention of the steam engine. The agreement comes to the conclusion that the realisation of Industry 4.0 can be achieved by investing in Big Data analysis methods and the cloud computing industry. The link between digitalisation and industry is in particular important for the German Mittelstand with its strong industrial base.European Commission would like to pass General Data Protection Regulation before 2014 Elections despite UK opposition / EU-Kommission drngt auf Verabschiedung der Datenschutzgrundverordnung noch vor den EU-Parlamentswahlen 2014 trotz britischem WiderstandFINANCE11Regarding e-commerce privacy by design and privacy by default will become more important. Also many new rules for pseudonymasation and anonymisation illustrate the intention of the potential coalition partners to better protect consumers. For instance the market location principle should be enforced. Extending the principle of the EU cookie directive, e-commerce companies will need to follow German law and regulations if they offer to ship their goods to customers in Germany.Bitcoin price peaks / Bitcoin Preis erreicht Hchstwert1 N13 December 2013

2. The recent NSA Scandal and the tapping of Chancellor Merkels mobile phone did not go by unremarked. The two parties have agreed to push for the speedy introduction of the European Data Protection Regulation and a planned IT Security Act in the hope that data of citizens will be protected and industrial espionage prevented.Energiewende. This can be seen in the effort to expand the Future Building research programme and the increase in the energy efficient renovation of federal government buildings.ENERGY EFFICIENCYThe agreement does not envisage too many changes to German energy policy. The development of renewable energies shall continue and the dedication to eradicating nuclear energy by 2022 remains. Subsidy rates for onshore wind energy shall be decreased. Merkels plan to reform the Renewable Energy Act has been approved and a timeline provided. A draft version is to be drawn up before Easter and passed by summer 2014. The possibility of a capacity market is noted, although no definite decision has been made. The agreement also envisages planning corridors for the expansion of renewable energy sources so that targets can be met. Renewable energy should account for up 55 to 60 per cent of energy use by 2035.ENERGYThe coalition agreement identifies efficiency as an essential component of a sustainable Energiewende. The government intends to publish an action plan in 2014 which would identify goals, instruments, finance methods and the responsibility of individual players in this area. With the help of a building renovation roadmap the coalition aims to have a virtually climate-neutral stock of buildings by 2050. The amount of energy buildings use should be lowered and at the same time the market incentive programme (MAP) for heating, hot and cold water supply and process heat from renewable energy should be consolidated. Heat pumps, for instance use geothermal heat for the heating or cooling of a building. In this way carbon emissions can be reduced by up to 50 per cent. If the heat pump receives electricity from renewable energy like a photovoltaic system then the building is heated 100 per cent carbon-neutral. With regard to the energy efficiency of buildings, experts see wall panel heating as the way forward. Furthermore the CDU/CSU und SPD plan to focus on and promote professional and independent energy consulting. This should prevent unprofitable investments in energy saving renovation of buildings. The future coalition partners plan to top up and consolidate the KfW programme for energy saving renovation of buildings. It was agreed that the programme be financed partly by funds from the energy and climate fund and partly from the budget of the federal ministry for transport, building and urban development. According to the coalition agreement a maximum of 10% of the modernisation costs can be passed on to the rental price and only until the amortisation of the modernisation costs.GABRIEL, MERKEL, SEEHOFER. SOURCE: DPA, CHAPERONFINANCE The chapter on financial market regulation mentions the principle: Neither financial market actors, financial products nor the financial market itself will be allowed to exist without appropriate regulation. The equity capital and liquidity standards for banks set by Basel III should be implemented according to this.In the context of energy efficient building and renovation, district solutions should be strengthened. It is planned to make available bonus renovation incentives for areas that have been affected by demographic change. The agreement sees construction culture as closely linked to theFurthermore the future coalition partners plan to work towards a strict separation of investment and commercial banks on the European level. The universal bank system should however be maintained. So called shadow banks2 N13 December 2013 3. should be regulated so that the same rules apply as in the classic banking sector. On top of that derivative trading and high frequency trading should be more transparent and regulated on the European level. The future government also plans to make European rating agencies more competitive.shipping industry to such an extent that it will encourage road transportation over environmentally friendlier shipping. There are plans to make shipping even more ecological by reducing emissions in the North and Baltic Sea (SECA). LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) is given the green light as an alternative fuel for ships but there is no reference of funding for the required infrastructure. Additionally, there is no mention of any possible regulation for shipping in the Mediterranean although this will undoubtedly be a topic on the European level. The expansion of the trans-European transport infrastructure (TEN-T) will continue to be supported.With regards to tax on financial transactions the CDU/CSU and SPD intend to realise this through closer co-operation within the EU. This should be introduced simultaneously with other European countries. The tax should be quickly implemented using a wide basis of assessment and a low tax rate.It is significant that the agreement acknowledges the digitalisation of the transport sector. This suggests that, for example, mobile tickets for public transport, digital traffic management as well the use of digital technology logistics management at cargo ports will all become more familiar. It seems Big Data will an ever more important role in the transport sector.The coalition partners envisage small improvement for consumers: The EU-Plan for a deposit account for all should be implemented on a national level. In addition, banks should warn customers if they are in danger of incurring expensive overdraft fees. TRANSPORTBERBLICK BER DEN KOALITONSVERTRAG Transport was another major topic negotiated. From road to rail and shipping, all areas were covered. 5 Billion euro of the 23 Billion euro budget was allocated to improve transport infrastructure. It is planned to allocated he German transport infrastructure financing companys (VIFG) budget on a multiannual financial framework basis, which will allow for better investment planning.EINLEITUNG CDU, CSU und SPD haben nach langen Verhandlungen den Koalitionsvertrag fr die aktuelle Legislaturperiode (2013 bis 2017) unterschrieben. Der Groen Koalition knnte somit nur noch der SPD-Mitgliederentscheid im Weg stehen, dessen Ergebnis am 14. oder 15. Dezember 2013 bekannt gegeben wird. Zwlf Arbeitsgruppen und vier Unterarbeitsgruppen haben einen 185 Seiten langen Koalitionsvertrag formuliert. Dieser behandelt zahlreiche Themen darunter Energie, Energieeffizienz, Digitalisierung, Finanzwesen und Verkehr. Fr die Bereiche Digitale Agenda sowie Bankenregulierung und Europa wurden Unterarbeitsgruppen geformt. Kurioserweise stehen die Themen der Unterarbeitsgruppen ganz oben auf der politischen Agenda.The toll charge for trucks should be expanded. This might include toll charges on interstate roads for utility vehicles weighing 7.5 tonnes or more. It is the pivotal wish of the CSU to introduce a toll for cars. The coalition agreement states: cars not licensed in Germany that use the autobahn motorway should also face toll charges. But only if the action will conform to EU law. German transport minister Peter Ramsauer, CSU, claims such a char