This database contains the research papers produced by the European Parliament’s various research services, in particular studies, in-depth analyses and briefings produced by policy departments, the Economic Governance Support Unit and the Directorate for Impact Assessment and European Added Value. These documents aim to support the work of the various parliamentary bodies.
The policy departments are responsible for providing expertise and policy advice to support the activities of various parliamentary bodies, most notably the committees. Based on analyses carried out either in-house or externally, policy departments provide independent, specialised, objective, high-quality and up-to-date information in all areas of Parliament’s activities.
Policy departments deliver policy analysis in a wide variety of formats, most frequently in response to a request from a Parliament committee or delegation. In this database you will find texts ranging from studies and in-depth country- or issue-specific analyses to briefings. This written output serves a variety of purposes by feeding directly into the legislative work of a specific committee or serving as a briefing for delegations of members.
The Economic Governance Support Unit provides briefing papers for Economic Dialogues and Accountability Hearings organised by the competent committee of the Parliament. Moreover, it produces background documents and tables, on a regular basis, in this domain.
The Directorate for Impact Assessment and European Added Value within the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) provides research on various aspects of ex-ante or ex-post evaluation of EU legislation and policies. In this database you will find: detailed appraisals of impact assessments (IAs) produced by the European Commission; complementary or substitute IAs; IAs on parliamentary amendments; ‘European Implementation Appraisals’ on the implementation and effectiveness of EU law and policies in practice; ‘Cost of Non-Europe’ reports in policy areas where greater efficiency or collective benefits could be achieved through common action at European level; and ‘European Added Value Assessments’ setting out the rationale for legislative initiative reports put forward by committees.
The Scientific Foresight Unit (STOA) carries out interdisciplinary research and provides strategic advice in the field of science and technology options assessment and scientific foresight. It undertakes in-depth studies and organises workshops on developments in these fields, under the guidance of the STOA Panel of 24 MEPs.
Summary : Brexit could have a major impact on EU development and humanitarian policies. However, although Brexit is highly likely to happen, there are still uncertainties about the UK’s new foreign policy approach and its repercussions on aid. The UK may act under three different scenarios (nationalist, realist, cosmopolitan) with different consequences for EU aid. The UK’s leaving would challenge the EU’s role as the world’s leading donor: EU aid may decrease by up to 3 % and it could lose between 10 % and 13 % of its world aid share. Its presence, through ODA, in neighbouring countries throughout Eastern Europe and North Africa could be particularly affected, with a cut of between 1 % and 4 %, depending on different scenarios. The EU could react to Brexit by adopting two distinct approaches to foreign policy and development cooperation: either limiting its role to that of a regional power or growing to become a global leader. In the first approach, Brexit would have a very mild effect and would lead to very few policy challenges. However, in the second, the EU would need to compensate for the loss of Britain’s contribution to EU aid, both in quantitative and qualitative terms.
Authors : Iliana OLIVIÉ, senior analyst, and Aitor PÉREZ, senior research fellow, Elcano Royal Institute, Spain
Bodies : Development
Summary : The study considers the options for suspending obligations under the EU-ACP Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) in connection with violations of human rights, democratic principles or the rule of law following the expiry of the Cotonou Agreement in 2020. It outlines the functioning of the human rights clause in the Cotonou Agreement, before considering the possibilities for suspending the EPAs under their own provisions, or for other reasons in international law, such as countermeasures. Next, it discusses how any post-2020 arrangements can best continue the existing mechanisms for human rights conditionality set out in the Cotonou Agreement. In connection with this, this study proposes certain suggestions for improving future versions of human rights clauses, and considers whether there are legal obstacles to the invocation of this clause under general international law, principally under WTO law. The study concludes with a set of comments and recommendations.
Authors : Lorand BARTELS
Bodies : International trade, Development
Summary : On occasion of International Women's Day, the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality is holding an inter-parliamentary committee meeting dealing with the economic empowerment of women. The debates and workshops are set to focus on, amongst others, women in science and technology, women in political and economic decision-making, work-life balance, and freedom from violence. This thematic digest provides selected policy department publications prepared to support committees in their work.
Bodies : International trade, Women's Rights and Gender Equality, Culture and education, Development
Summary : With the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) negotiations concluded and subsequently signed by both parties, the European Union and Canada’s most progressive trade agreement to date is set to provisionally enter into force soon. However, as developed countries move to negotiate preferential trade agreements between themselves (like the CETA), extending beyond current multilateral trade obligations, the improved market access, trade harmonisation and cross-cutting issues included in the agreements can have a much wider impact, affecting countries not party to them. As far as CETA is concerned, in our judgement those impacts are likely to be relatively small, and confined to a small group of vulnerable states, especially those with concentrated export structures, and notably of primary products in direct competition with Canadian exports to the EU. However, given the limitations of this paper the conclusion is fairly speculative, and so a key recommendation is that more detailed analysis of potentially vulnerable exporters be conducted to narrow down a subsequent mitigation strategy. That mitigation strategy mainly revolves around the impact of non-tariff measures (NTMs), focusing on product standards, and Rules of Origin. Essentially the focus needs to be on a targeted development assistance package referencing the need to upgrade product standards capacities in vulnerable states, in order to maximise the potential of trade to contribute to economic growth and, thereby, poverty reduction.
Authors : Peter Draper
Bodies : Development
Summary : The present study places the potential effects of Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) liberalisation on government revenue in signatory states within the broader context of regional integration and global liberalisation. Based on a review of the secondary literature it finds that the revenue effect may be severe in some, but by no means all, cases and that the forecasts now need to be updated by country-level studies using the details of liberalisation schedules actually agreed. The evidence also suggests that poor countries find it very hard to replace government revenue lost through liberalisation but that where there have been successes the measures taken include those needed to increase any gains from regional and global trade integration. Such reforms require sustained commitment (by donors and recipients) over many years. The stresses created by EPAs (and regional liberalisation) increase the need for such commitment; but they also offer an opportunity since they include an appropriate framework for providing appropriate assistance. Yet data on flows of aid for trade do not indicate that an adequate commitment has yet been made. Six recommendations are made on actions that the European Parliament might champion to reduce the risks of an ‘EPA revenue squeeze’ in ways that support recipients’ capacity to benefit from greater regional and global integration.
Authors : Isabella MASSA and Christopher STEVENS (Overseas Development Institute)
Bodies : Development
Summary : The international Ministerial Conference on Afghanistan, held in Brussels on 4-5 October 2016, was a success. High representatives of 75 countries and 26 international organisations renewed their commitment to Afghanistan’s stability and development; they also pledged EUR 13.6 billion to support the unity government until 2020. However the country is going through very difficult times: in 2016 insurgents have committed more attacks, which have caused more victims, and controlled more territory than in 2015. The numbers of internally displaced people and of refugees returning to Afghanistan, particularly from Pakistan, have grown dramatically. The economic situation is bleak and the government has very limited capacities to provide basic services. The country requires continuous international support for economic development, regional economic cooperation and a reconciliation process leading to lasting peace.
Authors : Giulia BONACQUISTI (Trans European Policy Studies Association - TEPSA, Belgium) and Victor TANZARELLA HARTMANN (Trans European Policy Studies Association - TEPSA, Belgium) (for the workshop report) ; Mona KANWAL SHEIKH (Danish Institute for International Studies, Denmark - for the briefing 1) ; Arne STRAND (U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, Chr. Michelsen Institute, Norway - briefing 2) ; Richard GHIASY (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute - SIPRI, Sweden)
Bodies : D-AF, Foreign affairs, Development
Summary : Amid stalled peace talks and a worsening humanitarian situation, the EU is working alongside the UN Special Envoy for Syria to engage key regional and international players and broker a return to the negotiating table. In parallel, an EU emergency humanitarian initiative for Aleppo has been launched to attempt to break the deadlock over humanitarian access and deliver aid to some of the 275 000 people in Aleppo and 13.5 million people across the country who are in desperate need of assistance.
Authors : Marika LERCH, Kirsten JONGBERG, Wanda TROSZCZYNSKA VAN GENDEREN
Bodies : Foreign affairs, Development
Summary : The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.
Bodies : Culture and education, Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, Economic and monetary affairs, Budgetary Control, Development
Summary : EU Arctic policy has evolved significantly in recent years, culminating in the April 2016 Joint Communication from the European Commission and the HRVP for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The Communication focuses on the environment and climate change, sustainable development, and peaceful international cooperation, with overarching support for scientific research. This coincides with most of the priorities of the EU’s Arctic Member States, Denmark, Finland and Sweden. The Communication does not focus on security issues or on hydrocarbon development. Arctic oil and gas are not the primary keys to EU energy security, but do play a role, and are important for the EU’s two main suppliers, Norway and Russia – sustainable management of these resources is in the EU’s interest. While the region has been a model for cooperation – Arctic collaboration with Russia continues via multiple mechanisms, despite wider tensions. That it will remain so cannot be taken for granted. The EU supports peaceful Arctic cooperation via multiple mechanisms, including the Arctic Council, the Barents-Euro Arctic Council, and via multiple cross-border collaboration platforms. As the EU becomes increasingly engaged in Arctic issues, continued focus on policy coherence, engagement with other Arctic stakeholders, and the priorities of the region’s citizens will be essential.
Authors : Gerald STANG (European Union Institute for Security Studies)
Bodies : Human rights, Security and defence, Development, Foreign affairs
Summary : EU support for governance reforms has gained prominence in the EU’s external relations and particularly in the EU’s development policy. However, the EU’s engagement in this field has come under considerable pressure in recent years. It is by no means automatic that the EU will continue and further increase its engagement in supporting governance reforms. In this context, the objective of this study is to summarise evidence from academic research on why the EU and other donors should support governance reforms and under which conditions EU support positively contributes to governance reforms. Moreover, the study analyses how the EU has aimed at contributing to governance reforms during the past decade, focusing in particular on the Development Cooperation Instrument and the European Development Fund. The study puts emphasis on EU development policy, but places the analysis of governance support through development policy in the broader context of EU external relations. The study makes recommendations related to EU good governance support, to good governance support through the DCI and EDF, to ongoing strategy processes in EU external relations, and also in regard to the future of the EU’s relations with the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries.
Authors : Christine HACKENESCH
Bodies : Development