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 : 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 : 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 : Transport and tourism, Development, Internal market and consumer protection, Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, Budgets
Summary : Export taxes and restrictions take various forms and their effects may not be limited to the countries that apply them. Developing countries use such export taxes and restrictions in pursuit of development policy objectives. The effects on third countries depend on the market power of the country applying them and the nature of the restriction or tax. Large developing and emerging economies are the main users of these types of instruments, which are often used to counter the distortions due to tariff escalation. Multilateral trade rules do not forbid the use of export taxes, but they do apply to export restrictions. The treatment of these instruments in Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) negotiated by the EU varies, even between the different Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs). The EU should be flexible when it comes to the treatment of these instruments in trade agreements involving LDCs and small developing countries. In some cases, the EU should consider renegotiating existing agreements to remove strict prohibitions that can hamper development.
Authors : Maximiliano Mendez Parra (Overseas Development Institute), Samuel R. Schubert (Webster University) and Elina Brutschin (Webster University)
Bodies : Development
Summary : The EU is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, human rights, freedom, democracy, equality and the rule of law. The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights sets out all the personal, civic, political, economic and social rights enjoyed by people in the EU. This leaflet provides extracts from relevant supporting analyses prepared by European Parliament’s policy departments for different EP's committees.
Bodies : Women's Rights and Gender Equality, Constitutional affairs, Human rights, Petitions, Development, Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, International trade, Budgetary Control
Summary : The latest response to the situation of refugees in the European Union is the "European Agenda on Migration", which aims to strengthen the common migration and asylum policy. This leaflet provides extracts from relevant supporting analyses prepared by European Parliament’s policy departments for different EP's committees.
Bodies : Budgetary Control, Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, Budgets, Women's Rights and Gender Equality, Development, Employment and social affairs, Human rights, Foreign affairs, Security and defence
Summary : The EU has been at the forefront of efforts to define and implement the concept of policy coherence for development (PCD) in recent years. A range of instruments has been established to promote the inclusion of development issues in all EU policies. The workshop offered a platform for a lively debate among practitioners and researchers about the achievements of the EU in practice, the potential of recent reforms such as the better regulation package, and the lessons learnt from PCD efforts steered by the OECD at international level. As regards the security-development nexus, speakers highlighted both the progress made in enhancing PCD, for example through the comprehensive approach, and the risks of 'securitising' development policy. The Sustainable Development Goals, which include a target for 'Policy Coherence of Sustainable Development', have added a new layer to the debate. The UN views PCSD as a key factor in facilitating the achievement of the SDGs, and the OECD has taken the concept fully on board. But there are also critical voices which fear that the broader approach could lead to the dilution of the clearly defined legal obligation enshrined in the EU treaties. There was some consensus that PCD needs high-level political engagement to be effective.
Authors : Maurizio CARBONE and Mark FURNESS
Bodies : Development
Summary : There is broad consensus that change is needed to make the humanitarian system fit for the current challenges, including the global refugee crisis, continuing violations of International Humanitarian Law and the humanitarian funding gap. During the workshop, initiated by the Committee on Development, representatives of the EU, the UN, diplomatic missions and NGOs highlighted the importance to achieve concrete results at the World Humanitarian Summit, taking place on 23/24 May in Istanbul, as well as to ensure a stringent follow up.
Authors : Rahul CHANDRAN (United Nations University Centre for Policy Research)
Bodies : Development
Summary : Human rights have become an integral part of most donors' development cooperation. In addition to their intrinsic value, human rights are considered instrumental in achieving sustainable development. Implementing the international development goals related to civil and political rights and governance will be challenging. The EU has gradually refined its policy on integrating human rights into development cooperation. The EU approach includes imposing different forms of conditionality, supporting projects and programmes, and mainstreaming human rights across development actions. Aid to governance and civil society has increased in the last decade, reaching 9 % of the EU’s sectorallocable aid in 2013. Implementing a rights-based approach to development will be decisive, but challenging. The European Parliament, a strong supporter of integrating human rights into development cooperation, has its own toolbox to support human rights abroad.
Authors : Marika LERCH
Bodies : Foreign affairs, Development, Human rights
Summary : The New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition in Africa (NAFSN) launched in May 2012 under the auspices of the G8 aims to create the conditions that will allow the African countries concerned to improve agricultural productivity and develop their agrifood sector by attracting more private investment in agriculture. The participating countries (Burkina Faso, Benin, Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal and Tanzania) adopted 'country cooperation frameworks' (CCFs) listing their policy commitments, and companies provided 'Letters of Intent' identifying intended investments. While the general objective of the NAFSN is sound, certain deficiencies remain: the CCFs are silent on the need to shift to sustainable modes of agricultural production and to support farmers' seed systems, on the dangers associated with the emergence of a market for land rights, or on the regulation of contract farming; and they are weak on nutrition as well as on the recognition of women's rights and gender empowerment.
Authors : Olivier DE SCHUTTER (University of Louvain - UCL, Centre for Philosophy of Law - CPDR, Institute for Interdisciplinary Research in Legal Sciences - JUR-I, Belgium)
Bodies : Foreign affairs, Development, Human rights