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Posted on 11-10-2019

Mainstreaming of climate action in the EU budget: Impact of a political objective

11-10-2019

Facilitating the transition to a climate-friendly and resilient economy requires huge investments. The EU has committed to spending 20 % of its 2014-2020 financial resources on climate-related measures. Against the backdrop of the Paris Agreement and of the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations, such a high-level political objective acquires new salience in the negotiations for the post-2020 EU budget. The European Commission has proposed to raise this objective to 25 % of the EU ...

Facilitating the transition to a climate-friendly and resilient economy requires huge investments. The EU has committed to spending 20 % of its 2014-2020 financial resources on climate-related measures. Against the backdrop of the Paris Agreement and of the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations, such a high-level political objective acquires new salience in the negotiations for the post-2020 EU budget. The European Commission has proposed to raise this objective to 25 % of the EU budget in the next programming period, while the European Parliament has called for an even more ambitious approach. Tracking and reporting climate-related expenditure pose several challenges. This analysis describes how climate action has been mainstreamed in the EU budget so far, as well as possible developments for the 2021 2027 period. The EU appears on track to almost reach its 20 % objective by 2020. Assessments of the tracking methodology and of its impact have identified both achievements and shortcomings. The creation of a broad political objective is deemed to act as a driver of increased focus on climate considerations across different policies. Recommendations for improvements include the development of a stronger performance framework.

The 2019 proposed amendments to the Treaty establishing the European Stability Mechanism

11-10-2019

This document presents the proposed amendments to the Treaty establishing the European Stability Mechanism, following the decisions taken by the Eurogroup and the June 2019 Euro Summit. It complements an EGOV briefing on the ESM features, instruments and accountability. The note outlines the relevant changes and provides a comparison between the current ESM Treaty and the proposed amended one.

This document presents the proposed amendments to the Treaty establishing the European Stability Mechanism, following the decisions taken by the Eurogroup and the June 2019 Euro Summit. It complements an EGOV briefing on the ESM features, instruments and accountability. The note outlines the relevant changes and provides a comparison between the current ESM Treaty and the proposed amended one.

Posted on 10-10-2019

What next for Europe? A strategic foresight perspective

10-10-2019

The ESPAS report examines the challenges posed for the European Union by megatrends such as digitisation, demographic change and the climate crisis. It emphasises the need for judicious responses, arguing that inaction heightens the risk of bad outcomes. It also notes that the more equal our societies are, the better prepared we are to face the future. Topics examined The report is the fruit of an inter-institutional strategic foresight exercise.

The ESPAS report examines the challenges posed for the European Union by megatrends such as digitisation, demographic change and the climate crisis. It emphasises the need for judicious responses, arguing that inaction heightens the risk of bad outcomes. It also notes that the more equal our societies are, the better prepared we are to face the future. Topics examined The report is the fruit of an inter-institutional strategic foresight exercise.

Arthouse cinemas in the EU: Showcasing European talent

10-10-2019

The fourth European Arthouse Cinema Day will take place on 13 October 2019 in some 700 cinemas all over the world. The idea is to showcase both the cultural diversity of European productions and the total commitment of the Europa Cinemas network to supporting demanding and original programming.

The fourth European Arthouse Cinema Day will take place on 13 October 2019 in some 700 cinemas all over the world. The idea is to showcase both the cultural diversity of European productions and the total commitment of the Europa Cinemas network to supporting demanding and original programming.

Plenary round-up – Brussels, October I 2019

10-10-2019

Highlights of the October I plenary session included statements and debates on the preparation of the European Council meeting of 17 and 18 October 2019, on greening the European Investment Bank (EIB), in the presence of the Bank's president, and on how to prevent conflicts of interest in the EU. Parliament also debated statements made by the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HR/VP) on the situation in northern Syria and Ukraine ...

Highlights of the October I plenary session included statements and debates on the preparation of the European Council meeting of 17 and 18 October 2019, on greening the European Investment Bank (EIB), in the presence of the Bank's president, and on how to prevent conflicts of interest in the EU. Parliament also debated statements made by the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HR/VP) on the situation in northern Syria and Ukraine. Debates took place on Council and Commission statements on the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027 and own resources. Finally, Members discussed Commission statements on United States tariffs on European goods following the World Trade Organization's Airbus dispute decision, on authorisation of genetically modified organisms, and on the fight against cancer.

CAP Amending Regulation (CMO): Amending regulations on the CMO for agricultural products, quality schemes and measures for remote regions

10-10-2019

On 1 July 2018, as part of the work on the EU's 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework, the European Commission proposed a package of three regulations with the aim of reshaping and modernising the common agricultural policy (CAP). One of these proposals, the Amending Regulation, introduces changes to rules governing the common market organisation (CMO) in agricultural products (including the rules on wine), the EU quality schemes (geographical indications) and the support measures for remote ...

On 1 July 2018, as part of the work on the EU's 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework, the European Commission proposed a package of three regulations with the aim of reshaping and modernising the common agricultural policy (CAP). One of these proposals, the Amending Regulation, introduces changes to rules governing the common market organisation (CMO) in agricultural products (including the rules on wine), the EU quality schemes (geographical indications) and the support measures for remote regions. The aim is to equip agricultural markets and support measures to face new challenges, update provisions, simplify procedures and ensure consistency with other regulations on the future CAP.

New plant-breeding techniques: Applicability of EU GMO rules

10-10-2019

New plant genetic modification techniques, referred to as 'gene editing' or 'genome editing', have evolved rapidly in recent years, allowing much faster and more precise results than conventional plant-breeding techniques. They are seen as a promising innovative field for the agri-food industry, offering great technical potential. There is, however, considerable debate as to how these new techniques should be regulated, and whether some or all of them should fall within the scope of EU legislation ...

New plant genetic modification techniques, referred to as 'gene editing' or 'genome editing', have evolved rapidly in recent years, allowing much faster and more precise results than conventional plant-breeding techniques. They are seen as a promising innovative field for the agri-food industry, offering great technical potential. There is, however, considerable debate as to how these new techniques should be regulated, and whether some or all of them should fall within the scope of EU legislation on genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Those who take the view that the new techniques should be exempt from GMO legislation generally argue that the end product is very similar to products generated using conventional breeding techniques, or that similar changes could also occur naturally. Those who consider that the new techniques should fall within the scope of GMO legislation contend that the processes used mean that plants bred using the new techniques are in fact genetically modified. In July 2018, the European Court of Justice gave a judgment ruling that genome-edited organisms fall under the scope of European GMO legislation. While welcomed by some, the judgment has also sparked criticism and calls for the new European Commission to amend EU GMO legislation. This is an updated edition of a 2016 Briefing.

Role of Advocates General at the CJEU

10-10-2019

The institution of the Advocate General was introduced into the Treaty of Rome under the influence of the French delegation during the preparation of the Treaty. The French were staunchly opposed to allowing individual judges to present dissenting or concurring opinions, and instead proposed this be done by an Advocate General, a figure modelled on the French commissaire du gouvernement, who offers legal advice to the Conseil d'État on the cases being tried. Initially, there were two Advocates General ...

The institution of the Advocate General was introduced into the Treaty of Rome under the influence of the French delegation during the preparation of the Treaty. The French were staunchly opposed to allowing individual judges to present dissenting or concurring opinions, and instead proposed this be done by an Advocate General, a figure modelled on the French commissaire du gouvernement, who offers legal advice to the Conseil d'État on the cases being tried. Initially, there were two Advocates General – one French and one German. Over time, this number increased, and a number of Advocates General posts were permanently assigned to the larger Member States, whilst the remaining ones were 'rotated' among the smaller countries. Today, there are 11 Advocates General, six of these posts are permanently assigned to the larger Member States. Advocates General are Members of the Court of Justice of the EU, and are appointed under the same procedure as judges. They enjoy the same privileges as judges (immunity), and cannot be removed from office before the end of their six-year term of office. They may be re-elected. Unlike judges, however, they only have an advisory role and do not take part in the decision-making on cases. As a matter of principle, the opinion of an Advocate General is sought in every case tried by the Court of Justice (CJ), unless the latter decides that there is no new point of law. This happens in roughly 30 % of the cases each year. Even though the General Court (GC) has the power to appoint ad hoc Advocates General, it does not now apply this in practice. In contrast to CJ judges, whose opinions are written in a formal and terse language that uses standard phrases and wording often borrowed from earlier judgments, the Advocates General can choose their own style. Again, unlike CJ judges, they also consider the interpretive alternatives and various options of deciding on a case, before proposing their own solution. In the absence of dissenting opinions filed by the CJ judges, the opinions of the Advocates General therefore play an important role and are referred to in later cases. The CJ is not bound by these opinions; nonetheless, according to empirical research, in the case of an action for annulment of an EU act, the CJ is 67 % more likely to annul it if doing so was advised by an Advocate General. This Briefing is one in a series aimed at explaining the activities of the CJEU.

Origins of the 2019-24 EU Strategic Agenda: The Future of Europe debate and the Sibiu European Council

10-10-2019

The Sibiu Summit of 9 May 2019 and the subsequent adoption of the 2019-24 Strategic Agenda on 20 June 2019 constitute the end of the Future of Europe debate (at least in its current iteration), which was initiated following the June 2016 UK referendum on EU membership. Throughout the Future of Europe process, EU Heads of State or Government reiterated three core messages that also featured prominently in all the milestone documents: the need for unity, priority to EU citizens, and focus on (policy ...

The Sibiu Summit of 9 May 2019 and the subsequent adoption of the 2019-24 Strategic Agenda on 20 June 2019 constitute the end of the Future of Europe debate (at least in its current iteration), which was initiated following the June 2016 UK referendum on EU membership. Throughout the Future of Europe process, EU Heads of State or Government reiterated three core messages that also featured prominently in all the milestone documents: the need for unity, priority to EU citizens, and focus on (policy) delivery. Moreover, the three policy priorities – migration, security and the economy – identified in the Bratislava Declaration, have been the focus over the entire period of the Future of Europe process (June 2016 to June 2019), forming the European Council's 'rolling agenda' of policy priorities.

Posted on 09-10-2019

Oleg Sentsov: The 2018 Sakharov Prize laureate

09-10-2019

Thirty years since it was first awarded, the European Parliament's Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought retains all its symbolic meaning, as human rights are continually under threat in many parts of the world. By awarding the 2018 Prize to the Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, Parliament aimed to increase the pressure on the Russian government to release him. The award also drew attention to all Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia and the annexed Crimean peninsula. On 7 September 2019, Sentsov ...

Thirty years since it was first awarded, the European Parliament's Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought retains all its symbolic meaning, as human rights are continually under threat in many parts of the world. By awarding the 2018 Prize to the Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, Parliament aimed to increase the pressure on the Russian government to release him. The award also drew attention to all Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia and the annexed Crimean peninsula. On 7 September 2019, Sentsov was released as part of a major prisoner swap between Russia and Ukraine. He is due to receive the award in person in Strasbourg on 23 October 2019.

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State of the Union: The view from regions and cities
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What Europe is Thinking: The latest Pew survey of opinion in 14 EU Member States
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