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Posted on 20-09-2019

Plenary round-up – Strasbourg, September 2019

20-09-2019

Highlights of the September plenary session included statements and debates on the preparation for the Climate Action Summit and the Sustainable Development Goals Summit in New York, on the importance of European remembrance for the future of Europe, and on the implementation of anti-money laundering legislation. A further debate on the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the EU was held, Parliament’s first since the change of prime minister in the UK. Parliament also debated statements made on behalf ...

Highlights of the September plenary session included statements and debates on the preparation for the Climate Action Summit and the Sustainable Development Goals Summit in New York, on the importance of European remembrance for the future of Europe, and on the implementation of anti-money laundering legislation. A further debate on the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the EU was held, Parliament’s first since the change of prime minister in the UK. Parliament also debated statements made on behalf of the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on the political situation in Hong Kong, Burkina Faso, Colombia and Kashmir. Debates also took place on Council and Commission statements on the fires in the Amazon, forests in the EU, and cases of breaches of human rights. Members voted to approve Christine Lagarde's nomination as President of the European Central Bank, and voted on a series of reports on amendments to the 2019 budget.

How EU Treaties are changed

20-09-2019

The EU's founding Treaties have been revised by the Member States in numerous rounds of reforms. Such Treaty revision is a way to ensure that EU primary law evolves, adapts, and responds to new developments and changing needs. The last comprehensive Treaty reform dates back to the Lisbon Treaty, which entered into force on 1 December 2009. While another comprehensive Treaty change is not yet on the agenda, the recent debates on the 'Future of Europe' triggered a number of reform proposals, some of ...

The EU's founding Treaties have been revised by the Member States in numerous rounds of reforms. Such Treaty revision is a way to ensure that EU primary law evolves, adapts, and responds to new developments and changing needs. The last comprehensive Treaty reform dates back to the Lisbon Treaty, which entered into force on 1 December 2009. While another comprehensive Treaty change is not yet on the agenda, the recent debates on the 'Future of Europe' triggered a number of reform proposals, some of which would necessitate revision of the EU Treaties. Such revision is governed by Article 48 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU), which provides for two main procedures: the ordinary and the simplified revision procedures. The former applies to the TEU, to the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU) and to the Euratom Treaty; the latter only to part of the TFEU.

Climate change [What Think Tanks are thinking]

20-09-2019

The United Nations’ Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, will convene a special summit on climate change on 23 September, during the annual session of the UN General Assembly in New York. The meeting, entitled ‘Climate Action Summit 2019: A race we can win, a race we must win’, is meant to encourage world leaders to do more to limit emissions of greenhouse gases responsible for global warming. Guterres has said the meeting will seek to challenge states, regions, cities, companies, investors and citizens ...

The United Nations’ Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, will convene a special summit on climate change on 23 September, during the annual session of the UN General Assembly in New York. The meeting, entitled ‘Climate Action Summit 2019: A race we can win, a race we must win’, is meant to encourage world leaders to do more to limit emissions of greenhouse gases responsible for global warming. Guterres has said the meeting will seek to challenge states, regions, cities, companies, investors and citizens to step up action in the areas of energy transition, climate finance and carbon pricing, industry transition and nature-based solutions. This note offers links to a series of recent commentaries and reports from major international think tanks and research institutes on climate change and ways to mitigate it. Earlier reports on trade can be found in a previous edition of 'What Think Tanks are thinking' published in April 2019.

EU sports policy: Going faster, aiming higher, reaching further

20-09-2019

Sport has a growing impact both on the European Union (EU) economy and on society as a whole. Over 7 million people work in sport-related jobs, and sport-related goods and services amount to nearly 3 % of total EU gross value added. It was not until 2009, with the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, that the Union received a clear mandate to build up and implement an EU-coordinated sports policy supported by a specific budget, and to develop cooperation with international bodies in the area of ...

Sport has a growing impact both on the European Union (EU) economy and on society as a whole. Over 7 million people work in sport-related jobs, and sport-related goods and services amount to nearly 3 % of total EU gross value added. It was not until 2009, with the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, that the Union received a clear mandate to build up and implement an EU-coordinated sports policy supported by a specific budget, and to develop cooperation with international bodies in the area of sport. However, EU competence in sport is limited and only allows the EU to support, coordinate or complement sports policy measures taken by national governments. This rules out the adoption of legislation or any other legally binding measure. The EU has therefore opted to act via 'soft' policy tools, such as guidelines, recommendations and – most importantly – funding, to support its sport-related objectives. Over the years, the EU has been actively involved in tackling transnational issues such as doping, match-fixing and lack of physical activity. In recent years, various health-related EU initiatives have grown increasingly popular. In 2018, the European Week of Sport attracted nearly 14 million people to over 50 000 events across Europe, with the Western Balkans and the countries from the Eastern Partnership joining the initiative in 2019. The #BeActive Night, a new feature first introduced in 2018, will continue encouraging participants to discover and try the different sports activities available in their area. None of this would have been possible without the introduction of a specific budget for sport, in which the European Parliament played a key role. As the popularity of sport-related initiatives grows, so do the Commission's plans and ambitions for the broader role of sport in society. The executive's proposal for the 2021-2027 Erasmus programme confirms this ambition. Accordingly, the amount available for Erasmus would be doubled, to reach €30 billion, with €550 million dedicated to sport.

The European Systemic Risk Board – Main features, mandate and accountability

19-09-2019

This briefing provides an overview of the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB), its’ main features, mandate and accountability. It also includes the overview of recent review of the ESRB mission, mandate and organisation as part of the review of European System of Financial Supervision.

This briefing provides an overview of the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB), its’ main features, mandate and accountability. It also includes the overview of recent review of the ESRB mission, mandate and organisation as part of the review of European System of Financial Supervision.

The European Systemic Risk Board – systemic risk update, stress tests and work in progres

20-09-2019

This note is prepared in view of a regular public hearing with the Chair of the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB), Mario Draghi, which will take place on 23 September 2019. The briefing provides an overview of recent actions by the ESRB, such as systemic risks identified, input for recent stress testing exercise, and assessment of compliance with public ESRB recommendations.

This note is prepared in view of a regular public hearing with the Chair of the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB), Mario Draghi, which will take place on 23 September 2019. The briefing provides an overview of recent actions by the ESRB, such as systemic risks identified, input for recent stress testing exercise, and assessment of compliance with public ESRB recommendations.

Study in Focus - Eu and ILO: Shaping the Future of Work

15-08-2019

This briefing p[resents the key findings of the corresponding study (PE 638.407).

This briefing p[resents the key findings of the corresponding study (PE 638.407).

External author

F. PASTORE, S. GAUSAS, I. STYCZYNSKA et al.

Research for PECH Committee - EU fisheries policy – latest developments and future challenges

16-09-2019

This study examines the latest developments of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) in the fields of fisheries management, Common Market Organisation (CMO) and its external dimension. It also discusses the potential challenges that the EU fisheries policy might be facing in the near future. The present research contains ten case studies and concludes with possible solutions and recommendations to address some of the sector’s forthcoming challenges.

This study examines the latest developments of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) in the fields of fisheries management, Common Market Organisation (CMO) and its external dimension. It also discusses the potential challenges that the EU fisheries policy might be facing in the near future. The present research contains ten case studies and concludes with possible solutions and recommendations to address some of the sector’s forthcoming challenges.

External author

Aranda, M., Ulrich, C., Le Gallic et al.

Posted on 19-09-2019

Europol: The EU law enforcement cooperation agency

19-09-2019

Evolving from informal police cooperation in the 1970s to a fully fledged European Union (EU) agency with a strengthened mandate under its new legal basis (Regulation (EU) 2016/794), Europol's mandate is to strengthen EU Member States' competent authorities and ensure their cooperation for the purpose of 'preventing and combating serious crime affecting two or more Member States, terrorism and forms of crime which affect a common interest covered by a Union policy'. The agency is therefore empowered ...

Evolving from informal police cooperation in the 1970s to a fully fledged European Union (EU) agency with a strengthened mandate under its new legal basis (Regulation (EU) 2016/794), Europol's mandate is to strengthen EU Member States' competent authorities and ensure their cooperation for the purpose of 'preventing and combating serious crime affecting two or more Member States, terrorism and forms of crime which affect a common interest covered by a Union policy'. The agency is therefore empowered to tackle more than 30 forms of serious crime and related criminal offences, including terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering, human trafficking, sexual abuse and exploitation, trafficking in arms and ammunition. To fulfil its objectives, Europol carries out a series of tasks, including the core activities of performing as the EU criminal information exchange hub and providing operational support and expertise to Member States' criminal investigations. To frame Europol's activities, the Europol Regulation strengthens its data management and data protection rules and provides for enhanced scrutiny: political scrutiny – by a new parliamentary oversight body made up of representatives of the European Parliament and Member States' national parliaments; and scrutiny of its data processing operations – by the European Data Protection Supervisor. Furthermore, the Regulation reforms the framework for Europol's cooperation with partners such as third countries and international organisations, which also allows for an increased role for the Commission and the European Parliament. On the occasion of Europol's 20th anniversary, this briefing provides a timeline of the agency's establishment and consolidation; an overview of its competences, structure and functioning under the current legal framework; as well as some elements related to further developments.

EU guidelines on ethics in artificial intelligence: Context and implementation

19-09-2019

The discussion around artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and their impact on society is increasingly focused on the question of whether AI should be regulated. Following the call from the European Parliament to update and complement the existing Union legal framework with guiding ethical principles, the EU has carved out a 'human-centric' approach to AI that is respectful of European values and principles. As part of this approach, the EU published its guidelines on ethics in AI in April 2019 ...

The discussion around artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and their impact on society is increasingly focused on the question of whether AI should be regulated. Following the call from the European Parliament to update and complement the existing Union legal framework with guiding ethical principles, the EU has carved out a 'human-centric' approach to AI that is respectful of European values and principles. As part of this approach, the EU published its guidelines on ethics in AI in April 2019, and European Commission President-elect, Ursula von der Leyen, has announced that the Commission will soon put forward further legislative proposals for a coordinated European approach to the human and ethical implications of AI. Against this background, this paper aims to shed some light on the ethical rules that are now recommended when designing, developing, deploying, implementing or using AI products and services in the EU. Moreover, it identifies some implementation challenges and presents possible further EU action ranging from soft law guidance to standardisation to legislation in the field of ethics and AI. There are calls for clarifying the EU guidelines, fostering the adoption of ethical standards and adopting legally binding instruments to, inter alia, set common rules on transparency and common requirements for fundamental rights impact assessments, and to provide an adequate legal framework for face recognition technology. Finally, the paper gives an overview of the main ethical frameworks for AI under development in countries such as the United States and China.

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