ThinkTank logo The documents that help shape new EU legislation
Posted on 18-07-2018

Women in the Western Balkans: Gender equality in the EU accession process

18-07-2018

Equality between women and men, or gender equality, is a fundamental right and a common value, recognised by the EU. It has been a component of the European integration project from its outset. Enshrined in the EU Treaties, gender equality forms part of the accession conditions with which candidate and potential candidates from the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia) have to comply. Investing in gender equality ...

Equality between women and men, or gender equality, is a fundamental right and a common value, recognised by the EU. It has been a component of the European integration project from its outset. Enshrined in the EU Treaties, gender equality forms part of the accession conditions with which candidate and potential candidates from the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia) have to comply. Investing in gender equality, however, is essential not only as an EU requirement, but for an equal society. Although progress has been noted in these countries as regards gender equality, more work is still required. Equal opportunities would allow EU candidate countries to better tap into the potential and skills of women, and underpin achievements in areas such as economic growth, employment and social cohesion, as well as in peace-building. As part of their preparation for an EU future, the Western Balkan countries have taken steps to advance women's rights in recent years. These include adopting or amending relevant legislation (e.g. criminal and labour laws), elaborating national strategies and action plans, and establishing institutional mechanisms to carry out and monitor relevant policies. Nevertheless, promoting gender equality is often sidelined, and the action taken in this respect is insufficient. Ensuring equality between women and men remains 'unfinished business' in a region where traditional gender roles are deep-rooted and social attitudes and lack of awareness of women's rights are at the core of the problem. This Briefing aims to highlight the EU's efforts to promote gender equality as part of EU enlargement policy, and the way the EU strives to mainstream equality across the board. It also aims to cast light on some major challenges that women face in the Western Balkans, such as their weaker roles in economy and politics, and widespread gender-based violence. This follows up the June 2017 briefing on 'Rights and empowerment of women in the Western Balkans'.

Introducing the definitive VAT system for B2B cross-border trade

18-07-2018

Value added tax (VAT) is an important source of revenue for national governments and the European Union (EU) budget and, from an economic point of view, it is a very efficient consumption tax. However, the existing rules governing intra-Community trade are 25 years old and the current common EU VAT system presents such problems as vulnerability to fraud, high compliance costs for businesses and also a heavy administrative burden for national authorities. The reform of the system is planned in several ...

Value added tax (VAT) is an important source of revenue for national governments and the European Union (EU) budget and, from an economic point of view, it is a very efficient consumption tax. However, the existing rules governing intra-Community trade are 25 years old and the current common EU VAT system presents such problems as vulnerability to fraud, high compliance costs for businesses and also a heavy administrative burden for national authorities. The reform of the system is planned in several consecutive steps, first for goods and then for services, and will take some years. This proposal introduces the basic features of the definite VAT system for business-to-business (B2B) transactions of goods and aims to harmonise and simplify certain rules of the current VAT system, by amending the VAT Directive (Directive 2006/112/EC).

European Regional Development Fund and Cohesion Fund 2021-2027

18-07-2018

In preparation for the upcoming Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027, the European Commission published a proposal for a regulation on the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund (CF) on 29 May 2018. The new single regulation on the ERDF and CF (previously covered by two separate regulations) identifies the specific objectives and scope of support for both funds, including non-eligible activities. In line with evidence regarding impact, investments will focus on activities ...

In preparation for the upcoming Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027, the European Commission published a proposal for a regulation on the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund (CF) on 29 May 2018. The new single regulation on the ERDF and CF (previously covered by two separate regulations) identifies the specific objectives and scope of support for both funds, including non-eligible activities. In line with evidence regarding impact, investments will focus on activities with the highest added value, such as support for SMEs, smart specialisation, the low carbon economy, sustainable urban development and regional cooperation. The ERDF will focus mainly on smart growth and the green economy, and the CF on environmental and transport infrastructure. A special approach is adopted for territories such as urban areas and outermost regions. The indicator framework for monitoring progress will include new common results indicators. At the European Parliament, the file has been allocated to the Committee on Regional Development, with Andrea Cozzolino (S&D, Italy) as rapporteur. The rapporteur's draft report is expected in the autumn.

Seven economic challenges for Russia: Breaking out of stagnation?

18-07-2018

This publication describes the current condition of the Russian economy, which has suffered recently from external shocks, such as a collapse in oil prices and Western sanctions. However, it argues that poor economic performance has more to do with long-term internal problems, including a lack of competitive markets, low levels of investment, an absence of innovation and excessive dependence on natural resources. Finally, it discusses President Putin's promises of economic reforms to tackle such ...

This publication describes the current condition of the Russian economy, which has suffered recently from external shocks, such as a collapse in oil prices and Western sanctions. However, it argues that poor economic performance has more to do with long-term internal problems, including a lack of competitive markets, low levels of investment, an absence of innovation and excessive dependence on natural resources. Finally, it discusses President Putin's promises of economic reforms to tackle such issues, and evaluates the prospects for major change.

Global Trendometer - Essays on medium- and long-term global trends - July 2018

18-07-2018

The EU faces challenges from the outside and the inside. Most of those are the symptoms of big underlying trends, and handling them needs foresight. The Global Trendometer tries to provide foresight for decision makers in the EU by analysing the changes in these long-term trends. This publication does not offer answers or make recommendations. It presents summarised information derived from a range of carefully selected sources. This issue of the Global Trendometer analyses long-term trends on India ...

The EU faces challenges from the outside and the inside. Most of those are the symptoms of big underlying trends, and handling them needs foresight. The Global Trendometer tries to provide foresight for decision makers in the EU by analysing the changes in these long-term trends. This publication does not offer answers or make recommendations. It presents summarised information derived from a range of carefully selected sources. This issue of the Global Trendometer analyses long-term trends on India, the labour-share of income, and democracy and artificial intelligence. It also features two-pagers on geoengineering, remittances, food security in China, economic waves, the US after Trump, public procurement and deep fakes.

Three Eastern Partnership neighbours: Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus

01-01-2018

The EU’s Eastern Partnership policy, established in 2009, covers six post-Soviet states: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. It was created to support political, social and economic reform efforts in these countries with the aim of increasing democratisation and good governance, energy security, environmental protection, and economic and social development. All the members except Belarus are part of the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly.

The EU’s Eastern Partnership policy, established in 2009, covers six post-Soviet states: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. It was created to support political, social and economic reform efforts in these countries with the aim of increasing democratisation and good governance, energy security, environmental protection, and economic and social development. All the members except Belarus are part of the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly.

Social dialogue

01-02-2018

Social dialogue is a fundamental component of the European social model that gained full recognition in the Treaty with the Amsterdam reform. The social partners (representatives of management and labour) are thus able to contribute actively to designing European social policy.

Social dialogue is a fundamental component of the European social model that gained full recognition in the Treaty with the Amsterdam reform. The social partners (representatives of management and labour) are thus able to contribute actively to designing European social policy.

Social security cover in other EU Member States

01-02-2018

The coordination of social security facilitates the free movement of people within the EU. A fundamental reform of legislation in this area was carried out in May 2010 and was later supplemented by further legal acts improving the protection of the rights of workers when they exercise their right to free movement. In 2016, the Commission included proposals in the Labour Mobility Package to further reform the system and adapt it to modern economic and social realities in the EU.

The coordination of social security facilitates the free movement of people within the EU. A fundamental reform of legislation in this area was carried out in May 2010 and was later supplemented by further legal acts improving the protection of the rights of workers when they exercise their right to free movement. In 2016, the Commission included proposals in the Labour Mobility Package to further reform the system and adapt it to modern economic and social realities in the EU.

Posted on 17-07-2018

Kashmir: 70 years of disputes

17-07-2018

Kashmir, located between China, India and Pakistan, has been at the heart of a complex, 70-year dispute between Delhi and Islamabad, which has strained bilateral relations and impeded the development of stronger ties in the whole of South Asia. In the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, an uprising against Delhi's rule has been ongoing since 1989. In June 2018, a UN human rights report on Kashmir called for establishing a commission of inquiry into multiple violations from both sides. Kashmir is a ...

Kashmir, located between China, India and Pakistan, has been at the heart of a complex, 70-year dispute between Delhi and Islamabad, which has strained bilateral relations and impeded the development of stronger ties in the whole of South Asia. In the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, an uprising against Delhi's rule has been ongoing since 1989. In June 2018, a UN human rights report on Kashmir called for establishing a commission of inquiry into multiple violations from both sides. Kashmir is a mountainous area the size of Germany, in the north-west of the Indian subcontinent, home to K2, the world's second-tallest mountain, and also narrow valleys and barren plateaus. It is also prone to seismic activity: as recently as 2005, a strong earthquake is estimated to have claimed 75 000 lives.

Euronest 2018: Way forward after the Eastern Partnership summit

17-07-2018

The European Parliament regularly hosts the Euronest parliamentary assembly of the Eastern Partnership (EaP). Launched in 2011, the EaP is composed of the EU and its Member States, together with six of their eastern European neighbours: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. During their Riga summit in 2015, the partners in the EaP decided to focus on four areas: economic development and market opportunities; institutional capacity and good governance; connectivity, energy efficiency ...

The European Parliament regularly hosts the Euronest parliamentary assembly of the Eastern Partnership (EaP). Launched in 2011, the EaP is composed of the EU and its Member States, together with six of their eastern European neighbours: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. During their Riga summit in 2015, the partners in the EaP decided to focus on four areas: economic development and market opportunities; institutional capacity and good governance; connectivity, energy efficiency, environment and climate change; mobility and people-to-people contacts. Before the EaP's 2017 Brussels summit, the European Commission and the European External Action Service published '20 deliverables for 2020', a series of specific objectives that are being piloted by various partners and have to be achieved by the EaP countries by 2020. To facilitate this task, the two institutions also proposed to streamline the structure of the EaP, which the Brussels summit endorsed. In June 2018, the Euronest meeting in Brussels adopted a number of resolutions on the EU’s mediation in frozen conflicts, on foreign direct investment and on undeclared labour. It also called for the release of Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia.

Upcoming events

18-07-2018
Tables rondes à Niamey : Numérique, eau et agriculture, et énergies renouvelables
Other event -
BURO EPRS
04-09-2018
Fiscal stabilization capacity for the Euro area: IMF proposals and political reality
Other event -
EPRS

Infographics

Stay connected

email update imageEmail updates system

You can follow anyone or anything linked to the Parliament using the email updates system, which sends updates directly to your mailbox. This includes the latest news about MEPs, committees, the news services or the Think Tank.

You can access the system from any page on the Parliament website. To sign up and receive notifications on Think Tank, simply submit your email address, select the subject you are interested in, indicate how often you want to be informed (daily, weekly or monthly) and confirm the registration by clicking on the link that will be emailed to you.

RSS imageRSS feeds

Follow all news and updates from the European Parliament website by making use of our RSS feed.

Please click on the link below to configure your RSS feed.

widget imageRSS widgets

Please click on the button below to add a widget covering publications available via the Think Tank to your website.

Create a RSS widget

Publications of the Think Tank

The content of all documents contained in the Think Tank website is the sole responsibility of the author and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily represent the official position of the European Parliament. It is addressed to the Members and staff of the EP for their parliamentary work.

The Think Tank is on...