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Posted on 19-01-2018

EU framework for FDI screening

19-01-2018

On 13 September 2017, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation establishing a framework for screening foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows into the EU on grounds of security or public order. The proposal is a response to a rapidly evolving and increasingly complex investment landscape. It aims to strike a balance between maintaining the EU's general openness to FDI inflows and ensuring that the EU's essential interests are not undermined. Recent FDI trends and policies of emerging ...

On 13 September 2017, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation establishing a framework for screening foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows into the EU on grounds of security or public order. The proposal is a response to a rapidly evolving and increasingly complex investment landscape. It aims to strike a balance between maintaining the EU's general openness to FDI inflows and ensuring that the EU's essential interests are not undermined. Recent FDI trends and policies of emerging FDI providers have cast doubt on the effectiveness of the EU's decentralised and fragmented system of monitoring FDI inflows to adequately address the potential (cross-border) impact of FDI inflows on security or public order without EU-coordinated cooperation among Member States. The proposal's objective is neither to harmonise the formal FDI screening mechanisms currently used by less than half of the Member States nor to replace them with a single EU mechanism. It aims to enhance cooperation on FDI screening between the Commission and Member States, to increase legal certainty and transparency. Member States, stakeholders and academia are divided in their views on the proposal.

Outermost regions of the EU: A stronger and renewed partnership

19-01-2018

The EU's outermost regions qualify for special treatment owing to structural difficulties, such as remoteness, difficult topography or economic dependence on a few products, which can severely hamper their development. Specific support mechanisms exist under cohesion, agricultural and fisheries policies, with the Commission outlining measures aimed at assisting outermost regions in its communications published in 2004, 2008, and 2012. Nevertheless, with the outermost regions continuing to face numerous ...

The EU's outermost regions qualify for special treatment owing to structural difficulties, such as remoteness, difficult topography or economic dependence on a few products, which can severely hamper their development. Specific support mechanisms exist under cohesion, agricultural and fisheries policies, with the Commission outlining measures aimed at assisting outermost regions in its communications published in 2004, 2008, and 2012. Nevertheless, with the outermost regions continuing to face numerous challenges in areas such as mobility, unemployment and climate change, discussions were launched on the formulation of a new strategy, which was published in October 2017. The result of extensive consultation with stakeholders, including Parliament and the outermost regions themselves, the 2017 communication puts forward a new approach to support their development by making the most of the outermost regions' assets, exploiting new opportunities for growth and job creation and giving greater recognition to their specific circumstances and needs. To achieve this, the communication outlines a series of concrete and coordinated actions to be taken at EU and national level, as well as by the outermost regions, and calls for a stronger partnership between outermost regions, their respective Member States, and the EU. While broadly welcoming the new strategy, the outermost regions and its partners have highlighted several key issues that it fails to cover. Equally, although the Commission puts forward many commitments and positive measures, the strategy is very much a work in progress, and its measures will need to be developed further and incorporated into the EU legislative framework before they can be rolled out on the ground. In this context, the future shape of the EU's legislative and financial proposals post-2020 will be of crucial importance for the successful delivery of this strategy. This is a revised and updated version of a briefing from March 2017, PE 599.365.

Free movement of goods within the EU single market

19-01-2018

The free movement of goods is one of the four fundamental freedoms of the EU – together with services, capital and people – and a cornerstone of the single market. The rationale of an open market throughout the EU has always been to assist economic growth and competitiveness and therefore promote employment and prosperity. Legislation on the single market for goods (based mainly on Article 28 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, TFEU) aims at ensuring that products placed on the ...

The free movement of goods is one of the four fundamental freedoms of the EU – together with services, capital and people – and a cornerstone of the single market. The rationale of an open market throughout the EU has always been to assist economic growth and competitiveness and therefore promote employment and prosperity. Legislation on the single market for goods (based mainly on Article 28 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, TFEU) aims at ensuring that products placed on the EU market conform to high health, safety and environmental requirements. Once a product is sold legally in the EU, it should circulate without barriers to trade, with a minimum of administrative burden

Posted on 18-01-2018

Article 17 TFEU: The EU institutions’ dialogue with confessional and non-confessional organisations

18-01-2018

On the basis of Article 17 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), the European institutions hold high-level meetings, or working dialogue seminars, on an annual basis with churches and non-confessional and philosophical organisations. This dialogue, focused on issues upon the European agenda, can be traced back to earlier initiatives, such as that launched in 1994 by Jacques Delors – 'A Soul for Europe' – which opened the way to encompass ethical and spiritual aspects of European ...

On the basis of Article 17 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), the European institutions hold high-level meetings, or working dialogue seminars, on an annual basis with churches and non-confessional and philosophical organisations. This dialogue, focused on issues upon the European agenda, can be traced back to earlier initiatives, such as that launched in 1994 by Jacques Delors – 'A Soul for Europe' – which opened the way to encompass ethical and spiritual aspects of European integration. The draft Constitutional Treaty of 2004 included provisions on regular, open and transparent dialogue between EU institutions, representatives of churches and religious communities, and of non-confessional or philosophical communities. Although the Constitutional Treaty was rejected in French and Dutch referenda, its successor, the Lisbon Treaty adopted in 2007 and in force since December 2009, preserved the same provisions in Article 17 TFEU. The European Parliament has adopted numerous resolutions in defence of the principles of freedom of religion and belief as well as religious pluralism and tolerance, and stressed the importance of constant dialogue among, and with, religious as well as non-confessional and philosophical communities. It has regularly organised dialogue sessions within the framework of Article 17 TFEU on subjects of interest for the EU and its citizens. This is a further updated and expanded version of an 'at a glance' note originally published in November 2015.

L'Union européenne et la mémoire de l'Holocauste

18-01-2018

L’Holocauste se réfère à l’assassinat de six millions de Juifs européens, ainsi que des Roms ou autres groupes sociaux destinés à l’anéantissement par le régime nazi et ses collaborateurs. Le régime nazi débuta les spoliations, discriminations d’État, persécutions des Juifs dès 1933, suivies de pogroms et déportations vers les camps de concentrations avant d’étendre cette politique à tous les territoires et États qu’il dominait en Europe pendant la Seconde guerre mondiale. Les exécutions sommaires ...

L’Holocauste se réfère à l’assassinat de six millions de Juifs européens, ainsi que des Roms ou autres groupes sociaux destinés à l’anéantissement par le régime nazi et ses collaborateurs. Le régime nazi débuta les spoliations, discriminations d’État, persécutions des Juifs dès 1933, suivies de pogroms et déportations vers les camps de concentrations avant d’étendre cette politique à tous les territoires et États qu’il dominait en Europe pendant la Seconde guerre mondiale. Les exécutions sommaires de masse ('Shoah par balles') et camps d’extermination furent l’aboutissement de cette politique. Le procès de Nuremberg en 1945-1946 jugea les bourreaux mais a préféré la notion de crimes contre l’humanité à celle de génocide. Ce n’est qu’en 2005, à l’occasion du 60e anniversaire de la libération d’Auschwitz, qu’une résolution de l’Organisation des Nations Unies sur le souvenir de l’Holocauste désigne le 27 janvier comme journée de commémoration. Dans l’Union européenne, des nombreux programmes sont destinés à la conservation de la mémoire de ces événements marquant l’histoire du continent. Le Parlement européen, dès 1995, adopta des résolutions rappelant le devoir de mémoire non seulement à travers les commémorations, mais aussi par le biais de l’éducation.

Posted on 17-01-2018

EU framework programme processes: Adoption, implementation, evaluation

17-01-2018

Over the past 35 years, the European Union (EU) institutions have adopted eight framework programmes for research. The lifecycles of these framework programmes have been progressively streamlined and aligned with the general guidelines for the adoption of EU programmes. These lifecycles unfold in four key phases: adoption, implementation, execution, and evaluation, with the EU institutions being in charge of all phases except execution. The adoption of a new framework programme includes the preparation ...

Over the past 35 years, the European Union (EU) institutions have adopted eight framework programmes for research. The lifecycles of these framework programmes have been progressively streamlined and aligned with the general guidelines for the adoption of EU programmes. These lifecycles unfold in four key phases: adoption, implementation, execution, and evaluation, with the EU institutions being in charge of all phases except execution. The adoption of a new framework programme includes the preparation of an impact assessment, the preparation of the Commission proposals and the adoption of the various legislative acts by the European Parliament and the Council to establish the programme. The implementation phase covers the adoption of the work programmes and the selection of the projects to be funded. Following the execution of the research and innovation activities, the evaluation phase aims to assess the outcomes of the programmes and whether the initial objectives have been met. In 2018, a new cycle is expected to start for the adoption of the ninth framework programme for research and innovation (FP9) to be effective by 2020. Understanding the processes that take place under each phase of this cycle is important for the preparation and adoption of the key legislative acts, establishing (1) the framework programme itself, (2) the specific programmes for implementation, and (3) the rules for participation, and for dissemination of the programme's results.

Treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons ─ the 'Ban Treaty'

17-01-2018

On 7 July 2017, the United Nations (UN) conference to negotiate a legally-binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons adopted the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (the Ban Treaty), by 122 votes to 1, with one abstention. The treaty will come into force once 50 states have ratified it; so far it has been signed by 56 states and ratified by three. The adoption of the Ban Treaty has been hailed as historic by supporters of an initiative that has gained ground in recent years to rid the ...

On 7 July 2017, the United Nations (UN) conference to negotiate a legally-binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons adopted the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (the Ban Treaty), by 122 votes to 1, with one abstention. The treaty will come into force once 50 states have ratified it; so far it has been signed by 56 states and ratified by three. The adoption of the Ban Treaty has been hailed as historic by supporters of an initiative that has gained ground in recent years to rid the world of the most destructive weapon known to humankind. The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), which spearheaded these efforts, was awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize. However, opponents of the Ban Treaty argue that the conditions for disarmament do not currently exist and that promoters of the Ban Treaty fail to recognise this. They also point to weaknesses in the drafting of the treaty, and to the danger of undermining the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), recognised as the cornerstone of the global non-proliferation and disarmament regime, also by proponents of the Ban Treaty. The nine states known to have military nuclear programmes did not attend the conference. Member States of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), which in 2016 re-confirmed a commitment to nuclear deterrence, also stayed away, with the exception of the Netherlands, which voted against the adoption of the Ban Treaty. This raises serious doubts about the impact of this new instrument and its ability to create normative values. Most EU Member States, 22 of which are members of NATO, oppose the Ban Treaty, and only five non-NATO EU Member States voted in favour. The European Parliament welcomed the convening of a conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, noting that this would reinforce the non-proliferation and disarmament objectives and obligations contained in the NPT.

Sanctions over Ukraine: Impact on Russia

17-01-2018

In early 2014, Russia violated international law by annexing Crimea and allegedly fomenting separatist uprisings in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas. The European Union, the United States and several other Western countries responded with diplomatic measures in March 2014, followed by asset freezes and visa bans targeted at individuals and entities. In July 2014, sanctions targeting the Russian energy, defence and financial sectors were adopted. These sanctions have not swayed Russian public ...

In early 2014, Russia violated international law by annexing Crimea and allegedly fomenting separatist uprisings in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas. The European Union, the United States and several other Western countries responded with diplomatic measures in March 2014, followed by asset freezes and visa bans targeted at individuals and entities. In July 2014, sanctions targeting the Russian energy, defence and financial sectors were adopted. These sanctions have not swayed Russian public opinion, which continues to staunchly back the Kremlin's actions in Ukraine. Despite Western efforts to isolate Russia, the country is playing an increasingly prominent role on the global stage. On the other hand, sectoral sanctions have proved painful, aggravating an economic downturn triggered by falling oil prices, from which the country has only just begun to recover. Sanctions have affected the Russian economy in various ways. The main short-term impact comes from restrictions on Western lending and investment in Russia. Oil and gas production remains unaffected for the time being, but in the long term energy exports are likely to suffer. Meanwhile, Russian counter-sanctions are benefiting the country's agricultural sector, but consumers are losing out in terms of choice and price. Quantitative estimates of the impact are difficult, but most observers agree that sanctions are costing Russia billions of euros a year and holding back a return to higher rates of economic growth. This is an updated edition of a briefing from March 2016, PE 579.084.

Posted on 16-01-2018

ENISA and a new cybersecurity act

16-01-2018

On 13 September 2017 the Commission adopted a cybersecurity package with new initiatives to further improve EU cyber resilience, deterrence and defence. As part of the resilience measures the Commission has tabled a legislative proposal to strengthen the European Union Agency for Network Information Security (ENISA). Following the adoption of the Network Information Security Directive in 2016, ENISA is expected to play a broader role in the EU's cybersecurity landscape but is constrained by its current ...

On 13 September 2017 the Commission adopted a cybersecurity package with new initiatives to further improve EU cyber resilience, deterrence and defence. As part of the resilience measures the Commission has tabled a legislative proposal to strengthen the European Union Agency for Network Information Security (ENISA). Following the adoption of the Network Information Security Directive in 2016, ENISA is expected to play a broader role in the EU's cybersecurity landscape but is constrained by its current mandate and resources. The Commission has presented an ambitious reform proposal, including a permanent mandate for the agency to ensure that ENISA can not only provide expert advice, as has been the case until now, but can also perform operational tasks. The proposal also envisages the creation of the first voluntary EU cybersecurity certification framework for ICT products, where ENISA will also play an important role. Within the European Parliament the file has been assigned to the Industry, Research and Energy Committee.

Research for TRAN Committee: The new Silk Route - opportunities and challenges for EU transport (briefing)

16-01-2018

This briefing summarises the conclusions of a study on ‘The new Silk Route - opportunities and challenges for EU transport’ prepared by an international team of researchers for the Committee on Transport and Tourism of the European Parliament. This study analyses in detail the Chinese Silk Route Initiative and investigates its possible impacts and prospects for the EU transport system. The emphasis in the research is also put on exploring the European transport system’s readiness for the Initiative ...

This briefing summarises the conclusions of a study on ‘The new Silk Route - opportunities and challenges for EU transport’ prepared by an international team of researchers for the Committee on Transport and Tourism of the European Parliament. This study analyses in detail the Chinese Silk Route Initiative and investigates its possible impacts and prospects for the EU transport system. The emphasis in the research is also put on exploring the European transport system’s readiness for the Initiative and identification of potential bottlenecks and missing links. Furthermore, the study evaluates the need for implementation of additional measures at EU level in other to make the most of the Initiative and also to ensure fair competition in the transport, logistic and construction sectors in the context of expanding activity by Chinese operators. A comprehensive list presenting the involvement of all Member States in the Initiative constitutes an integral part of the study.

External author

Bianca COSENTINO, Dick DUNMORE, Simon ELLIS, Alberto PRETI, Davide RANGHETTI, Clémence ROUTABOUL, Mike GARRATT, Antonella TEODORO, Jeremy DREW

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22-01-2018
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23-01-2018
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