ThinkTank logo The documents that help shape new EU legislation
Posted on 30-11-2016

Water protection and management

01-10-2016

Water is essential for human, animal and plant life and is an indispensable resource for the economy. Its protection and management transcend national boundaries. EU water legislation was transformed with the adoption in 2000 of the Water Framework Directive (WFD), which introduced a holistic approach for the management and protection of surface waters and groundwater based on river basins. The WFD is supplemented by international agreements and legislation relating to water quantity, quality and ...

Water is essential for human, animal and plant life and is an indispensable resource for the economy. Its protection and management transcend national boundaries. EU water legislation was transformed with the adoption in 2000 of the Water Framework Directive (WFD), which introduced a holistic approach for the management and protection of surface waters and groundwater based on river basins. The WFD is supplemented by international agreements and legislation relating to water quantity, quality and pollution.

Posted on 28-11-2016

The Treaty of Lisbon

01-09-2016

This fact sheet presents the background and essential provisions of the Treaty of Lisbon. The objective is to provide a historical context for the emergence of this latest fundamental EU text from the ones which came before it. The specific provisions (with article references) and their effects on European Union policies are explained in more detail in the fact sheets dealing with particular policies and issues.

This fact sheet presents the background and essential provisions of the Treaty of Lisbon. The objective is to provide a historical context for the emergence of this latest fundamental EU text from the ones which came before it. The specific provisions (with article references) and their effects on European Union policies are explained in more detail in the fact sheets dealing with particular policies and issues.

Digital Agenda for Europe

01-09-2016

Since 1995, information and communication technologies (ICTs) have driven productivity gains and growth in the EU[1]. The concept of ICTs covers a broad spectrum of technologies, ranging from information technology (IT) through telecommunications, broadcast media, and all types of audio and video processing and transmission to network-based control and monitoring functions. Over the past three decades, technological ‘convergence’ has been blurring the boundaries between telecommunications, broadcasting ...

Since 1995, information and communication technologies (ICTs) have driven productivity gains and growth in the EU[1]. The concept of ICTs covers a broad spectrum of technologies, ranging from information technology (IT) through telecommunications, broadcast media, and all types of audio and video processing and transmission to network-based control and monitoring functions. Over the past three decades, technological ‘convergence’ has been blurring the boundaries between telecommunications, broadcasting and IT. Smartphones, tablets and connected TV are the clearest examples of this phenomenon. Although linear broadcasting continues to be the principal medium of information distribution and entertainment in Europe, more and more audiovisual content is available on demand, while exponential growth in 4G internet connectivity - soon to step up to 5G standard - and the ‘internet of things’ (IoT), involving connected cars, wearable devices and sensors, gives the internet an increasingly ubiquitous dimension.

Education and Vocational Training

01-10-2016

In education and vocational training policies, decision-making takes place under the ordinary legislative procedure. In accordance with the subsidiarity principle, education and training policies are as such decided by each European Union (EU) Member State. The role of the EU is therefore a supporting one. However, some challenges are common to all Member States — ageing societies, skills deficits in the workforce, and global competition — and thus need joint responses with countries working together ...

In education and vocational training policies, decision-making takes place under the ordinary legislative procedure. In accordance with the subsidiarity principle, education and training policies are as such decided by each European Union (EU) Member State. The role of the EU is therefore a supporting one. However, some challenges are common to all Member States — ageing societies, skills deficits in the workforce, and global competition — and thus need joint responses with countries working together and learning from each other[1].

Sport

01-11-2016

With the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon in December 2009, the European Union (EU) acquired, for the first time, a specific competence in the field of sport. The EU is responsible for the development of evidence-based policy, as well as fostering cooperation and managing initiatives in support of physical activity and sport across Europe. The Council identifies key issues to tackle in collaboration with other EU institutions and Member States.

With the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon in December 2009, the European Union (EU) acquired, for the first time, a specific competence in the field of sport. The EU is responsible for the development of evidence-based policy, as well as fostering cooperation and managing initiatives in support of physical activity and sport across Europe. The Council identifies key issues to tackle in collaboration with other EU institutions and Member States.

Communication policy

01-11-2016

Communication policy is not governed by specific provisions in the Treaties, but stems naturally from the EU’s obligation to explain its functioning and policies, as well as ‘European integration’ more generally, to the public. The need for effective communication has a legal basis in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU, which guarantees the right of all citizens to be informed about European issues. Since its formal launch in 2012, the new European Citizens’ Initiative has allowed citizens ...

Communication policy is not governed by specific provisions in the Treaties, but stems naturally from the EU’s obligation to explain its functioning and policies, as well as ‘European integration’ more generally, to the public. The need for effective communication has a legal basis in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU, which guarantees the right of all citizens to be informed about European issues. Since its formal launch in 2012, the new European Citizens’ Initiative has allowed citizens to become more directly involved in new legislation and European issues.

Posted on 22-11-2016

Higher education

01-11-2016

In accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, higher education policies in Europe are essentially decided at the level of the individual EU Member States. The role of the EU — as in education, vocational training, youth and sport policies in general — is therefore mainly a supporting and partly a coordinating one. While any harmonisation of the laws and regulations of the Member States is explicitly excluded, the EU can take action under the ordinary legislative procedure and by means of incentive ...

In accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, higher education policies in Europe are essentially decided at the level of the individual EU Member States. The role of the EU — as in education, vocational training, youth and sport policies in general — is therefore mainly a supporting and partly a coordinating one. While any harmonisation of the laws and regulations of the Member States is explicitly excluded, the EU can take action under the ordinary legislative procedure and by means of incentive measures. In addition, the Council can adopt recommendations on a proposal from the Commission. The main objectives of Union action in the field of higher education include: supporting mobility of students and staff; fostering mutual recognition of diplomas and periods of study; promoting cooperation between higher education institutions and developing distance (university) education.

Posted on 21-11-2016

Youth

01-10-2016

Youth is a national policy area. Harmonisation of Member States’ legislation is therefore excluded. At European level, youth policy is decided under the ordinary legislative procedure. The youth strand of the Erasmus+ programme encourages exchanges of young people within the EU and with third countries.

Youth is a national policy area. Harmonisation of Member States’ legislation is therefore excluded. At European level, youth policy is decided under the ordinary legislative procedure. The youth strand of the Erasmus+ programme encourages exchanges of young people within the EU and with third countries.

Language policy

01-10-2016

As part of its efforts to promote mobility and intercultural understanding, the EU has designated language learning as an important priority, and funds numerous programmes and projects in this area. Multilingualism, in the EU’s view, is an important element in Europe’s competitiveness. One of the objectives of the EU’s language policy is therefore that every European citizen should master two other languages in addition to their mother tongue.

As part of its efforts to promote mobility and intercultural understanding, the EU has designated language learning as an important priority, and funds numerous programmes and projects in this area. Multilingualism, in the EU’s view, is an important element in Europe’s competitiveness. One of the objectives of the EU’s language policy is therefore that every European citizen should master two other languages in addition to their mother tongue.

Posted on 17-11-2016

The Court of Justice of the European Union

01-10-2016

The Court of Justice of the European Union is one of the EU’s seven institutions. It consists of three courts of law: the Court of Justice proper, the General Court and the Civil Service Tribunal. It is responsible for the jurisdiction of the European Union. The three courts ensure the correct interpretation and application of primary and secondary Union law in the EU. The Court of Justice reviews the legality of acts of the Union institutions and decides whether Member States have fulfilled their ...

The Court of Justice of the European Union is one of the EU’s seven institutions. It consists of three courts of law: the Court of Justice proper, the General Court and the Civil Service Tribunal. It is responsible for the jurisdiction of the European Union. The three courts ensure the correct interpretation and application of primary and secondary Union law in the EU. The Court of Justice reviews the legality of acts of the Union institutions and decides whether Member States have fulfilled their obligations under primary and secondary law. It also provides interpretations of Union law when so requested by national judges.

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