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2019 European elections: National rules

11-04-2019

This infographic contains up-to-date information on key data concerning the forthcoming European elections (to be held in May 2019). In a one-page format, readers will find information on the election day in each country, the voting systems adopted at Member State level, as well as on rules governing eligibility and allocation of seats. The infographic also explains the re-distribution of seats which would take place following the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU, now expected to take place ...

This infographic contains up-to-date information on key data concerning the forthcoming European elections (to be held in May 2019). In a one-page format, readers will find information on the election day in each country, the voting systems adopted at Member State level, as well as on rules governing eligibility and allocation of seats. The infographic also explains the re-distribution of seats which would take place following the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU, now expected to take place only after the European elections, and the consequent overall reduction in the total number of seats to 705. Further information and clarification is provided on the second page of the infographic.

EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Foreign policy

08-03-2019

European Union (EU) action beyond its borders often requires a combination of approaches. The EU Treaties differentiate between common foreign and security policy (CFSP), common security and defence policy (CSDP), external action, and the external dimension of internal policies, but in the field, issues are so intertwined that more often than not a single tool is not sufficient. For example, population displacement triggered by a conflict over natural resources has to be addressed by humanitarian ...

European Union (EU) action beyond its borders often requires a combination of approaches. The EU Treaties differentiate between common foreign and security policy (CFSP), common security and defence policy (CSDP), external action, and the external dimension of internal policies, but in the field, issues are so intertwined that more often than not a single tool is not sufficient. For example, population displacement triggered by a conflict over natural resources has to be addressed by humanitarian aid, itself secured by a CSDP mission, and its effects mitigated by adequate migration and development policies, while peace talks are conducted. Coordination between all stakeholders is challenging but vital, not only as a response but also for prevention. In order to address new challenges such as climate change, rising insecurity or new migration patterns, the EU has put forward concrete solutions to shape synergy between the actors, in order to use shared expertise more effectively, and to find new sources of funding. The new foreign policy framework (EU global strategy) is designed to map the tools and resources best designed to help society as a whole, in the EU and partner countries, to withstand natural and manmade shocks more effectively. This means making connections between actors and between traditionally separate policy areas. Budgetary constraints and the will to depart from a donor/recipient relationship have also resulted in innovative financing tools, using EU funds to leverage private investments. Two years since its launch, the global strategy has proved to be a coherent vision. Nevertheless, sturdy, comprehensive external action requires coordination at all levels. In the years to come, global instability is expected to rise; the challenge for the EU will be to ensure security while upholding the core values of the Treaties – human rights, democracy and the fight against poverty – as its primary objectives on the global stage.

Guarantee Fund for External Actions

13-12-2018

The Guarantee Fund for External Actions (GFEA) backs loans and loan guarantees granted to non-EU countries, or to finance projects in non-EU countries. Its objectives are to help protect the EU budget against the risks associated with such loans. The main objective of the actions backed by the GFEA is to support the increase of growth and jobs, and to improve the business environment in developing countries by strengthening the involvement of the private sector. The GFEA also contributes to the European ...

The Guarantee Fund for External Actions (GFEA) backs loans and loan guarantees granted to non-EU countries, or to finance projects in non-EU countries. Its objectives are to help protect the EU budget against the risks associated with such loans. The main objective of the actions backed by the GFEA is to support the increase of growth and jobs, and to improve the business environment in developing countries by strengthening the involvement of the private sector. The GFEA also contributes to the European External Investment Plan, which addresses the root causes of migration, the ongoing refugee crisis and security-related issues.

Public opinion and the EU budget - Who supports the EU budget?

05-10-2018

The budget of the European Union (EU budget) provides the EU with the means to finance its policies and to respond to challenges which occur. Due to its scope, the perception of the EU budget is linked to citizens’ perception of the EU as a whole, its legitimacy and reputation, as well as the performance of the EU institutions. This briefing analyses public opinion surveys related to the EU budget, in particular citizens' preferences for greater EU financial means and their evaluation of the EU budget ...

The budget of the European Union (EU budget) provides the EU with the means to finance its policies and to respond to challenges which occur. Due to its scope, the perception of the EU budget is linked to citizens’ perception of the EU as a whole, its legitimacy and reputation, as well as the performance of the EU institutions. This briefing analyses public opinion surveys related to the EU budget, in particular citizens' preferences for greater EU financial means and their evaluation of the EU budget as 'good' or 'poor' value for money. It sets the analysis of public opinion in the context of debate on reforming the EU budget and on setting the next multiannual financial framework. According to recent Eurobarometer data, 37 % of Europeans support the EU having greater financial means given its political objectives, and 31 % think that the EU budget gives good value for money for EU citizens. Although the demand for greater support and the positive opinion of the EU budget both have positive trends over time, there is still much to be addressed. A closer look at the data demonstrates significant differences between the opinions across the Member States. Although a more sceptical trend can be observed amongst net contributor Member States, the diversity in the data cannot be explained only by the positioning of a country on the net contributor-net beneficiary continuum. The opinions of citizens across Member States vary in their values as well as in their direction of change over time. In addition, the opinions on the EU budget can be linked to personal factors - younger Europeans tend to express stronger support for greater EU financial means than older ones.

The 2018 State of the Union debate in the European Parliament

07-09-2018

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s State of the Union address to the European Parliament, and the subsequent debate, on 12 September 2018 is to be the last one during the current mandate. It comes in the context of the ongoing reflection on the future path of the European Union, especially in view of the European elections next May. The debate will therefore be an occasion to reflect on the legacy and achievements of this Commission, to present the priorities until the end of the ...

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s State of the Union address to the European Parliament, and the subsequent debate, on 12 September 2018 is to be the last one during the current mandate. It comes in the context of the ongoing reflection on the future path of the European Union, especially in view of the European elections next May. The debate will therefore be an occasion to reflect on the legacy and achievements of this Commission, to present the priorities until the end of the mandate and to follow up on the ongoing debate on the future path of the European Union of 27. President Juncker’s speech is expected to be accompanied by a set of concrete initiatives and proposals with the aim to deliver positive results for citizens by the time of the Sibiu summit in May 2019. This year’s speech comes as the campaigns for the European elections start to take shape, but also in the period of intensive debate on the Commission’s proposals for the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), which set out the Commission’s vision of the EU financing of policies during that period. The State of the Union debate now forms part of the process for the adoption of the annual Commission Work Programme and thus plays an important role in identifying major political priorities to be agreed in interinstitutional dialogue. This briefing is an update of an earlier one, of September 2017, by Eva-Maria Poptcheva.

Guarantee Fund for External Action and EIB external lending mandate

16-05-2018

In response to a sharp increase in the number of people trying to migrate to Europe illegally, and as part of the mid-term review of the European Investment Bank's external lending mandate (ELM), the Commission proposed an external investment plan to tackle the root causes of migration from countries neighbouring the European Union, consisting of a European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD) and quantitative and qualitative changes to the ELM. These changes entailed two legislative proposals ...

In response to a sharp increase in the number of people trying to migrate to Europe illegally, and as part of the mid-term review of the European Investment Bank's external lending mandate (ELM), the Commission proposed an external investment plan to tackle the root causes of migration from countries neighbouring the European Union, consisting of a European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD) and quantitative and qualitative changes to the ELM. These changes entailed two legislative proposals. A compromise package was agreed in trilogue between Council and Parliament, and adopted at first reading during the February I 2018 plenary session. Both acts entered into force on 8 April 2018. Second edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027: Commission Proposal - Initial comparison with the current MFF

04-05-2018

On 2 May, the Commission presented its proposal for the Multiannual Financial Framework for the 2021-2027 period (2021-2027 MFF), outlining the structure of the EU budget and the policy priorities of the EU for a period of seven years, together with proposals on own resources financing the EU budget and a proposal to link the EU budget and the rule of law. A series of further legislative proposals presenting the individual spending programmes is expected later in May and June. The Commission proposes ...

On 2 May, the Commission presented its proposal for the Multiannual Financial Framework for the 2021-2027 period (2021-2027 MFF), outlining the structure of the EU budget and the policy priorities of the EU for a period of seven years, together with proposals on own resources financing the EU budget and a proposal to link the EU budget and the rule of law. A series of further legislative proposals presenting the individual spending programmes is expected later in May and June. The Commission proposes that the 2021-2027 MFF (commitment appropriations) amounts to €1 135 billion in 2018 prices or 1.11 % of EU GNI. The previous MFF, converted into 2018 prices and including the European Development Fund (EDF) for comparative purposes, amounted to €1 138 billion or 1.03 % of EU GNI. Note, however, that this comparison does not take account of the various changes in programmes proposed or the impact of Brexit. The number of headings grows from the 2014-2020 MFF to 2021-2027 MFF, from five to seven, and some programmes change place from one heading to another. Regarding the structure of the 2021-2027 MFF, the Commission proposals have the ambition to align the budget closer to the political priorities, to simplify the structure of the EU budget (i.e. a reduced number of programmes), and to increase the flexibility within and between programmes.

Media pluralism and media freedom in the EU

25-04-2018

Media freedom and pluralism are among the rights and principles enshrined in the European Charter of Fundamental Rights and in the European Convention on Human Rights, as well as part of the Copenhagen criteria for membership of the EU, related to democracy and human rights. Despite that, there are currently concerns regarding threats to media freedom and pluralism in the EU. The own-initiative report on Media Pluralism and Media Freedom in the EU, due to be voted in plenary in May, aims at contributing ...

Media freedom and pluralism are among the rights and principles enshrined in the European Charter of Fundamental Rights and in the European Convention on Human Rights, as well as part of the Copenhagen criteria for membership of the EU, related to democracy and human rights. Despite that, there are currently concerns regarding threats to media freedom and pluralism in the EU. The own-initiative report on Media Pluralism and Media Freedom in the EU, due to be voted in plenary in May, aims at contributing towards free and pluralistic media systems across the EU that play a key role in any democratic society.

Guarantee Fund for External Action and the EIB's external lending mandate

31-01-2018

In September 2016, the European Commission proposed amendments to the regulation on the Guarantee Fund for External Actions (GFEA) and the decision granting an EU guarantee to the European Investment Bank (EIB) against losses under financing operations supporting investment projects outside the EU (external lending mandate, ELM). The agreement on the proposals, reached after eight months of trilogue negotiations, needs a confirmation vote during the February I plenary.

In September 2016, the European Commission proposed amendments to the regulation on the Guarantee Fund for External Actions (GFEA) and the decision granting an EU guarantee to the European Investment Bank (EIB) against losses under financing operations supporting investment projects outside the EU (external lending mandate, ELM). The agreement on the proposals, reached after eight months of trilogue negotiations, needs a confirmation vote during the February I plenary.

Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace

10-03-2017

The Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace was established in 2014 to support the European Union’s external policies. It contributes funding for crisis response, conflict prevention, peace-building and crisis preparedness, and to address global and trans regional threats. The instrument thus plays a role in both EU foreign and development policy.

The Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace was established in 2014 to support the European Union’s external policies. It contributes funding for crisis response, conflict prevention, peace-building and crisis preparedness, and to address global and trans regional threats. The instrument thus plays a role in both EU foreign and development policy.

Upcoming events

25-06-2019
Meeting EU energy and climate goals: Energy storage for grids and low-carbon mobility
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