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Policy Departments’ Monthly Highlights - January 2017

16-01-2017

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

The European Law Institute/UNIDROIT Civil Procedure Projects as a Soft Law Tool to Resolve Conflicts of Law

13-01-2017

Upon request by the JURI Committee this paper describes the European Law Institute/UNIDROIT Project for a text establishing Principles of Transnational Civil Procedure and subsequent efforts to establish a European set of procedures that would transcend national jurisdictional rules and facilitate the resolution of disputes arising from transnational commercial transactions. It is a rolling programme of rules, with comments designed to produce soft-law.

Upon request by the JURI Committee this paper describes the European Law Institute/UNIDROIT Project for a text establishing Principles of Transnational Civil Procedure and subsequent efforts to establish a European set of procedures that would transcend national jurisdictional rules and facilitate the resolution of disputes arising from transnational commercial transactions. It is a rolling programme of rules, with comments designed to produce soft-law.

Control of the acquisition and possession of weapons

12-01-2017

In the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks, in November 2015 the European Commission presented a package of measures aiming to tighten control on the acquisition and possession of firearms in the European Union, improve traceability of legally held firearms and enhance cooperation between Member States, as well as ensure that deactivated firearms are rendered inoperable. The proposal to amend the current 'Firearms Directive' (Directive 91/477/EEC) was part of this package. It aims to ban some ...

In the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks, in November 2015 the European Commission presented a package of measures aiming to tighten control on the acquisition and possession of firearms in the European Union, improve traceability of legally held firearms and enhance cooperation between Member States, as well as ensure that deactivated firearms are rendered inoperable. The proposal to amend the current 'Firearms Directive' (Directive 91/477/EEC) was part of this package. It aims to ban some semi-automatic firearms for civilian use, as well as to include some previously excluded actors (collectors and brokers) and blank-firing weapons within the scope of the Directive. Stakeholders commented particularly on the proposed ban on some semi-automatic firearms and the obligation for collectors to deactivate firearms. After several rounds of trilogue negotiations, the Council and Parliament reached agreement on the proposal in December. The text is now to be submitted for a vote in plenary at first reading. This updates a previous edition, of September 2016: PE 586.656.

European Citizens' Initiative

22-12-2016

The European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) was introduced as a major innovation in the 2009 Lisbon Treaty. It is a key element of participatory democracy, allowing citizens to play an active role in the EU's democratic life through addressing requests for legislative proposals to the European Commission. Notwithstanding the Commission's right of initiative, the European Parliament and the Council, under Articles 225 and 241 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) respectively, ...

The European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) was introduced as a major innovation in the 2009 Lisbon Treaty. It is a key element of participatory democracy, allowing citizens to play an active role in the EU's democratic life through addressing requests for legislative proposals to the European Commission. Notwithstanding the Commission's right of initiative, the European Parliament and the Council, under Articles 225 and 241 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) respectively, also have the ability to request the Commission submit a legislative proposal. The procedure and conditions for ECIs are governed by Regulation (EU) No 211/2011, in force since April 2012. This was the subject of a first three-yearly review by the Commission in 2015, leading to a debate on the ECI's effectiveness and some suggestions for improvement.

The EU and the fight against terrorism [What Think Tanks are thinking]

16-12-2016

Following the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris in 2015 and in Brussels and Nice this year, the European Union is moving ahead with its Security Union concept to help strengthen internal security cooperation, combat terrorism and prevent youth radicalisation. As part of anti-terrorist efforts, the European Parliament and the Council are finalising work on Directives on Combatting Terrorism and on Firearms. The European Commission is to make final proposals under the terrorist financing Action Plan ...

Following the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris in 2015 and in Brussels and Nice this year, the European Union is moving ahead with its Security Union concept to help strengthen internal security cooperation, combat terrorism and prevent youth radicalisation. As part of anti-terrorist efforts, the European Parliament and the Council are finalising work on Directives on Combatting Terrorism and on Firearms. The European Commission is to make final proposals under the terrorist financing Action Plan, including on the criminalisation of money laundering.  This note offers links to recent commentaries and reports from major international think tanks on terrorism in Europe and the EU's response to it. More studies on the topic can be found in a previous edition of 'What think tanks are thinking'.

The Mediation Directive

16-12-2016

Taking into account the limited objectives set within the Mediation Directive, namely to facilitate access to alternative dispute resolution and promote mediation that would operate in a balanced relationship with judicial proceedings, its implementation throughout the European Union has been rather successful and unproblematic. In some Member States, it has triggered the establishment of previously non-existent mechanisms and institutions; in others, it has ensured some alignment of procedural law ...

Taking into account the limited objectives set within the Mediation Directive, namely to facilitate access to alternative dispute resolution and promote mediation that would operate in a balanced relationship with judicial proceedings, its implementation throughout the European Union has been rather successful and unproblematic. In some Member States, it has triggered the establishment of previously non-existent mechanisms and institutions; in others, it has ensured some alignment of procedural law and various practices. The challenges lying ahead are linked to the limitations of comparing different national solutions without the benefit of coherent data on the use and impact of mediation, and to experience with the implementation of other European Union (EU) acts (such as the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Directive from 2013). The growing recognition of the usefulness of mediation as such will in any case be further strengthened by the continuous exchange of best practices in different national jurisdictions, supported by appropriate action at the European level.

Evaluation in the European Commission (2nd edition)

16-12-2016

This research paper aims to provide an overview of planned and ongoing evaluations of EU legislation and spending programmes carried out by each European Commission directorate-general (DG). The general overview and state of play on the public availability of evaluations is completed by a rolling check-list comprising on-going and planned evaluations on the basis of information disclosed by the Commission in various sources (DGs' management plans and annual activity reports, the Single Evaluation ...

This research paper aims to provide an overview of planned and ongoing evaluations of EU legislation and spending programmes carried out by each European Commission directorate-general (DG). The general overview and state of play on the public availability of evaluations is completed by a rolling check-list comprising on-going and planned evaluations on the basis of information disclosed by the Commission in various sources (DGs' management plans and annual activity reports, the Single Evaluation Plans for 2015 and 2016, roadmaps published since July 2015) and the information available in individual DGs. The annexes to this research paper contain an overview of and links to the DGs' management plans for 2016 (Annex I) and the contact details for the evaluation function in each DG (Annex II). Annexes III to V provide a list of and direct links to the evaluations published in 2015 and until 20 October 2016 in various sources. Finally, Annex VI covers the Commission evaluation staff working documents published on EUR-Lex and in the Register of Commission Documents.

Vulnerability of unaccompanied and separated child migrants

15-12-2016

The United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) has estimated that in 2015, there were globally no fewer than 100 000 unaccompanied migrant and refugee children. Europol has stated that at least 10 000 unaccompanied child refugees have gone missing after arriving in Europe. There are various reasons why a child may be unaccompanied or separated, including persecution of the child or the parents; international conflict and civil war; human trafficking and smuggling, including sale by parents; accidental ...

The United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) has estimated that in 2015, there were globally no fewer than 100 000 unaccompanied migrant and refugee children. Europol has stated that at least 10 000 unaccompanied child refugees have gone missing after arriving in Europe. There are various reasons why a child may be unaccompanied or separated, including persecution of the child or the parents; international conflict and civil war; human trafficking and smuggling, including sale by parents; accidental separation from the parents over the course of their journey; and searching for better economic opportunities. The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has identified a number of protection gaps in the treatment of such children, including that unaccompanied and separated children face greater risks of, inter alia, sexual exploitation and abuse, military recruitment, child labour (including for foster families) and detention. In many countries, unaccompanied and separated children are routinely denied entry to or detained by border or immigration officials. In other cases, they are admitted but are denied access to asylum procedures, or their asylum claims are not handled in an age and gender-sensitive manner. Some countries impede separated children who are recognised as refugees from applying for family reunification. Many such children are granted only temporary status, which ends when they turn 18, and there are few effective return programmes. The vulnerable situation of migrant unaccompanied and separated minors worldwide, and the threats they face need to be addressed, particularly with the significant increase in their number in the current ‘refugee crisis’. The 2016 State of the Union speech called for a strong and immediate protection of unaccompanied and separated minors, in line with the EU's historical values.

Outlook for the 15 December 2016 European Council

13-12-2016

At their 15 December 2016 European Council meeting, EU Leaders will mainly discuss migration, and internal and external security, as well as economic and social development. Particular attention will be paid to assessing the implementation of previous European Council conclusions. For the first time, the European Council will apply recently-agreed new working methods, including a change in the order of proceedings: The meeting will begin at 12:30 and finish by 18:00, with the European Parliament ...

At their 15 December 2016 European Council meeting, EU Leaders will mainly discuss migration, and internal and external security, as well as economic and social development. Particular attention will be paid to assessing the implementation of previous European Council conclusions. For the first time, the European Council will apply recently-agreed new working methods, including a change in the order of proceedings: The meeting will begin at 12:30 and finish by 18:00, with the European Parliament President speaking to the Heads of State or Government before lunch. Unusually, this European Council will consist only of a one-day meeting, followed, however, by an informal dinner of 27 Heads of State or Government, without the presence of the British Prime Minister, Theresa May. The objective is to discuss among the EU-27 the structure and the process of the negotiations to be held once the United Kingdom formally notifies its intention to withdraw from the European Union under Article 50 TEU.

European Union Agency for Asylum

13-12-2016

The European Asylum Support Office provides Members States with support in fulfilling their obligations under the Common European Asylum System. Since its establishment in 2010, the support office's role has been progressively expanded in order to reflect changes in the EU's legal framework on asylum and to respond to the growing needs of Member States. In the context of the current migration and refugee crisis, the European Commission has presented a proposal to amend and expand the mandate of European ...

The European Asylum Support Office provides Members States with support in fulfilling their obligations under the Common European Asylum System. Since its establishment in 2010, the support office's role has been progressively expanded in order to reflect changes in the EU's legal framework on asylum and to respond to the growing needs of Member States. In the context of the current migration and refugee crisis, the European Commission has presented a proposal to amend and expand the mandate of European Asylum Support Office with a view to turning it into a fully fledged agency. According to the proposal, the agency will ensure the efficient and uniform application of European Union asylum law in order to achieve greater convergence between Member States' asylum systems. The proposal is part of a first set of legislative proposals put forward by the European Commission in May 2016 in order to reform the Common European Asylum System. First edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Upcoming events

24-01-2017
"The role of lawyers, accountants and bankers in Panama Papers" - Part I
Hearing -
PANA
24-01-2017
Workshop on Building blocks of a future EU cohesion policy - first reflections
Workshop -
REGI
24-01-2017
Workshop : Human Rights in Iran after the nuclear deal
Hearing -
DROI

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