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Growing impact of EU migration policy on development cooperation

17-11-2017

The sudden substantial increase in the number of migrants in recent years has had a profound effect on the external relations dimension of European Union migration and asylum policy. The main components structuring EU external migration policy – the Global Approach to Migration and Mobility (GAMM), European Agenda on Migration, and proposed migration compacts – explicitly underline the link between development and migration. Grounded in the need to address the root causes of migration and to maximise ...

The sudden substantial increase in the number of migrants in recent years has had a profound effect on the external relations dimension of European Union migration and asylum policy. The main components structuring EU external migration policy – the Global Approach to Migration and Mobility (GAMM), European Agenda on Migration, and proposed migration compacts – explicitly underline the link between development and migration. Grounded in the need to address the root causes of migration and to maximise its development impact, the development-migration nexus has evolved from the traditional treaty-based development policy approach, with its requirement of ensuring that all EU policies contribute to development objectives, to a more complex configuration. That, accordingly, many fear, may lead to the ‘instrumentalisation’ of development aid for migration management purposes. The European Parliament has taken a clear stand on this issue, calling, in a number of its recent resolutions, for the retention of poverty alleviation as the main goal of EU development policy, even when its instruments are used at the same time to tackle the root causes of migration. Along with the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) active in this field, the European Parliament opposes aid conditionality dependent on partner countries cooperating on readmission and return, as laid out in the migration compacts. Addressing the current migration challenge without jeopardising development policy achievements and objectives is one of the key issues of the revised European consensus on development, from June 2017. This is an updated edition of a briefing published in October 2016: PE 589.815.

Policy Departments’ Monthly Highlights - November 2017

13-11-2017

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.

Disinformation, 'fake news' and the EU's response

07-11-2017

The impact of the online spread of mis- and disinformation – including false news posing as factual stories – became increasingly visible in the context of the crisis in Ukraine, and gained notoriety as a global phenomenon during the 2016 presidential election campaign in the United States. Ahead of the European elections in 2019, the EU's answers to these challenges are still only tentative.

The impact of the online spread of mis- and disinformation – including false news posing as factual stories – became increasingly visible in the context of the crisis in Ukraine, and gained notoriety as a global phenomenon during the 2016 presidential election campaign in the United States. Ahead of the European elections in 2019, the EU's answers to these challenges are still only tentative.

The European Council and the 2017 State of the Union proposals

27-10-2017

In his 2017 State of the Union address to the European Parliament, the European Commission's President, Jean-Claude Juncker, took stock of EU developments over the past year and outlined his vision for the future of the EU, which would lead to a 'more united, stronger and more democratic Europe'. His vision consists of five proposals which would require a decision by the European Council, as well as one suggestion which would directly impact on the composition and working methods of this EU institution ...

In his 2017 State of the Union address to the European Parliament, the European Commission's President, Jean-Claude Juncker, took stock of EU developments over the past year and outlined his vision for the future of the EU, which would lead to a 'more united, stronger and more democratic Europe'. His vision consists of five proposals which would require a decision by the European Council, as well as one suggestion which would directly impact on the composition and working methods of this EU institution. The five proposals are: 1) using the general passerelle clause to shift from unanimity to qualified majority voting (QMV) in the Council on remaining internal market issues and aspects of taxation policy; 2) moving to QMV in the field of Common Foreign and SEcurity Policy (CFSP); 3) setting up a European Defence Union; 4) extending the competences of the European Public Prosecutor's Office; 5) agreeing on a new composition for the European Parliament, including transnational lists. The additional suggestion is to merge the positions of President of the European Council and European Commission. In principle, all proposed initiatives could be carried out without a Treaty change. The Treaty on European Union (TEU) and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) include a series of clauses enabling the European Council to go beyond the current status quo. In three cases, the European Council would need the consent of the European Parliament before taking its decision. A comparison between President Juncker's proposals and the views of the European Parliament indicates that their opinions overlap regarding four of the ideas, while on one of them, discussions in the Parliament are still ongoing (see Table 1 below).

Outlook for the European Council meeting on 19-20 October 2017 and the European Council (Article 50) meeting on 20 October 2017

27-10-2017

At their meeting on 19-20 October 2017, EU leaders will focus on migration, in particular assessing the progress made in stemming illegal flows on all migration routes, and digital Europe, following up on the Digital Summit held in Tallinn on 29 September. Heads of State or Government will also discuss defence, in particular the preparations for permanent structured cooperation (PESCO) as well as external relations, including relations with Turkey. The President of the European Council, Donald Tusk ...

At their meeting on 19-20 October 2017, EU leaders will focus on migration, in particular assessing the progress made in stemming illegal flows on all migration routes, and digital Europe, following up on the Digital Summit held in Tallinn on 29 September. Heads of State or Government will also discuss defence, in particular the preparations for permanent structured cooperation (PESCO) as well as external relations, including relations with Turkey. The President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, is expected to present the new 'Leaders' Agenda 2017-2018', outlining the decisions that need to be taken at the level of the European Council in the coming year. Finally, EU-27 leaders will meet on 20 October in a separate formal European Council (Article 50), without the United Kingdom, to discuss the latest developments in the latter’s withdrawal negotiations. It is expected that the European Council (Article 50) will postpone the decision on starting the second phase of negotiations on the EU's future relations with the UK until the December 2017 European Council, due to insufficient progress having been made to date.

Area of freedom, security and justice:Untapped potential

27-10-2017

Since the entry into force of the 1997 Treaty of Amsterdam, the EU offers its citizens an area of freedom, security and justice (AFSJ). In this area, the free movement of persons should be ensured in conjunction with appropriate measures with respect to external border controls, asylum and migration, as well as the prevention and combating of crime. Since then, the Union has adopted its own Charter of Fundamental Rights, and the European Parliament has been fully engaged in shaping the AFSJ as a ...

Since the entry into force of the 1997 Treaty of Amsterdam, the EU offers its citizens an area of freedom, security and justice (AFSJ). In this area, the free movement of persons should be ensured in conjunction with appropriate measures with respect to external border controls, asylum and migration, as well as the prevention and combating of crime. Since then, the Union has adopted its own Charter of Fundamental Rights, and the European Parliament has been fully engaged in shaping the AFSJ as a co-legislator. Two decades later, however, the Union and its Member States still face major challenges in delivering this objective. Problems have been identified in upholding democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights, ensuring a high level of security (notably in the fight against corruption, organised crime and terrorism), protecting external borders, guaranteeing the right to asylum and developing a common migration policy. Surveys show that citizens expect the EU and its Member States to deliver in these areas, notably in the area of migration and the fight against terrorism and fraud. In October 2016, the Parliament's Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) Committee requested the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) to produce a 'Cost of Non-Europe Report' on the AFSJ. This paper contains an overview of the existing gaps and barriers in the main policy areas covered by the AFSJ, and assesses their economic impacts as well as impacts at individual level on fundamental rights and freedoms. It also assesses options for action at EU level that could address those gaps and barriers, together with an estimation of their potential cost and benefits.

Outcome of European Council meeting of 19-20 October 2017 and the European Council (Article 50) meeting of 20 October 2017

27-10-2017

The principal result of the European Council meeting of 19-20 October 2017 was the endorsement of the ’Leaders’ Agenda’ setting out the main issues and work-plan for the European Council up to June 2019. EU leaders also agreed on changes to the working methods of the European Council itself, including a more ’political approach’ to its discussions, enabling more direct engagement on politically sensitive issues, more ‘rigorous follow-up’ to European Council meetings and decisions, and an increase ...

The principal result of the European Council meeting of 19-20 October 2017 was the endorsement of the ’Leaders’ Agenda’ setting out the main issues and work-plan for the European Council up to June 2019. EU leaders also agreed on changes to the working methods of the European Council itself, including a more ’political approach’ to its discussions, enabling more direct engagement on politically sensitive issues, more ‘rigorous follow-up’ to European Council meetings and decisions, and an increase in the frequency of meetings, if needed. The EU Heads of State or Government also took stock of progress in the implementation of EU migration policy, recognising the significant contribution made by Italy in the Central Mediterranean and committing to ensure sufficient funding to stem the flow of illegal migrants from Africa. They adopted detailed conclusions on Digital Europe, including on cybersecurity and e-Government, before welcoming the significant progress in preparing Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) in defence. EU leaders also discussed developments in North Korea (DPRK), as well as the situation in Iran and in Turkey. EU-27 leaders met on 20 October in a separate formal European Council (Article 50), without the United Kingdom, to discuss the latest developments in the latter’s withdrawal negotiations. While postponing the decision on starting the second phase of negotiations on the EU's future relations with the UK, due to insufficient progress made to date, EU-27 leaders called for further work to consolidate the convergence of EU-UK views and to be able to move to the second phase of negotiations as soon as possible. They will reassess the state of progress in the negotiations at the next meeting of the European Council (Article 50), in December 2017.

European Council Conclusions - A Rolling Check-List of Commitments to Date

26-10-2017

The European Council's role – to 'provide the Union with the necessary impetus for its development' and to define its 'general political directions and priorities' - has developed rapidly over the past seven years. Since June 2014, the European Council Oversight Unit within the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), the European Parliament's in-house research service and think-tank, has been monitoring and analysing the European Council's delivery of the various commitments made in the conclusions ...

The European Council's role – to 'provide the Union with the necessary impetus for its development' and to define its 'general political directions and priorities' - has developed rapidly over the past seven years. Since June 2014, the European Council Oversight Unit within the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), the European Parliament's in-house research service and think-tank, has been monitoring and analysing the European Council's delivery of the various commitments made in the conclusions of its meetings. This overview, presented in the form of a regularly updated Rolling Check-List of Commitments to Date, is designed to review the degree of progress in realising the goals which the European Council has set itself since January 2010 and to assist the Parliament in exercising its important oversight role in this field.

Smart borders: EU Entry/Exit System

23-10-2017

The Commission has envisaged integrated border management for several years, in response to increased traveller flows and the new security context. The Entry/Exit System proposed aims to set up a database where entry and exit information of third-country travellers is recorded. Following a political agreement with the Council, the Parliament is expected to vote on the texts in October.

The Commission has envisaged integrated border management for several years, in response to increased traveller flows and the new security context. The Entry/Exit System proposed aims to set up a database where entry and exit information of third-country travellers is recorded. Following a political agreement with the Council, the Parliament is expected to vote on the texts in October.

Drugs package: Tackling new psychoactive substances

23-10-2017

Improving the EU's response to the rapid spread of new psychoactive substances has become urgent, and consequently Parliament is due to vote on a 'drugs package' during the October II plenary session. The package makes additions to the directive setting common minimum rules on criminal acts and penalties in the field of illicit drug trafficking, as well as corresponding amendments to the founding regulation of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).

Improving the EU's response to the rapid spread of new psychoactive substances has become urgent, and consequently Parliament is due to vote on a 'drugs package' during the October II plenary session. The package makes additions to the directive setting common minimum rules on criminal acts and penalties in the field of illicit drug trafficking, as well as corresponding amendments to the founding regulation of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).

Upcoming events

20-11-2017
European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI): Ban Glyphosate
Other event -
ENVI PETI ITRE AGRI
21-11-2017
Mid-term review of the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA II)
Hearing -
AFET
21-11-2017
The Constitutional Implications of Different Scenarios for the Future of the Union
Hearing -
AFCO

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