176

result(s)

Word(s)
Publication type
Author
Keyword
Date

A global strategy on foreign and security policy for the EU

02-03-2017

Tracking European Commission priority initiatives in 2017 – Number 1 The letter from Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, of 31 January 2017, notes that ‘the challenges currently facing the European Union are more dangerous than ever before in the time since the signature of the Treaty of Rome’. Indeed, the current evolving international environment and geopolitical shifts highlight the need for effective and coherent implementation of the EU global strategy. The top strategic priorities ...

Tracking European Commission priority initiatives in 2017 – Number 1 The letter from Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, of 31 January 2017, notes that ‘the challenges currently facing the European Union are more dangerous than ever before in the time since the signature of the Treaty of Rome’. Indeed, the current evolving international environment and geopolitical shifts highlight the need for effective and coherent implementation of the EU global strategy. The top strategic priorities for the implementation of the strategy, as decided by the Foreign Affairs Council on 17 October 2016 include: security and defence; building resilience and an integrated approach to conflicts and crises; addressing the internal/external security nexus; updating existing strategies and preparing new ones; and enhancing public diplomacy. Strengthening EU cooperation on external security and defence was also discussed at the European Council meeting in December 2016. Heads of State or Government focused on three priorities: implementation of the EU global strategy in the security and defence area, the European defence action plan, and the implementation of the EU-NATO Joint Declaration signed in Warsaw in July 2016. The first implementation report is expected in June 2017. This is an updated edition of a briefing published in April 2016.

Offshore Activities and Money Laundering: Recent Findings and Challenges

01-03-2017

The Panama papers and further leaks revealed that money laundering and tax evasion are important issues, which often go hand in hand. The major role of offshore centres is to provide secrecy. With this, offshore centres played an important role for hiding illegal activities, criminal identity and criminal ownership of assets right from their start. In the last years, combating tax evasion and money laundering have become politically more important. A ‘hot phase of regulation’ has started initiated ...

The Panama papers and further leaks revealed that money laundering and tax evasion are important issues, which often go hand in hand. The major role of offshore centres is to provide secrecy. With this, offshore centres played an important role for hiding illegal activities, criminal identity and criminal ownership of assets right from their start. In the last years, combating tax evasion and money laundering have become politically more important. A ‘hot phase of regulation’ has started initiated from the US. The paper argues that Europe has to find its own European way of creating compliance among its member states. For this, creating transparency with regard to bank registers, beneficial ownership, tax accounts and criminal investigations is important. The regulation of European offshore centres would be a first promising step. A homogenous European anti- money laundering and anti-tax evasion policy would need a differentiated EU approach for different groups of Member States and not a one size fits all approach. This publication was managed by the Policy Department on Economic and Scientific Policies for the Committee on Money laundering, tax avoidance and tax evasion (PANA).

External author

Brigitte Unger

Challenges for the EU [What Think Tanks are thinking]

24-02-2017

The European Union faces challenges, such as in relation to migration and stagnant economic growth, which test its ability to offer solutions to its citizens. Some politicians and analysts have called for a reform of the EU to shore up popular support for European integration 60 years after the signing of the Treaty of Rome, which led to the creation of what is now the Union. This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports from major international think tanks on the state of the ...

The European Union faces challenges, such as in relation to migration and stagnant economic growth, which test its ability to offer solutions to its citizens. Some politicians and analysts have called for a reform of the EU to shore up popular support for European integration 60 years after the signing of the Treaty of Rome, which led to the creation of what is now the Union. This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports from major international think tanks on the state of the EU and possible reforms. Earlier papers on the State of the Union can be found in a September edition of 'What Think Tanks are Thinking.' Other issues in the series offer links to reports on euro area reform and the impact of Brexit on the EU. They were published in September 2016 and in February 2017 respectively.

State of Play of EU-Mauritania Relations

23-02-2017

Mauritania, an important ally of the EU in the fight against terrorism in the Sahel, faces several inter-related development challenges: ensuring an efficient use of the revenue derived from natural resources, economic diversification and improved governance. The severity of these development challenges is increased by difficult political relations between the three main ethnic groups in the country, the dominant group being the Arab-Berber Bidhan. They constitute less than one-third of the country ...

Mauritania, an important ally of the EU in the fight against terrorism in the Sahel, faces several inter-related development challenges: ensuring an efficient use of the revenue derived from natural resources, economic diversification and improved governance. The severity of these development challenges is increased by difficult political relations between the three main ethnic groups in the country, the dominant group being the Arab-Berber Bidhan. They constitute less than one-third of the country’s population, but dominate economically and politically. The Haratin, the largest group in the country, is made up of descendants of black Africans enslaved by the Bidhan (freed or still enslaved). The third group in the country is the West Africans or Black Mauritanians. Mauritania’s post-independence history is marked by repeated attempts by this group to assert its non-Arab identity and claim for a more equitable share of political and economic power. The tension that these divisions create is a problem in itself, but they can also be appropriated by violent Islamist insurgencies in the region. The urgency of this challenge is further complicated by the likelihood of increased climate change effects that the country is currently not adequately prepared for. This study therefore discusses the main political, economic and development challenges that contemporary Mauritania is faced with, illustrating how these challenges can only be properly grasped with consideration to their historical evolution. Based on this, the study investigates the current basis for EU-Mauritania relations and suggests a select number of policy areas for consideration, as this relationship continues to evolve around issues of mutual concern such as security and development.

The European Union’s Policies on Counter-Terrorism: Relevance, Coherence and Effectiveness

17-02-2017

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the LIBE Committee, identifies (counter-) terrorism trends, threats and policies in the EU, focussing particularly on seven themes, including database access and interoperability, measures on border security, criminal justice and prevention of radicalisation. It also analyses the coherence and effectiveness of the counter-terrorism policy (architecture), and issues ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the LIBE Committee, identifies (counter-) terrorism trends, threats and policies in the EU, focussing particularly on seven themes, including database access and interoperability, measures on border security, criminal justice and prevention of radicalisation. It also analyses the coherence and effectiveness of the counter-terrorism policy (architecture), and issues of cooperation, oversight and implementation, in particular of seven focus Member States: Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Slovakia and Spain. Moreover, this study addresses future scenarios and formulates concrete policy options and recommendations.

External author

Wim WENSINK, Bas WARMENHOVEN, Roos HAASNOOT, Rob WESSELINK, Dr Bibi VAN GINKEL, Stef WITTENDORP, Christophe PAULUSSEN, Wybe DOUMA, Bérénice BOUTIN, Onur GÜVEN and Thomas RIJKEN

Implementing Agenda 2030: Fresh impetus for reforming the UN Development System

14-02-2017

There is consensus that the United Nations Development System (UNDS) needs to function in a more integrated and coherent manner. Indeed, despite its universal legitimacy, and its recognition by the EU as the core of effective multilateralism, this network of more than 30 entities is hampered by fragmentation. Intra-system competition is aggravated by the increased use of earmarked funding which is transforming multilateral development actors into simple channels of bilateral aid. Since 2015, long ...

There is consensus that the United Nations Development System (UNDS) needs to function in a more integrated and coherent manner. Indeed, despite its universal legitimacy, and its recognition by the EU as the core of effective multilateralism, this network of more than 30 entities is hampered by fragmentation. Intra-system competition is aggravated by the increased use of earmarked funding which is transforming multilateral development actors into simple channels of bilateral aid. Since 2015, long overdue structural reform has gained new momentum with the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. The main options for reform include reinforcing system-wide governance and leadership, seriously revamping the UN's funding architecture and scaling up ongoing incremental changes to ensure greater coordination of UN activities at the country level. Recognised as key to implementing 'the comprehensive and interrelated Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) under Agenda 2030', the reform has been placed at the centre of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) dialogue on the longer-term positioning of the UNDS in the framework of the 2017-2020 quadrennial comprehensive policy review. However, institutional inertia within UNDS entities, coupled with divergence between member states on the direction and degree of the reform, may jeopardise the role of the UNDS.

Addressing Developing Countries’ Challenges in Free Trade Implementation

02-02-2017

The present study places the potential effects of Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) liberalisation on government revenue in signatory states within the broader context of regional integration and global liberalisation. Based on a review of the secondary literature it finds that the revenue effect may be severe in some, but by no means all, cases and that the forecasts now need to be updated by country-level studies using the details of liberalisation schedules actually agreed. The evidence also ...

The present study places the potential effects of Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) liberalisation on government revenue in signatory states within the broader context of regional integration and global liberalisation. Based on a review of the secondary literature it finds that the revenue effect may be severe in some, but by no means all, cases and that the forecasts now need to be updated by country-level studies using the details of liberalisation schedules actually agreed. The evidence also suggests that poor countries find it very hard to replace government revenue lost through liberalisation but that where there have been successes the measures taken include those needed to increase any gains from regional and global trade integration. Such reforms require sustained commitment (by donors and recipients) over many years. The stresses created by EPAs (and regional liberalisation) increase the need for such commitment; but they also offer an opportunity since they include an appropriate framework for providing appropriate assistance. Yet data on flows of aid for trade do not indicate that an adequate commitment has yet been made. Six recommendations are made on actions that the European Parliament might champion to reduce the risks of an ‘EPA revenue squeeze’ in ways that support recipients’ capacity to benefit from greater regional and global integration.

External author

Isabella MASSA and Christopher STEVENS (Overseas Development Institute)

US President Donald Trump [What Think Tanks are thinking]

25-01-2017

Donald Trump has begun his four-year term as the US President by moving to deliver on some of his campaign promises, such on Obamacare, the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement and the North American Free Trade Agreement. Analysts and politicians agree that the Trump presidency will have wide-ranging implications for trade, international relations and security.  This note offers links to recent commentaries and reports published by major international think tanks and other research centres on ...

Donald Trump has begun his four-year term as the US President by moving to deliver on some of his campaign promises, such on Obamacare, the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement and the North American Free Trade Agreement. Analysts and politicians agree that the Trump presidency will have wide-ranging implications for trade, international relations and security.  This note offers links to recent commentaries and reports published by major international think tanks and other research centres on Trump's presidency. Earlier analyse can be found in a previous edition of 'What Think Tanks are thinking.'

Arctic continental shelf claims: Mapping interests in the circumpolar North

09-01-2017

As climate change has led to record sea ice decline, the Arctic has resurfaced as a region of global geopolitical relevance. The visibility of Arctic issues has increased, with international attention zooming in on the Arctic Ocean and the North Pole. The Arctic – one of the least populated areas on Earth – has been a peaceful and stable arena for growing intergovernmental and non-governmental cooperation since the end of the Cold War. However, potential competition for natural resources and new ...

As climate change has led to record sea ice decline, the Arctic has resurfaced as a region of global geopolitical relevance. The visibility of Arctic issues has increased, with international attention zooming in on the Arctic Ocean and the North Pole. The Arctic – one of the least populated areas on Earth – has been a peaceful and stable arena for growing intergovernmental and non-governmental cooperation since the end of the Cold War. However, potential competition for natural resources and new navigation routes has sharpened the focus on divisions between the states that have coasts on the Arctic Ocean. Overlapping continental shelf claims, combined with Russia's increasing assertiveness, have sparked concern over potential new or rekindled disputes. The focus on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea – the international 'constitution for the oceans', which also regulates the Arctic Ocean – has increased accordingly. At the same time, the importance of the Arctic as an element in national identities and narratives plays a key role in the discourse on national Arctic policies, which are aimed at both international and domestic audiences, thus linking geopolitics and emotions.

Implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

06-01-2017

This study reviews the progress of implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) in non-EU countries, five years after their unanimous adoption by the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2011. Much progress has already been achieved, with i.a. relevant key international standards like OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises becoming aligned with the UNGPs, new tools being developed to provide guidance to governments and stakeholders and a basis being set ...

This study reviews the progress of implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) in non-EU countries, five years after their unanimous adoption by the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2011. Much progress has already been achieved, with i.a. relevant key international standards like OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises becoming aligned with the UNGPs, new tools being developed to provide guidance to governments and stakeholders and a basis being set for constructive discussion. This led to increased awareness and better understanding, building trust and engagement among various stakeholders. Yet, despite all efforts, business-related human rights abuse is still a serious problem. Further implementation of the UNGPs and related instruments is thus necessary, with special emphasis needed on access to remedy and justice for victims of business-related abuses. Less declaration and more real political will is needed, as states’ commitments to develop National Action Plans implementing the Guiding Principles have been far too slow to materialise, with only twelve NAPs being launched to date. Yet, the number of ongoing processes is promising, particularly in South America, although we have yet to see how meaningful and future action oriented their outcomes will be.

External author

Beata FARACIK, Human Rights Expert, President of the Board, Polish Institute for Human Rights and Business, Poland

Upcoming events

06-04-2017
Impact of the Panama-Papers on Developing countries
Hearing -
PANA
11-04-2017
Hearing on the e-Privacy reform
Hearing -
LIBE
12-04-2017
Workshop: Implementation of the EU arms export control system
Workshop -
SEDE

Partners

Stay connected

email update imageEmail updates system

You can follow anyone or anything linked to the Parliament using the email updates system, which sends updates directly to your mailbox. This includes the latest news about MEPs, committees, the news services or the Think Tank.

You can access the system from any page on the Parliament website. To sign up and receive notifications on Think Tank, simply submit your email address, select the subject you are interested in, indicate how often you want to be informed (daily, weekly or monthly) and confirm the registration by clicking on the link that will be emailed to you.

RSS imageRSS feeds

Follow all news and updates from the European Parliament website by making use of our RSS feed.

Please click on the link below to configure your RSS feed.

widget imageRSS widgets

Please click on the button below to add a widget covering publications available via the Think Tank to your website.

Create a RSS widget