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Special Reports of the European Court of Auditors - A Rolling Check-list of recent findings

28-02-2019

This rolling checklist presents an overview of the European Court of Auditors’ (ECA) special reports, concentrating on those relevant for the 2017 discharge procedure. It strives to link the research topics of the special reports to the relevant debates and positions within the European Parliament, including the working documents of the Committee on Budgetary Control, the work of the specialised parliamentary committees, plenary resolutions and individual questions by Members.

This rolling checklist presents an overview of the European Court of Auditors’ (ECA) special reports, concentrating on those relevant for the 2017 discharge procedure. It strives to link the research topics of the special reports to the relevant debates and positions within the European Parliament, including the working documents of the Committee on Budgetary Control, the work of the specialised parliamentary committees, plenary resolutions and individual questions by Members.

The cost of non-Europe in the area of legal migration

14-03-2019

Further EU action in the area of legal migration could address obstacles experienced by Third Country Nationals within the European Union. Depending on the policy option pursued these options could result in up to €21,75 billion in benefits. Further gains could be made by addressing the fragmented national policies in this area, which are currently undermining ability of the EU as a whole to attract the workers and researchers it needs.

Further EU action in the area of legal migration could address obstacles experienced by Third Country Nationals within the European Union. Depending on the policy option pursued these options could result in up to €21,75 billion in benefits. Further gains could be made by addressing the fragmented national policies in this area, which are currently undermining ability of the EU as a whole to attract the workers and researchers it needs.

The Cost of Non-Europe in Asylum Policy

18-10-2018

Current structural weaknesses and shortcomings in the design and implementation of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) have a cost of EUR 50.5 billion per year, including costs due to irregular migration, lack of accountability in external action, inefficiencies in asylum procedures, poor living conditions and health, and dimmer employment prospects leading to lower generation of tax revenue. Seven policy options for the EU to tackle the identified gaps and barriers would bring about many benefits ...

Current structural weaknesses and shortcomings in the design and implementation of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) have a cost of EUR 50.5 billion per year, including costs due to irregular migration, lack of accountability in external action, inefficiencies in asylum procedures, poor living conditions and health, and dimmer employment prospects leading to lower generation of tax revenue. Seven policy options for the EU to tackle the identified gaps and barriers would bring about many benefits including better compliance with international and EU norms and values, lower levels of irregular migration to the EU and costs of border security and surveillance, increased effectiveness and efficiency of the asylum process, faster socio-economic integration of asylum-seekers, increased employment and tax revenues and reinforced protection of human rights in countries of return. Once, considered the costs, the net benefits of these policy options would be at least EUR 23.5 billion per year.

External author

Navarra, Cecilia; Ballegooij, Wouter van;

Value for money of EU programme funding in the field of democracy and rule of law

02-06-2017

This study explores the extent to which processes are in place to enable the delivery of value for money through EU programme funding in the field of democracy and rule of law. It includes a review of the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights and the Instrument for Stability and Peace. It considers current ways of working and the potential for improvement. Analysis is based on interviews with EU programme officials and EU delegations, and related documentary evidence.

This study explores the extent to which processes are in place to enable the delivery of value for money through EU programme funding in the field of democracy and rule of law. It includes a review of the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights and the Instrument for Stability and Peace. It considers current ways of working and the potential for improvement. Analysis is based on interviews with EU programme officials and EU delegations, and related documentary evidence.

External author

Rand Europe Community Int.Co.: Ben Baruch, Jirka Taylor, Elma Dujso, Matteo Barberi, Jeremy Lonsdale, Tom Ling

Towards a comprehensive EU protection system for minorities

30-08-2017

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the LIBE Committee, examines the added value of developing a democratic rule of law and fundamental rights-based approach to the protection of minorities in the EU legal system, from an ‘intersectional’ viewpoint. It presents the state of play regarding the main challenges characterising the protection of ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities in a selection ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the LIBE Committee, examines the added value of developing a democratic rule of law and fundamental rights-based approach to the protection of minorities in the EU legal system, from an ‘intersectional’ viewpoint. It presents the state of play regarding the main challenges characterising the protection of ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities in a selection of 11 European countries, in light of existing international and regional legal standards. Minority protection has been an EU priority in enlargement processes as a conditional criterion for candidate countries to accede to the Union. Yet a similar scrutiny mechanism is lacking after accession. The study puts forward several policy options to address this gap. It suggests specific ways in which a Union Pact for democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights, could help to ensure a comprehensive EU approach to minority protection.

External author

Sergio CARRERA, CEPS(Coordinator), Brussels, Belgium Elspeth GUILD, CEPS, Brussels, Belgium Lina VOSYLIŪTĖ, CEPS, Brussels, Belgium Petra BARD, National Institute of Criminology/ Central European University (CEU)/ ELTE School of Law, Budapest, Hungary

Contemporary forms of slavery

20-12-2018

This briefing aims to clarify the concept of contemporary forms of slavery and analyse the legal obligations of States, as well as recent international developments at global and EU levels. It highlights the inconsistent application of the concept by global governance actors and discusses the inclusion of various exploitative practices within this conceptual framework. It also examines the prevalence of contemporary forms of slavery and assesses the policy framework for EU external action. The briefing ...

This briefing aims to clarify the concept of contemporary forms of slavery and analyse the legal obligations of States, as well as recent international developments at global and EU levels. It highlights the inconsistent application of the concept by global governance actors and discusses the inclusion of various exploitative practices within this conceptual framework. It also examines the prevalence of contemporary forms of slavery and assesses the policy framework for EU external action. The briefing then recommends possible action by the EU, including: promotion of a more consistent definition and use of the concept of contemporary forms of slavery and further clarifications on the relationship with the human trafficking and forced labour frameworks; a role for the EU as catalyst in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and Targets in the field of all contemporary forms of slavery; support for standardising methods of data collection globally. Finally, the paper invites the EU to assess the possibility of drafting a new treaty on contemporary forms of slavery, as a way to fill some existing loopholes at the international level.

External author

Silvia SCARPA

Finding the right balance across EU FTAs: benefits and risks for EU economic sectors

17-10-2018

Globally, anti-trade sentiment is on the rise, meaning it is incumbent upon policymakers to explore and explain the benefits of free and open trade. This study examines the costs and benefits of various free trade agreements (FTAs) that the EU has completed, will complete, or is contemplating. With regard to completed FTAs, the EU has seen benefits in terms of consumer choice but has a much larger and positive impact on its partners (although not as much as ex-ante modelling would suggest). For forthcoming ...

Globally, anti-trade sentiment is on the rise, meaning it is incumbent upon policymakers to explore and explain the benefits of free and open trade. This study examines the costs and benefits of various free trade agreements (FTAs) that the EU has completed, will complete, or is contemplating. With regard to completed FTAs, the EU has seen benefits in terms of consumer choice but has a much larger and positive impact on its partners (although not as much as ex-ante modelling would suggest). For forthcoming or contemplated FTAs, the issue of non-tariff barriers must be considered for FTAs with developed economies to be a success, while comprehensive liberalisation with emerging markets improves trade and other outcomes for both the EU and its partner. Across all FTAs, trade and economic metrics are improved by an agreement while indirect effects (human rights, environment) are less likely to change. We conclude that the EU must continue its focus on comprehensive liberalisation, incorporating NTBs effectively into new agreements, while tempering expectations of influence on human rights.

External author

Christopher HARTWELL, Veronika MOVCHAN

Peace and Security in 2019: Overview of EU action and outlook for the future

03-06-2019

This is the second EU Peace and Security Outlook produced by the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS). The series is designed to analyse and explain the contribution of the European Union to the promotion of peace and security internationally through its various external policies. The study provides an overview of the issues and current state of play. It looks first at the concept of peace and the changing nature of the geopolitical environment. It then focuses on the centrality of the ...

This is the second EU Peace and Security Outlook produced by the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS). The series is designed to analyse and explain the contribution of the European Union to the promotion of peace and security internationally through its various external policies. The study provides an overview of the issues and current state of play. It looks first at the concept of peace and the changing nature of the geopolitical environment. It then focuses on the centrality of the promotion of peace and security in the EU's external action and proceeds to an analysis of the practical pursuit of these principles in three main areas of EU policy: development, democracy support, and security and defence, as well as in the increasingly relevant area of disinformation and foreign influence. It concludes with the outlook for the future. A parallel study, published separately, focuses specifically on EU peacebuilding efforts in Colombia. The studies have been drafted with a view to their presentation at the Normandy World Peace Forum, in June 2019.

Detecting and protecting victims of trafficking in hotspots

15-07-2019

This study focuses on the issue of trafficking in human beings in the specific context of hotspots. It analyses the processes in place to facilitate the detection of victims when they arrive by sea on Greek and Italian shores, as well as the protection they are granted.

This study focuses on the issue of trafficking in human beings in the specific context of hotspots. It analyses the processes in place to facilitate the detection of victims when they arrive by sea on Greek and Italian shores, as well as the protection they are granted.

Challenges presented by migration and refugees from a Euro-Mediterranean perspective

25-01-2019

There are opportunities for cooperation in the field of border management, migration and refugee protection among member states of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) during the European Parliament’s presidency of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean (PA-UfM). There needs to be greater trust and confidence among these states in order to achieve such objective. UfM member states participate in a range of related initiatives in their various regions with states outside the ...

There are opportunities for cooperation in the field of border management, migration and refugee protection among member states of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) during the European Parliament’s presidency of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean (PA-UfM). There needs to be greater trust and confidence among these states in order to achieve such objective. UfM member states participate in a range of related initiatives in their various regions with states outside the UfM. These need to be accommodated. UfM member states share an international legal basis applicable to the field which may usefully be built upon. UfM member states widely affirmed political commitment to this foundation in the 2018 UN Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and its counterpart for Refugees.

External author

Elspeth GUILD and Diego ACOSTA

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