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Women in politics: A global perspective

28-02-2019

Fair representation of women in political life has a positive impact on gender mainstreaming in various policies. The United Nations has set a dedicated target within the sustainable development goals dealing specifically with women's access to leadership. The available data on the presence of women in parliaments and in governments show a positive trend, but much still remains to be done to ensure an equal presence of both genders in decision-making. The European Union supports gender equality in ...

Fair representation of women in political life has a positive impact on gender mainstreaming in various policies. The United Nations has set a dedicated target within the sustainable development goals dealing specifically with women's access to leadership. The available data on the presence of women in parliaments and in governments show a positive trend, but much still remains to be done to ensure an equal presence of both genders in decision-making. The European Union supports gender equality in politics, and the European Parliament has reaffirmed the importance of such a policy on various occasions.

EU policies – Delivering for citizens: The migration issue

27-02-2019

Refugee movements and migration are at the centre of global attention. In recent years, Europe has had to respond to the most severe migratory challenge since the end of the Second World War. The unprecedented arrival of refugees and irregular migrants in the EU, which peaked in 2015, exposed a series of deficiencies and gaps in EU policies on asylum, external borders and migration. In response to these challenges, the EU has embarked on a broader process of reform aimed at rebuilding its asylum ...

Refugee movements and migration are at the centre of global attention. In recent years, Europe has had to respond to the most severe migratory challenge since the end of the Second World War. The unprecedented arrival of refugees and irregular migrants in the EU, which peaked in 2015, exposed a series of deficiencies and gaps in EU policies on asylum, external borders and migration. In response to these challenges, the EU has embarked on a broader process of reform aimed at rebuilding its asylum and migration policies based on four pillars: reducing the incentives for irregular migration by addressing its root causes, improving returns and dismantling smuggling and trafficking networks; saving lives and securing the external borders; establishing a strong EU asylum policy, and providing more legal pathways for asylum-seekers and more efficient legal channels for regular migrants. The record migratory flows to the EU witnessed during 2015 and 2016 had subsided by the end of 2017 and 2018. However, in order to deliver what the Commission calls an effective, fair and robust future EU migration policy, the EU, based on the Treaties and other legal and financial instruments, has been implementing both immediate and longer-term measures. Europe, due to its geographic position and its reputation as an example of stability, generosity and openness against a background of growing international and internal conflicts, climate change and global poverty, is likely to continue to represent an ideal refuge for asylum-seekers and migrants. This is also reflected in the growing amounts, flexibility and diversity of EU funding for migration and asylum policies inside as well as outside the current and future EU budget. See also the parallel Briefing on 'EU support for democracy and peace in the world', PE 628.271.

United Nations reform

13-02-2019

At the 72nd United Nations (UN) General Assembly on 18 September 2017, 120 countries expressed their commitment to the reforms proposed by UN Secretary-General António Guterres. Since 1946, the UN has undergone a number of reforms either in whole or in part. The term 'reform' has proved troublesome for UN member states on account of its lack of clarity and the lack of consensus as to execution. This is particularly apparent in the scepticism expressed by the United States (US) in 2018 regarding the ...

At the 72nd United Nations (UN) General Assembly on 18 September 2017, 120 countries expressed their commitment to the reforms proposed by UN Secretary-General António Guterres. Since 1946, the UN has undergone a number of reforms either in whole or in part. The term 'reform' has proved troublesome for UN member states on account of its lack of clarity and the lack of consensus as to execution. This is particularly apparent in the scepticism expressed by the United States (US) in 2018 regarding the need for global governance, the importance of UN Security Council decisions such as the Iran nuclear deal, and the efficiency of the United Nations. This briefing explains how the current reform differs from previous ones, in as much as it focuses on management and addresses the criticisms of a lack of accountability and transparency, ineffectiveness, and the deficit in trust between the organisation and its member states in the current system. The United Nations reform agenda centres on three key areas: development, management, and peace and security. First, development reform will bring a bold change to the UN development system in order to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This will be centred on the creation of a new generation of country teams led by an independent team of UN country experts ('resident coordinators'). Second, the simplification of processes, increased transparency and improved delivery of mandates will form the basis of a new management paradigm for the secretariat. Third, peace and security reform will be underpinned by placing priority on conflict prevention and peacekeeping, increasing the effectiveness and coherence of peacekeeping operations and political missions. Two years after its launch, the reform process is starting to bear fruit, with implementation set to begin in 2019 and a focus on streamlining, accountability, transparency and efficiency. However, the reform process does not make explicit mention of bolstering human rights. This briefing also explores the possibility of capitalising on the current reforms so as to boost the indivisibility of human rights, while taking stock of stakeholders' reactions to the UN reforms under way.

The concept of 'climate refugee': Towards a possible definition

29-01-2019

According to statistics published by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, every year since 2008, an average of 26.4 million persons around the world have been forcibly displaced by floods, windstorms, earthquakes or droughts. This is equivalent to one person being displaced every second. Depending on the frequency and scale of the major natural disasters occurring, there are significant fluctuations in the total number of displaced people from one year to the next, yet the trend over recent ...

According to statistics published by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, every year since 2008, an average of 26.4 million persons around the world have been forcibly displaced by floods, windstorms, earthquakes or droughts. This is equivalent to one person being displaced every second. Depending on the frequency and scale of the major natural disasters occurring, there are significant fluctuations in the total number of displaced people from one year to the next, yet the trend over recent decades has been on the rise. Many find refuge within their own country, but some are forced to go abroad. With climate change, the number of 'climate refugees' will rise in the future. So far, the national and international response to this challenge has been limited, and protection for the people affected remains inadequate. What adds further to the gap in the protection of such people – who are often described as 'climate refugees' – is that there is neither a clear definition for this category of people, nor are they covered by the 1951 Refugee Convention. The latter extends only to people who have a well-founded fear of being persecuted because of their race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, and are unable or unwilling to seek protection from their home countries. While the EU has so far not recognised climate refugees formally, it has expressed growing concern and has taken action to support and develop resilience in the countries potentially affected by climate-related stress. This briefing is an update of an earlier one of May 2018.

A global compact on migration: Placing human rights at the heart of migration management

11-01-2019

The global flow of refugees and migrants poses challenges, opportunities and obligations for countries around the world. At the very heart of the debate on migration management is how to ensure that the different interests and needs are addressed within a strong human rights framework. The United Nations (UN) is investigating the issue in great depth, and one of the main outcomes of the UN General Assembly in 2016 was a declaration demanding greater international cooperation on managing migration ...

The global flow of refugees and migrants poses challenges, opportunities and obligations for countries around the world. At the very heart of the debate on migration management is how to ensure that the different interests and needs are addressed within a strong human rights framework. The United Nations (UN) is investigating the issue in great depth, and one of the main outcomes of the UN General Assembly in 2016 was a declaration demanding greater international cooperation on managing migration. This declaration was widely endorsed, including by the European Union (EU). As a result, two global compacts have been adopted in 2018, for refugees and for other migrants; this briefing will focus on the latter. According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the UN migration agency in charge of the global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration, these compacts 'provide the opportunity to move ahead in strengthening the norms, principles, rules and decision-making processes that will allow for more effective international cooperation in responding to what is a defining issue'. Providing continued institutional support to address these issues and implement the outcomes of the global compacts will be a challenge. This an updated version of a briefing from December 2017, jointly authored by Joanna Apap, Daniela Adorna Diaz and Gonzalo Urbina Trevino. See also our infographic, Migration flows to the EU, PE 621.862.

Informe anual sobre los derechos humanos y la democracia en el mundo en 2017

05-12-2018

Cada año, el Parlamento Europeo debate sobre los derechos humanos y la democracia en el todo mundo, así como sobre la política de la UE al respecto. En 2017, los derechos humanos fueron el eje de la acción exterior de la UE. No obstante, 2017 también ha estado marcado por una hostilidad constante, en todo el mundo, contra la sociedad civil, y en particular contra los periodistas, así como por un aumento de la desinformación y del populismo. En el informe de la Comisión de Asuntos Exteriores del Parlamento ...

Cada año, el Parlamento Europeo debate sobre los derechos humanos y la democracia en el todo mundo, así como sobre la política de la UE al respecto. En 2017, los derechos humanos fueron el eje de la acción exterior de la UE. No obstante, 2017 también ha estado marcado por una hostilidad constante, en todo el mundo, contra la sociedad civil, y en particular contra los periodistas, así como por un aumento de la desinformación y del populismo. En el informe de la Comisión de Asuntos Exteriores del Parlamento Europeo (AFET) se aboga por la integración continua de los derechos humanos en la acción de la UE, tanto a nivel interno como externo. Está previsto que el Parlamento debata esta cuestión durante el periodo parcial de sesiones de diciembre.

Indivisibility of human rights: Unifying the two Human Rights Covenants?

05-11-2018

This year we celebrate 70 years since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Declaration, adopted on 10 December 1948 in Paris by the United Nations General Assembly, expressed an idea that was revolutionary at the time: human rights are universal, indivisible and inter-dependant, and the international community has an obligation to ensure protection of those rights. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic ...

This year we celebrate 70 years since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Declaration, adopted on 10 December 1948 in Paris by the United Nations General Assembly, expressed an idea that was revolutionary at the time: human rights are universal, indivisible and inter-dependant, and the international community has an obligation to ensure protection of those rights. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) were intended to provide a legally binding codification of the rights listed in the Declaration. Initially drafted in 1954 as a single document, they were opened for signature and ratification separately, in 1966, and came into force in 1976, during the Cold War. In the light of the United Nations General Assembly’s 31 May 2018 mandate for reforms – aimed at simplifying, addressing fragmentation, and improving transparency and accountability – more and more stakeholders ask whether it is time to end the Cold War-era ideological division between civil and political rights, on the one hand, and economic, social and cultural rights, on the other. Apart from all United Nations' member states ratifying and implementing both covenants, a further step could be to codify the two Covenants in a single document, thereby emphasising their indivisibility and overcoming fragmentation.

Transformar la vida de las niñas y las mujeres a través de las relaciones exteriores de la UE 2016 2020

23-05-2018

Está previsto que durante el periodo parcial de sesiones de mayo II se vote la propuesta de Resolución sobre la aplicación del Plan de Acción en materia de género, el cual se basa en cuatro pilares temáticos, a saber, la garantía de la integridad física y psicológica de las mujeres y las niñas; la promoción de los derechos económicos y sociales, y del empoderamiento de las mujeres y las niñas; el fortalecimiento de la voz y el refuerzo de la participación de las mujeres y las niñas; y un cambio de ...

Está previsto que durante el periodo parcial de sesiones de mayo II se vote la propuesta de Resolución sobre la aplicación del Plan de Acción en materia de género, el cual se basa en cuatro pilares temáticos, a saber, la garantía de la integridad física y psicológica de las mujeres y las niñas; la promoción de los derechos económicos y sociales, y del empoderamiento de las mujeres y las niñas; el fortalecimiento de la voz y el refuerzo de la participación de las mujeres y las niñas; y un cambio de la cultura institucional en el seno de la Comisión y el SEAE. En dicha propuesta de Resolución se destacan una serie de tendencias positivas observadas tras un año desde la puesta en marcha del Plan de Acción en materia de género II (2016 2020), así como una serie de cuestiones y ámbitos con margen de mejora.

Migration & asylum: Projects & funding

16-05-2018

Funding instruments in the field of migration and asylum management cover, on the one hand, different EU policy fields, such as enlargement, neighbourhood, development cooperation and common foreign and security policy, as well as, on the other, international projects such as those managed by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) at a more global level. The legal basis of each funding instrument provides for the range of its geographical ...

Funding instruments in the field of migration and asylum management cover, on the one hand, different EU policy fields, such as enlargement, neighbourhood, development cooperation and common foreign and security policy, as well as, on the other, international projects such as those managed by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) at a more global level. The legal basis of each funding instrument provides for the range of its geographical and thematic coverage. In addition, interaction takes place between the different areas covered by the thematic and geographic programmes and other external financing Instruments. The funding landscape changed in 2013 with the new Financial Regulation applicable to the EU budget. This enabled the European Commission to create and administer Union Trust Funds in the field of external action, from 2014: these include multi-donor trust funds for emergency, post-emergency or thematic actions such as the Bêkou and the Madad Fund. The European Parliament welcomed this development in an April 2013 resolution, considering that it would allow the EU to raise the visibility of its external action and to have greater control over the delivery chain of such funds. Following the Valletta Summit in November 2015, an Emergency Trust Fund for stability, to address the root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa was created. To meet the increased migratory challenges, EU funding for the 2015-2018 period has more than doubled. Moreover, the crisis in Syria and in the neighbouring region led to the creation of different funding instruments, by the EU and the international community. EU agencies active externally are also funded through the EU budget. For the 2015-2018 period contributions for support to such EU agencies and their operations reaches €1.4 billion. Funding is one of the main instruments for EU cooperation with third countries in the area of migration, asylum and borders. This paper aims to map and clarify the different funding instruments established for migration-related projects, financed by the EU as well as by the international community.

Futuro de Europa: Contorno del debate actual

12-04-2018

Tras la decisión del Reino Unido de abandonar la Unión como consecuencia del referéndum celebrado en junio de 2016, la Unión inició una profunda reflexión sobre el futuro de Europa, que sigue teniendo lugar en diversos foros e instituciones. El debate ha cobrado un nuevo impulso: la agilización de las negociaciones con el Reino Unido sobre su salida de la Unión, los resultados electorales en algunos Estados miembros y las próximas elecciones europeas que se celebrarán en mayo de 2019 han repercutido ...

Tras la decisión del Reino Unido de abandonar la Unión como consecuencia del referéndum celebrado en junio de 2016, la Unión inició una profunda reflexión sobre el futuro de Europa, que sigue teniendo lugar en diversos foros e instituciones. El debate ha cobrado un nuevo impulso: la agilización de las negociaciones con el Reino Unido sobre su salida de la Unión, los resultados electorales en algunos Estados miembros y las próximas elecciones europeas que se celebrarán en mayo de 2019 han repercutido sobre la profundidad del debate y la visibilidad de las posturas de los diversos actores implicados. En este contexto, el Parlamento Europeo viene organizando desde principios de 2018 debates plenarios sobre el futuro de Europa con jefes de Estado o de Gobierno: el primer ministro irlandés, Leo Varadkar, en enero, el primer ministro croata, Andrej Plenković, en febrero, y el primer ministro portugués, António Costa, en marzo. El presidente francés, Emmanuel Macron, pronunciará un discurso durante la sesión plenaria de abril de 2018. El primer ministro belga, Charles Michel, y el primer ministro de Luxemburgo, Xavier Bettel, han confirmado su participación a principios de mayo en Bruselas y a finales del mes en Estrasburgo, respectivamente. El presente briefing proporciona una visión general de la situación actual del debate en una serie de ámbitos políticos clave, como el futuro de la Unión Económica y Monetaria, la dimensión social de la Unión, o los avances recientes de la política migratoria de la Unión, así como la seguridad y la defensa. Del mismo modo, el briefing incluye un análisis preliminar sobre el futuro marco financiero plurianual posterior a 2020, y debates sobre asuntos institucionales más amplios. Ver también la publicación complementaria del Servicio de Estudios del Parlamento Europeo, From Rome to Sibiu – The European Council and the Future of Europe debate (De Roma a Sibiu – El Consejo Europeo y el Futuro de Europa a debate), PE 615.667.

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