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Use of financial data for preventing and combatting serious crime

17-01-2019

On 17 April 2018, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a directive intended to facilitate law enforcement authorities' access to and use of financial information held in other jurisdictions within the EU for investigations related to terrorism and other serious crime. In this sense, the proposed directive would grant competent authorities direct access to bank account information contained in centralised registries set up in each Member State, according to the provisions of the Fifth Anti-Money-Laundering ...

On 17 April 2018, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a directive intended to facilitate law enforcement authorities' access to and use of financial information held in other jurisdictions within the EU for investigations related to terrorism and other serious crime. In this sense, the proposed directive would grant competent authorities direct access to bank account information contained in centralised registries set up in each Member State, according to the provisions of the Fifth Anti-Money-Laundering Directive. The proposal also aims to strengthen domestic and cross-border exchange of information between EU Member States' competent authorities, including law enforcement authorities and financial intelligence units, as well as with Europol. Following the Council's adoption of its negotiating position in November 2018, on 3 December 2018, the European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties adopted its report and mandate in view of interinstitutional negotiations. This mandate was confirmed in plenary in December 2018.

Unlocking the potential of the EU Treaties: An article-by-article analysis of the scope for action

07-01-2019

Public opinion often expresses the view that the European Union should do more to improve the lives of citizens in various policy areas, but a lack of convergence among Member States on the desired changes, not to mention likely hurdles in the ratification process, as well as other factors make any significant reform of the EU Treaties unlikely in the near term. This study identifies and analyses 34 policy areas where there may be the potential to do more under the existing legal bases provided by ...

Public opinion often expresses the view that the European Union should do more to improve the lives of citizens in various policy areas, but a lack of convergence among Member States on the desired changes, not to mention likely hurdles in the ratification process, as well as other factors make any significant reform of the EU Treaties unlikely in the near term. This study identifies and analyses 34 policy areas where there may be the potential to do more under the existing legal bases provided by the Treaties without recourse to any amendment or updating of those texts. It looks at currently unused or under-used legal bases in the Treaties with a view to their contributing more effectively to the EU policy process.

2018: Challenges and choices [What Think Tanks are thinking]

20-12-2018

After 2017 brought optimism for the European Union, 2018 has proved a year of tougher challenges and choices. It was a time of slower growth, with the spectre of a global trade war. Turbulent negotiations on Brexit brought an agreement, but the chances of its approval by the UK House of Commons look unpromising. It was a year of uncertainty for transatlantic ties and for US global leadership. Tensions re-emerged over migration. Progress in overhauling the euro-area was limited. The simmering Russia-Ukrainian ...

After 2017 brought optimism for the European Union, 2018 has proved a year of tougher challenges and choices. It was a time of slower growth, with the spectre of a global trade war. Turbulent negotiations on Brexit brought an agreement, but the chances of its approval by the UK House of Commons look unpromising. It was a year of uncertainty for transatlantic ties and for US global leadership. Tensions re-emerged over migration. Progress in overhauling the euro-area was limited. The simmering Russia-Ukrainian conflict erupted again. These and other developments form the backdrop for the European elections in 2019. This note offers links to recent selected commentaries, studies and reports from major international think tanks on the state of the EU in 2018 and its outlook in several important areas.

EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Protection of EU external borders

03-12-2018

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 external borders. It affected the functioning of the Schengen rules, leading to the re-introduction of border checks by several Member States. In response to these challenges, as well as the surge in terrorist and serious cross-border crime activities, the EU has embarked on a broader process of reform aimed at strengthening its external borders ...

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 external borders. It affected the functioning of the Schengen rules, leading to the re-introduction of border checks by several Member States. In response to these challenges, as well as the surge in terrorist and serious cross-border crime activities, the EU has embarked on a broader process of reform aimed at strengthening its external borders by reinforcing the links between border controls and security. On the one hand, measures for protecting the EU's external borders have focused on reinforcing EU border management rules, such as the Schengen Borders Code, and strengthening and upgrading the mandates of relevant EU agencies, such as Frontex, eu-Lisa, Europol and EASO. On the other hand, in connection with a number of key shortcomings in the EU's information systems, efforts were made to improve use of the opportunities offered by information systems and technologies for security, criminal records, and border and migration management. This included strengthening existing IT systems (SIS II, VIS, Eurodac, ECRIS-TCN), establishing new ones (ETIAS, Entry/Exit System) and improving their interoperability. The broader mandate and the increase of activities in the area of EU border management is also reflected in the growing amounts, flexibility and diversity of EU funds, inside as well as outside the current and future EU budget.

European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS)

18-10-2018

Strengthening the EU’s external borders is key to ensuring internal security and to preserving freedom of movement in the Schengen area. While the existing border management information systems do address some of the information gaps concerning non-EU citizens coming into the EU, there is a lack of information related to visa-exempt third-country nationals arriving at the Schengen external borders. The European Commission is therefore proposing to set up an automated system that would gather information ...

Strengthening the EU’s external borders is key to ensuring internal security and to preserving freedom of movement in the Schengen area. While the existing border management information systems do address some of the information gaps concerning non-EU citizens coming into the EU, there is a lack of information related to visa-exempt third-country nationals arriving at the Schengen external borders. The European Commission is therefore proposing to set up an automated system that would gather information on visa-exempt travellers prior to their arrival, in order to determine any irregular migration, security or public-health risks associated with them. The proposal follows similar models already existing in the USA, Canada and Australia, among others. ETIAS formally entered into force in October 2018, but will not become operational before 2021. Fourth edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

Regulating imports of cultural goods

18-10-2018

Currently, with the exception of two specific measures for Iraq and Syria, there is no EU legislation covering the import of cultural goods from third countries entering the EU. Moreover, the national legislation introduced by some Member States in this area is divergent. By ensuring that imports of cultural goods are subject to uniform controls along all EU external borders, the legislative proposal tabled by the Commission in July 2017 aims to prevent the import and storage in the EU of cultural ...

Currently, with the exception of two specific measures for Iraq and Syria, there is no EU legislation covering the import of cultural goods from third countries entering the EU. Moreover, the national legislation introduced by some Member States in this area is divergent. By ensuring that imports of cultural goods are subject to uniform controls along all EU external borders, the legislative proposal tabled by the Commission in July 2017 aims to prevent the import and storage in the EU of cultural goods illegally removed from a third country, thereby combatting trafficking in cultural goods, depriving terrorists of an income source, and protecting cultural heritage. In the European Parliament, the Committees on International Trade (INTA) and on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) adopted a joint report on the proposed legislation on 27 September 2018. The report, which aims to ensure a balance between curbing the illegal import of cultural goods and avoiding a disproportionate burden for licit art market operators and customs authorities, is scheduled for debate in plenary in October. Second edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Outlook for the meetings of EU Heads of State or Government, 17-18 October 2018

16-10-2018

As has become the norm with European Council meetings, EU Heads of State or Government will convene on 17 and 18 October 2018 in different formats with varying compositions and levels of formality: a regular meeting of the European Council, and an enlarged Euro Summit of 27 Member States on 18 October, preceded by a European Council (Article 50) meeting on the 17 October over dinner. The agenda of the European Council meeting focuses on migration and internal security. Specific foreign policy issues ...

As has become the norm with European Council meetings, EU Heads of State or Government will convene on 17 and 18 October 2018 in different formats with varying compositions and levels of formality: a regular meeting of the European Council, and an enlarged Euro Summit of 27 Member States on 18 October, preceded by a European Council (Article 50) meeting on the 17 October over dinner. The agenda of the European Council meeting focuses on migration and internal security. Specific foreign policy issues might also be addressed at this meeting. The Euro Summit will discuss the state of play of negotiations on the deepening of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), with a view to the next Euro Summit in December. However, the priority issue for Heads of State or Government will be Brexit. At the European Council (Article 50) meeting, EU-27 leaders are expected to discuss the progress that has been achieved in the negotiations so far, and possibly call for an extraordinary summit in November 2018.

The role of the European Council in internal security policy

11-10-2018

Due to the various terrorist attacks across the EU in recent years, internal security and the fight against terrorism have become major concerns for EU citizens as well as for the EU Heads of State or Government. The European Council has a significant Treaty-based role to play in the area of justice and home affairs, including on policy issues such as the fight against terrorism and organised crime, police cooperation and cybersecurity, often subsumed under the concept ‘internal security’. In recent ...

Due to the various terrorist attacks across the EU in recent years, internal security and the fight against terrorism have become major concerns for EU citizens as well as for the EU Heads of State or Government. The European Council has a significant Treaty-based role to play in the area of justice and home affairs, including on policy issues such as the fight against terrorism and organised crime, police cooperation and cybersecurity, often subsumed under the concept ‘internal security’. In recent years it has carried out this strategic role on various occasions but sometimes in a more reactive way often in the aftermath of major terrorist attacks. The paper also shows that while the policy fields of internal security and migration were usually clearly separated in European Council discussions, the two areas are now increasingly linked, in particular by the subject of external EU border protection. The Salzburg summit of 20 September 2018 is an example for this and also illustrates a recent trend of EU Presidencies to bring together EU Heads of State or Government in their country to discuss policy topics at the top of their own agendas.

Revision of the Explosives Precursors Regulation

10-07-2018

Explosives precursors can be found in various chemical products used by consumers, general professional users, and industrial users, for example, in detergents, fertilisers, special fuels, lubricants and greases, water treatment chemicals. They can be used by terrorists to produce home-made explosives (HME). In April 2018 the European Commission put forward a proposal for a new regulation, accompanied by an impact assessment (IA) and an evaluation, which have been performed at the same time. The ...

Explosives precursors can be found in various chemical products used by consumers, general professional users, and industrial users, for example, in detergents, fertilisers, special fuels, lubricants and greases, water treatment chemicals. They can be used by terrorists to produce home-made explosives (HME). In April 2018 the European Commission put forward a proposal for a new regulation, accompanied by an impact assessment (IA) and an evaluation, which have been performed at the same time. The IA has attempted to provide a rather detailed, albeit mainly qualitative, analysis of the various types of impacts, disregarding some limitations to obtain data, such as a risk of exposing vulnerabilities in Member States and of jeopardising ongoing investigations and prosecutions. The IA notes that many SMEs are not part of the EU level industry associations, which have been consulted while drafting the ex-post evaluation. A question arises if the SMEs have been targeted at the stakeholder consultation in any other way, which appears not to be the case. The public consultation took less than 12 weeks, which is not in line with the Better Regulation Guidelines.

Acquisition and loss of citizenship in EU Member States: Key trends and issues

09-07-2018

Access to citizenship status is an important prerequisite for enjoying rights and privileges, such as migration and political rights, as well as for developing a sense of identity and belonging. Since the establishment of Union citizenship, all persons who are nationals or citizens of an EU Member State enjoy the status of EU citizenship, which confers on them a number of additional rights and privileges. However, Member States retain full control over who can be recognised as a citizen. Although ...

Access to citizenship status is an important prerequisite for enjoying rights and privileges, such as migration and political rights, as well as for developing a sense of identity and belonging. Since the establishment of Union citizenship, all persons who are nationals or citizens of an EU Member State enjoy the status of EU citizenship, which confers on them a number of additional rights and privileges. However, Member States retain full control over who can be recognised as a citizen. Although the legal rules on the acquisition and loss of citizenship in the EU Member States remain fairly divergent, one can identify a number of key trends and issues. The need to integrate long-term immigrants has pushed EU countries to amend their citizenship laws. This often resulted in making citizenship both more liberal (lowering residence requirements and tolerating dual citizenship) and more restrictive (introducing integration clauses and citizenship tests). The surge in terrorist activities in the EU, which involve citizens, prompted several Member States to revise or reactivate citizenship provisions allowing for citizenship to be revoked. Concerns about immigrants' integration, allegiance and belonging, as well as about the cultural and economic consequences of regional integration and globalisation are at the heart of recent debates about citizenship in Europe. As the Maltese case of investor citizenship shows, the issue of access to citizenship is no longer a matter that concerns Member States alone. The bundling of national and EU citizenship means that Member States have a certain responsibility towards each other when taking decisions over who to accept (or reject) as citizens.

Imeachtaí atá ar na bacáin

25-06-2019
Meeting EU energy and climate goals: Energy storage for grids and low-carbon mobility
Imeacht eile -
EPRS

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