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Premio Sakharov 2017

05-12-2017

Istituito nel 1988 dal Parlamento europeo, il premio Sakharov per la libertà di pensiero è conferito ogni anno a dicembre a persone o organizzazioni per particolari meriti nella promozione dei diritti umani e delle libertà fondamentali. Assegnando il premio 2017 all'Opposizione venezuelana, il Parlamento denuncia la situazione in Venezuela, riafferma il suo sostegno per l'Assemblea nazionale democraticamente eletta, chiede una transizione pacifica verso la democrazia e rende omaggio al popolo venezuelano ...

Istituito nel 1988 dal Parlamento europeo, il premio Sakharov per la libertà di pensiero è conferito ogni anno a dicembre a persone o organizzazioni per particolari meriti nella promozione dei diritti umani e delle libertà fondamentali. Assegnando il premio 2017 all'Opposizione venezuelana, il Parlamento denuncia la situazione in Venezuela, riafferma il suo sostegno per l'Assemblea nazionale democraticamente eletta, chiede una transizione pacifica verso la democrazia e rende omaggio al popolo venezuelano, in particolare a coloro che sono stati ingiustamente incarcerati per aver espresso le loro opinioni.

The 2017 State of the Union debate in the European Parliament

08-09-2017

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s State of the Union address to the European Parliament, and the subsequent debate, on 13 September come in the context of the ongoing broader reflection on the future path of the European Union. This has been intensified by the first-ever withdrawal of a Member State from the Union; although lamented by most, this is often cited as an opportunity to rebuild the Union on stronger grounds. The debate will therefore feed into a larger reflection process ...

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s State of the Union address to the European Parliament, and the subsequent debate, on 13 September come in the context of the ongoing broader reflection on the future path of the European Union. This has been intensified by the first-ever withdrawal of a Member State from the Union; although lamented by most, this is often cited as an opportunity to rebuild the Union on stronger grounds. The debate will therefore feed into a larger reflection process, to which Parliament contributed three landmark resolutions, launched by EU-27 leaders in the Rome declaration of 25 March 2017. As announced in President Juncker’s 2016 State of the Union speech, the Commission published a white paper on the future of Europe, identifying five scenarios for the further course of the Union. The Commission President has recently pointed to a sixth scenario to be revealed in his State of the Union speech. The State of the Union debate forms part of the process for the adoption of the annual Commission Work Programme and thus plays an important role in identifying major political priorities to be agreed in interinstitutional dialogue. This briefing is an update of an earlier one of September 2016, PE 586.665.

Turkmenistan reforms need to go further

21-06-2016

The Turkmen government has introduced various reforms since 2008 and has expressed an interest in closer cooperation with the EU. Yet, the May 2016 debate in the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) on the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) with Turkmenistan highlighted Parliament's dissatisfaction with the reforms. On the grounds of severe human rights concerns, AFET suspended its approval of the PCA until the country makes satisfactory progress.

The Turkmen government has introduced various reforms since 2008 and has expressed an interest in closer cooperation with the EU. Yet, the May 2016 debate in the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) on the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) with Turkmenistan highlighted Parliament's dissatisfaction with the reforms. On the grounds of severe human rights concerns, AFET suspended its approval of the PCA until the country makes satisfactory progress.

Turkey's political situation before the general election

04-06-2015

Following the local and presidential elections of 2014, the ruling party (AKP) is increasing its influence over the political landscape and fostering its agenda of a more presidential regime. In this context, the outcome of the 7 June general election will be crucial.

Following the local and presidential elections of 2014, the ruling party (AKP) is increasing its influence over the political landscape and fostering its agenda of a more presidential regime. In this context, the outcome of the 7 June general election will be crucial.

Making the US federal budget: Process and hazards

10-03-2015

The federal budget makes up roughly half of all public spending in the US, with the rest spent at state and local level. The United States (US) Congress, comprising the House of Representatives and the Senate, is responsible for passing the legislation that constitutes the budget, but the President also plays an important role, both in launching the process through a formal budget proposal and in bringing it to an end by signing appropriations, revenue and entitlement bills into law. While the ...

The federal budget makes up roughly half of all public spending in the US, with the rest spent at state and local level. The United States (US) Congress, comprising the House of Representatives and the Senate, is responsible for passing the legislation that constitutes the budget, but the President also plays an important role, both in launching the process through a formal budget proposal and in bringing it to an end by signing appropriations, revenue and entitlement bills into law. While the budget process is formally set out in legislation, budget-making in practice can be quite different. The Constitution grants the 'power of the purse' to Congress, but it is ultimately the President who signs bills into law. This de facto division of powers between President and Congress, and within Congress between the House of Representatives and the Senate, poses specific challenges – not least when the House, the Senate and the Presidency are controlled by different parties. These challenges have been conspicuous in recent years, as lawmakers have struggled to follow the prescribed timetable, necessitating other procedures and stopgap measures to maintain funding for vital government functions. In addition, in response to mounting government debt and political deadlock, attempts have been made to bind future legislatures, by locking in budget cuts in a process known as 'sequestration'. At times the key players have been unable to reach agreement, cutting off funding from parts of the government and putting the US at risk of a sovereign default.

Comparative Analysis between the Constitutional Processes in Egypt and Tunisia - Lessons Learnt. Overview of the Constitutional Situation in Libya

15-04-2014

The 2014 Constitutions of Egypt and Tunisia, though enacted at the same time and as a consequence of very similar revolutionary forces, are different in style and content. Egypt has fallen back to the structures of the 1971 Constitution and will likely experience further restoration of the authoritarian presidentialism. The Armed Forces continue to play a dominant background role in the political and constitutional life of the country. Tunisia seems to have embraced a new constitutional paradigm ...

The 2014 Constitutions of Egypt and Tunisia, though enacted at the same time and as a consequence of very similar revolutionary forces, are different in style and content. Egypt has fallen back to the structures of the 1971 Constitution and will likely experience further restoration of the authoritarian presidentialism. The Armed Forces continue to play a dominant background role in the political and constitutional life of the country. Tunisia seems to have embraced a new constitutional paradigm that is based on a modern approach to human rights protection and a balanced institutional framework that provides for substantial checks and balances between the three branches of government. The constitutional drafting process in Libya is overshadowed by a pronounced lack of security, the absence of functioning state institutions, societal fragmentation, and the uneven distribution of natural wealth. National reconciliation is a key precondition of successful political and constitutional transition but the process has to date been a very difficult one. There are indications, however, that stakeholders in Libya are trying to build consensus on important aspects of the process. The 1951 Constitution, based on a federal framework, offers the best conceptual framework for the recently elected Constituent Assembly. Unlike Egypt and Tunisia, Libya might opt for a parliamentary form of government rather than a semi-presidential system.

Autore esterno

Jörg FEDTKE (Tulane University Law School, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA)

Egypt: In-Depth Analysis of the Main Elements of the New Constitution

09-04-2014

Despite cautious liberalisation in a few limited areas, Egypt’s new constitution of January 2014 does not represent a new democratic departure. The process of its adoption was not inclusive. Public consultations leading to the referendum were selective and weak. According to observation missions the referendum campaign was entirely skewed in favour of a ‘yes’ vote. Key elements of Egypt’s constitution are at odds with international legal obligations and standards. Human rights provisions are not ...

Despite cautious liberalisation in a few limited areas, Egypt’s new constitution of January 2014 does not represent a new democratic departure. The process of its adoption was not inclusive. Public consultations leading to the referendum were selective and weak. According to observation missions the referendum campaign was entirely skewed in favour of a ‘yes’ vote. Key elements of Egypt’s constitution are at odds with international legal obligations and standards. Human rights provisions are not specific in many aspects, leaving crucial aspects to be determined by laws. The military has a significant role; it is not only beyond democratic control, it has a say in civilian matters – an inverse relationship to democratic set-up. On a more positive note, the far-reaching Sharia provisions of the 2012 law have been abandoned and the article on equality of men and women has been strengthened. On balance the constitution offers little hope for eventual democratisation. Amending its provisions will be extremely difficult, requiring 2/3 majority in the House of Representatives and a referendum.

Autore esterno

Michael MEYER-RESENDE (Democracy Reporting International DRI, Germany)

Spinelli's legacy: the federal path

30-01-2014

The 1984 Draft Treaty establishing the European Union, known as the "Spinelli Report" although drafted by six co-rapporteurs, has since shaped the path of European integration like no other document. It was the first text of a "European Constitution" drafted by a European institution. Its underlying ideas are, 30 years after its adoption by Parliament on 14 February 1984, still topical, not only because a great part of the EU constitutional architecture can be traced back to it, but also due to its ...

The 1984 Draft Treaty establishing the European Union, known as the "Spinelli Report" although drafted by six co-rapporteurs, has since shaped the path of European integration like no other document. It was the first text of a "European Constitution" drafted by a European institution. Its underlying ideas are, 30 years after its adoption by Parliament on 14 February 1984, still topical, not only because a great part of the EU constitutional architecture can be traced back to it, but also due to its relevance for the ever-lively discussions on the future direction of the European project.

Proceedings of the Workshop on "What Perspectives for Stability and Democracy in Pakistan ?"

12-12-2011

The Policy Department of the European Parliament has organised On behalf of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Delegation for Relations with South Asia a workshop on "Perspectives of stability and democracy in Pakistan". Three speakers were invited to address issues covering domestic socio-political aspects, the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, regional relations and the potential contribution and support to stability, democracy and socio-economic development. Pakistan continues to be a fledgling ...

The Policy Department of the European Parliament has organised On behalf of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Delegation for Relations with South Asia a workshop on "Perspectives of stability and democracy in Pakistan". Three speakers were invited to address issues covering domestic socio-political aspects, the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, regional relations and the potential contribution and support to stability, democracy and socio-economic development. Pakistan continues to be a fledgling democracy in transition. The complexities of the Pakistani situation make it difficult for outsiders to understand the different powers at play in the country and to deal with fears about instability. A partnership of the military with the judiciary and the media has emerged, and the military retains its capacity to influence the public discourse and the trust in the effectiveness of a democratic polity in general. The definitive substantial challenge is to cope with continuing tensions between civil and military rule. Positive developments include the 18th and 19th Amendments to the Constitution (which re-establish parliamentary democracy, including aspects of electoral reform), the provinces agreeing on the National Finance Commission Award, the ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the recent resumption of talks between India and Pakistan. The development of trust between Pakistan and India will be essential for the longer-term entrenchment of civilian government in Pakistan; this in turn will require some agreement to be forged over Kashmir. Whether this is feasible will depend on political will. The EU should consolidate long-term support for strengthening democracy in Pakistan by the formulation of a strong electoral framework, strengthening of the Pakistani Parliament as an institution and supporting local self governance and devolution of power.

Autore esterno

Ayesha SIDDIQA (political commentator, Islamabad, PAKISTAN) ; Amir E. KHAN (Democracy Reporting International - DRI, PAKISTAN) and Gareth PRICE (Asia Programme, Chatham House, London, UNITED KINGDOM) Ralph PIOTROWSKI (project coordinator, Ecologic Institute, Berlin, GERMANY)

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