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Peace and Security in 2019: Evaluating EU efforts to support peace in Colombia

03-06-2019

This second thematic study in the Peace and Security series focuses on European Union (EU) peace support efforts in Colombia. The series will make an annual evaluation of EU performance in the field of peace and security in a specific geographical region. This study evaluates EU engagement during the 50-year conflict in Colombia, and focuses on peacebuilding since the historic 2016 final agreement between the government and the main armed group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC-EP ...

This second thematic study in the Peace and Security series focuses on European Union (EU) peace support efforts in Colombia. The series will make an annual evaluation of EU performance in the field of peace and security in a specific geographical region. This study evaluates EU engagement during the 50-year conflict in Colombia, and focuses on peacebuilding since the historic 2016 final agreement between the government and the main armed group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC-EP). This is a country where the EU has mobilised a large spectrum of civilian instruments: bilateral and multilateral diplomacy; humanitarian and development aid; and trade relations. After placing the conflict in its geopolitical context, this evaluation analyses the EU approach to and implementation of support to peace in Colombia, the European Parliament's contribution, risks since the signature of the peace agreement, and ways to mitigate them. A parallel study, published separately, provides an overview of current EU action on peace and security and introduces the 2019 Normandy Index. The studies have been drafted with a view to their presentation at the Normandy World Peace Forum, in June 2019.

The Generalised Scheme of Preferences Regulation (No 978/2012): European Implementation Assessment

19-12-2018

This evaluation of the EU Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) focuses on the incentives in the GSP provisions that aim to push beneficiaries to comply with human rights and the extent to which these have been implemented and have had an impact on poverty reduction and good governance. The annexed economic evaluation of the GSP Regulation examines three inter-related questions: how beneficiaries have graduated from the GSP and what role preferences have played; how trade relations between the ...

This evaluation of the EU Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) focuses on the incentives in the GSP provisions that aim to push beneficiaries to comply with human rights and the extent to which these have been implemented and have had an impact on poverty reduction and good governance. The annexed economic evaluation of the GSP Regulation examines three inter-related questions: how beneficiaries have graduated from the GSP and what role preferences have played; how trade relations between the countries that have recently graduated from the GSP and those that still benefit from it are affected; and what the impact of changes in the rules of origin has been.

The Trade Pillar in the EU-Central America Association Agreement: European Implementation Assessment

24-10-2018

The EU-Central America Association Agreement was signed in June 2012 and its trade pillar has been provisionally in force since December 2013. This evaluation assesses specifically the implementation of the trade and sustainable development (TSD) chapter of the trade pillar of this agreement during the five years of its operation. After briefly outlining the trade interests of this agreement, this study situates sustainable development by explaining its legal foundations in the Association Agreement ...

The EU-Central America Association Agreement was signed in June 2012 and its trade pillar has been provisionally in force since December 2013. This evaluation assesses specifically the implementation of the trade and sustainable development (TSD) chapter of the trade pillar of this agreement during the five years of its operation. After briefly outlining the trade interests of this agreement, this study situates sustainable development by explaining its legal foundations in the Association Agreement and reviewing the ex-ante impact assessment conclusions on the issue. It then focuses on the monitoring mechanisms of the Association Agreement, including the European Commission annual reports, Parliament's oversight work, the civil society dialogue, and the results of the meetings of the specialised committee and annual Association Committee and Association Council meetings. Through this review it identifies strengths and shortcomings in the implementation of the TSD chapter and ends by suggesting a number of ways to enhance efforts to support sustainable development in Central America.

Peace and Security in 2018: An evaluation of EU peacebuilding in the Western Balkans

22-05-2018

This first thematic study of the Peace and Security series focuses on European Union (EU) peacebuilding efforts in the Western Balkans. The series will make an annual evaluation of EU performance in the field of peace and security in a specific geographical region. Examining EU engagement in the Western Balkans, the study assesses the extent to which the Union has been able to transform and strengthen the region's governance, economy and resilience. The study is organised around three key inter-connected ...

This first thematic study of the Peace and Security series focuses on European Union (EU) peacebuilding efforts in the Western Balkans. The series will make an annual evaluation of EU performance in the field of peace and security in a specific geographical region. Examining EU engagement in the Western Balkans, the study assesses the extent to which the Union has been able to transform and strengthen the region's governance, economy and resilience. The study is organised around three key inter-connected (and at times overlapping) phases in EU post-conflict peacebuilding − stabilisation, state-building and EU enlargement − to explain the strengths, weaknesses and limits of EU engagement. It ends with an assessment of the new EU strategy for the Western Balkans and analyses the potential to remedy past deficiencies and help move the region towards genuine, inclusive and sustainable peace. A parallel study, published separately, provides an overview of current EU action on peace and security and of the outlook for the future. The studies have been drafted with a view to their presentation at the Normandy World Peace Forum, in June 2018.

EU external financing instruments and the post-2020 architecture: European Implementation Assessment

28-02-2018

This study evaluates the performance of the EU external financing instruments (EFIs) in the light of the results of the European Commission’s mid-term review and discussions on their post-2020 architecture. This evaluation finds that the existing architecture and geographic/thematic coverage of the EFIs has, overall, been relevant to the EU policy objectives set in 2014. However, they were less responsive to recipients’ needs, and implementation weaknesses persist. At the strategic level, weaknesses ...

This study evaluates the performance of the EU external financing instruments (EFIs) in the light of the results of the European Commission’s mid-term review and discussions on their post-2020 architecture. This evaluation finds that the existing architecture and geographic/thematic coverage of the EFIs has, overall, been relevant to the EU policy objectives set in 2014. However, they were less responsive to recipients’ needs, and implementation weaknesses persist. At the strategic level, weaknesses in EFIs that need attention in the post-2020 architecture include: balancing short-term expediency with long-term needs; ensuring EU security needs and interests do not marginalise EU values; and safeguarding the development-oriented agenda of EFIs. At an operational level, the EFIs need to overcome the ‘silo’ approach to implementation, and develop solid monitoring and evaluation systems that assess the EFIs’ impact in recipient countries. This study provides options for tackling these limitations, including the need to integrate simplification, ensure sustainability of EU action, strengthen flexibility while remaining consistent and committed to EU fundamental values, create multi-actor partnerships, link EU action to EU strategies, and strengthen EU strategic communication. The annexed expert paper found that EU support to civil society in Turkey, Ukraine and Egypt has improved in recent years, but it still struggles to meet new challenges. Neither radical simplification of the EFIs nor a dedicated civil society instrument would necessarily improve civil society support, and may involve serious drawbacks. The EU’s most pressing challenges are to link civil society more effectively to reform-oriented aid; find ways to support new civic actors; temper the current assault on civil society organisations; and to find more nuanced ways to link civil society to strategic goals.

Awtur estern

Annex: EU Support to Civil Society in Turkey, Ukraine and Egypt: Mapping reforms to the external financing instruments, written by Professor Richard Youngs, Carnegie Europe.

EU Humanitarian aid: Lessons identified and the way forward

29-01-2018

The new uncertain geopolitical context has had a far-reaching impact, including on European Union (EU) humanitarian aid. The EU has faced a rising number of terrorist attacks across Europe that has created an atmosphere of fear, while the United Kingdom (UK)'s decision to withdraw from the EU has challenged the European project as we know it. The EU institutions and its Member States, as well as international institutions have been challenged in their response to refugees seeking asylum, and to the ...

The new uncertain geopolitical context has had a far-reaching impact, including on European Union (EU) humanitarian aid. The EU has faced a rising number of terrorist attacks across Europe that has created an atmosphere of fear, while the United Kingdom (UK)'s decision to withdraw from the EU has challenged the European project as we know it. The EU institutions and its Member States, as well as international institutions have been challenged in their response to refugees seeking asylum, and to the humanitarian crises in the Mediterranean. Equally, the election of President Trump has ushered in a new era of United States (US) unilateralism, creating a gap on the global agenda. This briefing aims to provide an assessment of recent developments in the area of EU humanitarian aid and outline elements that would be pertinent to consider in policy-making when reflecting on how to move forward on the post-2020 architecture of the EU external financing instruments, which affect EU humanitarian aid, and the needs surrounding the new EU budget.

EU Gender Action Plan 2016-2020 at year one: European Implementation Assessment

11-10-2017

The EU’s Gender Action Plan 2016-2020 (referred to as GAP II) is the Union’s framework for promoting gender equality and women and girls’ empowerment in external relations in third and partner countries, as well as in international fora and agendas. GAP II is significant, as it constitutes the manifestation of the principles related to gender parity outlined in the new European Consensus on Development. Its goals are also key to the successful achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs ...

The EU’s Gender Action Plan 2016-2020 (referred to as GAP II) is the Union’s framework for promoting gender equality and women and girls’ empowerment in external relations in third and partner countries, as well as in international fora and agendas. GAP II is significant, as it constitutes the manifestation of the principles related to gender parity outlined in the new European Consensus on Development. Its goals are also key to the successful achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Against this background, this European Implementation Assessment seeks to provide an initial assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of GAP II at its first milestone: the end of its first year of operation in third countries. Given the short timeframe of the evaluation, this study presents some preliminary findings on the achievements and shortcomings in the application of GAP II, but also aims to assess the new framework itself. Moreover, it provides Members with a number of opportunities for action and recommendations for improving EU performance on promoting and protecting gender parity and women’s empowerment in partner countries.

Tax evasion, money laundering and tax transparency in the EU Overseas Countries and Territories: Ex-Post Impact Assessment

20-04-2017

This study aims to present the legal, political and institutional framework governing offshore practices in the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) of the European Union, which are under the sovereignty of four Member States: Denmark, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The institutional arrangements of the OCTs with the relevant EU Member States directly affect the possibility to establish policies and adopt regulations, including on taxation and money laundering. Regardless of ...

This study aims to present the legal, political and institutional framework governing offshore practices in the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) of the European Union, which are under the sovereignty of four Member States: Denmark, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The institutional arrangements of the OCTs with the relevant EU Member States directly affect the possibility to establish policies and adopt regulations, including on taxation and money laundering. Regardless of the level of control of the EU Member States over their OCTs, implementation of the law by the local authorities is of concern in a number of the UK and Dutch OCTs, both in terms of structural weaknesses, but also because of limited financial and human resources. In the case of the French OCTs, suboptimal oversight controls and lack of information make it difficult to supervise financial activities. The opening analysis compares the French, Dutch and British cases in terms of combating tax evasion, money laundering and enhancing tax transparency; explores the case of Greenland; and draws conclusions on how the EU could better use its leverage in these overseas territories. The analysis is based on the detailed annexed contributions, written by external experts, which cover in detail the OCTs under French, Dutch, and British rule. This ex-post impact assessment has been produced by the European Parliamentary Research Service at the request of the European Parliament's Committee of Inquiry into Money Laundering, Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion (PANA) to assist it in the context of its ongoing work.

Awtur estern

Prof. Alexandre Maitrot de la Motte of the University of Paris-Est Creteil, Prof. Dr H.E. Bröring, Prof. Dr O.O. Cherednychenko, Prof. Dr H.G. Hoogers and G. Karapetian LL.M. (Department of Constitutional Law, Administrative Law and Public Administration/Groningen Centre for European Financial Services Law (GCEFSL), University of Groningen), Dr Peter Clegg of the University of the West of England

EU-US trade and investment relations: Effects on tax evasion, money laundering and tax transparency

06-03-2017

This ex-post impact assessment analyses EU-US trade and investment relations to assess whether and, if so, to what extent these relations have impacted on issues related to tax evasion, money laundering and tax transparency. The EU and US economies are highly intertwined, generating together half the world’s gross domestic product and more than 30 % of global trade. Overall, trade and investment relations between the European Union and the United States do not seem to have impacted on US efforts ...

This ex-post impact assessment analyses EU-US trade and investment relations to assess whether and, if so, to what extent these relations have impacted on issues related to tax evasion, money laundering and tax transparency. The EU and US economies are highly intertwined, generating together half the world’s gross domestic product and more than 30 % of global trade. Overall, trade and investment relations between the European Union and the United States do not seem to have impacted on US efforts to combat tax evasion, strengthen anti-money laundering legislation, and its implementation, and boost tax transparency. While some progress has been made in the ongoing negotiation of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which also aims to establish regulatory cooperation between the EU and the USA on financial services, progress has been below expectations. The United States has set up mechanisms for information exchange with EU Member States, has signed tax treaties with almost all EU Member States, and has developed a robust legal framework to address money laundering and combat terrorism financing. Despite being largely compliant with the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force, however, challenges remain on questions of beneficial ownership, cross-border exchange of information, privacy issues, and designated non-financial businesses and professions.

The effects of human rights related clauses in the EU-Mexico Global Agreement and the EU-Chile Association Agreement

10-02-2017

The democracy clause in the EU-Mexico Global Agreement and by extension the EU-Mexico Free Trade Agreement calls for respect for fundamental human rights. If these are breached, a sanctioning clause can be invoked. The widely reported violations of human rights in Mexico are tackled through political dialogue. The agreement includes cooperation articles on social policy, the results of which are non-binding. Against this background, it is difficult to make a clear link between the potential effects ...

The democracy clause in the EU-Mexico Global Agreement and by extension the EU-Mexico Free Trade Agreement calls for respect for fundamental human rights. If these are breached, a sanctioning clause can be invoked. The widely reported violations of human rights in Mexico are tackled through political dialogue. The agreement includes cooperation articles on social policy, the results of which are non-binding. Against this background, it is difficult to make a clear link between the potential effects of human rights related clauses in the Global Agreement on the human rights situation in Mexico. The EU-Chile Association Agreement (AA) also includes a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement, which is subject to the democracy clause. More developed than that in the Global Agreement, this clause calls for respect for fundamental human rights; sustainable economic and social development; and commits parties to good governance. The AA also includes a suspension clause in case of breach of the democracy clause, and cooperation provisions, the results of which are non-binding. While these are more detailed than the ones in the Global Agreement, the impact of the EU-Chile AA on the human rights situation in Chile has been limited in its extent and to specific aspects of the social policy agenda. In both cases, the monitoring mechanisms of the EU agreements have generally been implemented properly – even if civil society participation in Chile was institutionalised late. These mechanisms have played an important role in nurturing cooperation, but the incentives created have not translated into sufficient pressure for the implementation of human rights related reforms. Rather than the EU FTAs per se impacting on ensuring the respect of human rights in Mexico and Chile, it is the cumulative effect of the liberalisation of trade in the two countries, the EU-Mexico Strategic Partnership, the role of all global players, and cooperation with international donors that have encouraged reform. Ultimately, whether or not reforms in favour of respect of human rights have been adopted and implemented was the result of domestic politics in Mexico and Chile.

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