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Common European Immigration Policy Achievements during the legislative term 2014-2019: the role of the European Parliament

15-04-2019

The (still to be achieved) common EU immigration policy covers legal migration; the support of Member States’ actions for the integration of third country nationals; combating irregular immigration through an effective return policy; concluding readmission agreements with third countries; and combating trafficking in human beings. Throughout the 2014-2019 legislative term and with a view to overcoming the migration crisis, Parliament as co-legislator has contributed to enhancing the legal avenues ...

The (still to be achieved) common EU immigration policy covers legal migration; the support of Member States’ actions for the integration of third country nationals; combating irregular immigration through an effective return policy; concluding readmission agreements with third countries; and combating trafficking in human beings. Throughout the 2014-2019 legislative term and with a view to overcoming the migration crisis, Parliament as co-legislator has contributed to enhancing the legal avenues to the Union and preventing irregular migration, notably through the interoperability of data bases; the strengthening of border control and effective returns; and the creation of a European network of immigration liaison officers as a decisive part of a holistic approach to migration. It has also discussed best practices on integration with national parliaments.

NATO at 70 [What Think Tanks are thinking]

12-04-2019

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) celebrates its 70th anniversary in April 2019, proud of its survival, durability and strong role in ensuring peace, notably during the Cold War. However, analysts and politicians stress that the military alliance must work hard to keep pace with a changing environment and the new challenges of the 21st century, both geo-strategic and technological. Another major test is the uncertain commitment to NATO of Donald Trump, the current President of the United ...

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) celebrates its 70th anniversary in April 2019, proud of its survival, durability and strong role in ensuring peace, notably during the Cold War. However, analysts and politicians stress that the military alliance must work hard to keep pace with a changing environment and the new challenges of the 21st century, both geo-strategic and technological. Another major test is the uncertain commitment to NATO of Donald Trump, the current President of the United States. This note offers links to commentaries and studies on NATO and European defence by major international think tanks. Earlier papers on European defence, focused on a planned US withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, can be found in a previous edition of 'What Think Tanks are Thinking', published in February 2019.

The Scrutiny of the European Defence Fund by the European Parliament and national parliaments

01-04-2019

Since 2016, the European Union has developed a number of new initiatives on security and defence. In particular, the introduction of Permanent Structured Cooperation and the European Defence Fund have been designed to allow the EU to become a more autonomous actor with regard to crisis management, capacity building and protecting Europe and its citizens. Yet the development of these new initiatives raises questions about their overall coherence and the role of parliamentary scrutiny. It is necessary ...

Since 2016, the European Union has developed a number of new initiatives on security and defence. In particular, the introduction of Permanent Structured Cooperation and the European Defence Fund have been designed to allow the EU to become a more autonomous actor with regard to crisis management, capacity building and protecting Europe and its citizens. Yet the development of these new initiatives raises questions about their overall coherence and the role of parliamentary scrutiny. It is necessary to analyse the role of the European Parliament and national parliaments in relation to the scrutiny of the European Defence Fund. There is a need for recommendations on how parliamentary scrutiny can be enhanced at the EU level in the area of security and defence.

Awtur estern

Daniel FIOTT, Security and Defence Editor, EU Institute for Security Studies

European Council Conclusions: A Rolling Check-List of Commitments to Date

20-03-2019

The role of the European Council – to 'provide the Union with the necessary impetus for its development' and to define its 'general political directions and priorities' – has evolved rapidly over the last decade. Since June 2014, the European Council Oversight Unit within the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), the European Parliament's in-house research service and think tank, has been monitoring and analysing the European Council's delivery on commitments made in the conclusions of ...

The role of the European Council – to 'provide the Union with the necessary impetus for its development' and to define its 'general political directions and priorities' – has evolved rapidly over the last decade. Since June 2014, the European Council Oversight Unit within the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), the European Parliament's in-house research service and think tank, has been monitoring and analysing the European Council's delivery on commitments made in the conclusions of its meetings. This overview of European Council conclusions is a new, updated and more comprehensive edition of the Rolling Check-List, which has been published regularly by the European Council Oversight Unit since 2014. It distinguishes between four types of European Council conclusions (commitments, reviews, endorsements and statements) and indicates the follow-up given to calls for action made by EU leaders. It also offers an introductory analysis of each policy area, highlighting the background to the main orientations given by the European Council, as well as the follow-up to them and the future challenges.

Piracy and armed robbery off the coast of Africa: EU and global impact

19-03-2019

African maritime security is affected by a wide range of illegal activities. This paper focuses on maritime piracy and armed robbery at sea, examining the legal aspects and societal implications of these forms of violence. Maritime piracy and armed robbery off Africa's coasts also pose a threat to the European Union's security and economy. Since 2008, the European Union has been implementing a maritime security strategy by means of separate regional strategies in the Gulf of Aden and in the Gulf ...

African maritime security is affected by a wide range of illegal activities. This paper focuses on maritime piracy and armed robbery at sea, examining the legal aspects and societal implications of these forms of violence. Maritime piracy and armed robbery off Africa's coasts also pose a threat to the European Union's security and economy. Since 2008, the European Union has been implementing a maritime security strategy by means of separate regional strategies in the Gulf of Aden and in the Gulf of Guinea.

Why artificial intelligence matters

14-03-2019

This briefing explains why AI matters by reviewing some of the key opportunities and challenges it presents, but it does so with reference to the functionality and readiness of the technology. The first section focuses on the opportunities and challenges presented by today’s AI while the second explores longer-term speculative opportunities and challenges that are contingent upon future developments that may never happen.

This briefing explains why AI matters by reviewing some of the key opportunities and challenges it presents, but it does so with reference to the functionality and readiness of the technology. The first section focuses on the opportunities and challenges presented by today’s AI while the second explores longer-term speculative opportunities and challenges that are contingent upon future developments that may never happen.

What if your emotions were tracked to spy on you?

13-03-2019

Recent reports of celebrity singer, Taylor Swift, deploying facial recognition technology to spot stalkers at her concerts raised many eyebrows. What started out as a tool to unlock your smartphone or tag photos for you on social media is surreptitiously becoming a means of monitoring people in their daily lives without their consent. What impact and implications are facial recognition technology applications likely to have, and what can be done to ensure the fair engagement of this technology with ...

Recent reports of celebrity singer, Taylor Swift, deploying facial recognition technology to spot stalkers at her concerts raised many eyebrows. What started out as a tool to unlock your smartphone or tag photos for you on social media is surreptitiously becoming a means of monitoring people in their daily lives without their consent. What impact and implications are facial recognition technology applications likely to have, and what can be done to ensure the fair engagement of this technology with its users and the public at large?

EU policies – Delivering for citizens: The fight against terrorism

13-03-2019

Faced with a growing international terrorist threat, the European Union (EU) is playing an ever more ambitious role in counter-terrorism. Even though primary responsibility for combating crime and ensuring security lies with the Member States, the EU provides cooperation, coordination and (to some extent) harmonisation tools as well as financial support to address this borderless phenomenon. Moreover, the assumption that there is a connection between development and stability, as well as between ...

Faced with a growing international terrorist threat, the European Union (EU) is playing an ever more ambitious role in counter-terrorism. Even though primary responsibility for combating crime and ensuring security lies with the Member States, the EU provides cooperation, coordination and (to some extent) harmonisation tools as well as financial support to address this borderless phenomenon. Moreover, the assumption that there is a connection between development and stability, as well as between internal and external security, has come to shape EU action beyond its own borders. EU spending in the area of counter-terrorism has increased over the years and is set to grow in the future, to allow for better cooperation between national law enforcement authorities and enhanced support by the EU bodies in charge of security, such as Europol and eu-LISA. Financing for cooperation with third countries has also increased, including through the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace. The many new rules and instruments that have been adopted since 2014 range from harmonising definitions of terrorist offences and sanctions, and sharing information and data, to protecting borders, countering terrorist financing, and regulating firearms. To evaluate the efficiency of the existing tools and identify gaps and possible ways forward, the European Parliament set up a Special Committee on Terrorism (TERR), which delivered its report in November 2018. TERR made extensive recommendations for immediate or longer term actions aiming to prevent terrorism, combat its root causes, protect EU citizens and assist victims in the best possible way. In line with these recommendations, future EU counter-terrorism action will most probably focus on addressing existing and new threats, countering radicalisation – including by preventing the spread of terrorist propaganda online – and enhancing the resilience of critical infrastructure. Foreseeable developments also include increased information sharing, with planned interoperability between EU security- and border-related databases, as well as investigation and prosecution of terrorist crimes at EU level, through the proposed extension of the mandate of the recently established European Public Prosecutor's Office.

Military mobility

12-03-2019

Military logistics was defined by Baron Henri de Jomini as 'the practical art of moving armies'. In the event of an unpredictable crisis at any border of the European Union (EU), military personnel and equipment must be able to move rapidly across the territory. Currently, training and the movement of military assets across the continent is severely hampered by the lack of appropriate infrastructure and cumbersome customs procedures. This strategic weakness in European defence cooperation is being ...

Military logistics was defined by Baron Henri de Jomini as 'the practical art of moving armies'. In the event of an unpredictable crisis at any border of the European Union (EU), military personnel and equipment must be able to move rapidly across the territory. Currently, training and the movement of military assets across the continent is severely hampered by the lack of appropriate infrastructure and cumbersome customs procedures. This strategic weakness in European defence cooperation is being addressed by means of action on military mobility: an action plan by the European Commission, a project and commitment under permanent structured cooperation, and a key action for EU-NATO cooperation. Military mobility is meant to ensure the seamless movement of military equipment across the EU by reducing physical, legal and regulatory obstacles.

Victims of terrorism

01-03-2019

The European Day of Remembrance of Victims of Terrorism has been established as 11 March each year, marking the Madrid bombings in 2004. The protection of victims of terrorism constitutes an essential part of the EU’s action to address all dimensions of the terrorist threat. Following the wave of terror that has hit Europe in recent years, rules and sanctions related to terrorist activities have been strengthened, while better protection and support to victims of terrorism is being ensured through ...

The European Day of Remembrance of Victims of Terrorism has been established as 11 March each year, marking the Madrid bombings in 2004. The protection of victims of terrorism constitutes an essential part of the EU’s action to address all dimensions of the terrorist threat. Following the wave of terror that has hit Europe in recent years, rules and sanctions related to terrorist activities have been strengthened, while better protection and support to victims of terrorism is being ensured through action at EU level.

Avvenimenti fil-ġejjieni

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

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