114

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Protecting the EU budget against generalised rule of law deficiencies

23-11-2018

On 3 May 2018 the Commission put forward a proposal for a regulation on the protection of the Union's budget in the event of generalised deficiencies as regards the rule of law in a Member State. The proposal addresses, from a budgetary perspective, generalised deficiencies as regards the rule of law, including threats to the independence of the judiciary, arbitrary or unlawful decisions by public authorities, limited availability and effectiveness of legal remedies, failure to implement judgments ...

On 3 May 2018 the Commission put forward a proposal for a regulation on the protection of the Union's budget in the event of generalised deficiencies as regards the rule of law in a Member State. The proposal addresses, from a budgetary perspective, generalised deficiencies as regards the rule of law, including threats to the independence of the judiciary, arbitrary or unlawful decisions by public authorities, limited availability and effectiveness of legal remedies, failure to implement judgments, or limitations on the effective investigation, prosecution or sanctions for breaches of law. The proposal provides for the possibility for the Commission to make proposals to the Council on sanctions measures with regard to EU funding. These include suspension of payments, suspension, reduction or even termination of legal commitments (to pay), suspension of programmes, and the transfer of money to other programmes. Such a proposal would be deemed to have been adopted if the Council failed to reject it by a qualified majority. On 17 August 2018, the European Court of Auditors (ECA) delivered its opinion on the proposal and on 3 October 2018, Parliament's co-rapporteurs presented their draft report on the proposal. While sharing the broad objectives put forward by the Commission, they have proposed a number of amendments. First edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Towards a binding international treaty on business and human rights

08-11-2018

With its extended value chains, economic globalisation has brought numerous opportunities while also creating specific challenges, including in the area of human rights protection. The recent history of transnational corporations contains numerous examples of human rights abuses occurring as a result of their operations. Such corporations are known to have taken advantage of loose regulatory frameworks in developing countries, corruption, and a lack of accountability resulting from legal rules shielding ...

With its extended value chains, economic globalisation has brought numerous opportunities while also creating specific challenges, including in the area of human rights protection. The recent history of transnational corporations contains numerous examples of human rights abuses occurring as a result of their operations. Such corporations are known to have taken advantage of loose regulatory frameworks in developing countries, corruption, and a lack of accountability resulting from legal rules shielding corporate interests. This situation has created a pressing need to establish international norms regulating business operations in relation to human rights. So far, the preferred approach has been 'soft', consisting of the adoption of voluntary guidelines for businesses. Several sets of such norms exist at international level, the most notable being the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Nevertheless, while such voluntary commitments are clearly useful, they cannot entirely stop gross human rights violations (such as child labour, labour rights violations and land grabbing) committed by transnational corporations, their subsidiaries or suppliers. To address the shortcomings of the soft approach, an intergovernmental working group was established within the United Nations framework in June 2014, with the task of drafting a binding treaty on human rights and business. After being reluctant at the outset, the EU has become involved in the negotiations, but has insisted that the future treaty's scope should include all businesses, not only transnational ones. The 'Zero Draft' published in July does not reflect the EU's position on this point. It has been welcomed by experts for its more precise focus on prevention, on effective remedies and access to justice for victims, and on companies' liability for their subsidiaries and suppliers in third countries. The European Parliament is a staunch supporter of this initiative and has encouraged the EU to take a positive and constructive approach. This is a further updated edition of a Briefing published in April 2018, PE 620.229.

Global Trendometer - Essays on medium- and long-term global trends - July 2018

18-07-2018

The EU faces challenges from the outside and the inside. Most of those are the symptoms of big underlying trends, and handling them needs foresight. The Global Trendometer tries to provide foresight for decision makers in the EU by analysing the changes in these long-term trends. This publication does not offer answers or make recommendations. It presents summarised information derived from a range of carefully selected sources. This issue of the Global Trendometer analyses long-term trends on India ...

The EU faces challenges from the outside and the inside. Most of those are the symptoms of big underlying trends, and handling them needs foresight. The Global Trendometer tries to provide foresight for decision makers in the EU by analysing the changes in these long-term trends. This publication does not offer answers or make recommendations. It presents summarised information derived from a range of carefully selected sources. This issue of the Global Trendometer analyses long-term trends on India, the labour-share of income, and democracy and artificial intelligence. It also features two-pagers on geoengineering, remittances, food security in China, economic waves, the US after Trump, public procurement and deep fakes.

Research for CULT Committee - Europe for Citizens: Towards the Next Programme Generation

15-05-2018

Citizenship is a key element of democracy, and citizens’ participation is needed for democracy to function. As interests and challenges touching citizens do not follow state borders, it is important that citizens’ activity also crosses borders. The funding distributed through the Europe for Citizens programme is therefore crucial. Due to its combination of participation and remembrance, the programme allows addressing the complex challenges and promises related to democracy, citizenship and diversity ...

Citizenship is a key element of democracy, and citizens’ participation is needed for democracy to function. As interests and challenges touching citizens do not follow state borders, it is important that citizens’ activity also crosses borders. The funding distributed through the Europe for Citizens programme is therefore crucial. Due to its combination of participation and remembrance, the programme allows addressing the complex challenges and promises related to democracy, citizenship and diversity, the core topics of the programme.

Externe auteur

Katja MÄKINEN

Peace and Security in 2018: Overview of EU action and outlook for the future

14-05-2018

This is the first EU Peace and Security Outlook, produced by the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS). The series is designed to analyse and explain the contribution of the European Union to the promotion of peace and security internationally through its various external policies. The study provides an overview of the issues and current state of play. It looks first at the concept of peace and the changing nature of the geopolitical environment. It then focuses on the centrality of the ...

This is the first EU Peace and Security Outlook, produced by the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS). The series is designed to analyse and explain the contribution of the European Union to the promotion of peace and security internationally through its various external policies. The study provides an overview of the issues and current state of play. It looks first at the concept of peace and the changing nature of the geopolitical environment. It then focuses on the centrality of the promotion of peace and security in the EU's external action and proceeds to an analysis of the practical pursuit of these principles in three main areas of EU policy: development, democracy support, and security and defence. It concludes with an outlook to the future. A parallel study, published separately, focuses specifically on EU peacebuilding efforts in the Western Balkans. The studies have been drafted with a view to their presentation at the Normandy World Peace Forum, in June 2018.

Mensenrechten

01-05-2018

De Europese Unie zet zich in haar externe betrekkingen in voor de ondersteuning van democratie en mensenrechten, overeenkomstig haar oprichtingsbeginselen van vrijheid, democratie en de eerbiediging van de mensenrechten, de fundamentele vrijheden en de rechtsstaat. De EU streeft ernaar om de mensenrechten bij al haar beleidsmaatregelen en programma's te betrekken, en zij beschikt over verschillende beleidsinstrumenten inzake mensenrechten ten behoeve van specifieke acties — waaronder de financiering ...

De Europese Unie zet zich in haar externe betrekkingen in voor de ondersteuning van democratie en mensenrechten, overeenkomstig haar oprichtingsbeginselen van vrijheid, democratie en de eerbiediging van de mensenrechten, de fundamentele vrijheden en de rechtsstaat. De EU streeft ernaar om de mensenrechten bij al haar beleidsmaatregelen en programma's te betrekken, en zij beschikt over verschillende beleidsinstrumenten inzake mensenrechten ten behoeve van specifieke acties — waaronder de financiering van specifieke projecten via de financieringsinstrumenten van de EU.

Bevordering van de democratie en waarneming bij verkiezingen

01-05-2018

De wereldwijde ondersteuning van de democratie is een prioriteit voor de Europese Unie. Democratie blijft de enige bestuursvorm waarin mensen hun mensenrechten volledig kunnen uitoefenen, en democratie en is bepalend voor ontwikkeling en stabiliteit op lange termijn. Als enige rechtstreeks gekozen EU-instelling maakt het Europees Parlement zich in het bijzonder sterk voor de bevordering van de democratie.

De wereldwijde ondersteuning van de democratie is een prioriteit voor de Europese Unie. Democratie blijft de enige bestuursvorm waarin mensen hun mensenrechten volledig kunnen uitoefenen, en democratie en is bepalend voor ontwikkeling en stabiliteit op lange termijn. Als enige rechtstreeks gekozen EU-instelling maakt het Europees Parlement zich in het bijzonder sterk voor de bevordering van de democratie.

Towards a binding international treaty on business and human rights

23-04-2018

With its extended value chains, economic globalisation has provided numerous opportunities, while also creating specific challenges, including in the area of human rights protection. The recent history of transnational corporations contains numerous examples of human rights abuses occurring as a result of their operations. Such corporations are known to have taken advantage of loose regulatory frameworks in developing countries, corruption, or lack of accountability resulting from legal rules shielding ...

With its extended value chains, economic globalisation has provided numerous opportunities, while also creating specific challenges, including in the area of human rights protection. The recent history of transnational corporations contains numerous examples of human rights abuses occurring as a result of their operations. Such corporations are known to have taken advantage of loose regulatory frameworks in developing countries, corruption, or lack of accountability resulting from legal rules shielding corporate interests. This situation has created a pressing need to establish international norms regulating business operations in relation to human rights. So far, the preferred approach has been 'soft', consisting of the adoption of voluntary guidelines for businesses. Several sets of such norms exist at international level, the most notable being the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Nevertheless, while such voluntary commitments are clearly useful, they cannot entirely stop gross human rights violations (such as child labour, labour rights violations and land grabbing) committed by transnational corporations, their subsidiaries or suppliers. To address the shortcomings of the soft approach, an intergovernmental working group was established within the UN framework in June 2014, with the task of drafting a binding treaty on human rights and business. After being reluctant at the outset, the EU has become involved in the negotiations, but has insisted that the future treaty's scope should include all businesses, not only transnational ones. The EU's position on this issue has been disregarded by the UN intergovernmental working group until now, which raises some questions about the fairness of the process. The European Parliament is a staunch supporter of this initiative and has encouraged the EU to take a positive and constructive approach. This is an updated edition of a briefing published in July 2017: PE 608.636.

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.

Externe auteur

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.

President Trump's record to date [What Think Tanks are thinking]

23-02-2018

Donald Trump has made a number of highly controversial decisions during his first 13 months as US President – whether on foreign trade, climate change, migration, taxation or healthcare. His unorthodox communication style, often using emotional tweets, has frequently confused both domestic and international audiences. Although his 'America First' polices have not gone as far as some had feared, and he has presided over a period of continued economic growth, there remains very considerable anxiety ...

Donald Trump has made a number of highly controversial decisions during his first 13 months as US President – whether on foreign trade, climate change, migration, taxation or healthcare. His unorthodox communication style, often using emotional tweets, has frequently confused both domestic and international audiences. Although his 'America First' polices have not gone as far as some had feared, and he has presided over a period of continued economic growth, there remains very considerable anxiety about the path ahead.

Toekomstige activiteiten

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