153

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Artificial Intelligence and civil law; liability rules for drones

13-12-2018

This study – commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the JURI Committee – analyses existing European and national legislation on the regulation of drones for civil use, discussing how they are defined and classified, whether certification and registration is required, how liability is apportioned between the subjects involved, and if compulsory insurance is provided for. Finally, on the basis of a risk-management ...

This study – commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the JURI Committee – analyses existing European and national legislation on the regulation of drones for civil use, discussing how they are defined and classified, whether certification and registration is required, how liability is apportioned between the subjects involved, and if compulsory insurance is provided for. Finally, on the basis of a risk-management approach, the study elaborates recommendations for future policy formulation.

Externe auteur

Andrea Bertolini

Rule of law and human rights in Cuba and Venezuela and EU engagement

11-12-2018

The European Parliament (EP) has consistently followed the situation in Cuba and Venezuela. It has expressed its support for defenders of human rights and democracy with the award of the Sakharov prize to Cuban activists on three occasions (2002, 2005, 2010), and to Venezuela’s Democratic Opposition in 2017. In line with this engagement, a workshop on human rights and rule of law in both countries was held on 6 September 2018, in Brussels, at the request of the EP’s Subcommittee on Human Rights ( ...

The European Parliament (EP) has consistently followed the situation in Cuba and Venezuela. It has expressed its support for defenders of human rights and democracy with the award of the Sakharov prize to Cuban activists on three occasions (2002, 2005, 2010), and to Venezuela’s Democratic Opposition in 2017. In line with this engagement, a workshop on human rights and rule of law in both countries was held on 6 September 2018, in Brussels, at the request of the EP’s Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI). Dr. Par Engstrom (University College London) presented the first draft of an independent study analysing the main human rights developments in Cuba and Venezuela since 2014 and the EU’s response. The paper, which focused specifically on the Sakharov laureates, was discussed with Members and other experts, including from the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the European External Action Service and the European Commission. During the lively discussion, there was broad agreement with the description of major trends in the human rights situation in the two countries. Critical comments and controversial issues related to the impact of the government’s repression of the Venezuelan opposition, the need to consider not only civil and political but also economic and social rights, the effectiveness of sanctions against Venezuela and the potential role of the Sakharov Prize. Observations and comments made during the workshop fed into the final version of the study, which is also included in this report.

Externe auteur

Par ENGSTROM; Giulia BONACQUISTI

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.

Consequences of US trade policy on EU-US trade relations and the global trading system

17-10-2018

The Trump Administration’s trade policy is driven by the belief that previous Administrations have let other countries take advantage of the United States for foreign policy reasons, as demonstrated by America’s more open trade regime and its trade deficits. It is determined to end this perceived imbalance by demanding reciprocity instead, and is willing to use tough tactics to achieve this through strict enforcement of its procurement and trade defense law; expansive tax provisions; bringing the ...

The Trump Administration’s trade policy is driven by the belief that previous Administrations have let other countries take advantage of the United States for foreign policy reasons, as demonstrated by America’s more open trade regime and its trade deficits. It is determined to end this perceived imbalance by demanding reciprocity instead, and is willing to use tough tactics to achieve this through strict enforcement of its procurement and trade defense law; expansive tax provisions; bringing the WTO dispute settlement to a halt; withdrawing from and forcing others to renegotiate existing bilateral and multilateral agreements; adopting a novel “national security” argument to justify breaking WTO tariff commitments for steel, aluminum and possibly autos; and enacting punitive tariffs on billions of dollars of imports from China, possibly threatening a trade war. The scenarios for U.S.-EU trade relations as well as the global trading system are anything but rosy. The EU can stand up to the Administration’s “bullying,” or it can take advantage of America’s need for a “re-balancing” to build its own stature by taking simple steps to improve EU-U.S. trade, forging a way forward in the WTO, and providing necessary leadership to address the dangers China’s economic system poses to the global trading order.

Externe auteur

Peter CHASE, Peter SPARDING, Yuki MUKAI

The future relationship between the UK and the EU in the field of international protection following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU

15-10-2018

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs, at the request of the LIBE Committee, provides expertise on the legal, institutional and technical implications of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU in the field of international protection. More specifically, this analysis presents the current situation with regard to UK–EU cooperation in the field, the legal standards that will be applicable to the UK following its withdrawal, ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs, at the request of the LIBE Committee, provides expertise on the legal, institutional and technical implications of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU in the field of international protection. More specifically, this analysis presents the current situation with regard to UK–EU cooperation in the field, the legal standards that will be applicable to the UK following its withdrawal, the areas of common interest in the field and the potential forms of future cooperation.

Externe auteur

Mirja GUTHEIL; Quentin LIGER; James EAGER; Aurélie HEETMAN; Micol TEDESCHI

Universal jurisdiction and international crimes: Constraints and best practices

17-09-2018

This report summarises the proceedings of a workshop organised by the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI), in association with the Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) and the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE). Academics and practitioners discussed international trends as regards the concept of universal jurisdiction and the EU’s approach to promoting universal jurisdiction through its external relations, as well as practical experience in applying universal ...

This report summarises the proceedings of a workshop organised by the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI), in association with the Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) and the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE). Academics and practitioners discussed international trends as regards the concept of universal jurisdiction and the EU’s approach to promoting universal jurisdiction through its external relations, as well as practical experience in applying universal jurisdiction in the fight against impunity in Europe. The experts agreed that universal jurisdiction can play a role as part of a wider accountability strategy, complementary to international courts and prosecutions on other jurisdictional bases. They recommended more specialised training for investigators, prosecutors, judges and law enforcement staff for universal jurisdiction cases and more cooperation at EU and international level. Speakers supported the initiative for a multilateral treaty on mutual legal assistance and extradition. Special attention in universal jurisdiction cases must be given to victims seeking justice, including for sexual and gender-based crimes.

Externe auteur

Julia KREBS, Cedric RYNGAERT, Florian JEßBERGER

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.

Update of the study on The impact of Brexit in relation to the right to petition and on the competences, responsibilities and activities of the Committee on Petitions

16-04-2018

This in-depth analysis, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the PETI Committee, provides an update to the prior study considering the impact of Brexit on EU-27 and UK citizens. In particular, this analysis considers the citizens’ part of the Draft Withdrawal Agreement (DWA) which was agreed between the UK and the EU on 19 March 2018 and endorsed by the European Council on 23 March 2018. It highlights those situations ...

This in-depth analysis, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the PETI Committee, provides an update to the prior study considering the impact of Brexit on EU-27 and UK citizens. In particular, this analysis considers the citizens’ part of the Draft Withdrawal Agreement (DWA) which was agreed between the UK and the EU on 19 March 2018 and endorsed by the European Council on 23 March 2018. It highlights those situations that might remain unprotected by the Draft Withdrawal Agreement. The update is limited to examining the right to reside of EU-27 and UK citizens post Brexit.

Externe auteur

Professor Eleanor SPAVENTA, Bocconi Law Department, Bocconi University, Milan, Italy Durham Law School, Durham University, United Kingdomrofessor Leonor Spaventa

Vooruitzichten voor e-democratie in Europa

02-02-2018

Digitale instrumenten zouden de Europese burgers sterker kunnen betrekken bij het besluitvormingsproces van de EU en daardoor het democratisch tekort van de EU kunnen verkleinen. In dit verslag wordt onderzocht welke lessen kunnen worden getrokken uit lokale, nationale en Europese ervaringen met het gebruik van digitale instrumenten bij EU-besluitvormingsprocedures en voor de werking van EU-instellingen. Daartoe is een overzicht gemaakt van de huidige literatuur over e-democratie en de Europese publieke ...

Digitale instrumenten zouden de Europese burgers sterker kunnen betrekken bij het besluitvormingsproces van de EU en daardoor het democratisch tekort van de EU kunnen verkleinen. In dit verslag wordt onderzocht welke lessen kunnen worden getrokken uit lokale, nationale en Europese ervaringen met het gebruik van digitale instrumenten bij EU-besluitvormingsprocedures en voor de werking van EU-instellingen. Daartoe is een overzicht gemaakt van de huidige literatuur over e-democratie en de Europese publieke ruimte, zijn 22 lokale, nationale en EU-ervaringen met bestaande digitale instrumenten onderzocht en geëvalueerd, en is er een analyse gemaakt van de geschiktheid van de meest veelbelovende digitale instrumenten voor uitvoering en gebruik op EU-niveau. De belangrijkste factoren voor een succesvolle e-participatie die in het verslag worden genoemd, zijn de volgende: een nauw en duidelijk verband tussen e-participatieprocessen en een concreet formeel besluitvormingsproces; het participatieproces en de bijdrage van de resultaten ervan aan het algemene besluitvormingsproces moeten van meet af aan duidelijk zijn voor de participanten; feedback aan de participanten over wat er met hun bijdragen is gedaan, is een onmisbaar kenmerk van het proces; een participatieproces mag niet beperkt blijven tot één evenement, maar moet ingebed zijn in een institutionele "participatiecultuur"; e-participatie moet gepaard gaan met een doeltreffende mobilisatie- en betrokkenheidsstrategie, waarbij communicatieinstrumenten worden ingezet die op de verschillende doelgroepen zijn afgestemd.

The Joint Africa-EU Strategy

15-11-2017

Implementation of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES) has taken place in a rapidly evolving political scenario at the global level and specifically within Europe and Africa. The overarching objectives identified in 2007 still remain valid, but concrete priorities now need to be adapted to the new reality. At the strategic level, a refinement of the Africa-EU partnership has become urgent following the adoption of Agenda 2063 and the EU Global Strategy. At policy level, lessons learned from the implementation ...

Implementation of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES) has taken place in a rapidly evolving political scenario at the global level and specifically within Europe and Africa. The overarching objectives identified in 2007 still remain valid, but concrete priorities now need to be adapted to the new reality. At the strategic level, a refinement of the Africa-EU partnership has become urgent following the adoption of Agenda 2063 and the EU Global Strategy. At policy level, lessons learned from the implementation of the Roadmap 2014-17 and the way ahead indicated in the Joint Communication of May 2017 should be taken into account. Ten years after its adoption and with a view to the next AU-EU Summit, being held in Abidjan on 29-30 November 2017, it is crucial to re-assess the strategy’s validity on the basis of achievements and shortfalls, also in its parliamentary dimension, with regard to the fulfilment of its objectives in an evolving context.

Externe auteur

Nicoletta PIROZZI, Institutional Relations Manager & Head of Programme, Istituto Affari Internazional, Italy, Nicoló SARTORI, Senior Fellow & Head of Programme, Istituto Affari Internazionali, Italy, Bernardo VENTURI, Researcher, Istituto Affari Internazionali, Italy

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