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India-administered Kashmir: current situation

13-09-2019

On 5 and 6 August 2019, the Indian Parliament approved the withdrawal of Article 370 of the Constitution, which had guaranteed Jammu and Kashmir, India's only Muslim-majority state, a high degree of autonomy. It also decided to split Jammu and Kashmir into two territories, both administered directly from Delhi. Meanwhile, the government deployed 46 000 troops, arrested regional political leaders and thousands of activists, suspended internet and communications across the valley, and shut down schools ...

On 5 and 6 August 2019, the Indian Parliament approved the withdrawal of Article 370 of the Constitution, which had guaranteed Jammu and Kashmir, India's only Muslim-majority state, a high degree of autonomy. It also decided to split Jammu and Kashmir into two territories, both administered directly from Delhi. Meanwhile, the government deployed 46 000 troops, arrested regional political leaders and thousands of activists, suspended internet and communications across the valley, and shut down schools and colleges.

La mise en œuvre du nouveau cadre de partenariat avec les pays tiers: Le cas du Niger

03-09-2019

Le Niger, pays de croisement de nombreuses routes migratoires au Sahel, s'est montré le plus réactif, parmi ceux de l'Afrique subsaharienne, aux sollicitations européennes pour renforcer la lutte contre la migration irrégulière – un des objectifs clefs du nouveau cadre de partenariat de l'Union européenne (UE) avec les pays tiers. Ce cadre offre de nouvelles opportunités de coopération en contrepartie du durcissement de la politique migratoire. Le gouvernement nigérien a donc mis en œuvre une règlementation ...

Le Niger, pays de croisement de nombreuses routes migratoires au Sahel, s'est montré le plus réactif, parmi ceux de l'Afrique subsaharienne, aux sollicitations européennes pour renforcer la lutte contre la migration irrégulière – un des objectifs clefs du nouveau cadre de partenariat de l'Union européenne (UE) avec les pays tiers. Ce cadre offre de nouvelles opportunités de coopération en contrepartie du durcissement de la politique migratoire. Le gouvernement nigérien a donc mis en œuvre une règlementation stricte criminalisant toute assistance aux étrangers en transit. En matière de sécurité, le gouvernement de Niamey, qui doit faire face à l'instabilité régionale et la criminalité transfrontalière, et l'UE, qui gère une pression migratoire importante, ont des intérêts convergents, ce qui explique l'intensification de la coopération depuis 2015-2016. La diminution des flux migratoires qui en résulte, applaudie par les partenaires européens, a des conséquences néfastes sur l'économie locale centrée sur le fait migratoire. La crise économique menace les équilibres fragiles des ethnies du Sahara entre elles ainsi qu'avec le gouvernement central et renforce l'insécurité, tant pour les migrants victimes des abus que pour la population locale, encore plus fragilisée. Le Parlement européen a mis en garde dès 2017 contre une vision trop étroite et à court terme de la politique externe de l'UE et contre le risque de détourner les fonds de la politique du développement vers les objectifs purement sécuritaires, en plaidant pour une approche de la migration centrée sur les droits de l'homme. Il soutient également le plan d'investissement extérieur, un de bras financier du nouveau cadre de partenariat, qui doit encourager des investissements privés en faveur du développement.

International Agreements in Progress: The trade pillar of the EU-Mercosur Association Agreement

30-08-2019

On 28 June 2019, the European Union (EU) and the four founding members of Mercosur (the 'Southern Common Market') – Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay – reached an 'agreement in principle' on a free trade agreement (FTA) as part of a wider association agreement (AA). However, spurred by massive destruction of the Brazilian Amazon through large-scale forest fires, EU policy-makers and international environmental groups alike have since become increasingly vocal in expressing concerns about the ...

On 28 June 2019, the European Union (EU) and the four founding members of Mercosur (the 'Southern Common Market') – Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay – reached an 'agreement in principle' on a free trade agreement (FTA) as part of a wider association agreement (AA). However, spurred by massive destruction of the Brazilian Amazon through large-scale forest fires, EU policy-makers and international environmental groups alike have since become increasingly vocal in expressing concerns about the deal's potential environmental and climate change implications. EU farmers' associations with defensive interests have fiercely criticised what they have referred to as a 'cars for cows' deal. On the other hand, the deal has been warmly welcomed by EU industry associations and several sub-sectors of EU agriculture with offensive interests. If tariff and non-tariff barriers are eliminated or substantially lowered, the potential for growth in bi-regional trade in goods, services and investment is significant. In addition, the FTA would be a strong signal in favour of the rules-based multilateral trading system and against power politics in trade. After the agreement's legal review and translation, it will be presented to the Council for signature. It will then be submitted to the European Parliament for consent. Once the Council has adopted the decision concluding the agreement, it will be presented to EU Member State parliaments for ratification. First edition. The 'International Agreements in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the process, from initial discussions through to ratification.

The role of constitutional courts, a comparative law perspective - Canada: The Supreme Court

23-07-2019

This study is part of a wider project investigating, from a comparative law perspective, the role of constitutional courts of different states. Following a brief historical introduction to the jurisdiction of the state in question, the various reports examine the composition, internal organization, functioning, jurisdiction of the various highest courts, as well as the right of access to its courtroom, its procedural rules, and the effects and the execution of its judgments. The present study examines ...

This study is part of a wider project investigating, from a comparative law perspective, the role of constitutional courts of different states. Following a brief historical introduction to the jurisdiction of the state in question, the various reports examine the composition, internal organization, functioning, jurisdiction of the various highest courts, as well as the right of access to its courtroom, its procedural rules, and the effects and the execution of its judgments. The present study examines Canada’s highest court, the Supreme Court. While all judicial courts may rule on constitutional matters, the Supreme Court of Canada enjoys a privileged status in the Canadian legal landscape. As the ultimate arbiter of the Constitution, it has the final word with respect to constitutional interpretation, notably in constitutional matters. It thus plays a central role in Canada’s federal democracy.

Autor externo

EPRS, Comparative Law

Accords internationaux en marche: Le futur partenariat de l’UE avec les pays d’Afrique, des Caraïbes et du Pacifique (« post-Cotonou »)

11-07-2019

L’accord de partenariat entre l’Union européenne et les pays d’Afrique, des Caraïbes et du Pacifique (ACP) expire en février 2020. Le principal défi pour l’Union européenne est de maintenir ses relations dans la région, tout en restant fidèle aux valeurs promues dans les traités européens. La renégociation de cet « Accord de Cotonou » offre l’opportunité de rationaliser les relations entre les pays ACP et l’Union, en tenant compte des objectifs de développement durable des Nations unies, de la redéfinition ...

L’accord de partenariat entre l’Union européenne et les pays d’Afrique, des Caraïbes et du Pacifique (ACP) expire en février 2020. Le principal défi pour l’Union européenne est de maintenir ses relations dans la région, tout en restant fidèle aux valeurs promues dans les traités européens. La renégociation de cet « Accord de Cotonou » offre l’opportunité de rationaliser les relations entre les pays ACP et l’Union, en tenant compte des objectifs de développement durable des Nations unies, de la redéfinition des stratégies européennes dans les régions concernées, des nouvelles ambitions des pays ACP et de l’évolution de l’équilibre des pouvoirs au niveau mondial. La question du financement est également sur la table. Favoriser la prospérité, la stabilité et la bonne gouvernance dans les États ACP permettrait, selon les services de l’UE, de mieux faire face aux causes profondes de la migration irrégulière et des déplacements forcés. Le groupe ACP a adopté son mandat de négociation en mai 2018. L’Union européenne a adopté le sien en juin 2018 et propose un socle commun complété par des protocoles spécifiques avec les trois sous-régions. Les négociations ont débuté en septembre 2018. Troisième édition. Les Briefings 'Accords internationaux en marche' sont actualisés à des étapes clés de la procédure de ratification. Pour voir les versions précédentes de ce briefing, voir PE 630.280, novembre 2018.

Cyber: How big is the threat?

09-07-2019

The internet has transformed the world into a global village transcending physical borders and palpable distances. Often described as 'fog' or a 'globalised network of networks', cyberspace is extremely complex, accessible to everyone and difficult to pinpoint. While thanks to these characteristics cyberspace has opened countless social, economic and political opportunities, it has also become a source of disruption, conflict and geopolitical rivalries. The European Union has recognised that cyber-security ...

The internet has transformed the world into a global village transcending physical borders and palpable distances. Often described as 'fog' or a 'globalised network of networks', cyberspace is extremely complex, accessible to everyone and difficult to pinpoint. While thanks to these characteristics cyberspace has opened countless social, economic and political opportunities, it has also become a source of disruption, conflict and geopolitical rivalries. The European Union has recognised that cyber-security and cyber-defence are critical for both its prosperity and security, and is emerging as an increasingly capable cyber player.

Prospects following South Africa's 2019 elections

02-07-2019

Regional economic and political leader, G20 member, and elected to a United Nations Security Council seat in 2019 for the third time since the end of apartheid, South Africa is a strategic EU partner. Recognised as one of only two full democracies on its continent in the 2018 Democracy Index, South Africa nevertheless faces considerable problems, affecting both the economy and a fragile social fabric still affected by its apartheid history. The governing party's election success comes as no surprise ...

Regional economic and political leader, G20 member, and elected to a United Nations Security Council seat in 2019 for the third time since the end of apartheid, South Africa is a strategic EU partner. Recognised as one of only two full democracies on its continent in the 2018 Democracy Index, South Africa nevertheless faces considerable problems, affecting both the economy and a fragile social fabric still affected by its apartheid history. The governing party's election success comes as no surprise, although its falling popularity increasingly puts its ability to address South Africa's challenges into question. In this context, a revived EU-South Africa strategic partnership could provide a framework for enhanced cooperation in sensitive policy areas.

EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Foreign policy

28-06-2019

European Union (EU) action beyond its borders often requires a combination of approaches. The EU Treaties differentiate between common foreign and security policy (CFSP), common security and defence policy (CSDP), external action, and the external dimension of internal policies, but in the field, issues are so intertwined that more often than not a single tool is not sufficient. For example, population displacement triggered by a conflict over natural resources has to be addressed by humanitarian ...

European Union (EU) action beyond its borders often requires a combination of approaches. The EU Treaties differentiate between common foreign and security policy (CFSP), common security and defence policy (CSDP), external action, and the external dimension of internal policies, but in the field, issues are so intertwined that more often than not a single tool is not sufficient. For example, population displacement triggered by a conflict over natural resources has to be addressed by humanitarian aid, itself secured by a CSDP mission, and its effects mitigated by adequate migration and development policies, while peace talks are conducted. Coordination between all stakeholders is challenging but vital, not only as a response but also for prevention. To address new challenges such as climate change, rising insecurity or new migration patterns, the EU has put forward concrete solutions to shape synergy between the actors, in order to use shared expertise more effectively, and to find new sources of funding. The new foreign policy framework (EU global strategy) is intended to map the tools and resources best designed to help society as a whole, in the EU and partner countries, to withstand natural and manmade shocks more effectively. This means making connections between actors and between traditionally separate policy areas. Budgetary constraints and the will to depart from a donor/recipient relationship have also resulted in innovative financing tools, using EU funds to leverage private investments. While, since its launch, the global strategy has proved to be a coherent vision, sturdy, comprehensive external action nevertheless requires coordination at all levels. In the years to come, global instability is expected to rise; the challenge for the EU will be to ensure security while upholding the core values of the Treaties – human rights, democracy and the fight against poverty – as its primary objectives on the global stage. This is an update of an earlier briefing issued in advance of the 2019 European elections.

Key issues in the European Council

20-06-2019

The European Council Oversight Unit within the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) monitors and analyses the activities, commitments and impact of the European Council, so as to maximize parliamentary understanding of the political dynamics of this important institution. This new EPRS publication, 'Key issues in the European Council', which will be updated quarterly to coincide with European Council meetings, aims to provide an overview of the institution’s activities on major EU issues ...

The European Council Oversight Unit within the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) monitors and analyses the activities, commitments and impact of the European Council, so as to maximize parliamentary understanding of the political dynamics of this important institution. This new EPRS publication, 'Key issues in the European Council', which will be updated quarterly to coincide with European Council meetings, aims to provide an overview of the institution’s activities on major EU issues. It analyses nine policy areas, explaining the legal and political background and the main priorities and orientations defined by the European Council. It also assesses the results of European Council involvement to date and identifies future challenges in the various policy fields.

Outlook for the European Council and Euro Summit meetings, 20-21 June 2019

19-06-2019

The June 2019 European Council will discuss, and potentially agree on, high-level appointments to EU institutions and adopt the 2019-2024 strategic agenda. Other agenda topics are the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), the EU’s common climate ambition, disinformation, enlargement and foreign policy issues, including relations with Russia. EU-27 leaders will meet for a Euro Summit in extended format to discuss the report submitted by the Eurogroup on EMU reforms.

The June 2019 European Council will discuss, and potentially agree on, high-level appointments to EU institutions and adopt the 2019-2024 strategic agenda. Other agenda topics are the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), the EU’s common climate ambition, disinformation, enlargement and foreign policy issues, including relations with Russia. EU-27 leaders will meet for a Euro Summit in extended format to discuss the report submitted by the Eurogroup on EMU reforms.

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