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European Stability Mechanism – Main Features, Instruments and Accountability

14-02-2019

This document presents the main features of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), including governance, capital structure and funding sources, main lending instruments, as well as its oversight and accountability framework. It also reviews recent proposals and contributions on the possible evolution of the ESM. This note is regularly updated.

This document presents the main features of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), including governance, capital structure and funding sources, main lending instruments, as well as its oversight and accountability framework. It also reviews recent proposals and contributions on the possible evolution of the ESM. This note is regularly updated.

Human rights in Belarus: The EU’s role since 2016

05-06-2018

This study provides an overview of the European Union’s contribution to promoting and protecting human rights in Belarus since 2016. This analysis presents the main human rights trends in Belarus, examining legislation, policy commitments and violations of human rights. While the Belarusian government has made nominal concessions towards the EU, no systemic progress in terms of human rights has been made in the post-2016 period. The study also describes and assesses the EU’s human rights promotion ...

This study provides an overview of the European Union’s contribution to promoting and protecting human rights in Belarus since 2016. This analysis presents the main human rights trends in Belarus, examining legislation, policy commitments and violations of human rights. While the Belarusian government has made nominal concessions towards the EU, no systemic progress in terms of human rights has been made in the post-2016 period. The study also describes and assesses the EU’s human rights promotion activities in bilateral EU-Belarus relations, within the context of the Eastern Partnership multilateral dimension and in regard to financial assistance. Although the EU has expanded the range of its political dialogue with Belarus since 2016, it has had very little influence over the human rights situation in the country. The EU’s impact has been limited not just because of the very nature of the Belarusian regime. EU institutions and member states have increasingly prioritised geopolitical interests as well as the stability and resilience of Belarus over human rights concerns. The EU should increase efforts to mainstream human rights in all aspects of its relations with Belarus and find a better balance between ‘normalisation’ and ‘conditionality’ based policy approaches vis-à-vis the country.

Zunanji avtor

Gisele BOSSE, Alena VIEIRA

Enhancing EU actions on economic, social and cultural rights within its human rights policy

22-02-2018

Article 21 of the Treaty on the European Union (TEU) affirms that the EU’s external action should be guided by the principle of ‘the universality and indivisibility of human rights’. However, economic, social and cultural rights (ESC rights) have received less attention than their civil and political counterparts within this sphere of EU activity. This study analyses the progress made by the EU in implementing its commitment to respect, protect and fulfil ESC rights in its external action, making ...

Article 21 of the Treaty on the European Union (TEU) affirms that the EU’s external action should be guided by the principle of ‘the universality and indivisibility of human rights’. However, economic, social and cultural rights (ESC rights) have received less attention than their civil and political counterparts within this sphere of EU activity. This study analyses the progress made by the EU in implementing its commitment to respect, protect and fulfil ESC rights in its external action, making specific reference to three such rights – namely the right to just and favourable conditions of work, the right to an adequate standard of living and the right to education. This study also identifies structural obstacles that may be impeding the ability of the EU to promote these rights in an effective manner, and offers a set of concrete recommendations which aim to further enhance EU action in this regard.

Zunanji avtor

Annabel EGAN, Ireland; Laurent PECH, Colm O’CINNEIDE

Finančna pomoč državam članicam EU

01-02-2018

Mehanizmi za evropsko finančno pomoč so namenjeni ohranjanju finančne stabilnosti EU in evroobmočja, saj lahko finančna stiska v eni od držav članic močno vpliva na makrofinančno stabilnost drugih držav članic. Finančna pomoč je povezana z makroekonomsko pogojenostjo (gre za posojilo, ne za javnofinančno nakazilo), s čimer se zagotovi, da države članice, ki tako pomoč prejemajo, izvedejo potrebne javnofinančne, gospodarske, strukturne in nadzorne reforme. O reformah se doseže dogovor in določijo ...

Mehanizmi za evropsko finančno pomoč so namenjeni ohranjanju finančne stabilnosti EU in evroobmočja, saj lahko finančna stiska v eni od držav članic močno vpliva na makrofinančno stabilnost drugih držav članic. Finančna pomoč je povezana z makroekonomsko pogojenostjo (gre za posojilo, ne za javnofinančno nakazilo), s čimer se zagotovi, da države članice, ki tako pomoč prejemajo, izvedejo potrebne javnofinančne, gospodarske, strukturne in nadzorne reforme. O reformah se doseže dogovor in določijo se v specifičnih dokumentih (memorandumi o soglasju), ki se objavijo na spletnem mestu Komisije in, kadar je to ustrezno, tudi na spletnem mestu evropskega mehanizma za stabilnost.

ACP-EU relations and the Joint Africa-EU strategy

15-11-2017

The Cotonou Agreement, a treaty binding the EU and 78 ACP countries, the majority of them from sub-Saharan Africa, is set to expire in 2020. Since its inception in 2000, major changes have occurred and new issues have emerged, requiring a broader approach. For the African states parties to the Cotonou Agreement, the Joint Africa-EU strategy could be an appropriate platform to reflect on their future relations with the EU.

The Cotonou Agreement, a treaty binding the EU and 78 ACP countries, the majority of them from sub-Saharan Africa, is set to expire in 2020. Since its inception in 2000, major changes have occurred and new issues have emerged, requiring a broader approach. For the African states parties to the Cotonou Agreement, the Joint Africa-EU strategy could be an appropriate platform to reflect on their future relations with the EU.

New European consensus on development: Will it be fit for purpose?

20-04-2017

Adopted in the form of a joint declaration, the European consensus on development, more than a common banner, is a necessary precondition to the complementarity and coordination of European development policies envisaged in the EU Treaties. The redefinition of development policy in times of internal crisis and global transformation is high-stakes – while integrating the new and ambitious vision presented in Agenda 2030 is a recognised necessity, there are inherent risks to the exercise. A surfeit ...

Adopted in the form of a joint declaration, the European consensus on development, more than a common banner, is a necessary precondition to the complementarity and coordination of European development policies envisaged in the EU Treaties. The redefinition of development policy in times of internal crisis and global transformation is high-stakes – while integrating the new and ambitious vision presented in Agenda 2030 is a recognised necessity, there are inherent risks to the exercise. A surfeit of priorities may undermine the strategic character of this framework document, while exacerbating challenges of coherence and coordination. The political focus on the migration crisis may, some fear, subordinate development aid to cooperation on migration management, marking the end of values-based EU development policy. As the interinstitutional negotiations progress, the European Parliament advocates for poverty eradication to remain the main goal of development policy. Parliament defends need- and efficiency-based criteria for the allocation of development aid. It also proposes a strong reinforcement of legal tools and institutional mechanisms to implement EU-wide coordination and policy coherence for development (PCD), without which the EU contribution to Agenda 2030 implementation may be jeopardised by its internal inconsistencies.

Shrinking space for civil society: the EU response

12-04-2017

The EU has developed an impressive range of policy tools for pushing back against restrictions on civil society across the world. It has gradually improved the way it deploys these instruments and has helped protect many activists at risk. Notwithstanding this, the EU needs to sharpen its ‘shrinking space’ strategy. This study suggests a range of precise policy changes it should contemplate to this end. It advocates a number of strategic guidelines that could help make the EU’s responses more proactive ...

The EU has developed an impressive range of policy tools for pushing back against restrictions on civil society across the world. It has gradually improved the way it deploys these instruments and has helped protect many activists at risk. Notwithstanding this, the EU needs to sharpen its ‘shrinking space’ strategy. This study suggests a range of precise policy changes it should contemplate to this end. It advocates a number of strategic guidelines that could help make the EU’s responses more proactive; better able to tackle the broad structural elements of the shrinking space; fully balanced between political and development approaches; and geared towards building more inclusive alliances against new restrictions on civil society.

Zunanji avtor

Richard YOUNGS (Senior Fellow at Carnegie Europe, Belgium and Professor at the University of Warwick, United Kingdom) and Ana ECHAGÜE (independent consultant)

Greece's financial assistance programme (March 2017)

10-03-2017

This briefing gives an overview of the economic situation in Greece and the main elements of the third financial assistance programme. This briefing is regularly updated (this version replaces the version published on 29 September 2016).

This briefing gives an overview of the economic situation in Greece and the main elements of the third financial assistance programme. This briefing is regularly updated (this version replaces the version published on 29 September 2016).

Counter-terrorist sanctions regimes: Legal framework and challenges at UN and EU levels

20-10-2016

Targeted sanctions against individuals and entities suspected of supporting terrorism are an important part of the United Nations Security Council's counter-terrorism programme. Under the main counter-terrorist sanctions regimes created under Chapter VII of the United Nations (UN) Charter, UN member states are obliged to impose an asset freeze, travel ban and arms embargo on persons and entities designated by the United National Security Council (UNSC), and also to take all necessary domestic measures ...

Targeted sanctions against individuals and entities suspected of supporting terrorism are an important part of the United Nations Security Council's counter-terrorism programme. Under the main counter-terrorist sanctions regimes created under Chapter VII of the United Nations (UN) Charter, UN member states are obliged to impose an asset freeze, travel ban and arms embargo on persons and entities designated by the United National Security Council (UNSC), and also to take all necessary domestic measures to criminalise support of terrorism and to establish their own sanctions systems. The European Union (EU) implements all UN Security Council-imposed sanctions and has also instituted its own autonomous counter-terrorist restrictive measures regime. However, both the UN and EU sanctions regimes have been severely criticised for infringing key fundamental rights, including due process rights. Legal challenges before national and regional courts prompted a series of procedural reforms, but critics still consider the regimes to fall short of accepted standards. The EU Court of Justice (CJEU) has been the leading jurisdiction to perform reviews of counter-terrorist sanctions, but the secrecy surrounding listings has impeded review of cases on the merits. Nevertheless, the CJEU has repeatedly annulled restrictive measures on procedural grounds, and in the process, affirmed the autonomy of the EU legal order. It is argued that, until the UNSC allows for judicial review, counter-terrorist sanctions will continue to be contested both in court and in the political arena.

Good Governance in EU External Relations: What Role for Development Policy in a Changing International Context?

04-07-2016

EU support for governance reforms has gained prominence in the EU’s external relations and particularly in the EU’s development policy. However, the EU’s engagement in this field has come under considerable pressure in recent years. It is by no means automatic that the EU will continue and further increase its engagement in supporting governance reforms. In this context, the objective of this study is to summarise evidence from academic research on why the EU and other donors should support governance ...

EU support for governance reforms has gained prominence in the EU’s external relations and particularly in the EU’s development policy. However, the EU’s engagement in this field has come under considerable pressure in recent years. It is by no means automatic that the EU will continue and further increase its engagement in supporting governance reforms. In this context, the objective of this study is to summarise evidence from academic research on why the EU and other donors should support governance reforms and under which conditions EU support positively contributes to governance reforms. Moreover, the study analyses how the EU has aimed at contributing to governance reforms during the past decade, focusing in particular on the Development Cooperation Instrument and the European Development Fund. The study puts emphasis on EU development policy, but places the analysis of governance support through development policy in the broader context of EU external relations. The study makes recommendations related to EU good governance support, to good governance support through the DCI and EDF, to ongoing strategy processes in EU external relations, and also in regard to the future of the EU’s relations with the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries.

Zunanji avtor

Christine HACKENESCH

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