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Combating foreign interference in elections EN

01-03-2024 PE 759.612
Pe scurt
Rezumat : Although it has always existed, foreign interference in election processes has become increasingly prevalent, exacerbated by new technologies and widespread social media use and increased geopolitical rivalry. The EU and UK have recently increased efforts – also involving other partners – to combat foreign interference.
Autori : SEBASTIAN CLAPP

Skyrocketing obesity in children: why everybody should be concerned? EN

01-03-2024 PE 759.608
Pe scurt
Rezumat : Nearly 400 million children around the world are projected to live with obesity by 2035. Worryingly, that is double the number in 2020. 'Our children are increasingly growing up in environments that make it very difficult for them to eat well and be active. This is a root cause of the obesity epidemic', argued Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge, Regional Director for the World Health Organization (WHO) in Europe. Worryingly, child obesity often carries through to adolescence and is likely to endure into adulthood. Based on current trends and looking exclusively at obesity in the WHO European region, which covers 53 countries across Europe and Central Asia, the World Obesity Atlas 2023 projects that between 2020 and 2035, there will be a 61 % increase in the number of boys living with obesity and a 57 % increase in the number of girls living with obesity. A total of 17 million boys and 11 million girls aged 5-19 in the region will be living with obesity in 2035.
Autori : Ivana KATSAROVA

Plenary round-up – February II 2024 EN

01-03-2024 PE 759.614
Pe scurt
Rezumat : The highlight of the February II 2024 plenary session was the address by Yulia Navalnaya, widow of the assassinated Russian opposition activist and 2021 Sakharov Prize laureate Alexey Navalny. Important debates took place on European security and defence and the war in Gaza. Members adopted a large number of provisional agreements reached in interinstitutional negotiations. Members also adopted several agreements at first reading, on which negotiations with the Council would be required in the new legislative term.
Autori : CLARE FERGUSON, KATARZYNA SOCHACKA

EU-UK cooperation on migration and asylum EN

01-03-2024 PE 759.615
Pe scurt
Rezumat : The free movement of people between the EU and the UK ended on 1 January 2021, with the end of the transitional period set out in the Withdrawal Agreement, signed in January 2020. The EU and UK both apply their own migration and asylum systems, with ad hoc cooperation on various aspects of migration.
Autori : Anita ORAV

Revision of the trans-European transport network guidelines EN

29-02-2024 PE 729.314
Briefing
Rezumat : To support its economy, provide mobility for people and goods and ensure the connectivity of all regions, while also limiting negative impacts on climate and environment, the EU has been building a multimodal transport network across its territory: the trans-European transport network (TEN T). TEN-T construction is supported by EU funding, an example of which is the dedicated Connecting Europe Facility programme. In December 2021, after evaluating progress in TEN-T implementation, the European Commission put forward a proposal on the revised TEN T guidelines to ensure sustainable connectivity through a reliable and high-quality infrastructure network aligned with the objectives of the European Green Deal. In May 2022, the Commission published an amended version of this proposal, extending transport corridors to Ukraine and Moldova and withdrawing plans that included Russia and Belarus. The European Parliament's Committee on Transport and Tourism adopted its report on the proposal on 13 April 2023; the Council adopted its general approach on 5 December 2022. The EP position was endorsed in plenary on 19 April, and trilogue negotiations are now ongoing. Fourth edition. The first edition, published in March 2022, was drafted by Marketa Pape. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.
Autori : Monika KISS

Strategic autonomy and the future of nuclear energy in the EU EN

29-02-2024 PE 757.796
Briefing
Rezumat : Nuclear energy and the promise of cost-effective small modular reactors (SMRs) is high on the EU's policy agenda, against the backdrop of a difficult global geopolitical context and the Union's energy security and climate ambitions. The EU is building a comprehensive strategy for the development and deployment of SMRs, acknowledging their potential benefits and challenges. Innovative nuclear technologies are of significant strategic value, with major steps being taken to increase the supply of advanced nuclear fuels and research and innovation capacities in this area.
Autori : VASCO NUNO GUEDES FERREIRA

Research for TRAN Committee − Trends, challenges and opportunities in the EU transport labour market EN

29-02-2024 PE 747.266 TRAN
Studiu
Rezumat : The study provides a comprehensive review of the transport labour market trends in the EU, the challenges and the future prospects that transport workers and undertakings are confronted with, notably for digitalisation, automation and decarbonisation processes. The study describes the impacts on the EU transport labour market in terms of number of jobs, job structure by age, workers’ skills, working conditions, shortage of workers and attractiveness of the occupations. A stakeholder consultation complements the findings of the literature review.
Autori : Andrea BROUGHTON, Jasper TANIS, Marco BRAMBILLA, Eckhard VOSS and Katrin VITOLS

Blueprint for a future joint European degree EN

27-02-2024 PE 759.607
Pe scurt
Rezumat : The European Commission plans to adopt a communication on a European degree in the first quarter of 2024. A future joint European degree could provide a framework to facilitate the development of joint programmes and the delivery of joint degrees offered by multiple higher education institutions across Europe. As a first step, a joint European degree label based on co-created European criteria is being piloted through Erasmus+ projects. Any further steps towards the development of a possible joint degree based on co-created European criteria will be explored with the Member States and stakeholders.
Autori : Krisztina BINDER

EP Academic Freedom Monitor 2023 EN

27-02-2024 PE 757.798
Studiu
Rezumat : Academic freedom is widely acknowledged both as a fundamental value of present-day higher education and science, and as a prerequisite for well-functioning democratic societies. Yet in recent years, major concerns about the state of academic freedom in the European Union have been raised by various stakeholders. The European Parliament launched an annual EP Academic Freedom Monitor in 2022, aimed at helping to strengthen the protection of academic freedom in the European Union. This report presents the 2023 edition of the EP Academic Freedom Monitor, consisting of two studies and their joint key findings and proposed policy options. The first study, entitled 'Systematising existing measurements of academic freedom in EU Member States', has used various monitors and other measurements across the EU Member States to identify the main challenges and threats to, and worries about, academic freedom in the EU. The second study, entitled 'Academic freedom across the EU 2023: Latest trends analysis', has analysed the main threats to academic freedom and their impacts in ten EU Member States. The study is conducted as a qualitative analysis of several data, with input from stakeholder organisations and academic experts. On the basis of the two studies, this report proposes EU-level policy options for legislative and non-legislative initiatives to support academic freedom in the EU.
Autori : DG, EPRS

International Women’s Day 2024 - Women in Sport EN

27-02-2024 PE 760.226 FEMM
Briefing
Autori : Martina SCHONARD, Alina-Theresa SCHNEDL

The future of digitalisation in budgetary control EN

27-02-2024 PE 759.623 CONT BUDG
Studiu
Rezumat : This study, commissioned by the European Parliament's Committee on Budgetary Control, explores new technological developments that are being or could be applied in the field of budgetary control and how these could be used to enhance the prevention of fraud and corruption and ensure sound financial management of EU funds. New technological developments covered by the study include big data analytics, artificial intelligence, digital platforms, robotic process automation, distributed ledger technologies (blockchain) and satellite imagery.
Autori : James RAMPTON, Marta DIMAURO, Christine STEDTNITZ, Jana VENCOVSKÁ, Laura GRANITO, Vítezslav TITL

The Role of the European Council in the EU Constitutional Structure EN

27-02-2024 PE 760.125 AFCO
Studiu
Rezumat : This study examines the evolving role of the European Council in the EU’s constitutional structure. As the study demonstrates, the increasing tendency of the European Council to instruct other EU institutions and its limited accountability have established an increasing gap between its de jure role under the EU Treaties and its de facto power in the larger system of EU governance. This study was commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the AFCO Committee.
Autori : AKBIK Adina, DAWSON Mark

Internal Market Emergency and Resilience Act (IMERA) EN

26-02-2024 PE 739.338
Briefing
Rezumat : In 2023, the EU celebrated the 30th anniversary of the single market. Recent shocks have shown not only how vulnerable to crises the single market is, but also the extent to which the EU economy relies on a well-functioning single market. It is now considered to be a key driver of EU resilience. In September 2022, the Commission put forward a single market emergency instrument (SMEI) package. It includes one main proposal for a regulation establishing a SMEI, and two accompanying proposals amending harmonised product legislation to ensure that strategic goods can be marketed quickly to address shortages in the event of market crises. The main proposal establishes measures for contingency planning, such as an early warning system. A 'vigilance mode' could be activated after a threat has been identified. If a wide-ranging crisis hits the single market, an 'emergency mode' could be triggered. The co-legislators reached a provisional agreement on the package on 1 February 2024, after four trilogue meetings. This agreement still needs to be formally approved by both institutions. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.
Autori : Guillaume RAGONNAUD

The use of strategic foresight in Commission impact assessments: Existing practices and the way forward EN

26-02-2024 PE 757.801
Briefing
Rezumat : Strategic foresight was identified as a political priority by the European Commission back in 2019, and was integrated into the EU's better regulation guidelines in 2021. It allows practitioners to anticipate alternative futures and, hence, represents a key tool for the EU to future-proof its policies and legislation. Its relevance spans the policy cycle, being of interest ex ante to impact assessments (IAs) and ex post to evaluations. This briefing examines the use of strategic foresight by the Commission in its IAs. It analyses the practices that emerged between January 2020 and December 2023, allowing a comparison between the period prior to January 2022, when foresight became a better regulation tool, with the period since then. The analysis shows that, despite a progressive increase in the number of IAs featuring a foresight component, practices continue to vary greatly across the Commission Directorates-General responsible for these IAs, in terms of methodology, clarity and consistency. Nine of the 63 IAs analysed in this briefing were supported by dedicated studies using foresight methodology. The majority of these studies were conducted by the Joint Research Centre, the Commission's internal science and knowledge service, which provides a broad offer to assist the use of foresight, including training and research. Two studies were commissioned to external contractors. Foresight studies require time and resources. They should be systematically conducted when a foresight approach adds value to the examination of the topic at stake. Foresight methods include the analysis of megatrends and scenario planning. The Commission's Regulatory Scrutiny Board (RSB) ensures quality control of the Commission's IA work. Besides advising on the IA process and expressing its opinion on the quality of each individual draft IA, it also gives an annual account of progress on better law-making. In its opinions, the RSB inter alia stressed the need for consistency in the use of foresight throughout IA reports, calling for foresight to be integrated into the sections on problem definition and policy options.
Autori : Suzana Elena ANGHEL

The European Parliament, its powers, and the 1979 European elections EN

26-02-2024 PE 759.605
Briefing
Rezumat : This briefing traces the evolution of the debates on the European Parliament's powers, and their (dis)connection to the organisation of the first direct European elections in 1979. It spans the period leading up to 1979, and also assesses the aftermath of these landmark elections. It shows that well into the 1970s, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) put great effort into de coupling the debates on organising Parliament's direct elections from those on expanding its institutional powers. MEPs' main fear was that demanding both as a package deal would be too much for Member State governments to swallow, creating a risk of ending up with neither. Separately pursuing more powers and direct elections was considered the smarter strategy. Yet by the end of the 1970s, with progress being made on both fronts, it had become difficult for MEPs to maintain this distinction. Increasingly, MEPs pushed a discourse of a self reinforcing, virtuous circle of empowerment and elections. They developed this discourse further after the 1979 elections, when a disappointingly low voter turnout dictated a re coupling of the issues in order to maintain the momentum of the Parliament's growing empowerment. The briefing concludes by connecting this historical debate to contemporary issues, highlighting how the question of Parliament's powers has become intimately connected with questions of democracy, representation and elections.
Autori : Gilles PITTOORS

The European Parliament and foreign and security policy: The 1991 Pöttering report EN

26-02-2024 PE 759.606
Briefing
Rezumat : The European Parliament has, for a long time, demanded a more integrated and purposeful European foreign, security, and defence policy. It has also argued for an enhanced role for itself in this policy field. With the European Union facing multiple external challenges, it is timely to explore Parliament's long-standing demands for a more robust collective approach to issues such as defence and arms procurement. In June 1991, the European Parliament adopted the Political Affairs Committee report on 'The outlook for a European security policy: The significance of a European security policy and its implications for European Political Union'. The resolution endorsing the report represented Parliament's only statement on foreign and security policy during the intergovernmental conferences that, inter alia, led to the creation of the common foreign and security policy in the Maastricht Treaty. This briefing examines the report's proposals and discusses the political strategy employed by the rapporteur, Hans-Gert Pöttering. It explores the disagreements in Parliament over the future common foreign and security policy. The briefing shows that, while the report was unsuccessful in changing the intergovernmental character of European foreign and security policy in the short term, it nevertheless impacted the EU's foreign policy priorities, most notably through its proposals on disarmament policy. It also helped create a longer-term trajectory for the growing institutionalisation of and common action in foreign, security, and defence policy.
Autori : WOLFRAM KARL WILHELM KAISER

Alexei Navalny: Anti-corruption campaigner, opposition leader and Kremlin victim EN

23-02-2024 PE 759.604
Pe scurt
Rezumat : The sudden death of political activist and Sakharov Prize laureate Alexei Navalny on 16 February 2024, in a maximum-security Russian penal colony where he was serving a draconian jail sentence, has met with widespread international condemnation and a wave of mourning both inside and outside the Russian Federation. Yulia Navalnaya – Navalny's widow – is due to address the European Parliament during the February II plenary session, and MEPs will subsequently debate and vote on a resolution on Navalny's murder and the need for the EU to support political prisoners and oppressed civil society in the Russian Federation.
Autori : ANNA CAPRILE

People with disabilities and the European elections EN

23-02-2024 PE 757.655
Pe scurt
Rezumat : People with disabilities still find it hard to participate in elections in the European Union. This infographic compares national practices aimed at helping people with disabilities exercise their electoral rights in the EU.
Autori : Marie LECERF

Economic impact of Russia's war on Ukraine: European Council response EN

23-02-2024 PE 757.783
Briefing
Rezumat : Thursday, 24 February 2022 was a turning point in European history. Overnight, Russia launched a brutal war of aggression on Ukraine, an independent European nation. Two years after the start of the war, its negative effects have been far-reaching. In addition to the harrowing human cost of the war, the economic impact has been devastating in Ukraine itself, but also substantial for the European Union and the world more widely. In the EU, the economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic has been slower than expected because of the war in Ukraine. The European Commission's 2021 Autumn Forecast predicted 4.3 % growth in gross domestic product (GDP) for the EU for 2022, and 2.5 % for 2023, but growth finally registered at 3.5 % for 2022 and an estimated 0.5 % for 2023. The EU also experienced a severe energy and a cost-of-living crisis in 2022, with ripple effects that are still being felt today. The increasing price of energy resulted in exceptionally high inflation figures in autumn 2022, especially in October 2022. This created difficult framework conditions for both EU citizens and companies. Furthermore, to bring inflation down to the 2 % target level, the European Central Bank began to raise its interest rates, with considerable impact, particularly on citizens and companies with large variable-rate loans. This briefing looks at the economic impact Russia's war of aggression on Ukraine has had on the European Union over the last 24 months, and analyses how the European Council has responded to limit the negative economic effects of the war. EU leaders followed the developing situation closely and reacted immediately to the Russian attack in February 2022. In addition to sanctions prepared in coordination with EU allies, the EU leaders also tasked the European Commission to prepare contingency measures. At an informal meeting in Versailles, EU leaders adopted a declaration in which they stressed the need to strengthen the EU economic base and the single market. They also took steps towards encouraging open strategic autonomy, aimed at allowing the EU to stand on its own two feet in the new and rapidly changing geopolitical situation. Since then, Russia's war of aggression in Ukraine and its impact have been rolling agenda items at European Council meetings. Furthermore, the EU and its Member States have supported Ukraine and Ukrainians with almost €88 billion (figures from January 2024), including financial, economic, diplomatic, humanitarian and military aid. At its December 2023 meeting, the European Council decided to open accession talks with Ukraine.
Autori : Annastiina PAPUNEN

Increasing the competitiveness of the intermodal transport EN

23-02-2024 PE 757.803
Briefing
Rezumat : The impact assessment (IA) sufficiently substantiates the need for a revision of the CTD, and provides a well-evidenced problem definition relying on various data sources. It presents a sufficient range of policy options, which appear to present self-standing alternatives. The IA qualitatively and quantitatively assesses all policy options' economic, social and environmental impacts, and explains the methods used in detail. It openly explains limitations in the analysis, for instance regarding employment consequences in the road transport sector and quantification of the impacts specifically for SMEs. As the initiative is relevant to SMEs, an SME test was performed. However, SMEs are not differentiated by size-classes (micro, small and medium enterprises) in the analysis, and overall, SMEs could have been discussed more. In the comparison of options, the IA could have clarified the scoring and the coherence assessment. Likewise, the arguments for the choice of the preferred option would have benefited from further clarification. The summary of stakeholder consultations describes stakeholders' views on the problems, objectives and different measures; however, the IA does not provide a description of the stakeholder groups' views on the policy options.
Autori : ULLA-MARI TUOMINEN

European defence, strategic autonomy and NATO [What Think Tanks are thinking] EN

23-02-2024 PE 759.601
Briefing
Rezumat : The European Commission's President, Ursula von der Leyen, announced on 16 February that she would soon put forward a strategy for the European defence industry, designed to strengthen military production and arms supply. Russia’s full-scale attack on Ukraine two years ago reignited the EU’s push towards strengthening its defence capabilities and cooperation. The European Parliament and President von der Leyen, among others, believe that the EU should strive towards establishing a fully fledged ‘European Defence Union’, following on from a number of ground breaking initiatives and significant growth in military spending. The discussion on the need for the EU to become more self-reliant in defence has intensified in response to comments made by Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for the 2024 US presidential election, who suggested that the United States might disregard NATO's Article 5 collective defence clause and not protect from a potential Russian invasion those NATO allies who are not spending enough on defence. This note gathers links to recent publications and commentaries from many international think tanks on EU defence issues. Earlier analyses of Russia’s war on Ukraine can be found in a previous edition of the ‘What Think Tanks are Thinking’ series.
Autori : Marcin CESLUK-GRAJEWSKI

Legal options for confiscation of Russian state assets to support the reconstruction of Ukraine EN

23-02-2024 PE 759.602
Studiu
Rezumat : This report analyses the options under international law for the confiscation of Russian state assets to support Ukraine's reconstruction. It focuses on Russian Central Bank assets, US$300 billion of which are frozen in various jurisdictions. The report considers four avenues for overcoming Russia's immunity from enforcement: avoidance of immunity through purely executive or legislative action; justification for the breach of international law on the grounds that it is a countermeasure; evolution of international law to lift immunity from enforcement upon, for example, a finding of aggression by a United Nations principal organ; and an exception in international law for the enforcement of international judgments. The report addresses proposals based on third-party countermeasures and collective self-defence. It assesses six options under current review: enforcement of European Court of Human Rights judgments; an international treaty setting up a compensation commission; taxing windfall contributions; placing Russian state assets into an escrow account as collateral; identifying Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism; and the establishment of an investment 'common fund'. In conclusion, the report presents a risk assessment of each option, noting that (i) confiscation based on third-party countermeasures with a conditional element and (ii) confiscation based on the enforcement of international judgments against Russia are most likely to comply with international law.
Autori : DG, EPRS; Webb, Philippa (Philippa Mahal)

I princìpi di eguaglianza e di non discriminazione, una prospettiva di diritto comparato: Italia IT

23-02-2024 PE 759.603
Studiu
Rezumat : Questo studio fa parte di un progetto più ampio, il cui scopo è quello di analizzare, nella prospettiva del diritto comparato, i princìpi di eguaglianza e di non discriminazione in diversi Stati ed organizzazioni internazionali. Il presente studio è dedicato all'Italia. Dopo un breve inquadramento storico, vengono esaminate le norme giuridiche che hanno interessato il principio di eguaglianza, nelle sue varie forme, nella Repubblica italiana. Il punto di partenza è, ovviamente, la Costituzione, mentre le altre fonti sono ordinate in ragione della tematica che, di volta in volta, disciplinano. Particolare enfasi è attribuita alla giurisprudenza. Poiché non è possibile prendere in considerazione la ricchezza del materiale nella sua interezza, sono stati selezionati alcuni casi particolarmente rilevanti. Si conclude identificando le principali aree problematiche che devono ancora essere affrontate. Questo documento è la seconda edizione di uno studio originariamente pubblicato in italiano dalla Biblioteca di diritto comparato nell'ottobre 2020. Questa versione, a cura della Biblioteca di diritto comparato del Parlamento europeo, aggiorna la versione precedente e compara l’ordinamento italiano con altri ordinamenti attarverso le note dell'editore (NdE).
Autori : EPRS, Comparative Law

Two years of war: The state of the Ukrainian economy in ten charts. EN

23-02-2024 PE 747.858 AFET ECON
Briefing
Rezumat : After enduring the devastating impact of Russia's full-scale military aggression over the course of two years, the Ukrainian economy has shown resilience but also faces challenges going forward. The future course, intensity and duration of the war are uncertain. Ukraine has nevertheless, with the help of international partners, been simultaneously bolstering its economy at war and planning for the future transition to a more stable environment. This paper uses ten charts to summarise the key economic issues at stake.
Autori : Drazen RAKIC

Establishing the Ukraine Facility EN

22-02-2024 PE 759.582
Pe scurt
Rezumat : The Ukraine Facility will support Ukraine, its recovery and its path to EU accession, with up to €50 billion in grants and loans provided in the years 2024 to 2027. On 6 February 2024, the European Parliament and the Council came to a political agreement on the establishment of the Ukraine Facility, following up on the agreement in the European Council on the revision of the EU's multiannual financial framework (MFF). The MFF should finance the grants and guarantee the loans of the Facility. Additional financing is expected to come from frozen Russian assets. The European Parliament managed to secure an enhanced role for the European and Ukrainian Parliaments as well as Ukrainian civil society in scrutinising the use of the Facility.
Autori : TIM ULRICH PETERS

Parliament's consent to the revision of the 2021-2027 MFF EN

22-02-2024 PE 759.581
Pe scurt
Rezumat : During the February II session, Parliament is due to vote on giving consent to the first-ever revision of the EU's multiannual financial framework (MFF). That revision will provide €21 billion of additional funds, including €17 billion for Ukraine. Parliament has repeatedly demanded that the EU's long-term budget be revised urgently, to enable the EU to rise effectively to the challenges it faces. The agreement reached between Parliament and the Council ensures stable medium-term financial support to Ukraine and additional funds for migration. It also establishes a mechanism to secure the repayments related to the EU recovery instrument. Parliament's consent requires a majority of its component Members, i.e. 353 votes.
Autori : MARIANNA PARI

Strategic technologies for Europe platform EN

22-02-2024 PE 759.583
Pe scurt
Rezumat : In June 2023, the European Commission published a proposal for a regulation establishing a new platform for strategic technologies for Europe (STEP). After three rounds of trilogue meetings, the Parliament and Council reached a provisional agreement on the text on 7 February 2024, and now need to formally adopt it. Parliament is due to vote on the text during its second February plenary session.
Autori : Guillaume RAGONNAUD, MARIN MILEUSNIC

Commission's fourth annual rule of law report EN

22-02-2024 PE 759.598
Pe scurt
Rezumat : In July 2023, the Commission adopted its fourth annual rule of law report, covering judicial independence, the anti-corruption framework, media freedom and checks and balances in all Member States. As in previous years, the European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) has tabled a motion for a resolution on the report, highlighting progress and identifying areas for possible further improvement.
Autori : Rafał MAŃKO

New EU-UK customs controls: The Border Target Operating Model EN

22-02-2024 PE 759.599
Pe scurt
Rezumat : Following the entry into force of the EU-UK Trade Cooperation Agreement (TCA) in 2021, and the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU customs union, the trading of goods between the parties has become more burdensome. This has been manifested in trade figures, with UK imports to and exports from the EU both shrinking after Brexit. This year marks another phase in the introduction of administrative burdens on trade – in the form of additional customs rules and checks when exporting goods, particularly agricultural goods, to the UK – with the Border Target Operating Model (BTOM) being gradually implemented by the UK.
Autori : Marcin SZCZEPANSKI

Violence against women active in politics in the EU: A serious obstacle to political participation EN

22-02-2024 PE 759.600
Briefing
Rezumat : Women continue to be under-represented in EU countries at all levels of political decision-making as well as in political parties. The origins of this situation are complex, but one reason stands out: violence against women active in politics discourages many women from entering the political arena. Female politicians are exposed to two severe and intersecting forms of violence: political violence and gender-based violence. Violence against people active in politics, whether men or women, is a major obstacle to the exercise of political rights and freedoms, and a serious violation of basic human rights. The increasing polarisation of liberal societies has been accompanied by rising violence against political stakeholders. However, this is only half the story. Violence against women in politics needs to be understood and addressed in a distinct manner. When political violence targets women just because they are women, when it takes sexist and sexualised forms and when it seeks to discourage women generally from taking part in political life, there is a gender dimension. This form of violence can also often be a backlash against women's greater presence in political life. Violence against women in politics takes multiple forms, from physical attacks to psychological and symbolic abuse, including sexual and sexist comments, online hate speech and sexual harassment, etc. Women surveyed tend to consider the impact of this type of violence significant in terms of psychological discomfort. They also feel less ready to defend certain positions. At EU level, several measures seek to combat violence against women in politics, either indirectly or specifically. The legislative proposal for combating violence against women covers crimes that also affect politicians, while the proposal to criminalise hate speech would also address the issue.
Autori : Ionel ZAMFIR

Revision of the Package Travel Directive EN

21-02-2024 PE 757.785
Briefing
Rezumat : EU package travel rules protect travellers who have booked two or more travel services together – typically, a flight and a hotel room. Since the 1990s, the EU has been setting norms in this travel industry sector, to protect consumers and define obligations for package organisers. Since 2004, regulations specific to the mode of transport (such as air, rail or coach) for passenger rights have also gradually been adopted at EU level, creating a comprehensive, albeit not always coherent, framework for passenger rights. The current EU Package Travel Directive (Directive 2015/2302 – the PTD), which adapted the scope of traveller protection to market and technological developments, entered into application in July 2018. The directive has been under review since November 2023, after a limited but particularly testing period of application that saw the bankruptcy of travel agencies company Thomas Cook in 2019, and the COVID-19 pandemic immediately after. Evaluations conducted by the European Commission and the European Parliament, summarised in this briefing, show that the PTD has been partially effective in meeting its objectives (to ensure a high and uniform level of protection for travellers in the EU, and to support the proper functioning of the internal market) and the needs of consumers and traders. Ongoing reforms seek to make the PTD more resilient to large-scale disruptions by adding certain clarifications, on the definition of packages for example, and to increase the level of traveller protection with new rules on vouchers, faster refund deadlines, and a limit on prepayments.
Autori : Talander Hugo JANSEN

Annual report on implementation of the common security and defence policy, 2023 EN

21-02-2024 PE 759.593
Pe scurt
Rezumat : During the second February plenary session, the European Parliament will vote on its 2023 annual report on implementation of the common security and defence policy (CSDP). This year's report reflects ground breaking developments in EU defence since 2022. Its main areas of focus include Russia's war on Ukraine and the EU's response, the situation in the Middle East, implementation of the Strategic Compass and EU defence initiatives.
Autori : SEBASTIAN CLAPP

Parliament's negotiating position on the standard essential patents regulation EN

21-02-2024 PE 759.592
Pe scurt
Rezumat : On 27 April 2023, the Commission submitted its proposal for a regulation on standard essential patents (SEPs). During its second February 2024 plenary session, Parliament is to vote on the report adopted by its Committee on Legal Affairs. This would set Parliament's position for trilogue negotiations with the Council on the proposal.
Autori : Tambiama André MADIEGA

Transparency and targeting of political advertising EN

21-02-2024 PE 759.590
Pe scurt
Rezumat : On 6 November 2023, the Parliament and Council reached a provisional political agreement on a draft regulation on transparency and targeting of political advertising. The Parliament is due to vote at first reading during its February II plenary session. The Council is then expected to finalise the legislative procedure at first reading. Following their formal adoption, the new rules will start applying 18 months after their entry into force. However, those on the non-discriminatory provision of cross-border political advertising (including for European political parties and political groups) will take effect in time for the forthcoming European Parliament elections.
Autori : Kamil BARANÍK

Protecting the environment through criminal law EN

21-02-2024 PE 759.585
Pe scurt
Rezumat : Environmental crime is a serious, organised criminal activity in the European Union. To tackle the problem more effectively, in 2021, the European Commission proposed a revision of Directive 2008/99/EC on the protection of the environment through criminal law. Parliament is expected to vote on the political agreement reached with the Council on the proposed directive during its February II plenary session.
Autori : Carmen-Cristina CIRLIG

Faster and safer tax excess relief ('FASTER') EN

21-02-2024 PE 759.587
Pe scurt
Rezumat : In June 2023, the Commission tabled a proposal ('FASTER') to make withholding tax procedures in the EU more efficient and secure for cross-border investors and Member State tax administrations, to the benefit of the EU capital markets union. The Council must vote unanimously, after consulting the Parliament, to adopt the directive. Parliament is due to vote its (non-binding) report during the February II plenary session.
Autori : Pieter BAERT

Nature restoration regulation EN

21-02-2024 PE 759.586
Pe scurt
Rezumat : During its February II plenary session, the European Parliament is expected to vote on the provisional agreement reached in trilogue on the 'nature restoration law', which aims to bring degraded ecosystems back to health across the EU. The agreement, endorsed by the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) on 29 November 2023, substantially amends the text originally proposed by the European Commission.
Autori : Vivienne HALLEUX

Regulation on detergents and surfactants EN

21-02-2024 PE 759.584
Pe scurt
Rezumat : On 28 April 2023, the Commission made a proposal to update the EU framework on detergents and surfactants. During its February II plenary session, the European Parliament is due to vote on the report adopted on 14 February 2024 by its Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI).
Autori : Guillaume RAGONNAUD

Data collection and sharing relating to short-term accommodation rental services EN

21-02-2024 PE 759.579
Pe scurt
Rezumat : During the February II plenary session, Parliament is set to vote on a provisional agreement reached between the European Parliament and the Council on the proposed regulation on data collection and sharing relating to short-term accommodation rental services. The proposal aims to facilitate registration of hosts and their short-term rental units (such as houses, apartments and rooms). It also aims to reduce inconsistencies in how online platforms share data with public authorities, and help to increase consumer confidence in these services.
Autori : Maria Niestadt

Supplementary protection certificates for plant protection products EN

21-02-2024 PE 759.577
Pe scurt
Rezumat : During the February II plenary session, the European Parliament is expected to adopt its first-reading positions on two legislative files – a proposed regulation on the unitary supplementary protection certificate for plant protection products and a proposed recast regulation on supplementary protection certificates for plant protection products. The proposals are part of a broader initiative to harmonise patent protection within the single market.
Autori : Kamil BARANÍK

Revision of the Driving Licence Directive EN

21-02-2024 PE 759.580
Pe scurt
Rezumat : As part of the EU's Vision Zero (zero deaths on EU roads by 2050) and the European sustainable and smart mobility strategy, the European Commission proposed to revise the Driving Licence Directive. The aim is to find the right balance between improving road safety for all road users, ensuring freedom of movement, and easing the administrative burden through harmonising Member States' procedures. In the European Parliament, the Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) adopted its report on 7 December 2023, and Members are expected to agree the Parliament's position on the file during the February II plenary session, which would enable Parliament's negotiators to open discussions with the Council on the proposal.
Autori : Monika KISS

EU-Chile agreements EN

21-02-2024 PE 759.575
Pe scurt
Rezumat : On 13 December 2023, the EU and Chile signed an advanced framework agreement (AFA) with a view to modernising and replacing the 2002 association agreement which currently governs their relations. During its February II plenary session, the European Parliament will decide on whether to consent to the EU's conclusion of the AFA, which has two parts: i) political dialogue and cooperation; and ii) trade and investment. As the AFA falls under shared competence, ratification by each EU Member State is also required. Parliament will also vote on giving consent to conclusion of an interim trade agreement (iTA), with the trade and investment provisions of the AFA under the EU's exclusive competence. The iTA would apply until the AFA's ratification is completed.
Autori : Gisela GRIEGER

Human rights and democracy in the world: Assessing EU action in 2022 EN

21-02-2024 PE 759.573
Pe scurt
Rezumat : The latest annual review of EU external action to promote human rights and democracy, covering 2022, highlights a worsening environment, marked by Russia's war on Ukraine, multiple conflicts and emerging challenges. During its February II plenary session, the European Parliament is due to vote on its own yearly report on human rights and democracy in the world, responding to the annual report from the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and recommending future EU action.
Autori : Rosamund SHREEVES

Geographical indications for wine, spirit drinks and agricultural products EN

21-02-2024 PE 759.578
Pe scurt
Rezumat : On 31 March 2022, the Commission proposed a regulation on geographical indications (GIs) for wine, spirit drinks and agricultural products. The proposal aims to replace three regulations that currently govern the rules on GIs, with the aim of simplifying and expediting the procedures, increasing sustainability of GI products, and improving their protection online. During the February II plenary session, Parliament is due to debate and vote on the provisional agreement on the proposal reached with the Council.
Autori : Nikolina SAJN

Annual report on implementation of the common foreign and security policy, 2023 EN

21-02-2024 PE 757.598
Pe scurt
Rezumat : The EU's common foreign and security policy (CFSP) contributes to the Union's objectives of preserving peace, strengthening international security, promoting international cooperation, and developing and consolidating democracy, the rule of law, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. The European Parliament's Committee for Foreign Affairs (AFET) adopted its annual report on the implementation of the CFSP on 28 November 2023. The report highlights the need for stronger, more ambitious and credible EU action on the world stage, in the face of the threat posed to the rules-based international order and peace by autocratic regimes and their alliances. Parliament is scheduled to hold a debate and vote on the report during its second February 2024 plenary session.
Autori : BRANISLAV STANICEK

Supplementary protection certificates for medicinal products EN

21-02-2024 PE 759.576
Pe scurt
Rezumat : During its February II session, the European Parliament is expected to vote its first-reading position on two legislative proposals: a draft recast regulation on the supplementary protection certificate (SPC) and a draft regulation on the unitary SPC, both concerning medicinal products. These parallel proposals are part of a broader package on improving intellectual property rights.
Autori : GABIJA LECLERC

Protection against wholesale energy market manipulation EN

21-02-2024 PE 759.574
Pe scurt
Rezumat : The electricity market reform proposed in the aftermath of the energy crisis includes a proposal to improve energy market transparency, enhance the role of regulatory bodies and ensure protection against market manipulation. The co-legislators reached a provisional agreement in November 2023. The European Parliament is due to vote on the agreed text during its February II 2024 plenary session.
Autori : Agnieszka WIDUTO

EU-Seychelles Agreement: Access for Seychelles fishing vessels to the waters of Mayotte EN

21-02-2024 PE 759.595
Pe scurt
Rezumat : During its February II part-session, the European Parliament is due to vote on giving its consent to the conclusion of a fisheries agreement granting Seychelles vessels access to the waters of the French overseas department of Mayotte. The new 6-year agreement continues the existing reciprocal fisheries arrangements between the EU and Seychelles.
Autori : FREDERIK SCHOLAERT

Ukraine: Military state of play – February 2024 EN

21-02-2024 PE 759.596
Pe scurt
Rezumat : Two years after the start of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, the war appears to be at a stalemate. While Ukraine successfully recaptured large parts of its territory in the summer and autumn of 2022, the 2023 counter-offensive was not successful in liberating the whole of Ukraine and the war has turned into one of attrition. The European Union and United States have provided Ukraine with substantial military assistance, but continued military support is facing political challenges in both the EU and the US and its fate remains uncertain.
Autori : Jakub PRZETACZNIK, SEBASTIAN CLAPP

Defence of Democracy package EN

21-02-2024 PE 757.802
Briefing
Rezumat : The initiative results from growing concern that openness of European societies is being exploited for covert interference from foreign governments to manipulate decision-making processes and public opinion in the EU. The impact assessment (IA) clearly defines two problems relating to interest representation activities carried out on behalf of third countries: obstacles to the internal market due to fragmented regulation, and the unknown magnitude, trends and actors of these activities. It considers a non-legislative policy option (PO) along with two legislative sub-options, targeting all third countries and all activities carried out on behalf of governments and affiliates. After examining the POs' economic, social and fundamental rights impacts, as well as geopolitical implications, the IA chooses the legislative PO2.1 as the most effective, efficient, coherent and proportionate. PO2.1 seeks to harmonise requirements in the internal market on transparency requirements for entities carrying out interest representation activities on behalf of third-country entities. While the IA expects the initiative to have moderately negative impact on fundamental rights, it justifies this with over-riding public interest and proposes several safeguards. Similarly, regarding possibly negative geopolitical implications, the IA points to differentiating very clearly between the initiative and 'foreign agent laws', and discusses mitigating measures such as diplomatic exchanges and information activities. Economic impacts on entities are expected to be positive, with cost savings from harmonised rules and a levelled playing field expected to compensate compliance costs. The citizens are expected to benefit from improved information, transparency and trust in the democratic system. Nevertheless, the IA's methodology poses some questions concerning the SME test, the use of 'qualitative cost-benefit analysis' to identify economic impacts, and the use of stakeholder views in the analysis.
Autori : AUSRA RAKSTELYTE

10 domenii în care Europa poate face mai mult pentru dumneavoastră

21-02-2024 PE 753.184
Studiu
Rezumat : Provocările cu care ne confruntăm la nivel mondial – inclusiv schimbările climatice, conflictele geopolitice, erodarea principiilor democratice și inegalitățile sociale – afectează viața de zi cu zi și perspectivele de viitor ale cetățenilor. Un răspuns comun la nivel european, pentru următorii 10 ani, ne-ar putea ajuta să facem față acestor provocări – și ar putea genera beneficii de până la 3 mii de miliarde de euro anual. Această sumă reprezintă circa 18 % din produsul intern brut (PIB) al UE și este echivalentă cu circa 6 700 de euro per cetățean în fiecare an. Făcând trimitere la activitatea Parlamentului European din legislatura 2019-2024, studiul nostru a identificat, în 10 domenii de politică, acțiuni care ar putea valorifica potențialul Europei – și care nu ar impune modificări ale tratatelor.
Autori : Christa KAMMERHOFER-SCHLEGEL, ALEKSANDRA HEFLICH, LENKA JANCOVA, Lauro PANELLA, Cecilia NAVARRA, JEROME LEON SAULNIER, MEENAKSHI FERNANDES, MARCO CENTRONE, CHRISTOF ERICH CESNOVAR, MARGARIDA ALBUQUERQUE ARENGA

Revision of Directive 2011/93/EU on combating the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children and child pornography EN

20-02-2024 PE 757.790
Briefing
Rezumat : In September 2021, the Commission launched a REFIT initiative to assess the implementation of Directive 2011/93/EU on combating the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children and child pornography, with a view to revising it. This appraisal takes stock of reports published by the Commission, positions adopted and analyses submitted by EU institutions and agencies, and the relevant European Court of Human Rights case law. The directive requires the EU Member States to criminalise a series of offences, including online child sexual abuse. Yet, it does not cover all of the related technological issues or provide clues on how to reconcile respect for fundamental rights with the urgent need to combat sexual abuse against children. The directive must be understood within the broader frame of applicable EU legislation, including the proposed regulation on online child sexual abuse currently under discussion. Analysis demonstrates a need to amend the directive, with a focus on stronger preventive measures, educational programmes and assistance to victims, and more efficient investigation and prosecution mechanisms including through international cooperation.
Autori : MARIE-ASTRID HUEMER

European Peace Facility: Continued EU military assistance to Ukraine EN

20-02-2024 PE 759.594
Pe scurt
Rezumat : Almost two years since Russia began its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, EU military assistance under the European Peace Facility (EPF) is lagging. The special European Council meeting of 1 February 2024 invited the Council to agree by early March 2024 to amend the regulation establishing the EPF, in order to increase its financial ceiling.
Autori : Bruno BILQUIN

Revision of the EU's Waste Shipment Regulation EN

20-02-2024 PE 729.330
Briefing
Rezumat : On 17 November 2021, the European Commission tabled a proposal to revise EU rules on shipments of waste. The proposed regulation seeks to ease shipments of waste for reuse and recycling in the EU, to support the transition to a circular economy; ensure that waste exported from the EU is managed in an environmentally sound manner in the destination countries; and step up enforcement to counteract illegal shipments of waste. While supporting the proposed streamlining and digitalisation of procedures, stakeholders have stressed the need for significant improvements to ensure that the new regulation fulfils its objectives, in particular as regards exports of waste. The European Parliament adopted its position on the proposed regulation on 17 January 2023. Strengthening the Commission's text, notably on transparency, monitoring, and assessment of sound waste management in third countries, Parliament's negotiating mandate proposes putting an end to plastic waste exports outside the EU and EFTA countries. The Council adopted its general approach on 24 May 2023. Interinstitutional negotiations concluded on 17 November 2023 with a provisional agreement. The agreed text, endorsed by Member State representatives on 6 December 2023 and by the ENVI committee on 11 January 2024, now awaits formal adoption by Parliament and the Council. The vote in plenary is scheduled for the February II session. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.
Autori : Vivienne HALLEUX

Revision of the anti-smuggling package EN

20-02-2024 PE 753.190
Briefing
Rezumat : The revision of the anti smuggling package includes two proposals presented by the Commission in November 2023, revising and amending existing European Union (EU) legislation. The first is a proposal for a directive of the Parliament and of the Council laying down minimum rules to prevent and counter the facilitation of unauthorised entry, transit and stay in the EU, replacing Directive 2002/90/EC and Decision 2002/946/JHA (known collectively as the 'facilitators package'). The second is a proposal for a regulation of the Parliament and of the Council on enhancing police cooperation in relation to the prevention, detection and investigation of migrant smuggling and trafficking in human beings, and on enhancing Europol's support to preventing and combating such crimes, and amending Regulation 2016/794/EU (which set up the rules for Europol). According to the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol), migrant smuggling comprises the recruitment and transportation of irregular migrants as core activities. Criminal networks often cooperate on various parts of the smuggling routes. According to the European Migrant Smuggling Centre, developments in the EU's geographic proximity and in countries of transit and origin have influenced migrant smuggling operations into the EU. In her September 2023 State of the Union address, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, called for an update of the EU's 20+ year old legislative framework countering migrant smuggling. She also called for strengthening governance on migrant smuggling and reinforcing the competences of EU agencies working in this area.
Autori : HANNAH NAFIZE AHAMAD MADATALI

Latin America outlook: Issues to watch in 2024 EN

20-02-2024 PE 759.591
Briefing
Rezumat : This year's EPRS outlook for Latin America focuses on key developments in the region, a partner of significant importance for the European Union (EU). As part of its efforts to foster alliances around the globe, the EU has been striving since 2022 to revive relations with Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) and 2023 was crucial for EU relations with the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). The leaders' summit that took place in Brussels on 17-18 July 2023 under the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU – eight years after the last fully fledged bi-regional summit – tried to give new impetus to the bi-regional partnership. 2024 will be a key year for the EU and its partners in terms of keeping up momentum and following up on the summit's commitments. Latin America will see six presidential elections in 2024: in El Salvador, Panama, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Uruguay and Venezuela. The 2023 trend to vote out incumbents in favour of anti-establishment candidates, seen recently in Argentina and Guatemala, is unlikely to continue. Another focus of this year's outlook is the security situation in the Andean region, in particular Ecuador and Colombia. Ecuador, a long-time anchor of stability in the region, has experienced an explosion of violence caused by internationally operating narco gangs. For Colombia, 2024 will be decisive as regards President Gustavo Petro's 'total peace' plan. Analysts will also be keeping a close eye on how Argentina – Latin America's third-largest economy and G20 member –develops under the country's new president, right-wing populist Javier Milei. The main question is whether Argentinians will accept drastic austerity reforms, or whether these and hyperinflation will push the country towards mass demonstrations and political turmoil. Lastly, as to the economic outlook for Latin America, forecasts do not foresee any big leaps in 2024. Overall, the LAC countries are expected to stay on a path of low growth.
Autori : Marc JUTTEN

EU economic developments and projections EN

20-02-2024 PE 645.716 ECON
Briefing
Rezumat : This briefing provides a summary of the recent economic developments in the EU Member States and gives an overview of relevant economic projections forecasted by major international and EU institutions. Annex 1 includes latest GDP data and forecasts for all EU Member States and Annex 2 the latest inflation data and developments.
Autori : MAJA SABOL, GIACOMO LOI, MILJA MIESKOLAINEN

The Next Goal: euro area banking integration EN

20-02-2024 PE 741.527 ECON
Studiu
Rezumat : In its first ten years (2014-2023), the banking union was successful in its prudential agenda but failed spectacularly in its underlying objective: establishing a single banking market in the euro area. This goal is now more important than ever, and easier to attain than at any time in the last decade. To make progress, cross-border banks should receive a specific treatment within general banking union legislation. Suggestions are made on how to make such regulatory carve-out effective and legally sound.
Autori : Ignazio ANGELONI

European elections 2024: Rules of a pan-European democratic event EN

19-02-2024 PE 757.649
Briefing
Rezumat : In June 2024, around 400 million EU citizens go to the polls to elect the Members of the European Parliament's 10th legislature. As the only EU institution that represents EU citizens, elections to the European Parliament are therefore major democratic events, and the only one at EU level that resembles national democratic electoral consultation. European elections, however, differ from the national version, as they are part of a context of multi-tier government, sometimes perceived as 'second order elections'. The main difference is that the European elections are a rather fragmented exercise, since a great part of the electoral process, including the way in which the right to vote is exercised, remains subject to national rules. In addition, the lack of a real transnational forum in which to debate European (as opposed to national) issues during European elections is one reason why European elections have failed to earn attention comparable to national elections, despite the prominent role the European Parliament has acquired in European policy-making in recent decades. A number of reforms have been put forward over the years. Measures to harmonise rules or mechanisms that would personalise the elections and hence bring more visibility to the candidates and their campaigns have been proposed. Two reforms are pending. In one case, to harmonise a few aspects of the electoral process. In the other, to make additional deeper reforms with the introduction of a Union-wide constituency. A repeat of the lead candidate process (a political rather than a legal practice), is also likely to be attempted for the 2024 elections. This briefing explores the legal framework of the EU electoral rules, highlighting which aspects are governed by national rules, and describes the innovations the reforms currently on the table could bring. It also analyses decisions on the composition of Parliament and initiatives to strengthen the resilience of the electoral process.
Autori : Silvia KOTANIDIS, DAVID ARMAND JACQUES GERA DE GROOT

EU and US strategies towards sub-Saharan Africa: EU-US Explainer EN

19-02-2024 PE 759.589
Pe scurt
Rezumat : Conflict, food insecurity and climate shocks, among other crises, have destabilised African countries in recent years and curbed economic activity. Nevertheless, sub-Saharan Africa is seen as an emerging geopolitical force; and the European Union (EU) and the United States (US) are actively reframing their partnerships with the region.
Autori : Eric PICHON, Naja BENTZEN

EU-US relations after the Inflation Reduction Act, and the challenges ahead EN

19-02-2024 PE 759.588
Studiu
Rezumat : EPRS invites leading experts and commentators to share their thinking and insights on important topics of relevance to debate in the European institutions. In this paper, Bruce Stokes, visiting senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, and associate fellow at Chatham House, offers an overview of US-EU relations since the passage of the US Inflation Reduction Act in 2022. This paper is based on the author's interviews with leading European and US experts and published analysis by major think tanks and journalists on both sides of the Atlantic. The paper discusses current efforts to manage longstanding pre-IRA disputes, the Trade and Technology Council, the US Chips and Science Act and the EU's response, looming issues such as CBAM and critical minerals, and how politics in both the US and Europe may affect the handling of these issues.
Autori : Stokes, Bruce

FASTER – Faster and safer tax excess relief EN

16-02-2024 PE 751.436
Briefing
Rezumat : When an EU resident makes an investment in securities in another Member State, the payments received in return (dividends or interest) are normally subject to a withholding tax in the country of the investment (source country), before being subject to tax in the resident's country. In order to eliminate double taxation, the investor has to submit a refund claim on the excess tax withheld by the source country. Today, however, these relief procedures are cumbersome, unharmonised, and often paper-based. This discourages investors from making investments in another EU Member State, to the detriment of capital markets union and growth of EU businesses. The system also leaves room for fraudsters to claim refunds on taxes they never paid in the first place. To address this issue, the European Commission tabled the FASTER proposal on 19 June 2023. Under the proposal, Member States would be given a choice between applying either a 'relief at source' system and/or a 'quick refund' system, with both procedures accelerating and facilitating withholding tax relief for the investor, thereby promoting cross-border investment in the EU. In addition, a number of safeguards to stop tax abuse, in particular cum-ex fraud, are introduced. The proposal is subject to the special legislative procedure, requiring unanimous support in Council, following consultation of the European Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee. Parliament is due to vote on its (non-binding) report during the February II plenary. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.
Autori : Pieter BAERT

Resettlement of refugees: EU framework EN

15-02-2024 PE 589.859
Briefing
Rezumat : On 13 July 2016, as part of the reform of the common European asylum system and the long-term policy on better migration management, the European Commission presented a proposal to provide for a permanent framework with standard common procedures for resettlement across the EU, to complement current national and multilateral resettlement initiatives. Resettlement is a tool to help displaced persons in need of protection reach Europe safely and legally, and receive protection for as long as necessary. It is a durable solution that includes selection and transfer of refugees from a country where they seek protection to another country. In addition to providing refugees with international protection, its aim is to strengthen solidarity and responsibility-sharing between countries. For a resettlement to take place, the United Nations Refugee Agency has to determine an applicant is a refugee according to the 1951 Geneva Convention, and has to identify resettlement as the most appropriate solution. Although the European Parliament and the Council reached a partial provisional agreement on the proposal in summer 2018, the Council was unable to endorse it, nor could it agree on a mandate for further negotiations. The co-legislators finally reached an agreement on 15 December 2022. On 8 February 2024, Coreper approved the provisional agreement, which will now have to be formally adopted by both institutions before it can enter into force. Fifth edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.
Autori : Anja RADJENOVIC

Strategic technologies for Europe platform (STEP) EN

15-02-2024 PE 754.547
Briefing
Rezumat : In June 2023, the European Commission tabled a proposal for a regulation establishing a new platform for strategic technologies for Europe (STEP). STEP would rely on the reallocation of funds under existing EU instruments. It would also come with an additional budget of €10 billion under the EU's multiannual financial framework (MFF). Overall, the platform could leverage up to €160 billion in investment. STEP would direct funding to strategic projects that develop or manufacture deep and digital technologies, clean technologies and biotechnologies, and strengthen their value chains. This would help the EU not only to meet the challenges of the green and digital transitions but also to limit or prevent strategic dependencies. STEP would be a test for possible further steps towards a European sovereignty fund. On 7 February 2024, the Parliament and the Council reached a provisional agreement on the proposal. The agreed text requires formal adoption by both institutions. Parliament is due to vote on it during its second plenary session of February 2024. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.
Autori : Guillaume RAGONNAUD, MARIN MILEUSNIC

Combating late payment EN

15-02-2024 PE 757.800
Briefing
Rezumat : Presented as part of the 'SME relief package', the initiative aims to tighten the EU's late payment framework and improve its enforcement. It proposes, among other things, to convert the current Late Payment Directive into a regulation, a move that several national parliaments contested. National parliaments also raised subsidiarity and proportionality concerns on several provisions. The impact assessment (IA) adequately justifies the need to revise the late payment framework, and substantiates the envisaged change of legal instrument. Overall, it presents a clear intervention logic. It puts forward three well-developed policy options (each with sub-options). Because of the initiative's high relevance for SMEs, a comprehensive SME test was carried out, in addition to a competitiveness check. The focus of the impact analysis lies clearly on economic impacts. The IA draws on a wide range of evidence (including relevant studies, surveys and market analyses) and broad stakeholder input (including from SMEs). It builds on qualitative and quantitative data and is transparent about data limitations. The wide evidence base somewhat compensates for the fact that the Commission's 2015 evaluation is rather dated. That fact that no separate evaluation was carried out prior to the revision is not fully in line with the 'evaluate first' principle. Of note, the Commission's open public consultation, which ran in parallel with the feedback to the inception IA, lasted merely 9 weeks (instead of the mandatory 12 weeks), without the IA disclosing the reasons for the shortened period. The IA provides a vast amount of background information and additional explanations in annexes (26 in total) and appears broadly coherent with the legislative proposal.
Autori : Irmgard ANGLMAYER

The European Social Security Pass (ESSPASS) - A Digital Enforcement Tool for Labour Rights? EN

15-02-2024 PE 754.206 EMPL
Pe scurt
Autori : Sacha GARBEN

Research for PECH Committee - Increasing selectivity in EU fisheries - State of play and best practices EN

15-02-2024 PE 759.313 PECH
Pe scurt
Rezumat : This At a glance note summarises the study 'Increasing selectivity in EU fisheries – State of play and best practices'. The note highlights the main findings of the study, in particular as regards the existing technical and tactical selectivity measures to reduce unwanted catches, the best practices identified from projects that have successfully improved selectivity, and the analysis of the use of EU funding for promoting selectivity developments. The note also provides policy recommendations on potential actions to improve the selectivity of EU fisheries.
Autori : Laurence FAUCONNET
Documente conexe

Studiu

The ECB in the age of turbulence EN

14-02-2024 PE 755.720 ECON
Analiză aprofundată
Rezumat : This study discusses the ECB’s response to the recent crises, detailing interventions, new tools, and strategy shifts. It evaluates the effects of such crises on inflation expectations and financial stability across major European economies, offering insights into the euro area’s policy dynamics and challenges. This document was provided by the Economic Governance and EMU Scrutiny Unit at the request of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) ahead of the Monetary Dialogue with the ECB President on February 15 2024.
Autori : Paolo CANOFARI, Giovanni DI BARTOLOMEO

Euro area monetary policy: Quarterly overview, February 2024 EN

14-02-2024 PE 755.721 ECON
Analiză aprofundată
Rezumat : This briefing paper was prepared ahead of the Monetary Dialogue between the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) and the European Central Bank (ECB) President on Thursday, 15 February. It provides a summary of key monetary policy developments and decisions taken by the ECB’s Governing Council. This is the last Monetary Dialogue of the 9th legislative term.
Autori : Drazen RAKIC, MAJA SABOL, GIACOMO LOI

Bigtech finance, the EU’s growth model and global challenges EN

14-02-2024 PE 755.724 ECON
Analiză aprofundată
Rezumat : ‘Bigtech finance’ – i.e. the provision of financial services by large digital conglomerates - has considerable implications for the EU’s growth model and raises multiple regulatory concerns about financial stability; competition and market concentration; data protection; cybersecurity and operational resilience. Bigtechs also have potential geostrategic implications because the largest digital platforms are headquartered outside the EU. To address these global challenges, this study makes recommendations aimed at strengthening the regulation of Bigtech finance internationally and in the EU. This document was provided/prepared by the Economic Governance and EMU Scrutiny Unit at the request of the ECON Committee.
Autori : Scott JAMES, Lucia QUAGLIA

EU pact on migration and asylum: State of play EN

13-02-2024 PE 739.247
Briefing
Rezumat : In 2016, with unprecedented numbers of irregular migrants and asylum-seekers arriving in the EU, the European Commission proposed a package of reforms to the common European asylum system (CEAS). In June 2018, a broad provisional agreement was reached between the European Parliament and the presidency of the Council of the EU on several of the reform proposals. However, the agreement did not get the necessary support from the Member States. The reform stalled owing to persistent disagreements among the Member States on how to apply the principle of solidarity in practice and share their responsibilities in the area of asylum in a fair manner. In September 2020, the Commission sought to revive the reform by putting forward a new pact on migration and asylum, offering a comprehensive approach aimed at strengthening and integrating key EU policies on migration, asylum and border management. The pact builds on and amends the previous reform proposals. In line with the gradual approach proposed by the French Presidency of the Council in June 2022, the Member States reached agreement on several aspects of the reform relating to the screening and registration of migrants arriving at the EU's external borders. Following an agreement in the Council in June 2023 on two key proposals, the negotiations between the Parliament and the Council resumed, leading to a political agreement on the major reform files in December 2023. On 8 February 2024, the Permanent Representatives to the European Union of the governments of the Member States (Coreper) approved the provisional agreement. The files now have to be formally adopted by the Parliament and the Council. It is expected that the reform will be finalised before the 2024 European elections, as previously agreed by the co-legislators. This is a further update of a briefing originally published in December 2022.
Autori : KATRIEN LUYTEN, Anita ORAV, Anja RADJENOVIC, Costica DUMBRAVA

Social and youth housing in the EU EN

13-02-2024 PE 757.653
Briefing
Rezumat : Access to housing in the EU has become problematic in recent years. Demography and urbanisation-related structural factors, aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the conflict in Ukraine, soaring energy prices, the cost-of-living crisis and (already high) housing prices that keep rising are preventing many people from accessing decent housing solutions. The lack of affordable housing supply only adds to this situation. These difficulties affect not only low- but now also middle-income households, as well as specific vulnerable groups, among them young people. Overall, there is not enough 'social housing' provision in the EU to meet increased demand. While both the EU and the United Nations recognise the right to housing, the longstanding crisis in housing affordability has had an adverse impact on people's living standards, well-being and social inclusion. This is especially the case with young people, many of whom are struggling to access any form of decent housing, in particular in cities. Throughout the EU, the number of young people experiencing homelessness is on the rise. The primary responsibility for housing policies in the EU lies with the Member States, while the concrete provision of social housing is often ensured by regions and cities. The EU has no direct competence in the area of housing and only a limited scope of action to address social issues, yet it provides relevant guidance and funding. Furthermore, certain EU rules have an indirect impact on housing provision. This briefing provides an inexhaustive overview of what is being done across the EU to improve housing affordability in general, with a specific focus on making housing accessible to young people. Several recent developments could be seen as paving the way to a new approach to the provision of affordable housing in the EU.
Autori : Marketa PAPE

Strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPPs) EN

13-02-2024 PE 733.668
Briefing
Rezumat : On 29 November 2023, the European Parliament and the Council of the EU reached a compromise on the proposed directive to protect journalists and human rights activists from abusive cross- border civil proceedings, known as strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPPs). The directive's aim is to enable judges to identify SLAPPs and order their early dismissal, and thus spare the journalists or activists targeted by such proceedings the need to defend the manifestly unfounded claim brought against them in bad faith with the sole purpose of harassing them. The main changes to the original proposal include a broadening of the scope of application of the directive through two new inclusive definitions – for 'cross-border implications' and 'public participation' – and the introduction of a rule on reimbursement of legal costs incurred by a SLAPP victim, unless it is shown that such costs were excessive. Although journalists are also targeted by criminal SLAPPs, this directive would only apply to civil litigation, and only in cross-border cases. Parliament is expected to approve the compromise text during its session in the week of 26 February 2024, which would allow it to be published in the Official Journal in the spring. The EU Member States will then have 2 years to implement the directive, that is, by 2026. Fourth edition. The first two editions were written by Micaela Del Monte and Maria Díaz Crego, and the third was updated by Rafał Mańko. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.
Autori : Rafał MAŃKO

Cyber solidarity act EN

13-02-2024 PE 754.614
Briefing
Rezumat : Russia's war against Ukraine has revealed the extent of our dependency on digital technology and the fragility of the digital space. It has triggered a surge in cyberattacks that have been particularly disruptive when targeting critical infrastructure – such as energy, health or finance – because of the increasing reliance on information technology, rendering this infrastructure all the more vulnerable. Against this backdrop, the Commission has proposed a regulation on a cyber solidarity act that would address the urgent need to strengthen solidarity and EU capacities to detect, prepare for and respond to cybersecurity threats and incidents. The proposed regulation envisages the establishment of a framework based on three pillars. The first is a European cyber shield – a platform of national and cross-border security operations centres. The second is a cybersecurity emergency mechanism that would support – including financially – preparedness, response and mutual assistance actions among Member States by creating a European cybersecurity reserve of trusted providers. The third is a cybersecurity incident review mechanism to assess and review significant or large-scale incidents. In Parliament, the file was assigned to the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE), where Lina Gálvez Muñoz (S&D, Spain) was appointed rapporteur. The Council and the Parliament are currently in negotiations to finalise the text. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.
Autori : POLONA CAR

Russia in Africa: An atlas EN

13-02-2024 PE 757.654
Briefing
Rezumat : This series of maps illustrates Russia's expanding diplomatic, economic and military engagement across the African continent. It also provides a visual representation of the deployment of hybrid tools, such as information manipulation campaigns, and the multi faceted presence of the paramilitary company Wagner, both of which are integral parts of Russia's current strategy in Africa. Russia's full scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, and the subsequent open confrontation with the West in all arenas, has put the spotlight on the African continent again as an area of geopolitical rivalry. Russia's current engagement on the continent seeks to break the diplomatic and economic isolation imposed by the West, to reassert its own relevance on the international stage as the champion of the new 'polycentric world', and to advance its geo strategic ambitions in mining, energy and military presence in key areas, such as the Red Sea and the Mediterranean. Russia made significant diplomatic efforts to ensure a high turnout at the second Russia Africa summit, held in Saint Petersburg in July 2023, which was well attended but by significantly fewer Heads of State than the first summit, in 2019. However, the 2023 summit failed to address several African leaders' concerns about the impact of the war in Ukraine on their countries' economies. As evidenced in votes on recent United Nations (UN) resolutions, the African countries' positions on the war vary greatly. Russia's expanding influence in Africa also plays out through non official channels, such as the use of private military companies (such as the Wagner Group) and information manipulation campaigns. Russia has concluded military cooperation agreements with 43 African countries, and is a major, though declining, arms supplier to Africa. This cooperation is not linked to democratic pledges, and in multiple African countries hit by coups, Russia has continued or strengthened its military cooperation. Beyond arms, Russia's trade with Africa is relatively insignificant compared with other trade partners. Russia's presence is stronger in the African mining and energy markets, notably through mining concessions to Wagner associated companies, and it has signed nuclear cooperation agreements with 20 countries, with plans to build nuclear plants in Egypt and Nigeria.
Autori : ANNA CAPRILE, Eric PICHON

Power Compromise - An objective, fair, durable and transparent fix for the EP composition EN

13-02-2024 PE 759.357 AFCO
Briefing
Rezumat : This briefing, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the AFCO Committee, provides proposals for a formula/allocation system for the future distribution of EP seats among the member states that is in line with the distribution criteria as laid down in Article 14(2) TEU and allows for a distribution of seats that is objective, fair, durable and transparent.
Autori : PUKELSHEIM Friedrich, GRIMMET Geoffrey

A mathematical formula for determining the EP composition EN

13-02-2024 PE 759.358 AFCO
Analiză aprofundată
Rezumat : This briefing, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the AFCO Committee, provides proposals for a formula for an allocation system for the future distribution of EP seats among the member states that is in line with the distribution criteria as laid down in Article 14(2) TEU and allows for a distribution of seats that is objective, fair, durable and transparent.
Autori : RAMÍREZ GONZÁLEZ Victoriano

A permanent system for seat allocation in the EP - Reconciling degressive proportionality and electoral equality through proportional completion EN

13-02-2024 PE 759.467 AFCO
Analiză aprofundată
Rezumat : This paper, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the AFCO Committee, proposes a permanent system for the allocation of seats in the European Parliament that ensures transnational electoral equality even under the conditions of increasing degressivity of national quotas. This is achieved through a system of proportional completion using a new EU-wide seat quota.
Autori : MÜLLER Manuel

Sailing in all weather conditions the next 25 years: challenges for the euro EN

13-02-2024 PE 747.835 ECON
Studiu
Rezumat : Over the past 25 years, the euro faced various crises, prompting a reassessment of its governance. Concerns arise regarding the ECB's exposure to risk and the necessity of deep reforms for managing growing ecological, financial, and geo-economic risks. Despite initial achievements like the banking union, challenges persist, such as financial instability and economic fragmentation. Policymakers must address these risks through enhanced monetary and macroprudential policies, fiscal coordination, and supply-side fiscal measures to navigate digitalisation and environmental challenges effectively. This document was provided by the Economic Governance and EMU Scrutiny Unit at the request of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) ahead of the Sailing in all weather conditions the next 25 years: challenges for the euro Monetary Dialogue with the ECB President on 15 February 2024.
Autori : Christophe BLOT, Jérôme CREEL, Hubert KEMPF, Sandrine LEVASSEUR, Xavier RAGOT, Francesco SARACENO

EU 'farm to fork' strategy: State of play EN

12-02-2024 PE 690.622
Pe scurt
Rezumat : The 'farm to fork' strategy is about building sustainable EU food systems, in line with the EU's Green Deal. Launched in May 2020, its elements are moving at different speeds, with much debate on its objectives and priorities. The EU institutions are helping to shape the various elements of the strategy. This is an update of an 'at a glance' note first published in October 2021.
Autori : Nikolina SAJN, Rachele ROSSI