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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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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.

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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.

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 ...

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 ...