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Innovative technologies shaping the 2040 battlefield

02-08-2021

This study provides an assessment of the risks, challenges and opportunities related to new and emerging technologies that are most expected to shape the future battlefield out to 2040. The study presents implications stemming from consideration of individual technologies, as well as cross-cutting analysis of their interactions with broader political, social, economic, and environmental trends. In doing so, the study highlights a need for EU Institutions and Member States to pursue a broad range ...

This study provides an assessment of the risks, challenges and opportunities related to new and emerging technologies that are most expected to shape the future battlefield out to 2040. The study presents implications stemming from consideration of individual technologies, as well as cross-cutting analysis of their interactions with broader political, social, economic, and environmental trends. In doing so, the study highlights a need for EU Institutions and Member States to pursue a broad range of capability development initiatives in a coherent and coordinated manner, ensure the development of an agile regulatory and organisational environment, and guide investments in technologies most relevant to the European context.

Externí autor

This study has been written by Jacopo Bellasio, Linda Slapakova, Luke Huxtable, James Black, Theodora Ogden and Livia Dawaele of RAND Europe, at the request of the Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA) and managed by the Scientific Foresight Unit, within the Directorate-General for Parliamentary Research Services (EPRS) of the Secretariat of the European Parliament.

Sino-Japanese controversy over the Senkaku/Diaoyu/Diaoyutai Islands: An imminent flashpoint in the Indo-Pacific?

30-07-2021

The 50-year-old controversy between Japan, the People's Republic of China (PRC) and Taiwan over the sovereignty of a group of tiny, uninhabited islets and rocks in the East China Sea, administered by Japan and referred to as the Senkaku Islands in Japan, as the Diaoyu Islands in the PRC and as the Diaoyutai Islands in Taiwan has become a proxy battlefield in the growing Sino-US great power competition in the Indo-Pacific, against the backdrop of a widening Sino-Japanese power gap. Since 1971, when ...

The 50-year-old controversy between Japan, the People's Republic of China (PRC) and Taiwan over the sovereignty of a group of tiny, uninhabited islets and rocks in the East China Sea, administered by Japan and referred to as the Senkaku Islands in Japan, as the Diaoyu Islands in the PRC and as the Diaoyutai Islands in Taiwan has become a proxy battlefield in the growing Sino-US great power competition in the Indo-Pacific, against the backdrop of a widening Sino-Japanese power gap. Since 1971, when the PRC and Taiwan laid claim to the contested islets and rocks for the first time, challenging Japan's position of having incorporated them into Japanese territory as terra nullius in 1895, possible avenues for settling the controversy have either been unsuccessful or remained unexplored. The PRC's meteoric economic rise and rapid military modernisation has gradually shifted the Sino-Japanese power balance, nourishing the PRC leadership's more assertive, albeit failed, push for Japan to recognise the existence of a dispute. Two incidents in the 2010s, perceived by the PRC as consolidating Japan's administrative control, led to the PRC starting to conduct grey-zone operations in the waters surrounding the islets and rocks with increasing frequency and duration, to reassert its claims and change the status quo in its favour without prompting a war. The EU has held a position of principled neutrality as regards the legal title to the disputed islands. However, the risk of unintended incidents, miscalculation and military conflict arising from the unresolved dispute poses a challenge to regional peace and stability and to the EU's economic and security interests. The EU's 2021 Indo-Pacific strategy takes a cooperative and inclusive approach, to promote a rules-based international order and respect for international law. This may include a greater Indo-Pacific naval presence under the strategy's maritime security dimension.

Advancing democracy in the world: EU-US Explainer

28-07-2021

As the pandemic adds to the pressure on democracy worldwide, there is a growing sense of the urgent need to protect democracy and its institutions in a concerted and coordinated manner. On both sides of the Atlantic, growing domestic threats to democracy have added to the external challenges, but also offer global momentum for stronger democratic alliances. In their June 2021 joint summit statement, the EU and the US pledged to support democracy across the globe. As international flagships of democracy ...

As the pandemic adds to the pressure on democracy worldwide, there is a growing sense of the urgent need to protect democracy and its institutions in a concerted and coordinated manner. On both sides of the Atlantic, growing domestic threats to democracy have added to the external challenges, but also offer global momentum for stronger democratic alliances. In their June 2021 joint summit statement, the EU and the US pledged to support democracy across the globe. As international flagships of democracy, meanwhile, both the European Parliament and the US Congress are strongly engaged in advancing democracy in third countries.

Externí autor

European Parliament Liaison Office in Washington DC

Resilient supply chains in the green transition: EU-US Explainer

28-07-2021

The green transition will increase demand for critical minerals, high capacity batteries, and semiconductors. An electric vehicle requires six times more critical minerals than a conventional car, while an onshore wind power plant requires nine times more critical minerals than a comparable gas-fired plant. Likewise, the lithium-ion battery market is expected to become five to ten times larger by 2030 on account of demand for electric vehicles and stationary storage. Meanwhile, semiconductors underpin ...

The green transition will increase demand for critical minerals, high capacity batteries, and semiconductors. An electric vehicle requires six times more critical minerals than a conventional car, while an onshore wind power plant requires nine times more critical minerals than a comparable gas-fired plant. Likewise, the lithium-ion battery market is expected to become five to ten times larger by 2030 on account of demand for electric vehicles and stationary storage. Meanwhile, semiconductors underpin virtually every technology, giving them industrial and national security significance. Dependence on a few countries (e.g. China) for these critical inputs and technologies has sparked interest in policies to increase supply chain resilience, for instance through greater domestic production. As the EU and US face similar challenges, in June 2021 they agreed to establish the EU-US Trade and Technology Council, which will also address cooperation on supply chains.

Externí autor

European Parliament Liaison Office in Washington DC

Peace and security in 2021: The EU's evolving relations with Turkey

28-07-2021

Turkey first sought cooperation with the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1959 (European Union (EU) as of 1992), and has since been key partner of the EU on matters relating to migration, counter-terrorism and trade. The EU and Turkey have been linked by an Association Agreement since 1964, and a Customs Union Agreement since 1995. However, in recent years, EU-Turkey relations have been suffered from Turkey's lukewarm adoption of EU standards and democratic principles and Ankara's actions in ...

Turkey first sought cooperation with the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1959 (European Union (EU) as of 1992), and has since been key partner of the EU on matters relating to migration, counter-terrorism and trade. The EU and Turkey have been linked by an Association Agreement since 1964, and a Customs Union Agreement since 1995. However, in recent years, EU-Turkey relations have been suffered from Turkey's lukewarm adoption of EU standards and democratic principles and Ankara's actions in the EU neighbourhood..

EU-Belarus relations: State of play - Human rights situation and Ryanair flight diversion

22-07-2021

The falsified presidential elections of August 2020, and the brutal crackdown against peacefully protesting Belarusians, led to the isolation of the Aliaksandr Lukashenka regime. Despite the possibility of starting dialogue with the democratic opposition and Belarusian society, Aliaksandr Lukashenka chose another path, involving continued brutal repression of the country's citizens. The worsening human rights situation and hijacking of Ryanair flight FR 4978 provoked a response from the EU, including ...

The falsified presidential elections of August 2020, and the brutal crackdown against peacefully protesting Belarusians, led to the isolation of the Aliaksandr Lukashenka regime. Despite the possibility of starting dialogue with the democratic opposition and Belarusian society, Aliaksandr Lukashenka chose another path, involving continued brutal repression of the country's citizens. The worsening human rights situation and hijacking of Ryanair flight FR 4978 provoked a response from the EU, including a ban on Belarusian air carriers landing in or overflying the EU, a major extension of the list of people and entities already subject to sanctions, and the introduction of sanctions on key sectors of the Belarusian economy. The EU policy also demonstrates a readiness to support a future democratic Belarus. In this respect, the European Commission presented the outline of a comprehensive plan of economic support for democratic Belarus, worth up to €3 billion. The European Parliament is playing an active part in shaping the EU's response. Parliament does not recognise Lukashenka's presidency and is speaking out on human rights abuses in Belarus. The Belarusian democratic opposition, which was awarded the 2020 Sakharov Prize, is frequently invited to speak for the Belarusian people in the European Parliament.

A new neighbourhood, development and international cooperation instrument – Global Europe

20-07-2021

In the context of the Commission's proposal for a multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the 2021-2027 period, on 14 June 2018 the Commission published a proposal for a regulation establishing the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument. Council and Parliament agreed in trilogue negotiations, which ended in March 2021, that Parliament would have an enhanced role in defining the main strategic choices of the instrument, through a delegated act and twice-yearly geopolitical ...

In the context of the Commission's proposal for a multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the 2021-2027 period, on 14 June 2018 the Commission published a proposal for a regulation establishing the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument. Council and Parliament agreed in trilogue negotiations, which ended in March 2021, that Parliament would have an enhanced role in defining the main strategic choices of the instrument, through a delegated act and twice-yearly geopolitical dialogue. The Commission also committed to inform Parliament prior to any use of the 'emerging challenges and priorities cushion', and take its remarks into consideration. Parliament insisted that any activities related to migration had to be in line with the objectives of the instrument, and also secured safeguards on the amounts for capacity-building, election observation missions, local authorities, Erasmus, the Pacific and the Caribbean. Negotiators also agreed to include a reference, in a recital, to existing EU financial rules that allow for the suspension of assistance if a country fails to observe the principles of democracy, human rights and the rule of law. As a final step, negotiators agreed to change the name of the instrument to the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument - Global Europe. After formal adoption by Council and Parliament the regulation was signed on 9 June 2021, and it entered into force on 14 June 2021. The regulation applies retroactively from 1 January 2021. Sixth edition. The 'Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

EU-Swiss trade relations and the institutional framework agreement

19-07-2021

On 26 May 2021, the Federal Council of Switzerland (Swiss executive authority) announced that the country will not formally sign the institutional framework agreement (IFA) agreed at political level with the European Union (EU) in 2018, thereby ending the negotiation process. The objective of the IFA was to create a horizontal governance framework that would have covered five major EU-Swiss trade-related bilateral agreements signed in 1999, part of the 'Bilaterals I' package. It also provided for ...

On 26 May 2021, the Federal Council of Switzerland (Swiss executive authority) announced that the country will not formally sign the institutional framework agreement (IFA) agreed at political level with the European Union (EU) in 2018, thereby ending the negotiation process. The objective of the IFA was to create a horizontal governance framework that would have covered five major EU-Swiss trade-related bilateral agreements signed in 1999, part of the 'Bilaterals I' package. It also provided for dynamic alignment of standards in the domains covered by the IFA, a dispute settlement mechanism with jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the EU on EU law, and State aid rules. The EU considers that Switzerland does not respect all of its commitments in the existing agreements, which give the country access to parts of the EU's single market; it perceives the current situation as unbalanced, partly due to the absence of dispute settlement mechanisms in the existing agreements. In addition, the dynamic alignment and State aid rules envisaged in the IFA would have enhanced fair competition between EU and Swiss businesses ('level playing field'). Switzerland, although it aims to 'deepen' its relations with the EU by means of new sectoral agreements, is concerned by the potential application of the EU Citizens' Right Directive, as well as the potential future removal of the labour market exemptions provided by the IFA protocols. To a lesser extent, it is also concerned with the IFA's State aid rules. Switzerland consequently requested 'explicit clarification' from the EU on these points in 2019, then resumed talks in 2021. According to the European Commission and European Parliament, 'the door is always open', but new agreements are unlikely to be signed without a framework agreement. The Commission has also emphasised that the upgrading of existing agreements – necessary whenever new EU standards are adopted to maintain their applicability – will be assessed on a case-by-case basis to prevent unintended effects. Medical device equivalence, previously covered by provisions of the EU-Swiss Mutual Recognition Agreement, is the first no longer to be applied as a consequence of changes in EU standards.

EU preparedness and responses to Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) threats

16-07-2021

This study on ‘EU preparedness and responses to Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) threats’ was requested by the European Parliament’s (EP) Subcommittee on Security and Defence (SEDE) in the context of, but not limited to, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Building on reports and expert input, this study first provides an update of the current level of each of the C, B, R and N threat elements, including the type of actor from which such threats might stem. It furthermore takes stock ...

This study on ‘EU preparedness and responses to Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) threats’ was requested by the European Parliament’s (EP) Subcommittee on Security and Defence (SEDE) in the context of, but not limited to, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Building on reports and expert input, this study first provides an update of the current level of each of the C, B, R and N threat elements, including the type of actor from which such threats might stem. It furthermore takes stock of the existing preparedness and response mechanisms and matches these against the updated threat landscape to determine the current state of play of the EU’s response tools and its remaining gaps where improvement may be needed. The study puts forward a number of recommendations on specific issues. The core of the recommendations builds on using a ‘Team Europe’ approach to create and maintain a strong task force based response capacity, with additional authority and competence given by EU Member States to the EU. This would enable the EU to better support and manage an EU-wide crisis response in the CBRN field in a timely and effective manner.

Externí autor

Alexandra RIMPLER-SCHMID, Ralf TRAPP, Sarah LEONARD, Christian KAUNERT, Yves DUBUCQ, Claude LEFEBVRE, Hanna MOHN

US and NATO leave Afghanistan: What next?

14-07-2021

Following the terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001, United States (US) counterterrorism efforts began to focus on Afghanistan. The Taliban, which controlled most of Afghanistan in 2001, hosted al-Qaeda and its leader, Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. During a 20-year military campaign, the US and its allies sought to eliminate the Taliban's ability to provide sanctuary to international terrorists and stabilise the country with the help of a democratically elected government. ...

Following the terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001, United States (US) counterterrorism efforts began to focus on Afghanistan. The Taliban, which controlled most of Afghanistan in 2001, hosted al-Qaeda and its leader, Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. During a 20-year military campaign, the US and its allies sought to eliminate the Taliban's ability to provide sanctuary to international terrorists and stabilise the country with the help of a democratically elected government. The peace agreement the US signed with the Taliban in 2020 paved the way for the withdrawal of US and NATO troops. Shortly after taking office, US President Joe Biden announced in April 2021 that all US troops would leave Afghanistan by 11 September 2021. All allied troops will also leave the country by that deadline. In recent months, the Taliban have re-established control over half of the districts in the country, raising concerns about the future of Afghanistan once foreign troops leave.

Chystané akce

07-09-2021
EPRS online policy roundtable: What is the future of (European) sovereignty?
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EPRS
08-09-2021
EPRS online policy roundtable: Statistics, Data and Trust: Why figures matter [...]
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21-09-2021
EPRS online Book Talk with David Harley: Matters of Record: Inside European Politics
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