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The Roma are Europe's largest ethnic minority. Out of an estimated total of 10 to12 million Roma in Europe as a whole, some 6 million live in the European Union (EU), most of whom are citizens of an EU Member State. A significant number of Roma people live in very poor socio-economic conditions. The social exclusion, discrimination and segregation they face are mutually reinforcing. Their restricted access to education, and difficulties in entering the labour market, result in low income and poor ...

SMEs will play a key role in the green transition, especially in improving the energy efficiency of housing. Innovative financing models in this sector would contribute towards achieving the ‘Fit for 55’ goals, as well as support the business environment of the SMEs that will implement a myriad of small energy improvement projects.

Plenary round-up - March I 2022

Auf einen Blick 11-03-2022

As the March I 2022 plenary session in Strasbourg took place just two weeks after Russia launched its war on Ukraine, security and economic issues were high on the agenda. Members held a debate with Kaja Kallas, Prime Minister of Estonia, on the EU's role in a changing world and the security situation in Europe, and debated Council and Commission statements on the deterioration of the situation of refugees fleeing Ukraine. Celebrating International Women's Day, Members heard an address by Ukrainian ...

During its March session, the European Parliament is expected to vote on a report on the EU's 2020 action plan to promote gender equality in the world. The report, prepared jointly by Parliament's Committees on Development (DEVE) and on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) welcomes the EU action plan, but outlines several areas in which the EU needs to do more, not least given the negative impact of the pandemic.

Social Economy in Spain

Briefing 08-02-2022

The concept of the "social economy" has gained attention and momentum in recent years although the degree of recognition varies largely from one Member State to another.Spain is an example where the social economy benefits from wide recognition. It is the first European country to enact a law on the social economy concept in 2011. In view of the EMPL delegation visit to Madrid, this briefing elaborates first on the concept applied in the SEAP - presented by the Commission on 9 December 2021 - and ...

The purpose of this study is to support the European Parliament (EP), in particular its standing delegations, in implementing the commitment made in the EP resolution of 23 October 2020 on gender equality in EU foreign and security policy. Based on desk research as well as quantitative and qualitative empirical analysis, the study describes the existing EP practices of gender equality promotion, analyses whether the current practices deliver on the commitment, and presents what can be learned both ...

The European Union has adopted gender mainstreaming as its official approach to gender equality, alongside targeted action to eliminate discrimination and advance women's empowerment. From 25 to 28 October 2021, the European Parliament's committees and delegations are holding a series of events aimed at highlighting the importance of gender equality and gender mainstreaming across different policy domains.

Mental health and the pandemic

Briefing 09-07-2021

While the pandemic is primarily a physical health crisis, it has also had widespread impact on people's mental health, inducing, among other things, considerable levels of fear, worry, and concern. The growing burden on mental health has been referred to by some as the 'second' or 'silent' pandemic. While negative mental health consequences affect all ages, young people, in particular, have been found to be at high risk of developing poor mental health. Specific groups have been particularly hard ...

Eighth Union Environment Action Programme

Auf einen Blick 01-07-2021

The Environment Action Programme (EAP) provides a framework for the EU's overall environmental policy development and guide policy-making through identifying priorities and setting out a long-term vision and goals. In October 2020, the Commission adopted a proposal for a decision on a general EU Environment Action Programme to 2030, to continue from the seventh EAP, which expired at the end of 2020. The European Parliament is expected to vote on the proposal during the July 2021 session, fixing its ...

This European added value assessment (EAVA) supports the European Parliament's legislative-initiative report on a 'Proposal for a Council decision to identify gender-based violence as a new area of crime listed in Article 83(1) TFEU', 2021/2035(INL). The assessment reviews the significant harm generated by gender-based violence in the EU and presents evidence supporting the classification of gender-based violence as a particularly serious crime with a cross-border dimension. Through improving prevention ...