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Foreign interference in democracies: Understanding the threat, and evolving responses

22-09-2020

Across the world, democratic societies, institutions, processes and values are under increasing external and internal attack. The coronavirus crisis has, meanwhile, exacerbated the systemic struggle between democracy and authoritarianism, prompting authoritarian state and non-state actors to deploy a broad range of overt and covert instruments in their bid to destabilise their democratic counterparts. Against this backdrop, and following a string of examples of hostile meddling by authoritarian actors ...

Across the world, democratic societies, institutions, processes and values are under increasing external and internal attack. The coronavirus crisis has, meanwhile, exacerbated the systemic struggle between democracy and authoritarianism, prompting authoritarian state and non-state actors to deploy a broad range of overt and covert instruments in their bid to destabilise their democratic counterparts. Against this backdrop, and following a string of examples of hostile meddling by authoritarian actors to undermine democratic governing processes in countries such as Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the United States (US), Canada and Australia, the focus on foreign interference continues to sharpen. Among the EU's institutions, the European Parliament − arguably the flagship of European democracy − is pushing the policy response to foreign interference to the top of the political agenda. Among other initiatives and actions, in October 2019 it passed a resolution on countering foreign interference and has set up a special committee on foreign interference, whose constituent meeting is scheduled to take place in September 2020.

Canada: Coronavirus movement restrictions and quarantine

27-04-2020

Like many other countries around the world, Canada has introduced restrictions in an attempt to slow the spread of Covid-19 in the country. Federal and provincial governments have taken measures to limit international and domestic travel. Canada has prohibited entry to foreign nationals, with a few exemptions. Some provinces and territories have prohibited entry to non-residents and/or imposed self-quarantine on travellers.

Like many other countries around the world, Canada has introduced restrictions in an attempt to slow the spread of Covid-19 in the country. Federal and provincial governments have taken measures to limit international and domestic travel. Canada has prohibited entry to foreign nationals, with a few exemptions. Some provinces and territories have prohibited entry to non-residents and/or imposed self-quarantine on travellers.

Umsetzung des CETA: KMU und Regionen im Fokus

18-11-2019

Die meisten Bestimmungen des umfassenden Wirtschafts- und Handelsabkommens EU-Kanada (CETA) werden seit dem 21. September 2017 umgesetzt. Das Abkommen wird vorläufig angewendet, bis es vollständig ratifiziert wird. Ziel dieser Analyse des EPRS ist es, den Stand der Ratifizierungsverfahren des CETA, seine wichtigsten Ziele, die verbleibenden Kontroversen und die ersten Ergebnisse nach zwei Jahren der vorläufigen Anwendung mit besonderem Schwerpunkt auf Regionen sowie kleinen und mittleren Unternehmen ...

Die meisten Bestimmungen des umfassenden Wirtschafts- und Handelsabkommens EU-Kanada (CETA) werden seit dem 21. September 2017 umgesetzt. Das Abkommen wird vorläufig angewendet, bis es vollständig ratifiziert wird. Ziel dieser Analyse des EPRS ist es, den Stand der Ratifizierungsverfahren des CETA, seine wichtigsten Ziele, die verbleibenden Kontroversen und die ersten Ergebnisse nach zwei Jahren der vorläufigen Anwendung mit besonderem Schwerpunkt auf Regionen sowie kleinen und mittleren Unternehmen (KMU) zu skizzieren. Es sei darauf hingewiesen, dass es zu früh ist, die wirtschaftlichen und gesellschaftlichen Auswirkungen des CETA zu bewerten. Dies wird Aufgabe der Ex-post-Bewertung sein, die in der Regel fünf Jahre nach Beginn der vorläufigen Anwendung von der Europäischen Kommission durchgeführt wird. Mit dieser Analyse soll ein Überblick über die ersten Ergebnisse der Umsetzung des CETA zwei Jahre nach Beginn gegeben werden, der als Anregung für die bevorstehenden Erörterungen sowohl zum CETA als solches als auch zu anderen Freihandelsabkommen zwischen der EU und verschiedenen Partnerländern dienen kann.

The role of constitutional courts, a comparative law perspective - Canada: The Supreme Court

23-07-2019

This study is part of a wider project investigating, from a comparative law perspective, the role of constitutional courts of different states. Following a brief historical introduction to the jurisdiction of the state in question, the various reports examine the composition, internal organization, functioning, jurisdiction of the various highest courts, as well as the right of access to its courtroom, its procedural rules, and the effects and the execution of its judgments. The present study examines ...

This study is part of a wider project investigating, from a comparative law perspective, the role of constitutional courts of different states. Following a brief historical introduction to the jurisdiction of the state in question, the various reports examine the composition, internal organization, functioning, jurisdiction of the various highest courts, as well as the right of access to its courtroom, its procedural rules, and the effects and the execution of its judgments. The present study examines Canada’s highest court, the Supreme Court. While all judicial courts may rule on constitutional matters, the Supreme Court of Canada enjoys a privileged status in the Canadian legal landscape. As the ultimate arbiter of the Constitution, it has the final word with respect to constitutional interpretation, notably in constitutional matters. It thus plays a central role in Canada’s federal democracy.

Externe Autor

EPRS, Comparative Law

Parliamentary scrutiny of trade policies across the western world

25-03-2019

The Lisbon Treaty increased the European Parliament’s powers over EU trade policy. Ten years after its entry into force it is timely to take stock of how the EP has made use of this leverage in shaping the EU’s trade negotiations. Such an exercise benefits from a comparison with other well-established parliamentary democracies, particularly the key partners with whom the EU has recently negotiated or has started to negotiate a comprehensive trade agreement. This study compares parliamentary scrutiny ...

The Lisbon Treaty increased the European Parliament’s powers over EU trade policy. Ten years after its entry into force it is timely to take stock of how the EP has made use of this leverage in shaping the EU’s trade negotiations. Such an exercise benefits from a comparison with other well-established parliamentary democracies, particularly the key partners with whom the EU has recently negotiated or has started to negotiate a comprehensive trade agreement. This study compares parliamentary scrutiny of trade policy in the EU with the United States, Canada and Australia. It concludes that the European Parliament has become powerful and active in trade policy, on a comparable level to the US Congress. Its powers exceed those of other Western democracies, such as Australia and Canada. From the latter the European Parliament may conclude that it is important to codify some of its informal oversight practices, before they may get lost over time again. This may also help to encourage its trading partners to increase their parliamentary involvement during negotiations with the EU. As regards the implementation of trade agreements however, the EU has very few competences in comparison to all other three countries analysed.

Externe Autor

Bart KERREMANS, Johan ADRIAENSEN, Francesca COLLI, Evelyn COREMANS

United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA): Potential impact on EU companies

14-12-2018

The USMCA is a new trade agreement due to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The United States, Mexico and Canada signed the agreement on 30 November 2018. While the text of the agreement may still change, if approved, certain USMCA provisions on rules of origin, geographical indications and voluntary export restraints could have implications for EU companies trading with or present in North America, in particular carmakers, food and drink exporters, and dairy producers. The ...

The USMCA is a new trade agreement due to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The United States, Mexico and Canada signed the agreement on 30 November 2018. While the text of the agreement may still change, if approved, certain USMCA provisions on rules of origin, geographical indications and voluntary export restraints could have implications for EU companies trading with or present in North America, in particular carmakers, food and drink exporters, and dairy producers. The USMCA could also set precedents for future US trade policy, in departing from key principles in international trade and origin determination.

Canada: Economic indicators and trade with EU

23-10-2018

Canada is looking to diversify its trade partners in order to reduce its dependence on the US business cycle. The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada entered into force provisionally in September 2017. What goods and services is the EU exporting to Canada? How do the growth rates of Canada and the EU compare over the last decade? Who has a higher female labour market participation rate? How much have the FDI net inflows dropped since the financial crisis? You ...

Canada is looking to diversify its trade partners in order to reduce its dependence on the US business cycle. The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada entered into force provisionally in September 2017. What goods and services is the EU exporting to Canada? How do the growth rates of Canada and the EU compare over the last decade? Who has a higher female labour market participation rate? How much have the FDI net inflows dropped since the financial crisis? You can find the answers to these and other questions in our infographic, prepared in close cooperation between EPRS and GlobalStat. This is an updated edition of an ‘At a Glance’ note published in February 2017.

Finding the right balance across EU FTAs: benefits and risks for EU economic sectors

17-10-2018

Globally, anti-trade sentiment is on the rise, meaning it is incumbent upon policymakers to explore and explain the benefits of free and open trade. This study examines the costs and benefits of various free trade agreements (FTAs) that the EU has completed, will complete, or is contemplating. With regard to completed FTAs, the EU has seen benefits in terms of consumer choice but has a much larger and positive impact on its partners (although not as much as ex-ante modelling would suggest). For forthcoming ...

Globally, anti-trade sentiment is on the rise, meaning it is incumbent upon policymakers to explore and explain the benefits of free and open trade. This study examines the costs and benefits of various free trade agreements (FTAs) that the EU has completed, will complete, or is contemplating. With regard to completed FTAs, the EU has seen benefits in terms of consumer choice but has a much larger and positive impact on its partners (although not as much as ex-ante modelling would suggest). For forthcoming or contemplated FTAs, the issue of non-tariff barriers must be considered for FTAs with developed economies to be a success, while comprehensive liberalisation with emerging markets improves trade and other outcomes for both the EU and its partner. Across all FTAs, trade and economic metrics are improved by an agreement while indirect effects (human rights, environment) are less likely to change. We conclude that the EU must continue its focus on comprehensive liberalisation, incorporating NTBs effectively into new agreements, while tempering expectations of influence on human rights.

Externe Autor

Christopher HARTWELL, Veronika MOVCHAN

Research for AGRI Committee - Agricultural trade: assessing reciprocity of standards

15-05-2018

The aim of this study is to provide an assessment of the application of the reciprocity principle in EU agri-food trade at global level. The report provides substantial evidence for progresses occurring at worldwide level in regulatory rapprochement. Scientific cooperation, collaboration between risk assessment bodies, harmonization of control procedures and early warning systems for emerging hazards can facilitate progress in this direction, reducing transaction costs and information asymmetries ...

The aim of this study is to provide an assessment of the application of the reciprocity principle in EU agri-food trade at global level. The report provides substantial evidence for progresses occurring at worldwide level in regulatory rapprochement. Scientific cooperation, collaboration between risk assessment bodies, harmonization of control procedures and early warning systems for emerging hazards can facilitate progress in this direction, reducing transaction costs and information asymmetries in agri-food trade.

Externe Autor

A. Zezza, F. De Maria, M. R. Pupo D’Andrea, J. Swinnen, G. Meloni, S. Vandevelde, A. Olper, D. Curzi, V. Raimondi, S. Droguè

Free Trade Agreement between the EU and the Republic of Singapore – Analysis

16-03-2018

This study analyses provisions of the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement concluded in May 2015 ('EUSFTA'). It compares EUSFTA with other 'new-generation' free trade agreements, such as the EU-Republic of Korea and the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. Overall, EUSFTA adopts a WTO+ approach and as a result significantly liberalises trade between the EU and Singapore compared to the current trade relationship. The study finds that a number of tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade ...

This study analyses provisions of the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement concluded in May 2015 ('EUSFTA'). It compares EUSFTA with other 'new-generation' free trade agreements, such as the EU-Republic of Korea and the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. Overall, EUSFTA adopts a WTO+ approach and as a result significantly liberalises trade between the EU and Singapore compared to the current trade relationship. The study finds that a number of tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade in goods and services that currently exist between the parties will be reduced or removed on EUSFTA's entry into force. EUSFTA, as with other 'new-generation' FTAs negotiated by the EU, adopts a comprehensive approach, and contains innovative provisions on investment, intellectual property rights, competition and public procurement. It also contains provisions which reflect growing concerns about the impact of global trade, such as those on trade and sustainable development. With regard to EUSFTA's potential impact on trade, the economic modelling estimates an increase of around 10 % in trade volumes and greater volumes of foreign direct investment between the EU and Singapore as a result of the agreement. It also concludes that EUSFTA should lead to small increases of the gross domestic products of the EU and Singapore (0.06 % and 0.35 %, respectively). The responses of a wide-range of EU and Singaporean stakeholder consultation reveal that, in general, EUSFTA is viewed positively and is considered a very ambitious agreement, which will offer new opportunities for trade and investment in the EU and Singapore. However, some concerns have been raised, especially by small and medium-sized enterprises. The implications of the result of the Opinion of the Court of Justice of the EU in case 2/15 of 2017, on whether the EU had exclusive competence to sign and conclude EUSFTA alone, is also analysed in detail. The study recommends, notably, monitoring closely that commitments taken under sustainable development provisions are implemented and used effectively in practice.

Externe Autor

Glyn CHAMBERS, Managing Economist Capital Economics, Melanie DEBONO, Economist Capital Economics, Costas FRANGESKIDES, Partner Holman Fenwick Wilan, Jody GALLAGHER, Trainee Solicitor Holman Fenwick Willan, Dr Peter HOLMES, Reader in Economics at Sussex University (project leader), Jeremy KELLY, Associate Holman Fenwick Willan, Eirini ROUSSOU, Senior Associate Holman Fenwick Willan, Cliff STEVENSON, Cliff Stevenson Consulting, Anthony WOOLICH, Partner Holman Fenwick Willan

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EPRS online Book Talk with Vivien Schmidt: Legitimacy and power in the EU
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EPRS online policy roundtable: Inside the New European Bauhaus
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