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On 4 March 2024, the Council adopted a decision to conclude the first-ever sustainable investment facilitation agreement between the EU and a third country, Angola. The aim is to make investment easier and more sustainable by promoting transparency, streamlining procedures and encouraging responsible business practices.

EU–Central America Association Agreement

Εν συντομία 07-06-2024

In April 2024, 12 years after the EU and Central America signed an association agreement (AA), the Council finally adopted a decision to conclude the agreement. Belgium was the last EU Member State to ratify the agreement, on 17 January 2024. This was the final step of the ratification process, which allows for the full implementation of the agreement (since 1 May 2024) with the Central American region consisting of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. Full entry into ...

Most of the world's cobalt, a strategic raw material for the EU, is mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). It is then shipped to China for processing before being used, for instance, in batteries and electric vehicles (EVs). This creates inefficiencies, extra emissions and, above all, crucial critical raw material and green sector dependencies on China. The DRC wants to move up the battery supply chain. A 2021 Bloomberg study shows that building a Congolese processing plant to produce ...

This study analyses the absorption rates of the EU Cohesion Policy funds in 2014-2020 over time across funds (ERDF, ESF, CF, and REACT-EU), and across Member States and regions. It also provides a comparison with 2007-2013 absorption. A summary of absorption drivers, obstacles and undertaken solutions is presented based on the relevant literature and the findings of case studies. Conclusions and recommendations on improving the absorption of funds are set out.

Youth, social media and the European elections

Εν συντομία 28-05-2024

As social media has become the main gateway to information for many young people, how will it influence the youth vote in the 2024 European elections? The turnout among young people in the 2019 European elections was relatively high, and many hope for a repeat performance in June this year. But ahead of the 2024 elections, the main European institutions have largely 'excluded' themselves from one of the most popular video-sharing platforms among young people – TikTok – over data security concerns ...

This infographic provides an insight into the economic performance of the United Kingdom compared with the European Union (EU) and looks at the trade dynamics between them. United Kingdom’s GDP per capita at the beginning of the series was significantly higher than the EU27 average. After the COVID-19 pandemic, the GDP per capita at PPP between the EU and the United Kingdom took converging directions. The exchange rate between the Pound Sterling and the Euro stabilized at approximately 0.9 after ...

Energy Performance of Buildings Directive

Εν συντομία 17-05-2024

The recast Energy Performance of Building Directive (EPBD) has been designed to accelerate building renovation rates, reduce energy consumption, and promote the uptake of renewable energy in buildings. These measures should help the EU reach its target of a net 55 % reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030, as a stepping stone towards achieving climate neutrality by 2050.

Choosing Europe's future: The 2024 ESPAS report

Εν συντομία 14-05-2024

The latest report of the ESPAS network, Choosing Europe’s Future, analyses global trends in order to identify key strategic challenges for the EU as the next legislative cycle begins. It is the fruit of collaboration between nine EU institutions and bodies. Key takeaways include the importance of being able to act quickly, given that game-changing developments can happen suddenly. It notes the risk of false economies; in areas such as defence and security, for example, efforts to avoid costs now ...

Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022, more than 4 million Ukrainians have been welcomed under the temporary protection scheme in the EU. From the beginning of the war, the European Commission, national, regional and local authorities, together with civil society and international organisations, have worked to facilitate the reception and the integration of people fleeing the war in Ukraine.

Plenary round-up – April II 2024

Εν συντομία 26-04-2024

In the final plenary session of this term, over 80 files were adopted under the ordinary legislative procedure. The April II 2024 session also saw a formal sitting marking the 20th anniversary of the 2004 EU enlargement. Leaders of all 10 accession states from that time were invited to speak before the Parliament, and discuss with young people from those countries born 20 years ago. Members debated the conclusions of the recent European Council meetings, in particular on a new European Competitiveness ...