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Posted on 15-01-2021

Review of dual-use export controls

15-01-2021

Certain goods and technologies have legitimate civilian applications but can also be used for military purposes; so-called 'dual-use' goods are subject to the European Union's export control regime. The regime has just been revised, mainly to take account of significant technological developments, increase transparency and create a more level playing field among EU Member States. The proposed regulation will recast the regulation in force since 2009. Among other elements, the proposal explicitly ...

Certain goods and technologies have legitimate civilian applications but can also be used for military purposes; so-called 'dual-use' goods are subject to the European Union's export control regime. The regime has just been revised, mainly to take account of significant technological developments, increase transparency and create a more level playing field among EU Member States. The proposed regulation will recast the regulation in force since 2009. Among other elements, the proposal explicitly defines cyber-surveillance technology as dual-use technology and introduces human rights violations as an explicit justification for export control. It also includes provisions to control emerging technologies. The proposed regulation introduces greater transparency into dual-use export control by increasing the level of detail Member States will have to provide on exports, licences, licence denials and prohibitions. On 17 January 2018, based on the INTA committee's report on the legislative proposal, the European Parliament adopted its position for trilogue negotiations. For its part, the Council adopted its negotiating mandate on 5 June 2019, and on the basis of this mandate, the Council Presidency began negotiations with the European Parliament's delegation on 21 October 2019. Trilogue negotiations ended on 9 November 2020, with agreement on a final compromise text. Endorsed by the INTA committee on 30 November, the Parliament is expected to vote in plenary on the text in early 2021. Sixth edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

When and how to deactivate the SGP general escape clause?

15-01-2021

The unprecedented level of economic uncertainty requires clarifying the European fiscal rules. To avoid repeating the mistakes of the last crisis, the deactivation of the General Escape Clause should be state-dependent, not time-dependent and should take place only when 1) a reform of the SGP has been agreed upon, 2) the EU has returned to its pre-crisis level in terms of GDP per capita or employment. The state-dependent strategy should also apply at the country level.

The unprecedented level of economic uncertainty requires clarifying the European fiscal rules. To avoid repeating the mistakes of the last crisis, the deactivation of the General Escape Clause should be state-dependent, not time-dependent and should take place only when 1) a reform of the SGP has been agreed upon, 2) the EU has returned to its pre-crisis level in terms of GDP per capita or employment. The state-dependent strategy should also apply at the country level.

External author

Philippe MARTIN, Xavier RAGOT

Posted on 14-01-2021

Understanding EU counter-terrorism policy

14-01-2021

Faced with a persistent international terrorist threat, the European Union (EU) is playing an ever more ambitious role in counter-terrorism. Even though primary responsibility for combating crime and ensuring security lies with the Member States, the EU provides cooperation, coordination and (to some extent) harmonisation tools, as well as financial support, to address this borderless phenomenon. Moreover, the assumption that there is a connection between development and stability, as well as between ...

Faced with a persistent international terrorist threat, the European Union (EU) is playing an ever more ambitious role in counter-terrorism. Even though primary responsibility for combating crime and ensuring security lies with the Member States, the EU provides cooperation, coordination and (to some extent) harmonisation tools, as well as financial support, to address this borderless phenomenon. Moreover, the assumption that there is a connection between development and stability, as well as between internal and external security, has come to shape EU action beyond its own borders. EU spending in the area of counter-terrorism has increased over the years, to allow for better cooperation between national law enforcement authorities and enhanced support by the EU bodies in charge of security and justice, such as Europol, eu-LISA and Eurojust. The many new rules and instruments that have been adopted in recent years range from harmonising definitions of terrorist offences and sanctions, and sharing information and data, to protecting borders, countering terrorist financing, and regulating firearms. However, implementing and evaluating the various measures is a challenging task. The European Parliament has played an active role not only in shaping legislation, but also in evaluating existing tools and gaps through the work accomplished by its Special Committee on Terrorism (TERR) in 2018. In line with the Parliament's recommendations, as well as the priorities set by the new European Commission and its counter-terrorism agenda presented in December 2020, future EU counter-terrorism action will focus on better anticipating threats, countering radicalisation and reducing vulnerabilities, by making critical infrastructures more resilient and better protecting public spaces. Upcoming developments also include increased information-sharing, by means of better implementation and modernisation of existing tools, a reinforced mandate for Europol, as well as possible investigation and prosecution of terrorist crimes at EU level, through the proposed extension of the mandate of the recently established European Public Prosecutor's Office. This briefing builds on an earlier one, entitled 'The fight against terrorism', published in 2019.

European works councils (EWCs)

14-01-2021

European works councils (EWCs) represent over 17 million employees and are the first European representation of workers at company level. They facilitate the information, consultation and participation of employees with a focus on transnational issues. In times of crisis, including the COVID 19 crisis, relatively few workers lost their job in EU Member States with well-developed industrial relations systems where workers and their representatives have relatively strong rights.

European works councils (EWCs) represent over 17 million employees and are the first European representation of workers at company level. They facilitate the information, consultation and participation of employees with a focus on transnational issues. In times of crisis, including the COVID 19 crisis, relatively few workers lost their job in EU Member States with well-developed industrial relations systems where workers and their representatives have relatively strong rights.

Brazil's Parliament and other political institutions

14-01-2021

With an area of nearly 8.5 million km2 and a population of around 212 million (approximately twice the size of the EU with half the population), Brazil is Latin America's largest and most populated country, the biggest democracy (and, despite many observers' concerns over the current state of democracy) one of the freest countries) in the region. It is politically organised as a Federative Republic, formed by the Union, 26 states, 5 570 municipalities and the Federal District (Brasilia). The Brazilian ...

With an area of nearly 8.5 million km2 and a population of around 212 million (approximately twice the size of the EU with half the population), Brazil is Latin America's largest and most populated country, the biggest democracy (and, despite many observers' concerns over the current state of democracy) one of the freest countries) in the region. It is politically organised as a Federative Republic, formed by the Union, 26 states, 5 570 municipalities and the Federal District (Brasilia). The Brazilian Constitution establishes the principle of the separation of powers of the Union into legislative, executive and judiciary. The executive power is vested in the president of the Republic, who is both head of state and head of the government. The president is elected by universal suffrage, together with the vice-president, for a four-year mandate, and can be re-elected only once. The judicial power is exerted by different organs and courts at national and state level. Finally, the legislative power is vested in the National Congress, a bicameral Parliament with a chamber of deputies and a federal senate. Following the 2018 legislative elections, there are 30 different parties represented in the Chamber of Deputies and 21 in the Senate. Currently, the proportion of women deputies is 14.6 %, and senators is 13.6 %, one of the lowest in the region. Due to its history and its continental dimensions, Brazil is a very diverse country in terms of culture, population and religion. It has assumed a leadership role in the region, and has been firm in its commitment in multilateral world fora and South-South cooperation. Brazil is a strategic partner of the EU. The European Parliament maintains a regular bilateral dialogue with the Brazilian National Congress through its Delegation for Relations with Brazil, as well at a multilateral level through its Delegation for the Relations with Mercosur and the EuroLat Parliamentary Assembly.

Crisis and force majeure regulation

14-01-2021

In September 2020, the European Commission proposed a new pact on asylum and migration. The legislative package related to the pact includes a proposal for a regulation dealing with crisis and force majeure in the field of migration and asylum, aimed at establishing a mechanism for dealing with mass influxes and irregular arrivals of third-country nationals in a Member State. The regulation would set out the solidarity mechanism procedure in the event of returns of irregular migrants applying the ...

In September 2020, the European Commission proposed a new pact on asylum and migration. The legislative package related to the pact includes a proposal for a regulation dealing with crisis and force majeure in the field of migration and asylum, aimed at establishing a mechanism for dealing with mass influxes and irregular arrivals of third-country nationals in a Member State. The regulation would set out the solidarity mechanism procedure in the event of returns of irregular migrants applying the possibility for return sponsorship on behalf of another Member State, as established in the Asylum and Migration Management Regulation (AMR). It would also provide for shorter deadlines in comparison to usual procedures under the AMR, when applicable in a crisis situation and for some derogations in crisis situations concerning the asylum crisis management procedure, the return crisis management procedure, and the registration of international protection applications in crisis situations. First edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Posted on 13-01-2021

Implementation of the common security and defence policy

13-01-2021

The main avenue through which the European Union (EU) contributes to strengthening international peace and security is its common security and defence policy (CSDP). Enshrined in the Lisbon Treaty, this policy is the main framework through which EU Member States take joint action on security and defence matters. The European Parliament is set to vote on the annual CSDP report covering 2020 during the January 2021 plenary session.

The main avenue through which the European Union (EU) contributes to strengthening international peace and security is its common security and defence policy (CSDP). Enshrined in the Lisbon Treaty, this policy is the main framework through which EU Member States take joint action on security and defence matters. The European Parliament is set to vote on the annual CSDP report covering 2020 during the January 2021 plenary session.

Human Rights report

13-01-2021

During the January 2021 plenary session, the European Parliament is due to debate the annual EU report on human rights and democracy in the world. The latest annual report, adopted by the Council in June 2020, highlights the EU's leading role in promoting human rights and democracy in 2019, against the backdrop of negative trends globally. The report of Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs takes into account more recent developments, such as the impact of coronavirus. It points out that the ...

During the January 2021 plenary session, the European Parliament is due to debate the annual EU report on human rights and democracy in the world. The latest annual report, adopted by the Council in June 2020, highlights the EU's leading role in promoting human rights and democracy in 2019, against the backdrop of negative trends globally. The report of Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs takes into account more recent developments, such as the impact of coronavirus. It points out that the response to the pandemic has caused a decline in the respect of democratic and human rights standards in some countries. Based on this report, Parliament is expected to formulate recommendations for future EU action in favour of human rights and democracy.

Enforcement Regulation review

13-01-2021

The blockage, since December 2019, of the Appellate Body of the Dispute Settlement Body of the World Trade Organization (WTO) creates legal gaps for the enforcement of international trade rules. To bridge these gaps, the European Commission proposed to broaden the scope of Regulation (EU) No 654/2014 concerning the exercise of the EU's rights for the application and enforcement of international trade rules ('the Enforcement Regulation'). The European Parliament is scheduled to vote at first reading ...

The blockage, since December 2019, of the Appellate Body of the Dispute Settlement Body of the World Trade Organization (WTO) creates legal gaps for the enforcement of international trade rules. To bridge these gaps, the European Commission proposed to broaden the scope of Regulation (EU) No 654/2014 concerning the exercise of the EU's rights for the application and enforcement of international trade rules ('the Enforcement Regulation'). The European Parliament is scheduled to vote at first reading during the January plenary session on the text agreed in trilogue with the Council.

Implementing the Framework Decision on the European arrest warrant

13-01-2021

All EU Member States have transposed the 2002 Council Framework Decision on the European arrest warrant (EAW) and the surrender procedures between Member States. During the January 2021 plenary session, the European Parliament is due to debate an own-initiative report concerning its implementation.

All EU Member States have transposed the 2002 Council Framework Decision on the European arrest warrant (EAW) and the surrender procedures between Member States. During the January 2021 plenary session, the European Parliament is due to debate an own-initiative report concerning its implementation.

Upcoming events

20-01-2021
EPRS online policy roundtable with the World Bank: Where next for the global economy
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EPRS
25-01-2021
Public Hearing on "Gender aspects of precarious work"
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FEMM
27-01-2021
Public hearing on AI and Green Deal
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