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This briefing traces the evolution of the debates on the European Parliament's powers, and their (dis)connection to the organisation of the first direct European elections in 1979. It spans the period leading up to 1979, and also assesses the aftermath of these landmark elections. It shows that well into the 1970s, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) put great effort into de coupling the debates on organising Parliament's direct elections from those on expanding its institutional powers. MEPs ...

On 6 November 2023, the Parliament and Council reached a provisional political agreement on a draft regulation on transparency and targeting of political advertising. The Parliament is due to vote at first reading during its February II plenary session. The Council is then expected to finalise the legislative procedure at first reading. Following their formal adoption, the new rules will start applying 18 months after their entry into force. However, those on the non-discriminatory provision of cross-border ...

Defence of Democracy package

Briefing 21-02-2024

The initiative results from growing concern that openness of European societies is being exploited for covert interference from foreign governments to manipulate decision-making processes and public opinion in the EU. The impact assessment (IA) clearly defines two problems relating to interest representation activities carried out on behalf of third countries: obstacles to the internal market due to fragmented regulation, and the unknown magnitude, trends and actors of these activities. It considers ...

On 29 November 2023, the European Parliament and the Council of the EU reached a compromise on the proposed directive to protect journalists and human rights activists from abusive cross- border civil proceedings, known as strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPPs). The directive's aim is to enable judges to identify SLAPPs and order their early dismissal, and thus spare the journalists or activists targeted by such proceedings the need to defend the manifestly unfounded claim brought ...

'This is Europe' – an initiative proposed by the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola – consists of a series of debates with EU leaders to discuss their visions for the future of the European Union. EU unity was a central theme in the address of the President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis, to the European Parliament on 7 February 2024. Iohannis also emphasised the EU’s values and model of democracy, pointing to the European elections as a key moment in the continent’s democratic process ...

This briefing, written by the Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs - Democracy, Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights Monitoring Group, examines the situation of Democracy, Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights in Denmark and how the values of Article 2 of the TEU are respected and implemented in the country.

This briefing, written by the Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs - Democracy, Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights Monitoring Group, examines the situation of Democracy, Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights in Estonia and how the values of Article 2 of the TEU are respected and implemented in the country.

Pakistan's 2024 elections

At a Glance 01-02-2024

A fragile democracy located in south Asia, Pakistan, the sixth most populous country in the world, is to hold elections to its lower house on 8 February 2024. The elections take place against a backdrop of multiple crises and political arrests, including former prime minister Imran Khan, banned from running despite his popularity. Three-time former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has returned to the country from exile in time to potentially secure a fourth term with the powerful military establishment's ...

The EU's approach to digital transformation is rooted in protecting fundamental rights, sustainability, ethics and fairness. With this human-centric vision of the digital economy and society, the EU seeks to empower citizens and businesses, regardless of their size. In the EU's view, the internet should remain open, fair, inclusive and focused on people. Digital technologies should work for citizens and help them to engage in society. Companies should be able to compete on equal terms, and consumers ...

There are no provisions in the EU Treaties or in secondary EU law on the procedure for deciding on the location of an EU agency. Article 341 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) refers only to the EU institutions. This legal vacuum has generated different practices over time and power struggles among the Member States. The most recent example of conflicting national interests was the case of the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Following the withdrawal of the United Kingdom ...