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On 28 June 2019, the European Union and Mercosur reached a political agreement to establish an interregional trade agreement as ‘part of a wider Association Agreement between the two regions’. The European Commission and Mercosur member states went on to publish a summary of the negotiating results, while both sides started the process of legal revision. Meanwhile, the European External Action Service and Mercosur representatives were negotiating the political dialogue and cooperation part of the ...

This study looks at the European Commission’s proposal for a new GSP Regulation from human rights and sustainable development perspectives. It focuses on proposed changes to the conditionality provisions with their linked monitoring and dialogue processes that aim to promote human rights, sustainable development and good governance in the beneficiary countries. The Commission’s proposal is not revolutionary as it foresees retention of the three existing arrangements (Standard GSP, GSP+ and EBA). ...

Protests erupted in Kazakhstan on 2 January 2022 and quickly span out of control, resulting in multiple deaths and several days of chaos. Although initially triggered by a fuel price hike, the unrest points to deeper causes of discontent, including poverty, inequality and frustration at the lack of political change. A Russia-led peacekeeping mission has helped to restore order, but could also compromise Kazakh independence.

Since the mid-1980s, Latin America has enjoyed long and broad democratic expansion, and has made considerable progress with regard to free and fair elections and respect for human rights. As the 'most democratic emerging-market region in the world', over 80 % of the Latin American population enjoy democracy, a proportion surpassed only in western Europe and North America. Standards vary widely however: while Costa Rica, Uruguay and Chile stand out in all classifications as the most free and democratic ...

Haiti is currently experiencing one of the most difficult periods in its recent history. Just one month after the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse on 7 July 2021, a devastating 7.2-magnitude earthquake hit the south-west of the country, affecting over 800 000 people and killing over 2 200. As a result, the national and regional elections (scheduled for 26 September 2021) were postponed indefinitely. At the same time, kidnappings and gang violence have increased insecurity; and the repatriation ...

Ten issues to watch in 2022

In-Depth Analysis 10-01-2022

This is the sixth edition of an annual EPRS publication aimed at identifying and framing some of the key issues and policy areas that have the potential to feature prominently in public debate and on the political agenda of the European Union over the coming year. The topics analysed encompass achieving zero greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining economic growth, securing supply chains of semiconductors, moving towards sustainable agriculture, ensuring nuclear non proliferation, shaping the economic ...

Since the overthrow of Muammar al-Qaddafi in a 2011 uprising, Libya has been mired in a civil war that has divided the international community and set several internal factions against one another. The ceasefire proclaimed on 23 October 2020 opened a path for a political process wherein an interim government led by Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah was able to lead the country to agreed presidential and parliamentary elections, to be held on 24 December 2021. These elections will be the first since ...

Russia’s military build-up along its border with Ukraine, and its masterminding – alleged by many politicians and analysts – of the refugee crisis on the borders of Belarus with Poland and Lithuania, have sparked concerns over the implications of Moscow’s aggressive foreign policy. Russia has amassed nearly 100 000 troops near the Ukrainian border, provoking renewed fears that Moscow is about to invade, seven years after it annexed the Crimean peninsula and destabilised the eastern regions of Ukraine ...

The European Commission is proposing a new General Scheme of Preferences regulation to replace the current one that expires at the end of 2023. This initial appraisal of the Commission’s impact assessment (IA) on the proposal finds that the IA logically links the problems, their drivers, the objectives and the policy interventions under consideration. However, the IA remains evasive on the impacts of crucial aims of the regulation -- poverty eradication and advancing sustainable development and good ...

Eastern Partnership post-2020 agenda

In-Depth Analysis 16-12-2021

The geopolitical, economic and security situation in Europe has evolved significantly in the past 12 years since the Eastern Partnership (EaP) was launched in 2009. Taking into account the pandemic context and the growing pressure on democracies and multilateralism worldwide, an assertive Russia under Vladimir Putin and an increasingly influential China, the role and responsibility of the European Union – a major global champion of democracy and multilateralism – in the EaP region are growing. Against ...