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Academic freedom is a fundamental principle of any university and research system or institution, and is essential for a healthy democracy. The concept can be traced back to the birth of the Humboldtian research university model in Germany in the early 1800s. Despite international declarations and constitutional and legal protections, in recent years there has been renewed interest in academic freedom around the world owing to major challenges and threats from governments, industry and civil society ...

In October 2023, the Commission submitted a proposal to revise Regulation (EU) 2018/1806 in order to strengthen the visa suspension mechanism. This mechanism allows the EU to temporarily suspend visa exemptions in the event of increased irregular migration or security risks from a visa free country. The proposal addresses three main challenges to the EU visa regime: the misalignment of visa policies of certain visa-free countries with the EU visa policy; the growing number of asylum seekers from ...

Cyberbullying is a growing phenomenon and a significant issue for young people across Europe and indeed the world. Unlike 'real-world' bullying which ends when the victim's situation changes, such as when school ends, cyberbullying can continue for its victims at any time. Cyberbullying can reach victims through social media, text messages, false information or images spread through various methods, and can be relentless. The ubiquity of electronic devices means children and young people are more ...

As Article 24(1) of the Treaty on the European Union states, the EU's common foreign and security policy is 'defined and implemented by the European Council and the Council'. The intergovernmental method is used in decision-making on foreign affairs issues; the European Council is therefore a key forum for foreign affairs discussions at European Union (EU) level. The European Council also plays a crucial role as the EU's crisis manager. Since 2009, the European Council has been operating in a permanent ...

On 10 April 2024, the European Parliament gave its consent to the conclusion of a new partnership agreement between the EU, its Member States and member states of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS). The 15 November 2023 signing ceremony took place in Apia, capital of the Pacific island country of Samoa. The agreement is therefore referred to as the 'Samoa Agreement'. Owing to the multiple negotiation levels, the COVID-19 crisis and difficulties in agreeing sensitive ...

The Netherlands is set to receive €5 441.4 million in grants for the implementation of its national recovery and resilience plan (NRRP). This includes €4 707.1 million from the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), the EU instrument to tackle the socio-economic consequences of the pandemic, and €734.4 million under REPowerEU, the EU initiative to reduce dependency from Russian fossil fuels. The plan is relatively small compared with most Member States' plans. Its total value equals 0.7 % of Dutch ...

Transatlantic relations: the US and Canada

EU Fact Sheets 11-06-2024

The EU, the US and Canada share the values of democracy, human rights, the rule of law, and economic and political freedom, and have common foreign policy and security concerns. Close cooperation and strategic relations with the US and Canada remain a priority for the EU.

Food safety

EU Fact Sheets 11-06-2024

EU food safety policy aims to protect human health and consumer interests, and foster the smooth operation of the single market. Recent developments have broadened food safety objectives to include the mitigation of crisis-induced food insecurity. The EU ensures that standards are adhered to in the areas of feed and food-product hygiene, animal health, plant health, food-borne zoonotic diseases and prevention of food contamination. The EU also regulates labelling for food and feed products.

The EU’s development policy stresses the importance of trade, and focuses on the countries most in need. The Generalised Scheme of Preferences gives some goods from developing countries preferential access to the EU market. Economic Partnership Agreements ensure preferential commercial treatment for African, Caribbean and Pacific countries, while the Everything But Arms scheme applies to least developed countries. These schemes are in line with World Trade Organization rules.

The procedures for electing the European Parliament are governed both by European legislation laying down rules common to all Member States and by specific national provisions, which vary from one state to another. The common provisions lay down the principle of proportional representation, rules on thresholds and certain incompatibilities with the Member of the European Parliament mandate. Many other important matters, such as the exact electoral system used and the number of constituencies, are ...