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Policy Departments’ Monthly Highlights - January 2020

13-01-2021

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

Social media communication by the Heads of State or Government in the European Council: a comprehensive analysis of EU Leaders’ discourse on Europe via Twitter

07-01-2021

Over recent years, the members of the European Council have, in a number of landmark declarations such as the Bratislava Declaration, pointed to the need to improve communication with citizens, as part of the process of building greater trust and confidence in the European Union and its institutions. As social media, and notably Twitter, have become an important part of politicians' communication strategy generally, this study looks specifically at how EU leaders in the European Council communicate ...

Over recent years, the members of the European Council have, in a number of landmark declarations such as the Bratislava Declaration, pointed to the need to improve communication with citizens, as part of the process of building greater trust and confidence in the European Union and its institutions. As social media, and notably Twitter, have become an important part of politicians' communication strategy generally, this study looks specifically at how EU leaders in the European Council communicate on Europe via Twitter. This EPRS study explores provides an overview of the activity on Twitter of all members of the European Council over an 18-month period – in just over 31 000 tweets posted between January 2019 and June 2020 – covering a very wide range of issues. The study identifies the European topics that EU-27 leaders tweet about – their own interactions, external relations and the EU budget – and it explores the ways in which they communicate and engage with their target audiences, as well as pointing to differences of approach between them. EU-related tweets represent on average about a fifth of all EU leaders' tweets, with a greater emphasis on meetings as such than on substantive policy issues.

Ten issues to watch in 2021

06-01-2021

This is the fifth edition of an annual EPRS publication aimed at identifying and framing some of the key issues and policy areas that are likely to feature prominently on the political agenda of the European Union over the coming year. The topics analysed are: the Covid-19 race for a vaccine; the recovery plan; access to food; inequality; challenges for culture and the performing arts; a digital boost for the circular economy; critical raw materials; border controls; Turkey and the eastern Mediterranean ...

This is the fifth edition of an annual EPRS publication aimed at identifying and framing some of the key issues and policy areas that are likely to feature prominently on the political agenda of the European Union over the coming year. The topics analysed are: the Covid-19 race for a vaccine; the recovery plan; access to food; inequality; challenges for culture and the performing arts; a digital boost for the circular economy; critical raw materials; border controls; Turkey and the eastern Mediterranean; and the new US administration.

EU financing for 2021-2027: The 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), the Next Generation EU (NGEU) recovery instrument and new own resources

21-12-2020

This briefing provides a graphic presentation of the long-term EU budget adopted on 17 December 2020, enabling the EU to finance the extraordinary needs in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. It highlights the improvements that the European Parliament achieved in particular.

This briefing provides a graphic presentation of the long-term EU budget adopted on 17 December 2020, enabling the EU to finance the extraordinary needs in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. It highlights the improvements that the European Parliament achieved in particular.

The public sector loan facility under the Just Transition Mechanism

21-12-2020

The public sector loan facility is the third pillar of the Just Transition Mechanism (JTM), along with the Just Transition Fund and just transition scheme under Invest EU. The facility will consist of a grant and a loan component. With the contribution of €1.525 billion for the grant component from the Union budget and EIB lending of €10 billion from its own resources, the aim is for the public sector loan facility to mobilise between €25 and 30 billion in public investment over the 2021-2027 period ...

The public sector loan facility is the third pillar of the Just Transition Mechanism (JTM), along with the Just Transition Fund and just transition scheme under Invest EU. The facility will consist of a grant and a loan component. With the contribution of €1.525 billion for the grant component from the Union budget and EIB lending of €10 billion from its own resources, the aim is for the public sector loan facility to mobilise between €25 and 30 billion in public investment over the 2021-2027 period. Funding will be available to all Member States, while focusing on the regions with the biggest transition challenges. In the European Parliament, the Committee on Budgets (BUDG) and the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) have joint responsibility for this file. Their report was adopted at a joint sitting of the two committees on 16 October 2020. Parliament subsequently confirmed the committees' mandate to open trilogue negotiations. First edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Adoption of the European Union's 2021 Budget

17-12-2020

During the December plenary session, the European Parliament is due to adopt the European Union's general budget for the year 2021. In practice, Parliament will vote on the Council's position on the second draft EU general budget for 2021. The Council adopted the second draft budget as presented by the European Commission on 10 December, without any amendment. This second draft budget is the fruit of the agreement found on 4 December during the budgetary conciliation between Parliament and the Council ...

During the December plenary session, the European Parliament is due to adopt the European Union's general budget for the year 2021. In practice, Parliament will vote on the Council's position on the second draft EU general budget for 2021. The Council adopted the second draft budget as presented by the European Commission on 10 December, without any amendment. This second draft budget is the fruit of the agreement found on 4 December during the budgetary conciliation between Parliament and the Council on the first draft budget for 2021. Commitment appropriations for 2021 will amount to €164.2 billion and payments to €166.1 billion. The annual budgetary negotiations this year were delayed and complex due to the lack of agreement on the multiannual financial framework (MFF) for 2021-2027, as well as the context of the coronavirus crisis.

EU response to the coronavirus pandemic: Citizens' views and expectations

17-12-2020

Citizens' expectations regarding European Union (EU) policy involvement and spending in healthcare and economic growth were already increasing before the coronavirus pandemic. These rising expectations created a gap between their demands and their evaluation of current EU action. At the same time, trust in the EU is at its highest level for a decade, and higher than the average level of trust in national governments. Apart from the direct consequences for health, the pandemic caused a wide spectrum ...

Citizens' expectations regarding European Union (EU) policy involvement and spending in healthcare and economic growth were already increasing before the coronavirus pandemic. These rising expectations created a gap between their demands and their evaluation of current EU action. At the same time, trust in the EU is at its highest level for a decade, and higher than the average level of trust in national governments. Apart from the direct consequences for health, the pandemic caused a wide spectrum of financial difficulties for people in the EU. A fear of future loss of income and widespread uncertainty became the prevailing emotional status of Europeans, although the level of hope is also considerable. The EU response to the pandemic aligns with citizens' preferences for areas of priority action and spending, especially with the introduction of the Next Generation EU (NGEU) recovery package. However, neither the scope of EU competences, nor the flexibility of EU finances, allow for immediate and full closure of the gap between citizens' preferences and their evaluation of EU action. Citizens' evaluation of the measures implemented by the EU to combat the coronavirus pandemic and its consequences are almost equally divided between the positive and negative. In the context of the pandemic, there is a significant change of preference among Europeans regarding the size of EU financial means. An absolute majority of Europeans would like the EU to have more competences (66 %) and greater financial means (54 %) to fight the pandemic. This leads to the hypothesis that a lack of sufficient EU competences is a factor contributing to a degree of popular dissatisfaction with the EU in its response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Gender and geographical balance in the governance structures of Horizon 2020

17-12-2020

This briefing analyses gender and geographical balance in the governance structures of Horizon 2020.

This briefing analyses gender and geographical balance in the governance structures of Horizon 2020.

Financing the European Union

15-12-2020

Responding to requests for a common recovery plan to complement national efforts to tackle the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, substantial new EU financial instruments have been rapidly introduced such as temporary support to mitigate unemployment risks in an emergency (SURE). The European Council meeting on 17-21 July agreed a recovery package based on a 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) of €1 074.3 billion, topped up with €750 billion in extra resources for EU programmes, financed ...

Responding to requests for a common recovery plan to complement national efforts to tackle the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, substantial new EU financial instruments have been rapidly introduced such as temporary support to mitigate unemployment risks in an emergency (SURE). The European Council meeting on 17-21 July agreed a recovery package based on a 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) of €1 074.3 billion, topped up with €750 billion in extra resources for EU programmes, financed by borrowing on financial markets under the Next Generation EU (NGEU) instrument (the so-called 'recovery fund') backed by an increase in own resources. The package also included agreement on a regulation to protect the EU budget in case of deficiencies in the rule of law. In line with its resolution of 23 July 2020, the European Parliament swiftly took the steps needed to allow the launch of the recovery fund, and to improve on the European Council agreement to ensure that the EU finances respond to needs and expectations now and in the future. These improvements included top-ups to priority programmes and more flexibility in the use of the MFF, a legally binding place for the introduction of new own resources, better scrutiny of the mobilisation of the NGEU instrument, and enhancements in the application of the rule of law mechanism. Final agreements within and between the institutions, secured in December 2020, enable the new MFF to be in place as of 1 January 2021. This paper describes reforms already secured by the European Parliament and suggests further ideas that could be considered to improve the financing of the European Union, restore the link between EU strategy and financing, and better communicate the benefits of spending at EU level.

Protection of the Union's budget in case of 'rule of law' deficiencies

15-12-2020

On 10 December 2020, the European Council reached an agreement on the implementation of the regulation linking EU funding to respect for the rule of law. Hungary and Poland, in opposing this new mechanism, had been blocking the Union’s new budget but have now agreed to a compromise. The regulation on the rule of law is part of the package on the multiannual financial framework (MFF) for 2021-2027 and the Next Generation EU recovery instrument. The Parliament is due to vote in December at second reading ...

On 10 December 2020, the European Council reached an agreement on the implementation of the regulation linking EU funding to respect for the rule of law. Hungary and Poland, in opposing this new mechanism, had been blocking the Union’s new budget but have now agreed to a compromise. The regulation on the rule of law is part of the package on the multiannual financial framework (MFF) for 2021-2027 and the Next Generation EU recovery instrument. The Parliament is due to vote in December at second reading on the agreed text.

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