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Japan's Parliament and other political institutions

15-12-2020

Japan is a constitutional monarchy, with a parliamentary system of government based on the separation of powers. The Emperor is the symbol of the state and does not hold political functions, only performing ceremonial duties. Nevertheless, he can play a relevant diplomatic role. With Emperor Naruhito's enthronement in 2019, following his father's abdication, Japan has entered the Reiwa (beautiful harmony) age. The 2001 administrative reform strengthened the Prime Minister's leadership in the cabinet ...

Japan is a constitutional monarchy, with a parliamentary system of government based on the separation of powers. The Emperor is the symbol of the state and does not hold political functions, only performing ceremonial duties. Nevertheless, he can play a relevant diplomatic role. With Emperor Naruhito's enthronement in 2019, following his father's abdication, Japan has entered the Reiwa (beautiful harmony) age. The 2001 administrative reform strengthened the Prime Minister's leadership in the cabinet. The Chief Cabinet Secretary also plays a relevant role. Suga Yoshihide, leader of the Liberal-Democratic Party, is the country's Prime Minister, succeeding Abe Shinzō, Japan's longest-serving prime minister, in 2020. The Supreme Court is at the top of the judicial system. It is not a constitutional court, despite handling appeals arising from actual disputes. The appointment of its Justices is reviewed by the people at the first general election of the Lower House following their appointment. Japan is a unitary state divided into 47 prefectures. A Metropolitan Government administers the capital, Tokyo. Japan's 1947 Constitution recognises 'local self-government.' Local governments carry out many of the national policies and programmes. They have limited autonomy, also because of their dependence on financial resources from the central government. Japan has a bicameral parliament − the Diet. Although the two chambers share legislative powers, the Lower House (House of Representatives) prevails in the legislative process and is empowered to adopt the final decision on the budget and on the approval of international treaties. Changes in the regional geopolitical environment and in the country's demographic structure have prompted debates on issues such as the revision of the 'pacifist' Article 9 of the Constitution and the seat distribution among electoral constituencies. This is an update of a briefing published in June 2020.

The Future of Work - Implications for Public Employment Services in Europe

09-11-2020

The importance of the European PES Network has been growing since its establishment in 2014. Its to the design of relevant European policy initiatives has been most notable regarding the European Pillar of Social Rights, the integration of the long-term unemployed into the labour market and the reinforced Youth Guarantee. Substantial changes in the world of work are impacting public employment services. Their future work will be informed by two strategic policy priorities set by the European Commission ...

The importance of the European PES Network has been growing since its establishment in 2014. Its to the design of relevant European policy initiatives has been most notable regarding the European Pillar of Social Rights, the integration of the long-term unemployed into the labour market and the reinforced Youth Guarantee. Substantial changes in the world of work are impacting public employment services. Their future work will be informed by two strategic policy priorities set by the European Commission for 2019-2024: The digital transformation and policies for a climate-neutral Europe, both entailing far-reaching changes on the labour market.

Autor externo

Regina KONLE-SEIDL

International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS): IFRS 17 - Insurance Contracts

27-10-2020

This briefing, prepared for a scrutiny session of the ECON Committee, provides background on the International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 17 Insurance Contracts which will have a major impact on the accounting of insurance companies. IFRS 17 was issued by the IASB in 2017; the Parliament adopted a resolution on 3 October 2018. As some remaining issues were raised at EU level, the IASB has issued amendments to IFRS 17 on 25 June 2020. The next step for endorsement was the EFRAG's consultation ...

This briefing, prepared for a scrutiny session of the ECON Committee, provides background on the International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 17 Insurance Contracts which will have a major impact on the accounting of insurance companies. IFRS 17 was issued by the IASB in 2017; the Parliament adopted a resolution on 3 October 2018. As some remaining issues were raised at EU level, the IASB has issued amendments to IFRS 17 on 25 June 2020. The next step for endorsement was the EFRAG's consultation on its draft endorsement advice of 30 September 2020 (closing on 29 January 2021). The scrutiny session feeds ECON's views into this process.

European Parliament’s Banking Union reports in 2015 - 2019

21-10-2020

This briefing provides an overview of the European Parliament’s expectations and priorities for the Banking Union as set out in its annual Banking Union reports. The first section of this briefing provides a short overview of the 2019 Banking Union report, the ECB Banking Supervisor’s response, as well as concrete actions expected from the Single Resolution Board, who as yet have not provided a formal response to any of Parliament’s Banking Union reports. In order to better contextualise the themes ...

This briefing provides an overview of the European Parliament’s expectations and priorities for the Banking Union as set out in its annual Banking Union reports. The first section of this briefing provides a short overview of the 2019 Banking Union report, the ECB Banking Supervisor’s response, as well as concrete actions expected from the Single Resolution Board, who as yet have not provided a formal response to any of Parliament’s Banking Union reports. In order to better contextualise the themes of latest Banking Union report, the subsequent section addresses the main themes raised in previous Banking Union reports (2015-2018). The annex of the briefing includes a comparison of the positions taken by the European Parliament in its Banking Union reports in the following policy areas: banking developments and structures; institutional and organisational issues; regulatory issues; completing the banking union; risk assessment; supervisory issues and priorities; crisis management; policies related to anti-money-laundering; and climate and sustainability issues.

Understanding the European Economic and Social Committee

13-10-2020

The European Social and Economic Committee (EESC), established in 1957 by the Treaty of Rome, is one of the two advisory bodies of the European Union (EU). Composed of representatives of various European economic and social groups and categories, such as employers, workers, producers, farmers, liberal professions and civil society organisations, the EESC assists the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission in the policy-making and legislative process, in an advisory capacity. EESC members ...

The European Social and Economic Committee (EESC), established in 1957 by the Treaty of Rome, is one of the two advisory bodies of the European Union (EU). Composed of representatives of various European economic and social groups and categories, such as employers, workers, producers, farmers, liberal professions and civil society organisations, the EESC assists the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission in the policy-making and legislative process, in an advisory capacity. EESC members are appointed by the Council according to the proposals of national governments and after consulting the European Commission, for a mandate of five years. Since the 2002 Treaty of Nice the maximum number of EESC members has been fixed at 350. With the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU, the 24 UK members of the EESC also left. In the new mandate starting on 21 September 2020, the total number of members is 329. Over time, the EU Treaties have increased the number of policy areas in which the consultation of the EESC is required for the adoption of legislation; however, the EU institutions often request the Committee's opinion beyond these mandatory areas, and even before legislation is proposed, in order to assess the views of civil society on a specific topic. Importantly, the EESC has acquired the right to give its views on any EU-related issue and the Committee's own-initiative opinions and information reports currently account for around 15 to 20 % of the opinions it adopts every year. In addition to the consultative role assigned by the Treaties, the Committee has set for itself the task of communicating the European Union to citizens, reinforcing participatory democracy and providing a forum for civil dialogue between the EU institutions and civil society. For over 20 years, the EESC has organised events on various topics, cooperated with national economic and social committees and, in general, strived to enhance the role of civil society both in Europe and outside. In all its aspects, the EESC has become a bridge between Europe and organised civil society.

Commissioner Hearings: Mairead McGuinness - Financial Stability, Financial Services and the Capital Markets Union

30-09-2020

This Briefing concerns a portfolio change in the European Commission in mid-mandate and takes the same format and approach as those Briefings published in September 2019 to give Members of the European Parliament an overview of major issues of interest in the context of the Hearings of the Commissioners-designate.

This Briefing concerns a portfolio change in the European Commission in mid-mandate and takes the same format and approach as those Briefings published in September 2019 to give Members of the European Parliament an overview of major issues of interest in the context of the Hearings of the Commissioners-designate.

Commissioner Hearings: Valdis Dombrovskis - Vice-President: An Economy that Works for People / Trade

30-09-2020

This Briefing concerns a portfolio change in the European Commission in mid-mandate and takes the same format and approach as those Briefings published in September 2019 to give Members of the European Parliament an overview of major issues of interest in the context of the Hearings of the Commissioners-designate.

This Briefing concerns a portfolio change in the European Commission in mid-mandate and takes the same format and approach as those Briefings published in September 2019 to give Members of the European Parliament an overview of major issues of interest in the context of the Hearings of the Commissioners-designate.

Open Plan Offices - The new ways of working. The advantages and disadvantages of open office space

30-09-2020

KEY FINDINGS Open office spaces are introduced for the following reason: - Saving costs on real estate. Real estate expenses are the second largest costs for a company. By creating more workplaces in the same amount of square meters costs can be reduced on buildings and maintenance. - Increase communication. If people are in closer proximity from one another and move around freely communication will increase. - Improve team work. As teams are now sharing the same space knowledge sharing will ...

KEY FINDINGS Open office spaces are introduced for the following reason: - Saving costs on real estate. Real estate expenses are the second largest costs for a company. By creating more workplaces in the same amount of square meters costs can be reduced on buildings and maintenance. - Increase communication. If people are in closer proximity from one another and move around freely communication will increase. - Improve team work. As teams are now sharing the same space knowledge sharing will increase both within the same team and across different teams. The following arguments oppose the introduction of open office spaces: - Loss of productivity. Employees are distracted faster because of noise or colleagues moving around. It takes on average 25 minutes to resume a task after distraction. In an open office space employees are distracted faster because of phone calls, people walking by or nearby conversations. - Problems with noise, temperature and fatigue. As said before, noise is one of the main distractions in an open office space. Temperature is managed centrally and it could therefore be too cold of one person and too warm for another. Fatigue is a side effect from noise and temperature and the fact that people have a constant overload of information with the introduction of multiple screens like phone, tablets and computer. - Increase of sickness. As employees are in closer proximity of one another diseases can spread faster. The spread of diseases raise the amount of sick days taken in a company. - Decrease of overall well-being of employees. The main cause for the diminishing of well-being is the level of stress. The idea of being watched all the time increases the levels of stress in an open office space.

Autor externo

Alexandra Pouwels

Understanding the financing of intergovernmental organisations: A snapshot of the budgets of the UN, NATO and WTO

23-09-2020

Access to stable and adequate financial resources is a crucial condition for the realisation of the global goals of intergovernmental organisations (IGOs). In recent decades, alongside global political changes and the evolution in the role of multilateral cooperation, the resourcing and budgetary management of IGOs have also changed. Moreover, funding available to IGOs has become ever more diversified and complex both in terms of its origin and type. This briefing presents selected aspects of the ...

Access to stable and adequate financial resources is a crucial condition for the realisation of the global goals of intergovernmental organisations (IGOs). In recent decades, alongside global political changes and the evolution in the role of multilateral cooperation, the resourcing and budgetary management of IGOs have also changed. Moreover, funding available to IGOs has become ever more diversified and complex both in terms of its origin and type. This briefing presents selected aspects of the financing of three of the world's largest IGOs: the United Nations (UN), the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). It presents the size and evolution of their budgets as well as the main contributing countries to these budgets, with a particular focus on the EU Member States. The analysis is based mainly on budgetary data for the financial year 2018.

The new European cybersecurity competence centre and network

24-07-2020

On 13 September 2017, the Commission adopted a cybersecurity package containing a series of initiatives to further improve EU cyber-resilience, deterrence and defence. A year later, the Commission presented a proposal for the creation of a European cybersecurity competence centre with a related network of national coordination centres. The initiative aims to improve and strengthen the EU's cybersecurity capacity, by stimulating the European technological and industrial cybersecurity ecosystem as ...

On 13 September 2017, the Commission adopted a cybersecurity package containing a series of initiatives to further improve EU cyber-resilience, deterrence and defence. A year later, the Commission presented a proposal for the creation of a European cybersecurity competence centre with a related network of national coordination centres. The initiative aims to improve and strengthen the EU's cybersecurity capacity, by stimulating the European technological and industrial cybersecurity ecosystem as well as coordinating and pooling necessary resources in Europe. The competence centre is supposed to become the main body that would manage EU financial resources dedicated to cybersecurity research under the two proposed programmes – Digital Europe and Horizon Europe – within the next multiannual financial framework, for 2021-2027. Within the European Parliament, the file was assigned to the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE). The report was adopted on 19 February 2019 in the ITRE committee and voted by Parliament during the March I 2019 plenary. Although trilogue negotiations took place in March 2019, given the short timeframe until the end of the legislative term no agreement could be reached, and Parliament then adopted its first-reading position ahead of the May 2019 elections. A third trilogue meeting took place more than a year later, on 25 June 2020, and further negotiations are planned for September 2020. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

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