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Towards a more resilient Europe post-coronavirus: Options to enhance the EU's resilience to structural risks

16-04-2021

The coronavirus crisis has underlined the need for the European Union (EU) to devote greater efforts to anticipatory governance, and to attempt to strengthen its resilience in the face of risks from both foreseeable and unforeseeable events. This paper builds further on an initial 'mapping' in mid-2020 of some 66 potential structural risks which could confront Europe over the coming decade, and a second paper last autumn which looked at the EU's capabilities to address 33 of those risks assessed ...

The coronavirus crisis has underlined the need for the European Union (EU) to devote greater efforts to anticipatory governance, and to attempt to strengthen its resilience in the face of risks from both foreseeable and unforeseeable events. This paper builds further on an initial 'mapping' in mid-2020 of some 66 potential structural risks which could confront Europe over the coming decade, and a second paper last autumn which looked at the EU's capabilities to address 33 of those risks assessed as being more significant or likely, and at the various gaps in policy and instruments at the Union's disposal. Delving deeper in 25 specific areas, this new paper identifies priorities for building greater resilience within the Union system, drawing on the European Parliament's own resolutions and proposals made by other EU institutions, as well as by outside experts and stakeholders. In the process, it highlights some of the key constraints that will need to be addressed if strengthened resilience is to be achieved, as well as the opportunities that follow from such an approach.

First appraisal of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement by Policy Department A

30-03-2021

“Agreements concluded by the Union are binding upon the institutions of the Union and on its Member States.” (Article 216(2) TFEU). According to the Case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), International law takes precedence over (secondary) EU law: “It should also be pointed out that, by virtue of Article 216(2) TFEU, where international agreements are concluded by the European Union they are binding upon its institutions and, consequently, they prevail over acts of the European ...

“Agreements concluded by the Union are binding upon the institutions of the Union and on its Member States.” (Article 216(2) TFEU). According to the Case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), International law takes precedence over (secondary) EU law: “It should also be pointed out that, by virtue of Article 216(2) TFEU, where international agreements are concluded by the European Union they are binding upon its institutions and, consequently, they prevail over acts of the European Union (see, to this effect, Case C‑61/94 Commission v Germany [1996] ECR I‑3989, paragraph 52; Case C‑311/04 Algemene Scheeps Agentuur Dordrecht [2006] ECR I‑609, paragraph 25; Case C‑308/06 Intertanko and Others [2008] ECR I‑4057, paragraph 42; and Joined Cases C‑402/05 P and C‑415/05 P Kadi and Al Barakaat International Foundation v Council and Commission [2008] ECR I‑6351, paragraph 307)” . Arguably, acts adopted by bodies established by the EU-UK TCA could also enjoy primacy: “7 It follows [...] that decisions of the EEC-Turkey Association Council are measures adopted by a body provided for by the Agreement and empowered by the Contracting Parties to adopt such measures. 18 In so far as they implement the objectives set by the Agreement, such decisions are directly connected with the Agreement and, as a result of the second sentence of Article 22(1) thereof, have the effect of binding the Contracting Parties. 19 By virtue of the Agreement, the Contracting Parties agreed to be bound by such decisions and if those parties were to withdraw from that commitment, that would constitute a breach of the Agreement itself.

Autor externo

Andreas Huber at Al.

Policy Departments’ Monthly Highlights - March 2021

08-03-2021

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.

Support for democracy through EU external policy: New tools for growing challenges

26-02-2021

The crisis of democracy and the rise of authoritarianism across the globe, compounded by the coronavirus pandemic, highlight the importance of taking a more strategic and autonomous approach to supporting democracy worldwide – an objective often balanced against other external policy aims until now. Since the start of the current parliamentary term, the EU has reviewed its political guidance on democracy and human rights. It has adopted or is about to adopt important measures to strengthen support ...

The crisis of democracy and the rise of authoritarianism across the globe, compounded by the coronavirus pandemic, highlight the importance of taking a more strategic and autonomous approach to supporting democracy worldwide – an objective often balanced against other external policy aims until now. Since the start of the current parliamentary term, the EU has reviewed its political guidance on democracy and human rights. It has adopted or is about to adopt important measures to strengthen support for democracy (including better monitoring and enforcement of relevant provisions in trade arrangements). The adoption of the new multiannual financial framework (MFF) and of a new development aid instrument bringing together all former external aid instruments provides new opportunities for better implementing EU funding and better exploiting the EU's leverage as a major provider of development aid. Digital challenges and the narrowing space for civil societies are among the priorities to be addressed. The challenge of engaging more difficult partners, such as China and Russia, has inspired calls to broaden the scope of a values-based agenda to other economic relations, such as investments. These new measures complement an already broad and complex toolbox integrating various external policies. Using the enhanced powers in external affairs provided by the Treaty of Lisbon, the EU has set up extensive political and diplomatic dialogues to enhance partnerships beyond the more asymmetric, specific development assistance and trade leverage going back to the 1990s. While the EU has responded to violations of democratic norms by reducing aid and withdrawing trade preferences, it has consistently sought to build equal partnerships based on constructive and open dialogues, rather than use its economic and commercial traction in a coercive manner. This is an update of a Briefing from February 2018.

Parliament's consent to the 2021-2027 MFF

15-12-2020

During the December part-session, Parliament is due to vote on giving consent to the Council Regulation that establishes the EU's next multiannual financial framework (MFF). Parliament consent requires a majority of its component Members (353 votes). On 14 December, its Committee on Budgets voted to recommend granting consent, following intense negotiations with the Council, which have secured additional resources for a number of flagship EU programmes together with a number of other improvements ...

During the December part-session, Parliament is due to vote on giving consent to the Council Regulation that establishes the EU's next multiannual financial framework (MFF). Parliament consent requires a majority of its component Members (353 votes). On 14 December, its Committee on Budgets voted to recommend granting consent, following intense negotiations with the Council, which have secured additional resources for a number of flagship EU programmes together with a number of other improvements strongly advocated by Parliament.

Sustainable Development Goals in EU regions

15-12-2020

The Sustainable Development Goals were established in 2015 as part of the United Nations (UN) 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The signatories adopted a policy framework with 17 goals, addressing such issues as poverty, hunger, health and wellbeing, education, gender equality, environment and climate, strong institutions, peace and justice. Sustainable development aims at balancing social, economic and environmental aspects, seeing them as interconnected. The European Union (EU) has contributed ...

The Sustainable Development Goals were established in 2015 as part of the United Nations (UN) 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The signatories adopted a policy framework with 17 goals, addressing such issues as poverty, hunger, health and wellbeing, education, gender equality, environment and climate, strong institutions, peace and justice. Sustainable development aims at balancing social, economic and environmental aspects, seeing them as interconnected. The European Union (EU) has contributed to creating the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and takes action to implement them. It has committed to deliver on the 2030 Agenda through its internal and external policies, as outlined in the 'Towards a Sustainable Europe by 2030' reflection paper, the European Green Deal, the European Commission's political priorities and its work programme. EU Member States prepare Voluntary National Reviews, in line with UN guidelines. Eurostat publishes annual monitoring reports showing EU progress on implementing the goals through a set of indicators adapted to the European context. Since 2019, the SDGs are included in the European Semester. The Sustainable Development Goals also have a regional dimension, sometimes called 'localisation'. Achieving around 65 % of the targets is estimated to require local and regional authority participation. Numerous regions and cities, including in the EU, have expressed support for the SDGs and many have integrated them in their policy frameworks. Efforts to localise the SDGs are ongoing and regional achievements are featured in the national reviews presented at international conferences. Monitoring SDGs at the regional level can thus help support the overall implementation of the SDGs, reinforce national efforts, support regional development strategies, and provide a broader picture of within-country trends. The European Parliament has expressed its support for an EU sustainable development strategy and enhanced involvement of regional, local and civil society stakeholders in SDG implementation.

Legislación de la UE sobre el agua

10-12-2020

Durante el período parcial de sesiones de diciembre, el Parlamento celebrará un debate conjunto sobre la legislación sobre el agua, y posteriormente votará sobre la adopción final del Reglamento por el que se refunde la Directiva sobre el agua potable y sobre una resolución sobre la aplicación de la legislación de la UE sobre el agua. La revisión de la Directiva sobre el agua potable es un resultado de la iniciativa «Right2Water» («Derecho al agua»), la primera Iniciativa Ciudadana Europea que logra ...

Durante el período parcial de sesiones de diciembre, el Parlamento celebrará un debate conjunto sobre la legislación sobre el agua, y posteriormente votará sobre la adopción final del Reglamento por el que se refunde la Directiva sobre el agua potable y sobre una resolución sobre la aplicación de la legislación de la UE sobre el agua. La revisión de la Directiva sobre el agua potable es un resultado de la iniciativa «Right2Water» («Derecho al agua»), la primera Iniciativa Ciudadana Europea que logra prosperar.

Reducing methane emissions: A new EU strategy to address global warming

08-12-2020

Methane, a short-lived greenhouse gas, has a global warming potential much higher than that of carbon dioxide, and is directly linked to air pollution through the formation of ozone. Methane emissions are derived from both natural sources and human activity. Energy, agriculture, waste and wastewater treatment are the biggest sources of anthropogenic methane emissions. Globally, methane emissions increased by 24 % between 1990 and 2018. In the EU-27, methane emissions fell by 0.2 % between 2009 and ...

Methane, a short-lived greenhouse gas, has a global warming potential much higher than that of carbon dioxide, and is directly linked to air pollution through the formation of ozone. Methane emissions are derived from both natural sources and human activity. Energy, agriculture, waste and wastewater treatment are the biggest sources of anthropogenic methane emissions. Globally, methane emissions increased by 24 % between 1990 and 2018. In the EU-27, methane emissions fell by 0.2 % between 2009 and 2018 and accounted for just over 10 % of total GHG emissions in 2018. The EU has been tackling methane through legislation, policies and strategies aimed at reducing emissions in Europe and internationally since 1996. The EU's methane emissions dropped by a third between 1990 and 2018. As a precursor to ozone, methane is a key factor in air quality and human health. On 14 October 2020, the European Commission presented an EU strategy to reduce methane emissions. The document focuses on cross-sectoral actions within the EU, and builds on actions in the energy, agricultural, waste and wastewater sectors within the EU and internationally. Stakeholders from the industry sector and environmental non-governmental organisations have given feedback on the strategic document and have welcomed the strategy while also highlighting aspects that could be strengthened. In 2019, the European Parliament asked the Commission to address methane emissions reductions through a strategic plan by the end of the first half of its 2019-2024 term. In October 2020, when the strategy was presented, MEPs from the Committees on Industry, Research and Energy welcomed the document and also posed questions in respect of its scope. Parliament's response is currently being prepared by the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety.

A renewed territorial agenda for the EU

07-12-2020

The main objective of the territorial agenda is to strengthen territorial cohesion, an EU principle that seeks to ensure the balanced development of the EU and reduce its regional disparities. Agreed in May 2011 and the culmination of a process begun many years earlier with the European Spatial Development Perspective, the Territorial Agenda 2020 has recently been renewed with a view to establishing a continued role for this initiative within the EU's new cohesion policy framework beyond 2020. Aimed ...

The main objective of the territorial agenda is to strengthen territorial cohesion, an EU principle that seeks to ensure the balanced development of the EU and reduce its regional disparities. Agreed in May 2011 and the culmination of a process begun many years earlier with the European Spatial Development Perspective, the Territorial Agenda 2020 has recently been renewed with a view to establishing a continued role for this initiative within the EU's new cohesion policy framework beyond 2020. Aimed at ensuring the Europe 2020 strategy was implemented in line with the principle of territorial cohesion, the Territorial Agenda 2020 strived to promote the integration of the territorial dimension across many different policies. To deliver on this ambition, it established an action-oriented political framework based around six territorial priorities and a series of implementation mechanisms to make EU territorial cohesion a reality. However, with the territorial agenda a low political priority in past years, implementation remained weak, while the process itself was beset by challenges, such as fragile intergovernmental cooperation and a low level of awareness. This situation was compounded by the complex and abstract nature of the territorial agenda, making it difficult to communicate its aims and objectives. Set up in 2018 during the Austrian Presidency, an intergovernmental taskforce led the work on the renewal of the territorial agenda, the aim being to conclude the process under the German Presidency, leading to the adoption of the Territorial Agenda 2030 in December 2020. Spanned by two overarching priorities, a 'just Europe' and a 'green Europe', the renewed territorial agenda establishes a clear link with the European Commission's current priorities and its strategy for sustainable growth, the European Green Deal. While this structure has the potential to help embed the territorial agenda more firmly within the EU's policy-making system, increasing its relevance and improving its visibility, the advent of this important addition to the EU's territorial toolbox risks being overshadowed by the rollout of the new MFF in the months ahead. This is an updated edition of a Briefing from March 2020.

New plant-breeding techniques: Applicability of EU GMO rules

13-11-2020

New plant genetic modification techniques, referred to as 'gene editing' or 'genome editing', have evolved rapidly in recent years, allowing much faster and more precise results than conventional plant-breeding techniques. They are seen as a promising innovative field for the agri-food industry, offering great technical potential. Consumers could benefit from enhanced nutritional quality or reduced allergenicity of food, for example, such as gluten-reduced wheat. There is, however, considerable debate ...

New plant genetic modification techniques, referred to as 'gene editing' or 'genome editing', have evolved rapidly in recent years, allowing much faster and more precise results than conventional plant-breeding techniques. They are seen as a promising innovative field for the agri-food industry, offering great technical potential. Consumers could benefit from enhanced nutritional quality or reduced allergenicity of food, for example, such as gluten-reduced wheat. There is, however, considerable debate as to how these new techniques should be regulated, and whether some or all of them should fall within the scope of EU legislation on genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Those who take the view that the new techniques should be exempt from GMO legislation generally argue that the end product is very similar to products generated using conventional breeding techniques, or that similar changes could also occur naturally. Those who consider that the new techniques should fall within the scope of GMO legislation contend that the processes used mean that plants bred using the new techniques are in fact genetically modified. In July 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that genome-edited organisms fall under the scope of European GMO legislation. While welcomed by some, the judgment also sparked criticism and calls for the new European Commission to amend EU GMO legislation. In November 2019, the Council requested that the Commission submit a study in light of the Court of Justice judgment regarding the status of novel genomic techniques (NGTs), by 30 April 2021. This is an updated edition of an October 2019 Briefing.

Próximos actos

21-09-2021
EPRS online Book Talk with David Harley: Inside the room - Shaping Europe, 1992-2010
Otro acto -
EPRS
21-09-2021
Putting the 'e' in e-Health
Seminario -
STOA
27-09-2021
Turning the tide on cancer: the national parliaments' view on Europe's Cancer Plan
Otro acto -
BECA

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