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Impact investing in the framework of business and human rights

31-07-2020

Impact investments are an emerging sustainable investment strategy and represent a small and medium enterprise-led approach to development. Impact investments are executed only when a positive financial return can be achieved alongside a measurable positive impact on an individual or societal level. Impact investors thus go beyond more established sustainable investment strategies such as exclusion or integration by explicitly aiming at impact, investing in business models that directly address social ...

Impact investments are an emerging sustainable investment strategy and represent a small and medium enterprise-led approach to development. Impact investments are executed only when a positive financial return can be achieved alongside a measurable positive impact on an individual or societal level. Impact investors thus go beyond more established sustainable investment strategies such as exclusion or integration by explicitly aiming at impact, investing in business models that directly address social issues. Most impact investment funds invest in areas such as healthcare, education or employment and thus improve the situation of the target group. At the same time, however, there is no explicit human rights perspective integrated into the investment process yet. Given the rather small scale of investments which is usually in the range of EUR 200 000 to EUR 5 million per transaction, unintended negative consequences can occur, if only to a very limited extent. This in-depth analysis discusses the impact investing industry in the context of sustainable finance and analyses central aspects of the concept such as financing instruments, the impact measurement process or the impact logic of the investors. The analysis also discusses the limitations impact investing faces such as commercial boundaries of business models, and illustrates modified concepts to mitigate these challenges which are summarised as social finance.

Parlamendiväline autor

Dr. Barbara SCHECK, Dr. Wolfgang SPIESS-KNAFL.

Ten opportunities for Europe post-coronavirus: Exploring potential for progress in EU policy-making

29-07-2020

Whilst much commentary and analysis has understandably been focused on reaction to, and mitigation of, the immediate impact of the coronavirus crisis in Europe and worldwide, relatively little attention has been paid to areas of potential opportunity which the crisis may offer to improve policy for the future. This EPRS analysis looks at ten areas which may offer potential for progress, including working more closely together on health policy, using climate action to promote a sustainable recovery ...

Whilst much commentary and analysis has understandably been focused on reaction to, and mitigation of, the immediate impact of the coronavirus crisis in Europe and worldwide, relatively little attention has been paid to areas of potential opportunity which the crisis may offer to improve policy for the future. This EPRS analysis looks at ten areas which may offer potential for progress, including working more closely together on health policy, using climate action to promote a sustainable recovery, re-thinking the world of work, future-proofing education, harnessing e commerce and championing European values and multilateralism.

How to make the European Semester more effective and legitimate?

24-07-2020

The Commission has launched an assessment and revision of the so-called six-pack and two-pack legislative packages. This paper assesses the successes and shortcomings of the European Semester with a focus on legitimacy, effectiveness and ownership. It argues that in order to address these problems, the framework should be redesigned from a new starting point, which builds on existing divisions of competence and clear decision making structures. This would help to restore the honesty and credibility ...

The Commission has launched an assessment and revision of the so-called six-pack and two-pack legislative packages. This paper assesses the successes and shortcomings of the European Semester with a focus on legitimacy, effectiveness and ownership. It argues that in order to address these problems, the framework should be redesigned from a new starting point, which builds on existing divisions of competence and clear decision making structures. This would help to restore the honesty and credibility of the Semester, which should be geared at supporting accountability at the national level.

Parlamendiväline autor

Päivi LEINO-SANDBERG, Fernando LOSADA FRAGA

A Balanced Arctic Policy for the EU

20-07-2020

The EU is currently working towards updating its Arctic policy. It needs to respond to two major changes that affect the region and pose challenges to the role of the EU in the Arctic; accelerated climate change and increased geoeconomic and geopolitical competition. The EU finds itself in a rather unique position. As a supranational institution with competences in parts of the Arctic, and with Member States having territories in the region, as well as institutionalised linkages with Arctic countries ...

The EU is currently working towards updating its Arctic policy. It needs to respond to two major changes that affect the region and pose challenges to the role of the EU in the Arctic; accelerated climate change and increased geoeconomic and geopolitical competition. The EU finds itself in a rather unique position. As a supranational institution with competences in parts of the Arctic, and with Member States having territories in the region, as well as institutionalised linkages with Arctic countries Iceland and Norway — with whom the EU shares the European Economic Area (EEA) — it needs to balance sectoral policies, priority areas and addressing different Arctics. The EU should therefore create ‘more EU in the Arctic’ by broadening the scope of its existing Arctic policy, as well as incorporating ‘more Arctic in the EU’ by stipulating that the Arctic becomes a cross-cutting consideration in other relevant EU policies. In addition, the EU will need to address hard and soft security issues within existing functional, regional and global frameworks and continue engaging in dialogue and confidence-building measures with Russia. Finally, a revised EU Arctic policy needs to be proactive and ambitious, based on existing strengths and expertise within the EU. At the same time, in an Arctic that witnesses the return of geopolitics, the ‘civilian power’ EU will encounter challenges assuming its role in the region. How it narrates its future position in the Arctic will play a tangible role in negotiating this position politically.

Parlamendiväline autor

Dr. Petra Dolata, University of Calgary

Lifting coronavirus restrictions: The role of therapeutics, testing, and contact-tracing apps

16-07-2020

In the absence of vaccines and treatments for Covid-19, any easing of restrictions to freedom of movement and social life needs to be accompanied by enhanced monitoring measures, such as expanded testing capacity and improved contact tracing, including use of appropriate digital technologies. There are very few certainties about the coronavirus pandemic, but perhaps one is that no isolated measure or silver-bullet solution is likely to solve all aspects of the crisis. A flexible and integrated strategy ...

In the absence of vaccines and treatments for Covid-19, any easing of restrictions to freedom of movement and social life needs to be accompanied by enhanced monitoring measures, such as expanded testing capacity and improved contact tracing, including use of appropriate digital technologies. There are very few certainties about the coronavirus pandemic, but perhaps one is that no isolated measure or silver-bullet solution is likely to solve all aspects of the crisis. A flexible and integrated strategy, based on complementary tools and measures (therapeutics, testing and contact tracing) and a coordinated approach across the EU are key to gradually lifting restrictions and to going back to the (new) normal.

EU/EA measures to mitigate the economic, financial and social effects of coronavirus State-of-play 14 July 2020

14-07-2020

This document compiles information, obtained from public sources, on the measures proposed and taken at the EU or Euro Area level to mitigate the economic and social effects of Covid19. It will be regularly updated, following new developments.

This document compiles information, obtained from public sources, on the measures proposed and taken at the EU or Euro Area level to mitigate the economic and social effects of Covid19. It will be regularly updated, following new developments.

Challenges for environmental and indigenous peoples’ rights in the Amazon region

30-06-2020

The present analysis examines the environmental and human rights challenges in the Amazon region. It finds that the Amazonian countries pursue development policies in the region based on the exploitation on an industrial scale of natural and non-renewable resources that have caused and continue to cause deforestation, loss of biodiversity and engender human rights violations in particular affecting indigenous peoples. The analysis acknowledges the measures taken by the Amazonian countries to establish ...

The present analysis examines the environmental and human rights challenges in the Amazon region. It finds that the Amazonian countries pursue development policies in the region based on the exploitation on an industrial scale of natural and non-renewable resources that have caused and continue to cause deforestation, loss of biodiversity and engender human rights violations in particular affecting indigenous peoples. The analysis acknowledges the measures taken by the Amazonian countries to establish protected areas and support indigenous territories and their rights but concludes that the laws need strengthening and effective enforcement. The analysis argues that the protection of the Amazon biome is an essential part of the global efforts to reduce greenhouse gases and concurs with the view of some scientists that there is an urgency to stop forest loss. The analysis further notes that the most effective guardians of the Amazonian forest and its biodiversity are its indigenous peoples. The analysis concludes by arguing that the European Union has an interest in contributing to the protection of the Amazon and its indigenous peoples. It recommends, among other things, that the EU strengthen its direct support to Amazonian indigenous peoples and environmental defenders and develop effective measures which target EU-based companies whose activities cause deforestation.

Parlamendiväline autor

Dr. Julian BURGER

Implementation of the Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure: State of play June 2020

30-06-2020

This note presents the EU Member States' situation with respect to the Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure, taking into account recent assessments and decisions by the European Commission and the Council. It also gives an overview of relevant comments on the MIP published by EU institutions. A separate EGOV note describes the MIP procedure. This document is regularly updated.

This note presents the EU Member States' situation with respect to the Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure, taking into account recent assessments and decisions by the European Commission and the Council. It also gives an overview of relevant comments on the MIP published by EU institutions. A separate EGOV note describes the MIP procedure. This document is regularly updated.

A roadmap to completing the Banking Union

19-06-2020

Completing the Banking Union has been a long term endeavour, on the back of the less successful negotiations on its third leg - the common deposit guarantee scheme. The current crisis caused by the outbreak of COVID-19 will evidently put the current setup of Banking Union to test, but may also create a new impetus and political will for it’s completion. This briefing, based on two earlier EGOV briefings (here and here), (1) sets out the main milestones of such process so far, (2) outlines where work ...

Completing the Banking Union has been a long term endeavour, on the back of the less successful negotiations on its third leg - the common deposit guarantee scheme. The current crisis caused by the outbreak of COVID-19 will evidently put the current setup of Banking Union to test, but may also create a new impetus and political will for it’s completion. This briefing, based on two earlier EGOV briefings (here and here), (1) sets out the main milestones of such process so far, (2) outlines where work was before the coronavirus outbreak and (3) points to areas where progress is still missing and should continue once the urgency of the current crisis is mitigated. It will be regularly updated on the basis of available public information.

EU and UK citizens' rights after Brexit: An overview

18-06-2020

This EPRS paper analyses the implications of Brexit for the rights of both European Union and United Kingdom citizens and provides an overview of the rights protected by the Withdrawal Agreement, which entered into force on 1 February 2020, as well as of the national measures envisaged by the UK and the EU Member States to give effect to the relevant provisions thereof. As a result of the UK leaving the EU and becoming a third country, UK citizens are no longer EU citizens and they will therefore ...

This EPRS paper analyses the implications of Brexit for the rights of both European Union and United Kingdom citizens and provides an overview of the rights protected by the Withdrawal Agreement, which entered into force on 1 February 2020, as well as of the national measures envisaged by the UK and the EU Member States to give effect to the relevant provisions thereof. As a result of the UK leaving the EU and becoming a third country, UK citizens are no longer EU citizens and they will therefore lose a series of rights based on EU citizenship once the transition period provided for in the agreement expires. Currently, UK and EU citizens may still move to the EU and the UK respectively, under the applicable EU rules. Beyond the end of the transition period, the agreement guarantees the rights of EU and UK citizens who had made use of their freedom of movement rights by the end of 2020.

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