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Regulation (EU) No 258/2012 lays down procedural rules at EU level for export, import and transit of firearms, their parts and components and ammunition. Its overall strategic objective is to reduce the risk of illicit trafficking in firearms for civilian use by ensuring coherence across EU Member States with regard to rules on external trade. The regulation is part of an overall legal and operational framework intended to prevent, detect, investigate and prosecute firearms trafficking. In this regard ...

Russian President Vladimir Putin used his speech at the annual Victory Day over Nazi Germany, on 9 May, to mobilise support among the country's citizens for its 11-week-old war on Ukraine, claiming that Moscow had to defend itself against imminent attack. Recently, Russia has shifted its military efforts towards the east and south-east of Ukraine, as well as to the bombing of critical infrastructure, after it failed to capture Kyiv, the capital. In some areas abandoned by the Russian forces, Ukrainian ...

This paper provides a summary of recent economic, financial and budgetary measures and developments following President Vladimir Putin’s decision of 24 February to start a military attack against Ukraine. It includes recent information relating to the EU sanctions regime, recent economic estimates and policies supporting economic and financial resilience, including the coordination of national economic and fiscal measures. It also highlights policy recommendations made in the public domain to mitigate ...

Education is not only a right, but also a foundation for personal fulfilment and a stepping stone to employability and active citizenship. In her political guidelines, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen pledged to make the European education area a reality by 2025. Parliament will take the discussion further during its May II plenary session, with questions to the Commission and Council on the topic.

The annual rule of law reports, launched by the European Commission in September 2020, are a monitoring tool which allows the Commission to collect data concerning the state of the rule of law in each of the 27 EU Member States. The second rule of law report was published in July 2021, and a third one is expected in 2022. During the May II plenary session, Parliament is expected to adopt a resolution on the second annual rule of law report.

2021 Report on Albania

Lyhyesti 16-05-2022

Albania has been an EU candidate country since June 2014. The Council decided on 25 March 2020 to open accession negotiations, after the country had made some progress towards meeting the political criteria and the five key priorities that need to be fulfilled to become an EU Member State; the European Council endorsed this decision the following day. However, negotiations have not yet started, and Albania is advancing towards EU membership at a very slow pace. The main obstacles remain flaws in ...

2021 Report on North Macedonia

Lyhyesti 16-05-2022

North Macedonia was the first western Balkan country to conclude a stabilisation and association agreement with the EU in 2004; just one year later, it became a candidate country. However, disputes with Greece blocked any progress in accession negotiations until 2019. Pending bilateral issues with Bulgaria still need to be resolved as a matter of priority to unlock the negotiations. Parliament's position on the European Commission's 2021 report on the country is expected to be voted during the May ...

Adapting tax systems to globalisation and digitalisation has been the subject of discussions and reforms in international forums and the EU over recent decades. One of the aims is to make sure large multinational enterprises (MNEs) pay a minimum level of tax on the income arising in each jurisdiction in which they operate. At global level, an agreement was found last October within the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) inclusive framework. A December 2021 European Commission ...

Companies can play a key role in building a sustainable economy and society, and in furthering environmental goals. At the same time, their global value chains may pose risks to human rights and the environment. Civil society, governments and companies are increasingly aware of the issue. A growing number of EU companies have taken initiatives to deploy due diligence processes, often using the existing international voluntary standards on responsible business conduct. Some Member States have started ...

Financial information is vital for the investigation of serious crime and for the freezing of the proceeds of crime, but EU investigators often lack the tools for effective investigation, especially when dealing with cross-border crime. The proposed amendment to Directive (EU) 2019/1153 would allow designated competent authorities responsible for the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences to access and search Member States’ centralised bank account registers through ...