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The European Union is party to the Aarhus Convention on access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters. The Aarhus Regulation applies the Convention's provisions to EU institutions and bodies. In 2017, the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee, reviewing implementation by the parties, found that the EU fails to comply with its obligations under Article 9, paragraphs 3 and 4 of the convention concerning access to justice by members of ...

Dissemination of terrorist content is one of the most widespread and most dangerous forms of misuse of online services in the field of internal security. In line with the 2015 European agenda on security, and taking into account the impact of this propaganda on the radicalisation, recruitment and training of terrorists, the European Commission launched a voluntary system for tackling terrorism online, based on guidelines and recommendations. However, given the limitations of self-regulation, in September ...

These briefings discuss how free trade agreements (FTAs) can help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It provides an overview of FTAs with provisions supporting SMEs internationalise. Based on a literature review, we also discuss the main challenges and concerns for SMEs doing business in third countries. First, we show the current situation of European SMEs with respect to internationalisation and highlight the corresponding benefits. Following previous literature on the topic, we distinguish ...

A responsible TPLF regulatory framework should aim at lowering costs, simplifying unnecessary procedures, increasing the predictability of costs, and delivering efficient services at costs that are proportionate to the amounts in dispute. We explored additional effective safeguards and a number of policy options regarding the contractual, ethical and procedural aspects of TPLF. We then estimated the European added value (EAV) for two alternatives, namely a moderate and a strong regulatory approach ...

At the first plenary session of March 2021, the European Parliament is set to discuss and adopt a resolution on the European Ombudsman's activities in the year 2019, based on the Ombudsman's annual report presented on 4 May 2020. The report covers the final year of Emily O'Reilly's first mandate as Ombudsman before her re election for a second term in late December 2019.

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the JURI Committee, explores the concept of “Rights of Nature” (RoN) and its different aspects in legal philosophy and international agreements, as well as in legislation and case-law on different levels. The study delves on the ideas of rights of nature in comparison with rights to nature, legal personhood and standing in court for natural entities, and analyses ...

Non-financial Reporting Directive

Briefing 28-01-2021

In line with the European Green Deal, a key element to foster sustainable growth and finance the green transition will be to channel funding in economic activities that contribute to environmental, social and governance-related objectives. Directive 2014/95/EU on the disclosure of non-financial and diversity information (NFRD) has set the EU on a clear course towards greater business transparency and accountability on social and environmental issues. It helps to measure, monitor and manage companies ...

This study analyses the role and development of Points of Single Contact and other information services. It reviews recent policy documents, and identifies a range of weaknesses for the provision of contact points. The main recommendations are to improve monitoring (using the indicators and the Single Market Scoreboard) and make use of infringement proceedings in case of non-compliance. The actions could build on the instruments available under the recent Single Digital Gateway Regulation. This ...

Given its central role in public accountability and in the formation of expectations, it is important to reflect on ways to improve the ECB’s communication policy. Communication should not generally strive for maximum transparency. The optimum degree of transparency varies between different aspects of monetary policy and banking supervision. Although the ECB already communicates very openly with the public and achieves a very high level of transparency in all aspects, we see room for improvement ...

Central banks are increasingly recognising the importance of communicating with the wider public. We document that interest in monetary policy is intermittent, usually linked to major decisions and/or personnel changes. The ECB should not expect that every one of its decisions is noticed by the general public. The Monetary Dialogue fulfils the typical function of a representative democracy in which citizens delegate to their elected representatives the task of monitoring policy implementation by ...