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Respect for fundamental freedoms and human rights is a core value of the EU, which it promotes through its policies. The European Parliament's Sakharov Prize honours the work of those who stand up for these freedoms and rights. With peace and human rights under increased attack today, the prize remains as relevant as ever. This year it has been awarded to the brave people of Ukraine, represented by their president, elected leaders, and civil society, who have fought hard and sacrificed a lot to protect ...

A long-term vision for the EU's rural areas

Sracfhéachaint 07-12-2022

In June 2021, the European Commission unveiled its vision on how to boost the development of the EU's rural areas by 2040. The European Parliament decided to draw up an own-initiative report on the issue. The report by Parliament's Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI) is due for a plenary vote in December.

The implementation of two European Commission documents on cultural policies is under scrutiny at a moment when the European Union is awaiting new guiding principles for its cultural policy. One document focuses on the role of culture in external relations and the way to establish an EU strategy in this domain. The other proposes objectives and specific actions regarding the role of culture in the EU's society and economy.

The current multiannual financial framework (MFF) is under extreme strain owing to the multiple crises the EU is facing, notably the war in Ukraine and the effects it has triggered. With funds and flexibility measures already extensively used and further funding challenges still ahead, the European Parliament's Committee on Budgets, in an own-initiative report, calls for an urgent and ambitious revision of the MFF to increase the EU budget and make it more flexible. This should enable the EU to confront ...

In a report adopted on 17 November 2022, the European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties takes stock of progress towards implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the European Union (EU). The text will be debated and put to the vote during Parliament's December plenary session.

REPowerEU: Amending energy legislation

Sracfhéachaint 07-12-2022

Under the REPower EU plan, the European Commission proposed targeted amendments to EU legislation in the energy field that would accelerate the take-up of renewable energy sources and promote further increased energy efficiency and savings. The ITRE committee adopted its report on these proposals on 14 November 2022.

This briefing provides a pre-legislative synthesis of the positions of national, regional and local governmental organisations on the European Commission's initiative on equality bodies, which have been established in every EU Member State to tackle discrimination. It forms part of an EPRS series offering a summary of the pre-legislative state of play and advance consultation on a range of key European Commission priorities during its 5-year term. It seeks to present the state of affairs, to examine ...

The EU's relations with China are changing rapidly. What priorities, choices, challenges and opportunities might emerge for the EU in its dealings with China over the next decade? This study presents the results of an expert survey on the future of EU-China relations. 171 China observers took part, drawn from among European think tanks, EU institutions and a China-focused European youth network. A synthesis of the responses reflects the considerations, insights and advice of Europe's China knowledge ...

This study on the Commission’s use of consultants in preparing legislation was produced for the Policy Department for Budgetary Affairs in 2022. It examines the European Commission’s use of consultants, its evolution and extent, and considers the budgetary, legal and political implications. In terms of scope, the study looks back over the past 10 years, providing an analysis of both the amounts spent on consultants and other issues including the types of activity that were contracted out, how many ...

Electronic signatures

Sracfhéachaint 06-12-2022

Electronic signatures have been in use for a while, but it is not always obvious which specific type of signature is required for which process, and when they cannot be used. Neither is it clear whether electronic signatures protect users' interests as well as their handwritten equivalents. In its 2014 regulation on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market, the EU offered some answers on electronic signatures' legal effect, but did not harmonise ...