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On 22 January 2021, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (the TPNW) enters into force. On that day, nuclear weapons development, testing, production, possession, stockpiling, use and threat of use, as well as the stationing or deployment of another country's nuclear weapons on a state party's national territory will become prohibited under international law. The TPNW has been hailed as historic by supporters of an initiative, which has gained ground in recent years, to rid the world of ...

This document presents the proposed amendments to the Treaty establishing the European Stability Mechanism (ESM). The note outlines the relevant changes and provides a comparison between the current ESM Treaty and the proposed amended one. This note will be updated in light of relevant developments and it complements two separate EGOV briefings: The European Stability Mechanism: Main Features, Instruments and Accountability and the ESM Pandemic Crisis Support.

The Abraham Accords

Sracfhéachaint 05-11-2020

On 15 September 2020, in a White House ceremony, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain signed the 'Abraham Accords' with Israel, normalising pre-existing relations between them that have grown stronger mainly over fears of an expansionist Iran and loss of faith in the US's role as security provider. The accords, brokered by the US, mark a diplomatic breakthrough in the Middle East, which has seen a growing number of Arab League states strengthen ties with Israel. However, the Palestinian Authority ...

The Cotonou partnership agreement between the European Union (EU) and the African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) states is due to expire at the end of 2020. The then ACP Group of States – which later became the Organisation of the ACP States (OACPS) – and the EU adopted their negotiating mandates in May and June 2018 respectively, thus starting negotiations for a 'post-Cotonou' agreement in September 2018. The main challenge for the EU is to maintain its cooperation with the three OACPS sub-regions ...

Hong Kong: A Beijing-imposed security law?

Sracfhéachaint 11-06-2020

On 28 May 2020, the National People's Congress (NPC) of the People's Republic of China (PRC) authorised its Standing Committee to adopt a national security law for Hong Kong, bypassing the city's Parliament, the Legislative Council. The law, expected to enter into force prior to Hong Kong's legislative elections scheduled for September 2020, is likely to be a turning point for the city's 'high degree of autonomy' and a premature phasing out of the 'One country, two systems' model that was planned ...

The increasing importance of central counterparties (CCPs), and challenges such as the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the EU, call for a more comprehensive supervision of CCPs in EU and non-EU countries to secure financial market infrastructure and build confidence. In June 2017, the Commission proposed amendments to Regulation (EU) No 1095/2010 (ESMA – European Securities and Markets Authority) and Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 (EMIR – European Market Infrastructure), to strengthen the regulatory ...

In October 2020, the parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the main international agreement on biodiversity protection, will meet in Kunming (China) to agree on a post-2020 global biodiversity framework, with conservation and restoration goals for the next decade. A party to the CBD, the European Union (EU) aims 'to lead the world' at this conference (COP15), as it did at the Paris climate conference. A debate is scheduled in view of the COP15 during Parliament's ...

This study provides an analysis and overview of the review and monitoring clauses, sunset clauses, consultation clauses and management and implementation clauses contained in bilateral and multilateral international agreements concluded between the EU and other countries, and in force as of 1 September 2019.

At its 39th triennial Assembly in 2016, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) reached an agreement to tackle international aviation emissions. The first agreement of this type applying to a specific sector of the economy, its key component is the establishment of a global market-based measure to offset CO2 emissions from international aviation. Work is going on, at both EU and ICAO level, in order to have the new system operational in 2021.

In May 2018, the Commission proposed a regulation setting the first-ever CO2 emission performance standards for new heavy-duty vehicles in the EU, as part of the third mobility package. It would require the average CO2 emissions from new trucks in 2025 to be 15 % lower than in 2019. For 2030, the proposal sets an indicative reduction target of at least 30 % compared to 2019. Special incentives are provided for zero- and low-emission vehicles. The proposed regulation applies to four categories of ...