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International Agreements in Progress: EU-Singapore trade and investment agreements closer to conclusion

09-10-2018

On 18 April 2018, the European Commission proposed to the Council of the EU to sign and conclude two agreements with Singapore. These agreements were created by dividing the free trade agreement reached between the EU and Singapore (EUSFTA) in 2014, but not ratified, into separate trade and investment protection agreements. When presenting the agreements, the Commission underlined that they demonstrate the commitment of Singapore and the EU to fair trade and open markets. The Council of the EU is ...

On 18 April 2018, the European Commission proposed to the Council of the EU to sign and conclude two agreements with Singapore. These agreements were created by dividing the free trade agreement reached between the EU and Singapore (EUSFTA) in 2014, but not ratified, into separate trade and investment protection agreements. When presenting the agreements, the Commission underlined that they demonstrate the commitment of Singapore and the EU to fair trade and open markets. The Council of the EU is expected to authorise the signature of the agreements in October 2018. The Commission aims to have the trade agreement come into effect before the end of its mandate in 2019, after its approval by the Council and the European Parliament. Singapore will be the first member state of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to sign bilateral trade and investment agreements with the EU. The EU views bilateral agreements with ASEAN members as steps towards achieving the final objective of a region-to-region trade and investment agreement with ASEAN. Therefore, the EU Singapore agreements are considered a reference as regards the EU's ambition to conclude trade and investment agreements with other ASEAN members. Second edition. The ‘International Agreements in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the process, from initial discussions through to ratification. To view earlier editions of this briefing, please see: PE 607.255, June 2017.

The future of the European Defence Agency (EDA)

18-07-2018

The aim of the workshop, held on 22 November 2017, was to discuss the future of the European Defence Agency (EDA) against the backdrop of framing a common Union defence policy. The first speaker, Dr Christian Mölling, provided an analysis of the issue of defence cooperation among EU member states and the difficulties it faces. In this context, he described the role and power of the EDA as well as possible options for its future. The second speaker, Professor David Versailles, focused on capabilities ...

The aim of the workshop, held on 22 November 2017, was to discuss the future of the European Defence Agency (EDA) against the backdrop of framing a common Union defence policy. The first speaker, Dr Christian Mölling, provided an analysis of the issue of defence cooperation among EU member states and the difficulties it faces. In this context, he described the role and power of the EDA as well as possible options for its future. The second speaker, Professor David Versailles, focused on capabilities and competencies as well as on the interaction between civilian and military capabilities. The presentations were followed by a debate involving members of the Security and Defence Committee of the European Parliament.

Údar seachtarach

Dr Christian MÖLLING; Dr Valérie MERINDOL and Dr David W. VERSAILLES

Subsidiarity: Mechanisms for monitoring compliance

12-07-2018

The principle of subsidiarity requires decisions to be taken at the lowest practical level of government without, however, jeopardising mutually beneficial cooperation at the supranational level. Recent decades have seen efforts to strengthen the subsidiarity principle in EU law, including the introduction of the well-known early warning mechanism (EWM) for national parliaments. At the same time, the principle of subsidiarity remains a contested notion. This has important implications for the regulatory ...

The principle of subsidiarity requires decisions to be taken at the lowest practical level of government without, however, jeopardising mutually beneficial cooperation at the supranational level. Recent decades have seen efforts to strengthen the subsidiarity principle in EU law, including the introduction of the well-known early warning mechanism (EWM) for national parliaments. At the same time, the principle of subsidiarity remains a contested notion. This has important implications for the regulatory, political and judicial bodies monitoring compliance with the principle. In this context, commentators have called for a better (and shared) understanding of the principle and have formulated a number of suggestions as to how to monitor compliance with the principle more effectively.

The African Union: Defending peace, democracy and human rights

16-11-2017

The creation of the African Union (AU) in 2002 sparked hopes for the start of a new era in African integration. New institutional mechanisms and norms have been put in place to accomplish the AU’s ambitious objectives in the area of peace, human rights and democratic governance. Despite the promise of these objectives, they have yet to become fully effective and legitimate, as many member states still need to fulfil their commitments and sign the necessary legal instruments.

The creation of the African Union (AU) in 2002 sparked hopes for the start of a new era in African integration. New institutional mechanisms and norms have been put in place to accomplish the AU’s ambitious objectives in the area of peace, human rights and democratic governance. Despite the promise of these objectives, they have yet to become fully effective and legitimate, as many member states still need to fulfil their commitments and sign the necessary legal instruments.

The Pan-African Parliament: getting ready for the 2017 AU-EU Summit

16-11-2017

Nearly three years have passed since the adoption of a revised protocol that will grant the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) legislative powers and considerably strengthen the institution within the overall African governance system. While very few countries have ratified the protocol so far, the acceleration of its ratification procedures is a priority for the recently elected PAP president. The EP and the PAP enjoy a long-standing partnership and both of them have an important role to play in monitoring ...

Nearly three years have passed since the adoption of a revised protocol that will grant the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) legislative powers and considerably strengthen the institution within the overall African governance system. While very few countries have ratified the protocol so far, the acceleration of its ratification procedures is a priority for the recently elected PAP president. The EP and the PAP enjoy a long-standing partnership and both of them have an important role to play in monitoring the Joint Africa EU Strategy (JAES) and its roadmap for 2014-2017. The fifth EU-Africa Summit, which will be held in Côte d’Ivoire in November 2017, will assess the implementation of the road map and identify new priorities for the future. Thematic priorities for the upcoming summit include youth, peace and security and migration, which are now at the heart of the relationship between the two continents.

Consumer Protection Cooperation Regulation

08-11-2017

The European Commission has proposed the revision of the Consumer Protection Cooperation (CPC) Regulation, to broaden its scope and strengthen the powers of the national authorities cooperating on cross-border EU consumer-law infringements. Three rounds of trilogue negotiations produced a provisional agreement in June 2017, now awaiting a first-reading vote in plenary in November.

The European Commission has proposed the revision of the Consumer Protection Cooperation (CPC) Regulation, to broaden its scope and strengthen the powers of the national authorities cooperating on cross-border EU consumer-law infringements. Three rounds of trilogue negotiations produced a provisional agreement in June 2017, now awaiting a first-reading vote in plenary in November.

Prudential requirements for credit institutions and investment firms

23-10-2017

The new framework for 'simple, transparent, and standardised' (STS) securitisations has implications for the overall prudential framework for credit institutions and investment firms. The Commission has proposed to amend the existing Capital Requirements Regulation (CRR) accordingly, to adjust risk retention profiles to reflect properly the specific features of STS securitisations. Parliament is due to vote on the proposal during the October II plenary session.

The new framework for 'simple, transparent, and standardised' (STS) securitisations has implications for the overall prudential framework for credit institutions and investment firms. The Commission has proposed to amend the existing Capital Requirements Regulation (CRR) accordingly, to adjust risk retention profiles to reflect properly the specific features of STS securitisations. Parliament is due to vote on the proposal during the October II plenary session.

The European Systemic Risk Board: Output since Inception

23-05-2017

This briefing looks back at five years of existence of the ESRB and gives an overview of its concrete output. It will be regularly updated.

This briefing looks back at five years of existence of the ESRB and gives an overview of its concrete output. It will be regularly updated.

International Criminal Court at 15: International justice and the crisis of multilateralism

10-05-2017

The establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on 1 July 2002 was heralded at the time as a major breakthrough for ending impunity for most serious crimes of international concern, namely genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Fifteen years later, the record of the Court is mixed and criticism from both supporters and opponents has abounded. The challenges and the criticism it is currently facing are typical of many other multilateral institutions today. The Court has conducted ...

The establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on 1 July 2002 was heralded at the time as a major breakthrough for ending impunity for most serious crimes of international concern, namely genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Fifteen years later, the record of the Court is mixed and criticism from both supporters and opponents has abounded. The challenges and the criticism it is currently facing are typical of many other multilateral institutions today. The Court has conducted investigations and trials on some of the world's most brutal conflicts, but it has faced criticism that it was politicised and biased against the African continent. The atrocities committed by groups such as ISIL/Da'esh have unveiled the ICC's limitations, since it is unable to investigate in Syria and Iraq, which are not parties to the Rome Statute, without UN Security Council authorisation. As a multilateral institution with universal ambitions, the Court is also limited in its effectiveness by the refusal of major powers such as the US, China and Russia to join it. Lack of cooperation by some states parties has also severely constrained its effectiveness. Yet the Court has had positive effects on the capacity of some states to deal themselves with crimes under their jurisdiction. The Court has taken its role seriously, not shying away from indicting persons of the highest rank, such as heads of state, and proving that it is committed to the principle of universal responsibility. Shortcomings in the prosecutorial investigations, for example in relation to witness interference and protection, have been addressed in a transparent and firm way.

Towards a European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO)

17-11-2016

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the LIBE Committee, analyses the proposal for a Regulation establishing the EPPO. The evolution of the text is analysed through a comparison between the initial Commission proposal and the current version of the text (dated of 28 October 2016). The paper assesses whether the EPPO, as it is currently envisaged, would fit the objectives assigned to it, whether it ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the LIBE Committee, analyses the proposal for a Regulation establishing the EPPO. The evolution of the text is analysed through a comparison between the initial Commission proposal and the current version of the text (dated of 28 October 2016). The paper assesses whether the EPPO, as it is currently envisaged, would fit the objectives assigned to it, whether it will have some added value, and whether it will be able to function efficiently and in full respect of fundamental rights. It focuses on the main issues at stake and controversial points of discussion, namely the EPPO institutional design, some material issues, its procedural framework, and its relations with its partners.

Údar seachtarach

Anne WEYEMBERGH (Université Libre de Bruxelles and Coordinator of the European Criminal Law Academic Network - ECLAN) and Chloé BRIERE (Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium)

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