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This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the LIBE Committee, identifies new challenges to democratic resilience and electoral processes, systematically mapping the EU responses to counter them. The study focuses both on external and internal challenges and assesses the responses of the Union particularly in the run-up to the 2024 European Parliament elections. It also provides specific policy recommendations ...

After years of pressure from civil society organisations and the European Parliament, in 2023 the European Commission tabled a proposal to improve the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) cross-border enforcement procedure. The proposal lays out detailed and innovative rules that would promote harmonisation, yet this analysis shows that more could be done to deliver on the promise of strong and timely enforcement. It follows from the nature of the Commission's targeted approach that the scope ...

After years of pressure from civil society organisations and the European Parliament, in July 2023 the Commission tabled a proposal to improve the GDPR cross-border enforcement procedure. The proposal consists of rules that are detailed and innovative, yet also quite complex, especially when dealing with the various phases of the GDPR cooperation and consistency mechanism. To help convey an in-depth understanding and facilitate a critical discussion, this briefing tabulates the envisaged procedure ...

Russia's invasion of Ukraine, including the military build-up before the invasion began on 24 February, dominated every one of the nine meetings of the European Council in 2022. It affected most issues with which the European Council dealt during the year, ranging from energy policy to the broader economy, to security and defence, to enlargement, to external relations. The extent of the EU's humanitarian, economic, political (notably in the form of EU candidacy), and even military assistance to Ukraine ...

At the March European Council meeting, discussions focussed on the war in Ukraine, security and defence, the Middle East and enlargement. With a new sense of urgency, EU leaders reiterated their steadfast support for Ukraine, calling on the Council to rapidly adopt an eighth support package for Ukraine. Regarding security and defence, they agreed on the need to increase defence readiness and boost the defence industry, but did not agree on ways of promoting the defence sector. On the Middle East, ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the PETI Committee, analyses the impact of digitalization on vulnerable social groups in terms of lower income and education, age, people affected by disabilities, minority ethnic groups and people living in remote/isolated geographic areas. It includes a review of the relevant academic literature, secondary data analysis, as well as three case studies focused ...

The European Council brings together the Heads of State or Government of the 27 EU Member States in regular meetings which seek to define the overall political direction and priorities of the European Union. This briefing offers a selection of key facts and figures about this institution, detailing its membership, role, activities, political composition and development over time.

The update of the EU's fiscal rules is almost complete – in time to be adopted ahead of the legislative break for the 2024 European elections. There has been a long-standing need to update the EU economic governance framework to make it better suited to the current and future challenges the EU is facing. The existing rules have formed over time since the 1992 Maastricht Treaty. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 saw the activation of the 'general escape clause' in the rules, giving ...

This EPRS publication, 'Key issues in the European Council', which is updated every quarter to coincide with European Council meetings, seeks to provide an overview of the institution's activities on major EU issues. It analyses 12 broad policy areas, explaining the legal and political background, the main priorities and orientations defined by the European Council and the results of its involvement to date, as well as some of the future challenges in each policy field.

At the 21-22 March European Council meeting, discussions will focus on Ukraine, security and defence, the Middle East and enlargement. Concerning security and defence, EU leaders will consider the new European defence industrial strategy presented by the European Commission. On Ukraine, they are expected to reiterate their commitment to supporting the country, and welcome the establishment of a Ukraine Assistance Fund regarding military aid as well as the 13th package of sanctions against Russia. ...