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Electronic freight transport information

24-08-2020

The movement of goods in the European Union has increased by almost 25 % over the last 20 years, and this growth is projected to continue. A large amount of information accompanies this movement, exchanged mostly in paper format. Yet the digitalisation of information exchange could make the transport of goods much more efficient and reliable, and yield significant savings. As one way to speed up the digitalisation of freight transport, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation on ...

The movement of goods in the European Union has increased by almost 25 % over the last 20 years, and this growth is projected to continue. A large amount of information accompanies this movement, exchanged mostly in paper format. Yet the digitalisation of information exchange could make the transport of goods much more efficient and reliable, and yield significant savings. As one way to speed up the digitalisation of freight transport, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation on electronic freight transport information on 17 May 2018. The aim of this regulation is to provide for a fully digital and harmonised environment for information exchanges between transport operators and authorities. The legislative proposal is part of the Commission's third 'Europe on the Move' package, which is designed to complete its agenda for the modernisation of mobility. The European Parliament adopted its position on the proposal on 12 March 2019. The Council, on its side, reached a general approach on this proposal on 6 June 2019. The Council and Parliament reached a provisional agreement on the proposal on 26 November 2019. The Council adopted the text at first reading on 7 April 2020, and the Parliament approved it at second reading on 8 July. The final act was published in the Official Journal on 31 July 2020. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Children's rights in the EU: Marking 30 years of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

13-11-2019

Adopted in 1989, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) was the first international instrument to explicitly recognise children as human beings with innate rights. Ratified by 197 countries, including all EU Member States, it has become the landmark treaty on children's rights, outlining universal standards for the care, treatment, survival, development, protection and participation of all children. The promotion and protection of children's rights is one of the key objectives ...

Adopted in 1989, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) was the first international instrument to explicitly recognise children as human beings with innate rights. Ratified by 197 countries, including all EU Member States, it has become the landmark treaty on children's rights, outlining universal standards for the care, treatment, survival, development, protection and participation of all children. The promotion and protection of children's rights is one of the key objectives embedded in Article 3(3) of the Treaty on European Union (TEU). Moreover, Article 24 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU recognises that children are entitled to 'protection and care as is necessary for their well-being'. The same article recognises that the child's best interests should be the primary consideration for public authorities and private institutions. Over the years, the EU has moved from a sectoral approach towards a more coherent policy approach. Whereas initially, children's rights were developed in relation to specific areas such as the free movement of persons, since 2000 the EU has taken a more coordinated line. This Briefing takes stock of the most recent EU action to address and promote children's rights and looks at the upcoming challenges.

UN Convention on children's rights: 30 years on

11-11-2019

This month marks the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the first international treaty to recognise children as human beings with innate rights. Since 1989, conditions for children have improved, but millions remain unprotected. This is an updated and expanded version of an 'at a glance' note from 2014.

This month marks the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the first international treaty to recognise children as human beings with innate rights. Since 1989, conditions for children have improved, but millions remain unprotected. This is an updated and expanded version of an 'at a glance' note from 2014.

The concept of 'climate refugee': Towards a possible definition

29-01-2019

According to statistics published by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, every year since 2008, an average of 26.4 million persons around the world have been forcibly displaced by floods, windstorms, earthquakes or droughts. This is equivalent to one person being displaced every second. Depending on the frequency and scale of the major natural disasters occurring, there are significant fluctuations in the total number of displaced people from one year to the next, yet the trend over recent ...

According to statistics published by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, every year since 2008, an average of 26.4 million persons around the world have been forcibly displaced by floods, windstorms, earthquakes or droughts. This is equivalent to one person being displaced every second. Depending on the frequency and scale of the major natural disasters occurring, there are significant fluctuations in the total number of displaced people from one year to the next, yet the trend over recent decades has been on the rise. Many find refuge within their own country, but some are forced to go abroad. With climate change, the number of 'climate refugees' will rise in the future. So far, the national and international response to this challenge has been limited, and protection for the people affected remains inadequate. What adds further to the gap in the protection of such people – who are often described as 'climate refugees' – is that there is neither a clear definition for this category of people, nor are they covered by the 1951 Refugee Convention. The latter extends only to people who have a well-founded fear of being persecuted because of their race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, and are unable or unwilling to seek protection from their home countries. While the EU has so far not recognised climate refugees formally, it has expressed growing concern and has taken action to support and develop resilience in the countries potentially affected by climate-related stress. This briefing is an update of an earlier one of May 2018.

Child labour: A priority for EU human rights action

15-01-2019

Despite a comprehensive normative international framework that prohibits child labour, it persists in many areas of the world, particularly in developing countries. In sub-Saharan-Africa, it has even increased in recent years. More efforts are therefore needed to combat child labour. However, not all work performed by children is harmful to their health and development. The first task is therefore to distinguish child labour – which entails harmful forms of work – from other forms of children's involvement ...

Despite a comprehensive normative international framework that prohibits child labour, it persists in many areas of the world, particularly in developing countries. In sub-Saharan-Africa, it has even increased in recent years. More efforts are therefore needed to combat child labour. However, not all work performed by children is harmful to their health and development. The first task is therefore to distinguish child labour – which entails harmful forms of work – from other forms of children's involvement with work that are acceptable and have an educational component. While international conventions provide a broad definition of child labour, they leave the task of defining more precise criteria, such as the acceptable number of working hours per week or what constitutes hazardous work, to national legislation. Child labour is a complex phenomenon that has a multiplicity of causes, among which poverty usually features first. It requires a comprehensive approach to fight it, including awareness-raising among families and local communities, due diligence by companies involved in global supply chains, and action by governments, international organisations and civil society. The European Union protects children's rights through both its internal and external policies. It has deployed measures to fight child labour through cooperation with international organisations and has funded development projects whose aim is to counter it. The human rights conditionality enshrined in the EU's trade arrangements provides another path for tackling child labour. Nevertheless, there are numerous calls from civil society and the European Parliament to impose binding legal obligations on EU-based companies, to make sure their imports of goods from developing countries are free of child labour.

China’s climate policies with an emphasis on carbon trading markets

10-10-2018

China has emerged as an important actor on the global stage with regards to the United Nations (UN) climate negotiations. China played a vital role in the successful entry-into-force of the Paris Agreement (PA) and has continued to show commitment to its implementation. The country has adopted a range of climate policies in order to fulfil its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) commitments by accelerating efforts to both improve levels of energy efficiency and to encourage a shift away from ...

China has emerged as an important actor on the global stage with regards to the United Nations (UN) climate negotiations. China played a vital role in the successful entry-into-force of the Paris Agreement (PA) and has continued to show commitment to its implementation. The country has adopted a range of climate policies in order to fulfil its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) commitments by accelerating efforts to both improve levels of energy efficiency and to encourage a shift away from coal energy to low-carbon alternatives. In the UN climate negotiations China continues to advocate that developed countries need to enhance their mitigation efforts and provision of financial support for developing countries. While the carbon and energy intensity targets for 2020, outlined in the 13th Five Year Plan (FYP), appear to be within reach, the recent increase in coal consumption in China has led to concerns regarding the achievement of the 2030 targets. Transforming such a vast economy and its energy system is in any case a long-term task that requires continuous political commitment and a wide range of well functioning policies across different levels and sectors. If the national Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) is implemented successfully (learning from the experiences of the regional ETS pilots), a strong CO2 price signal (along with market reforms to the power sector) should ensure that CO2 emissions in China peak by 2030.

Vanjski autor

Lina Li and Sean Healy

2018 Update of the Study on the protection role of the Committee on Petitions in the context of the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

01-10-2018

This briefing provides an update on the protection role of the Committee on Petitions in the context of the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD). It builds on an in-depth study requested in 2015 and updated annually since then. It reviews the relevant Petitions received and identifies current challenges regarding Parliament’s responsibilities and those of other EU institutions.

This briefing provides an update on the protection role of the Committee on Petitions in the context of the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD). It builds on an in-depth study requested in 2015 and updated annually since then. It reviews the relevant Petitions received and identifies current challenges regarding Parliament’s responsibilities and those of other EU institutions.

Vanjski autor

Mark Priestley

The Global Action Climate Summit (GCAS), San Francisco, 12-14 September 2018

16-08-2018

The briefing is for the ENVI Committee delegation to the 2018 Global Climate Action Summit, which will take place in San Francisco from the 12th until the 14th of September. The Summit will enable a range of different stakeholders (i.e. state and local governments, business and citizens) to publicize the climate actions currently being implemented ‘on the ground’ to help inspire further efforts to support and build upon the commitments pledged in the Paris Agreement.

The briefing is for the ENVI Committee delegation to the 2018 Global Climate Action Summit, which will take place in San Francisco from the 12th until the 14th of September. The Summit will enable a range of different stakeholders (i.e. state and local governments, business and citizens) to publicize the climate actions currently being implemented ‘on the ground’ to help inspire further efforts to support and build upon the commitments pledged in the Paris Agreement.

Vanjski autor

Sean Healy

Electronic documents for freight transport

03-05-2018

The large majority of freight transport operations within the EU still require and involve the use of paper documents. Electronic documentation in freight transport is used only in some Member States that base their decision on international public law, namely Additional Protocol to the UN Convention for the carriage of goods concerning the electronic consignment note which have been ratified or acceded only by 12 EU Member States. Despite various challenges linked with the introduction of the e-documentation ...

The large majority of freight transport operations within the EU still require and involve the use of paper documents. Electronic documentation in freight transport is used only in some Member States that base their decision on international public law, namely Additional Protocol to the UN Convention for the carriage of goods concerning the electronic consignment note which have been ratified or acceded only by 12 EU Member States. Despite various challenges linked with the introduction of the e-documentation in freight transport, the European Commission is expected to start an initiative on aimed at leveraging the potential of digitalisation in the transport sector in the second quarter of 2018.

Expansion of the concept of human rights: Impact on rights promotion and protection

20-03-2018

This report summarises the proceedings of a workshop organised by the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI). Academics, representatives of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the European External Action Service (EEAS) discussed the potential positive and negative impacts of the expansion of the human rights concept on the lives of individuals. Some of the invited experts underlined that human rights have always evolved in response to changing historical contexts and that ...

This report summarises the proceedings of a workshop organised by the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI). Academics, representatives of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the European External Action Service (EEAS) discussed the potential positive and negative impacts of the expansion of the human rights concept on the lives of individuals. Some of the invited experts underlined that human rights have always evolved in response to changing historical contexts and that, despite some potential negative effects, empirical evidence suggests that the benefits of their expansion largely outweigh the costs. Others argued that certain expansions can have the effect of diluting the human rights system altogether and can be instrumental for states willing to undermine core civil and political rights and to avoid scrutiny of their own violations. Finally, the EEAS outlined the EU’s action on human rights protection and promotion around the globe and highlighted that the EU’s priority is to continue to exercise leadership and unity on human rights matters in multilateral fora.

Vanjski autor

Giulia BONACQUISTI, Rosa FREEDMAN, Malcolm LANGFORD

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