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Područje politike
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Walking the Thin Line: Central Bank Communication

15-01-2020

Central banks use communication both as a monetary policy instrument and as a tool for accountability. The ECB’s communication practices have changed significantly in recent years. Yet, new challenges await. The ECB President, Ms Christine Lagarde, stated that she sees the general public as the “new frontier” for central bank communications. The Monetary Expert Panel was asked to produce three papers on this topic. This publication is provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee ...

Central banks use communication both as a monetary policy instrument and as a tool for accountability. The ECB’s communication practices have changed significantly in recent years. Yet, new challenges await. The ECB President, Ms Christine Lagarde, stated that she sees the general public as the “new frontier” for central bank communications. The Monetary Expert Panel was asked to produce three papers on this topic. This publication is provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON).

Vanjski autor

Daniel GROS, Angela CAPOLONGO, Kerstin BERNOTH, Geraldine DANY-KNEDLIK, Eddie GERBA, Corrado MACCHIARELLI

Understanding development effectiveness: Concepts, players and tools

09-01-2020

In the context of the limited availability of development aid, there is an increased demand for effective results. This means that both developing and richer countries must commit to spending and using aid more effectively. Public funding is not enough to cover all needs, but it can leverage initiatives from civil society and the private sector. The increase in stakeholders and intervention methods, both in terms of numbers and variety, combined with the necessity to address needs in the field more ...

In the context of the limited availability of development aid, there is an increased demand for effective results. This means that both developing and richer countries must commit to spending and using aid more effectively. Public funding is not enough to cover all needs, but it can leverage initiatives from civil society and the private sector. The increase in stakeholders and intervention methods, both in terms of numbers and variety, combined with the necessity to address needs in the field more precisely, has led to a global rethinking of how to assess development. High-level forums and stakeholder networks have helped to fine-tune the main principles of development effectiveness and to shift from a donor-recipient relationship to a more cooperative framework. Methods and tools have improved and led to better planning, implementation and appraisal of development projects. The EU has been closely involved in designing and implementing the effectiveness principles. The European Parliament often refers to them, insisting that they must not be sacrificed for the sake of short-term interests. This briefing is an update of a previous edition from April 2017.

Transparency, integrity and accountability in the EU institutions

26-03-2019

This briefing provides an overview of the main tools on transparency, integrity and accountability implemented in the EU institutions and the reforms thereof.

This briefing provides an overview of the main tools on transparency, integrity and accountability implemented in the EU institutions and the reforms thereof.

United Nations reform

13-02-2019

At the 72nd United Nations (UN) General Assembly on 18 September 2017, 120 countries expressed their commitment to the reforms proposed by UN Secretary-General António Guterres. Since 1946, the UN has undergone a number of reforms either in whole or in part. The term 'reform' has proved troublesome for UN member states on account of its lack of clarity and the lack of consensus as to execution. This is particularly apparent in the scepticism expressed by the United States (US) in 2018 regarding the ...

At the 72nd United Nations (UN) General Assembly on 18 September 2017, 120 countries expressed their commitment to the reforms proposed by UN Secretary-General António Guterres. Since 1946, the UN has undergone a number of reforms either in whole or in part. The term 'reform' has proved troublesome for UN member states on account of its lack of clarity and the lack of consensus as to execution. This is particularly apparent in the scepticism expressed by the United States (US) in 2018 regarding the need for global governance, the importance of UN Security Council decisions such as the Iran nuclear deal, and the efficiency of the United Nations. This briefing explains how the current reform differs from previous ones, in as much as it focuses on management and addresses the criticisms of a lack of accountability and transparency, ineffectiveness, and the deficit in trust between the organisation and its member states in the current system. The United Nations reform agenda centres on three key areas: development, management, and peace and security. First, development reform will bring a bold change to the UN development system in order to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This will be centred on the creation of a new generation of country teams led by an independent team of UN country experts ('resident coordinators'). Second, the simplification of processes, increased transparency and improved delivery of mandates will form the basis of a new management paradigm for the secretariat. Third, peace and security reform will be underpinned by placing priority on conflict prevention and peacekeeping, increasing the effectiveness and coherence of peacekeeping operations and political missions. Two years after its launch, the reform process is starting to bear fruit, with implementation set to begin in 2019 and a focus on streamlining, accountability, transparency and efficiency. However, the reform process does not make explicit mention of bolstering human rights. This briefing also explores the possibility of capitalising on the current reforms so as to boost the indivisibility of human rights, while taking stock of stakeholders' reactions to the UN reforms under way.

Review of status of the Commission’s register of expert groups and their composition

30-11-2018

This report aims to provide insights into the development, since 2016, of the European Commission’s system of Expert Groups, including the Register of Expert Groups, thus updating the European Parliament’s study ‘Composition of the Commission’s expert groups and the status of the register of expert groups’ (September 2015). The Update finds that the European Commission’s revised Horizontal Rules, introduced in May 2016, triggered important improvements in terms of balance of interests, transparency ...

This report aims to provide insights into the development, since 2016, of the European Commission’s system of Expert Groups, including the Register of Expert Groups, thus updating the European Parliament’s study ‘Composition of the Commission’s expert groups and the status of the register of expert groups’ (September 2015). The Update finds that the European Commission’s revised Horizontal Rules, introduced in May 2016, triggered important improvements in terms of balance of interests, transparency and gender balance. Notwithstanding, there is further room for enhancing the system, and this Update recommends: further strengthening balance with a specific focus on the Expert Groups that continue to experience imbalance; further enhance transparency of Expert Group deliberations; remind Expert Groups about the requirement for gender balance; for the European Commission to report on the system and evaluate the system’s performance; and to conduct further research on specific types of Expert Group members and the use of Expert Groups.

Vanjski autor

Roland Blomeyer, Margarita Sanz, Veronika Kubekova and Mike Beke

EU Agencies, Common Approach and Parliamentary Scrutiny

21-11-2018

Decentralised agencies were set up on a case-by-case basis over the years, to respond to emerging individual policy needs. Currently there are 36 of them and they have been operating under very diverse conditions. This study provides an overview of the different decentralised EU agencies according to a number of criteria; including their functions, legal bases, sources of financing, respective roles of Parliament, Council, Commission and Member States, stakeholder involvement and transparency. It ...

Decentralised agencies were set up on a case-by-case basis over the years, to respond to emerging individual policy needs. Currently there are 36 of them and they have been operating under very diverse conditions. This study provides an overview of the different decentralised EU agencies according to a number of criteria; including their functions, legal bases, sources of financing, respective roles of Parliament, Council, Commission and Member States, stakeholder involvement and transparency. It particularly examines how the parliamentary scrutiny over decentralised agencies is ensured and suggests possible improvements to those mechanisms in order to reach a more coherent, efficient and transparent institutional set up for the parliamentary scrutiny over agencies’ activities.

Vanjski autor

EPRS, DG

The European Ombudsman: Reflections on the role and its potential

20-11-2018

The European Ombudsman is a body established to ensure that maladministration in the EU institutions is addressed and where possible remedied. From the establishment of the European Ombudsman, personalities and the open-ended character of the notion of maladministration have been relevant in shaping the activity of the office. Maladministration is widely accepted to be a sphere of inappropriate behaviour of the administration that goes beyond simple illegality. The particularity of the Ombudsman ...

The European Ombudsman is a body established to ensure that maladministration in the EU institutions is addressed and where possible remedied. From the establishment of the European Ombudsman, personalities and the open-ended character of the notion of maladministration have been relevant in shaping the activity of the office. Maladministration is widely accepted to be a sphere of inappropriate behaviour of the administration that goes beyond simple illegality. The particularity of the Ombudsman lies therefore on the fact that it is able, through the exercise of 'soft power', to tackle issues that would escape the scrutiny of the Court of Justice of the EU. This paper provides an overview of the activity of the Ombudsman, and attempts to identify the main areas of activity in quantitative terms, the main institutions to which the Ombudsman addresses inquiries and recommendations and highlights the proactive role exercised by this body so far. The compliance rate with the recommendations of the Ombudsman is rather high, although it would seem to decrease where the Ombudsman, by issuing critical remarks, exercises an 'educational' function. This paper also sets out some proposals to modify the Statute, with some less-extensive proposals, that would take into account already established practices, and other more far-reaching proposals, that would need however to be carefully considered so as not to distort the nature of the body.

An overview of shell companies in the European Union

17-10-2018

In April 2018, the European Parliament's Special Committee on Financial Crimes, Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance (TAX3) requested a study on shell companies in the EU. In response to this request, the Ex-Post Evaluation Unit (EVAL) and the European Added Value Unit (EAVA) of the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) prepared this study. The study aims to contribute to a better understanding of the phenomenon of shell companies in the European Union. In particular, it approaches the issue through ...

In April 2018, the European Parliament's Special Committee on Financial Crimes, Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance (TAX3) requested a study on shell companies in the EU. In response to this request, the Ex-Post Evaluation Unit (EVAL) and the European Added Value Unit (EAVA) of the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) prepared this study. The study aims to contribute to a better understanding of the phenomenon of shell companies in the European Union. In particular, it approaches the issue through a set of ‘proxy’ indicators at a member state level. It proceeds by presenting main risks associated with the shell companies. Finally, if presents policies aiming at mitigating these identified risks.

VAT Fraud: Economic Impact, Challenges and Policy Issues

15-10-2018

Each year, the EU Member States lose billions of euros in VAT revenues on account of fraud. As the EU VAT system is undergoing profound modernisation, this study seeks (i) to take stock of the current state of play, (ii) to assess the current regulatory framework and the proposals under discussion, and (iii) to offer a selection of recommendations. An initial conclusion is that, while the European Commission has put a considerable amount of work into the modernisation of the EU VAT system, remaining ...

Each year, the EU Member States lose billions of euros in VAT revenues on account of fraud. As the EU VAT system is undergoing profound modernisation, this study seeks (i) to take stock of the current state of play, (ii) to assess the current regulatory framework and the proposals under discussion, and (iii) to offer a selection of recommendations. An initial conclusion is that, while the European Commission has put a considerable amount of work into the modernisation of the EU VAT system, remaining risks of fraud cannot be ignored. A second substantial conclusion is that a different approach and the use of new technologies would allow the Member States to remove significant obstacles that currently impede an effective fight against VAT fraud. This study was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the TAX3 Committee.

Vanjski autor

Marie LAMENSCH, Emanuele CECI

EP-EUI Roundtable - Role of the European Parliament in promoting the use of independent expertise in the legislative process

16-08-2018

This report reflects on the role of European Parliament in promoting the use of independent expertise in the European legislative process. The European Parliament has a unique model of involving independent expertise of universities and think tanks in the European legislative process to guarantee that its decisions are based on the best available evidence. The EP-EUI roundtable discussed the general framework, best practices and the way forward for involving independent expertise in the European ...

This report reflects on the role of European Parliament in promoting the use of independent expertise in the European legislative process. The European Parliament has a unique model of involving independent expertise of universities and think tanks in the European legislative process to guarantee that its decisions are based on the best available evidence. The EP-EUI roundtable discussed the general framework, best practices and the way forward for involving independent expertise in the European legislative process. This document has been prepared in the framework of scientific cooperation between the European Parliament and the European University Institute.

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