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The 2020 Sakharov Prize laureate: The democratic opposition in Belarus

01-12-2020

At a time when authoritarianism is rising, the Sakharov Prize draws attention to the situation of those who resist the repression of human rights and fundamental freedoms. This year, the prize is to be awarded to the democratic opposition in Belarus, represented by the Coordination Council. It rewards its courageous and peaceful role in opposing the falsification of the August 2020 elections, despite a brutal crackdown by the authorities. The Sakharov Prize will be presented in a ceremony during ...

At a time when authoritarianism is rising, the Sakharov Prize draws attention to the situation of those who resist the repression of human rights and fundamental freedoms. This year, the prize is to be awarded to the democratic opposition in Belarus, represented by the Coordination Council. It rewards its courageous and peaceful role in opposing the falsification of the August 2020 elections, despite a brutal crackdown by the authorities. The Sakharov Prize will be presented in a ceremony during the European Parliament's December plenary session.

The state of play of Schengen governance An assessment of the Schengen evaluation and monitoring mechanism in its first multiannual programme

27-11-2020

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the LIBE Committee, assesses the operation and impact of the Schengen evaluation and monitoring mechanism in its first multiannual programme (2014-19), with the aim of identifying what has worked well and developing recommendations to strengthen it. The past decade has presented multiple controversies involving the governments of Schengen states as well as EU institutions ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the LIBE Committee, assesses the operation and impact of the Schengen evaluation and monitoring mechanism in its first multiannual programme (2014-19), with the aim of identifying what has worked well and developing recommendations to strengthen it. The past decade has presented multiple controversies involving the governments of Schengen states as well as EU institutions, leading to a persistent state of apparent crisis. The ongoing “Schengen crisis” is rooted in political changes and in structural shortcomings of the Schengen regime. Despite these obstacles, the resilience of the Schengen system should not be underestimated.

Külső szerző

Martin WAGNER & Caitlin KATSIAFICAS Josephine LIEBL Leila HADJ ABDOU & Lenka DRAŽANOVÁ Julien JEANDESBOZ

UK Internal Market Bill and the Withdrawal Agreement

20-11-2020

On 9 September 2020, the United Kingdom (UK) government tabled a bill in the House of Commons which would govern the country's internal market after the Brexit transition period ends. It aims to allow goods and services to flow freely between the four jurisdictions of the UK – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – replacing the rules now in place through membership of the EU's single market. Certain parts of this UK Internal Market Bill are particularly controversial, as they explicitly ...

On 9 September 2020, the United Kingdom (UK) government tabled a bill in the House of Commons which would govern the country's internal market after the Brexit transition period ends. It aims to allow goods and services to flow freely between the four jurisdictions of the UK – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – replacing the rules now in place through membership of the EU's single market. Certain parts of this UK Internal Market Bill are particularly controversial, as they explicitly contravene the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland attached to the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) that was ratified in January 2020. First, the bill provides that the UK government may authorise Northern Ireland businesses not to complete exit summary declarations when sending goods to Great Britain, thereby breaching the Union Customs Code applicable to NI. The bill would also allow the UK government to interpret, dis-apply or modify the application of the State aid rules of the European Union, which are applicable to UK measures that affect trade between Northern Ireland and the EU. Last but not least, the bill provides that UK regulations in these areas will have effect notwithstanding their incompatibility with relevant domestic or international law, including the Withdrawal Agreement. The reaction of the European Commission to the bill was immediate, calling for an extraordinary meeting of the EU-UK Joint Committee, which was held the following day, 10 September. On 1 October, the Commission sent a letter of formal notice to the UK for breaching its obligations under the WA, marking the beginning of an infringement process against the UK. As the UK did not reply by the end of October, the Commission may now proceed with the process, sending a Reasoned Opinion to the UK. Meanwhile, the bill has passed third reading in the House of Commons, even if in the House of Lords the government has been heavily defeated, with amendments removing the controversial clauses. While the government has indicated its intention to re-table the clauses when the bill returns to the Commons in December, it would be open to it to no longer press for their inclusion, if and when agreement is reached in the ongoing negotiations on the future EU-UK relationship.

Article 50 TEU in practice: How the EU has applied the 'exit' clause

17-11-2020

The United Kingdom's 2016 referendum on EU membership triggered the first ever application of Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU), the withdrawal clause. However, as Article 50 TEU had never been tested, some aspects of the procedure had to be defined in real time, a process that was not without controversy. This EPRS In-depth Analysis looks at how the EU has applied the 'exit clause' that sets out the conditions and procedure to be followed in the event of a Member State wishing to ...

The United Kingdom's 2016 referendum on EU membership triggered the first ever application of Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU), the withdrawal clause. However, as Article 50 TEU had never been tested, some aspects of the procedure had to be defined in real time, a process that was not without controversy. This EPRS In-depth Analysis looks at how the EU has applied the 'exit clause' that sets out the conditions and procedure to be followed in the event of a Member State wishing to leave the Union. Looking first at the origins and the main features of the withdrawal clause, the paper then emphasises the way in which the Union filled in certain gaps left open in the drafting of Article 50 TEU and took the lead in establishing the main parameters for the withdrawal negotiations with the UK. It also analyses the European Parliament's success in forging a more substantial role in the withdrawal negotiations than that originally assigned to it by the Treaties.

RESEARCH FOR PECH COMMITTEE: Impact of the use of offshore wind and other marine renewables on European fisheries

12-11-2020

The study provides an overview of general impacts of the development of offshore wind farms and other marine renewables on the European fishing sector. It further highlights pathways for possible co-existence solutions of both sectors, a description of best practice examples and lessons learnt, the identification of research gaps and last but not least the presentation of policy recommendations.

The study provides an overview of general impacts of the development of offshore wind farms and other marine renewables on the European fishing sector. It further highlights pathways for possible co-existence solutions of both sectors, a description of best practice examples and lessons learnt, the identification of research gaps and last but not least the presentation of policy recommendations.

Külső szerző

Vanessa STELZENMÜLLER, Antje GIMPEL, Jonas LETSCHERT, Casper KRAAN, Ralf DÖRING

40 years of the Hague Convention on child abduction: legal and societal changes in the rights of a child

06-11-2020

This in-depth analysis has been commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the JURI Committee in the context of the workshop to mark the 40th Anniversary of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. It looks into the implementation of the 1980 Convention, as regards the respect of autonomy of parts, validity of agreements and mediation, and describes, from a practitioner’s point of ...

This in-depth analysis has been commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the JURI Committee in the context of the workshop to mark the 40th Anniversary of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. It looks into the implementation of the 1980 Convention, as regards the respect of autonomy of parts, validity of agreements and mediation, and describes, from a practitioner’s point of view, how the parents and children see the process. The paper concludes that in order to protect the interest of the child, the 1980 Convention should be maintained with restricted exceptions, but more should be done in terms of prevention. The new measures should include, in particular, harmonisation of the relocation proceedings and principles, enforceability of mediation agreements, and increasing of the autonomy of the parties through the inclusion of residence and custody plans in prenuptial agreements.

Külső szerző

Adriana DE RUITER

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) and its implementation into EU Company law

05-11-2020

Building on both European Union (EU) law and chosen Member States’ legislation, this study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the JURI Committee aims at understanding to what extent Member States are supporting the development and the implementation of CSR strategies in the business community, with particular focus on due diligence requirements. It also attempts at providing some recommendations aimed at ...

Building on both European Union (EU) law and chosen Member States’ legislation, this study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the JURI Committee aims at understanding to what extent Member States are supporting the development and the implementation of CSR strategies in the business community, with particular focus on due diligence requirements. It also attempts at providing some recommendations aimed at possibility developing a comprehensive and structured approach to CSR for the whole of the EU.

Külső szerző

Kletia Noti ; Prof. Federico Maria Mucciarelli; Dr Virginia dalla Pozza; Carlo Angelici Mattia PILLININI.

THE CHILD PERSPECTIVE IN THE CONTEXT OF THE 1980 HAGUE CONVENTION

31-10-2020

This in-depth analysis, commissioned by the Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the Committee on Legal Affairs in the context of the Workshop to mark the 40th Anniversary of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, examines the way in which subject children feature within Convention proceedings. It considers the aims of the Convention, and the lack of supranational control of its application. It draws on empirical ...

This in-depth analysis, commissioned by the Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the Committee on Legal Affairs in the context of the Workshop to mark the 40th Anniversary of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, examines the way in which subject children feature within Convention proceedings. It considers the aims of the Convention, and the lack of supranational control of its application. It draws on empirical research relating to the effects and consequences of child abduction to discuss the opportunities for children and young people to participate within Convention proceedings, and highlights the international obligations for such participation within the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, and other regional instruments. Different jurisdictional approaches are explained, and the role of culture in this context is probed. The impact of COVID-19 on abducted children is also explored.

Külső szerző

Marilyn FREEMAN

RESEARCH FOR PECH COMMITTEE: Impact of the use of offshore wind and other marine renewables on European fisheries

30-10-2020

The study provides an overview of general impacts of the development of offshore wind farms and other marine renewables on the European fishing sector. It further highlights pathways for possible co-existence solutions of both sectors, a description of best practice examples and lessons learnt, the identification of research gaps and last but not least the presentation of policy recommendations.

The study provides an overview of general impacts of the development of offshore wind farms and other marine renewables on the European fishing sector. It further highlights pathways for possible co-existence solutions of both sectors, a description of best practice examples and lessons learnt, the identification of research gaps and last but not least the presentation of policy recommendations.

Külső szerző

Vanessa STELZENMÜLLER, Antje GIMPEL, Jonas LETSCHERT, Casper KRAAN, Ralf DÖRING

Offshore wind energy in Europe

30-10-2020

Offshore wind is a highly promising renewable energy source (RES) that could make a major contribution to global and European efforts to decarbonise the economy by 2050 and keep global warming to around 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, as set out in the Paris Climate Change Agreement. The European Commission expects the EU to produce at least 240 gigawatts (GW) of global offshore wind power capacity by 2050, while international organisations specialising in the energy field are even more optimistic ...

Offshore wind is a highly promising renewable energy source (RES) that could make a major contribution to global and European efforts to decarbonise the economy by 2050 and keep global warming to around 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, as set out in the Paris Climate Change Agreement. The European Commission expects the EU to produce at least 240 gigawatts (GW) of global offshore wind power capacity by 2050, while international organisations specialising in the energy field are even more optimistic about the prospects of this energy source. Europe accounts for 80 % of global offshore wind capacity and is the dominant region in terms of technologies and manufacturing. Offshore wind accounts for 210 000 jobs in Europe (over half of all jobs in wind energy), and this number should increase further with greater investment. Wind is the only offshore RES that is currently deployable on a commercial scale and there is vast untapped potential in the world's oceans and seas, even if only some potential sites can be developed. Offshore wind has a higher capacity and more consistent output than other variable RES, with the International Energy Agency describing it as a unique 'variable baseload' technology that could help to integrate the decarbonised energy systems of the future. A major constraint on offshore wind has been the difficulty of building fixed constructions in depths greater than 60 metres. Floating bases for offshore wind turbines could then prove to be a game changing technology, allowing much wider exploitation of wind resources. Many of the leading projects for commercialising these floating technologies are based in Europe. Hybrid projects linking offshore wind to other uses – such as hydrogen production or battery storage – represent another important avenue for offshore wind to contribute more widely to our energy systems. The Commission is expected to adopt a new strategy for offshore RES in 2020, proposing further EU action to scale up deployment of offshore wind and invest in its underlying technologies. Some EU Member States have set their own indicative targets for offshore wind deployment by 2030, accompanied by a range of support schemes. The European Parliament has been supportive of offshore wind energy, in particular the potential for a North Sea offshore grid (energy hub).

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Western Balkans and Belarus - Interparliamentary Committee Meeting
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