24

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European Union – Council of Europe cooperation and joint programmes

28-09-2018

The Council of Europe (CoE) and the European Union (EU) are to a significant extent based on shared values, and have overlapping membership. This has led them over time to develop a strategic partnership and joint actions beyond the EU's and, more recently, the CoE's borders, making use of the latter's longstanding technical expertise on human rights, the rule of law and democracy. For the EU, the CoE convention system and the European Court of Human Rights remain central instruments for defending ...

The Council of Europe (CoE) and the European Union (EU) are to a significant extent based on shared values, and have overlapping membership. This has led them over time to develop a strategic partnership and joint actions beyond the EU's and, more recently, the CoE's borders, making use of the latter's longstanding technical expertise on human rights, the rule of law and democracy. For the EU, the CoE convention system and the European Court of Human Rights remain central instruments for defending human rights in Europe, as stated in the EU's 2017 Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World. The relationship between the CoE and the EU is generally seen as mutually beneficial and thriving, each partner contributing according to its own strengths and capabilities. In 2011 the CoE launched a new approach towards the EU's neighbourhood regions, endorsed by the EU. Cooperation has become more structured, with the Council of the EU agreeing and adopting the EU's priorities for cooperation with the Council of Europe on a biannual basis, in cooperation with the CoE. The EU-CoE relationship has not escaped some criticism, however, namely that the CoE acts as a political consultancy or a junior partner to the EU owing to the latter's budgetary clout and its disproportionate and larger contribution to joint activities. There is arguably room to improve the partnership. According to some, the EU countries (which are all CoE members) need to develop a strategic and long-term vision regarding future cooperation with the CoE.

Euronest 2018: Way forward after the Eastern Partnership summit

17-07-2018

The European Parliament regularly hosts the Euronest parliamentary assembly of the Eastern Partnership (EaP). Launched in 2011, the EaP is composed of the EU and its Member States, together with six of their eastern European neighbours: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. During their Riga summit in 2015, the partners in the EaP decided to focus on four areas: economic development and market opportunities; institutional capacity and good governance; connectivity, energy efficiency ...

The European Parliament regularly hosts the Euronest parliamentary assembly of the Eastern Partnership (EaP). Launched in 2011, the EaP is composed of the EU and its Member States, together with six of their eastern European neighbours: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. During their Riga summit in 2015, the partners in the EaP decided to focus on four areas: economic development and market opportunities; institutional capacity and good governance; connectivity, energy efficiency, environment and climate change; mobility and people-to-people contacts. Before the EaP's 2017 Brussels summit, the European Commission and the European External Action Service published '20 deliverables for 2020', a series of specific objectives that are being piloted by various partners and have to be achieved by the EaP countries by 2020. To facilitate this task, the two institutions also proposed to streamline the structure of the EaP, which the Brussels summit endorsed. In June 2018, the Euronest meeting in Brussels adopted a number of resolutions on the EU’s mediation in frozen conflicts, on foreign direct investment and on undeclared labour. It also called for the release of Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia.

Association agreements between the EU and Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine

28-06-2018

The study presents the successes and shortcomings of the implementation of three association agreements singed by the EU with Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine. The study is composed of four papers: the first presents the opinions of the EU monitoring and supervising bodies on the implementation of the three agreements; the second evaluates in detail the implementation of the agreement in Moldova, the third - in Georgia and the fourth - in Ukraine. The recommendations on how to improve the implementation ...

The study presents the successes and shortcomings of the implementation of three association agreements singed by the EU with Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine. The study is composed of four papers: the first presents the opinions of the EU monitoring and supervising bodies on the implementation of the three agreements; the second evaluates in detail the implementation of the agreement in Moldova, the third - in Georgia and the fourth - in Ukraine. The recommendations on how to improve the implementation processes form part of the evaluation.

Human rights in Belarus: The EU’s role since 2016

05-06-2018

This study provides an overview of the European Union’s contribution to promoting and protecting human rights in Belarus since 2016. This analysis presents the main human rights trends in Belarus, examining legislation, policy commitments and violations of human rights. While the Belarusian government has made nominal concessions towards the EU, no systemic progress in terms of human rights has been made in the post-2016 period. The study also describes and assesses the EU’s human rights promotion ...

This study provides an overview of the European Union’s contribution to promoting and protecting human rights in Belarus since 2016. This analysis presents the main human rights trends in Belarus, examining legislation, policy commitments and violations of human rights. While the Belarusian government has made nominal concessions towards the EU, no systemic progress in terms of human rights has been made in the post-2016 period. The study also describes and assesses the EU’s human rights promotion activities in bilateral EU-Belarus relations, within the context of the Eastern Partnership multilateral dimension and in regard to financial assistance. Although the EU has expanded the range of its political dialogue with Belarus since 2016, it has had very little influence over the human rights situation in the country. The EU’s impact has been limited not just because of the very nature of the Belarusian regime. EU institutions and member states have increasingly prioritised geopolitical interests as well as the stability and resilience of Belarus over human rights concerns. The EU should increase efforts to mainstream human rights in all aspects of its relations with Belarus and find a better balance between ‘normalisation’ and ‘conditionality’ based policy approaches vis-à-vis the country.

Külső szerző

Gisele BOSSE, Alena VIEIRA

Resurgent Russia [What Think Tanks are thinking]

02-03-2018

Russia is increasingly assertive in foreign and security policy, posing a challenge to the post-Cold War, rules-based international order. Following the annexation of Crimea, conflict with Ukraine and intervention in Syria, Russia stands accused of seeking to influence electoral outcomes in the United States and some European countries. Vladimir Putin looks set to be re-elected as Russian President later this month. This note offers links to commentaries, studies by major international think tanks ...

Russia is increasingly assertive in foreign and security policy, posing a challenge to the post-Cold War, rules-based international order. Following the annexation of Crimea, conflict with Ukraine and intervention in Syria, Russia stands accused of seeking to influence electoral outcomes in the United States and some European countries. Vladimir Putin looks set to be re-elected as Russian President later this month. This note offers links to commentaries, studies by major international think tanks, which discuss Russia's policies and how to respond to them. More reports on the topic can be found in a previous edition of 'What Think Tanks are Thinking', published in July 2017.

The EU's Russia policy: Five guiding principles

08-02-2018

While EU-Russia relations had long been difficult, in 2014 they took an abrupt turn for the worse, after Russia illegally annexed Crimea and fomented separatist insurgencies in eastern Ukraine. To date, little progress has been made towards ending the Ukraine conflict. In addition, new sources of tension have emerged, for example: Russia's military backing for the Assad regime in Syria, and alleged Russian interference in EU politics. In the short term, an easing of tensions seems unlikely. In March ...

While EU-Russia relations had long been difficult, in 2014 they took an abrupt turn for the worse, after Russia illegally annexed Crimea and fomented separatist insurgencies in eastern Ukraine. To date, little progress has been made towards ending the Ukraine conflict. In addition, new sources of tension have emerged, for example: Russia's military backing for the Assad regime in Syria, and alleged Russian interference in EU politics. In the short term, an easing of tensions seems unlikely. In March 2016, EU foreign ministers and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, agreed on five guiding principles for EU-Russia relations: full implementation of the Minsk agreements; closer ties with Russia's former Soviet neighbours; strengthening EU resilience to Russian threats; selective engagement with Russia on certain issues such as counter-terrorism; and support for people-to-people contacts. Implementing each of these principles faces major difficulties. The EU is unlikely to lift sanctions against Russia while implementation of the Minsk agreements remains stalled; the EU's Eastern Neighbourhood remains a zone of confrontation; EU security is threatened by dependence on Russian energy imports and the destabilising effects of aggressive propaganda; EU-Russia cooperation on international issues has become a victim of tensions between the two sides; repressive Russian legislation obstructs EU support for Russian civil society; diplomatic tensions are mirrored by mutual suspicion between ordinary EU citizens and Russians. This is an updated edition of a briefing from October 2016.

Három keleti partner a Dél-Kaukázusban

01-02-2018

Az EU 2009-ben elfogadott keleti partnerségi politikája hat posztszovjet államra terjed ki: Azerbajdzsán, Belarusz, Grúzia, Moldova, Örményország és Ukrajna. A partnerség célja, hogy támogatást nyújtson ezen országok politikai, szociális és gazdasági reformtörekvéseihez a demokratizálódás és a jó kormányzás, az energiabiztonság, a környezetvédelem, valamint a gazdasági és társadalmi fejlődés előmozdítása érdekében. Az összes résztvevő tagja az Euronest Parlamenti Közgyűlésnek (Belarusz kivételével ...

Az EU 2009-ben elfogadott keleti partnerségi politikája hat posztszovjet államra terjed ki: Azerbajdzsán, Belarusz, Grúzia, Moldova, Örményország és Ukrajna. A partnerség célja, hogy támogatást nyújtson ezen országok politikai, szociális és gazdasági reformtörekvéseihez a demokratizálódás és a jó kormányzás, az energiabiztonság, a környezetvédelem, valamint a gazdasági és társadalmi fejlődés előmozdítása érdekében. Az összes résztvevő tagja az Euronest Parlamenti Közgyűlésnek (Belarusz kivételével, amelynek tagságát felfüggesztették).

The EU's Eastern Partnership [What Think Tanks are thinking]

24-11-2017

The European Union and its Eastern Partnership neighbours hold their fifth summit on 24 November 2017, to take stock of the eight-year-old cooperation programme and map ways to strengthen political and economic ties. The Eastern Partnership is a regional programme of the European Neighbourhood Policy, aimed at promoting closer cooperation between the European Union, its Member States, and Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. It has achieved progress, such as association agreements ...

The European Union and its Eastern Partnership neighbours hold their fifth summit on 24 November 2017, to take stock of the eight-year-old cooperation programme and map ways to strengthen political and economic ties. The Eastern Partnership is a regional programme of the European Neighbourhood Policy, aimed at promoting closer cooperation between the European Union, its Member States, and Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. It has achieved progress, such as association agreements and visa-free regimes with Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine, albeit limited by the conflicts and political instability in the region. The programme signals the EU’s willingness to reinforce ties with the region, offering incentives to governments and civil society to push ahead with democratic and economic reforms. This note offers links to recent commentaries and reports by major international think tanks on the Eastern Partnership and the countries it embraces. More reports on the topic can be found in a previous edition of 'What Think Tanks are Thinking' published in November 2016.

Free and fair trade for all?

21-11-2017

With its strategy paper entitled ‘Trade for all’ in 2015, the Commission launched an EU trade policy that focussed on values such as human rights, workers’ rights, environmental protection and sustainable development. The idea was that free trade should be fair for both consumers in Europe and for citizens elsewhere. This approach was pursued in bilateral trade negotiations and in legislative proposals on, for example, conflict minerals, dual-use goods or the investment court system. But by the end ...

With its strategy paper entitled ‘Trade for all’ in 2015, the Commission launched an EU trade policy that focussed on values such as human rights, workers’ rights, environmental protection and sustainable development. The idea was that free trade should be fair for both consumers in Europe and for citizens elsewhere. This approach was pursued in bilateral trade negotiations and in legislative proposals on, for example, conflict minerals, dual-use goods or the investment court system. But by the end of 2016 the tenor of the debate on international trade had changed, shifting the focus to national interests and fairness for consumers and producers at home. The UK’s decision to withdraw from the EU and the election of President Trump in the US, together with the expiry of the clause recognising China’s non-market economy status, contributed to this shift. The European Parliament has played a crucial role in shaping the direction of EU trade policy. While its 2015 resolution on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) set the values-based trade agenda, its resolutions in 2016 and 2017 on China’s market economy status and global value chains reflected the shift in values. The Commission is seeking to balance free and fair trade but new challenges lie ahead, notably in the EU’s neighbourhood: Russia, the Eastern Partnership, Turkey and the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

Eastern Partnership: 2017 Brussels summit - Taking stock and new objectives

20-11-2017

On 24 November 2017, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine meet with the European Union (EU) in Brussels for the fifth Eastern Partnership (EaP) summit. A lot has been achieved since the Riga summit in 2015: association agreements (AA) and deep and comprehensive free trade agreements (DCFTAs) have been in force with Georgia and Moldova since 2014, and with Ukraine since 2016. From 2017 onwards, Georgians and Ukrainians can travel to the EU without a visa, which highlights the ...

On 24 November 2017, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine meet with the European Union (EU) in Brussels for the fifth Eastern Partnership (EaP) summit. A lot has been achieved since the Riga summit in 2015: association agreements (AA) and deep and comprehensive free trade agreements (DCFTAs) have been in force with Georgia and Moldova since 2014, and with Ukraine since 2016. From 2017 onwards, Georgians and Ukrainians can travel to the EU without a visa, which highlights the EU's commitment to the region. The EU is about to sign an association agreement with Armenia and is negotiating a new framework for relationships with Azerbaijan. In June 2017, the European External Action Service and the European Commission jointly proposed to streamline the institutional architecture of the EaP, as well as putting forward a series of 20 deliverables for 2020, to benefit citizens of the region. Ahead of the summit, the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly, bringing together members of both the Eastern Partnership countries' parliaments and the European Parliament, and the European Parliament itself, have defined their positions. The European Parliament called, in November 2017, for the EaP summit to inject new dynamism into the partnership and to set a clear political vision for its future in the long term.

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