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Data di pubblicazione: 02-03-2021

The coronavirus crisis: An emerging gender divide?

02-03-2021

The European Union remains severely hit by the coronavirus crisis, whose impact extends far beyond public health. The economic, social and psychological consequences of the pandemic are at the forefront of Member States’ and EU institutions’ concerns. Employment and working conditions have undergone major upheavals, raising the issue of a possible reversal of progress on gender equality. This infographic aims to shed light on the socioeconomic and psychological impacts of the pandemic on women, through ...

The European Union remains severely hit by the coronavirus crisis, whose impact extends far beyond public health. The economic, social and psychological consequences of the pandemic are at the forefront of Member States’ and EU institutions’ concerns. Employment and working conditions have undergone major upheavals, raising the issue of a possible reversal of progress on gender equality. This infographic aims to shed light on the socioeconomic and psychological impacts of the pandemic on women, through the lens of the transformation of the labour market, work-life balance and well-being. It is based on Eurostat data and a study conducted by Eurofound on living and working in the times of Covid-19.

Early leavers from education and training

02-03-2021

Young adults whose highest level of education is at or below lower secondary school level are considered early leavers from education and training. Policy efforts have brought down their numbers to ratios that are very close to the EU target. Nevertheless all those who fall into this category suffer considerable disadvantage as they are more likely to be out of employment and less likely to engage in further education and training than others of their age group with a higher level of education. The ...

Young adults whose highest level of education is at or below lower secondary school level are considered early leavers from education and training. Policy efforts have brought down their numbers to ratios that are very close to the EU target. Nevertheless all those who fall into this category suffer considerable disadvantage as they are more likely to be out of employment and less likely to engage in further education and training than others of their age group with a higher level of education. The EU supports Member States through policy coordination, and programmes such as the Youth Guarantee.

Economic Dialogue with the European Commission on EU Fiscal Surveillance

01-03-2021

Vice-President Dombrovskis and Commissioner Gentiloni have been invited to an Economic Dialogue on the fiscal part of the European Semester autumn package adopted by the Commission in November 2020. The fiscal elements of the package include the Commission Opinions on euro area 2021 Draft Budgetary Plans, the fiscal policy recommendation for the euro area and some elements of the 2021 Alert Mechanism Report. In March 2020, the general escape clause of the Stability and Growth Pact was activated and ...

Vice-President Dombrovskis and Commissioner Gentiloni have been invited to an Economic Dialogue on the fiscal part of the European Semester autumn package adopted by the Commission in November 2020. The fiscal elements of the package include the Commission Opinions on euro area 2021 Draft Budgetary Plans, the fiscal policy recommendation for the euro area and some elements of the 2021 Alert Mechanism Report. In March 2020, the general escape clause of the Stability and Growth Pact was activated and the Commission and the Council are expected to reassess its duration soon. The Commission has announced that it will publish on 3 March guidance for the related discussions (“One year since the outbreak of COVID-19: fiscal policy response”).

Data di pubblicazione: 01-03-2021

Marketing standards for fishery and aquaculture products: Revision of Regulation (EC) No1379/2013

01-03-2021

The marketing standards for fishery and aquaculture products are covered by the Common Market Organisation (CMO) Regulation (regulation 1379/2013), one of the pillars of EU’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). The marketing standards for FAPs have remained unchanged for more than 20 years and in 2018 they were submitted to an evaluation process by the European Commission. The expected outcome is the release of a new legislative proposal by the first half of 2021, in line with the European Commission's ...

The marketing standards for fishery and aquaculture products are covered by the Common Market Organisation (CMO) Regulation (regulation 1379/2013), one of the pillars of EU’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). The marketing standards for FAPs have remained unchanged for more than 20 years and in 2018 they were submitted to an evaluation process by the European Commission. The expected outcome is the release of a new legislative proposal by the first half of 2021, in line with the European Commission's Farm to Fork strategy.

Smart villages: Concept, issues and prospects for EU rural areas

01-03-2021

Although there is no legal definition of a 'smart village' within EU legislation, there are a number of distinguishing features associated with the smart village concept, with the involvement of the local community and the use of digital tools being seen as core elements. The concept implies the participation of local people in improving their economic, social or environmental conditions, cooperation with other communities, social innovation and the development of smart village strategies. Digital ...

Although there is no legal definition of a 'smart village' within EU legislation, there are a number of distinguishing features associated with the smart village concept, with the involvement of the local community and the use of digital tools being seen as core elements. The concept implies the participation of local people in improving their economic, social or environmental conditions, cooperation with other communities, social innovation and the development of smart village strategies. Digital technologies can be applied to many aspects of living and working in rural areas. The smart village concept also suggests the adoption of smart solutions in both the public and private sectors over a wide range of policy fields such as improving access to services, developing short food supply chains and developing renewable energy sources. The smart village concept is gaining traction on the rural development agenda, coinciding with the ongoing reform of the common agricultural policy (CAP). A key element of this reform will be a new delivery model based on each Member State developing a CAP strategic plan. In December 2020, the Commission published its recommendations for each Member State on the direction their plans need to take to achieve the CAP objectives and the European Green Deal targets. The Commission's analysis highlight the gaps Member States must address if the Green Deal target of 100 % access to fast broadband internet in rural areas by 2025 is to be met. Much will depend on how Member States respond to these recommendations in drawing up their CAP strategic plans. The European Parliament has made a significant contribution to the smart village concept, taking part in a pilot project on smart eco-villages and supporting the European Commission's 2017 action plan for smarter villages. The European Committee of the Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee have meanwhile both indicated their support for the concept through events, opinions and communications.

Data di pubblicazione: 26-02-2021

Migrant seasonal workers in the European agricultural sector

26-02-2021

The EU fruit and vegetable sector is heavily dependent on a non-national labour force, either from other EU Member States or third countries. Germany, Italy, Spain, France and Poland, in particular, employ high numbers of migrant seasonal farm workers. While these numbers have been steadily increasing, they compensate only partly for the ongoing decline in national agricultural workforces. Migrant seasonal workers from the EU are entitled to fully equal treatment with nationals of the host country ...

The EU fruit and vegetable sector is heavily dependent on a non-national labour force, either from other EU Member States or third countries. Germany, Italy, Spain, France and Poland, in particular, employ high numbers of migrant seasonal farm workers. While these numbers have been steadily increasing, they compensate only partly for the ongoing decline in national agricultural workforces. Migrant seasonal workers from the EU are entitled to fully equal treatment with nationals of the host country under the fundamental right to the free movement of workers within the EU, whereas third-country nationals are covered by the Seasonal Workers Directive of 2014, which grants them equal treatment as regards terms of employment and some social benefits. EU Member States manage their own seasonal worker schemes depending on the needs of the domestic labour market, their ties with third countries and their broader immigration system. The reality of seasonal agricultural work is a harsh one, with generally poor working and living conditions. Undocumented migrants, but also legal ones, can fall victim to illegal gang-master practices or even modern forms of slavery. Exploitation of women occurs in certain regions. The coronavirus pandemic, which disrupted harvests in the spring of 2020 as seasonal workers faced travel restrictions, also highlighted their essential role in EU agriculture and laid bare their sometimes appalling working and living conditions. Reacting to this situation, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the protection of seasonal workers in June 2020, calling on Member States to ensure proper implementation of the relevant EU legislation and on the European Commission to issue new specific guidelines and propose long-term solutions to fight abusive practices and protect victims. In July 2020, the Commission responded to this call by issuing new guidelines on the protection of seasonal workers in the context of the pandemic, announcing further action, including ongoing work with the European Labour Authority.

Outcome of the European Council video-conference of 25 February 2021

26-02-2021

For the tenth time since the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis, the European Council met by video-conference, however this time in two separate sessions. The first, on 25 February, dealing with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and ways of increasing the EU’s health resilience, is covered in this paper, while the second, the following morning, addressed security and defence as well as the southern neighbourhood, and is covered by a separate paper. Regarding the pandemic, EU leaders called for acceleration ...

For the tenth time since the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis, the European Council met by video-conference, however this time in two separate sessions. The first, on 25 February, dealing with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and ways of increasing the EU’s health resilience, is covered in this paper, while the second, the following morning, addressed security and defence as well as the southern neighbourhood, and is covered by a separate paper. Regarding the pandemic, EU leaders called for acceleration in the authorisation, production and distribution of vaccines, reiterated their solidarity with third countries, and acknowledged that non-essential travel still needed to be restricted while ensuring the unhindered flow of goods and services within the single market. To strengthen the EU’s resilience to future health emergencies, EU leaders will seek to improve coordination to ensure better prevention, preparedness and response. However, further EU integration in health policy was excluded, with the conclusions stressing that these actions should be carried out ‘in line with the Union competences under the Treaties’. EU leaders also called on the Commission to draw up a report on the lessons learned from this crisis, to take forward the work on the European health union, and underlined the need for a global approach, including an international treaty on pandemics.

Support for democracy through EU external policy: New tools for growing challenges

26-02-2021

The crisis of democracy and the rise of authoritarianism across the globe, compounded by the coronavirus pandemic, highlight the importance of taking a more strategic and autonomous approach to supporting democracy worldwide – an objective often balanced against other external policy aims until now. Since the start of the current parliamentary term, the EU has reviewed its political guidance on democracy and human rights. It has adopted or is about to adopt important measures to strengthen support ...

The crisis of democracy and the rise of authoritarianism across the globe, compounded by the coronavirus pandemic, highlight the importance of taking a more strategic and autonomous approach to supporting democracy worldwide – an objective often balanced against other external policy aims until now. Since the start of the current parliamentary term, the EU has reviewed its political guidance on democracy and human rights. It has adopted or is about to adopt important measures to strengthen support for democracy (including better monitoring and enforcement of relevant provisions in trade arrangements). The adoption of the new multiannual financial framework (MFF) and of a new development aid instrument bringing together all former external aid instruments provides new opportunities for better implementing EU funding and better exploiting the EU's leverage as a major provider of development aid. Digital challenges and the narrowing space for civil societies are among the priorities to be addressed. The challenge of engaging more difficult partners, such as China and Russia, has inspired calls to broaden the scope of a values-based agenda to other economic relations, such as investments. These new measures complement an already broad and complex toolbox integrating various external policies. Using the enhanced powers in external affairs provided by the Treaty of Lisbon, the EU has set up extensive political and diplomatic dialogues to enhance partnerships beyond the more asymmetric, specific development assistance and trade leverage going back to the 1990s. While the EU has responded to violations of democratic norms by reducing aid and withdrawing trade preferences, it has consistently sought to build equal partnerships based on constructive and open dialogues, rather than use its economic and commercial traction in a coercive manner. This is an update of a Briefing from February 2018.

Women in politics in the EU: State of play

26-02-2021

One hundred years after women won the vote or were first elected to parliament in some EU countries, the data show that women continue to be under-represented in politics and public life, in the European Parliament, national parliaments and governments, and local assemblies. The arguments for gender balance in politics are numerous, and benefit not only women and female politicians, but also parties themselves and the rest of society. After all, women form half the population and need to be better ...

One hundred years after women won the vote or were first elected to parliament in some EU countries, the data show that women continue to be under-represented in politics and public life, in the European Parliament, national parliaments and governments, and local assemblies. The arguments for gender balance in politics are numerous, and benefit not only women and female politicians, but also parties themselves and the rest of society. After all, women form half the population and need to be better represented in power structures. However, there is now solid evidence both of obstacles and of the strategies that are effective when it comes to increasing women's participation and representation. Here, political parties and the media can be both barriers and important enablers. The EU has committed to achieving a gender balance in political representation and participation as a matter of justice, equality and democracy. Concrete recommendations have been made for achieving this goal, including specific action that could be taken by the EU institutions, national governments, political parties, civil society and the media. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has shone a spotlight on the issue of women's leadership and its implications for gender equality. This is an update of a Briefing from March 2019, drafted by Rosamund Shreeves and Martina Prpic, PE 635.548.

The future of regional airports: Challenges and opportunities

26-02-2021

Regional airports are an important part of the aviation system in the European Union (EU). They are engines of socio-economic development and improve accessibility to certain locations, in particular those that are remote or not well served by other forms of transportation. They also have a vital role in terms of economic and social cohesion, stimulating tourism and employment, as well as facilitating access to essential services. In addition, they can help to reduce congestion at major hub airports ...

Regional airports are an important part of the aviation system in the European Union (EU). They are engines of socio-economic development and improve accessibility to certain locations, in particular those that are remote or not well served by other forms of transportation. They also have a vital role in terms of economic and social cohesion, stimulating tourism and employment, as well as facilitating access to essential services. In addition, they can help to reduce congestion at major hub airports. The Covid 19 pandemic has hit regional airports hard, especially those more dependent on passenger traffic, which has been more severely hit than cargo traffic. The situation is so difficult that without government support, many regional airports, which serve local communities, face the risk of insolvency. Meanwhile, the pandemic is putting airports under pressure to become more digital. Moreover, a greater focus on tackling climate change is driving various projects to make airports more sustainable. The recovery from the crisis is likely to take several years. It will depend on several factors, such as the duration and magnitude of the crisis, pace of vaccination and consumer confidence. The speed with which the economy recovers will also affect how long the recovery of air travel will take. All this requires support. The EU has taken steps to ensure that Member States can make full use of the flexibility allowed under State aid rules, to provide regional airports with support to overcome this unprecedented crisis. Since March 2020, the European Commission has approved numerous State aid schemes from which regional airports can benefit. The EU can also support airports through its Recovery and Resilience Facility, which aims at making Europe more sustainable, resilient and better prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the green and digital transitions.

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