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The link between biodiversity loss and the increasing spread of zoonotic diseases

22-12-2020

Over the last decades, a variety of fatal infectious diseases have had zoonotic origins. The linkages between hosts, vectors, parasites and pathogens can be influenced by a multitude of factors, such as biodiversity, wildlife and land use. High levels of biodiversity may be a potential source of pathogen transmission, but biodiversity loss can also promote transmission by increasing the number of competent hosts for a pathogen. Biodiversity conservation reduces the risk of zoonotic diseases when ...

Over the last decades, a variety of fatal infectious diseases have had zoonotic origins. The linkages between hosts, vectors, parasites and pathogens can be influenced by a multitude of factors, such as biodiversity, wildlife and land use. High levels of biodiversity may be a potential source of pathogen transmission, but biodiversity loss can also promote transmission by increasing the number of competent hosts for a pathogen. Biodiversity conservation reduces the risk of zoonotic diseases when it provides additional habitats for species and reduces the potential contact between wildlife, livestock and humans. Additionally, host and vector management is a viable option. Other crucial measures include the restriction and sanitary control of wildlife trade, while considering the needs of indigenous peoples and local communities. Each case requires an assessment of the best way to reduce risk while considering implications for other ecosystem functions or services. This document was provided by the Policy Department for Economic, Scientific and Quality of Life Policies at the request of the committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI).

Autore esterno

Frank VAN LANGEVELDE, Hugo René RIVERA MENDOZA

Nuclear arms control regimes: state of play and perspectives

02-12-2020

The EU is facing important challenges in the arms control and disarmament domain: firstly, the gradual abandonment of bilateral agreements between the US and Russia that protected European territory, and secondly, an increasing polarisation among the parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), evidenced by the controversy sparked by the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). Both developments combined weaken the arms control and disarmament regime, increasing the likelihood of a ...

The EU is facing important challenges in the arms control and disarmament domain: firstly, the gradual abandonment of bilateral agreements between the US and Russia that protected European territory, and secondly, an increasing polarisation among the parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), evidenced by the controversy sparked by the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). Both developments combined weaken the arms control and disarmament regime, increasing the likelihood of a global nuclear arms race. While the EU has progressively enhanced its role in arms control, non-proliferation and disarmament, it is afflicted by the same cleavage over disarmament that characterises the NPT framework. Based on a review of the drivers of the current crisis and the options for addressing them, the present briefing illuminates the EU’s record, and identifies ways in which the European Parliament can support the nuclear arms control agenda despite its lack of formal competence in the field. These notably include developing a modus vivendi with the TPNW, and encouraging the Council to lay the groundwork for a multilateral arms control treaty system.

Autore esterno

Clara PORTELA

G20 Summit of November 2020: Great expectations despite boycott calls

19-11-2020

On 21-22 November, under Saudi Arabia's presidency, the G20 will hold its first regular summit in a virtual format. Unavoidably the focus will be on the current crisis, more specifically on protecting lives and livelihoods and restoring growth. Given the crucial role it played in tackling the 2008-2009 financial crisis, hopes are high regarding the G20's potential role in proposing a financial and economic solution to deal with the ongoing downturn. Several major G20 members have invested massive ...

On 21-22 November, under Saudi Arabia's presidency, the G20 will hold its first regular summit in a virtual format. Unavoidably the focus will be on the current crisis, more specifically on protecting lives and livelihoods and restoring growth. Given the crucial role it played in tackling the 2008-2009 financial crisis, hopes are high regarding the G20's potential role in proposing a financial and economic solution to deal with the ongoing downturn. Several major G20 members have invested massive amounts of money to keep their economies afloat, in line with the decision of the extraordinary G20 summit held in the spring, but the depth of the current crisis requires additional action. Some critics have argued that the G20 is not up to its perceived role. The lack of US leadership in particular has been seen as an obstacle preventing the group from living up to its full potential. One of the crucial measures adopted by the G20 has been to freeze the official debt payments of developing countries, with the measure recently being extended. Many voices consider that this will not be enough to avoid state defaults however. Saudi Arabia, the first Arab country to hold the presidency, has been eager to use the opportunity provided by its G20 presidency to showcase its ambitious internal reform programme and its economic potential. The Saudis' leadership of the G20 in these times of turmoil has not escaped criticism, first of all because of the perceived inconsistency between stated objectives at G20 level and internal reality in the country, but also because of the role the country played in the oil price crash of 2020. Given the dire human rights situation in Saudi Arabia and in its fighting in Yemen, calls for a boycott of the summit have been multiplying. The European Parliament has suggested that the EU should downgrade its presence at the summit.

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.

Autore esterno

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.

Autore esterno

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.

Autore esterno

Marilyn FREEMAN

Armenia and Azerbaijan on the brink of war

06-10-2020

Armenia and Azerbaijan are bitterly opposed over Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian-backed separatist territory that international law recognises as part of Azerbaijan. The fighting, which began in September 2020, is the worst since 1994, when a ceasefire ended a two-year bloody war. With Turkey openly backing Azerbaijan, there are fears that this could trigger conflict with Russia, Armenia’s main ally.

Armenia and Azerbaijan are bitterly opposed over Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian-backed separatist territory that international law recognises as part of Azerbaijan. The fighting, which began in September 2020, is the worst since 1994, when a ceasefire ended a two-year bloody war. With Turkey openly backing Azerbaijan, there are fears that this could trigger conflict with Russia, Armenia’s main ally.

Russia, arms control and non-proliferation

29-09-2020

Multilateral non-proliferation treaties have curbed the spread of the world's dangerous weapons. The international security order also builds on a series of bilateral agreements between the two leading nuclear powers, the Soviet Union/Russia and the United States (US), mostly concluded towards the end of the Cold War or soon afterwards. Although the multilateral treaties are still in place, the bilateral elements have mostly come unstuck. In 2019, the US pulled out of the Intermediate-range Nuclear ...

Multilateral non-proliferation treaties have curbed the spread of the world's dangerous weapons. The international security order also builds on a series of bilateral agreements between the two leading nuclear powers, the Soviet Union/Russia and the United States (US), mostly concluded towards the end of the Cold War or soon afterwards. Although the multilateral treaties are still in place, the bilateral elements have mostly come unstuck. In 2019, the US pulled out of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, and it is probable that the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), the last remaining major bilateral arms control agreement, will expire in 2021. Russia's systematic violation of its arms control commitments is partly to blame. Other factors include increased US unilateralism and the failure of both sides to adapt the system to changing realities such as China's rise as a military power. Russia is investing heavily in its nuclear forces and developing new and more powerful weapons. Its arsenal is equal to that of the US and in some areas it may even have at least temporary superiority, partially compensating for weaknesses in terms of conventional weapons. As geopolitical tensions rise, arms control has become more necessary than ever. However, it seems unlikely that the US, Russia and possibly China will manage to conclude a new generation of agreements. The implications are not yet clear: neither a major shift in the military balance nor a new arms race are expected, but the lack of formal constraints creates uncertainty.

Geopolitical implications of the COVID-19 pandemic

29-09-2020

Since the Coronavirus began its spread across the world, many analysts have speculated about its impact: would it merely accelerate previously-existing trends, or would it prove to be a geopolitical ‘game-changer’, creating a world profoundly different than before? The answer is much more complex than either or: the world during and after COVID-19 will have elements of both, the old and the new, the known and the unknown. This study explores both dimensions of the pandemic’s impact: how does it affect ...

Since the Coronavirus began its spread across the world, many analysts have speculated about its impact: would it merely accelerate previously-existing trends, or would it prove to be a geopolitical ‘game-changer’, creating a world profoundly different than before? The answer is much more complex than either or: the world during and after COVID-19 will have elements of both, the old and the new, the known and the unknown. This study explores both dimensions of the pandemic’s impact: how does it affect the geopolitical context it erupted into, and what possibility space does it open up? The first section assesses the geopolitical trends antedating the pandemic and measures its present and expected impact on them, while the second section lays out the space for action and change created by the disruption. In the third section, the interplay of trends and uncertainties is explored in three scenarios set in 2025: Strategic Distancing; Europe in Self-isolation; and Lockdown World. The study finds that European foreign policy is entering an era of re-definition in which the European Parliament should play a crucial role. This means outlining the elements of strategic autonomy, but also streamlining them with each other. As such, classical foreign policy needs to join forces with other policy areas such as environmental and technological matters, trade, strategic communication – and of course, health. In that sense alone, the pandemic is already proving to be a game-changer.

Autore esterno

Florence GAUB, Lotje BOSWINKEL; EUISS

The poisoning of Alexey Navalny

21-09-2020

EU-Russia relations hit a new low in August 2020, after Alexey Navalny, one of Russia's leading opposition activists, was poisoned by a banned nerve agent. Although the perpetrators have not yet been identified, the attack has to be seen in the context of repression and growing discontent against Putin. In response to this clear breach of international law and human rights, the EU is considering additional sanctions against Moscow.

EU-Russia relations hit a new low in August 2020, after Alexey Navalny, one of Russia's leading opposition activists, was poisoned by a banned nerve agent. Although the perpetrators have not yet been identified, the attack has to be seen in the context of repression and growing discontent against Putin. In response to this clear breach of international law and human rights, the EU is considering additional sanctions against Moscow.

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