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EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Protection of EU external borders

28-06-2019

The unprecedented arrival of refugees and irregular migrants in the EU, which peaked in 2015, exposed a series of deficiencies and gaps in EU policies on external borders. It affected the functioning of the Schengen rules, leading to the re-introduction of border checks by several Member States. In response to these challenges, as well as the surge in terrorist and serious cross-border crime activities, the EU has embarked on a broader process of reform aimed at strengthening its external borders ...

The unprecedented arrival of refugees and irregular migrants in the EU, which peaked in 2015, exposed a series of deficiencies and gaps in EU policies on external borders. It affected the functioning of the Schengen rules, leading to the re-introduction of border checks by several Member States. In response to these challenges, as well as the surge in terrorist and serious cross-border crime activities, the EU has embarked on a broader process of reform aimed at strengthening its external borders by reinforcing the links between border controls and security. On the one hand, measures for protecting the EU's external borders have focused on reinforcing EU border management rules, such as the Schengen Borders Code, and strengthening and upgrading the mandates of relevant EU agencies, such as Frontex, eu-LISA, Europol and EASO. On the other hand, in connection with a number of key shortcomings in the EU's information systems, efforts were made to improve use of the opportunities offered by information systems and technologies for security, criminal records, and border and migration management. This included strengthening existing IT systems (SIS II, VIS, Eurodac, ECRIS-TCN), establishing new ones (ETIAS, Entry/Exit System) and improving their interoperability. The broader mandate and the increase of activities in the area of EU border management is also reflected in the growing amounts, flexibility, and diversity of EU funds, inside and outside the current and future EU budget. This is an update of an earlier briefing issued in advance of the 2019 European elections.

A new neighbourhood, development and international cooperation instrument: Proposal for a new regulation

19-03-2019

In the context of the Commission's proposal for a multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the 2021-2027 period, the Commission published a proposal for a regulation establishing the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) on 14 June 2018, with a proposed budget of €89.2 billion (in current prices). The AFET and DEVE committees adopted their joint report on the proposal on 4 March 2019. MEPs have agreed to accept a single instrument, but call for a stronger role ...

In the context of the Commission's proposal for a multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the 2021-2027 period, the Commission published a proposal for a regulation establishing the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) on 14 June 2018, with a proposed budget of €89.2 billion (in current prices). The AFET and DEVE committees adopted their joint report on the proposal on 4 March 2019. MEPs have agreed to accept a single instrument, but call for a stronger role for Parliament on secondary policy choices, through delegated acts. The committees want the budget for the instrument to be increased by nearly €4 billion, to €93.154 billion. MEPs also specifically call for an increase in the funds allocated to human rights and democracy activities, the percentage of funding that fulfils the criteria for official development assistance, and funds that support climate and environmental objectives. Moreover, MEPs are calling for the introduction of climate and gender mainstreaming targets, the earmarking of certain financial allocations, the suspension of assistance in case of human rights violations, and the reduction of the emerging challenges and priorities cushion to €7 billion. Parliament is expected to vote on its first-reading position during the March II plenary session. Third edition. The 'Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA III)

23-11-2018

On 14 June 2018, the European Commission published a proposal for a regulation establishing the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) III as part of a set of external action instruments under the new 2021 to 2027 multiannual financial framework (MFF). The proposed financial envelope represents a 1.1 % decrease compared with current funding (€12.9 billion in 2018 prices). Beneficiaries include the Western Balkan countries and Turkey. The IPA, set up for the 2007 to 2013 MFF, aims to prepare ...

On 14 June 2018, the European Commission published a proposal for a regulation establishing the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) III as part of a set of external action instruments under the new 2021 to 2027 multiannual financial framework (MFF). The proposed financial envelope represents a 1.1 % decrease compared with current funding (€12.9 billion in 2018 prices). Beneficiaries include the Western Balkan countries and Turkey. The IPA, set up for the 2007 to 2013 MFF, aims to prepare candidate and potential candidate countries for EU membership and supports them in adopting and implementing the necessary political, institutional, legal, administrative, social and economic reforms. IPA III is clearly positioned in the context of the new Western Balkan strategy, adopted in February 2018, and builds in flexibility via à vis the evolving situation in Turkey. It is also designed to complement the EU's internal policies. In Parliament, the file has been allocated to the Committee for Foreign Affairs (AFET), with José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra (EPP, Spain) and Knut Fleckenstein (S&D, Germany) as co-rapporteurs. The draft report presented by the rapporteurs on 30 October 2018 is now awaiting adoption by AFET. First edition. EU Legislation in Progress briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Establishing the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument

10-10-2018

As part of the group of specific IAs accompanying the MFF proposals, this IA provides a detailed overview of the proposed regulation establishing the new NDICI focusing on the main considerations behind the large-scale overhaul of the existing financial framework in the field of EU external policy. The Commission has engaged broadly with a wide range of stakeholders and did a thorough stock-taking through a mid-term review of ten existing instruments. However as alternative options are not elaborated ...

As part of the group of specific IAs accompanying the MFF proposals, this IA provides a detailed overview of the proposed regulation establishing the new NDICI focusing on the main considerations behind the large-scale overhaul of the existing financial framework in the field of EU external policy. The Commission has engaged broadly with a wide range of stakeholders and did a thorough stock-taking through a mid-term review of ten existing instruments. However as alternative options are not elaborated beyond a brief comparison of advantages and risks of merging the existing instruments into a broader one, it remains rather difficult to fully assess the proposed merger of different instruments as the only option available. Finally, a clearer account of how the stakeholder views fed into the analysis and a more thorough response to the scrutiny of the RSB, would have benefited this impact assessment.

The effectiveness and visibility of EU funding in the Western Balkan countries with a special focus on the cross-border cooperation

16-08-2018

This briefing considers the effectiveness and visibility of EU funding in the Western Balkans, Cross-Border Cooperation (CBC) in particular. CBC is reported to have enhanced relations between neighbouring countries at central and regional levels and it has reportedly helped prepare local authorities for eventual management of EU funds. Visibility is reported to be good but it is not known how this translates into public awareness and understanding of EU funding. With IPA II, there is increased emphasis ...

This briefing considers the effectiveness and visibility of EU funding in the Western Balkans, Cross-Border Cooperation (CBC) in particular. CBC is reported to have enhanced relations between neighbouring countries at central and regional levels and it has reportedly helped prepare local authorities for eventual management of EU funds. Visibility is reported to be good but it is not known how this translates into public awareness and understanding of EU funding. With IPA II, there is increased emphasis on outcome monitoring and evaluation, and on visibility and communication. The effects of these and other changes remain to be seen.

Autore esterno

Blomeyer & Sanz ; Ms Elsa Perreau ; Mr Roderick Ackermann

EU external financing instruments and the post-2020 architecture: European Implementation Assessment

28-02-2018

This study evaluates the performance of the EU external financing instruments (EFIs) in the light of the results of the European Commission’s mid-term review and discussions on their post-2020 architecture. This evaluation finds that the existing architecture and geographic/thematic coverage of the EFIs has, overall, been relevant to the EU policy objectives set in 2014. However, they were less responsive to recipients’ needs, and implementation weaknesses persist. At the strategic level, weaknesses ...

This study evaluates the performance of the EU external financing instruments (EFIs) in the light of the results of the European Commission’s mid-term review and discussions on their post-2020 architecture. This evaluation finds that the existing architecture and geographic/thematic coverage of the EFIs has, overall, been relevant to the EU policy objectives set in 2014. However, they were less responsive to recipients’ needs, and implementation weaknesses persist. At the strategic level, weaknesses in EFIs that need attention in the post-2020 architecture include: balancing short-term expediency with long-term needs; ensuring EU security needs and interests do not marginalise EU values; and safeguarding the development-oriented agenda of EFIs. At an operational level, the EFIs need to overcome the ‘silo’ approach to implementation, and develop solid monitoring and evaluation systems that assess the EFIs’ impact in recipient countries. This study provides options for tackling these limitations, including the need to integrate simplification, ensure sustainability of EU action, strengthen flexibility while remaining consistent and committed to EU fundamental values, create multi-actor partnerships, link EU action to EU strategies, and strengthen EU strategic communication. The annexed expert paper found that EU support to civil society in Turkey, Ukraine and Egypt has improved in recent years, but it still struggles to meet new challenges. Neither radical simplification of the EFIs nor a dedicated civil society instrument would necessarily improve civil society support, and may involve serious drawbacks. The EU’s most pressing challenges are to link civil society more effectively to reform-oriented aid; find ways to support new civic actors; temper the current assault on civil society organisations; and to find more nuanced ways to link civil society to strategic goals.

Autore esterno

Annex: EU Support to Civil Society in Turkey, Ukraine and Egypt: Mapping reforms to the external financing instruments, written by Professor Richard Youngs, Carnegie Europe.

EU efforts on counter-terrorism - Capacity-building in third countries

19-12-2017

In the European Union (EU), responsibility for counter-terrorism lies primarily with Member States. However, the role of the EU itself in counter-terrorism has grown significantly in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks that have hit Europe in the post-'9/11' era. The cross-border aspects of the terrorist threat call for a coordinated EU approach. Moreover, the assumption that there is a connection between development and stability, as well as internal and external security, has come to shape the ...

In the European Union (EU), responsibility for counter-terrorism lies primarily with Member States. However, the role of the EU itself in counter-terrorism has grown significantly in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks that have hit Europe in the post-'9/11' era. The cross-border aspects of the terrorist threat call for a coordinated EU approach. Moreover, the assumption that there is a connection between development and stability, as well as internal and external security, has come to shape the EU's actions beyond its own borders. In the context of terrorism, the EU has an extensive toolkit of human and financial resources that support third countries in managing or mitigating terrorist threats. A key element of EU action is capacity-building in partner countries, to ensure local ownership, a sustainable assistance model and the full use of local expertise for challenges that are geographically distinct. The EU's external capacity-building efforts in counter-terrorism include security sector reform (SSR)-associated measures, such as strengthening the rule of law, improving the governance of security providers, improving border management, reforming the armed forces, and training law enforcement actors. As part of the EU's multifaceted assistance, efforts to curb terrorist funding and improve strategic communications to counter radicalisation and violent extremism complement SSR-related activities. Soft-power projects funded through the Commission's different funding instruments, coupled with both military and civilian common security and defence policy missions provide the framework through which the EU tries to address both the root causes and the symptoms of terrorism and radicalisation.

Accordo di conciliazione sul bilancio dell'UE per il 2018

24-11-2017

Il 18 novembre i negoziatori del Parlamento europeo e del Consiglio hanno raggiunto un accordo provvisorio sul bilancio dell'UE per il 2018. Il progetto comune, che prevede impegni totali pari a 160,11 miliardi di EUR e pagamenti totali pari a 144,68 miliardi di EUR, dovrebbe essere adottato dal Consiglio e poi votato dal Parlamento durante la tornata di novembre II.

Il 18 novembre i negoziatori del Parlamento europeo e del Consiglio hanno raggiunto un accordo provvisorio sul bilancio dell'UE per il 2018. Il progetto comune, che prevede impegni totali pari a 160,11 miliardi di EUR e pagamenti totali pari a 144,68 miliardi di EUR, dovrebbe essere adottato dal Consiglio e poi votato dal Parlamento durante la tornata di novembre II.

Autore esterno

Jędrzejewska, Sidonia

Development Cooperation Instrument

13-10-2017

The Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) is the main financial instrument in the EU budget for funding aid to developing countries, and as such complements the European Development Fund, which is outside the EU budget. The primary objective of the DCI is to alleviate poverty, but it also contributes to other international priorities of the EU such as the UN's post-2015 Development Agenda; sustainable economic, social and environmental development; and the promotion of democracy, the rule of law ...

The Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) is the main financial instrument in the EU budget for funding aid to developing countries, and as such complements the European Development Fund, which is outside the EU budget. The primary objective of the DCI is to alleviate poverty, but it also contributes to other international priorities of the EU such as the UN's post-2015 Development Agenda; sustainable economic, social and environmental development; and the promotion of democracy, the rule of law, good governance and respect for human rights.

Youth challenges and opportunities in the Western Balkans

12-09-2017

Albania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia are all candidates for EU membership, while Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and Kosovo are potential candidates. To improve their chances of EU accession and secure their citizens a more prosperous future, one of the key priorities these countries need to address are the problems facing their youth, who hold the key to such a future. Challenges – albeit of a different nature from one country to the next – confront young people ...

Albania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia are all candidates for EU membership, while Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and Kosovo are potential candidates. To improve their chances of EU accession and secure their citizens a more prosperous future, one of the key priorities these countries need to address are the problems facing their youth, who hold the key to such a future. Challenges – albeit of a different nature from one country to the next – confront young people across the entire region. Persistently high levels of youth unemployment are seen as a direct consequence of the region's difficult economic context, but equally so of its outdated educational systems that fail to deliver to the needs of the labour market. Deeply entrenched regional stereotypes, a lack of awareness of other cultures, demographic changes and a youth 'brain drain' are some of the pieces that make up this complex regional puzzle. Raising awareness about these challenges and the need for timely solutions is therefore crucial. The EU has been encouraging dialogue on the future of youth in the region through a number of projects and initiatives, including the Erasmus+ programme. In recent years, a series of conferences, including in the framework of the Berlin process, have given young people increased prominence, drawing attention to the difficulties they face and the opportunities they need to be given. The establishment of the Regional Youth Cooperation Office in 2016 is a tangible development in this respect, seen as a positive step towards promoting dialogue, involving young people in joint activities and changing the regional narrative. Further crucial measures include modernising the educational systems, promoting mobility and exchanges both within the region and with the EU, and encouraging youth entrepreneurial skills and active youth participation in civil society.

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