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Cities in a globalised world: Exploring trends and the effect on urban resilience

07-10-2021

Cities are inevitably affected by shocks and disruptions, the pandemic being a case in point. The extent of the impact however depends on cities' preparedness and capacity to adapt. By thinking ahead, cities can explore emerging or plausible developments in order to anticipate them and contain potential disruption. Drawing on a report prepared by the European Strategy and Policy Analysis System (ESPAS), this EPRS paper explores the impact on and implications for cities of current global trends, such ...

Cities are inevitably affected by shocks and disruptions, the pandemic being a case in point. The extent of the impact however depends on cities' preparedness and capacity to adapt. By thinking ahead, cities can explore emerging or plausible developments in order to anticipate them and contain potential disruption. Drawing on a report prepared by the European Strategy and Policy Analysis System (ESPAS), this EPRS paper explores the impact on and implications for cities of current global trends, such as climate change, population growth, urbanisation, economic growth, increasing energy demand, higher connectivity and a changing world order, that will have direct consequences for the future of cities and their inhabitants.

Afghan refugees in neighbouring countries

30-09-2021

Afghan refugees have, for decades, constituted one of the largest refugee populations in the world. With the return to power of the Taliban, there is little to no expectation that Afghan refugees will return home any time soon. Intense fighting in Afghanistan over the past few months, a dire economic and humanitarian situation, and fear of Taliban reprisals and the harsh rule for which the group was known when it ruled Afghanistan in the late 1990s, have pushed more people to leave the country. Others ...

Afghan refugees have, for decades, constituted one of the largest refugee populations in the world. With the return to power of the Taliban, there is little to no expectation that Afghan refugees will return home any time soon. Intense fighting in Afghanistan over the past few months, a dire economic and humanitarian situation, and fear of Taliban reprisals and the harsh rule for which the group was known when it ruled Afghanistan in the late 1990s, have pushed more people to leave the country. Others may follow. Neighbouring countries remain the most likely destination, but their treatment of refugees often complies only partly with international norms.

Political crisis in Guinea

15-09-2021

On 5 September, a coup perpetrated by the military removed the President of Guinea, Alpha Condé, from power. The president was less than one year into his third term, obtained after a much-contested constitutional amendment. Under Condé, the administration yielded disappointing economic results and he was increasingly perceived as an authoritarian ruler who handled his opponents and critics with harsh repressiveness.

On 5 September, a coup perpetrated by the military removed the President of Guinea, Alpha Condé, from power. The president was less than one year into his third term, obtained after a much-contested constitutional amendment. Under Condé, the administration yielded disappointing economic results and he was increasingly perceived as an authoritarian ruler who handled his opponents and critics with harsh repressiveness.

Security situation in Mozambique

12-07-2021

Since 2017, a relatively unknown Islamic group has staged a destabilising insurgency against the Mozambican government forces and the local population in the predominantly Muslim northern province of Cabo Delgado. Off the provincial coast, huge gas extraction projects have been launched in a bid to revitalise the national economy, crippled by external debt. So far, the army has proved relatively ineffective in dealing with the insurgency. The government has asked external partners for support, including ...

Since 2017, a relatively unknown Islamic group has staged a destabilising insurgency against the Mozambican government forces and the local population in the predominantly Muslim northern province of Cabo Delgado. Off the provincial coast, huge gas extraction projects have been launched in a bid to revitalise the national economy, crippled by external debt. So far, the army has proved relatively ineffective in dealing with the insurgency. The government has asked external partners for support, including in training and logistics.

G7 summit, June 2021: Asserting democratic values in the post-crisis context

10-06-2021

The 47th G7 summit is scheduled for 11-13 June 2021, and will be chaired and hosted by the United Kingdom. After a year-long break caused by the pandemic and the former US administration's inability to organise the 2020 summit at a later date than initially scheduled, this year's event is expected to mark a return to strong global cooperation among the world's major democracies. The leaders of four guest states – Australia, India, South Africa and South Korea – will join the leaders of the G7 nations ...

The 47th G7 summit is scheduled for 11-13 June 2021, and will be chaired and hosted by the United Kingdom. After a year-long break caused by the pandemic and the former US administration's inability to organise the 2020 summit at a later date than initially scheduled, this year's event is expected to mark a return to strong global cooperation among the world's major democracies. The leaders of four guest states – Australia, India, South Africa and South Korea – will join the leaders of the G7 nations and the European Union, thus reinforcing the group's global democratic representativeness. The G7 has built up a reputation for being an informal framework of cooperation on major global issues, which is driven by a shared commitment to the fundamental values of liberal democracy. This year's summit is expected to reaffirm these values in the face of assertive authoritarian tendencies elsewhere in the world. Ahead of the summit, ministerial meetings in areas selected by the presidency have already taken place, shaping future cooperation among the G7 nations. 'Beat[ing] Covid-19 and building back better' is an obvious priority this year. Achieving it includes ensuring more equitable and rapid access to vaccines and other medical supplies for developing countries. While the group has reaffirmed its general commitment to this priority, the US proposal to waive patent rights for the production of vaccines still needs to find common ground among the G7 members. Another US initiative – setting a minimum global corporate tax rate – has already been endorsed by G7 finance ministers. It is considered a major change in the international taxation system, potentially making history for the G7. Reinforcing cooperation on the regulation of digital developments is another priority, as are ambitions linked to honouring the commitments under the Paris Agreement. As every year, the EU, which is a G7 member in its own right, will be represented by the Presidents of the European Council and of the European Commission. This is an updated version of a Briefing published ahead of the Parliament's debate on 9 June 2021.

State of democracy in sub-Saharan Africa: Democratic progress at risk

03-06-2021

Although countries in sub-Saharan Africa started opening up to democracy three decades ago, the region is still characterised by a high heterogeneity of political regimes. Fragile democracies often endure numerous challenges and shortcomings, and share their borders with some of the world's least democratic regimes. Virtually non-existent in 1990, multi-party elections are the norm today, yet they still only rarely lead to power changes. The recent trends of democratic recession have not left sub-Saharan ...

Although countries in sub-Saharan Africa started opening up to democracy three decades ago, the region is still characterised by a high heterogeneity of political regimes. Fragile democracies often endure numerous challenges and shortcomings, and share their borders with some of the world's least democratic regimes. Virtually non-existent in 1990, multi-party elections are the norm today, yet they still only rarely lead to power changes. The recent trends of democratic recession have not left sub-Saharan Africa untouched, but they have affected individual countries differently. Some unexpected democratic transitions have taken place at the same time as overall democratic decline has set in. Two sets of reasons account for the fragility of democracies in sub-Saharan Africa – those that are extrinsic and those that are intrinsic to political and institutional settings. The first include low socio-economic development, conflict and insecurity; the second include weak institutions, lack of judicial independence, manipulation of electoral laws and constitutional norms, as well as serious limitations of civil and political rights. In practice, authoritarian regimes have become skilled at using a façade of legality to legitimise their grip on power. The coronavirus pandemic has affected the region less severely than compared to other parts of the world, but its impact on democratic and human rights norms has been significant. For the EU – which is an important partner and development aid provider to the region, while also launching frequent election observation missions there – issues of concern include the shrinking space for civil society, the need to broaden political participation for various groups such as women and youth, as well as the impact of digital developments on democracy and human rights in societies that are still suffering from limited internet access and insufficient digital literacy.

Fighting corruption globally: The link with human rights

26-05-2021

The UN Convention against Corruption – the only legally binding international instrument for fighting corruption – was adopted by the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in 2003. Although it has been ratified by the vast majority of the states in the world, serious implementation gaps persist to this day. The harmful impact of corruption on human rights and on the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has been widely recognised. In this context, the UNGA is to hold its first special ...

The UN Convention against Corruption – the only legally binding international instrument for fighting corruption – was adopted by the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in 2003. Although it has been ratified by the vast majority of the states in the world, serious implementation gaps persist to this day. The harmful impact of corruption on human rights and on the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has been widely recognised. In this context, the UNGA is to hold its first special session on corruption on 2-4 June 2021.

Sakharov's legacy on the centenary of his birth

18-05-2021

Andrey Sakharov was a Soviet physicist who played a leading role in his country's nuclear weapons programme. However, in the 1960s he fell out of favour with the regime due to his activism for disarmament and human rights. On the 100th anniversary of his birth, Sakharov's legacy is more relevant than ever. Since 1988, the European Parliament has awarded an annual prize for freedom of thought named after him.

Andrey Sakharov was a Soviet physicist who played a leading role in his country's nuclear weapons programme. However, in the 1960s he fell out of favour with the regime due to his activism for disarmament and human rights. On the 100th anniversary of his birth, Sakharov's legacy is more relevant than ever. Since 1988, the European Parliament has awarded an annual prize for freedom of thought named after him.

EU climate action policy: Responding to the global emergency

18-03-2021

The European Green Deal aims to make the European Union climate-neutral by 2050, a target supported by all EU institutions. With this objective, the EU takes a leading role in addressing the global climate emergency. Achieving the climate-neutrality goal requires massive investment and an unprecedented transformation of all sectors of the economy. This study explains the physical basis of climate change and highlights its expected impacts on the EU. To give an overview of EU and international climate ...

The European Green Deal aims to make the European Union climate-neutral by 2050, a target supported by all EU institutions. With this objective, the EU takes a leading role in addressing the global climate emergency. Achieving the climate-neutrality goal requires massive investment and an unprecedented transformation of all sectors of the economy. This study explains the physical basis of climate change and highlights its expected impacts on the EU. To give an overview of EU and international climate policies, it outlines international climate agreements, EU climate action and the climate policies of major economies. It assesses the coherence of EU climate policy with other policy areas, and presents the financing of EU climate action through the EU budget and other instruments. To assess the implications of the climate neutrality objective, the study analysis the challenges and opportunities for the EU economy and its impacts on issues such as international relations, migration, trade, consumers and health . The final chapter addresses the issues facing European decision-makers and the outlook for European and global climate action in the context of the coronavirus pandemic.

WTO rules: Compatibility with human and labour rights

04-03-2021

Supply chains are increasingly international, but many of EU's trade partners fail to meet both the labour standards of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and international human rights norms. EU trade policy is designed to ensure that economic development complies with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, while upholding human rights and high labour standards. WTO rules require members to comply with a set of basic free trading principles, in particular national treatment and most-favoured ...

Supply chains are increasingly international, but many of EU's trade partners fail to meet both the labour standards of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and international human rights norms. EU trade policy is designed to ensure that economic development complies with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, while upholding human rights and high labour standards. WTO rules require members to comply with a set of basic free trading principles, in particular national treatment and most-favoured nation status. When a member wishes to take a trade-affecting measure that departs from WTO rules, they can justify the action on the basis of general exceptions. Whereas there is no specific provision in the WTO rules on human rights, according to case law and precedents, the general exception can sometimes allow trade-restricting measures based on human rights concerns. Yet, the open nature of WTO-rules means that members must devise trade-restrictive measures carefully, and that the dispute settlement process can involve complex legal interpretation if litigation arises. The uncertainty surrounding the compatibility between WTO rules and human and labour rights is attracting growing attention, generating calls for WTO reform. Another WTO framework that has been the subject of a long-standing debate on whether its flexibility provisions are sufficient to protect human rights and in particular the right to health is the Agreement on Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). In the context of the coronavirus pandemic, the debate has refocused on the need to waive some TRIPS provisions. This briefing provides an overview of complex issues relating to human rights and WTO rules. It does not argue for a specific interpretation or position, and does not attempt to bring final clarification on aspects still disputed among legal experts.

Būsimi renginiai

25-10-2021
European Gender Equality Week - October 25-28, 2021
Kitas renginys -
FEMM AFET DROI SEDE DEVE BUDG CONT ECON EMPL ITRE TRAN AGRI PECH CULT JURI PETI
25-10-2021
Ninth meeting of the Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny Group on Europol, 25-26 October
Kitas renginys -
LIBE
26-10-2021
Investment Policy and Investment Protection Reform
Klausymas -
INTA

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