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Prospects for EU-Asia connectivity: The 'European way to connectivity'

06-04-2021

Asia matters to Europe: home to the world's largest population and fastest-growing economies, Asia is a major trade partner of the EU. Recognising this, the EU has promoted the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), established five strategic partnerships – including with the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) – and negotiated or concluded free trade agreements with several Asian countries. In September 2018, the EU adopted a joint communication on 'Connecting Europe and Asia – Building blocks ...

Asia matters to Europe: home to the world's largest population and fastest-growing economies, Asia is a major trade partner of the EU. Recognising this, the EU has promoted the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), established five strategic partnerships – including with the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) – and negotiated or concluded free trade agreements with several Asian countries. In September 2018, the EU adopted a joint communication on 'Connecting Europe and Asia – Building blocks for an EU strategy'. The strategy proposes that the EU engage with its Asian partners through a sustainable, comprehensive and rules-based approach to connectivity, exploiting existing and planned EU networks. It acknowledges the presence of a significant investment gap in connectivity and recognises the need to mobilise and strengthen cooperation with private investors, national and international institutions, and multilateral development banks. Analysts welcomed the strategy as the EU response to China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). This initiative has been raising concerns in the EU and in several participating countries, some of which are worried about possible 'debt traps'. Echoing these concerns, the European Parliament has warned that the 17+1 format of cooperation between China and 17 central and eastern European countries could undermine the EU's common position towards Beijing. In January 2021, MEPs called for the creation of a global EU connectivity strategy as an extension of the current EU-Asia connectivity strategy. In September 2019, the EU and Japan launched the EU-Japan Partnership on Sustainable Connectivity and Quality Infrastructure. In December 2020, the EU and ASEAN issued a joint ministerial statement on connectivity. Financing Europe-Asia connectivity is a key challenge in the years to come, together with the challenges highlighted by the coronavirus crisis. This is a revised and updated edition of a briefing from October 2018.

China's democratic neighbours and coronavirus: Protecting populations without lockdowns

06-05-2020

North-east Asian countries have deep and historical economic, human and cultural connections with China, based on their geographical proximity to the latter country, and were the first to be exposed to the coronavirus contagion after its initial outbreak. They were not caught unprepared, having dealt with the SARS and the MERS epidemics in recent times. South Korea and Taiwan, in particular, have successfully showcased a model characterised by minimal restrictions on economic activities and daily ...

North-east Asian countries have deep and historical economic, human and cultural connections with China, based on their geographical proximity to the latter country, and were the first to be exposed to the coronavirus contagion after its initial outbreak. They were not caught unprepared, having dealt with the SARS and the MERS epidemics in recent times. South Korea and Taiwan, in particular, have successfully showcased a model characterised by minimal restrictions on economic activities and daily lives, where safeguarding the health of the people has not had devastating consequences for the health of the economy, as witnessed in other parts of the world. They have also showed that it is possible to effectively manage the coronavirus threat transparently, without authoritarian methods. Their models, illustrating that it is possible to implement a successful – albeit sometimes unnoticed – alternative to a liberal laissez-faire model or to a drastic lockdown, could become precious assets for public diplomacy and soft power tools. Given the high rate of information and communications technology penetration in the region, it has been easier for the authorities to make use of big data and contact-tracing by smartphone in order to prevent the pandemic from spreading, as well as collect information on those infected. However, this approach has raised issues of privacy, especially as the details collected allow the identification of those infected and could possibly expose them to stigmatisation. Despite the coronavirus outbreak, South Korea is a healthy democracy. It successfully held a general election on 15 April 2020, giving substance to the statement made by the European Parliament's President, David Sassoli: 'Democracy cannot be suspended in the face of Covid-19'.

5G Deployment: State of play in Europe, USA and Asia

03-04-2019

This in-depth analysis was prepared by Policy Department A at the request of the ITRE Committee. It compares 5G deployment in the EU with other leading economies – the USA, China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Singapore and Taiwan. On a range of indicators, the EU compares well. However, this is not a short-term race. 5G is more complex than previous wireless technologies and should be considered as a long-term project to solve technical challenges and develop a clear business case.

This in-depth analysis was prepared by Policy Department A at the request of the ITRE Committee. It compares 5G deployment in the EU with other leading economies – the USA, China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Singapore and Taiwan. On a range of indicators, the EU compares well. However, this is not a short-term race. 5G is more complex than previous wireless technologies and should be considered as a long-term project to solve technical challenges and develop a clear business case.

Išorės autorius

Colin Blackman, Simon Forge

IMF World Economic Outlook reflects consensus views

15-01-2019

This briefing is provided by Policy Department A following the participation of the Members of the European Parliament's Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) in the Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) Group in Indonesia on 8-14 October 2018.

This briefing is provided by Policy Department A following the participation of the Members of the European Parliament's Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) in the Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) Group in Indonesia on 8-14 October 2018.

The global compact on refugees: Strengthening international cooperation to ease the plight of refugees in the world

11-01-2019

Recent large-scale flows of refugees and migrants have brought to the world's attention more forcefully than ever the plight of persons who are forced to flee their homes because of war, insecurity or persecution. They have also exposed how ill-prepared the international community has been to deal with this challenge and how uneven the distribution of the burden of caring for such people has been among countries. In 2016, to enhance preparedness for refugee crises, improve the situation of refugees ...

Recent large-scale flows of refugees and migrants have brought to the world's attention more forcefully than ever the plight of persons who are forced to flee their homes because of war, insecurity or persecution. They have also exposed how ill-prepared the international community has been to deal with this challenge and how uneven the distribution of the burden of caring for such people has been among countries. In 2016, to enhance preparedness for refugee crises, improve the situation of refugees and relieve the burden on host societies, the United Nations (UN) member states convened in New York and adopted a declaration paving the way for a non-binding international compact on refugees. They annexed to this declaration a comprehensive refugee response framework that spelled out a series of short- and longer-term measures to address refugee crises. The framework has been applied in several pilot countries and the lessons learnt fed into a global compact on refugees. The compact was drafted by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) following broad consultations with various stakeholders, and its definitive version was adopted by the UN General Assembly with a large majority on 17 December 2018. The global compact focuses on international-, regional- and national-level mechanisms for achieving a fairer distribution of the responsibilities related to refugees, and on areas where action can be improved. It has been criticised, among other things, for its non-binding character and for excluding victims of natural disasters from its scope. This is an updated edition of a Briefing published in June 2018.

The EU and Asia [What Think Tanks are thinking]

12-10-2018

The heads of state or government of 51 countries will gather in Brussels on 18 and 19 October for the 12th Europe-Asia summit (ASEM) to discuss closer relations and global challenges. The meeting will focus in particular on trade and investment, connectivity, sustainable development, and climate and security challenges. The EU attaches growing importance to relations with Asian countries as the region’s economic and political weight increases and as US trade policy is increasingly unpredictable. ...

The heads of state or government of 51 countries will gather in Brussels on 18 and 19 October for the 12th Europe-Asia summit (ASEM) to discuss closer relations and global challenges. The meeting will focus in particular on trade and investment, connectivity, sustainable development, and climate and security challenges. The EU attaches growing importance to relations with Asian countries as the region’s economic and political weight increases and as US trade policy is increasingly unpredictable. This note offers links to selected recent commentaries, studies and reports from major international think-tanks on EU-Asian relations, the situation in the region and some of its countries. The publication does not cover issues related to China, which were the topic of one of the previous editions in the series.

ASEP10 gives priority to climate change

21-09-2018

The 10th Asia-Europe Parliamentary Meeting (ASEP10) will take place at the European Parliament in Brussels on 27 and 28 September 2018. The meeting will focus on climate change and environmental challenges. The final declaration will be transmitted to the 12th ASEM Summit, to be held in Brussels on 18 and 19 October 2018.

The 10th Asia-Europe Parliamentary Meeting (ASEP10) will take place at the European Parliament in Brussels on 27 and 28 September 2018. The meeting will focus on climate change and environmental challenges. The final declaration will be transmitted to the 12th ASEM Summit, to be held in Brussels on 18 and 19 October 2018.

What next after the US withdrawal from the TPP? What are the options for trade relations in the Pacific and what will be the impact on the EU?

27-11-2017

The Trans-Pacific Partnership was a landmark trade agreement signed by 12 Pacific Rim countries including the US on 4 February 2016. TPP had commercial as well as geopolitical significance for the Obama administration and was a key component of the former president´s so-called “pivot” to Asia. On his first full day in office, on 24 January 2017, President Trump pulled the US out of TPP leaving the other 11 signatories to grapple with the consequences. They have since vowed to move forward even without ...

The Trans-Pacific Partnership was a landmark trade agreement signed by 12 Pacific Rim countries including the US on 4 February 2016. TPP had commercial as well as geopolitical significance for the Obama administration and was a key component of the former president´s so-called “pivot” to Asia. On his first full day in office, on 24 January 2017, President Trump pulled the US out of TPP leaving the other 11 signatories to grapple with the consequences. They have since vowed to move forward even without US participation, reviewing the existing clauses and rebranding the regional agreement under the name of Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Negotiations on the CPTPP will continue in 2018. The European Parliament has requested three experts from the EU, US and Asia to consider the implications of the US withdrawal from the TPP and draw conclusions on how the EU should position itself in this high-growth and geopolitically-strategic area. The findings were presented during a Workshop organised by the Policy Department for the International Trade Committee on 8 November 2017 in Brussels.

Išorės autorius

Peter CHASE, Pasha L. HSIEH, Bart KERREMANS

From TPP to new trade arrangements in the Asia-Pacific region

24-05-2017

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), signed in February 2016 by the representatives of its 12 member countries, is a comprehensive regional agreement dealing with a wide range of trade and trade-related issues. In January 2017, President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the TPP, making it impossible for the agreement, as it is currently drafted, to take effect. Despite the US withdrawal, the remaining TPP participating countries are determined to salvage the benefits of the agreement, ...

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), signed in February 2016 by the representatives of its 12 member countries, is a comprehensive regional agreement dealing with a wide range of trade and trade-related issues. In January 2017, President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the TPP, making it impossible for the agreement, as it is currently drafted, to take effect. Despite the US withdrawal, the remaining TPP participating countries are determined to salvage the benefits of the agreement, and are working to develop alternative approaches to bring the trade deal into force. The failure of the TPP is likely to influence the way that other economic and trade cooperation initiatives, including the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), will develop in the Asia-Pacific region. The US withdrawal also represents an opportunity for the EU, which is strongly committed to a robust trade policy and an open trading system, to advance its interests in the region. The EU is currently working on or has already concluded bilateral trade agreements with almost all TPP member countries.

President Trump's first months in office: The course of transatlantic relations

23-05-2017

On 25 May 2017, President Trump attends the NATO Summit in Brussels, as well as meeting with top EU officials, including the Presidents of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, European Council, Donald Tusk, and European Parliament, Antonio Tajani. A review of Trump's term thus far (using the 100-day benchmark) sheds light on current issues in transatlantic affairs in the context of this visit. While an address to Congress on 3 May by the Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, has helped to clarify ...

On 25 May 2017, President Trump attends the NATO Summit in Brussels, as well as meeting with top EU officials, including the Presidents of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, European Council, Donald Tusk, and European Parliament, Antonio Tajani. A review of Trump's term thus far (using the 100-day benchmark) sheds light on current issues in transatlantic affairs in the context of this visit. While an address to Congress on 3 May by the Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, has helped to clarify the administration's approach, the implications of Trump’s ‘America First’ policy for EU-US cooperation are still far from clear. Unpredictability has marked President Trump’s time in office to date, and many analysts are yet to discern a firm strategic direction in his foreign policies. His proposed budget cuts for FY2018 have raised concerns on both sides of the Atlantic over a potential US retreat from its leadership on human rights and development. He has rolled back emissions regulations in the USA, but has not yet pulled out of the Paris Agreement, as promised during his campaign. Relations with Russia have fluctuated significantly. Trump has also notably altered his stance on certain issues; for example, he has acknowledged the importance of NATO, and sought to maintain good ties with China. Thus far his policy towards the Middle East has not constituted a radical departure from that of the previous administration, though as with his interactions with other world leaders, he has brought a personal touch to his exchanges with leaders from the region. Since the EU and US share common interests and cooperate in many areas, Trump’s disjointed approach has caused uncertainty in Europe. President Trump has not publicly addressed relations with the EU in the first months of his presidency, beyond acknowledging the value of a strong Europe during an April meeting with the Italian Prime Minister. Thus, the outcome of this Brussels visit will be important in establishing how EU-US relations will develop under the new administration.

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