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Repatriation of EU citizens during the COVID-19 crisis: The role of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism

01-04-2020

According to official estimates, the COVID-19 crisis has left more than 200 000 EU citizens stranded outside the borders of the EU. EU Member States have been making great efforts to retrieve them, often with the help of the EU. The priority has been to return EU citizens by using commercial flights, but as the conditions continue to worsen, other resources have had to be utilised. EU Member States can activate the EU Civil Protection Mechanism to facilitate the repatriation of their and other EU ...

According to official estimates, the COVID-19 crisis has left more than 200 000 EU citizens stranded outside the borders of the EU. EU Member States have been making great efforts to retrieve them, often with the help of the EU. The priority has been to return EU citizens by using commercial flights, but as the conditions continue to worsen, other resources have had to be utilised. EU Member States can activate the EU Civil Protection Mechanism to facilitate the repatriation of their and other EU citizens, if the Emergency Crisis Response Centre assesses that there is no better way. So far, at least 15 countries are reported to have requested the help of the Civil Protection Mechanism, using it to organise flights co-funded with EU funds, and so far repatriating 4 382 EU citizens (and 550 others), first from China, and then from a wide range of countries, including Cape Verde, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, Georgia, Japan, Morocco, the Philippines, Tunisia, the USA and Vietnam. More flights are scheduled to bring people back from other locations. The EU Civil Protection Mechanism has been used more than 300 times to respond to disasters since its establishment in 2001. All the EU Member States, together with Iceland, Montenegro, Norway, North Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey, participate in the Mechanism, but it can also be activated by any country in the world and by certain international organisations. Once the Mechanism is activated, a number of steps follow. The Emergency Crisis Response Centre, as part of the Mechanism, decides on the best response and coordinates it. The EU funds up to 75 % of the costs of the deployment of resources. The 2019 upgrade of the Mechanism boosted the joint capacity for responding to disasters, including medical emergencies. It created rescEU, a reserve of capacities, which has now been augmented to include a stockpile of medical equipment for the COVID-19 response, 90 % of which is funded by the EU. On 27 March 2020, the Commission proposed to further boost the budget for repatriation and for the rescEU stockpile.

EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Youth empowerment

28-06-2019

The proportion of young people (15-29 years old) in the general EU population is declining. On the whole, young people have a higher level of education than older adults, and youth unemployment rates have begun to decrease. Nevertheless, young people are still more exposed to poverty and social exclusion than other sections of the population. They are less prone to put their health at risk than previous generations. For instance, fewer young people smoke, get drunk, or become involved in a road accident ...

The proportion of young people (15-29 years old) in the general EU population is declining. On the whole, young people have a higher level of education than older adults, and youth unemployment rates have begun to decrease. Nevertheless, young people are still more exposed to poverty and social exclusion than other sections of the population. They are less prone to put their health at risk than previous generations. For instance, fewer young people smoke, get drunk, or become involved in a road accident than previously, but young people are still over-represented among those who are injured in road accidents. Obesity due to bad eating habits and lack of physical exercise is still an issue. Young people are also less likely to vote, or stand for election than older adults, but in recent years there has been a slight increase in interest in politics, political action and volunteering. Almost 80 % of young Europeans identify themselves as European citizens. In a Eurobarometer survey published in 2018 they placed education, skills and the environment at the top of a list of priorities for the EU. The European Union is engaged in helping Member States address young people's needs and aspirations through a youth strategy which covers areas such as employment, entrepreneurship, social inclusion, participation, education, training, health, wellbeing, voluntary activities, the global dimension, creativity and culture. The strategy is backed by a number of funding programmes that are specifically focused on young people, most notably the Youth Employment Initiative, Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps. It also draws from funds directed at other specific policy areas. EU action in the area of youth empowerment is best known for the mobility opportunities it has created, in particular through Erasmus. Future challenges include reaching a wider spectrum of young people, especially those from disadvantaged and hard-to-reach groups, making the results of the consultative process, known as youth dialogue, more tangible, and improving synergies between policy areas for greater effectiveness. This is an update of an earlier briefing issued in advance of the 2019 European elections.

Is transparency the key to citizens’ trust?

11-04-2019

Trust in political institutions is a key element of representative democracies. Trust in the rule of law is also the basis for democratic participation of citizens. According to the spring 2018 Eurobarometer survey of public awareness of the EU institutions, 50 % of respondents indicated they trust the European Parliament, which represents a 34 % increase since the beginning of the 2014-2019 legislative term. A transparent political decision-making processes has become a common objective to help ...

Trust in political institutions is a key element of representative democracies. Trust in the rule of law is also the basis for democratic participation of citizens. According to the spring 2018 Eurobarometer survey of public awareness of the EU institutions, 50 % of respondents indicated they trust the European Parliament, which represents a 34 % increase since the beginning of the 2014-2019 legislative term. A transparent political decision-making processes has become a common objective to help strengthen citizens’ trust in policy-makers and enhance the accountability of public administrations. In this regard, regulation of lobbying (the exchange between policy makers and stakeholders), and bolstering the integrity of this process, is often considered a vital ingredient. Public expectations for increased transparency of the exchange between policy-makers and interest representatives varies from one political system to the next, but it has increasingly become a topic of debate for parliaments across Europe, and a regular demand during election campaigns.

Improving security for EU citizens' ID cards

02-04-2019

The European Parliament is expected to vote in April on a legislative proposal aimed at improving the security of EU citizens' identity cards, as well as residence documents issued to Union citizens and their family members. The proposal seeks to curb the use of fraudulent documents, which terrorists and criminals might present when entering the EU from non-EU countries.

The European Parliament is expected to vote in April on a legislative proposal aimed at improving the security of EU citizens' identity cards, as well as residence documents issued to Union citizens and their family members. The proposal seeks to curb the use of fraudulent documents, which terrorists and criminals might present when entering the EU from non-EU countries.

Technology and social polarisation

07-03-2019

With the Cambridge Analytica scandal, it became clear how technologies such as social media and techniques such as psychological profiling can be combined in election campaigns with worrying effects. Personalised political messaging is highly automated. It starts and ends with social media, which provides both the data for categorising users and the medium for targeting them with personalised messages. Messages might be designed to favour a particular candidate or to encourage widespread discord ...

With the Cambridge Analytica scandal, it became clear how technologies such as social media and techniques such as psychological profiling can be combined in election campaigns with worrying effects. Personalised political messaging is highly automated. It starts and ends with social media, which provides both the data for categorising users and the medium for targeting them with personalised messages. Messages might be designed to favour a particular candidate or to encourage widespread discord and mistrust. In either case, it could lead to more polarised societies in which citizens share less common ground and are less understanding of those with different political ideologies, attitudes to populism, or perspectives on specific topics such as immigration. These same technologies and techniques also shape trends in news production and consumption. As newspaper sales dwindle, outlets increasingly rely upon ad-revenue generated by clicks, making extensive use of social media platforms and user profiling. Public debate increasingly occurs via these social media platforms in which citizens, politicians, companies and bots communicate directly to each other without the traditional filters of journalistic standards and editorial oversight. It has been suggested that, where citizens increasingly rely on such platforms for news, they risk entering so-called ‘filter bubbles’ in which they are exposed to a narrow range of perspectives oriented around their own profiles, shielded from contrasting views, in a broad trend that could also lead to more polarised societies. In this context, STOA launched two studies to explore the mechanisms by which these technologies and techniques may foster polarisation in Europe. One study approached the question with reference to trends in the production and consumption of news media, while the other focussed on trends in political campaigning and communication strategies.

Revising the European Citizens' Initiative

06-03-2019

The European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) has been in operation for almost seven years, and the rules governing its functioning are now subject to revision. Following interinstitutional negotiations, the Parliament and Council reached a provisional agreement on the Commission's proposal to revise the ECI. That agreement now requires formal approval by the co-legislators, and the European Parliament is expected to vote on the proposal during its March I plenary session.

The European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) has been in operation for almost seven years, and the rules governing its functioning are now subject to revision. Following interinstitutional negotiations, the Parliament and Council reached a provisional agreement on the Commission's proposal to revise the ECI. That agreement now requires formal approval by the co-legislators, and the European Parliament is expected to vote on the proposal during its March I plenary session.

Citizenship by investment (CBI) and residency by investment (RBI) schemes in the EU

17-10-2018

This study analyses the state of play and issues surrounding citizenship and residency by investment schemes (so-called ‘golden passports’ and ‘golden visas’) in the EU. It looks at the economic social and political impacts of such schemes and examines the risks they carry in respect of corruption, money laundering and tax evasion.

This study analyses the state of play and issues surrounding citizenship and residency by investment schemes (so-called ‘golden passports’ and ‘golden visas’) in the EU. It looks at the economic social and political impacts of such schemes and examines the risks they carry in respect of corruption, money laundering and tax evasion.

Security of ID cards and of residence documents issued to EU citizens and their families

13-07-2018

Currently, there are at least 86 different versions of ID cards, and 181 types of residence documents in circulation in the EU. The format and minimum standards for ID cards and residence documents is not regulated on EU level. In order to strengthen the security features of ID cards and residence documents of EU citizens and their non-EU family members, the European Commission published a legislative proposal. The impact assessment accompanying this proposal clearly explains the problems currently ...

Currently, there are at least 86 different versions of ID cards, and 181 types of residence documents in circulation in the EU. The format and minimum standards for ID cards and residence documents is not regulated on EU level. In order to strengthen the security features of ID cards and residence documents of EU citizens and their non-EU family members, the European Commission published a legislative proposal. The impact assessment accompanying this proposal clearly explains the problems currently encountered, and proposes adequate solutions. The Commission used different sources to substantiate the impact assessment and also undertook several stakeholder consultation activities. However, it is not systematically indicated which stakeholder group prefers which specific option. At times the impact assessment displays a lack of quantification, about which the Commission is open. More detailed information on the safeguards regarding the fundamental rights impact would have been desirable.

Brexit Literature Update 02/2018

21-02-2018

Following a relevant request by the Committee on Constitutional Affairs, the Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs has been compiling, on a regular basis, academic and scholarly material related to the process of, and the negotiations on, the withdrawal of the UK from the EU. Since the June 2016 referendum in the UK, Brexit-related literature has grown significantly and it is probably going to expand further in the future. Thus, this compilation is far from exhaustive; ...

Following a relevant request by the Committee on Constitutional Affairs, the Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs has been compiling, on a regular basis, academic and scholarly material related to the process of, and the negotiations on, the withdrawal of the UK from the EU. Since the June 2016 referendum in the UK, Brexit-related literature has grown significantly and it is probably going to expand further in the future. Thus, this compilation is far from exhaustive; rather, it identifies some of the more useful articles, taking into account, in particular, the following elements: • Scholarly rather than a journalistic character of the publication • Originality and interest • Recent publication • Be of interest for the EU • Constitutional or institutional relevance.

Single Digital Gateway: how EU could meet expectations of citizens and businesses?

15-02-2018

Gaidāmie notikumi

20-01-2021
EPRS online policy roundtable with the World Bank: Where next for the global economy
Cits pasākums -
EPRS
25-01-2021
Public Hearing on "Gender aspects of precarious work"
Uzklausīšana -
FEMM
26-01-2021
Hearing on Co-management of EU fisheries at local level
Uzklausīšana -
PECH

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