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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.

Assessing the Leaders’ Agenda

06-05-2019

The Leaders' Agenda can be assessed rather favourably as it has enabled more structured work and better preparation by all actors concerned. This method can be recommended for the future work of the European Council as it allows a consistent follow-up. However, it has not helped to overcome deadlock on some of the most sensitive issues, such as migration and taxation.

The Leaders' Agenda can be assessed rather favourably as it has enabled more structured work and better preparation by all actors concerned. This method can be recommended for the future work of the European Council as it allows a consistent follow-up. However, it has not helped to overcome deadlock on some of the most sensitive issues, such as migration and taxation.

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.

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

04-03-2019

The ECI enables European citizens to invite the Commission to table a proposal for a legal act. The detailed rules for such initiatives are laid down in a 2011 regulation, whose main stated aim is encouraging citizens’ participation in the political life of the European Union (EU). However, since the regulation became applicable in April 2012, numerous actors have raised concerns regarding the instrument’s functioning and have called for reform, aiming to simplify the existing procedures and increasing ...

The ECI enables European citizens to invite the Commission to table a proposal for a legal act. The detailed rules for such initiatives are laid down in a 2011 regulation, whose main stated aim is encouraging citizens’ participation in the political life of the European Union (EU). However, since the regulation became applicable in April 2012, numerous actors have raised concerns regarding the instrument’s functioning and have called for reform, aiming to simplify the existing procedures and increasing the tool’s usability. On 13 September 2017, the Commission presented a legislative proposal which would update the tool and replace the existing regulation on the European Citizens’ Initiative. Following interinstitutional negotiations between September and December 2018, the co-legislators reached provisional agreement on the proposal for revision of the ECI. The agreed text now needs to be approved by the Parliament and Council. Third edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

Promoting the Rights and Values, Justice and Creative Europe programmes

15-11-2018

With the future (1) Rights and Values, (2) Justice and (3) Creative Europe programmes, the European Commission aims to protect better EU rights and values; to develop further a European area of justice; and to support European cultural and creative sectors and audiovisual works under the 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework. This initial appraisal of the Commission’s impact assessment on the proposal finds that the impact assessment is substantiated by various evaluations, studies and consultations ...

With the future (1) Rights and Values, (2) Justice and (3) Creative Europe programmes, the European Commission aims to protect better EU rights and values; to develop further a European area of justice; and to support European cultural and creative sectors and audiovisual works under the 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework. This initial appraisal of the Commission’s impact assessment on the proposal finds that the impact assessment is substantiated by various evaluations, studies and consultations. The Commission describes the challenges encountered of the current and previous programmes well. However, the lack of policy options and of an impact analysis seriously affect the IA's quality. In addition, the IA does not match the three proposals: the only option considered does not mention a self-standing Creative Europe programme, which the Commission ultimately proposed.

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.

An overview of shell companies in the European Union

17-10-2018

In April 2018, the European Parliament's Special Committee on Financial Crimes, Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance (TAX3) requested a study on shell companies in the EU. In response to this request, the Ex-Post Evaluation Unit (EVAL) and the European Added Value Unit (EAVA) of the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) prepared this study. The study aims to contribute to a better understanding of the phenomenon of shell companies in the European Union. In particular, it approaches the issue through ...

In April 2018, the European Parliament's Special Committee on Financial Crimes, Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance (TAX3) requested a study on shell companies in the EU. In response to this request, the Ex-Post Evaluation Unit (EVAL) and the European Added Value Unit (EAVA) of the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) prepared this study. The study aims to contribute to a better understanding of the phenomenon of shell companies in the European Union. In particular, it approaches the issue through a set of ‘proxy’ indicators at a member state level. It proceeds by presenting main risks associated with the shell companies. Finally, if presents policies aiming at mitigating these identified risks.

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.

Acquisition and loss of citizenship in EU Member States: Key trends and issues

09-07-2018

Access to citizenship status is an important prerequisite for enjoying rights and privileges, such as migration and political rights, as well as for developing a sense of identity and belonging. Since the establishment of Union citizenship, all persons who are nationals or citizens of an EU Member State enjoy the status of EU citizenship, which confers on them a number of additional rights and privileges. However, Member States retain full control over who can be recognised as a citizen. Although ...

Access to citizenship status is an important prerequisite for enjoying rights and privileges, such as migration and political rights, as well as for developing a sense of identity and belonging. Since the establishment of Union citizenship, all persons who are nationals or citizens of an EU Member State enjoy the status of EU citizenship, which confers on them a number of additional rights and privileges. However, Member States retain full control over who can be recognised as a citizen. Although the legal rules on the acquisition and loss of citizenship in the EU Member States remain fairly divergent, one can identify a number of key trends and issues. The need to integrate long-term immigrants has pushed EU countries to amend their citizenship laws. This often resulted in making citizenship both more liberal (lowering residence requirements and tolerating dual citizenship) and more restrictive (introducing integration clauses and citizenship tests). The surge in terrorist activities in the EU, which involve citizens, prompted several Member States to revise or reactivate citizenship provisions allowing for citizenship to be revoked. Concerns about immigrants' integration, allegiance and belonging, as well as about the cultural and economic consequences of regional integration and globalisation are at the heart of recent debates about citizenship in Europe. As the Maltese case of investor citizenship shows, the issue of access to citizenship is no longer a matter that concerns Member States alone. The bundling of national and EU citizenship means that Member States have a certain responsibility towards each other when taking decisions over who to accept (or reject) as citizens.

Gaidāmie notikumi

03-03-2020
Demographic Outlook for the EU in 2020: Understanding population trends in the EU
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EPRS
05-03-2020
Has the EU become a regulatory superpower? How it's rules are shaping global markets
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EPRS

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