Fittex

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On 21 September 2021, the Commission published its proposal for a new EU scheme of generalised preferences (GSP). Two of the current scheme's three components are due to expire at the end of 2023, which would deprive developing countries of a vital opportunity to trade under preferential terms with the EU. Therefore, renewing the scheme appears to be both a necessity and an opportunity to strengthen its conditionality in the light of lessons learned and the increased urgency for dealing with the ...

The Roma are Europe's largest ethnic minority. Out of an estimated total of 10 to12 million Roma in Europe as a whole, some 6 million live in the European Union (EU), most of whom are citizens of an EU Member State. A significant number of Roma people live in very poor socio-economic conditions. The social exclusion, discrimination and segregation they face are mutually reinforcing. Their restricted access to education, and difficulties in entering the labour market, result in low income and poor ...

The shrinking space for civil society in Europe

Mad-Daqqa t''Għajn 02-03-2022

During its first March 2022 plenary session, Parliament is due to vote on an own-initiative report of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE), advocating new measures to protect and boost civil society organisations' participation in the democratic life of the European Union. Acknowledging the contribution civil society organisations (CSOs) make to promoting the EU values enshrined in Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU), and in particular fundamental rights, ...

Media environment in Belarus

Briefing 10-02-2022

The media situation in Belarus has never been easy. With Aliaksandr Lukashenka being elected president of the country for the first time in 1994, the necessary reforms to provide media freedom have never materialised. Instead, over the years various laws have lessened the rights of independent journalists and imposed limits on both traditional and electronic media. Following the August 2020 presidential election, which ignited a brutal crackdown against the democratic opposition, the situation has ...

Sustainability-related provisions are a key part of international trade negotiations. Since the free trade agreement (FTA) signed with South Korea in 2009, EU trade deals each include dedicated trade and sustainable development (TSD) chapters encompassing issues such as environment, labour rights, climate change and responsible business conduct. In an effort to step up implementation and enforcement of these chapters, in 2018 the Commission published a non-paper setting out a 15-point action plan ...

In 2017, the European Parliament adopted a Resolution on corruption and human rights in third countries (hereinafter ‘EP 2017 Resolution’) which included a set of practical recommendations on corruption and human rights in EU external relations. This briefing analyses the progress made by EU actors in implementing those recommendations. It focuses on development and human rights tools addressed in the EP 2017 Resolution, including EU funded projects and programmes, technical cooperation, EU human ...

Recent events have shown that the Sahel region remains highly politically unstable. The military takeover of the Chadian government following President Idriss Déby's sudden death in April 2021 and the repercussions of the August 2020 and May 2021 military coups in Mali are worrying signs of weak democratic governance structures. Burkina Faso's transitional democracy has also been severely destabilised by the activities of extremist groups and internal conflicts. This political fragility and the lack ...

This briefing presents detail on the current Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) 2021-2027 that marks a turning point, in that it brings together all the EU’s different funds for development cooperation in a single instrument, in order to ensure consistency between different fields of external action.

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the JURI Committee, analyses legal definitions of Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP) and assesses the compatibility of anti-SLAPP legislation with EU law. It is recommended that an anti-SLAPP Directive should be adopted, and that the Brussels Ia Regulation and Rome II Regulation should be recast to limit the incidence of SLAPPs.

Albania: No closer to joining the EU

Mad-Daqqa t''Għajn 07-06-2021

Albania joined NATO in April 2009 and has been an EU candidate country since June 2014. After having made some progress in meeting the political criteria and the objectives related to the five key priorities for opening its EU accession negotiations on 26 March 2020, Albania has been advancing towards EU membership at a very slow pace. The main remaining obstacles include flaws in the functioning of its judiciary, in the fight against corruption and in the safeguarding of media freedoms and minority ...