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After the storming of the US Capitol: A second impeachment trial of President Trump?

20-01-2021

At 13.00 EST on 6 January 2021, the 117th United States Congress and US Vice-President Mike Pence assembled in the Capitol Building, seat of the US Congress in Washington, DC, to tally the electoral votes certified by the 50 states and the District of Columbia, thereby declaring Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, respectively, US President-elect and Vice-President-elect. The ceremony was interrupted when an angry mob, seemingly encouraged by President Donald Trump in a speech earlier that day, broke into ...

At 13.00 EST on 6 January 2021, the 117th United States Congress and US Vice-President Mike Pence assembled in the Capitol Building, seat of the US Congress in Washington, DC, to tally the electoral votes certified by the 50 states and the District of Columbia, thereby declaring Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, respectively, US President-elect and Vice-President-elect. The ceremony was interrupted when an angry mob, seemingly encouraged by President Donald Trump in a speech earlier that day, broke into the Capitol and forced the Vice-President and Members of Congress to shelter in fear for their lives, while the intruders clashed with Capitol security and vandalised and stole property. Later that day, the combined forces of the police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Guard were able to evict the protesters and secure the building, allowing the Vice-President and Congress to re assemble and complete the ceremony. The invasion of the Capitol, a symbol of US democracy, has had dramatic political consequences. Trump has now been impeached by the House of Representatives for the second time − the only US President in history to be so. Democratic Party leaders had already appealed, the day after the intrusion, to Vice President Pence to use the Twenty-fifth Amendment to the US Constitution to replace Trump against his will before the end of his term on 20 January. The US Senate appears set to conduct an impeachment trial after Trump leaves office, but it is not certain that it has the authority to do so, or what the trial's legal or political outcome will be. This Briefing considers some of the options that Congress had to deprive President Trump of power immediately after 6 January, and the options that remain after Joe Biden becomes President on 20 January 2021.

When and how to deactivate the SGP general escape clause?

15-01-2021

The unprecedented level of economic uncertainty requires clarifying the European fiscal rules. To avoid repeating the mistakes of the last crisis, the deactivation of the General Escape Clause should be state-dependent, not time-dependent and should take place only when 1) a reform of the SGP has been agreed upon, 2) the EU has returned to its pre-crisis level in terms of GDP per capita or employment. The state-dependent strategy should also apply at the country level.

The unprecedented level of economic uncertainty requires clarifying the European fiscal rules. To avoid repeating the mistakes of the last crisis, the deactivation of the General Escape Clause should be state-dependent, not time-dependent and should take place only when 1) a reform of the SGP has been agreed upon, 2) the EU has returned to its pre-crisis level in terms of GDP per capita or employment. The state-dependent strategy should also apply at the country level.

Autorzy zewnętrzni

Philippe MARTIN, Xavier RAGOT

The link between biodiversity loss and the increasing spread of zoonotic diseases

22-12-2020

Over the last decades, a variety of fatal infectious diseases have had zoonotic origins. The linkages between hosts, vectors, parasites and pathogens can be influenced by a multitude of factors, such as biodiversity, wildlife and land use. High levels of biodiversity may be a potential source of pathogen transmission, but biodiversity loss can also promote transmission by increasing the number of competent hosts for a pathogen. Biodiversity conservation reduces the risk of zoonotic diseases when ...

Over the last decades, a variety of fatal infectious diseases have had zoonotic origins. The linkages between hosts, vectors, parasites and pathogens can be influenced by a multitude of factors, such as biodiversity, wildlife and land use. High levels of biodiversity may be a potential source of pathogen transmission, but biodiversity loss can also promote transmission by increasing the number of competent hosts for a pathogen. Biodiversity conservation reduces the risk of zoonotic diseases when it provides additional habitats for species and reduces the potential contact between wildlife, livestock and humans. Additionally, host and vector management is a viable option. Other crucial measures include the restriction and sanitary control of wildlife trade, while considering the needs of indigenous peoples and local communities. Each case requires an assessment of the best way to reduce risk while considering implications for other ecosystem functions or services. This document was provided by the Policy Department for Economic, Scientific and Quality of Life Policies at the request of the committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI).

Autorzy zewnętrzni

Frank VAN LANGEVELDE, Hugo René RIVERA MENDOZA

Taxation of the digital economy: Latest developments

15-12-2020

There is an important ongoing debate on the direct and indirect taxation of the digital economy. Proposals on digital taxes, which are under negotiation in the OECD, are inter-linked with European Commission proposals on the same subject. As the Council did not reach an agreement on the Commission proposal for a digital services tax, national initiatives appeared in the interim until a global solution in the area of direct taxation could be found in the OECD. On 1 December 2020, the Council endorsed ...

There is an important ongoing debate on the direct and indirect taxation of the digital economy. Proposals on digital taxes, which are under negotiation in the OECD, are inter-linked with European Commission proposals on the same subject. As the Council did not reach an agreement on the Commission proposal for a digital services tax, national initiatives appeared in the interim until a global solution in the area of direct taxation could be found in the OECD. On 1 December 2020, the Council endorsed the text of amendments to the Directive on Administrative Cooperation between the Member States (known as DAC7), which will oblige digital platform operators to provide information on the operations they intermediate. If an agreement is not achieved at global level by July 2021, it could trigger an EU response in the form of a digital levy. There is also a debate on whether that levy should be similar to the Commission proposal that failed to get political backing or not.

US foreign policy after the 2020 Presidential election: Issues for the European Union

03-12-2020

The election of the 46th President of the United States took place on 3 November 2020 amidst the unprecedented scenario of the coronavirus pandemic. Following several days of vote-counting, the democratic candidate, Joe Biden, secured the electoral votes needed to become the next President of the United States. His inauguration will take place on 20 January 2021. Domestic concerns, most notably the management of the coronavirus crisis and the economy, as well as racial issues, were the most important ...

The election of the 46th President of the United States took place on 3 November 2020 amidst the unprecedented scenario of the coronavirus pandemic. Following several days of vote-counting, the democratic candidate, Joe Biden, secured the electoral votes needed to become the next President of the United States. His inauguration will take place on 20 January 2021. Domestic concerns, most notably the management of the coronavirus crisis and the economy, as well as racial issues, were the most important subjects in determining voter preference. As usual, foreign policy did not rank highly amidst voters' concerns. However, for the European Union, the impact of the election of Joe Biden on US foreign policy will leave a substantial mark on the future course of transatlantic relations and of global cooperation. While foreign policy under the forthcoming Biden Administration is expected to depart from some of the key tenets of President Trump's 'America First' foreign policy, experts also point to a high possibility of continuity in areas such as trade and relations with China. However, on climate change, multilateral cooperation and support for NATO, expectations are high regarding a potential return to deep levels of transatlantic consensus and cooperation. Biden's foreign policy is likely to focus on multilateral cooperation, for example by re-joining the Paris Agreement on climate change and resuming US support for the World Health Organization. The former Vice-President has stated he will likely re-join the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, or Iran Nuclear Deal) in time, and pursue an extension of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) with Russia.

Nuclear arms control regimes: state of play and perspectives

02-12-2020

The EU is facing important challenges in the arms control and disarmament domain: firstly, the gradual abandonment of bilateral agreements between the US and Russia that protected European territory, and secondly, an increasing polarisation among the parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), evidenced by the controversy sparked by the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). Both developments combined weaken the arms control and disarmament regime, increasing the likelihood of a ...

The EU is facing important challenges in the arms control and disarmament domain: firstly, the gradual abandonment of bilateral agreements between the US and Russia that protected European territory, and secondly, an increasing polarisation among the parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), evidenced by the controversy sparked by the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). Both developments combined weaken the arms control and disarmament regime, increasing the likelihood of a global nuclear arms race. While the EU has progressively enhanced its role in arms control, non-proliferation and disarmament, it is afflicted by the same cleavage over disarmament that characterises the NPT framework. Based on a review of the drivers of the current crisis and the options for addressing them, the present briefing illuminates the EU’s record, and identifies ways in which the European Parliament can support the nuclear arms control agenda despite its lack of formal competence in the field. These notably include developing a modus vivendi with the TPNW, and encouraging the Council to lay the groundwork for a multilateral arms control treaty system.

Autorzy zewnętrzni

Clara PORTELA

The principles of equality and non-discrimination, a comparative law perspective - Canada

26-11-2020

This document is part of a series of studies, which, in a comparative law perspective, seek to present the principles of equality and non-discrimination in different States. This study examines sources of equality law and judicial interpretation of the principles of equality and non-discrimination in Canada. Contemporary equality law was a response to histories of both public and private discrimination in Canada. Statutory protections for equality and non-discrimination emerged in the post World ...

This document is part of a series of studies, which, in a comparative law perspective, seek to present the principles of equality and non-discrimination in different States. This study examines sources of equality law and judicial interpretation of the principles of equality and non-discrimination in Canada. Contemporary equality law was a response to histories of both public and private discrimination in Canada. Statutory protections for equality and non-discrimination emerged in the post World War II era and were expanded and consolidated in the 1960s and 1970s. Constitutional reforms in the 1980s enshrined equality in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Since then, equality jurisprudence has expanded the interpretation of discrimination to include direct, indirect and systemic discrimination. Courts have rejected formal equality to embrace expansive notions of substantive equality in interpreting constitutional protections. Even with such strides over the last decades towards robust equality and non-discrimination principles and protections, just and effective implementation of their promise remains a pressing challenge for Canada.

Autorzy zewnętrzni

Professor Colleen SHEPPARD, Professor of Law, Faculty of Law, McGill University

No way back:Why the transatlantic future needs a stronger EU

25-11-2020

There is no way back for transatlantic politics; in recent years it has suffered severe setbacks that cannot be undone. Although the Biden win promises opportunities for EU-US cooperation, the EU’s drive for strategic autonomy will not stop here. It is high time to look afresh at the very foundations of the transatlantic partnership, in light of not only the politics of today, but also the structural trends in the global balance of power and the lasting institutional ties between the two continents ...

There is no way back for transatlantic politics; in recent years it has suffered severe setbacks that cannot be undone. Although the Biden win promises opportunities for EU-US cooperation, the EU’s drive for strategic autonomy will not stop here. It is high time to look afresh at the very foundations of the transatlantic partnership, in light of not only the politics of today, but also the structural trends in the global balance of power and the lasting institutional ties between the two continents. Above all, the transatlantic future needs a stronger EU. For this to happen, the following issues should be given priority: i) dealing with an increasingly assertive China; ii) gaining more from transatlantic trade relations; iii) safeguarding the benefits of NATO and multilateral institutions like the WTO; iv) battling disinformation and other hybrid threats; and v) reinvigorating cooperation over climate change and global health. Because understanding of and trust in US intelligence and foreign policy positions has been eroded, a ‘thickening’ of transatlantic dialogue structures, including among elected representatives, should be pursued. This could include staff exchanges, track-two dialogues with think tanks and civil society, and an increased frequency of the Transatlantic Legislators Dialogue, possibly supplemented with more subordinate bodies on specific issues, such as dealing with China.

Autorzy zewnętrzni

Louise VAN SCHAIK, Ties DAMS

G20 Summit of November 2020: Great expectations despite boycott calls

19-11-2020

On 21-22 November, under Saudi Arabia's presidency, the G20 will hold its first regular summit in a virtual format. Unavoidably the focus will be on the current crisis, more specifically on protecting lives and livelihoods and restoring growth. Given the crucial role it played in tackling the 2008-2009 financial crisis, hopes are high regarding the G20's potential role in proposing a financial and economic solution to deal with the ongoing downturn. Several major G20 members have invested massive ...

On 21-22 November, under Saudi Arabia's presidency, the G20 will hold its first regular summit in a virtual format. Unavoidably the focus will be on the current crisis, more specifically on protecting lives and livelihoods and restoring growth. Given the crucial role it played in tackling the 2008-2009 financial crisis, hopes are high regarding the G20's potential role in proposing a financial and economic solution to deal with the ongoing downturn. Several major G20 members have invested massive amounts of money to keep their economies afloat, in line with the decision of the extraordinary G20 summit held in the spring, but the depth of the current crisis requires additional action. Some critics have argued that the G20 is not up to its perceived role. The lack of US leadership in particular has been seen as an obstacle preventing the group from living up to its full potential. One of the crucial measures adopted by the G20 has been to freeze the official debt payments of developing countries, with the measure recently being extended. Many voices consider that this will not be enough to avoid state defaults however. Saudi Arabia, the first Arab country to hold the presidency, has been eager to use the opportunity provided by its G20 presidency to showcase its ambitious internal reform programme and its economic potential. The Saudis' leadership of the G20 in these times of turmoil has not escaped criticism, first of all because of the perceived inconsistency between stated objectives at G20 level and internal reality in the country, but also because of the role the country played in the oil price crash of 2020. Given the dire human rights situation in Saudi Arabia and in its fighting in Yemen, calls for a boycott of the summit have been multiplying. The European Parliament has suggested that the EU should downgrade its presence at the summit.

Key Macroeconomic Indicators in the Euro Area and the United States

18-11-2020

Latest forcest by EC, IMF and OECD.

Latest forcest by EC, IMF and OECD.

Planowane wydarzenia

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

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