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Outcome of the European Council video-conference of 29 October 2020

03-11-2020

On 29 October 2020, the Heads of State or Government met by video-conference to exchange information and coordinate efforts to defeat the pandemic, placing testing, tracing and vaccines at the centre of their strategy. EU leaders stressed the urgency of ensuring mutual recognition of rapid tests so as to enable the free movement of persons and to maintain open borders within the EU, as this is key to preserve a functional internal market. They condemned recent terrorist attacks in France and have ...

On 29 October 2020, the Heads of State or Government met by video-conference to exchange information and coordinate efforts to defeat the pandemic, placing testing, tracing and vaccines at the centre of their strategy. EU leaders stressed the urgency of ensuring mutual recognition of rapid tests so as to enable the free movement of persons and to maintain open borders within the EU, as this is key to preserve a functional internal market. They condemned recent terrorist attacks in France and have also discussed the tense situation in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Peace and Security in 2020: Overview of EU action and outlook for the future

10-09-2020

This is the third Peace and Security Outlook produced by the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS). The series is designed to analyse and explain the contribution of the European Union to the promotion of peace and security internationally, through its various external policies. The study provides an overview of the issues and current state of play. It looks first at the concept of peace and the changing nature of the geopolitical environment, in light of global shifts of power and of the ...

This is the third Peace and Security Outlook produced by the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS). The series is designed to analyse and explain the contribution of the European Union to the promotion of peace and security internationally, through its various external policies. The study provides an overview of the issues and current state of play. It looks first at the concept of peace and the changing nature of the geopolitical environment, in light of global shifts of power and of the impact of the coronavirus crisis. It then follows the logic of the annual series, by focusing on the promotion of peace and security in the EU's external action. Linking the study to the Normandy Index, which measures threats to peace and democracy worldwide based on the EU Global Strategy, each chapter of the study analyses a specific threat to peace and presents an overview of EU action to counter the related risks. The areas discussed include violent conflict, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, climate change, cyber-attacks, disinformation, and terrorism, among others. The EU's pursuit of peace is understood as a goal embodied in several EU policies, including development, democracy support, humanitarian assistance, security, and defence. The study concludes with an outlook for the future. A parallel study, published separately, focuses specifically on EU peace-building efforts in the Sahel. The studies have been drafted as a contribution to the Normandy World Peace Forum in October 2020.

Understanding the EU Strategy for the Sahel

07-09-2020

The August 2020 coup in Mali has once again demonstrated the instability of the Sahel. The region is affected by climate change and rapid population growth. Rivalries over access to livelihoods exacerbate grievances against states. Struggling to provide basic services throughout their territory and security at their borders, governments are competing with armed groups that have emerged from the failed regimes of Central Africa, North Africa and the Middle East. The instability in this region has ...

The August 2020 coup in Mali has once again demonstrated the instability of the Sahel. The region is affected by climate change and rapid population growth. Rivalries over access to livelihoods exacerbate grievances against states. Struggling to provide basic services throughout their territory and security at their borders, governments are competing with armed groups that have emerged from the failed regimes of Central Africa, North Africa and the Middle East. The instability in this region has direct consequences for the security of the European Union's neighbours and for the EU itself. In 2011, to respond to the multiple factors of this instability, the EU adopted the Sahel security and development strategy: the first comprehensive approach aimed at ensuring various external policy programmes and instruments converge towards common objectives. Despite the revamping of the strategy in 2015 based on the lessons learnt, its implementation, which involves the coordination of multiple stakeholders, has been difficult. While it has contributed to notable progress towards integration and regionalisation, security challenges have impeded tangible achievements in preventing radicalisation and fostering inclusive development. The Sahel action plan, adopted in 2015 to provide an overall framework for the implementation of the strategy, comes to an end in 2020; its revision (or replacement) will need to take the EU's and Africa's new geopolitical interests on board. As the EU endeavours to reconnect with Africa in a regional and full-fledged partnership, the successes and failures of the EU Strategy for the Sahel could inspire the whole EU development and security policy on the continent. This briefing is a translated and revised version of Le Sahel: un enjeu stratégique pour l'Union européenne, of November 2017.

Unlocking the potential of the EU Treaties: An article-by-article analysis of the scope for action

28-05-2020

The latest Eurobarometer surveys indicate that there is consistent support for more EU action in various policy areas, including preventing climate change, tackling irregular migration, designing a common foreign and security policy and preventing terrorism. Assuming that the Treaty of Lisbon will be the framework for EU action for the foreseeable future, this paper explores possibilities for broadening the scope of EU action in order to respond to these repeated calls from EU citizens. With a view ...

The latest Eurobarometer surveys indicate that there is consistent support for more EU action in various policy areas, including preventing climate change, tackling irregular migration, designing a common foreign and security policy and preventing terrorism. Assuming that the Treaty of Lisbon will be the framework for EU action for the foreseeable future, this paper explores possibilities for broadening the scope of EU action in order to respond to these repeated calls from EU citizens. With a view to reappraising the legal framework of the EU, it aims at identifying those legal bases in the Treaties that remain either under-used (in terms of the purposes they could be used to achieve) or completely unused. It analyses possible ways of delivering on EU policies, including in the development of common rules, providing enhanced executive capacity, better implementation of existing measures, targeted financing and increased efficiency. An overview table sets out possible initiatives, which are then explored in greater detail in 50 fiches, organised according to broad policy clusters reflecting the priorities of the von der Leyen Commission. Possible measures are mentioned in each fiche, along with the legal bases in the current Treaties on which action could potentially be based. It is a revised and expanded version of a paper published in January 2019, ahead of the European elections.

Western Balkans on the European Council agenda: Overview of discussions since the Lisbon Treaty

02-04-2020

The European Council to endorse the 24 March 2020 Council political agreement on the opening of negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia.

The European Council to endorse the 24 March 2020 Council political agreement on the opening of negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia.

Terrorist content online: Tackling online terrorist propaganda

09-03-2020

Dissemination of terrorist content is one of the most widespread and most dangerous forms of misuse of online services in the field of internal security. In line with the 2015 European agenda on security and taking into account the impact of this propaganda on the radicalisation, recruitment and training of terrorists, the European Commission launched a voluntary system for tackling terrorism online, based on guidelines and recommendations. However, given the limitations of the method, on 12 September ...

Dissemination of terrorist content is one of the most widespread and most dangerous forms of misuse of online services in the field of internal security. In line with the 2015 European agenda on security and taking into account the impact of this propaganda on the radicalisation, recruitment and training of terrorists, the European Commission launched a voluntary system for tackling terrorism online, based on guidelines and recommendations. However, given the limitations of the method, on 12 September 2018 the Commission then adopted a proposal for a regulation preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online. While the Council rapidly reached a position on the proposal, in December 2018, the European Parliament adopted its first-reading position in April 2019. Following the European elections, interinstitutional trilogue negotiations then began in autumn 2019, with a new rapporteur.

Escalating US-Iran conflict: The EU's priorities

16-01-2020

On 3 January 2020, a United States (US) strike outside Baghdad killed Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, the leader of the al-Qods force within the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IGRC), and arguably the second most important man in Iran after Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The assassination was a reaction to an escalation in the growing conflict between the USA and Iran. Iran retaliated on 8 January 2020, by attacking two US bases in Iraq with missiles; luckily – or intentionally – without ...

On 3 January 2020, a United States (US) strike outside Baghdad killed Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, the leader of the al-Qods force within the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IGRC), and arguably the second most important man in Iran after Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The assassination was a reaction to an escalation in the growing conflict between the USA and Iran. Iran retaliated on 8 January 2020, by attacking two US bases in Iraq with missiles; luckily – or intentionally – without casualties. Although both the USA and Iran have refrained from any further action, few expect this to mark the end of tensions between the USA and Iran in the region. The EU reaction to the assassination has been to try to de-escalate the situation to prevent all-out war, to focus on stabilising Iraq, and to limit damage to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Commitments made at the hearing of Ylva JOHANSSON, Commissioner-designate - Home Affairs

22-11-2019

The commissioner-designate, Ylva Johansson, appeared before the European Parliament on 01 October 2019 to answer MEPs’ questions. During the hearing, she made a number of commitments which are highlighted in this document. These commitments refer to her portfolio, as described in the mission letter sent to her by Ursula von der Leyen, President-elect of the European Commission, including: General approach, Common European values, A fresh start on migration and Internal security.

The commissioner-designate, Ylva Johansson, appeared before the European Parliament on 01 October 2019 to answer MEPs’ questions. During the hearing, she made a number of commitments which are highlighted in this document. These commitments refer to her portfolio, as described in the mission letter sent to her by Ursula von der Leyen, President-elect of the European Commission, including: General approach, Common European values, A fresh start on migration and Internal security.

Western Balkans: State of play in the European Council

17-10-2019

The Western Balkans have regularly featured on the agenda of the European Council since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty in December 2009. Three dimensions – enlargement, counter-terrorism and migration – have been at the centre of the EU leaders' discussion of the subject. The European Commission recommended twice in the last two years the opening of accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia. In the absence of an agreement at the 15 October 2019 General Affairs Council, the ...

The Western Balkans have regularly featured on the agenda of the European Council since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty in December 2009. Three dimensions – enlargement, counter-terrorism and migration – have been at the centre of the EU leaders' discussion of the subject. The European Commission recommended twice in the last two years the opening of accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia. In the absence of an agreement at the 15 October 2019 General Affairs Council, the decision on whether to open accession negotiations with the two countries now lies with the European Council.

Use of financial data for preventing and combatting serious crime

19-07-2019

On 17 April 2018, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a directive intended to facilitate law enforcement authorities' access to and use of financial information held in other jurisdictions within the EU for investigations related to terrorism and other serious crime. The proposed directive would grant competent authorities direct access to bank account information contained in centralised registries set up in each Member State, according to the Fifth Anti-Money-Laundering Directive. The ...

On 17 April 2018, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a directive intended to facilitate law enforcement authorities' access to and use of financial information held in other jurisdictions within the EU for investigations related to terrorism and other serious crime. The proposed directive would grant competent authorities direct access to bank account information contained in centralised registries set up in each Member State, according to the Fifth Anti-Money-Laundering Directive. The proposal also aims to strengthen domestic and cross-border exchange of information between EU Member States' competent authorities, including law enforcement authorities and financial intelligence units, as well as with Europol. The provisional agreement reached in February 2019 in interinstitutional negotiations was adopted by the European Parliament on 17 April 2019, followed by the Council on 14 June. On 20 June 2019, the directive was signed into law and then published in the Official Journal on 11 July. Member States have until 1 August 2021 to transpose its provisions into national law.

Planowane wydarzenia

20-01-2021
EPRS online policy roundtable with the World Bank: Where next for the global economy
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25-01-2021
Public Hearing on "Gender aspects of precarious work"
Przesłuchanie -
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27-01-2021
Public hearing on AI and Green Deal
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