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Outcome of the meetings of EU leaders in Porto on 7-8 May 2021

18-05-2021

On 8 May 2021, EU Heads of State or Government met in Porto for an informal European Council, preceded on 7 May by a social summit, organised by the Portuguese Presidency. The informal European Council was followed by an EU–India leaders' meeting, attended remotely by the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. At their informal meeting, EU leaders discussed social policy and, without formally endorsing the Commission action plan, adopted the Porto Declaration, welcoming 'the new EU headline targets ...

On 8 May 2021, EU Heads of State or Government met in Porto for an informal European Council, preceded on 7 May by a social summit, organised by the Portuguese Presidency. The informal European Council was followed by an EU–India leaders' meeting, attended remotely by the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. At their informal meeting, EU leaders discussed social policy and, without formally endorsing the Commission action plan, adopted the Porto Declaration, welcoming 'the new EU headline targets on jobs, skills and poverty reduction' for 2030. They also assessed the EU Covid-19 situation, focusing on vaccine production and delivery, the future EU digital green certificate, and international solidarity in the fight against the pandemic. They also prepared for the EU–India leaders' meeting, agreeing to resume talks on a free trade agreement (FTA) and start negotiations on a stand-alone investment protection agreement, and on an agreement on geographical indications that, depending on the pace of negotiations, could either stand alone or be built into the FTA.

Digital technologies as a means of repression and social control

18-05-2021

The proliferation of new and emerging technologies over the past two decades has significantly expanded states’ toolkit for repression and social control, deepening human rights problems. While these technologies still have the potential to positively enhance democratic values and human rights, they are now also actively deployed and shaped by many repressive regimes to their own strategic advantage. Globally and regionally, efforts have been made to tackle the challenges that digital technologies ...

The proliferation of new and emerging technologies over the past two decades has significantly expanded states’ toolkit for repression and social control, deepening human rights problems. While these technologies still have the potential to positively enhance democratic values and human rights, they are now also actively deployed and shaped by many repressive regimes to their own strategic advantage. Globally and regionally, efforts have been made to tackle the challenges that digital technologies pose to human rights, but a lot remains to be done. The EU must enrich global legal and standard-setting efforts, as well as improve its own core foreign policy instruments. The EU’s foreign policy toolbox has become more comprehensive in the last several years, with the addition of a number of different strands to its efforts against ‘digital authoritarianism’. The challenge related to the use of digital technologies by authoritarian regimes has continued to deepen, however. The EU must therefore continue to find ways to fine-tune and add to this toolbox. A core finding that runs through this report is that the EU has undertaken many valuable and well-designed policy initiatives in this field, but still has to decide whether tackling digital repression is a core geopolitical interest at the highest political level.

Autorzy zewnętrzni

Dorota GŁOWACKA, Richard YOUNGS, Adela PINTEA, Ewelina WOŁOSIK

Policy Departments' Monthly Highlihts - May 2021

12-05-2021

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

Investing in destabilisation: How foreign money is used to undermine democracy in the EU

06-05-2021

Foreign interference has become a major security threat for democracies. The European Union (EU) provides no exception and, in the last few years, has significantly stepped up its efforts to counter this threat. A specific type of foreign interference is the foreign funding of political parties. At the national level, regulations banning or limiting foreign funding are currently in place in most member states, but there is still significant variation across them. At the EU level, the recent reforms ...

Foreign interference has become a major security threat for democracies. The European Union (EU) provides no exception and, in the last few years, has significantly stepped up its efforts to counter this threat. A specific type of foreign interference is the foreign funding of political parties. At the national level, regulations banning or limiting foreign funding are currently in place in most member states, but there is still significant variation across them. At the EU level, the recent reforms of the regulation on the funding of the Europarties and their associated foundations have banned contributions from abroad. Notwithstanding such welcome changes to party regulations, cases of foreign funding are still being reported in several member states, with foreign actors exploiting regulatory loopholes to channel funds or provide other types of support. To tackle this issue more effectively, regulatory convergence at the national level should be promoted, the transparency of party accounts should be enhanced, and the monitoring and sanctioning powers of the relevant control authorities strengthened.

Autorzy zewnętrzni

Edoardo BRESSANELLI

Best Practices in the whole-of-society approach in countering hybrid threats

06-05-2021

Over recent years, the European Union has increased efforts to strengthen its resilience to hybrid threats. A model of preparedness based on the notions of ‘whole-of-society’, ‘whole-of-government’ and ‘societal resilience’ has gained ground in the EU’s policy work. Although some progress has been made, many obstacles and challenges remain. The EU needs to address conceptual questions involved with the mapping of hybrid threats to facilitate targeted and effective countermeasures, as well as initiatives ...

Over recent years, the European Union has increased efforts to strengthen its resilience to hybrid threats. A model of preparedness based on the notions of ‘whole-of-society’, ‘whole-of-government’ and ‘societal resilience’ has gained ground in the EU’s policy work. Although some progress has been made, many obstacles and challenges remain. The EU needs to address conceptual questions involved with the mapping of hybrid threats to facilitate targeted and effective countermeasures, as well as initiatives to improve societal resilience. Although the EU recognises the strategic value of resilience, the concept’s precise meaning and level of added value remain vague. Its exact relationship to national preparedness and hybrid threats, as well as the whole-of-society approach requires clarification. In addition to addressing these issues, this study analyses some best practices from the whole-of-society approach by examining action taken by Finland, Sweden and Australia in this regard. The study also provides recommendations for further actions.

Autorzy zewnętrzni

Mikael WIGELL;Harri MIKKOLA;Tapio JUNTUNEN

The six policy priorities of the von der Leyen Commission: State of play in spring 2021

03-05-2021

This EPRS paper analyses progress in attaining the policy agenda set out by Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, and her College of Commissioners when they took office in December 2019. It looks in particular at the state of play in respect of delivery on the six key priorities asserted at that time and at how they have since been affected by the impact of the coronavirus crisis. The evidence so far suggests that, rather than undermine their original agenda or knock it badly ...

This EPRS paper analyses progress in attaining the policy agenda set out by Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, and her College of Commissioners when they took office in December 2019. It looks in particular at the state of play in respect of delivery on the six key priorities asserted at that time and at how they have since been affected by the impact of the coronavirus crisis. The evidence so far suggests that, rather than undermine their original agenda or knock it badly off course, the Commission has been able to use the momentum of events to assert the increased relevance of their priorities – especially in the climate action and digital fields – and to operationalise them further through the €750 billion 'Next Generation EU' (NGEU) recovery fund. Concretely, EPRS finds that of the nearly 400 legislative and non-legislative initiatives foreshadowed by the von der Leyen Commission on taking office or since (397), almost half have already been submitted (192). Of these, one in five has already been adopted (43), while the great majority of the remainder are either proceeding normally in the legislative process (97) or are close to adoption (26). Conversely, a certain number of proposals are proceeding very slowly or are currently blocked (26).

Cohesion, resilience and values: Heading 2 of the 2021-2027 MFF

14-04-2021

Heading 2 – Cohesion, resilience and values – is the biggest of the seven headings in the multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the 2021-2027 period in terms of budget. Since about 87 % of the heading falls under shared management and will be distributed to national envelopes, for the Member States it is a particularly important part of the MFF. It is also the most diverse heading in terms of the types of programme and fund included. It encompasses expenditure on cohesion, one of the EU's long-standing ...

Heading 2 – Cohesion, resilience and values – is the biggest of the seven headings in the multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the 2021-2027 period in terms of budget. Since about 87 % of the heading falls under shared management and will be distributed to national envelopes, for the Member States it is a particularly important part of the MFF. It is also the most diverse heading in terms of the types of programme and fund included. It encompasses expenditure on cohesion, one of the EU's long-standing policies, on an entirely new budgetary instrument supporting economic recovery and resilience, and on other increasingly important goals, including youth, the creative sector, values, equality and the rule of law. Moreover, the bulk of the Next Generation EU instrument will be channelled through programmes under Heading 2. This briefing presents Heading 2 in detail. It aims to provide some clarity on its structure and allocation, and is structured around three spending areas: cohesion; recovery; and citizens and values. In the 2021-2027 MFF, the allocation on economic, social and territorial cohesion (subheading 2a) – the budget for cohesion policy – is about 10 % lower than its equivalent, subheading 1b, in the 2014-2020 MFF. Additional resources from REACT-EU, a temporary instrument financed under the Next Generation EU instrument (NGEU), will lift the cohesion policy budget to a level comparable with the allocation under the previous MFF. This is an update of a briefing from January 2019.

Outcome of the video-conferences of EU leaders on 25 March 2021

30-03-2021

Due to the worsening epidemiological situation, EU leaders met on 25 March 2021 in a series of video-conferences instead of a two-day physical meeting. The top priority was the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, notably through increasing production, delivery and deployment of vaccines. Another highlight of the European Council meeting was the exchange of views with the President of the United States, Joe Biden – the first such meeting for 11 years – which focused on the coronavirus pandemic ...

Due to the worsening epidemiological situation, EU leaders met on 25 March 2021 in a series of video-conferences instead of a two-day physical meeting. The top priority was the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, notably through increasing production, delivery and deployment of vaccines. Another highlight of the European Council meeting was the exchange of views with the President of the United States, Joe Biden – the first such meeting for 11 years – which focused on the coronavirus pandemic and common challenges. In addition, EU leaders reviewed recent work in the area of the single market, industrial policy and digital, and discussed the situation in the eastern Mediterranean and relations with Turkey. The Euro Summit video-conference discussed the international role of the euro.

Interpretation and implementation of Article 50 TEU Legal and institutional assessment

24-03-2021

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the AFCO Committee, looks into the constitutional and institutional challenges that the European Union faced during the Brexit negotiations, and analyses whether the current wording of Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union was applied in an adequate manner and allowed for an efficient and properly organised withdrawal procedure.

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the AFCO Committee, looks into the constitutional and institutional challenges that the European Union faced during the Brexit negotiations, and analyses whether the current wording of Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union was applied in an adequate manner and allowed for an efficient and properly organised withdrawal procedure.

Autorzy zewnętrzni

PAPAGEORGIOU Ioannis

Outlook for the meetings of EU leaders on 25-26 March 2021

22-03-2021

One year after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the fight against the virus will again top the agenda of the European Council meeting on 25-26 March 2021. EU leaders are expected to focus their discussions on ‘digital green certificates’ (providing proof of vaccination and/or Covid-19 test results) and progress on production, delivery and deployment of vaccines. They will work further on developing a common EU approach to the gradual lifting of restrictions and refer to global solidarity ...

One year after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the fight against the virus will again top the agenda of the European Council meeting on 25-26 March 2021. EU leaders are expected to focus their discussions on ‘digital green certificates’ (providing proof of vaccination and/or Covid-19 test results) and progress on production, delivery and deployment of vaccines. They will work further on developing a common EU approach to the gradual lifting of restrictions and refer to global solidarity. Other agenda points are digitalisation, including digital taxation, the single market and industrial policy. In respect of external relations, EU leaders will review the situation in the eastern Mediterranean and hold a strategic discussion on Russia. The subsequent Euro Summit will discuss the international role of the euro.

Planowane wydarzenia

19-05-2021
EPRS online policy roundtable: The European elections, two years on [...]
Inne wydarzenie -
EPRS
25-05-2021
How can technology help in reducing fraud and making tax compliance simpler?
Przesłuchanie -
FISC
25-05-2021
Workshop on Animal Welfare during Transport
Warsztat -
ANIT

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