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The opportunity to be involved in political life is at the heart of what it means to live in a democracy, whether by standing for elected office, joining a political party, or following political news in the media. People with disabilities are active citizens who are keen to participate given the right opportunities. However, legal, administrative, institutional and accessibility barriers can still prevent them from taking part in elections. To nurture democratic societies in which all members can ...

The Roma are Europe's largest ethnic minority. Out of an estimated total of 10 to 12 million Roma in Europe as a whole, some 6 million live in the European Union (EU) and most of them 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 entering the labour market result in low income and poor ...

This study provides an in-depth analysis of the Proposal for a Directive establishing the European Disability Card and the European Parking Card for persons with disabilities, and outlines recommendations. This Proposal represents an important stepping stone to promote free movement of persons with disabilities. It is based on mutual recognition of disability status, but does not harmonise disability assessments. It would ensure that holders of the cards may avail of disability benefits in a range ...

The European education area (EEA) is set to become a common space for quality inclusive education and lifelong learning across borders for all EU citizens. The work towards completing the EEA by 2025 has given fresh impetus to education and training policy at EU level. A midterm review of the EEA's implementation, based on the findings of the European Commission's 2022 progress report, is currently underway. In this context, the Commission and the Parliament are hosting a joint event on 10 October ...

Energy poverty in the EU

Briefing 18-09-2023

In 2022, over 41 million Europeans were unable to keep their homes adequately warm. Energy poverty is a multi-dimensional phenomenon, considered to be caused by a combination of low income, high energy expenses, and poor energy efficiency in buildings. The EU has been addressing this issue in various legislative and non-legislative initiatives, most recently in the context of its climate policies and energy transition, as well as the energy crisis. The Gas and Electricity Directives ensure the protection ...

Migrant women play an increasingly important socio-economic role in the European Union (EU). Once mostly seen as partners joining migrant men, foreign-born women increasingly migrate alone in search of work. Globally, although around half of migrants are nowadays women, their integration in host societies is often problematic. This is partly due to obstacles resulting from the institutional framework of host countries. A migrant woman's status – i.e. whether she is legally or irregularly resident ...

This briefing paper provides an initial analysis of selected measures proposed by Germany, France, Italy and Poland in their respective Recovery and Resilience Plans (RRPs), and focuses on the areas of competitiveness, business environment/entrepreneurship, and (re)industrialisation. As the analysis has shown, targets and milestones set for the majority of the analysed measures seem to be realistic and enhance the probability of completing the planned projects on time; they are also tailored to the ...

The European education area (EEA) is about promoting cooperation among European Union (EU) Member States to build more resilient and inclusive national education and training systems. The aim is also to improve access to quality education and lifelong learning for all across the EU. EU leaders first endorsed the vision for a European education area at the Gothenburg Social Summit in 2017. Following the first initiatives, the overall approach to forming the EEA by 2025 was outlined in a 2020 European ...

Throughout 2022, young Europeans were to be given opportunities to engage in learning and civic engagement activities, discover other cultures, improve their employment prospects, share ideas and broaden their horizons generally. Youth policy was to be mainstreamed across all relevant Union policy fields. Now that the European Year of Youth is drawing to its close, has it met its objectives?

The 8th Cohesion Report, published by the European Commission in February 2022, paints a mixed picture of cohesion policy. On the one hand, since the 2008 financial crisis and the contraction of public spending, cohesion policy has played an increasing role in maintaining territorial integrity and public services. On the other hand, many less developed and middle-income regions, especially in the southern and south-western parts of Europe, are stagnating or falling behind. The report highlights that ...