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Adopted in 2015 by the United Nations (UN), the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – 'the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all' – clearly links the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) that it introduced to a series of targets to be reached by 2030. The 2030 Agenda includes a detailed mechanism to monitor progress with regard to these targets. At the core of this mechanism are a number of quantified indicators for each target that are regularly revised by the ...

On 14 July 2021, as part of the 'fit for 55' package, the Commission presented a legislative proposal for a revision of the Regulation setting CO2 emission performance standards for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles (vans). To raise the contribution of the road transport sector to the EU's climate targets, the proposal sets more ambitious 2030 targets for reducing the CO2 emissions of new cars and vans and allows only zero-emission vehicles from 2035. In the European Parliament, the proposal ...

The 16th Sustainable Development Goal (SDG16) to 'Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels' represents a new milestone compared with the earlier millennium development goals. While several of its targets (such as peace, corruption-free institutions and freedom from violence) were once seen as prerequisites of sustainable development, the adoption of SDG16 marked ...

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 ...

Following the division of the Korean peninsula into a southern and a northern part at the end of the Second World War, the Republic of Korea (South Korea) was established in its southern part in 1948. The 1950 attack by the communist regime established in the northern part provoked a three-year war, which completely devastated the peninsula. When an armistice was signed in 1953, the Republic of Korea was one of the poorest countries in the world. Its political system was marked by a very strong attitude ...

Energy poverty in the EU

Briefing 04-07-2022

In 2020, about 36 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. The Gas and Electricity Directives call for the protection of vulnerable consumers ...

Looking back on the implosion of the Soviet Union in late 1991, this Briefing reflects on the debate in the Parliament about its possible consequences at the time. It shows that a clear majority of MEPs initially remained keen on the transformation of the Soviet Union into some kind of 'new Union'. They were concerned both about the dire economic situation in several Soviet republics, and about the maintenance of effective control over the Soviet Union's huge nuclear arsenal. Since 1988 the EP, like ...

The Sustainable Development Goals were established in 2015 as part of the United Nations (UN) 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The signatories adopted a policy framework with 17 goals, addressing issues such as poverty, hunger, health and wellbeing, education, gender equality, environment and climate, strong institutions, peace and justice. Sustainable development aims at balancing social, economic and environmental aspects, seeing them as interconnected. The European Union (EU) has contributed ...

This briefing provides an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above-mentioned proposal, submitted on 30 March 2022 and referred to the European Parliament's Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI). The proposal aims to repeal the Ecodesign Directive 2009/125/EC, which establishes a framework for adopting product-specific requirements set out in implementing measures (usually regulations) by the ...

Czechia is a parliamentary republic with a head of government – the prime minister – and a head of state – the president. The current Prime Minister is Petr Fiala, from the Civic Democratic Party (ODS). He has been in office since November 2021 and was preceded by Andrej Babiš (2017-2021), the founder of the party ANO 2011. Czech President Miloš Zeman was first elected to the post in 2013 and had previously served as prime minister, from 1998 to 2002. The supreme executive body is the government. ...