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Fluorinated gases ('F-gases') are potent greenhouse gases (GHGs), with a global warming potential (GWP) up to 25 000 times higher than that of CO2. Used in a wide range of appliances – such as refrigerators, air conditioners, foams and fire extinguishers – F-gas emissions occur throughout appliances' life cycles. Today, F-gas emissions amount to 2.5 % of the EU's total GHG emissions, levels having doubled between 1990 and 2014, in contrast to those of other GHG emissions, which fell. The steep increase ...

Ecodesign and energy labelling policies play an important role in the decarbonisation of the energy system. Ecodesign bans the least-efficient products from the market, while energy labelling guides consumers towards the most energy efficient products. While the Ecodesign Directive focused largely on energy aspects, its revision became necessary in light of the transition to a circular economy where the use of natural resources is reassessed to maximise their value and minimise their waste. The recently ...

The role of the European political parties, often under-estimated in the past, has increased significantly over the years. Today, they are important coordinators within the EU political system, carrying out a variety of activities that can be classified conceptually as ‘vertical’, ‘horizontal’ and ‘diagonal’ coordination. This EPRS study explores the growing 'politicisation' of the European Council and the increased coordination role which European political parties appear to play in the context ...

Russia's war on Ukraine and the linked issue of energy security constituted the clear focus of the European Council meeting held on 24 25 March 2022. The meeting included a joint session with the President of the United States of America, Joe Biden, and it formed part of a trilogy of summit meetings in Brussels (NATO, G7 and EU) demonstrating Western unity in support of Ukraine and in response to President Vladimir Putin's unacceptable violation of international law. The main outcomes of the meeting ...

On 24-25 March 2022, EU Heads of State or Government will meet for the third time in five weeks. In the presence of the United States President, Joe Biden, they will discuss developments in and support for Ukraine, in the context of the unprovoked Russian invasion of the country. Building on their Versailles Declaration of 10-11 March, EU leaders will take further steps aimed at strengthening European sovereignty in the field of security, defence and energy security. As regards security and defence ...

At the informal European Council of 10-11 March 2022, EU leaders adopted the Versailles declaration condemning the ‘unprovoked and unjustified’ Russian military aggression against Ukraine. They set strategic guidelines for security and defence, energy and economic and financial affairs.

On 24 February 2022, at a special European Council meeting following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, EU leaders delivered a message of unity and determination, acknowledging 'the European aspirations and the European choice of Ukraine' and reiterating the EU's support to the territorial integrity of the country. They condemned Russia's continued violation of international law, and stressed that Russia 'will be held accountable for its actions'. EU leaders also approved politically a new package of ...

The role of the French Parliament has varied under successive French Republics. The Constitution of the Fifth Republic, adopted in 1958, was amended by referendum in 1962 to establish the direct election of the President by universal suffrage. This created a hybrid political regime with some presidential and some parliamentary characteristics, sometimes described as a 'semi-presidential regime' or a 'hyper-presidential' regime. The government is responsible to Parliament, but contrary to classical ...

'The European Council will revert to the issue' or 'reiterates' its view, were probably the most used sentences in the conclusions issued following the 16 December 2021 meeting of the Heads of State or Government. For many of the issues on the agenda, such as energy, where the geopolitical stakes are high, differences in position remain in the European Council; achieving consensus is therefore part of a longer process. On security and defence, no big decisions, but specific guidelines and targeted ...

The role of the European Council is to 'provide the Union with the necessary impetus for its development' and to define its 'general political directions and priorities'. Since its creation in 1975, the European Council has exercised considerable influence over the development of the European Union, a process enhanced by its designation as a formal institution of the Union under the Lisbon Treaty in 2009. The European Council Oversight Unit within the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS ...