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European Union Agency for Railways

29-10-2019

Established in 2004, and based in Valenciennes (France), the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA) was set up to build a Single European Railway Area (SERA) and to make rail more effective and competitive. To contribute to these goals, ERA is tasked with enhancing technical compatibility and safety across EU rail systems. The EU's adoption of the technical component of the Fourth Railway Package in April 2016 has expanded ERA's powers, making the Agency a key player in rail security and interoperability ...

Established in 2004, and based in Valenciennes (France), the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA) was set up to build a Single European Railway Area (SERA) and to make rail more effective and competitive. To contribute to these goals, ERA is tasked with enhancing technical compatibility and safety across EU rail systems. The EU's adoption of the technical component of the Fourth Railway Package in April 2016 has expanded ERA's powers, making the Agency a key player in rail security and interoperability.

International Agreements – Review and Monitoring Clauses - A Rolling Check-List

24-10-2019

This study provides an analysis and overview of the review and monitoring clauses, sunset clauses, consultation clauses and management and implementation clauses contained in bilateral and multilateral international agreements concluded between the EU and other countries, and in force as of 1 September 2019.

This study provides an analysis and overview of the review and monitoring clauses, sunset clauses, consultation clauses and management and implementation clauses contained in bilateral and multilateral international agreements concluded between the EU and other countries, and in force as of 1 September 2019.

Women in foreign affairs and international security: Contours of a timely debate

17-09-2019

The debate on the participation and role of women in foreign affairs and international security is a timely and relevant one, and is being raised with increasing frequency at both national and international levels. In particular, there is growing attention to the imbalances in the representation of women in leadership and other key positions in the area of foreign and security policy, as well as to the growing body of evidence regarding the positive effect of including women in several key areas ...

The debate on the participation and role of women in foreign affairs and international security is a timely and relevant one, and is being raised with increasing frequency at both national and international levels. In particular, there is growing attention to the imbalances in the representation of women in leadership and other key positions in the area of foreign and security policy, as well as to the growing body of evidence regarding the positive effect of including women in several key areas of foreign and security policy. Among these issues, women's role in peacekeeping receives particular attention, as research has repeatedly shown that gender equality contributes to peace, and that peace negotiations involving women have a better chance of being sustainable and effective. Gender-equal societies enjoy better health, stronger economic growth and higher security. The United Nations and the EU have put pronounced emphasis on the issue in the past two decades. UN Security Council Resolution 1325 established the women, peace and security (WPS) agenda in 2000. Since then, more WPS-related resolutions have been adopted, widening the scope and breadth of gendered peace and security. These resolutions have been instrumental in changing the philosophy and rhetoric focused on conflict and gender equality, thereby challenging the international community to do more. Several initiatives are also being implemented at EU level, including through the 2018 EU Strategic Approach to WPS. However, critics posit that a lot remains to be done, as women continue to be under-represented in the field of foreign and security policy across the world.

The European Council's role in the EU policy cycle

02-09-2019

Since its establishment in 1975, the European Council, which is made up of the Since its establishment in 1975, the European Council, which is made up of the Heads of State or Government of EU Member States, has wielded considerable influence over the development of the European Union. According to the Treaties, the European Council's primary role is to 'define the general political directions and priorities' (Article 15(1) of the Treaty on European Union). This role has rapidly evolved over the ...

Since its establishment in 1975, the European Council, which is made up of the Since its establishment in 1975, the European Council, which is made up of the Heads of State or Government of EU Member States, has wielded considerable influence over the development of the European Union. According to the Treaties, the European Council's primary role is to 'define the general political directions and priorities' (Article 15(1) of the Treaty on European Union). This role has rapidly evolved over the past decade, and today the European Council's involvement in the EU policy cycle is much broader, covering tasks from agenda-setting to exercising scrutiny. In practice, its activities often exceed the role envisaged in the Treaties. This level of involvement has a significant impact both on the role of the other EU institutions within the policy cycle and the functioning of the ordinary legislative procedure.

Impact Assessment and European Added Value work during the eighth legislative term, 2014-2019

03-07-2019

The responsibility for better law-making is shared between the European Union institutions. In recent years Parliament has developed its own instruments to guarantee proper and independent assessment and to support parliamentary committees in their work. The concept of impact assessment is applied throughout the whole policy cycle – on both an ex-ante and an ex-post basis – from the design of legislation through to its implementation, evaluation and revision. The European Parliament also advocates ...

The responsibility for better law-making is shared between the European Union institutions. In recent years Parliament has developed its own instruments to guarantee proper and independent assessment and to support parliamentary committees in their work. The concept of impact assessment is applied throughout the whole policy cycle – on both an ex-ante and an ex-post basis – from the design of legislation through to its implementation, evaluation and revision. The European Parliament also advocates a proper assessment of European added value, in terms of what savings will result from a European solution and if supplementary costs would arise in the absence of a European solution. This briefing provides a look back over five years’ experience in support of better regulation for the benefit of citizens.

Revision of the Community Code on Visas

12-04-2019

The European Union Code on Visas is one of the core elements of the EU's visa policy. It lays down the procedures and conditions for issuing short-stay visas for third-country nationals. On 14 March 2018, the Commission adopted a proposal to revise the Community Code on Visas (the visa code). The main objective of the proposal is to strengthen the common visa policy while addressing migration and security concerns. This will involve increasing the role of visa policy in the EU's cooperation with ...

The European Union Code on Visas is one of the core elements of the EU's visa policy. It lays down the procedures and conditions for issuing short-stay visas for third-country nationals. On 14 March 2018, the Commission adopted a proposal to revise the Community Code on Visas (the visa code). The main objective of the proposal is to strengthen the common visa policy while addressing migration and security concerns. This will involve increasing the role of visa policy in the EU's cooperation with third-countries, also taking economic considerations into account by facilitating the processing of visas for legitimate travellers who contribute to the EU's economy and its cultural and social development. After Parliament voted its position on the proposal in December 2018, trilogue negotiations brought an agreement on a compromise text in February. The plenary is due to vote on confirming this text during the April II plenary session. Second edition of a briefing originally drafted by Maria Margarita Mentzelopoulou and Costica Dumbrava. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Protection of EU external borders. Achievements during the legislative term 2014-2019: the role of the European Parliament

12-04-2019

Gradually since 1995, checks at the internal borders were abolished and a single external border was created. Ever since, the EU had tried to advance with a common policy on external borders and its various aspects, such as border controls, visas, asylum, regular migration and return. There has also been a considerable impact on internal border controls (Schengen area). Considerable progress was made regarding safeguarding the EU’s external borders during the legislative term 2014-2019, although ...

Gradually since 1995, checks at the internal borders were abolished and a single external border was created. Ever since, the EU had tried to advance with a common policy on external borders and its various aspects, such as border controls, visas, asylum, regular migration and return. There has also been a considerable impact on internal border controls (Schengen area). Considerable progress was made regarding safeguarding the EU’s external borders during the legislative term 2014-2019, although the migratory crisis of 2015 made deficiencies of the European common policy evident.

Safeguarding the Schengen Acquis. Achievements during the legislative term 2014-2019: the role of the European Parliament

11-04-2019

The Schengen Area, one of the most valued achievements of the EU, this single area without internal border checks has come under pressure because of recent migration flows: In order to preserve Schengen in the next years, a common policy on the EUs external borders is also needed.

The Schengen Area, one of the most valued achievements of the EU, this single area without internal border checks has come under pressure because of recent migration flows: In order to preserve Schengen in the next years, a common policy on the EUs external borders is also needed.

Study in focus: Sampling points for air quality

02-04-2019

Air quality monitoring at fixed sites is a major instrument provided for in the Ambient Air Quality Directive to check compliance with limit or target values, which have been set for the protection of human health. This study analyses the criteria for the location of monitoring sites in five Member States to identify ambiguous provisions that might lead to different assessments of air pollution exposure.

Air quality monitoring at fixed sites is a major instrument provided for in the Ambient Air Quality Directive to check compliance with limit or target values, which have been set for the protection of human health. This study analyses the criteria for the location of monitoring sites in five Member States to identify ambiguous provisions that might lead to different assessments of air pollution exposure.

European Council Conclusions: A Rolling Check-List of Commitments to Date

20-03-2019

The role of the European Council – to 'provide the Union with the necessary impetus for its development' and to define its 'general political directions and priorities' – has evolved rapidly over the last decade. Since June 2014, the European Council Oversight Unit within the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), the European Parliament's in-house research service and think tank, has been monitoring and analysing the European Council's delivery on commitments made in the conclusions of ...

The role of the European Council – to 'provide the Union with the necessary impetus for its development' and to define its 'general political directions and priorities' – has evolved rapidly over the last decade. Since June 2014, the European Council Oversight Unit within the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), the European Parliament's in-house research service and think tank, has been monitoring and analysing the European Council's delivery on commitments made in the conclusions of its meetings. This overview of European Council conclusions is a new, updated and more comprehensive edition of the Rolling Check-List, which has been published regularly by the European Council Oversight Unit since 2014. It distinguishes between four types of European Council conclusions (commitments, reviews, endorsements and statements) and indicates the follow-up given to calls for action made by EU leaders. It also offers an introductory analysis of each policy area, highlighting the background to the main orientations given by the European Council, as well as the follow-up to them and the future challenges.

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