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This study forms part of a larger comparative law project which seeks to study the way that the principles of equality and non-discrimination have developed and are demonstrated in a broad range of legal systems around the world. The subject of this study is the principles of equality and non-discrimination in the United States federal legal system. It provides a brief history of the evolution of the principles of equality and non-discrimination developed in United States federal law and major events ...

One hundred years after women won the vote or were first elected to parliament in some EU countries, the data show that women continue to be under-represented in politics and public life, in the European Parliament, national parliaments and governments, and local assemblies. The arguments for gender balance in politics are numerous, and benefit not only women and female politicians, but also parties themselves and the rest of society. After all, women form half the population and need to be better ...

Experts agree that much depends on women being involved on an equal footing in political leadership, as well as corporate governance, conflict prevention, conflict resolution, and post-conflict power structures. In most societies around the world, women hold only a minority of decision-making positions in public and private institutions. Yet for the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), women’s political participation is a fundamental prerequisite for ...

This paper, updated on an ad hoc basis by the Economic Governance Support Unit, provides an overview of the involvement of national parliaments in the preparations of the National Reform Programmes and Stability or Convergence Programmes based on information provided by the Member States in the respective programmes and supplementing information received from the representatives of national parliaments.

This study was commissioned and supervised by the European Parliament's Policy Department for Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the AFCO Committee. European countries have started exploring e-participation as a way to regain citizens' trust and revitalise European democracy by developing a more responsive, transparent and participatory decision-making process. The main objectives of the study are to identify best practices in EU Member States, describe e-participation ...

Referendums on EU issues

Briefing 18-05-2016

Referendums give citizens a direct say over matters which would otherwise be decided by elected (or non-elected) representatives. Thus, as instruments of direct democracy, they may foster citizens' involvement and legitimise important decisions. In fact, referendums have been on the rise in Europe and elsewhere in the world in recent decades, and have become a recurrent feature of European politics. Since 1972, Europe has seen 54 referendums on EU matters, concerning membership, treaty ratification ...

Political engagement and participation in Western democracies have decreased in recent years. At the European Union level, years of criticism of its supposedly inherent democratic deficit and lack of legitimacy have undermined citizens' trust in the EU as a political actor. Recent developments in EU governance, however, show increasing efforts to find innovative ways of engaging citizens. This note has been prepared for the European Youth Event, taking place in Strasbourg in May 2016. Please click ...

Against a backdrop of high youth unemployment and the threat of marginalisation, the European Union (EU) Youth Strategy encourages Member States to consider young people as a resource, by developing specific actions within youth policy and by working with other areas in a cross-sectoral approach. Coordination between youth and educational policies in order to develop competencies that are sought after by labour markets, as well as entrepreneurial abilities and civic skills is a particular priority ...

Experts in the budgetary field see participatory budgeting as an innovative solution to promote inclusive democracy, and further modernisation and accountability in the public sector. Participatory budgeting is believed to allow civil society and public administrators to jointly determine spending priorities, through 'co-decision' measures. Cooperation is expected to reduce conflicts and to favour broader acceptance of budgetary decisions. The first experiments with citizens' participation in budgetary ...

This desk research focusses on the major shifts in European public opinion towards the European Union since 1973, when Eurobarometer was created by Jacques-René Rabier. The results are presented in a timeline and illustrate the evolution of citizens' opinion in the key phases the Union's institutional, political, economic and social development. The main findings on the evolution of public opinion in the last 40 years - from 1973 to 2014 - show that it has gone up and down, notably in response to ...