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Posted on 20-11-2019

Louise Weiss - Campaigner for liberty

20-11-2019

Throughout her career in the public eye, Louise Weiss was both a writer and an activist. She was among those who promoted the European ideal on the basis of their experiences during the First World War. Like many other people who were similarly influenced, Louise Weiss was a product of the borderlands, her family having come from the part of eastern France that had been annexed by Germany in 1871. Louise Weiss devoted her life to various campaigns, which can be seen as having been mutually reinforcing ...

Throughout her career in the public eye, Louise Weiss was both a writer and an activist. She was among those who promoted the European ideal on the basis of their experiences during the First World War. Like many other people who were similarly influenced, Louise Weiss was a product of the borderlands, her family having come from the part of eastern France that had been annexed by Germany in 1871. Louise Weiss devoted her life to various campaigns, which can be seen as having been mutually reinforcing: the battle for women's rights, the battles for Europe and for freedom for the nations of central Europe, and the intellectual struggle to analyse and eradicate the roots of war. At different times in her life, she was a journalist, a politician, a committed intellectual and a maker of documentary films in many parts of the world. Her commitment to Europe remained the underlying theme of everything she did, and in 1979 she successfully stood as a candidate in the first elections to the European Parliament by direct universal suffrage. As the oldest member of the assembly, she gave the inaugural speech, before handing over the presidency to another woman who had campaigned for Europe, Simone Veil. Today, the building in which the European Parliament has its plenary chamber in Strasbourg is named after Louise Weiss.

Posted on 19-11-2019

EU support for fighting global poverty: Implementing UN SDG 1 – ‘Ending poverty’

19-11-2019

Poverty affects more than a quarter of the world's population, and that is why erasing it is a principal objective for humanity, enshrined as the first of a number of goals (SDGs) in the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. Poverty is more than just having insufficient income – it is a multidimensional phenomenon closely related to unequal access to education, health and other basic services. Increasingly concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa, extreme poverty destroys the lives of millions through ...

Poverty affects more than a quarter of the world's population, and that is why erasing it is a principal objective for humanity, enshrined as the first of a number of goals (SDGs) in the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. Poverty is more than just having insufficient income – it is a multidimensional phenomenon closely related to unequal access to education, health and other basic services. Increasingly concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa, extreme poverty destroys the lives of millions through malnutrition, high infant mortality rates and the violence and insecurity it fuels. Poverty eradication is an ongoing objective of EU development policy. It has recently gained new momentum with the incorporation of the SDGs into the 2017 European consensus on development – the framework for EU action in the area of development cooperation. The EU supports, through its different instruments and programmes, key areas, such as education, healthcare, social security and good governance, relevant to poverty eradication in developing countries. The 2018 Africa-Europe Alliance for Sustainable Investment and Jobs has further reinforced the focus on those sub-Saharan countries where poverty is at its highest, through an innovative approach that goes beyond aid and seeks to forge an 'equals alliance'. Its main pillar, the European Fund for Sustainable Development, aims, through EU grants and guarantees, to mobilise massive public and private investment necessary for the economic take-off of the continent, which would provide jobs and access to basic services for the growing African population. Some doubt that using aid to subsidise private investment is the optimal way to tackle poverty, and insist on strict implementation of development objectives, environmental and social standards, and on highlighting human rights in all projects. Others also denounce the diversion of aid to finance migration management in countries of origin and transit of migration from Africa to Europe. A shift towards a post-growth economy is perceived by many as a radical long-term solution for global well-being and sustainability of the planet.

Posted on 18-11-2019

CETA implementation: SMEs and regions in focus

18-11-2019

The majority of provisions of the EU-Canada Comprehensive Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) have been implemented since 21 September 2017, with the agreement’s provisional application pending full ratification. The aim of this EPRS analysis is to chart the state of play of CETA's ratification procedures, its key objectives, remaining controversies, and the initial results stemming from two years of provisional application, with a focus on regions and small and medium-sized enterprises ...

The majority of provisions of the EU-Canada Comprehensive Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) have been implemented since 21 September 2017, with the agreement’s provisional application pending full ratification. The aim of this EPRS analysis is to chart the state of play of CETA's ratification procedures, its key objectives, remaining controversies, and the initial results stemming from two years of provisional application, with a focus on regions and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It is important to note that it is too early to evaluate the economic and social impacts of CETA. That will be the remit of the ex-post evaluation usually carried out by the European Commission five years after the start of provisonal application. By providing an overview of the early results of CETA implementation two years in, this analysis seeks to inform forthcoming deliberations on both CETA itself and other free trade agreements between the EU and various partner countries.

Posted on 15-11-2019

Plenary round-up – Brussels, November I 2019

15-11-2019

The November I plenary session highlights included statements and debates on the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and on the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Parliament also debated statements made by the Vice-President of the European Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HR/VP) on Turkish drilling activities in European Union waters in the Eastern Mediterranean, and on the situation in ...

The November I plenary session highlights included statements and debates on the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and on the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Parliament also debated statements made by the Vice-President of the European Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HR/VP) on Turkish drilling activities in European Union waters in the Eastern Mediterranean, and on the situation in Bolivia and in Chile. Debates took place, inter alia, on Commission and Council statements on the international day to end impunity for crimes against journalists, on the resurgence of Ebola in East Africa, as well as on the situation of migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina and on the hotspots in Greek islands.

Rule of law [What Think Tanks are thinking]

15-11-2019

The European Union is a community of law, with the rule of law being a basic value since the Union's inception. The President-elect of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has confirmed a strong commitment to uphold the rule of law, which remains a shared responsibility for all EU institutions and all Member States. However, developments in several EU Member States – for example Czechia, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Malta – have raised concerns over how far this commitment is actualy being ...

The European Union is a community of law, with the rule of law being a basic value since the Union's inception. The President-elect of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has confirmed a strong commitment to uphold the rule of law, which remains a shared responsibility for all EU institutions and all Member States. However, developments in several EU Member States – for example Czechia, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Malta – have raised concerns over how far this commitment is actualy being observed in practice, sparking a lively debate across the EU and action in the EU institutions themselves. This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports from major international think tanks on the rule of law debate.

Research for AGRI committee - The EU farming employment: current challenges and future prospects (Study + Annex)

15-10-2019

This study outlines the current trends and patterns of farming employment in the EU and discusses possible development paths for the European agricultural labour force. In particular, this study investigates the drivers of and structural changes within agricultural labour markets at regional, national and EU level, building on a range of quantitative and qualitative analysis methods.

This study outlines the current trends and patterns of farming employment in the EU and discusses possible development paths for the European agricultural labour force. In particular, this study investigates the drivers of and structural changes within agricultural labour markets at regional, national and EU level, building on a range of quantitative and qualitative analysis methods.

External author

A. Maucorps; A. Münch; S. Brkanovic; B. Schuh; J. Dwyer; M. Vigani; A. Khafagy; M. Coto Sauras; P. Deschellette; A. Lopez; S. Severini; F. Antonioli; R. Gaugitsch; J. Powell; K. Kubinakova; M. Derszniak-Noirjean; C. Salasan; M. Gaupp-Berghausen; C.-H. Hsiung; F. Fasching; F. Keringer

Posted on 14-11-2019

International Agreements in Progress: EU-Vietnam trade and investment agreements

14-11-2019

The European Commission has described the free trade and investment protection agreements (FTA/IPA) signed with Vietnam as the most ambitious deals of their type ever concluded by the EU and a developing country. Not only will they eliminate over 99 % of customs duties on goods, they will also open up Vietnamese markets to European service providers and investors. According to European Commission figures, the agreements will boost trade in both directions, with EU exports set to rise by nearly 30 ...

The European Commission has described the free trade and investment protection agreements (FTA/IPA) signed with Vietnam as the most ambitious deals of their type ever concluded by the EU and a developing country. Not only will they eliminate over 99 % of customs duties on goods, they will also open up Vietnamese markets to European service providers and investors. According to European Commission figures, the agreements will boost trade in both directions, with EU exports set to rise by nearly 30 %. Vietnam is the second south-east Asian country after Singapore to sign trade and investment agreements with the EU, bringing the long-term goal of a region-to-region EU-ASEAN trade deal a step closer. In view of the human rights situation in Vietnam, opinions are divided on whether the agreements should be ratified. Critics argue that the EU should not approve the agreements until the situation improves. On the other hand, defenders point out that the FTA/IPA include commitments to stronger human rights (such as allowing independent trade unions); they also insist that the EU can best help to bring about improvements by engaging with Vietnam . Following the same approach as for Singapore, the single text originally agreed in 2015 with Vietnam has been split into two parts, an FTA covering exclusive EU competences and an IPA that includes competences that are shared with EU Member States. The European Parliament is set to vote in February 2020; if it gives its consent, the two agreements will then have to be ratified by Vietnam and (for the IPA) the EU Member States before entering into force.

Inclusion of migrants in formal education

14-11-2019

Statistics show that students with a migrant background are not as integrated in formal education as other students. Yet the term ‘students with a migrant background’ catches many different individuals. Some of those students may have been born in the country in which they are studying, with their parents or grandparents being the ones to have moved states. Some of the new arrivals are asylum‑seekers or refugees, who may have experienced chronic stress and severe trauma. Some students have chosen ...

Statistics show that students with a migrant background are not as integrated in formal education as other students. Yet the term ‘students with a migrant background’ catches many different individuals. Some of those students may have been born in the country in which they are studying, with their parents or grandparents being the ones to have moved states. Some of the new arrivals are asylum‑seekers or refugees, who may have experienced chronic stress and severe trauma. Some students have chosen to study abroad but, though they come from a different country, they are not considered migrants. This infographic looks at the complex picture behind the statistics, and at how authorities in Member States address the inclusion of migrant students through their policies.

Situation of migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina

14-11-2019

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) has become a transit route for migrants heading towards western Europe since early 2018. Around 8 000 migrants are currently present in the country, mainly originating from southern Asia and the Middle East. Reception capacities were expanded in 2018, using EU funds, but remain insufficient. In 2019, BiH has been unable to establish additional locations for temporary reception centres, despite EU funds being available. Access to asylum in BiH is also effectively being ...

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) has become a transit route for migrants heading towards western Europe since early 2018. Around 8 000 migrants are currently present in the country, mainly originating from southern Asia and the Middle East. Reception capacities were expanded in 2018, using EU funds, but remain insufficient. In 2019, BiH has been unable to establish additional locations for temporary reception centres, despite EU funds being available. Access to asylum in BiH is also effectively being denied to migrants that seek to claim it. Recently, local authorities in the Una-Sana Canton (Bihać), which have been shouldering most of the burden of migration management, have resorted to action such as restricting movement and forcibly transferring migrants to the Vučjak site, which is unsuitable for human occupation on account of severe health and safety risks for its residents. The government of Croatia has meanwhile been accused by some non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and international organisations of pushing migrants back into BiH, in violation of international norms on non-refoulement. Croatia has committed to investigate allegations of mistreatment of migrants and refugees at its external borders. The lack of appropriate policy responses in BiH has led to a humanitarian crisis in the Una-Sana Canton. In the absence of timely and serious preparation, and without better internal coordination among state-level and local authorities, BiH may face an even stronger humanitarian emergency this upcoming winter.

Key features of 2020 Draft Budgetary Plans

12-11-2019

This document compares the key features of the 2020 Draft Budgetary Plans (DBP), as submitted by the Euro Area Member States by mid of October 2019, with the autumn 2019 forecasts by the European Commission (EC) and the key features included in the 2019 Stability Programmes (SP), as submitted by the Euro Area Member States by end of April 2019, with the 2019 spring forecasts by the EC. While blue cells indicate that the Member State is more optimistic than the EC forecast, grey cells indicate that ...

This document compares the key features of the 2020 Draft Budgetary Plans (DBP), as submitted by the Euro Area Member States by mid of October 2019, with the autumn 2019 forecasts by the European Commission (EC) and the key features included in the 2019 Stability Programmes (SP), as submitted by the Euro Area Member States by end of April 2019, with the 2019 spring forecasts by the EC. While blue cells indicate that the Member State is more optimistic than the EC forecast, grey cells indicate that the Member State is less optimistic than the EC forecast. An overview comparing these figures with the required fiscal efforts and the medium-term budgetary objectives (MTO), as included in the latest Council decisions/recommendations, is provided in a separate EGOV document.

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