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Jewish communities in the European Union

23-01-2020

The Jewish population in the EU has been diminishing in recent decades, and has witnessed an increase in acts of anti-Semitism and anti-Jewish violence in recent years. In defence of its values, including respect for minorities, the EU undertakes and funds actions to counter anti-Semitism. This is a further updated version of an 'at a glance' note published in January 2019.

The Jewish population in the EU has been diminishing in recent decades, and has witnessed an increase in acts of anti-Semitism and anti-Jewish violence in recent years. In defence of its values, including respect for minorities, the EU undertakes and funds actions to counter anti-Semitism. This is a further updated version of an 'at a glance' note published in January 2019.

International Criminal Court: Achievements and challenges 20 years after the adoption of the Rome Statute

13-07-2018

Adopted on 17 July 1998, the Statute of Rome is the founding treaty of the International Criminal Court, which was set up to deal with the most serious crimes of international concern, namely genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Its establishment has inspired much hope that the most horrendous crimes will no longer go unpunished and that its deterrent effect will significantly reduce their occurrence. The EU has been a strong supporter of the ICC system from the outset. Since it began ...

Adopted on 17 July 1998, the Statute of Rome is the founding treaty of the International Criminal Court, which was set up to deal with the most serious crimes of international concern, namely genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Its establishment has inspired much hope that the most horrendous crimes will no longer go unpunished and that its deterrent effect will significantly reduce their occurrence. The EU has been a strong supporter of the ICC system from the outset. Since it began operating in 2003, the Court has conducted investigations and trials in connection with some of the world's most brutal conflicts and has not shied away from investigating individuals at the highest level of power, such as presidents in office. It has developed extensive tools to protect its most important asset – the witnesses, who in many cases have faced intimidation, violence and even death. However the Court has also encountered difficulties and inherent limitations. The atrocities committed by groups such as ISIL/Da'esh have been out of reach for the Court's jurisdiction, which is limited to states parties' territories and their nationals, unless the Security Council specifically asks it to investigate. The refusal by some major powers such as the US, China and Russia to join, the lack of cooperation by some states parties such as South Africa, as well as recent defections or the threat thereof have also put strains on its global authority. The Court's effectiveness cannot be judged solely on the convictions it passes. The ICC is a court of last resort, and its impact on national judicial systems has also been significant. The Rome Statute itself has evolved. At the end of last year, the jurisdiction of the Court was extended to cover the crime of international aggression and new war crimes taking into account the latest technological developments. This briefing updates a previous briefing on the International Criminal Court, from May 2017.

European Union Solidarity Fund

28-06-2018

Established in 2002 to support disaster-stricken regions, the European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF) complements the efforts of public authorities by helping to fund vital emergency and recovery operations in areas affected by catastrophes such as flooding, earthquakes or forest fires. With an annual budget of €500 million, EUSF funding is granted following an application from a Member State or candidate country, and may be used to finance measures including restoring infrastructure to working order ...

Established in 2002 to support disaster-stricken regions, the European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF) complements the efforts of public authorities by helping to fund vital emergency and recovery operations in areas affected by catastrophes such as flooding, earthquakes or forest fires. With an annual budget of €500 million, EUSF funding is granted following an application from a Member State or candidate country, and may be used to finance measures including restoring infrastructure to working order, providing temporary accommodation or cleaning up disaster areas. Although a revision of the EUSF Regulation took place in 2014, simplifying rules and clarifying eligibility criteria, several problems still remain. European Commission reports on the EUSF have drawn attention to the long waiting time countries still face before receiving EUSF funding, while industry experts also point to the risk that the EUSF could run out of funding in the event of several large disasters taking place within a short space of time. With a number of major natural disasters occurring over the past years, the EUSF has attracted renewed attention, leading the European Commission to put forward new proposals addressing the issue of post-disaster support. Parliament was also actively involved in these discussions, adopting a resolution on the EUSF in December 2016 which included several measures aimed at improving its operations, also calling on Member States to use ESI funds to invest in disaster prevention. Recent developments, such as new rules that allow reconstruction operations to be financed under the European Regional Development Fund and the proposal for a reinforced Civil Protection Mechanism, have helped create greater coherence between the EUSF and other EU measures. Perhaps most importantly, by complementing the work of the EUSF, these measures have the potential to improve the effectiveness of the EU's disaster prevention and response operations. The planned increase in the EUSF budget outlined under the recent MFF proposal can also help contribute to this process by strengthening the EUSF's response capacity, yet these plans will be subject to tough negotiations in the Council and Parliament. The next few months will arguably be of critical importance for ensuring the continued strength of the EU's disaster response capabilities and, in particular, the EUSF's role within this process. This is an updated edition of a Briefing published in January 2017, PE 595.896.

Major sporting events versus human rights: Parliament's position on the 1978 FIFA World Cup in Argentina and the 1980 Moscow Olympics

13-06-2018

Major sports events and politics are closely intertwined. Well-known historical examples of major sporting events that were used by regimes for political propaganda purposes are the 1978 FIFA World Cup in Argentina and the 1980 Summer Olympic Games in Moscow. The 1978 World Cup took place around two years after the Argentinian military regime's right-wing coup and its violent repression of critics, and was then the most political World Cup in the history of the International Federation of Association ...

Major sports events and politics are closely intertwined. Well-known historical examples of major sporting events that were used by regimes for political propaganda purposes are the 1978 FIFA World Cup in Argentina and the 1980 Summer Olympic Games in Moscow. The 1978 World Cup took place around two years after the Argentinian military regime's right-wing coup and its violent repression of critics, and was then the most political World Cup in the history of the International Federation of Association Football (Fédération Internationale de Football Association: FIFA). The 1980 Summer Olympic Games in Moscow were the first to take place in eastern Europe and the first to be held in a socialist country. In addition, the 1980 Summer Olympic Games unleashed a hitherto, in the history of major sporting events, unprecedented boycott by 60 countries, in protest against the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979. The European Parliament's involvement in the debates on the political reaction to these two major sporting events is a largely unknown aspect of the history of the 1978 World Cup and the 1980 Summer Olympic Games. This Briefing will reconstruct these debates and the policy action that followed, based on new analysis of sources held in the Parliament's Historical Archives, and demonstrates that the EP's leitmotiv was the violation of human rights in both countries. Furthermore, the Briefing shows that these debates set the basis for the EP's current policy action when it comes to major sports events in countries with a poor track record of human rights.

2018 elections in Colombia: A test for peace?

25-05-2018

2018 is an important election year in Colombia, with legislative elections held in March, and the presidential election due on 27 May, with a second round probable, on 17 June, if no candidate gets over 50 % of the vote. It is also the first time in more than 50 years that elections are being held in peace, after an agreement was reached, and is now being implemented, with the guerilla, FARC. The legislative elections have left a fragmented Congress dominated by the right, and the presidential race ...

2018 is an important election year in Colombia, with legislative elections held in March, and the presidential election due on 27 May, with a second round probable, on 17 June, if no candidate gets over 50 % of the vote. It is also the first time in more than 50 years that elections are being held in peace, after an agreement was reached, and is now being implemented, with the guerilla, FARC. The legislative elections have left a fragmented Congress dominated by the right, and the presidential race, though still uncertain, seems to be polarised by a right-wing candidate, Ivan Duque, and his left-wing opponent, Gustavo Petro. Of the six candidates for the presidency, only Ivan Duque, from the Democratic Centre, has openly opposed the agreements made with the FARC, and has promised to make 'structural modifications', in particular regarding the Special Justice for Peace mechanism. The EU, which has actively supported the peace process in Colombia, has sent an electoral expert mission to follow the elections, and the European Parliament will also be present, through a multi-party delegation of eight MEPs.

Gender equality in the media and digital sectors

11-04-2018

Having highlighted women's participation and representation in the media and digital sectors on International Women's Day on 8 March 2018, Parliament is analysing the current situation and proposing ways to empower women and girls in an own-initiative report scheduled for debate during the April plenary session.

Having highlighted women's participation and representation in the media and digital sectors on International Women's Day on 8 March 2018, Parliament is analysing the current situation and proposing ways to empower women and girls in an own-initiative report scheduled for debate during the April plenary session.

Permanent structured cooperation (PESCO): Beyond establishment

09-03-2018

In its 2016 Global Strategy, the European Union (EU) set a new level of ambition in security and defence. Closer defence cooperation among EU Member States is now at the top of the agenda. The aim is to make European defence spending more efficient, and work towards a strategically autonomous European defence union (EDU). The launch of permanent structured cooperation (PESCO) in December 2017 is seen as a crucial step in that direction. On 13 November 2017, 23 EU Member States signed a joint notification ...

In its 2016 Global Strategy, the European Union (EU) set a new level of ambition in security and defence. Closer defence cooperation among EU Member States is now at the top of the agenda. The aim is to make European defence spending more efficient, and work towards a strategically autonomous European defence union (EDU). The launch of permanent structured cooperation (PESCO) in December 2017 is seen as a crucial step in that direction. On 13 November 2017, 23 EU Member States signed a joint notification addressed to the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) and to the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission (HR/VP) on their intention to participate in PESCO. On 11 December 2017, 25 Member States agreed to 'ambitious and more binding common commitments' and issued an initial list of 17 PESCO defence projects to fill the EU's strategic capability gaps and ensure the cross-border availability, deployability and interoperability of forces. On 6 March 2018, the Council – meeting for the first time ever in 'PESCO' format – formally adopted the list of projects to be developed. This new impetus given to EU defence has been accompanied by widespread support on the part of high-level EU representatives, and is also broadly backed by the European public. Nonetheless the 'renaissance' of EU defence policy came fairly unexpectedly. Several challenges remain, including boosting investment, overcoming fragmentation and accommodating national defence priorities while coordinating national defence capabilities.

Gender equality in the media and digital sectors

06-03-2018

International Women's Day provides an opportunity both to celebrate women's achievements and to take stock of progress towards gender equality. This year, the European Parliament is highlighting the situation in the media and digital sectors, with a report scheduled for debate during the March plenary session, following a high-level event on 8 March itself.

International Women's Day provides an opportunity both to celebrate women's achievements and to take stock of progress towards gender equality. This year, the European Parliament is highlighting the situation in the media and digital sectors, with a report scheduled for debate during the March plenary session, following a high-level event on 8 March itself.

One step forward and two steps back for human rights in the world

01-03-2018

On 13 December 2017, just a few days after the United Nations' Human Rights Day, the European Parliament (EP) adopted in plenary its annual resolution on human rights and democracy. Addressing the numerous pressures exerted on human rights in 2016, the resolution calls upon the European Union to place human rights at the centre of EU relations with all third countries and to lead by example. The resolution hails the step forward made for the empowerment of women, but also warns of two new challenges ...

On 13 December 2017, just a few days after the United Nations' Human Rights Day, the European Parliament (EP) adopted in plenary its annual resolution on human rights and democracy. Addressing the numerous pressures exerted on human rights in 2016, the resolution calls upon the European Union to place human rights at the centre of EU relations with all third countries and to lead by example. The resolution hails the step forward made for the empowerment of women, but also warns of two new challenges – backward steps – to human rights in the world. One is brought about by new technological developments, and the other by new trends in terrorism involving psychological intimidation through the destruction of heritage sites.

Human rights in Ukraine and the EU response, including relevant activities of the European Parliament

07-02-2018

The present study provides an overview of how the European Union and the European Parliament (EP) contribute to the promotion and protection of human rights in Ukraine. The analysis adopts an institutional approach, separately addressing the role of the various EP bodies involved, such as the plenary itself and the Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI). The actions of the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Association Committee (PAC), a parliamentary body created by the Association Agreement, as well as those ...

The present study provides an overview of how the European Union and the European Parliament (EP) contribute to the promotion and protection of human rights in Ukraine. The analysis adopts an institutional approach, separately addressing the role of the various EP bodies involved, such as the plenary itself and the Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI). The actions of the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Association Committee (PAC), a parliamentary body created by the Association Agreement, as well as those of the European Parliament’s Delegation to the PAC are included in this analysis. The territories controlled by the Ukrainian government and those that are temporarily occupied, namely Crimea and parts of eastern Ukraine, are addressed separately in the study. In terms of thematic focus, the EP’s activities aimed at human rights promotion have been dominated by the issue of the Crimean Tatars, the Ukrainian political prisoners illegally held in Russia, and the human rights situation in eastern Ukraine. The most significant conclusion is that the more entrenched the violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity becomes, the wider the spectrum of human rights issues extends, in protection of which the EP is able to step to the fore and take action. A summary of the contents of relevant EP actions can be found in the Annex to the study, together with a graphical visualisation of key data.

Parlamendiväline autor

András RÁCZ, Narine GHAZARYAN, Sergiy GERASYMCHUK.

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