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Protecting civil society space: strengthening freedom of association, assembly and expression and the right to defend rights in the EU

28-10-2020

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament's Policy Department for Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the LIBE Committee, covers the challenges facing the civil society space. Watchdog NGOs and other human rights defenders have been under pressure during the humanitarian and rule of law ‘crises’. Several EU Member States have passed laws that fall short of international, regional and EU freedom of association standards. Some governments have used the COVID-19 pandemic ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament's Policy Department for Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the LIBE Committee, covers the challenges facing the civil society space. Watchdog NGOs and other human rights defenders have been under pressure during the humanitarian and rule of law ‘crises’. Several EU Member States have passed laws that fall short of international, regional and EU freedom of association standards. Some governments have used the COVID-19 pandemic to further restrict the civic space. The study explores how the EU could protect civil society from unjust state interference by strengthening freedom of association, assembly and expression, as well as the right to defend human rights. The study elaborates on four policy options: introducing a European association statute; establishing internal guidelines to respect and protect human rights defenders; developing a civil society stability index; and creating a network of focal contact points for civil society at EU institutions. It recommends strengthening the independence of critical civil society actors and increasing funding for activities such as strategic litigation to uphold EU laws and values.

Външен автор

Lina VOSYLIŪTĖ, Ngo Chun LUK

Plenary round-up – October II 2020

26-10-2020

During the second October 2020 plenary session – the first at which Members were able to speak remotely, and not only vote, from the Member States – the European Commission presented its 2021 work programme, which Members largely welcomed. Members also discussed the conclusions of the 15 16 October 2020 European Council meeting, EU measures to mitigate the social and economic impact of Covid 19, police brutality within the EU, the sale of EU passports and visas to criminals, the State of the Energy ...

During the second October 2020 plenary session – the first at which Members were able to speak remotely, and not only vote, from the Member States – the European Commission presented its 2021 work programme, which Members largely welcomed. Members also discussed the conclusions of the 15 16 October 2020 European Council meeting, EU measures to mitigate the social and economic impact of Covid 19, police brutality within the EU, the sale of EU passports and visas to criminals, the State of the Energy Union and aligning the Energy Charter Treaty with the European Green Deal. Parliament announced that its 2020 Sakharov Prize will be awarded on 16 December to the Belarusian opposition, in particular the Coordinating Council, for 'an initiative launched by courageous women'.

Understanding the European Economic and Social Committee

13-10-2020

The European Social and Economic Committee (EESC), established in 1957 by the Treaty of Rome, is one of the two advisory bodies of the European Union (EU). Composed of representatives of various European economic and social groups and categories, such as employers, workers, producers, farmers, liberal professions and civil society organisations, the EESC assists the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission in the policy-making and legislative process, in an advisory capacity. EESC members ...

The European Social and Economic Committee (EESC), established in 1957 by the Treaty of Rome, is one of the two advisory bodies of the European Union (EU). Composed of representatives of various European economic and social groups and categories, such as employers, workers, producers, farmers, liberal professions and civil society organisations, the EESC assists the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission in the policy-making and legislative process, in an advisory capacity. EESC members are appointed by the Council according to the proposals of national governments and after consulting the European Commission, for a mandate of five years. Since the 2002 Treaty of Nice the maximum number of EESC members has been fixed at 350. With the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU, the 24 UK members of the EESC also left. In the new mandate starting on 21 September 2020, the total number of members is 329. Over time, the EU Treaties have increased the number of policy areas in which the consultation of the EESC is required for the adoption of legislation; however, the EU institutions often request the Committee's opinion beyond these mandatory areas, and even before legislation is proposed, in order to assess the views of civil society on a specific topic. Importantly, the EESC has acquired the right to give its views on any EU-related issue and the Committee's own-initiative opinions and information reports currently account for around 15 to 20 % of the opinions it adopts every year. In addition to the consultative role assigned by the Treaties, the Committee has set for itself the task of communicating the European Union to citizens, reinforcing participatory democracy and providing a forum for civil dialogue between the EU institutions and civil society. For over 20 years, the EESC has organised events on various topics, cooperated with national economic and social committees and, in general, strived to enhance the role of civil society both in Europe and outside. In all its aspects, the EESC has become a bridge between Europe and organised civil society.

Foresight within the EU institutions: The ESPAS analysis so far

13-10-2020

Three ESPAS Global Trends Reports identify major shifts through the 2010s and the challenges they pose for the European Union. The reports tease out both risks and opportunities arising in geopolitics, the economy, technology, the environment and society. They underline the need for anticipatory governance and for the development of a strategic foresight culture within the EU institutions.

Three ESPAS Global Trends Reports identify major shifts through the 2010s and the challenges they pose for the European Union. The reports tease out both risks and opportunities arising in geopolitics, the economy, technology, the environment and society. They underline the need for anticipatory governance and for the development of a strategic foresight culture within the EU institutions.

Plenary round-up – Brussels, October I 2020

09-10-2020

During the first October 2020 plenary session in Brussels, Parliament held a debate on the rule of law and fundamental rights in the context of introducing conditionality measures in the framework of the 2021 2027 multiannual financial framework (MFF) and Next Generation EU. In parallel, Parliament's negotiating team on the next MFF announced a pause in talks, due to concerns over the Council's lack of engagement on the key issue of top-ups for 15 flagship EU programmes. Parliament also discussed ...

During the first October 2020 plenary session in Brussels, Parliament held a debate on the rule of law and fundamental rights in the context of introducing conditionality measures in the framework of the 2021 2027 multiannual financial framework (MFF) and Next Generation EU. In parallel, Parliament's negotiating team on the next MFF announced a pause in talks, due to concerns over the Council's lack of engagement on the key issue of top-ups for 15 flagship EU programmes. Parliament also discussed the conclusions of the special European Council meeting of 1 2 October and the preparations for the next regular European Council meeting, on 15 16 October 2020. Parliament approved the allocation of new responsibilities to Executive Vice-President of the Commission Valdis Dombrovskis and approved the appointment of Mairead McGuinness as member of the European Commission. Parliament also debated the role of the European Supervisory Authorities in the Wirecard scandal, on the fight against money laundering, following the FinCEN revelations, and on the impact of the Covid 19 outbreak on long-term care facilities. Parliament debated statements from the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borell, on the resumption of hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, on the EU diplomatic mission in Venezuela, and on the situation in Iran.

Towards a more resilient Europe post-coronavirus: Capabilities and gaps in the EU's capacity to address structural risks

09-10-2020

The current coronavirus crisis emphasises the need for the European Union to devote more effort to anticipatory governance, notably through analysis of medium- and long-term global trends, as well as structured contingency planning and the stress-testing of existing and future policies. In order to contribute to reflection on and discussion about the implications of the coronavirus pandemic for EU policy-making, this paper builds on an initial ‘mapping' of some 66 potential structural risks which ...

The current coronavirus crisis emphasises the need for the European Union to devote more effort to anticipatory governance, notably through analysis of medium- and long-term global trends, as well as structured contingency planning and the stress-testing of existing and future policies. In order to contribute to reflection on and discussion about the implications of the coronavirus pandemic for EU policy-making, this paper builds on an initial ‘mapping' of some 66 potential structural risks which could confront Europe over the coming decade. Taking 33 risks which are assessed as being more significant or likely, it looks first at the capabilities which the EU and its Member States already have to address those risks, and then looks at the various gaps in policy and instruments at the Union's disposal, suggesting possible approaches to overcome them in the short and medium terms.

Foresight for resilience: The European Commission's first annual Foresight Report

08-10-2020

The first Annual Foresight Report sets out how foresight will be used in the EU’s work towards a sustainable recovery and open strategic autonomy, Horizon scanning can identify emerging risks and opportunities. Scenario development can tease out potential synergies, for example between green and digital objectives. Dashboards can be used to measure progress towards agreed goals, while a European Foresight Network can enhance the interaction between different levels of governance.

The first Annual Foresight Report sets out how foresight will be used in the EU’s work towards a sustainable recovery and open strategic autonomy, Horizon scanning can identify emerging risks and opportunities. Scenario development can tease out potential synergies, for example between green and digital objectives. Dashboards can be used to measure progress towards agreed goals, while a European Foresight Network can enhance the interaction between different levels of governance.

The Effectiveness of Conflict of Interest Policies in the EU- Member States

07-10-2020

This comparative study - commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs - analyses the effectiveness of relevant rules, policies and practices within Member States regarding conflict of interest for top political appointment (Head of Government, Ministers and other high ranking officials). The research highlights the theoretical and practical aspects of the notion of conflict of interest, giving some policy recommendations

This comparative study - commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs - analyses the effectiveness of relevant rules, policies and practices within Member States regarding conflict of interest for top political appointment (Head of Government, Ministers and other high ranking officials). The research highlights the theoretical and practical aspects of the notion of conflict of interest, giving some policy recommendations

Външен автор

Christoph DEMMKE; Maros PAULINI; Jari AUTIONIEMI; Florian LENNER

Accountability at the Fed and the ECB

30-09-2020

This paper reviews the independence and accountability of the ECB and the Federal Reserve. While the ECB makes significant efforts to be accountable for its actions, there are several improvements that could be made to European institutions to improve its independence and accountability. These include reforming the process of appointing ECB Executive Board members, improving the transparency of ECB decision-making and reforming aspects of the Monetary Dialogue to make the questioning more effective ...

This paper reviews the independence and accountability of the ECB and the Federal Reserve. While the ECB makes significant efforts to be accountable for its actions, there are several improvements that could be made to European institutions to improve its independence and accountability. These include reforming the process of appointing ECB Executive Board members, improving the transparency of ECB decision-making and reforming aspects of the Monetary Dialogue to make the questioning more effective. This document was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON).

Външен автор

Karl WHELAN

How Can the European Parliament Better Oversee the European Central Bank?

30-09-2020

This paper assesses how the European Parliament (EP) holds the European Central Bank (ECB) accountable. The same exercise is done for the Bank of Japan, in order to identify possible lessons for the ECB and the EP. Possible improvements to the ECB accountability framework include procedural changes to the Monetary Dialogue to increase its effectiveness, the release of detailed minutes and votes from ECB governing council meetings, and the establishment of a ranking by the EU legislators of the ECB ...

This paper assesses how the European Parliament (EP) holds the European Central Bank (ECB) accountable. The same exercise is done for the Bank of Japan, in order to identify possible lessons for the ECB and the EP. Possible improvements to the ECB accountability framework include procedural changes to the Monetary Dialogue to increase its effectiveness, the release of detailed minutes and votes from ECB governing council meetings, and the establishment of a ranking by the EU legislators of the ECB’s secondary objectives. This document was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON).

Външен автор

Grégory CLAEYS, Marta DOMÍNGUEZ-JIMÉNEZ

Предстоящи събития

29-10-2020
Workshop on Open spaces at EU institutions versus traditional work spaces
Семинар -
CONT
29-10-2020
Joint Hearing - Union Citizenship: Empowerment, Inclusion, Participation
Изслушване -
AFCO JURI LIBE PETI
29-10-2020
EPRS online policy roundtable - America’s moment of destiny? US Presidential election
Други мероприятия -
EPRS

Партньори