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EU-Africa academic cooperation

12-12-2019

EU-Africa academic cooperation is one of the priority of the strategic partnership between both regions. It allows the mobility of students, researchers and academic staff as well as the cooperation between academic institutions from both regions. The cooperation is supported, not least with the EU funds, through the Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020 programmes as well as through the Inter-Africa Mobility Scheme. With the new financial perspective and the new ‘post-Cotonou’ agreement, still in negotiations ...

EU-Africa academic cooperation is one of the priority of the strategic partnership between both regions. It allows the mobility of students, researchers and academic staff as well as the cooperation between academic institutions from both regions. The cooperation is supported, not least with the EU funds, through the Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020 programmes as well as through the Inter-Africa Mobility Scheme. With the new financial perspective and the new ‘post-Cotonou’ agreement, still in negotiations, it is important to ensure the future of the EU-Africa academic cooperation is relevant in scale to the needs and expectations and is focusing on topics important for both regions.

Mercosur: Economic indicators and trade with EU

10-12-2019

Mercosur, the 'southern common market', was founded in 1991 when Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay signed the Treaty of Asunción. In 2012, Venezuela formally joined Mercosur as a fifth member, but in December 2016 the country was suspended temporarily for failure to transpose Mercosur rules into Venezuelan law. In August 2017, the suspension was prolonged indefinitely. This paper presents economic indicators for the four members, for example showing their GDP and labour market situations, ...

Mercosur, the 'southern common market', was founded in 1991 when Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay signed the Treaty of Asunción. In 2012, Venezuela formally joined Mercosur as a fifth member, but in December 2016 the country was suspended temporarily for failure to transpose Mercosur rules into Venezuelan law. In August 2017, the suspension was prolonged indefinitely. This paper presents economic indicators for the four members, for example showing their GDP and labour market situations, and it also shows those countries’ relative positions on several indexes that assess the situation in terms of doing business, corruption and human development. Finally, it looks at trade between the EU and Mercosur – of both goods and services – highlighting the main trading partners, and the main products and services that the EU exports to and imports from the four Mercosur members.

Outlook for the meetings of EU leaders on 12-13 December 2019

09-12-2019

The main issues on the agenda of the European Council are climate change and the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). EU leaders will also address the idea of a Conference on the Future of Europe, with the aim of developing a joint position of Member States on the initiative. In addition, the European Council (Article 50) meeting is expected to discuss the result of the general election in the UK (taking place on 12 December) and the likely consequences for the Brexit process, as well as preparations ...

The main issues on the agenda of the European Council are climate change and the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). EU leaders will also address the idea of a Conference on the Future of Europe, with the aim of developing a joint position of Member States on the initiative. In addition, the European Council (Article 50) meeting is expected to discuss the result of the general election in the UK (taking place on 12 December) and the likely consequences for the Brexit process, as well as preparations for the negotiations on future EU-UK relations. Finally, the Euro Summit will concentrate on the revision of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) Treaty, the budgetary instrument for convergence and competitiveness (BICC), and technical work on the strengthening of the banking union.

The sharp power of knowledge: Foreign authoritarian meddling in academia

06-12-2019

The visibility of, and focus on, authoritarian hybrid threats – a mix of conventional and non-conventional hostile activities to undermine democracies – is increasing. Techniques and technologies keep evolving, and a growing number of authoritarian actors are adopting and adapting different tools to further their agendas. In this context, 'soft power' exerted through academic institutions and universities can become a 'sharp' hybrid tool, undermining academic independence and further eroding trust ...

The visibility of, and focus on, authoritarian hybrid threats – a mix of conventional and non-conventional hostile activities to undermine democracies – is increasing. Techniques and technologies keep evolving, and a growing number of authoritarian actors are adopting and adapting different tools to further their agendas. In this context, 'soft power' exerted through academic institutions and universities can become a 'sharp' hybrid tool, undermining academic independence and further eroding trust in facts and science.

The European Council under the Lisbon Treaty: How has the institution evolved since 2009?

04-12-2019

On 1 December 2009, with the coming into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, the European Council became a formal EU institution. Ten years later, the European Council is seen by many as representing the centre of gravity of the EU's institutional framework. However, was this development purely the result of the changes to the Treaties made with Lisbon or did it happen naturally over time? This study analyses both the formal changes brought about by the Lisbon Treaty and the incremental evolution resulting ...

On 1 December 2009, with the coming into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, the European Council became a formal EU institution. Ten years later, the European Council is seen by many as representing the centre of gravity of the EU's institutional framework. However, was this development purely the result of the changes to the Treaties made with Lisbon or did it happen naturally over time? This study analyses both the formal changes brought about by the Lisbon Treaty and the incremental evolution resulting from the institution's day-to-day practice, including the European Council's behaviour during the various crises of the last decade. It outlines the responsibilities envisaged for the European Council in the Treaty and the informal roles it has taken on over time. It explores the extent to which the Lisbon Treaty changed the functioning of the European Council, and how EU leaders themselves tried to optimise the working methods of their institution. Special attention is to the new position of full-time European Council President and the way in which the first two incumbents have interpreted their office. The analysis concludes that, while the EU’s various crises strongly contributed to the rise of the European Council, the Lisbon Treaty united two previously separate dimensions – the political and the legal, formally adding new competences to the role already performed by the EU Heads of State or Government. Many of these competences have yet to be fully exploited and represent a rich seam of unused Treaty potential for the future.

China: Economic indicators and trade with EU

03-12-2019

China's economy is slowing from past two-digit growth rates to a 'new normal' growth rate of 'only' 6.5% on average under the current five-year plan (2016-2020). To what extent does this slowdown affect China's public finances and other macroeconomic indicators? How has EU trade with China developed during the last decade? How important is the EU for China in terms of trade? And what about China's trade relevance for the EU? Has the huge trade imbalance in goods trade between China and the EU narrowed ...

China's economy is slowing from past two-digit growth rates to a 'new normal' growth rate of 'only' 6.5% on average under the current five-year plan (2016-2020). To what extent does this slowdown affect China's public finances and other macroeconomic indicators? How has EU trade with China developed during the last decade? How important is the EU for China in terms of trade? And what about China's trade relevance for the EU? Has the huge trade imbalance in goods trade between China and the EU narrowed in recent years? How intensive is trade in services between the EU and China? What are the EU's main export items to China? How does China's export basket look like? You can find the answers to these and other questions in our EPRS publication on China produced in collaboration with the European University Institute's GlobalStat on the world's main economies. This is an updated edition of an ‘At a Glance’ note published in October 2018.

Amazon wildfire crisis: Need for an international response

29-11-2019

The Amazon rainforest, which is the largest ecosystem of its kind on Earth and is shared by eight South American countries as well as an EU outermost region, was ravaged by fires coinciding with last summer’s dry season. However, most of these fires are set intentionally and are linked to increased human activities in the area, such as the expansion of agriculture and cattle farming, illegal logging, mining and fuel extraction. Although a recurrent phenomenon that has been going on for decades, some ...

The Amazon rainforest, which is the largest ecosystem of its kind on Earth and is shared by eight South American countries as well as an EU outermost region, was ravaged by fires coinciding with last summer’s dry season. However, most of these fires are set intentionally and are linked to increased human activities in the area, such as the expansion of agriculture and cattle farming, illegal logging, mining and fuel extraction. Although a recurrent phenomenon that has been going on for decades, some governments' recent policies appear to have contributed to the increase in the surface area burnt in 2019, in particular in Brazil and Bolivia. Worldwide media coverage of the fires, and international and domestic protests against these policies have nevertheless finally led to some initiatives to seriously tackle the fires, both at national and international level – such as the Leticia Pact for Amazonia. Finding a viable long-term solution to end deforestation and achieve sustainable development in the region, requires that the underlying causes are addressed and further action is taken at both national and international levels. The EU is making, and can increase, its contribution by cooperating with the affected countries and by leveraging the future EU-Mercosur Association Agreement to help systematic law enforcement action against deforestation. In addition, as the environmental commitments made at the 2015 Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris will have to be renewed in 2020, COP25 in December 2019 could help reach new commitments on forests.

The European Council in 2018

27-11-2019

Two issues preoccupied the European Council in 2018: Brexit and migration. Whereas Brexit was an issue on which leaders of the EU27 could agree, migration was extremely divisive. Other issues of concern to the European Council included reform of Economic and Monetary Union, relations with the United States, and possible EU enlargement in the Western Balkans.

Two issues preoccupied the European Council in 2018: Brexit and migration. Whereas Brexit was an issue on which leaders of the EU27 could agree, migration was extremely divisive. Other issues of concern to the European Council included reform of Economic and Monetary Union, relations with the United States, and possible EU enlargement in the Western Balkans.

Външен автор

Dinan, Desmond

Cultural heritage in EU discourse and in the Horizon 2020 programme

22-11-2019

The EU recognises its Member States' collective cultural heritage both as a European legacy and as a contributor to EU growth and development. That is why, the Horizon 2020 programme was singled out as one of the 'new generation of EU instruments' to safeguard and enhance the EU's cultural heritage. Between 2014 and early 2019, €495 million was invested in Horizon 2020 research actions related to the EU's cultural heritage to achieve this goal, and experts recognise programme’s achievements. The ...

The EU recognises its Member States' collective cultural heritage both as a European legacy and as a contributor to EU growth and development. That is why, the Horizon 2020 programme was singled out as one of the 'new generation of EU instruments' to safeguard and enhance the EU's cultural heritage. Between 2014 and early 2019, €495 million was invested in Horizon 2020 research actions related to the EU's cultural heritage to achieve this goal, and experts recognise programme’s achievements. The new 2021-2027 Horizon Europe programme should continue and enhance its support as well as contribute to keeping the legacy of the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage.

United States: Export Control Reform Act (ECRA)

22-11-2019

Against the backdrop of the growing relevance of certain new technologies for security and defence, the United States of America introduced the Export Control Reform Act (ECRA) in 2018. The Act aims to restrict the export of emerging and foundational technologies that can potentially be used for civilian and military purposes ('dual use technologies') and that have not been subject to export control in the past. The adoption of the Act coincides with growing concerns about China's access to critical ...

Against the backdrop of the growing relevance of certain new technologies for security and defence, the United States of America introduced the Export Control Reform Act (ECRA) in 2018. The Act aims to restrict the export of emerging and foundational technologies that can potentially be used for civilian and military purposes ('dual use technologies') and that have not been subject to export control in the past. The adoption of the Act coincides with growing concerns about China's access to critical new technologies. The first set of controls, targeting various 'emerging technologies' that China has stated a desire to develop, will take effect in 2020. Controls on 'foundational technologies' should come later, although specific details about which technologies will be included in this category are not yet available. Functionally, ECRA represents a modification of the existing US Export Administration Regulations (EAR). Under the EAR, the Bureau of Industry and Security assigns an Export Control Classification Number to each technology, which determines the specific restrictions that apply to it. There has been significant debate around ECRA in the USA. Industry leaders have expressed concern about their level of input in the process and have urged the government to clarify its definitions of emerging and foundational technologies. Overall, stakeholders emphasise that aspirations to safeguard national security must be balanced with support for economic growth and innovation. The timing of ECRA coincides with the review of dual-use export controls in the European Union (EU). There have been calls for increased dialogue with the USA and other crucial partners on export control, as well as for a coordinated EU response to ECRA.

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