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Balancing Integration and Autonomy. How EFTA countries reconcile EU-approximation and independence

27-02-2020

In 2020, the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) celebrates its 60th anniversary. During this respectable lifetime, its composition has frequently changed, starting with seven founding members in 1960 and having four today. EFTA has turned out to be an ‘antechamber’ for the EU, as well as a distinct organisation with its own purpose. Since the foundation of the European Economic Area (EEA) in 1992, EFTA states Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein have joined this area, whereas Switzerland has chosen ...

In 2020, the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) celebrates its 60th anniversary. During this respectable lifetime, its composition has frequently changed, starting with seven founding members in 1960 and having four today. EFTA has turned out to be an ‘antechamber’ for the EU, as well as a distinct organisation with its own purpose. Since the foundation of the European Economic Area (EEA) in 1992, EFTA states Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein have joined this area, whereas Switzerland has chosen a relationship with the EU based on a number of bilateral agreements. These four EFTA states have in common that they perform a delicate and dynamic balancing act between integration into the EU and preservation of their own autonomy. Reasons for the strong desire for autonomy can partly be found in geographic or historic factors, but these cannot explain their position entirely, as existing EU Member States may also have such particularities. That all EFTA countries have a strong economy based on specific sets of natural resources and/or financial legislation, certainly is another element that explains the desire to keep matters in their own hands as far as possible. Strong consensus oriented democratic systems with components of direct democracy complete the picture. External events, such as the creation of the Internal Market, EU enlargement or the 2008 financial crisis have regularly challenged the balance EFTA countries have built with the EU. Even though they have led to initiatives to integrate closer with the EU or apply for membership, in the end such steps have not been completed. Whereas the UK is an important partner of all EFTA countries, mostly of Norway, its withdrawal from the EU has created another challenge to the balance. In a larger perspective, balancing autonomy and integration is not unique to EFTA countries, but happens also within the EU in the form of opt outs or arrangements for enhanced cooperation. And in view of a large number of countries aspiring for future EU membership, concepts such as flexible arrangements or associate memberships are not likely to disappear from the EU agenda.

Commitments made at the hearing of Phil HOGAN, Commissioner-designate - Trade

22-11-2019

The Commissioner-designate, Phil Hogan, appeared before the European Parliament on 30 September 2019 to answer questions from MEPs in the Committee on International Trade (INTA). During the hearing, he made a number of commitments which are highlighted in this document. These commitments refer to his portfolio, as described in the mission letter sent to him by Ursula von der Leyen, President-elect of the European Commission, including: - A level playing field for all; - Strengthening Europe’s global ...

The Commissioner-designate, Phil Hogan, appeared before the European Parliament on 30 September 2019 to answer questions from MEPs in the Committee on International Trade (INTA). During the hearing, he made a number of commitments which are highlighted in this document. These commitments refer to his portfolio, as described in the mission letter sent to him by Ursula von der Leyen, President-elect of the European Commission, including: - A level playing field for all; - Strengthening Europe’s global leadership; - Trade for sustainable development and climate action; and - Making trade more transparent.

Diversifying unity. How Eastern Partnership countries develop their economy, governance and identity in a geopolitical context

30-10-2019

This study analyses the Eastern Partnership (EaP) in the year of its 10th anniversary. The Eastern Partnership was set up in 2009 as a joint policy initiative aiming at deepening and strengthening relations between the European Union, its Member States and the six EaP countries of Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. While each of these countries shares a past in the former Soviet Union, they have developed over time in different directions. Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia have ...

This study analyses the Eastern Partnership (EaP) in the year of its 10th anniversary. The Eastern Partnership was set up in 2009 as a joint policy initiative aiming at deepening and strengthening relations between the European Union, its Member States and the six EaP countries of Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. While each of these countries shares a past in the former Soviet Union, they have developed over time in different directions. Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia have concluded Association Agreements with the EU, which include Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas. They will have to fulfil conditions laid down in the Association Agreements to make progress on reforms of governance, the judiciary and fighting corruption. Moreover, Georgia and Ukraine are seeking to integrate more deeply into the Western world order, aspiring to membership of NATO and the EU. Armenia and Azerbaijan have different ways of cooperating with the EU. Belarus is furthest from the EU because of its poor record on democracy and human rights. All six countries are to a certain extent within Russia’s sphere of influence and have to deal with several geopolitical constraints, but they have increasingly developed economic relations and national identities of their own. It will be a challenge to maintain a common perspective for the next 10 years of the Eastern Partnership and a further divergence between the countries is likely. This will not only be between countries with an Association Agreement and the others, but along multiple vectors. While further developing statehood, the eastern partners will want to decide increasingly for themselves which forms of cooperation they want to pursue in the future. They may choose international partners according to their perceived needs, including Russia, the US, China or Turkey. The EU for its part should continue to pursue its strengths of assisting in achieving better governance and democracy and strengthening economic ties, while contributing to diminishing geopolitical tensions.

Free trade or geo-economics? Trends in world trade

27-09-2019

The European Union (EU) is the biggest integrated economic zone and a guarantor of an open and predictable regulatory system able to determine its own economic destiny. But the behaviour of other global powers is increasingly calling this ability into question. China and the United States, especially, do not separate economic interests from geopolitical interests in the same way the EU does and are increasingly trying to gain geopolitical advantage using their economic might. The EU is known as ...

The European Union (EU) is the biggest integrated economic zone and a guarantor of an open and predictable regulatory system able to determine its own economic destiny. But the behaviour of other global powers is increasingly calling this ability into question. China and the United States, especially, do not separate economic interests from geopolitical interests in the same way the EU does and are increasingly trying to gain geopolitical advantage using their economic might. The EU is known as a fierce defender of a multilateral rules - based trade system with free but fair trade as its strategic policy objective. The EU will therefore do its utmost to save a ‘meaningful multilateralism’ by helping to reform the WTO, improve multilateral investment protection and conclude multilateral trade agreements. At the same time, the EU will defend its own interests by negotiating bilateral trade deals and applying trade defence and investment screening where needed. The EU has a strong interest in keeping the use of geo-economic measures manageable and avoid escalation into a trade war.

Evropský hospodářský prostor (EHP), Švýcarsko a sever

01-05-2018

Evropský hospodářský prostor (EHP) byl vytvořen v roce 1994 s cílem rozšířit ustanovení EU o vnitřním trhu na Evropské sdružení volného obchodu (ESVO). Smluvními stranami EHP jsou Norsko, Island a Lichtenštejnsko. Švýcarsko je členem ESVO, ale nikoliv EHP. Partnery v EU a EHP (Norsko a Island) spojují také různé oblasti „severní politiky“ a fóra, která se zaměřují na rychle se rozvíjející severní části Evropy a na celou arktickou oblast.

Evropský hospodářský prostor (EHP) byl vytvořen v roce 1994 s cílem rozšířit ustanovení EU o vnitřním trhu na Evropské sdružení volného obchodu (ESVO). Smluvními stranami EHP jsou Norsko, Island a Lichtenštejnsko. Švýcarsko je členem ESVO, ale nikoliv EHP. Partnery v EU a EHP (Norsko a Island) spojují také různé oblasti „severní politiky“ a fóra, která se zaměřují na rychle se rozvíjející severní části Evropy a na celou arktickou oblast.

Foreign Direct Investment in the EU and the Eastern Partnership Countries

05-02-2018

Upon request of the Euronest parliamentary assembly economic committee, investment patterns and policies in the EU and Eastern Partnership countries were compared. The EU is an investment heavyweight, both in terms of attracting as placing foreign direct investment. Many EU Member States protect their investment abroad and some have screening mechanisms for incoming investment. The Eastern Partnership countries are minor investors themselves, but keep attracting a slowly growing level of foreign ...

Upon request of the Euronest parliamentary assembly economic committee, investment patterns and policies in the EU and Eastern Partnership countries were compared. The EU is an investment heavyweight, both in terms of attracting as placing foreign direct investment. Many EU Member States protect their investment abroad and some have screening mechanisms for incoming investment. The Eastern Partnership countries are minor investors themselves, but keep attracting a slowly growing level of foreign direct investment. Investment is supported by the European Investment Bank, the EBRD or the World Bank. Looking at which countries invest in which Eastern Partnership country, it appears that each of them has one main investing country, suggesting a preferred relationship, which would need further research to explain.

Evropská unie a její obchodní partneři

01-02-2018

EU začala již před několika lety upouštět od výroby produktů s vysokým podílem lidské práce a s nízkou hodnotou, aby se mohla specializovat na značkové zboží vyšší hodnoty. Obchod je pro EU a její otevřenou ekonomiku zásadní. Aby překonala překážky bránící obchodu a nastolila pro své podniky rovné podmínky, jedná o řadě dohod o volném obchodu. EU je rovněž zakladatelkou Světové obchodní organizace (WTO), v níž zastává klíčovou úlohu.

EU začala již před několika lety upouštět od výroby produktů s vysokým podílem lidské práce a s nízkou hodnotou, aby se mohla specializovat na značkové zboží vyšší hodnoty. Obchod je pro EU a její otevřenou ekonomiku zásadní. Aby překonala překážky bránící obchodu a nastolila pro své podniky rovné podmínky, jedná o řadě dohod o volném obchodu. EU je rovněž zakladatelkou Světové obchodní organizace (WTO), v níž zastává klíčovou úlohu.

Rusko

01-02-2018

Vztahy mezi EU a Ruskem jsou od roku 2014 napjaté v důsledku ruské protiprávní anexe Krymu, podpory povstaleckých skupin na východní Ukrajině, politiky v okolních státech, dezinformačních kampaní a negativního vnitrostátního vývoje. V důsledku ruského zásahu v Sýrii se napětí dále stupňovalo. Od roku 2014 EU pravidelně obnovuje sankce proti Rusku. EU a Rusko na sobě vzájemně stále úzce závisí a EU uplatňuje přístup tzv. selektivní spolupráce.

Vztahy mezi EU a Ruskem jsou od roku 2014 napjaté v důsledku ruské protiprávní anexe Krymu, podpory povstaleckých skupin na východní Ukrajině, politiky v okolních státech, dezinformačních kampaní a negativního vnitrostátního vývoje. V důsledku ruského zásahu v Sýrii se napětí dále stupňovalo. Od roku 2014 EU pravidelně obnovuje sankce proti Rusku. EU a Rusko na sobě vzájemně stále úzce závisí a EU uplatňuje přístup tzv. selektivní spolupráce.

Evropská politika sousedství

01-01-2018

Evropská politika sousedství (EPS) se vztahuje na Alžírsko, Arménii, Ázerbájdžán, Bělorusko, Egypt, Gruzii, Izrael, Jordánsko, Libanon, Libyi, Moldavsko, Maroko, Palestinu, Sýrii, Tunisko a Ukrajinu. Jejím cílem je posílit prosperitu, stabilitu a bezpečnost všech. Je založena na demokracii, právním státu a dodržování lidských práv a jedná se o dvoustrannou politiku mezi EU a každou z partnerských zemí s iniciativami regionální spolupráce: Východní partnerství a Unie pro Středomoří[1].

Evropská politika sousedství (EPS) se vztahuje na Alžírsko, Arménii, Ázerbájdžán, Bělorusko, Egypt, Gruzii, Izrael, Jordánsko, Libanon, Libyi, Moldavsko, Maroko, Palestinu, Sýrii, Tunisko a Ukrajinu. Jejím cílem je posílit prosperitu, stabilitu a bezpečnost všech. Je založena na demokracii, právním státu a dodržování lidských práv a jedná se o dvoustrannou politiku mezi EU a každou z partnerských zemí s iniciativami regionální spolupráce: Východní partnerství a Unie pro Středomoří[1].

Tři sousední země Východního partnerství: Ukrajina, Moldavsko a Bělorusko

01-01-2018

Politika Východního partnerství EU, která byla zahájena v roce 2009, zahrnuje šest postsovětských států: Arménii, Ázerbájdžán, Bělorusko, Gruzii, Moldavsko a Ukrajinu. Toto partnerství má podporovat politické, společenské a hospodářské reformní snahy v těchto zemích a posílit tak demokratizaci a řádnou správu, zvýšit energetickou bezpečnost a ochranu životního prostředí a urychlit hospodářský a společenský rozvoj. Všichni členové s výjimkou Běloruska jsou také členy Parlamentního shromáždění Euronest ...

Politika Východního partnerství EU, která byla zahájena v roce 2009, zahrnuje šest postsovětských států: Arménii, Ázerbájdžán, Bělorusko, Gruzii, Moldavsko a Ukrajinu. Toto partnerství má podporovat politické, společenské a hospodářské reformní snahy v těchto zemích a posílit tak demokratizaci a řádnou správu, zvýšit energetickou bezpečnost a ochranu životního prostředí a urychlit hospodářský a společenský rozvoj. Všichni členové s výjimkou Běloruska jsou také členy Parlamentního shromáždění Euronest.

Chystané akce

03-06-2020
EPRS online Book Talk | One of Them: From Albert Square to Parliament Square
Další akce -
EPRS
11-06-2020
CONT Public Hearing: Implementation of EU funds
Slyšení -
CONT
11-06-2020
STOA Roundtable on Digital Sovereign Identity
Seminář -
STOA

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