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Tunisia: Progress achieved and prospects for the social dimension

30-11-2017

In 2011, following the outbreak of protests – known as the Jasmine Revolution – which toppled President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's regime, Tunisia embarked on a path to democratic transition and socio-economic transformation, emulating the reforms and governance practices of established liberal democracies. Nearly eight years on, the country has made significant progress, including in the social sphere, and has emerged as a regional leader in institutional reform. However, to avoid jeopardising the ...

In 2011, following the outbreak of protests – known as the Jasmine Revolution – which toppled President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's regime, Tunisia embarked on a path to democratic transition and socio-economic transformation, emulating the reforms and governance practices of established liberal democracies. Nearly eight years on, the country has made significant progress, including in the social sphere, and has emerged as a regional leader in institutional reform. However, to avoid jeopardising the stability and progress achieved, further reforms are needed.

The Pan-African Parliament: getting ready for the 2017 AU-EU Summit

16-11-2017

Nearly three years have passed since the adoption of a revised protocol that will grant the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) legislative powers and considerably strengthen the institution within the overall African governance system. While very few countries have ratified the protocol so far, the acceleration of its ratification procedures is a priority for the recently elected PAP president. The EP and the PAP enjoy a long-standing partnership and both of them have an important role to play in monitoring ...

Nearly three years have passed since the adoption of a revised protocol that will grant the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) legislative powers and considerably strengthen the institution within the overall African governance system. While very few countries have ratified the protocol so far, the acceleration of its ratification procedures is a priority for the recently elected PAP president. The EP and the PAP enjoy a long-standing partnership and both of them have an important role to play in monitoring the Joint Africa EU Strategy (JAES) and its roadmap for 2014-2017. The fifth EU-Africa Summit, which will be held in Côte d’Ivoire in November 2017, will assess the implementation of the road map and identify new priorities for the future. Thematic priorities for the upcoming summit include youth, peace and security and migration, which are now at the heart of the relationship between the two continents.

The revision of the Posting of Workers Directive

12-10-2017

This briefing provides an update on the revision of the posting of workers directive in the European Parliament, and thus a follow up to the June 2016 study prepared for the EMPL Committee ‘Posting of Workers Directive - current situation and challenges’, the May 2016 EPRS appraisal of the Commission Impact Assessment ‘Revision of the Posting of Workers Directive’, and the March 2017 EPRS briefing ‘Posting of Workers Directive’.

This briefing provides an update on the revision of the posting of workers directive in the European Parliament, and thus a follow up to the June 2016 study prepared for the EMPL Committee ‘Posting of Workers Directive - current situation and challenges’, the May 2016 EPRS appraisal of the Commission Impact Assessment ‘Revision of the Posting of Workers Directive’, and the March 2017 EPRS briefing ‘Posting of Workers Directive’.

Working with national parliaments on EU affairs

10-10-2017

To complement the European Implementation Assessment, Working with national parliaments on EU affairs, prepared for the Committee on Constitutional Affairs' implementation report on implementation of the Treaty provisions on national parliaments, an anonymous survey was made of the permanent representatives of Member States' national parliaments in the European Parliament. The survey was carried out between 23 August and 30 September 2017 by the Ex-Post Evaluation Unit of the Directorate for Impact ...

To complement the European Implementation Assessment, Working with national parliaments on EU affairs, prepared for the Committee on Constitutional Affairs' implementation report on implementation of the Treaty provisions on national parliaments, an anonymous survey was made of the permanent representatives of Member States' national parliaments in the European Parliament. The survey was carried out between 23 August and 30 September 2017 by the Ex-Post Evaluation Unit of the Directorate for Impact Assessment and European Added Value, within the European Parliament's Directorate-General for Parliamentary Research Services. It focused on the practical and administrative aspects of the permanent representatives' work. The replies received also included views on various possibilities for the European Parliament to move forward based on its institutional prerogatives. This briefing presents and summarises the responses to the survey, and should be considered in conjunction with the above-mentioned European Implementation Assessment.

The EU-Latin American Strategic Partnership: state of play and ways forward

30-08-2017

By looking at the current social, economic and political trends in Latin America and the Caribbean and at recent developments in the EU’s relation with the region, this study explores windows of opportunity for advancing the EU-Latin American strategic partnership. It is argued that, although asymmetries between Europe and Latin America might impact and diminish the bi-regional relationship, the EU is well-positioned to play a more active role in Latin America by strengthening existing institutional ...

By looking at the current social, economic and political trends in Latin America and the Caribbean and at recent developments in the EU’s relation with the region, this study explores windows of opportunity for advancing the EU-Latin American strategic partnership. It is argued that, although asymmetries between Europe and Latin America might impact and diminish the bi-regional relationship, the EU is well-positioned to play a more active role in Latin America by strengthening existing institutional links, such as the strategic bi-regional partnership between the EU and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and the Euro-Latin America Parliamentary Assembly (EuroLat). The study concludes with tailor-made recommendations in order to advance the EU’s engagement and cooperation with individual Latin American countries and with the region as a whole, both through traditional cooperative channels and through closer parliamentary links within the framework of EuroLat.

Externí autor

Gustavo G. MÜLLER (Senior Researcher, Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies, University of Leuven, Belgium); Jan WOUTERS (Professor and Director, Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies, University of Leuven, Belgium); Jean-Christophe DEFRAIGNE (Professor, Institute for European Studies, University Saint-Louis Brussels, Belgium); Sebastian SANTANDER (Professor, Faculty of Law and Political Science, University of Liege, Belgium); Kolja RAUBE (Senior Researcher, Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies, University of Leuven, Belgium)

Legal Implications of Brexit: Customs Union, Internal Market Acquis for Goods and Services, Consumer Protection Law, Public Procurement

09-08-2017

This in-depth analysis addresses the implications of several scenarios of the UK withdrawing from the EU in relation to the EU Customs Union, the Internal Market law for Goods and Services, and on Consumer Protection law, identifying the main cross-cutting challenges that have to be addressed irrespective of the policy choices that will be made in due course. The analysis takes the fully-fledged EU membership as a point of departure and compares this baseline scenario to a membership of the UK in ...

This in-depth analysis addresses the implications of several scenarios of the UK withdrawing from the EU in relation to the EU Customs Union, the Internal Market law for Goods and Services, and on Consumer Protection law, identifying the main cross-cutting challenges that have to be addressed irrespective of the policy choices that will be made in due course. The analysis takes the fully-fledged EU membership as a point of departure and compares this baseline scenario to a membership of the UK in the European Economic Area (EEA), the application of tailor-made arrangements, as well as the fall-back scenario, in which the mutual relationship is governed by WTO law. Following an analysis of the EU legal framework defining the withdrawal of a Member State from the EU the study develops an analytical framework that allows for the identification of the legal impact of different Brexit scenarios on policy fields falling within the ambit of the IMCO Committee. In this context, the general impact of the EEA model, the tailor-made model and the WTO model on key pieces of the currently existing acquis communautaire in these policy areas are highlighted.

Externí autor

Fabian AMTENBRINK, Menelaos MARKAKIS and René REPASI Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University Rotterdam / European Research Centre for Economic and Financial Governance (EURO-CEFG) Erasmus University Rotterdam

The 2016 Elections in the United States: Effects on the EU-US Relationship

17-01-2017

Despite (or because of) Donald Trump’s various campaign statements, it is hard to predict confidently what path his administration will take in a wide range of foreign-policy areas. It is however possible to identify key issues and challenges in EU-US relations during his presidency. This briefing provides an overview of issues where US policy may change sharply during the next four years and what this may mean for the EU. Less interventionism, less commitment to NATO and a retreat from trade liberalization ...

Despite (or because of) Donald Trump’s various campaign statements, it is hard to predict confidently what path his administration will take in a wide range of foreign-policy areas. It is however possible to identify key issues and challenges in EU-US relations during his presidency. This briefing provides an overview of issues where US policy may change sharply during the next four years and what this may mean for the EU. Less interventionism, less commitment to NATO and a retreat from trade liberalization could be central to Trump’s presidency. Transatlantic relations would be affected by US actions such as rapprochement with Russia and a softer line on the Ukraine conflict, alignment with Assad and Putin in Syria, extreme counterterrorism measures, abandoning the Iran nuclear deal, and unconditional support for Israel. Confrontation with China over trade and regional security, and reversal of environmental policies will also have repercussions for the EU. In order to mitigate all these risks, the EU must at least entrench existing cooperation with the US before trying to enhance it. It can The do so by reaffirming European unity and solving threats to its integration, by becoming a better security “producer” and by “thickening” interparliamentary exchanges.

Externí autor

Nicolas BOUCHET (The German Marshall Fund of the United States, USA)

EU-India Relations — Keeping up the Momentum Needed for a Vital Strategic Partnership

06-09-2016

Relations between the EU and India seem to be back on track since leaders met in Brussels, on 30 March 2016, for their first summit in four years. They endorsed the EU-India Agenda for Action 2020 and their water, clean energy and climate partnerships; they welcomed the negotiations on a broad-based Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) and agreed that the fact that they are currently stalled should not stand in the way of the overall development of the relationship. They set a common agenda ...

Relations between the EU and India seem to be back on track since leaders met in Brussels, on 30 March 2016, for their first summit in four years. They endorsed the EU-India Agenda for Action 2020 and their water, clean energy and climate partnerships; they welcomed the negotiations on a broad-based Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) and agreed that the fact that they are currently stalled should not stand in the way of the overall development of the relationship. They set a common agenda on migration and mobility and they adopted a joint declaration on counter-terrorism. It is vital to keep up the momentum created at the summit. The strategic relationship is vital to both sides: India is Asia’s third-largest economy and the world’s fastest growing economy and the EU is India’s biggest trading partner. The EU is also the largest investor in India, with foreign direct investment stock valued at EUR 38.5 billion in 2014, and is the primary destination for Indian foreign investment.

South Africa: Political parties

19-11-2015

Though weakened by allegations of corruption and inefficiency in service delivery after its two decades in power, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) continues to dominate the political scene, despite winning fewer votes in the most recent elections (2014). The highly fragmented opposition now faces an uphill struggle in challenging the ANC and offering a political alternative for the country, which is affected by deep socioeconomic divisions, 25% unemployment, a high crime rate and prevalent ...

Though weakened by allegations of corruption and inefficiency in service delivery after its two decades in power, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) continues to dominate the political scene, despite winning fewer votes in the most recent elections (2014). The highly fragmented opposition now faces an uphill struggle in challenging the ANC and offering a political alternative for the country, which is affected by deep socioeconomic divisions, 25% unemployment, a high crime rate and prevalent corruption.

ASEAN and the EU: Time to Develop the Parliamentary Dimension of the Relationship

30-06-2015

The EU is committed by Treaty to consolidate and support democracy worldwide. Parliamentary democracy is fundamental to achieve legitimacy and accountability. Moreover exchanges between parliaments enhance their role within each country and contribute to the spread of democratic values. The EU is also a staunch supporter of regional integration as a means of fostering regional stability, supporting economic growth and addressing global challenges. However, despite Asia being the world’s most dynamic ...

The EU is committed by Treaty to consolidate and support democracy worldwide. Parliamentary democracy is fundamental to achieve legitimacy and accountability. Moreover exchanges between parliaments enhance their role within each country and contribute to the spread of democratic values. The EU is also a staunch supporter of regional integration as a means of fostering regional stability, supporting economic growth and addressing global challenges. However, despite Asia being the world’s most dynamic region and a growing interdependence between Asia and Europe, the parliamentary dimension of the Asia-Europe relationship remains weak: Asia remains the only continent where the EP has yet to establish a region-to-region joint parliamentary assembly. The scale, complexity and diversity of Asia – which accounts for more than half of the world’s population – may explain this situation. This study first reviews the steps taken by the European Parliament to develop and strengthen relations and takes stock of the rare initiatives that were launched at the different regional levels. It then suggests that parliamentary diplomacy has not taken root yet in most Asian countries and explores the reasons for that situation, among which the respective roles of the executive and legislative branches of government. The current shortcomings in democratic governance in Asia and the lack of political support and commitment on the European side are also identified. In conclusion it argues that despite obvious difficulties there is room to advance representative democracy in Asia. As first step deeper engagement with ASEAN should be pursued and an EP-AIPA structured partnership that would support parliament’s democratic objectives established.

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