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The European Elections of May 2019: Electoral systems and outcomes

29-07-2020

This EPRS study provides an overview of the electoral systems and outcomes in the May 2019 elections to the European Parliament. It analyses the procedural details of how parties and candidates register their participation, how votes are cast, how valid votes are converted into seats, and how seats are assigned to candidates. For each Member State the paper describes the ballot structure and vote pattern used, the apportionment of seats among the Member State’s domestic parties, and the assignment ...

This EPRS study provides an overview of the electoral systems and outcomes in the May 2019 elections to the European Parliament. It analyses the procedural details of how parties and candidates register their participation, how votes are cast, how valid votes are converted into seats, and how seats are assigned to candidates. For each Member State the paper describes the ballot structure and vote pattern used, the apportionment of seats among the Member State’s domestic parties, and the assignment of the seats of a party to its candidates. It highlights aspects that are common to all Member States and captures peculiarities that are specific to some domestic provisions.

Towards a more resilient Europe post-coronavirus: An initial mapping of structural risks facing the EU

29-07-2020

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 offers an initial ‘mapping’ of some of the 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 offers an initial ‘mapping’ of some of the potential structural risks which could confront Europe over the coming decade, with 66 such risks analysed briefly in a series of short notes. The document then goes on to take a closer look at some of the more immediate risks to be considered in the near-term and outlines possible EU action to prevent or mitigate them over the remainder of the 2019-24 institutional cycle.

Linking the levels of governance in the EU

29-07-2020

The coronavirus crisis has further underlined the need for a more cohesive European Union (EU). Previous ideas about how best to link the levels of the EU's system of multilevel governance have become even more important, while new paths of cooperation have been opened by changes triggered by the crisis itself. Every level of governance, from the EU to the local, via the national and regional levels, has been affected by the crisis and all are involved in the response. This crisis has shown that ...

The coronavirus crisis has further underlined the need for a more cohesive European Union (EU). Previous ideas about how best to link the levels of the EU's system of multilevel governance have become even more important, while new paths of cooperation have been opened by changes triggered by the crisis itself. Every level of governance, from the EU to the local, via the national and regional levels, has been affected by the crisis and all are involved in the response. This crisis has shown that coordination between the levels can improve and should be improved. EU decision-making could become even more effective, efficient and legitimate if it draws appropriate lessons from the crisis. The first part of this paper focuses on the rationale for, and form of, an EU strategy to better connect the different levels of the multilevel system of governance in Europe. The second part assesses the consequences of the current crisis for the links between EU governance levels, reflecting on the various lessons to be drawn, for each level, and suggesting different practical implications for the process, such as the need to adjust the network of key partners and seize the moment to further incorporate digital technologies in partnership-building. Finally, the paper highlights the historic opportunity provided by the forthcoming Conference on the Future of Europe to develop and establish a more permanent system to link the levels of our Union. Concrete proposals are summarised in a table of potential initiatives.

Scenarios for geo-politics after coronavirus: A recent Atlantic Council analysis

16-07-2020

The Atlantic Council report, 'What World Post-Covid-19? Three Scenarios', has two main takeaways: first, Chinese-US rivalry could get worse and go global, destabilising an increasingly divided EU and endangering the United States' alliances system in Asia. Second, there is no way around the US, Europe and China cooperating to develop a positive, global 'new normal'.

The Atlantic Council report, 'What World Post-Covid-19? Three Scenarios', has two main takeaways: first, Chinese-US rivalry could get worse and go global, destabilising an increasingly divided EU and endangering the United States' alliances system in Asia. Second, there is no way around the US, Europe and China cooperating to develop a positive, global 'new normal'.

Hate speech and hate crime in the EU and the evaluation of online content regulation approaches

15-07-2020

This study was commissioned by the European Parliament's Policy Department for Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the LIBE Committee. The study argues that hate speech and hate crimes poison societies by threatening individual rights, human dignity and equality, reinforcing tensions between social groups, disturbing public peace and public order, and jeopardising peaceful coexistence. The lack of adequate means of prevention and response violates values enshrined in Article ...

This study was commissioned by the European Parliament's Policy Department for Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the LIBE Committee. The study argues that hate speech and hate crimes poison societies by threatening individual rights, human dignity and equality, reinforcing tensions between social groups, disturbing public peace and public order, and jeopardising peaceful coexistence. The lack of adequate means of prevention and response violates values enshrined in Article 2 of the TEU. Member States have diverging rules, and national public administrations are torn by disagreement in values. Therefore, EU regulation is needed to reinforce the existing standards and take measures to counter hate speech and counter-act against hate speech and hate crime. The study – on the basis of a cross-country comparison conducted – proposes concrete, enforceable and systematic soft and hard law measures to counter hate speech and hate crimes EU-wide efficiently.

Ekstern forfatter

Judit BAYER, Petra BÁRD

SAFETY OF JOURNALISTS AND THE FIGHTING OF CORRUPTION IN THE EU

15-07-2020

Journalism and journalists face a growing range of threats, including violence and harassment; the misuse of defamation and other laws against them, and restrictive measures on freedom of information and expression adopted in response to the Covid-19 crisis. States must ensure a safe and favourable environment for journalists to perform their public watchdog function. This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request ...

Journalism and journalists face a growing range of threats, including violence and harassment; the misuse of defamation and other laws against them, and restrictive measures on freedom of information and expression adopted in response to the Covid-19 crisis. States must ensure a safe and favourable environment for journalists to perform their public watchdog function. This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the LIBE Committee, examines the overall chilling effect of crimes and threats against journalists and explores various regulatory and other measures to counter them.

Ekstern forfatter

Tarlach McGONAGLE

Organised Property Crime in the EU

14-07-2020

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE), aims to provide information on Organised Property Crime in the EU, by offering a strategic discussion on the Union policies on this topic and highlighting key recommendations for future action. The study proposes a holistic approach to the problem, adding new elements to existing measures.

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE), aims to provide information on Organised Property Crime in the EU, by offering a strategic discussion on the Union policies on this topic and highlighting key recommendations for future action. The study proposes a holistic approach to the problem, adding new elements to existing measures.

Ekstern forfatter

Ernesto U. SAVONA, Director of Transcrime (Joint Research Centre on Transnational Crime) Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan (www.transcrime.it) Matteo ANASTASIO, Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies and intern at Transcrime-Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan

Plenary round-up – Brussels, July 2020

13-07-2020

The July 2020 plenary session was the fifth conducted with Members participating remotely, using the alternative voting procedure put in place in March by Parliament's Bureau, although a majority were present in Brussels. During this session a number of Council and European Commission statements were debated, with the presentation of the programme of activities of the German Presidency a highlight. Members also debated the conclusions of the European Council meeting of 19 June and preparation of ...

The July 2020 plenary session was the fifth conducted with Members participating remotely, using the alternative voting procedure put in place in March by Parliament's Bureau, although a majority were present in Brussels. During this session a number of Council and European Commission statements were debated, with the presentation of the programme of activities of the German Presidency a highlight. Members also debated the conclusions of the European Council meeting of 19 June and preparation of the meeting of 17-18 July 2020. Members heard Council and Commission statements on Union policy on preventing money laundering and terrorist financing, on the state of play of Council negotiations on the proposed regulation on the protection of the Union's budget in case of generalised deficiencies as regards the rule of law in the Member States, and on cultural recovery in Europe. Parliament also debated a Commission statement commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide. Members debated statements from the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borell, on stability and security in the Mediterranean and the negative role of Turkey, and on the situation in Belarus. Parliament voted on a number of legislative proposals and resolutions including on the European citizens' initiative, a resolution on the humanitarian situation in Venezuela, and a chemicals strategy for sustainability.

Jacques Delors: Architect of the modern European Union

13-07-2020

The consensus among most historians of European integration and political scientists is that Jacques Delors, who served as President of the European Commission from 1985 to 1995, was the most successful holder of that post to date. His agenda and accomplishments include the EU single market, the Single European Act, Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and the rapid integration of the former German Democratic Republic into the European Community. His combination of coherent agenda-setting and strong ...

The consensus among most historians of European integration and political scientists is that Jacques Delors, who served as President of the European Commission from 1985 to 1995, was the most successful holder of that post to date. His agenda and accomplishments include the EU single market, the Single European Act, Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and the rapid integration of the former German Democratic Republic into the European Community. His combination of coherent agenda-setting and strong negotiating skills, acquired through long experience of trade union bargaining and years of ministerial responsibilities in turbulent times, puts Delors above other Commission Presidents, whether in terms of institutional innovation or the development of new Europe-wide policies. He also showed himself able to react swiftly to external events, notably the collapse of the Soviet bloc, whilst building Europe’s credibility on the international stage. This Briefing records Delors' life across its crucial stages, from trade union activist, senior civil servant, French politician, and Member of the European Parliament, to the helm of the European Commission, where he left the greatest individual impact on European integration history to date. It also traces the most important ideas that guided Delors in his national and European roles. Finally, it describes the political events and key actors which made Delors' decade in office a time of important decisions and progress in the process of European integration and, in doing so, it draws on recent academic literature and on speeches Delors gave in the European Parliament.

The European Parliament’s right of initiative

09-07-2020

The European Parliament is the only democratically elected body in the EU. Yet, unlike most parliaments, it has no formal right of legislative initiative. Initiating legislation lies almost solely with the EU's executive bodies, the Commission, and – to a limited but increasing extend – the European Council and the Council. This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the AFCO Committee, reveals that Parliament ...

The European Parliament is the only democratically elected body in the EU. Yet, unlike most parliaments, it has no formal right of legislative initiative. Initiating legislation lies almost solely with the EU's executive bodies, the Commission, and – to a limited but increasing extend – the European Council and the Council. This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the AFCO Committee, reveals that Parliament’s „own-initiative-reports” form a widely underestimated and unrecognized tool to informally shape the EU’s policy agenda. The study provides for a comprehensive analysis of non-legislative and legislative own-initiative reports. We argue that Parliament is able to create a cooperative environment in order to bring the Commission in line with its own legislative priorities and sometimes very specific legislative requests. Building on the empirical evidence of Parliament’s practice since 1993, we finally discuss means and ways for pragmatic reform and Treaty revision.

Ekstern forfatter

Andreas MAURER, Michael C. WOLF

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