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Australia: Economic indicators and trade with EU

24-02-2020

Australia was the world's 13th largest economy in 2018, with growth in gross domestic product (GDP) at 2.9 %. It has a strong and dynamic relationship with the EU. Negotiations for a free trade agreement between Australia and the EU were formally launched in June 2018. In 2018, Australia was the EU's 19th largest trading partner, with a 1.2% share of the EU's total trade. Further information on EU-Australia trade relations, such as the composition of trade between the two partners, can be found in ...

Australia was the world's 13th largest economy in 2018, with growth in gross domestic product (GDP) at 2.9 %. It has a strong and dynamic relationship with the EU. Negotiations for a free trade agreement between Australia and the EU were formally launched in June 2018. In 2018, Australia was the EU's 19th largest trading partner, with a 1.2% share of the EU's total trade. Further information on EU-Australia trade relations, such as the composition of trade between the two partners, can be found in this infographic, which also provides an economic snapshot of Australia.

Government system and institutions of Australia

24-02-2020

The Commonwealth of Australia, as Australia is officially known, was established on 1 January 1901 with the federation of six former British colonies. The Constitution, which came into effect on the same day, provides the rules by which Australia is governed and divides government responsibilities into three separate branches: parliament, executive and judiciary. In addition to being a federation, Australia is also a representative democracy and a constitutional monarchy. Queen Elisabeth II, who ...

The Commonwealth of Australia, as Australia is officially known, was established on 1 January 1901 with the federation of six former British colonies. The Constitution, which came into effect on the same day, provides the rules by which Australia is governed and divides government responsibilities into three separate branches: parliament, executive and judiciary. In addition to being a federation, Australia is also a representative democracy and a constitutional monarchy. Queen Elisabeth II, who resides in the United Kingdom (UK), is the official head of state of the Commonwealth of Australia. Australia's system of government is modelled on the Westminster system deriving from the British tradition. The Commonwealth parliament, made up of the Queen and the two Houses of Parliament, in addition to holding the legislative power, is at the heart of the tradition of responsible government. This means that government ministers, who all must be members of parliament, are accountable to, and must answer to, the parliament for their actions. There are three levels of government within the country, namely the Commonwealth (federal), state or territory, and local level. Under Australia's federal system, the powers of government are divided between the federal and the state governments. Out of the 10 territories that are part of the Commonwealth, two have been granted a level of self-government by the federal parliament. Consequently, Australia has a federal parliament, as well as six state and two territory parliaments. It also has a federal executive government, as well as six state and two territory executive governments. A third, local level of Australian government was established by state and territory governments. The High Court of Australia is the highest court in the judicial system.

Accords internationaux en marche: Le futur partenariat de l’UE avec les pays d’Afrique, des Caraïbes et du Pacifique (« post-Cotonou »)

19-02-2020

L’accord de partenariat entre l’Union européenne et les pays d’Afrique, des Caraïbes et du Pacifique (ACP) devait expirer en février 2020. La renégociation de cet « Accord de Cotonou » offre l’opportunité de revoir les relations entre les pays ACP et l’Union en tenant compte des objectifs de développement durable des Nations unies, de la redéfinition des stratégies européennes dans les régions concernées, des nouvelles ambitions des pays ACP et de l’évolution de l’équilibre des pouvoirs au niveau ...

L’accord de partenariat entre l’Union européenne et les pays d’Afrique, des Caraïbes et du Pacifique (ACP) devait expirer en février 2020. La renégociation de cet « Accord de Cotonou » offre l’opportunité de revoir les relations entre les pays ACP et l’Union en tenant compte des objectifs de développement durable des Nations unies, de la redéfinition des stratégies européennes dans les régions concernées, des nouvelles ambitions des pays ACP et de l’évolution de l’équilibre des pouvoirs au niveau mondial. Le principal défi pour l’Union européenne est de maintenir ses relations dans les trois sous-régions, tout en restant fidèle aux valeurs promues dans les traités européens. La question du financement est également sur la table. Le groupe ACP et l’Union européenne ont adopté leurs mandats de négociation respectivement en mai et juin 2018 et les négociations ont débuté en septembre 2018. Les parties prenantes se sont accordées sur le principe d’un socle commun complété par trois protocoles régionaux. Ces négociations à plusieurs niveaux ainsi que les discussions en cours sur le futur budget de l’UE ont empêché de finaliser l’accord à temps. Afin d’éviter un vide juridique dans les relations après l’échéance prévue de l’accord de Cotonou, les dispositions de ce dernier ont été prolongées jusqu’au 31 décembre 2020 au plus tard. Quatrième édition. Les Briefings 'Accords internationaux en marche' sont actualisés à des étapes clés de la procédure de ratification. Versions précédentes de ce briefing : PE 625.111, juillet 2018, PE 630.280, novembre 2018, PE 637.981, juillet 2019.

Handels- und Investitionsabkommen mit Vietnam

05-02-2020

2019 unterzeichnete die EU Handels- und Investitionsabkommen mit Vietnam. Damit ist Vietnam nach Singapur das zweite südostasiatische Land, mit dem die EU derartige Abkommen geschlossen hat. Durch die Abkommen werden beiden Seiten voraussichtlich enorme wirtschaftliche Vorteile entstehen. Allerdings sind die Meinungen darüber, ob das Parlament ihnen seine Zustimmung erteilen sollte, aufgrund von Menschenrechtsfragen in Vietnam geteilt.

2019 unterzeichnete die EU Handels- und Investitionsabkommen mit Vietnam. Damit ist Vietnam nach Singapur das zweite südostasiatische Land, mit dem die EU derartige Abkommen geschlossen hat. Durch die Abkommen werden beiden Seiten voraussichtlich enorme wirtschaftliche Vorteile entstehen. Allerdings sind die Meinungen darüber, ob das Parlament ihnen seine Zustimmung erteilen sollte, aufgrund von Menschenrechtsfragen in Vietnam geteilt.

Träger des Sacharow-Preises 2019: Ilham Tohti

10-12-2019

Weltweit wird der Raum für Gedankenfreiheit immer weiter eingeengt, da autoritäre Regime immer mehr geopolitisches und geowirtschaftliches Gewicht bekommen. Der Sacharow-Preis für geistige Freiheit ist daher wichtiger denn je: Er ermöglicht es dem Europäischen Parlament, gemäß Artikel 21 des Vertrags über die Europäische Union auf die Notlage derjenigen aufmerksam zu machen, die sich gegen die Unterdrückung der Menschenrechte und Grundfreiheiten einsetzen, auf die sich die EU gründet und die sie ...

Weltweit wird der Raum für Gedankenfreiheit immer weiter eingeengt, da autoritäre Regime immer mehr geopolitisches und geowirtschaftliches Gewicht bekommen. Der Sacharow-Preis für geistige Freiheit ist daher wichtiger denn je: Er ermöglicht es dem Europäischen Parlament, gemäß Artikel 21 des Vertrags über die Europäische Union auf die Notlage derjenigen aufmerksam zu machen, die sich gegen die Unterdrückung der Menschenrechte und Grundfreiheiten einsetzen, auf die sich die EU gründet und die sie in ihren Außenbeziehungen fördert. Sacharow-Preisträger 2019 ist der angesehene uigurische Wirtschaftsprofessor Ilham Tohti, ein gemäßigter Verfechter der Rechte der uigurischen Minderheit und des Dialogs mit der Han-Mehrheit in China. Vor dem Hintergrund der sich verschärfenden Politik Chinas gegen religiösen Extremismus, ethnischen Separatismus und Terrorismus – in deren Rahmen man die uigurische Identität inzwischen als schwerwiegende Bedrohung der nationalen Sicherheit verteufelt – wurde er 2014 unter mit Separatismus zusammenhängenden Vorwürfen zu lebenslanger Haft verurteilt. Der Sacharow-Preis ist eine mit 50 000 EUR dotierte Auszeichnung, die auf einer Feier im Europäischen Parlament während der Plenartagung im Dezember in Straßburg in Anwesenheit der weiteren Finalisten vorgestellt wird.

Commitments made at the hearing of Josep BORRELL FONTELLES, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President-designate of the European Commission

22-11-2019

The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President designate of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, appeared before the European Parliament on 7 October 2019 to answer MEPs’ questions. During the hearing, he made a number of commitments which are highlighted in this document.

The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President designate of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, appeared before the European Parliament on 7 October 2019 to answer MEPs’ questions. During the hearing, he made a number of commitments which are highlighted in this document.

Louise Weiss - Kämpferin für die Freiheit

20-11-2019

Das öffentliche Engagement von Louise Weiss war stets durch ihr Schreiben und Handeln geprägt. Sie gehört damit zu den jenen Förderern des europäischen Gedankens, deren Triebkraft die Erfahrungen des Ersten Weltkriegs waren. Wie viele von ihnen stammte auch Louise Weiss aus dem Grenzgebiet im Osten Frankreichs, das 1871 von Deutschland annektiert worden war. Louise Weiss widmete ihr Leben mehreren Kämpfen, die sich gegenseitig befruchteten, dem Kampf für die Rechte der Frau, dem Kampf für Europa ...

Das öffentliche Engagement von Louise Weiss war stets durch ihr Schreiben und Handeln geprägt. Sie gehört damit zu den jenen Förderern des europäischen Gedankens, deren Triebkraft die Erfahrungen des Ersten Weltkriegs waren. Wie viele von ihnen stammte auch Louise Weiss aus dem Grenzgebiet im Osten Frankreichs, das 1871 von Deutschland annektiert worden war. Louise Weiss widmete ihr Leben mehreren Kämpfen, die sich gegenseitig befruchteten, dem Kampf für die Rechte der Frau, dem Kampf für Europa und die Freiheit der Völker Mitteleuropas und dem geistigen Ringen, um die Wurzeln des Krieges zu verstehen und sie auszuradieren. Sie war abwechselnd als Journalistin, Politikerin, engagierte Intellektuelle und Dokumentarfilmerin in vielen Teilen der Welt tätig. Ihr Engagement für Europa stand aber im Mittelpunkt ihres Handelns und 1979 wurde sie bei dem ersten allgemeinen und direkten Urnengang in das Europäische Parlament gewählt. Als Alterspräsidentin hielt sie die Eröffnungsrede und übergab dann den Vorsitz an Simone Veil, eine andere Kämpferin für Europa. Heute trägt das Plenarsaalgebäude des Europäischen Parlaments in Straßburg ihren Namen.

The Mekong River: geopolitics over development, hydropower and the environment

18-11-2019

The Mekong River is a vital source of livelihoods and economic activity in continental South-East Asia and extends from the Tibetan Plateau to the South China Sea. Its length is 4 800 km. More than half circulates in China, but its channel runs through Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam. The Mekong has the world's largest inland freshwater fishery industry, vital to the region's food security, representing around USD 3 000 million per year. Its unique and rich biological habitat provides ...

The Mekong River is a vital source of livelihoods and economic activity in continental South-East Asia and extends from the Tibetan Plateau to the South China Sea. Its length is 4 800 km. More than half circulates in China, but its channel runs through Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam. The Mekong has the world's largest inland freshwater fishery industry, vital to the region's food security, representing around USD 3 000 million per year. Its unique and rich biological habitat provides diverse livelihoods as well as four fifths of the animal protein for more than 60 million people. At the level of biodiversity, the importance of this river for global nature is vital. The Mekong region is extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and to the degradation of ecosystems. The uncontrolled growth of the population both in China and in Southeast Asia is exerting unsustainable pressure on the Mekong in terms of a massive exploitation of all kinds of resources linked to the River: water, food, wood, energy, especially recent infrastructure and hydropower development, together with deforestation, illegal wildlife trade and habitat fragmentation. Water scarcity leads to reduced agricultural productivity, unemployment and poverty Four countries (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand, and Vietnam) formed an intergovernmental agency in 1950, The Mekong River Commission (MRC), to defend the sustainable development of the Mekong River and to plan its future. The absence of China and Myanmar mitigates and erodes the effective dialogue of the MRC on the management of the River. The lack of implementing mechanisms denatures the organization itself..

International Agreements in Progress: EU-Vietnam trade and investment agreements

14-11-2019

The European Commission has described the free trade and investment protection agreements (FTA/IPA) signed with Vietnam as the most ambitious deals of their type ever concluded by the EU and a developing country. Not only will they eliminate over 99 % of customs duties on goods, they will also open up Vietnamese markets to European service providers and investors. According to European Commission figures, the agreements will boost trade in both directions, with EU exports set to rise by nearly 30 ...

The European Commission has described the free trade and investment protection agreements (FTA/IPA) signed with Vietnam as the most ambitious deals of their type ever concluded by the EU and a developing country. Not only will they eliminate over 99 % of customs duties on goods, they will also open up Vietnamese markets to European service providers and investors. According to European Commission figures, the agreements will boost trade in both directions, with EU exports set to rise by nearly 30 %. Vietnam is the second south-east Asian country after Singapore to sign trade and investment agreements with the EU, bringing the long-term goal of a region-to-region EU-ASEAN trade deal a step closer. In view of the human rights situation in Vietnam, opinions are divided on whether the agreements should be ratified. Critics argue that the EU should not approve the agreements until the situation improves. On the other hand, defenders point out that the FTA/IPA include commitments to stronger human rights (such as allowing independent trade unions); they also insist that the EU can best help to bring about improvements by engaging with Vietnam . Following the same approach as for Singapore, the single text originally agreed in 2015 with Vietnam has been split into two parts, an FTA covering exclusive EU competences and an IPA that includes competences that are shared with EU Member States. The European Parliament is set to vote in February 2020; if it gives its consent, the two agreements will then have to be ratified by Vietnam and (for the IPA) the EU Member States before entering into force.

China's growing role as a security actor in Africa

08-10-2019

China has emerged as an important economic, political but also security actor in Africa as a result of its 'Going out' policy officially launched in 2001, and the massive roll-out of its signature connectivity strategy, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), since 2013. The presence of Chinese citizens and economic assets in Africa has grown substantially due to China's expanding trade with, and China-funded infrastructure projects in, African countries. Many of those countries are plagued by intrastate ...

China has emerged as an important economic, political but also security actor in Africa as a result of its 'Going out' policy officially launched in 2001, and the massive roll-out of its signature connectivity strategy, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), since 2013. The presence of Chinese citizens and economic assets in Africa has grown substantially due to China's expanding trade with, and China-funded infrastructure projects in, African countries. Many of those countries are plagued by intrastate armed conflicts, jihadist terrorism or maritime piracy off their coasts. The rising number of violent attacks against Chinese workers, calls from the domestic Chinese audience for action, and surging economic loss are some of the factors that have compelled the Chinese government to react. China has shifted from uncompromising non-involvement to selective and incremental engagement in bilateral, regional and international cooperation on peace and security by nuancing, on a case-by-case basis, the narrow boundaries of its normative foreign policy framework, including the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of foreign countries, that had made a previously inward-looking China for decades a free-rider on global security, provided by the US in particular. As in other fields, China has pursued a two-pronged approach to African security issues, to defend its economic and security interests and to expand its influence in Africa. On the one hand, it has contributed to existing multilateral structures and instruments to foster peace and security. It has participated in UN-led peacekeeping missions to Africa and in the UN-mandated counter-piracy action off the Horn of Africa. Both have provided the pretext for China to accelerate its massive blue-water navy build up, to be present in the Indian Ocean and beyond and to set up its first overseas military base, in Djibouti. On the other hand, it has expanded its military presence by engaging African countries bilaterally through joint drills, military training, and military infrastructure-building and multilaterally through the newly created China-Africa fora on security issues. Against this backdrop it remains to be seen how complementary or competitive the future EU-China security cooperation, which so far has remained in its infancy, will be in seeking 'African solutions to African problems'.

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