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EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Human Rights

28-06-2019

In the 70 years since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – the first international document to set common standards of achievement for all states – the pivotal role and moral, legal and political significance of human rights in the international arena have become indisputable. However, despite considerable progress in many areas on recognition, codification and implementation, human rights have also come under increased attack. Whether in theatres of war or in the political ...

In the 70 years since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – the first international document to set common standards of achievement for all states – the pivotal role and moral, legal and political significance of human rights in the international arena have become indisputable. However, despite considerable progress in many areas on recognition, codification and implementation, human rights have also come under increased attack. Whether in theatres of war or in the political arena, human rights are now often rejected on ideological grounds. The EU itself has not been spared by the current backlash. In its Member States, a populist wave has empowered some political forces that increasingly question the significance of core human rights, such as the right to freedom of expression. In these troubled times for human rights, opinion polls show that European citizens perceive human rights as one of the most important values for them personally and one of the values that best represent the EU itself. Having emerged from World War II and its atrocities, European countries were determined to secure lasting peace, and the Union they created is founded on respect for democracy, the rule of law and human rights, which guide and shape its legislation and policies. Within the EU, recent action has included new legislation on data protection and access to justice, the European Pillar of Social Rights, and initiatives to combat inequality, discrimination and hate speech. There is also an acknowledgement that more needs to be done to complete the legal framework to combat discrimination and strengthen internal mechanisms for upholding the rule of law. Human rights are additionally a general objective of EU external action. The EU is deeply committed to promoting human rights, as enshrined in international treaties, in its relations with third countries and with other multilateral regional and global institutions. During Parliament's last mandate, the EU consistently applied and deepened a range of policy approaches that strengthen its role and image as a normative power that inspires others through its example. Maintaining and consolidating this policy remains vital for preserving the EU's image and credibility as a normative power based on values, and one that has the capacity to act at a time when the principle of multilateralism is increasingly questioned. This is an update of an earlier briefing issued in advance of the 2019 European elections.

Challenges in the implementation of EU Law at national level

15-11-2018

This briefing analyses specific implications of the better regulation package for the European Commission’s enforcement policy. It also assesses the current state of play of implementation of EU law using the latest available data. Additionally, it analyses the main barriers to effective implementation and how the EU institutions can assist national parliaments with these problems. Finally, it makes some key policy recommendations for further empowering national and EU institutions in ensuring timely ...

This briefing analyses specific implications of the better regulation package for the European Commission’s enforcement policy. It also assesses the current state of play of implementation of EU law using the latest available data. Additionally, it analyses the main barriers to effective implementation and how the EU institutions can assist national parliaments with these problems. Finally, it makes some key policy recommendations for further empowering national and EU institutions in ensuring timely and correct application of EU law.

Parlamendiväline autor

Melanie Smith

International Agreements in Progress: EU-Singapore trade and investment agreements closer to conclusion

09-10-2018

On 18 April 2018, the European Commission proposed to the Council of the EU to sign and conclude two agreements with Singapore. These agreements were created by dividing the free trade agreement reached between the EU and Singapore (EUSFTA) in 2014, but not ratified, into separate trade and investment protection agreements. When presenting the agreements, the Commission underlined that they demonstrate the commitment of Singapore and the EU to fair trade and open markets. The Council of the EU is ...

On 18 April 2018, the European Commission proposed to the Council of the EU to sign and conclude two agreements with Singapore. These agreements were created by dividing the free trade agreement reached between the EU and Singapore (EUSFTA) in 2014, but not ratified, into separate trade and investment protection agreements. When presenting the agreements, the Commission underlined that they demonstrate the commitment of Singapore and the EU to fair trade and open markets. The Council of the EU is expected to authorise the signature of the agreements in October 2018. The Commission aims to have the trade agreement come into effect before the end of its mandate in 2019, after its approval by the Council and the European Parliament. Singapore will be the first member state of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to sign bilateral trade and investment agreements with the EU. The EU views bilateral agreements with ASEAN members as steps towards achieving the final objective of a region-to-region trade and investment agreement with ASEAN. Therefore, the EU Singapore agreements are considered a reference as regards the EU's ambition to conclude trade and investment agreements with other ASEAN members. Second edition. The ‘International Agreements in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the process, from initial discussions through to ratification. To view earlier editions of this briefing, please see: PE 607.255, June 2017.

The State of the Union [What Think Tanks are thinking]

07-09-2018

The President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, will deliver his last State of the Union address to the European Parliament on Wednesday 12 September, a little more than eight months before the next European elections. In this annual speech in Strasbourg, President Juncker is expected to take stock of the state of play on his ten priorities for the 2014-2019 political cycle and present his remaining initiatives on building a 'more united, stronger and more democratic Union'. Juncker ...

The President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, will deliver his last State of the Union address to the European Parliament on Wednesday 12 September, a little more than eight months before the next European elections. In this annual speech in Strasbourg, President Juncker is expected to take stock of the state of play on his ten priorities for the 2014-2019 political cycle and present his remaining initiatives on building a 'more united, stronger and more democratic Union'. Juncker’s 2017 address was marked by cautious optimism: since then, whilst the European economy has continued to recover, several other challenges have proved persistent. This note offers a selection of links to commentaries, studies and reports from major international think tanks on the state of the EU and possible reforms. Brexit-related publications can be found in a previous edition of 'What Think Tanks are thinking’ from July 2018. Papers on migration are available in an earlier edition in this series, published in June. Those on euro-zone reform appear in a previous publication in June.

Euroopa Liidu Kohtu pädevus

01-03-2018

Käesolevas teabelehes kirjeldatakse Euroopa Liidu Kohtu pädevust. Euroopa Liidu Kohus koosneb kahest kohtust – Euroopa Kohus ja Üldkohus –, mis pakuvad erinevaid õiguskaitsevahendeid, nagu on sätestatud Euroopa Liidu lepingu artiklis 19, Euroopa Liidu toimimise lepingu artiklites 251–281, Euratomi asutamislepingu artiklis 136 ning aluslepingutele lisatud protokollis nr 3 Euroopa Liidu Kohtu põhikirja kohta.

Käesolevas teabelehes kirjeldatakse Euroopa Liidu Kohtu pädevust. Euroopa Liidu Kohus koosneb kahest kohtust – Euroopa Kohus ja Üldkohus –, mis pakuvad erinevaid õiguskaitsevahendeid, nagu on sätestatud Euroopa Liidu lepingu artiklis 19, Euroopa Liidu toimimise lepingu artiklites 251–281, Euratomi asutamislepingu artiklis 136 ning aluslepingutele lisatud protokollis nr 3 Euroopa Liidu Kohtu põhikirja kohta.

The Brexit process [What Think Tanks are thinking]

12-01-2018

The EU’s Heads of State or Government gave the green light in December 2017 to the second phase of negotiations on the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the EU. They agreed that ‘sufficient progress’ had been made in talks on issues in the first phase. Those include the UK's financial obligations on leaving the EU, the rights of EU citizens within the UK and of UK citizens within the EU, and how to deal with the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland. The next phase of talks will focus on transitional ...

The EU’s Heads of State or Government gave the green light in December 2017 to the second phase of negotiations on the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the EU. They agreed that ‘sufficient progress’ had been made in talks on issues in the first phase. Those include the UK's financial obligations on leaving the EU, the rights of EU citizens within the UK and of UK citizens within the EU, and how to deal with the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland. The next phase of talks will focus on transitional arrangements and the future EU-UK relationship, including in the field of trade. This note offers links to recent commentaries and reports published by major international think tanks and other organisations on EU-UK negotiations and on the implications of Brexit more widely. More studies on these issues can be found in a previous edition of ‘What Think Tanks are thinking’ from October 2017.

Jurisdiction upon and after the UK’s withdrawal: The perspective from the UK Constitutional Order

10-01-2018

This briefing, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the AFCO Committee, looks into the issue of the governance of the UK Withdrawal Agreement from the perspective of the UK legal and constitutional order. It examines, in particular, how the UK, as a dualist state, where international agreements have domestic legal effect only to the extent provided for in domestic legislation, will and can ensure respect of this ...

This briefing, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the AFCO Committee, looks into the issue of the governance of the UK Withdrawal Agreement from the perspective of the UK legal and constitutional order. It examines, in particular, how the UK, as a dualist state, where international agreements have domestic legal effect only to the extent provided for in domestic legislation, will and can ensure respect of this agreement. It also looks on the role of domestic courts as well as the continued impact of CJEU -UK courts’ rulings. It finally looks into the relevant provisions on jurisdiction in the draft EU Withdrawal Bill currently debated in the UK Parliament.

Parlamendiväline autor

Steve PEERS

The Victims' Rights Directive 2012/29/EU

14-12-2017

Directive 2012/29/EU establishing minimum standards for the rights, support and protection of victims of crime is an instrument of harmonisation that sets basic standards to be applied across the EU. It makes important procedural provisions regarding, for instance, the right to be heard, to understand and be understood, and the right to receive information, make a complaint and access support services. This study assesses the implementation of the directive and various aspects of its application: ...

Directive 2012/29/EU establishing minimum standards for the rights, support and protection of victims of crime is an instrument of harmonisation that sets basic standards to be applied across the EU. It makes important procedural provisions regarding, for instance, the right to be heard, to understand and be understood, and the right to receive information, make a complaint and access support services. This study assesses the implementation of the directive and various aspects of its application: legal transposition measures at Member State level, the practical implementation of the directive on the ground, and the benefits it has provided for victims, as well as the challenges encountered.

Parlamendiväline autor

The opening analysis of the study (Part I) has been prepared by Amandine Scherrer and Ivana Kiendl Krišto (EPRS, EVAL Unit) . Part II of the study was prepared by the Centre for Strategy & Evaluation Services LLP (CSES).

The state of implementation of the EU Succession Regulation’s provisions on its scope, applicable law, freedom of choice, and parallelism between the law and the courts

20-11-2017

This briefing, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs, provides an assessment of the state of implementation of the EU Regulation on cross-border succession with a view to determining whether it is fulfilling its goal of ensuring legal certainty, predictability and simplification for citizens. It focusses, in particular, on the provisions on the scope, applicable law, party autonomy and parallelism between forum and jus.

This briefing, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs, provides an assessment of the state of implementation of the EU Regulation on cross-border succession with a view to determining whether it is fulfilling its goal of ensuring legal certainty, predictability and simplification for citizens. It focusses, in particular, on the provisions on the scope, applicable law, party autonomy and parallelism between forum and jus.

Parlamendiväline autor

François Trémosa, notary in Toulouse, France

The settlement of disputes arising from the United Kingdom's Withdrawal from the European Union

17-11-2017

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the AFCO Committee, analyses the various jurisdiction options, under EU law and under public international law, in settling disputes arising from the Withdrawal Agreement of the UK from the EU and in the context of the Future Relationship Agreement with the UK. It examines in particular the continued involvement of the CJEU in the new context of the EU-UK relations ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the AFCO Committee, analyses the various jurisdiction options, under EU law and under public international law, in settling disputes arising from the Withdrawal Agreement of the UK from the EU and in the context of the Future Relationship Agreement with the UK. It examines in particular the continued involvement of the CJEU in the new context of the EU-UK relations and, based on CJEU case-law and previous international agreements, presents the various governance possibilities for these agreements.

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