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Lisätty 28-01-2020

Multilateral Investment Court: Overview of the reform proposals and prospects

28-01-2020

The Council of the European Union has authorised the European Commission to represent the EU and its Member States at the intergovernmental talks at the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), with a view to reforming the existing investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) system. The latter provides a procedural framework for disputes between international investors and hosting states, and relies on arbitration procedures. However, there have been growing concerns among states ...

The Council of the European Union has authorised the European Commission to represent the EU and its Member States at the intergovernmental talks at the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), with a view to reforming the existing investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) system. The latter provides a procedural framework for disputes between international investors and hosting states, and relies on arbitration procedures. However, there have been growing concerns among states and stakeholders about the system's reliance on arbitrators, given its lack of transparency, issues over the predictability and consistency of their decisions, and the excessive costs involved. UNCITRAL talks aim to address these concerns by reforming the system. The EU and its Member States support the establishment of a multilateral investment court (MIC), composed of a first instance and an appellate tribunal staffed by full-time adjudicators. UNCITRAL talks on ISDS reform started in 2017. In April 2019, the working group finalised the list of concerns regarding the current ISDS system and agreed that it was desirable to work on reforms. The states then tabled reform proposals that provided the framework for the discussions that started in October 2019. The proposals range from introducing binding rules for arbitrators to setting up formal investment courts comprised of first instance and appellate tribunals. All in all, the proposals reflect two distinct approaches. Some states back the creation of tools – such as a code of conduct and/or an advisory body for smaller economies and small and medium-sized enterprises – to complement the current system. Others favour fundamental changes through the creation of a two-court system with appointed members. The latest round of talks took place in January 2020, and another is scheduled for March/April 2020. Although states are eager to reform the ISDS system, the complexity of the issue is likely to require additional sessions before agreement can be reached.

The von der Leyen Commission's priorities for 2019-2024

28-01-2020

In her statements to the European Parliament in July and November 2019, as candidate for European Commission President and President-elect respectively, Ursula von der Leyen outlined the six political priorities that would shape the working programme of the European Commission over the next five years. While the former Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, had claimed to lead a 'political Commission', his successor, Ursula von der Leyen, has pledged to lead a 'geopolitical Commission'. Such ...

In her statements to the European Parliament in July and November 2019, as candidate for European Commission President and President-elect respectively, Ursula von der Leyen outlined the six political priorities that would shape the working programme of the European Commission over the next five years. While the former Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, had claimed to lead a 'political Commission', his successor, Ursula von der Leyen, has pledged to lead a 'geopolitical Commission'. Such a Commission will have a political agenda in which reinforcing the EU's role as a relevant international actor, and trying to shape a better global order through reinforcing multilateralism, is to become a key priority ('A stronger Europe in the world'). The other main political priorities of the Commission are brought together under five broad headings: 'A European Green Deal', 'A Europe fit for the digital age', 'An economy that works for people', 'A new push for European democracy', and 'Promoting the European way of life'. Together they define the framework within which the Commission will act in the coming five years. The structure and working methods announced by von der Leyen show that her Commission will differ from its predecessors in a number of ways.

Political institutions in Indonesia: Democracy, decentralisation, diversity

28-01-2020

Until his downfall in 1998, General Suharto ruled Indonesia with an iron fist. Since then, a series of reforms have transformed his authoritarian 'New Order' into the world's third largest democracy (and largest Muslim democracy). Indonesia has a presidential system in which a directly elected president serves as both head of state and of government. A maximum two-term limit on the presidency helps to ensure a peaceful alternation of power. Also directly elected, the House of Representatives (the ...

Until his downfall in 1998, General Suharto ruled Indonesia with an iron fist. Since then, a series of reforms have transformed his authoritarian 'New Order' into the world's third largest democracy (and largest Muslim democracy). Indonesia has a presidential system in which a directly elected president serves as both head of state and of government. A maximum two-term limit on the presidency helps to ensure a peaceful alternation of power. Also directly elected, the House of Representatives (the lower house of the bicameral People's Consultative Assembly) has asserted itself as a strong and independent institution. There are nine parliamentary parties, none of which holds a majority, obliging the government to seek support from a broad coalition. Despite the success of Indonesia's political reforms, its commitment to democratic values cannot be taken for granted. Although Indonesia has traditionally been a tolerant, multicultural society, a rising tide of Islamic populism threatens to disrupt the delicate balance between the country's Muslim majority and minorities such as Christians and Buddhists. The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has had some success in tackling endemic graft in the country's courts, local governments and Parliament; however, the latter recently voted to weaken the KPK's powers. While trust in democratic institutions declines, the military – whose commitment to democratic values has often been questionable – is becoming increasingly influential.

Lisätty 27-01-2020

Single market, innovation and digital: Heading 1 of the 2021-2027 MFF

27-01-2020

The European Union's long-term budget, the multiannual financial framework (MFF), sets out the maximum annual amounts of spending for a seven-year period. It is structured around the EU's spending priorities, reflected in broad categories of expenditure or 'headings'. Heading 1 – Single market, innovation and digital – is one of the seven headings in the MFF proposed by the European Commission for the new 2021-2027 financial period. The heading covers spending in four policy areas: research and innovation ...

The European Union's long-term budget, the multiannual financial framework (MFF), sets out the maximum annual amounts of spending for a seven-year period. It is structured around the EU's spending priorities, reflected in broad categories of expenditure or 'headings'. Heading 1 – Single market, innovation and digital – is one of the seven headings in the MFF proposed by the European Commission for the new 2021-2027 financial period. The heading covers spending in four policy areas: research and innovation, European strategic investments, single market, and space. The Commission, with a view to matching the budget to the EU's political ambitions, is proposing an overall amount of €166.3 billion (in 2018 prices) for this heading, representing 14.7 % of the MFF proposal. However, the new Commission's six priorities for 2019-2024 could have a budgetary impact on this heading, in particular the support for investment in green technologies and a cleaner private and public transport, which are among the actions included in the European Green Deal, and efforts to enable Europe to make the most of the potential of the digital age. This briefing presents the structure and budget allocation of Heading 1 and compares it with the current MFF. It describes each policy cluster and compares the Commission's budgetary proposal with the European Parliament's negotiating position and the negotiating box presented by the Finnish Presidency in December 2019. It then explores some considerations that could contribute to the forthcoming budgetary negotiations on the 2021-2027 MFF.

Natural resources and environment: Heading 3 of the 2021-2027 MFF

27-01-2020

Dedicated to programmes and funds supporting agriculture and maritime policy, and environment and climate change, Heading 3 is the second biggest in terms of funding in the European Commission proposal on the future multiannual financial framework (MFF) for 2021-2027. The two agricultural funds – the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF) and the Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) – are the main financial instruments for the common agricultural policy (CAP). They will continue to ...

Dedicated to programmes and funds supporting agriculture and maritime policy, and environment and climate change, Heading 3 is the second biggest in terms of funding in the European Commission proposal on the future multiannual financial framework (MFF) for 2021-2027. The two agricultural funds – the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF) and the Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) – are the main financial instruments for the common agricultural policy (CAP). They will continue to absorb the greater part of the financial resources under this heading. However, the European Commission proposes an amount of €324 284 million to cover both funds, which is a decrease of around €60 000 million (or 15 %) compared to the current MFF (2014-2020), after deducing current United Kingdom (UK) spending. The proposed European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) would amount to €5 448 million, which is 13 % less than in the current MFF, after deducting current UK spending. In its November 2018 resolution on the European Commission proposals for the new MFF, the European Parliament, raised the budget for agricultural and maritime policy back to the level of the current MFF (2014-2020), to €391 198 million. Where the European Commission proposes €4 828 million for the Programme for Environment & Climate Action (LIFE) for 2021-2027, Parliament's resolution increased this amount considerably, requesting an allocation of €6 442 million. Parliament has also asked for a new Energy Transition Fund, with a budget of €4 800 million for 2021-2027, to address the negative socio-economic impact on workers and communities affected by the transition from a coal and carbon dependent economy to a low-carbon economy. The Council has not yet adopted a position on the MFF proposal and national positions are divergent. However, according to the 'negotiating box' proposed by the Finnish Council Presidency, under Heading 3, the cuts in the budget for agriculture would represent a reduction of 13 % in spending, compared to the current MFF.

FEMM Delegation to Croatia

15-01-2020

Briefing made up by the Policy Department for Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs of the EP to the attention of the FEMM Committee's delegation to Croatia in January 2020.

Briefing made up by the Policy Department for Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs of the EP to the attention of the FEMM Committee's delegation to Croatia in January 2020.

The EU and Latin America and the Caribbean: towards a stronger partnership?

13-01-2020

In the course of the past two and a half years, the European Parliament, the European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and the Council of Ministers have presented strategic documents on the EU's relations with Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) and the direction they should take in the coming years. This in-depth analysis aims to present the main points of view of the three EU institutions and the Member States on the future of EU-LAC ...

In the course of the past two and a half years, the European Parliament, the European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and the Council of Ministers have presented strategic documents on the EU's relations with Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) and the direction they should take in the coming years. This in-depth analysis aims to present the main points of view of the three EU institutions and the Member States on the future of EU-LAC relations. Its second half includes a critical assessment of some aspects of the bi-regional relationship as it has developed in recent years, particularly the institutional links and trade issues, and the challenges it may face in the coming years. Here, the focus is on the political divisions in the LAC region, the uncertainty about regional cooperation and integration and the possible challenges to multilateral policies.

EU Agencies and Conflicts of Interests

23-01-2020

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the Committee on Petitions, takes stock and assesses the existing rules and policies on conflicts of interests in EU agencies and examines whether, and/or how, scrutiny can be improved and whether there is a need to streamline and enhance the coherence of the various rules in place.

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the Committee on Petitions, takes stock and assesses the existing rules and policies on conflicts of interests in EU agencies and examines whether, and/or how, scrutiny can be improved and whether there is a need to streamline and enhance the coherence of the various rules in place.

Ulkopuolinen laatija

Ellen VOS, Natassa ATHANASIADOU, Laura DOHMEN

Lisätty 24-01-2020

Agreement on the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the EU

24-01-2020

On 29 January 2020, the European Parliament is set to vote on the recommendation to give consent to the treaty on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU), endorsed in its current version by EU leaders and the UK Prime Minister in October 2019. Parliament's consent, following the completion of the UK's domestic procedures for ratifying the agreement, will allow its entry into force on 1 February 2020. The UK will then cease its 47-year membership of the EU, although ...

On 29 January 2020, the European Parliament is set to vote on the recommendation to give consent to the treaty on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU), endorsed in its current version by EU leaders and the UK Prime Minister in October 2019. Parliament's consent, following the completion of the UK's domestic procedures for ratifying the agreement, will allow its entry into force on 1 February 2020. The UK will then cease its 47-year membership of the EU, although EU law will remain applicable to the UK during an 11 month transition period ending on 31 December 2020. If however Parliament were to deny consent, the UK would leave the EU without a deal on 1 February 2020, absent another extension of the Article 50 period.

The 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework in figures

24-01-2020

The Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) sets the maximum level of resources (‘ceiling’) for each major category (‘heading’) of EU spending for a period of seven years. In addition to a financial plan, it sets the EU’s long-term priorities. With the 2014-2020 MFF nearing its end, the EU is now in negotiations on the next long-term budget. In May 2018, the European Commission presented a package of legislative proposals for the 2021-2027 MFF. Equivalent to 1.11 % of EU-27 gross national income (GNI ...

The Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) sets the maximum level of resources (‘ceiling’) for each major category (‘heading’) of EU spending for a period of seven years. In addition to a financial plan, it sets the EU’s long-term priorities. With the 2014-2020 MFF nearing its end, the EU is now in negotiations on the next long-term budget. In May 2018, the European Commission presented a package of legislative proposals for the 2021-2027 MFF. Equivalent to 1.11 % of EU-27 gross national income (GNI), it takes into account the initiatives to which the Member States committed in the Bratislava and Rome declarations, as well as the loss of a major contributor due to the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU. The European Parliament considers the proposal insufficient, given all commitments and priorities, and estimates that the MFF ceiling should amount to 1.3 % of EU-27 GNI. The Member States’ views on both the size and other aspects of the future MFF diverge, and the Council has not yet agreed its position. EU leaders are expected to take the next important decisions on the matter during the first half of 2020. The resources proposed for the 2021-2027 MFF are distributed across seven headings, representing the EU’s long-term priorities. They include spending programmes and funds that are the basis for the implementation of the EU budget. Our infographic provides a breakdown of the proposals for each of the seven headings, as well as an indication of the changes from the current MFF (2014-2027) represented by both the Commission's proposal and Parliament's position on that proposal.

Tulevat tapahtumat

28-01-2020
Western Balkans: A rocky road to enlargement
Muu tapahtuma -
EPRS
29-01-2020
Where all students can succeed: Analysing the latest OECD PISA results
Muu tapahtuma -
EPRS
29-01-2020
The Future of Artificial Intelligence for Europe
Seminaari -
STOA

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