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Ratifying the EU-UK withdrawal deal: State of play and possible scenarios

08-04-2019

On 14 November 2018, the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK) negotiators announced their approval of the legal agreement on the UK's withdrawal from the EU. At a special European Council meeting on 25 November 2018, EU leaders endorsed the draft withdrawal agreement, as well as the text of a non-binding political declaration setting out the framework for the future EU-UK relationship. While the process of approving the withdrawal deal (the agreement and the political declaration) began ...

On 14 November 2018, the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK) negotiators announced their approval of the legal agreement on the UK's withdrawal from the EU. At a special European Council meeting on 25 November 2018, EU leaders endorsed the draft withdrawal agreement, as well as the text of a non-binding political declaration setting out the framework for the future EU-UK relationship. While the process of approving the withdrawal deal (the agreement and the political declaration) began rapidly in both the UK and the EU, it immediately met with significant difficulties in the UK. In particular, the House of Commons' rejection of the withdrawal deal in the 'meaningful vote' of 15 January 2019, led to renewed UK attempts at renegotiation. Although the EU and the UK eventually agreed additional guarantees with respect to the Ireland/Northern Ireland backstop, the withdrawal deal was again voted down on 12 March 2019. Faced with the prospect of a 'no deal exit' on 29 March 2019, the initial Brexit date, the UK government, as instructed by the House of Commons, eventually requested an extension to the Article 50 negotiating period. On 22 March, the European Council extended the UK's EU Membership until 22 May 2019, on the condition that the UK parliament approved the withdrawal agreement by 29 March. As the House of Commons rejected the withdrawal agreement for a third time, the new Brexit date was instead set, under that European Council decision, at 12 April 2019. With a 'no deal' Brexit becoming a highly likely scenario, both sides stepped up their contingency planning. However, other outcomes remain possible, in particular a further Article 50 extension, given the UK Prime Minister's request of 5 April. The EU-27 are set to decide on this within the European Council on 10 April 2019, most likely on the basis of conditions set for the UK. While a parallel process for establishing a majority for an alternative solution to the negotiated deal is under way in Westminster, its outcome remains uncertain. Finally, although rejected by the government, the UK still has the option to unilaterally revoke its notification to withdraw from the EU, or to organise another referendum on the issue (the latter dependent on an extension). Please see also the parallel Briefing, Brexit: Understanding the withdrawal agreement and political declaration, of March 2019 (PE 635.595). And visit the European Parliament homepage on Brexit negotiations.

Unemployment and Poverty: Greece and other (post-)programme countries

31-05-2017

This document gives an update of the development of unemployment and poverty in Greece including a view to changes in employment in the public sector. It presents Geece in in a comparative perspective (Cyprus, Ireland, Portugal, Spain). The note has been prepared by Policy Department A to support the work of the Committee's Monitoring Group on Greece.

This document gives an update of the development of unemployment and poverty in Greece including a view to changes in employment in the public sector. It presents Geece in in a comparative perspective (Cyprus, Ireland, Portugal, Spain). The note has been prepared by Policy Department A to support the work of the Committee's Monitoring Group on Greece.

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.

Údar seachtarach

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

Japan and the EU [What Think Tanks are thinking]

04-04-2016

After more than two decades of economic stagnation, Japan is pushing ahead with a 'three arrow' reform package aimed at reviving growth through fiscal stimulus, monetary easing and structural changes, a strategy known as 'Abenomics', after the name of Liberal Democrat Prime Minister Shinzō Abe. The reforms are being pursued against a challenging background of high government debt, an ageing population and a fragile external security environment, with, for example, North Korea pushing ahead with its ...

After more than two decades of economic stagnation, Japan is pushing ahead with a 'three arrow' reform package aimed at reviving growth through fiscal stimulus, monetary easing and structural changes, a strategy known as 'Abenomics', after the name of Liberal Democrat Prime Minister Shinzō Abe. The reforms are being pursued against a challenging background of high government debt, an ageing population and a fragile external security environment, with, for example, North Korea pushing ahead with its nuclear arms programme. As advanced industrialised democracies, the EU and Japan have many common interests and values. The scope of the overall relationship has broadened in recent years, along the lines foreseen in the 2001 Action Plan. The EU and Japan are currently working towards a new Framework Agreement and a Free Trade Agreement. This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports from major international think tanks on relations between Japan and the EU, as well as on economic and political developments in that country.

Japan’s Bet on Reforms: Growth First – Fiscal Sustainability to Follow

04-09-2015

Given the underwhelming results of the large-scale fiscal and monetary stimulus implemented by the administration of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the country is now focusing on structural reforms. The government's new economic and fiscal plan – released in late June 2015 – is clear in its message: to reduce Japan’s gigantic debt, now estimated at over 246 % of GDP, and achieve fiscal sustainability, the country needs robust economic growth. The government is betting that structural reforms ...

Given the underwhelming results of the large-scale fiscal and monetary stimulus implemented by the administration of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the country is now focusing on structural reforms. The government's new economic and fiscal plan – released in late June 2015 – is clear in its message: to reduce Japan’s gigantic debt, now estimated at over 246 % of GDP, and achieve fiscal sustainability, the country needs robust economic growth. The government is betting that structural reforms will trigger a ‘productivity revolution’ and boost income, investment, consumption and profits. Fiscal sustainability will then follow, as a revitalised economy will broaden the tax base and bring in higher revenues. Despite Abe’s good intentions, however, his economic policy agenda has been criticised on several fronts. The international community is calling for greater fiscal discipline, while the business community is dissatisfied with proposed measures to simplify doing business in Japan. The plan has also failed to convince many of Abe’s genuine commitment to advance economic reforms at a time when the Prime Minister seems more interested in upgrading Japan’s defence capabilities. If Japan is serious about restoring its glorious economic past, far-reaching economic reforms will need to move at a faster pace.

Japan: Foreign and Security Policy at a Crossroads

26-08-2015

On 16 July 2015, the Lower House of Japan’s Diet (the House of Representatives) approved a controversial package significantly reducing barriers to the deployment of Japanese defence forces overseas. This is the most significant change to have been made to Japan’s security and defence policy since World War II. The reforms promoted by Prime Minister Abe represent a fundamental shift in Japan’s foreign and security policy since WWII. Abe’s reforms are the logical consequence of a process of revision ...

On 16 July 2015, the Lower House of Japan’s Diet (the House of Representatives) approved a controversial package significantly reducing barriers to the deployment of Japanese defence forces overseas. This is the most significant change to have been made to Japan’s security and defence policy since World War II. The reforms promoted by Prime Minister Abe represent a fundamental shift in Japan’s foreign and security policy since WWII. Abe’s reforms are the logical consequence of a process of revision started more than twenty years ago with the end of the Cold War and later fuelled by the need to contest and contain the rising of China as a regional and global power. These reforms, including the reinterpretation of Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, have been undertaken in a context of constantly shifting regional balance in the Asia-Pacific region, where Japan has been increasingly threatened by both China and North Korea. This has prompted a significant upgrade in relations with the US and may pave the way for a new phase of Japanese foreign policy, but also has a negative impact on Japan’s already lukewarm relations with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Koreas.

Outlook for the informal European Council meeting of 12 February 2015: Pre-European Council Briefing

06-02-2015

Measures on the fight against terrorism and radicalisation are likely to be the priority item for discussion – in the presence of the EP President, Martin Schulz – at the informal European Council, meeting of Heads of State or Government, on 12 February in Brussels. Following Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker's analysis of the current state of the Economic and Monetary Union, European leaders will also discuss the state of the European economy and will once again discuss the situation in ...

Measures on the fight against terrorism and radicalisation are likely to be the priority item for discussion – in the presence of the EP President, Martin Schulz – at the informal European Council, meeting of Heads of State or Government, on 12 February in Brussels. Following Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker's analysis of the current state of the Economic and Monetary Union, European leaders will also discuss the state of the European economy and will once again discuss the situation in the Ukraine and Russia's involvement. This European Council is also the first at which Greece will be represented by its new Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras.

Greece and the euro area: what next after the Greek election? [What Think Tanks are thinking]

30-01-2015

Greece's new government, led by the election-winning, anti-austerity Syriza party is trying to convince euro area partners to offer the country more debt relief that would allow it to ease austerity and bolster economic growth. The charm offensive in European capitals of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has so far produced mixed results, leading to fresh turmoil on financial markets. This note, part of the 'What Think Tanks are thinking' series, presents ...

Greece's new government, led by the election-winning, anti-austerity Syriza party is trying to convince euro area partners to offer the country more debt relief that would allow it to ease austerity and bolster economic growth. The charm offensive in European capitals of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has so far produced mixed results, leading to fresh turmoil on financial markets. This note, part of the 'What Think Tanks are thinking' series, presents links to a selection of recent comments, reports and studies on Greece and the euro area from major international think tanks and other research institutes.

'Make in India' for more 'made in India'

21-01-2015

Doing business in India today is much more difficult than elsewhere, but the government wants to change this. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched the 'Make in India' initiative to attract investors and make India a global manufacturing hub.

Doing business in India today is much more difficult than elsewhere, but the government wants to change this. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched the 'Make in India' initiative to attract investors and make India a global manufacturing hub.

A new phase in EU-Cuba relations

23-06-2014

After 18 years of restricted policy, the EU and Cuba have started negotiations towards a future bilateral agreement aiming at supporting economic and democratic reforms. With power passing definitively from Fidel to Raúl Castro, Cuba has shown more openness to modernisation of the country. This new prospect of a normalisation in EU-Cuba relations may even stimulate some policy change in Washington.

After 18 years of restricted policy, the EU and Cuba have started negotiations towards a future bilateral agreement aiming at supporting economic and democratic reforms. With power passing definitively from Fidel to Raúl Castro, Cuba has shown more openness to modernisation of the country. This new prospect of a normalisation in EU-Cuba relations may even stimulate some policy change in Washington.

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