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Evaluation in the European Commission

29-07-2020

Ex-post evaluation provides an evidence-based assessment of the performance of policies and legislation. Its findings support political decision-making and inform the design of new interventions. For this reason, and notably under the EU's Better Regulation agenda, evaluation has become a key policy-making tool at EU level. At the same time, evaluation is an aid for legislators, in particular at the policy review stage. The European Parliament therefore has a keen interest in obtaining a complete ...

Ex-post evaluation provides an evidence-based assessment of the performance of policies and legislation. Its findings support political decision-making and inform the design of new interventions. For this reason, and notably under the EU's Better Regulation agenda, evaluation has become a key policy-making tool at EU level. At the same time, evaluation is an aid for legislators, in particular at the policy review stage. The European Parliament therefore has a keen interest in obtaining a complete picture of ongoing Commission evaluations and in having timely access to evaluation results. This fourth edition of the EPRS rolling check-list 'Evaluation in the European Commission' is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of planned, ongoing and recently completed Commission evaluations. Compiled from a range of sources in the public domain, it seeks to fill a gap by granting a single access point to the Commission's evaluation planning and output, as of 30 June 2020. The dataset is preceded by an analysis of how the evaluation process has evolved since the 2015 Better Regulation reform, with particular regard to the transparency of the European Commission's ex post evaluation process.

Outcome of the Special European Council meeting of 17-21 July 2020

23-07-2020

After almost five days of negotiations, the European Council reached a political agreement on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2021 to 2027 and a specific recovery instrument following the coronavirus crisis – Next Generation EU (NGEU) – together totalling €1 824.3 billion. Negotiations seem to have concentrated in particular on the balance between loans and grants for the provision of funding under the NGEU, with a final division of €360 and €390 billion respectively. Other notable ...

After almost five days of negotiations, the European Council reached a political agreement on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2021 to 2027 and a specific recovery instrument following the coronavirus crisis – Next Generation EU (NGEU) – together totalling €1 824.3 billion. Negotiations seem to have concentrated in particular on the balance between loans and grants for the provision of funding under the NGEU, with a final division of €360 and €390 billion respectively. Other notable developments concern the link between EU funding and respect for the rule of law, the size of the MFF, rebates and own ressources.

Adjusted European Commission work programme 2020

20-07-2020

The European Commission presented its work programme for 2020 in January. Shortly after however, the Covid-19 pandemic happened, forcing the Commission to focus its efforts on the immediate crisis management. This led to the need to recalibrate and adjust the original Commission Work Programme - this adjusted CWP was presented at the end of May. This briefing provides and overview and analysis of the main changes between the original / January CWP 2020, and the adjusted / May CWP.

The European Commission presented its work programme for 2020 in January. Shortly after however, the Covid-19 pandemic happened, forcing the Commission to focus its efforts on the immediate crisis management. This led to the need to recalibrate and adjust the original Commission Work Programme - this adjusted CWP was presented at the end of May. This briefing provides and overview and analysis of the main changes between the original / January CWP 2020, and the adjusted / May CWP.

Outlook for the Special European Council meeting of 17-18 July 2020

14-07-2020

Based on an updated 'negotiating box' presented by the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, on 10 July, the special meeting of the European Council on 17-18 July will aim at finding a political agreement on the EU recovery fund, entitled ‘Next Generation EU’, and the multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the 2021-27 seven-year financing period. It will be the first meeting of EU Heads of State or Government to take place in person since the coronavirus outbreak. The last such physical ...

Based on an updated 'negotiating box' presented by the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, on 10 July, the special meeting of the European Council on 17-18 July will aim at finding a political agreement on the EU recovery fund, entitled ‘Next Generation EU’, and the multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the 2021-27 seven-year financing period. It will be the first meeting of EU Heads of State or Government to take place in person since the coronavirus outbreak. The last such physical meeting of the European Council – held on 20-21 February, prior to the crisis –failed to reach a political agreement on the EU's long-term budget. The revised negotiating box, taking into account the Commission's updated MFF proposals – adopted alongside, and linked to, its recovery fund proposals – envisages a reduced MFF amounting to €1.074 trillion. Furthermore, Charles Michel's proposals maintain the balance between loans and grants for the recovery fund proposed by the Commission. While a lot of pressure is being applied to find an agreement urgently, it remains to be seen whether EU leaders will agree a deal at this meeting or whether yet another meeting will be needed. In any case, the current MFF negotiations have already taken much longer than was originally intended, potentially jeopardising the timely launch of the EU's new spending programmes.

The Return Directive 2008/115/EC

07-07-2020

In November 2019, the European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) launched an implementation report on Directive 2008/115/EC on common standards and procedures in Member States for returning illegally staying third-country nationals (the 'Return Directive'). The Return Directive aims at ensuring that the return of non-EU nationals without legal grounds to stay in the EU is carried out effectively, through fair and transparent procedures that fully respect the ...

In November 2019, the European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) launched an implementation report on Directive 2008/115/EC on common standards and procedures in Member States for returning illegally staying third-country nationals (the 'Return Directive'). The Return Directive aims at ensuring that the return of non-EU nationals without legal grounds to stay in the EU is carried out effectively, through fair and transparent procedures that fully respect the fundamental rights and dignity of the people concerned. Tineke Strik (Greens/EFA, the Netherlands) was appointed as rapporteur. Implementation reports by European Parliament committees are routinely accompanied by European Implementation Assessments, drawn up by the Ex-Post Evaluation Unit of the European Parliament's Directorate-General for Parliamentary Research Services (EPRS). This EPRS European Implementation Assessment finds several protection gaps and shortcomings regarding the four key measures of the Return Directive – return decision, enforcement of the return decision, entry ban, and detention – which may lead to fundamental rights violations for irregular migrants. Moreover, EU return and readmission policy has increasingly resorted to informal cooperation in the external policy dimension. There have been, and continue to be, rule of law, fundamental rights, budgetary and external affairs implications flowing from the pursuit, conclusion and implementation of EU readmission agreements and agreements having equivalent effect with third countries.

Association agreement between the EU and Ukraine

07-07-2020

The European implementation assessment (EIA) evaluates the implementation of the association agreement (EU AA), including the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA), between the EU and Ukraine. The evaluation forms an update of an evaluation published in July 2018. The EIA shows progress and challenges in the implementation of the agreement in Ukraine and stresses the importance of further reforms in this Eastern Partnership country. The EIA consists of two parts, an opening analysis ...

The European implementation assessment (EIA) evaluates the implementation of the association agreement (EU AA), including the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA), between the EU and Ukraine. The evaluation forms an update of an evaluation published in July 2018. The EIA shows progress and challenges in the implementation of the agreement in Ukraine and stresses the importance of further reforms in this Eastern Partnership country. The EIA consists of two parts, an opening analysis prepared internally by the DG EPRS and a briefing paper prepared externally by the Polish Institute of International Affairs. The EIA has been prepared to accompany the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) in its scrutiny work, namely on its work on the own-initiative annual implementing report on the EU association agreement with Ukraine.

Outcome of the European Council video-conference of 19 June 2020

22-06-2020

At their video-conference meeting on Friday 19 June, EU Heads of State or Government focussed essentially on the revised proposal for the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), together with the coronavirus Recovery Plan for the European economy. As announced, this exchange of views was effectively a ‘stepping-stone’ in an on-going discussion, and as expected, no final agreement was reached during this video-conference. Nevertheless, EU leaders used this first opportunity to jointly discuss ...

At their video-conference meeting on Friday 19 June, EU Heads of State or Government focussed essentially on the revised proposal for the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), together with the coronavirus Recovery Plan for the European economy. As announced, this exchange of views was effectively a ‘stepping-stone’ in an on-going discussion, and as expected, no final agreement was reached during this video-conference. Nevertheless, EU leaders used this first opportunity to jointly discuss and clarify their positions on the European Commission’s new proposals. While consensus is emerging on certain issues, differences in views remain substantial, notably on the overall size of the EU budget, the use of rebates, the balance between loans and grants, and the allocation criteria for funding. Aware of the need to provide funding to a severely affected European economy as soon as possible, the European Council will convene again around the middle of July – this time for an in-person meeting – to attempt to reach a political agreement. Those discussions will be based on concrete proposals which the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, will submit ahead of that meeting. In addition to this central topic, EU Heads of State or Government were briefed on the state of play in the negotiations on the future EU-UK partnership, on the EU’s economic situation and on the implementation of the Minsk agreements.

Key issues in the European Council: State of play in June 2020

17-06-2020

This EPRS publication, 'Key issues in the European Council', is updated quarterly to coincide with European Council meetings. It aims to provide an overview of the institution’s activities on major EU issues, by analysing twelve broad policy areas, explaining the legal and political background and the main priorities and orientations defined by the European Council in each field. It also assesses the results of European Council involvement in these policy areas to date, and identifies future challenges ...

This EPRS publication, 'Key issues in the European Council', is updated quarterly to coincide with European Council meetings. It aims to provide an overview of the institution’s activities on major EU issues, by analysing twelve broad policy areas, explaining the legal and political background and the main priorities and orientations defined by the European Council in each field. It also assesses the results of European Council involvement in these policy areas to date, and identifies future challenges in the various policy fields.

European Arrest Warrant

15-06-2020

This study provides an assessment and conclusions on the implementation of the FD EAW. It also contains recommendations on how to address the shortcomings identified, as per the request of the rapporteur. It is intended to contribute to the Parliament's discussions on this topic, improving understanding of the subject, and ultimately feeding into the implementation report. The study concludes that the FD EAW has simplified and sped up handover procedures, including for some high-profile cases of ...

This study provides an assessment and conclusions on the implementation of the FD EAW. It also contains recommendations on how to address the shortcomings identified, as per the request of the rapporteur. It is intended to contribute to the Parliament's discussions on this topic, improving understanding of the subject, and ultimately feeding into the implementation report. The study concludes that the FD EAW has simplified and sped up handover procedures, including for some high-profile cases of serious crime and terrorism. A number of outstanding challenges relate back to core debates concerning judicial independence, the nature of mutual recognition and its relationship with international and EU law and values, constitutional principles and additional harmonisation measures. Furthermore, there are gaps in effectiveness, efficiency and coherence with other measures and the application of digital tools. The study recommends targeted infringement proceedings, support to judicial authorities and hearing suspects via video-link where appropriate to avoid surrender whilst ensuring the effective exercise of defence rights, as well as a range of measures aimed at achieving humane treatment of prisoners. In the medium term, for reasons of legitimacy, legal certainty and coherence, it recommends a review of the FD EAW as part of an EU judicial cooperation code in criminal matters.

Outlook for the European Council video-conference of 19 June 2020

12-06-2020

The European Council meeting on 19 June, to be held by video-conference, will be almost exclusively dedicated to the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and the proposed new EU recovery fund, dubbed ‘Next Generation EU’. The two European Commission proposals are now to be considered as one package for the purpose of negotiation, since the recovery fund is in effect embedded within the revamped EU long-term budget. This has increased the pressure on Member States to reach a political agreement ...

The European Council meeting on 19 June, to be held by video-conference, will be almost exclusively dedicated to the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and the proposed new EU recovery fund, dubbed ‘Next Generation EU’. The two European Commission proposals are now to be considered as one package for the purpose of negotiation, since the recovery fund is in effect embedded within the revamped EU long-term budget. This has increased the pressure on Member States to reach a political agreement on the MFF, but also multiplied the issues of disagreement among the EU leaders. In addition to the MFF-specific issues, on which divergences could not be overcome at the special European Council meeting in February 2020 – namely the overall size of the EU budget, the use of rebates and the funding allocation per policy area – the proposal for the recovery fund raises sensitive new questions, notably on the balance between loans and grants, the allocation criteria for funding and the modalities for repayment.

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