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EU cyber sanctions: Moving beyond words

25-09-2020

The EU recognises that cybersecurity and cyber-defence are critical for its prosperity, security and global ambitions. Offensive cyber-attacks by malicious actors show no sign of slowing down (not even during the coronavirus pandemic) and thus require concrete dissuasive measures. In July 2020, the EU Member States decided for the first time to use the 'teeth' rooted in the EU cyber-diplomacy framework and to 'bite cyber perpetrators back' by placing sanctions on them. This precedent has helped reinforce ...

The EU recognises that cybersecurity and cyber-defence are critical for its prosperity, security and global ambitions. Offensive cyber-attacks by malicious actors show no sign of slowing down (not even during the coronavirus pandemic) and thus require concrete dissuasive measures. In July 2020, the EU Member States decided for the first time to use the 'teeth' rooted in the EU cyber-diplomacy framework and to 'bite cyber perpetrators back' by placing sanctions on them. This precedent has helped reinforce the EU's cyber policy action.

How the coronavirus pandemic shook up our relationship with food

24-09-2020

First there was panic-buying. There were concerns over safety: could one be infected by food? Realisation of the efforts of supermarket staff, truck drivers and warehouse staff to keep food coming to customers. Spring amidst closed borders awakened us to how much we depend on foreign farm workers to pick fruit and vegetables. There were campaigns for furloughed employees to go and work on farms. Then came news about the conditions endured by some foreign workers in the food-processing industry. The ...

First there was panic-buying. There were concerns over safety: could one be infected by food? Realisation of the efforts of supermarket staff, truck drivers and warehouse staff to keep food coming to customers. Spring amidst closed borders awakened us to how much we depend on foreign farm workers to pick fruit and vegetables. There were campaigns for furloughed employees to go and work on farms. Then came news about the conditions endured by some foreign workers in the food-processing industry. The rollercoaster of the coronavirus crisis has changed our relationship with food, but whether just temporarily or for good, remains to be seen.

The need for solidarity in EU asylum policy

23-09-2020

In early September 2020, a fire in the over-crowded migrant camp of Moria in Greece pushed thousands of people onto the streets, exacerbating the already dire conditions faced by asylum-seekers and migrants. The incident also shows the need to find a solution to a crisis of solidarity in EU asylum policy that has remained unresolved since the unprecedented influx of migrants into the EU in 2015. The European Commission presented a new Pact on Asylum and Migration on 23 September 2020. In that, it ...

In early September 2020, a fire in the over-crowded migrant camp of Moria in Greece pushed thousands of people onto the streets, exacerbating the already dire conditions faced by asylum-seekers and migrants. The incident also shows the need to find a solution to a crisis of solidarity in EU asylum policy that has remained unresolved since the unprecedented influx of migrants into the EU in 2015. The European Commission presented a new Pact on Asylum and Migration on 23 September 2020. In that, it puts forward a compromise on solidarity and fair sharing of responsibility for asylum-seekers among EU Member States.

A European week of sport... like no other

21-09-2020

This year, the sixth round of the European Week of Sport (23-30 September) will kick off in unusual circumstances. The lockdown measures put in place to curb the coronavirus pandemic have made the initiative more necessary than ever.

This year, the sixth round of the European Week of Sport (23-30 September) will kick off in unusual circumstances. The lockdown measures put in place to curb the coronavirus pandemic have made the initiative more necessary than ever.

The poisoning of Alexey Navalny

21-09-2020

EU-Russia relations hit a new low in August 2020, after Alexey Navalny, one of Russia's leading opposition activists, was poisoned by a banned nerve agent. Although the perpetrators have not yet been identified, the attack has to be seen in the context of repression and growing discontent against Putin. In response to this clear breach of international law and human rights, the EU is considering additional sanctions against Moscow.

EU-Russia relations hit a new low in August 2020, after Alexey Navalny, one of Russia's leading opposition activists, was poisoned by a banned nerve agent. Although the perpetrators have not yet been identified, the attack has to be seen in the context of repression and growing discontent against Putin. In response to this clear breach of international law and human rights, the EU is considering additional sanctions against Moscow.

Plenary round-up – Brussels, September 2020

18-09-2020

The September 2020 plenary session was the sixth conducted with Members participating remotely, using the alternative voting procedure put in place in March by Parliament's Bureau, although a majority were again present in Brussels. As well as the Commission President's traditional State of the Union address, Parliament held a joint debate on the risk of breach of the rule of law and LGBTI-free zones in Poland. Parliament also debated European Commission statements on the preparation of the special ...

The September 2020 plenary session was the sixth conducted with Members participating remotely, using the alternative voting procedure put in place in March by Parliament's Bureau, although a majority were again present in Brussels. As well as the Commission President's traditional State of the Union address, Parliament held a joint debate on the risk of breach of the rule of law and LGBTI-free zones in Poland. Parliament also debated European Commission statements on the preparation of the special European Council focusing on Turkey's actions in the eastern Mediterranean, on the consequences for the single market of EU coordination of sanitary measures in the ongoing pandemic, on combatting sexual abuse and exploitation of children, and on the need for a humanitarian EU response to the situation in the Moria refugee camp. Parliament also debated statements from the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borell, on the situation in Belarus, in Lebanon and the poisoning of Alexei Navalny. Parliament also voted on legislative proposals and resolutions, including on arms exports, the Union Civil Protection Mechanism, the EU Association Agreement with Georgia, protecting world forests, EU-African security cooperation in the Sahel, type approval of motor vehicles and the importance of urban and green infrastructure.

Members of the European Parliament from February 2020

18-09-2020

In May 2019, on a turnout of 51%, European Union citizens elected their representatives to the European Parliament for the next five years. On 31 January 2020, the United Kingdom withdrew from the Union. Of the 73 seats vacated by Members elected in the UK, 27 have been redistributed among 14 Member States, while 46 remain available for potential EU enlargements and/or the possible creation of a transnational constituency in the future. The number of seats in the Parliament has fallen from 751 to ...

In May 2019, on a turnout of 51%, European Union citizens elected their representatives to the European Parliament for the next five years. On 31 January 2020, the United Kingdom withdrew from the Union. Of the 73 seats vacated by Members elected in the UK, 27 have been redistributed among 14 Member States, while 46 remain available for potential EU enlargements and/or the possible creation of a transnational constituency in the future. The number of seats in the Parliament has fallen from 751 to 705. The 705 MEPs elected have an average age of 51 years (with the youngest being 22 and the oldest 83). A majority of MEPs (415) are new to the Parliament. Women now represent 39.6% of all MEPs.

What if 'rewilding' could help reverse biodiversity loss in Europe?

18-09-2020

Biodiversity is in crisis across the globe: species extinctions and a loss of nature occurring at rates unprecedented in human history, and with the EU no exception, our biodiversity and the essential value it brings are under threat. Could 'rewilding' help restore Europe's nature?

Biodiversity is in crisis across the globe: species extinctions and a loss of nature occurring at rates unprecedented in human history, and with the EU no exception, our biodiversity and the essential value it brings are under threat. Could 'rewilding' help restore Europe's nature?

The legal nature of Country-Specific Recommendations

17-09-2020

The Country-Specific Recommendations (CSRs) are annually adopted by the Council based on the Commission (COM) proposals within the framework of the European Semester. The CSRs provide integrated guidance on macro-fiscal and macro-structural measures based on the COM assessment of Member States' medium-term budgetary plans and national reform programmes in light of broad policy priorities endorsed by the European Council or adopted by the Council on th basis of the Annual Growth Survey. The Council ...

The Country-Specific Recommendations (CSRs) are annually adopted by the Council based on the Commission (COM) proposals within the framework of the European Semester. The CSRs provide integrated guidance on macro-fiscal and macro-structural measures based on the COM assessment of Member States' medium-term budgetary plans and national reform programmes in light of broad policy priorities endorsed by the European Council or adopted by the Council on th basis of the Annual Growth Survey. The Council also adopts policy recommendations to the euro area as a whole in accordance with Article 136 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) following a COM proposal. Table 1 displays the development of the number of CSRs and the minimum and maximum number per Member State.

EU initiatives and funding to support sustainable urban mobility

15-09-2020

In 2050, approximately 84 % of Europeans will be living in an urban area. A common challenge for all urban areas is to enhance mobility and reduce congestion, accidents and air pollution. The search for appropriate solutions to urban transport challenges has been part of EU policy in various fields for a long time. This paper provides an overview of the EU initiatives and funding opportunities to support sustainable urban mobility in Europe.

In 2050, approximately 84 % of Europeans will be living in an urban area. A common challenge for all urban areas is to enhance mobility and reduce congestion, accidents and air pollution. The search for appropriate solutions to urban transport challenges has been part of EU policy in various fields for a long time. This paper provides an overview of the EU initiatives and funding opportunities to support sustainable urban mobility in Europe.

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