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Understanding development effectiveness: Concepts, players and tools

09-01-2020

In the context of the limited availability of development aid, there is an increased demand for effective results. This means that both developing and richer countries must commit to spending and using aid more effectively. Public funding is not enough to cover all needs, but it can leverage initiatives from civil society and the private sector. The increase in stakeholders and intervention methods, both in terms of numbers and variety, combined with the necessity to address needs in the field more ...

In the context of the limited availability of development aid, there is an increased demand for effective results. This means that both developing and richer countries must commit to spending and using aid more effectively. Public funding is not enough to cover all needs, but it can leverage initiatives from civil society and the private sector. The increase in stakeholders and intervention methods, both in terms of numbers and variety, combined with the necessity to address needs in the field more precisely, has led to a global rethinking of how to assess development. High-level forums and stakeholder networks have helped to fine-tune the main principles of development effectiveness and to shift from a donor-recipient relationship to a more cooperative framework. Methods and tools have improved and led to better planning, implementation and appraisal of development projects. The EU has been closely involved in designing and implementing the effectiveness principles. The European Parliament often refers to them, insisting that they must not be sacrificed for the sake of short-term interests. This briefing is an update of a previous edition from April 2017.

India: environmental issues

10-04-2019

The entire south Asian region is threatened by climate change. Changes in average weather conditions are likely to create hotspots across the region and have negative impacts on living standards and gross domestic product (GDP). India is at the core of this trend: it ranks 14th in the last United Nations global climate risk index and in 2017 it was the second most-affected country in terms of casualties related to extreme weather. Air quality in Indian cities is quickly deteriorating and it is today ...

The entire south Asian region is threatened by climate change. Changes in average weather conditions are likely to create hotspots across the region and have negative impacts on living standards and gross domestic product (GDP). India is at the core of this trend: it ranks 14th in the last United Nations global climate risk index and in 2017 it was the second most-affected country in terms of casualties related to extreme weather. Air quality in Indian cities is quickly deteriorating and it is today worse than the situation in China: in the 2018 World Health Organization (WHO) global ambient air quality database, 11 of the 12 cities with the highest levels of small particulate – PM2.5 – are located in India. Air pollution goes hand in hand with poverty: in 2016 an estimated 790 million people (almost 60 % of the Indian population), still relied on biomass for cooking. Deforestation, water pollution, clean water shortages, and waste management are further issues of concern. The Indian authorities have taken several initiatives to tackle these issues. In 2008, the first national plan on climate change (NAPCC) outlined eight 'national missions' running up to 2017. India is a leader in the implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change. It is a founding member of the International Solar Alliance and has ambitious targets in terms of solar power energy. It has launched a national clean air programme (NCAP) to combat air pollution. Prime Minister's Narendra Modi government has launched several flagship initiatives on environment, including a clean cooking scheme, Clean India, Clean Ganga, and Smart Cities Mission. The EU supports Delhi's efforts on tackling its environment challenges. At their March 2016 summit, the EU and India agreed on two joint declarations: on an India-EU water partnership and on a clean energy and climate partnership. The joint declaration on partnership for smart and sustainable urban development signed at the India-EU Summit in October 2017 is the framework for EU support for India's urbanisation challenges.

European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) 2021-2027

29-03-2019

In preparation for the upcoming Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027, the European Commission published a proposal for a regulation on the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) on 30 May 2018. In the same spirit as the current European Social Fund 2014-2020, the ESF+ will provide the main EU financial instrument for improving workers' mobility and employment opportunities and strengthening social cohesion, improving social fairness and increasing competitiveness across Europe for the 2021-2027 ...

In preparation for the upcoming Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027, the European Commission published a proposal for a regulation on the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) on 30 May 2018. In the same spirit as the current European Social Fund 2014-2020, the ESF+ will provide the main EU financial instrument for improving workers' mobility and employment opportunities and strengthening social cohesion, improving social fairness and increasing competitiveness across Europe for the 2021-2027 period. With a provisional budget of €101.2 billion (current prices), the ESF+ should merge the existing European Social Fund (ESF), the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI), and the Fund for European Aid to the most Deprived (FEAD), the Employment and Social Innovation Programme (EaSI) and the EU Health Programme. The new fund will concentrate its investment in three main areas: education, employment and social inclusion. At the European Parliament, the file was assigned to the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL), which adopted its report on 3 December, 2018. On 16 January 2019, the committee’s amendments to increase the funding and make youth and children the main beneficiaries were approved by plenary. No trilogue meetings have taken place, and so Parliament is now due to conclude the first reading during the April I plenary session. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Member States Progress towards the EU 2020 Targets

21-02-2019

This note prepared by Economic Governance Support Unit gives an overview of the member states progress towards the EU 2020 targets.

This note prepared by Economic Governance Support Unit gives an overview of the member states progress towards the EU 2020 targets.

Supporting Holocaust survivors

24-01-2019

Between 1933 and 1945, millions of Europeans suffered from Nazi crimes and the Holocaust. Today, the remaining survivors often live in difficult social conditions.

Between 1933 and 1945, millions of Europeans suffered from Nazi crimes and the Holocaust. Today, the remaining survivors often live in difficult social conditions.

Situation of fundamental rights in the EU in 2017

10-01-2019

2017 was a year during which the EU saw both progress and setbacks in fundamental rights protection. For example, while the adoption of the European Pillar of Social Rights was a further step towards more equality, setbacks were encountered in the area of the independence of the judiciary, the work of civil society organisations and women’s rights. The Commission, the EU Fundamental Rights Agency and the Parliament regularly monitor the situation of fundamental rights in the EU. A LIBE committee ...

2017 was a year during which the EU saw both progress and setbacks in fundamental rights protection. For example, while the adoption of the European Pillar of Social Rights was a further step towards more equality, setbacks were encountered in the area of the independence of the judiciary, the work of civil society organisations and women’s rights. The Commission, the EU Fundamental Rights Agency and the Parliament regularly monitor the situation of fundamental rights in the EU. A LIBE committee report on the situation of fundamental rights in 2017 is scheduled for debate in plenary during January.

Inequality [What Think Tanks are thinking]

23-11-2018

Inequality has diminished on a global scale in the past 30 years, as more than 2 billion people have been lifted out of poverty in countries such as China or India. However, in the United States and, to a lesser extent, western Europe and other developed regions, inequality within individual countries has often increased in recent years after decades of general growth in prosperity. Many analysts attribute this phenomenon both to globalisation and to inadequate policy responses to the pace of technological ...

Inequality has diminished on a global scale in the past 30 years, as more than 2 billion people have been lifted out of poverty in countries such as China or India. However, in the United States and, to a lesser extent, western Europe and other developed regions, inequality within individual countries has often increased in recent years after decades of general growth in prosperity. Many analysts attribute this phenomenon both to globalisation and to inadequate policy responses to the pace of technological change. This note brings together commentaries, analyses and studies by major international think tanks and research institutes on economic and social inequality. Reports on gender and racial inequalities will be covered in greater detail in a future edition in the series.

Article 17 TFEU: The EU institutions’ dialogue with churches, religious and philosophical organisations

05-11-2018

On the basis of Article 17 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), the European institutions hold high-level meetings, or working dialogue seminars, on an annual basis with churches and non-confessional and philosophical organisations. This dialogue, focused on issues upon the European agenda, can be traced back to earlier initiatives, such as that launched in 1994 by Jacques Delors – 'A Soul for Europe' – which opened the way to encompass ethical and spiritual aspects of European ...

On the basis of Article 17 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), the European institutions hold high-level meetings, or working dialogue seminars, on an annual basis with churches and non-confessional and philosophical organisations. This dialogue, focused on issues upon the European agenda, can be traced back to earlier initiatives, such as that launched in 1994 by Jacques Delors – 'A Soul for Europe' – which opened the way to encompass ethical and spiritual aspects of European integration. The draft Constitutional Treaty of 2004 included provisions on regular, open and transparent dialogue between EU institutions, representatives of churches and religious communities, and of non-confessional or philosophical communities. Although the Constitutional Treaty was rejected in French and Dutch referenda, its successor, the Lisbon Treaty adopted in 2007 and in force since December 2009, preserved the same provisions in Article 17 TFEU. The European Parliament has adopted numerous resolutions in defence of the principles of freedom of religion and belief as well as religious pluralism and tolerance, and stressed the importance of constant dialogue among, and with, religious as well as non-confessional and philosophical communities. It has regularly organised dialogue sessions within the framework of Article 17 TFEU on subjects of interest for the EU and its citizens. This is a further updated version of a briefing published in January 2018.

Migration from Central America

25-10-2018

Although not a new phenomenon, migration flows from Central America, in particular from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras (also called the Northern Triangle of Central America, NTCA), have grown exponentially since 2014, with a considerable increase in the number of adults and a huge one in the number of unaccompanied minors crossing the borders. And the ‘caravan’ of Central American migrants that has recently reached Mexico on its way to the US border has again turned public and media attention ...

Although not a new phenomenon, migration flows from Central America, in particular from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras (also called the Northern Triangle of Central America, NTCA), have grown exponentially since 2014, with a considerable increase in the number of adults and a huge one in the number of unaccompanied minors crossing the borders. And the ‘caravan’ of Central American migrants that has recently reached Mexico on its way to the US border has again turned public and media attention towards this silent exodus. The push factors that have been fuelling migration from these countries include poverty, unemployment and under-employment, rampant crime and violence – in particular gang violence – but also institutional weakness and corruption. The pull factors include family re-unification, migrants' perceptions of more permissive immigration laws in destination countries, and the existence of well-organised smuggling networks. Their main destination countries are the United States and Mexico, but other neighbouring countries such as Belize and Costa Rica are receiving growing numbers of NTCA migrants, as are some European countries, including Spain, Italy and France. Countries of origin, transit and destination have set up new instruments for alleviating the problem, such as Mexico´s Southern Border Programme, and the regional Alliance for Prosperity, which have produced mixed results. International organisations, such as the EU and the United Nations, have been providing help, and the European Parliament has also expressed its concern on the situation of these migrants and their human rights.

European Social Fund Plus and European Globalisation Adjustment Fund

08-10-2018

The Commission proposes to establish a European Social Plus (ESF+) by merging different funds and programmes, and a strengthened European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF). These proposals would contribute to implement the European Pillar of Social Rights and enhance social Europe. The impact assessment report (IA) concerning the proposals explains the challenges of funding and the defined objectives of the proposals. In relation to the proposed measures, risks and mitigating measures have also ...

The Commission proposes to establish a European Social Plus (ESF+) by merging different funds and programmes, and a strengthened European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF). These proposals would contribute to implement the European Pillar of Social Rights and enhance social Europe. The impact assessment report (IA) concerning the proposals explains the challenges of funding and the defined objectives of the proposals. In relation to the proposed measures, risks and mitigating measures have also been discussed. It can be noted that the IA essentially concentrates in providing a thorough assessment of the selected measures, rather than discussing possible alternatives and comparing and assessing them. In addition, it would have benefited the analysis, if the link with the specific objectives had been elaborated more, as the description of social impacts is quite limited, and health impacts are not discussed although the Health Programme is merged into the ESF+. It would have been useful to have further explanation on the merger of the Health Programme into the ESF+ and its expected synergy impacts. A more detailed description would have been welcome concerning the results of the targeted stakeholder consultations.

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