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Towards a new EU policy approach to China: 21st EU-China Summit – April 2019

08-04-2019

With the European Parliament elections set for May 2019, the 21st EU-China Summit has been advanced, to be held in Brussels on 9 April 2019, only nine months after the previous one. The 2018 summit's joint statement captured a broad range of deliverables that had been achieved over a three-year period, since the EU and China had failed to agree on joint statements in 2016 and 2017. Considering that not even the short-term commitments on the trade and investment agenda from 2018 have been met, that ...

With the European Parliament elections set for May 2019, the 21st EU-China Summit has been advanced, to be held in Brussels on 9 April 2019, only nine months after the previous one. The 2018 summit's joint statement captured a broad range of deliverables that had been achieved over a three-year period, since the EU and China had failed to agree on joint statements in 2016 and 2017. Considering that not even the short-term commitments on the trade and investment agenda from 2018 have been met, that the context of US-China great power competition looms large and that the EU has adopted more assertive language in its recently issued EU-China strategic outlook, it remains to be seen whether meaningful outcomes will be reached at this year's summit.

Connectivity in Central Asia: Reconnecting the Silk Road

02-04-2019

Despite being strategically located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Central Asia has long been poorly connected: remote, landlocked, cut off from the main population centres of Europe and Asia by empty steppes and rugged mountains. As well as physical barriers, regulatory obstacles and political repression often inhibit the free flow of people, goods, services and ideas. However, in 2013 China announced its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), one of whose aims is to revive the historic Silk Road ...

Despite being strategically located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Central Asia has long been poorly connected: remote, landlocked, cut off from the main population centres of Europe and Asia by empty steppes and rugged mountains. As well as physical barriers, regulatory obstacles and political repression often inhibit the free flow of people, goods, services and ideas. However, in 2013 China announced its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), one of whose aims is to revive the historic Silk Road trade route connecting Europe to the Far East via Central Asia. Uzbekistan's more open foreign policy since 2016 also favours improved connectivity. The Belt and Road Initiative has provided impetus for a major transport infrastructure upgrade. Central Asian countries are also dismantling barriers to trade and travel. Many problems still remain – the poor state of physical infrastructure, limited digital connectivity, and regulatory obstacles. Progress has been uneven. In Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, improved connectivity is driving increased trade and investment, while Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan are lagging behind. Given the importance of connectivity for Central Asia, it is key to the EU's relations with the region. The EU is making a difference, for example, by supporting educational exchanges and helping to dismantle trade barriers, but its role has not attracted the same attention as China's BRI. The EU's 2018 Connecting Europe and Asia strategy aims to redress the balance by setting out the values that underpin its own vision of sustainable, rules-based connectivity. For the strategy, connectivity is about more than infrastructure, and includes tackling non-physical (e.g. regulatory) barriers to movement. The EU has also expressed concerns about some aspects of the BRI, seen as prioritising China's interests over those of partner countries. However, given Beijing's growing influence, the EU needs to co-exist not only with China but also Russia, which is also a major connectivity player in the region through its Eurasian Economic Union.

The EU's new Central Asia strategy

30-01-2019

Central Asia is an often overlooked region, but one that is gradually becoming more important for the European Union. Although the Central Asian countries are less of a priority than those of the Eastern Neighbourhood, the EU has steadily intensified diplomatic relations with the region, at the same time as ramping up development aid. European trade and investment, above all in Kazakhstan, have made the EU the main economic player in Central Asia, ahead of Russia and China. However, former overlord ...

Central Asia is an often overlooked region, but one that is gradually becoming more important for the European Union. Although the Central Asian countries are less of a priority than those of the Eastern Neighbourhood, the EU has steadily intensified diplomatic relations with the region, at the same time as ramping up development aid. European trade and investment, above all in Kazakhstan, have made the EU the main economic player in Central Asia, ahead of Russia and China. However, former overlord Russia does not seem to resent European influence in Central Asia as much as in eastern Europe, and the region has avoided becoming a zone of geopolitical confrontation. The EU's 2007 Central Asia strategy defines the priorities for EU development aid and diplomatic activity in the region. These include responding to security threats, protecting human rights, promoting economic development, developing transport and energy links, and ensuring environmental protection. Since then, progress in these areas has been uneven. Nevertheless, the issues identified in 2007 are still highly relevant today, and will probably remain at the heart of future EU policy in Central Asia. However, there have also been several major developments since the strategy was adopted: China's Belt and Road Initiative is reviving overland trade routes connecting Europe and Asia via the region; in Uzbekistan, a more conciliatory foreign policy under the country's new president has eased regional tensions and opened the door to cooperation between formerly hostile neighbours. At the same time, Central Asian countries are becoming more interested in engaging with Afghanistan. A new strategy, expected for mid-2019, will therefore need to spell out how the EU responds to these new dynamics.

Galileo Satellite Navigation System

25-10-2018

This study explains the background necessary for understanding of the Global Satellite Navigation System (GNSS) working principles and the importance of GNSS in our daily life and work. It highlights the specific socio-economic and strategic advantages enabled by the European satellite navigation system ‘Galileo’. It also identifies some of the gaps and challenges towards Galileo’s final operational capability expected in 2021. The study proposes different policy options in order to maximise the ...

This study explains the background necessary for understanding of the Global Satellite Navigation System (GNSS) working principles and the importance of GNSS in our daily life and work. It highlights the specific socio-economic and strategic advantages enabled by the European satellite navigation system ‘Galileo’. It also identifies some of the gaps and challenges towards Galileo’s final operational capability expected in 2021. The study proposes different policy options in order to maximise the impact of the European satellite navigation system in the near future and in the long term.

Autore esterno

DG, EPRS; EPRS, DG

Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T)

10-04-2018

The current general guidelines for the development of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) were established by Regulation 1315/2013. The guidelines are supported by a dedicated EU funding instrument: the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), aimed at accelerating investments in the field of the trans-European networks, was established by Regulation 1316/2013. The CEF's budget has been approved for the period 2014-2020; if it is to be continued after 2020, it will need to be evaluated and re-negotiated ...

The current general guidelines for the development of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) were established by Regulation 1315/2013. The guidelines are supported by a dedicated EU funding instrument: the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), aimed at accelerating investments in the field of the trans-European networks, was established by Regulation 1316/2013. The CEF's budget has been approved for the period 2014-2020; if it is to be continued after 2020, it will need to be evaluated and re-negotiated. Although the implementation of the TEN-T network is progressing, several challenges have been identified. These challenges influence the implementation of the network and might have a negative influence on EU transport policy. Several of these challenges were linked with the implementation of projects under the TEN T policy. Various voices have called for a simplification of the existing permitting procedures, an optimisation of Member States' procurement procedures, a reduction of delays in those procedures, and a clarification of EU state aid rules. Furthermore, it is vitally important to attract the private sector and co financing of the transport projects. These points have already been raised by the European Parliament in a number of resolutions. The European Commission is expected to publish a legislative proposal on streamlining measures for swifter implementation of the projects of common interest on the Trans-European Transport Network in the first quarter of 2018

Research for TRAN Committee - The “Scandinavian-Mediterranean Corridor” in the regions of Catania, Augusta and Naples

15-02-2018

This overview was prepared for the mission of the Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) to Catania, Augusta and Naples (13-15 February 2018). It provides a status report on the main regional transport infrastructure in the context of the “Scandinavian-Mediterranean Corridor”.

This overview was prepared for the mission of the Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) to Catania, Augusta and Naples (13-15 February 2018). It provides a status report on the main regional transport infrastructure in the context of the “Scandinavian-Mediterranean Corridor”.

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