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Outcome of the Zagreb EU-Western Balkans video-summit of 6 May 2020

11-05-2020

The EU-Western Balkans Summit, which normally would have been held in Zagreb, took place by video-conference on Wednesday 6 May 2020. The focus was on a joint response to the crisis and on the common commitment to support the political, economic and social transformation of the region. The EU and Western Balkan leaders adopted the Zagreb Declaration, confirming the region’s ‘European perspective’, albeit without mentioning enlargement as a process.

The EU-Western Balkans Summit, which normally would have been held in Zagreb, took place by video-conference on Wednesday 6 May 2020. The focus was on a joint response to the crisis and on the common commitment to support the political, economic and social transformation of the region. The EU and Western Balkan leaders adopted the Zagreb Declaration, confirming the region’s ‘European perspective’, albeit without mentioning enlargement as a process.

Václav Havel: Advocate of an undivided Europe

08-05-2020

Despite a 'bourgeois' family background, which was a disqualification in communist-led Czechoslovakia, Václav Havel rapidly became an internationally acclaimed playwright. However, his unequivocally proclaimed ethical principles soon put him at odds with the communist regime, resulting in several prison sentences. Havel nevertheless held fast to his belief that moral integrity was a question of necessity, not choice, and attempted to live up to this ideal. The 1989 collapse of the regime made Havel ...

Despite a 'bourgeois' family background, which was a disqualification in communist-led Czechoslovakia, Václav Havel rapidly became an internationally acclaimed playwright. However, his unequivocally proclaimed ethical principles soon put him at odds with the communist regime, resulting in several prison sentences. Havel nevertheless held fast to his belief that moral integrity was a question of necessity, not choice, and attempted to live up to this ideal. The 1989 collapse of the regime made Havel a hero and, shortly after, an unlikely President. During his years in office, he managed to drive his country through the challenges of moving to a free market democracy, while maintaining his personal moral convictions and tirelessly advocating for larger issues of human rights, peace and democracy, underpinned by an active civil society. While Havel and his collaborators recast the foundations of today's Czech and Slovak democracies, his achievements in foreign policy have perhaps been even more important. Reminding Western countries of the dangers of a Europe that continued to be divided even after the removal of the Iron Curtain, Havel was instrumental in anchoring the new Czech Republic in western Europe, through its membership of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union (EU). He both recognised and emphasised the importance of closer European cooperation based on shared values, which for Havel constituted the core of relations among European countries. A firm advocate of the Euro-Atlantic alliance, he supported the United States of America, even on occasions when some other western European countries were reluctant to do so. With his political writings reaching far beyond the circumstances in which they were written, Havel is considered one of the most important intellectuals of the 20th century. He has received numerous honours and awards. One of the European Parliament's buildings in Strasbourg has borne Václav Havel's name since 2017.

The impact of coronavirus on media freedom

08-05-2020

Media freedom has increasingly come under the spotlight in recent years. In its 2019 report on media freedom, Freedom House argued that media freedom around the world was coming under growing threat both in democratic and non-democratic countries, whilst in its 2020 edition of the World Press Freedom Index, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) argue that the next decade will be pivotal in ensuring the preservation of media freedom. This threat to media freedom is often attributed to the recent rise of ...

Media freedom has increasingly come under the spotlight in recent years. In its 2019 report on media freedom, Freedom House argued that media freedom around the world was coming under growing threat both in democratic and non-democratic countries, whilst in its 2020 edition of the World Press Freedom Index, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) argue that the next decade will be pivotal in ensuring the preservation of media freedom. This threat to media freedom is often attributed to the recent rise of populist and authoritarian governments, with many world-leaders – including leaders of major democracies – increasingly seeming to view free media as an opponent, rather than a fundamental aspect of a free society. The knock-on effects of such actions can be grave, particularly given the important role that a free media plays in upholding democracy and democratic freedoms. Media freedom and pluralism are part of the rights and principles enshrined in the European Charter of Fundamental Rights and in the European Convention on Human Rights. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to have significant ramifications for public health, social welfare and the economy, the crisis also presents a significant threat to media freedom. Media freedom proponents have warned that governments across the world could use the coronavirus emergency as a pretext for the implementation of new, draconian restrictions on free expression, as well as to increase press censorship. In many countries, the crisis has been exploited for just such reasons, with political leaders using it as a justification for additional restrictions on media freedom. In its 2020 World Press Freedom Index, RSF argues that certain governments have used the crisis to impose media restrictions that in ordinary times would be impossible. The Council of Europe (CoE) Platform for the Protection of Journalists has warned that the fresh assault on media freedom amid the Covid 19 pandemic has worsened an already gloomy media freedom outlook.

Outcome of the European Council video-conference of 23 April 2020

29-04-2020

At the European Council's video-conference meeting on 23 April, EU leaders demonstrated greater willingness to achieve a coordinated response at EU-level to face the coronavirus crisis than had previously been the case. Although concrete decisions were postponed, Heads of State or Government adopted a more united approach and took decisive steps towards collective action. Notably, they welcomed both the 'Joint European Roadmap towards Lifting Covid-19 Containment Measures' and the 'Roadmap for Recovery ...

At the European Council's video-conference meeting on 23 April, EU leaders demonstrated greater willingness to achieve a coordinated response at EU-level to face the coronavirus crisis than had previously been the case. Although concrete decisions were postponed, Heads of State or Government adopted a more united approach and took decisive steps towards collective action. Notably, they welcomed both the 'Joint European Roadmap towards Lifting Covid-19 Containment Measures' and the 'Roadmap for Recovery', but also agreed to 'work towards establishing' an urgently needed recovery fund 'dedicated to dealing with this unprecedented crisis'. However, whilst asking the European Commission to shape the recovery strategy and to clarify the link between the Recovery Fund and the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), EU leaders gave little guidance on specific details, such as the total amount, whether it would provide loans or grants, or on a precise timetable. Furthermore, EU leaders called on Turkey to end its illegal drilling activities off Cyprus in the island's Exclusive Economic Zone. They also announced a video-conference between EU Heads of State or Government and their counterparts from the Western Balkans, on 6 May 2020, date of the previously planned EU-Western Balkans Summit.

Outlook for the European Council video-conference of 23 April 2020

21-04-2020

The European Council video-conference meeting on 23 April 2020 is expected to shift EU leaders’ attention away from immediate and short-term priorities, such as limiting the spread of the coronavirus, to a longer-term strategic approach focused on a recovery strategy for the European Union, and the financing thereof. The recovery strategy could be based on four pillars: 1) the internal market, including the Green Deal, the digital agenda and the EU’s strategic autonomy; 2) an investment strategy, ...

The European Council video-conference meeting on 23 April 2020 is expected to shift EU leaders’ attention away from immediate and short-term priorities, such as limiting the spread of the coronavirus, to a longer-term strategic approach focused on a recovery strategy for the European Union, and the financing thereof. The recovery strategy could be based on four pillars: 1) the internal market, including the Green Deal, the digital agenda and the EU’s strategic autonomy; 2) an investment strategy, to be included in the next seven-year EU budget and reflected in the work programme of the European Investment Bank; 3) a global recovery strategy reinforcing the external responsibility of the EU and promoting multilateralism; and 4) strengthening resilience and governance for a stronger EU after the crisis. As the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for the seven years from 2021 to 2027, which has yet to be agreed, touches upon all four pillars of the recovery strategy, EU leaders will engage in a strategic discussion on the MFF during their video-conference.

Countering the health 'infodemic'

07-04-2020

The dissemination of mis- and disinformation in traditional media and on social media has surged in recent years, with wide-ranging consequences in various policy areas – from elections to geopolitics to healthcare. The prevalence of false information regarding health issues threatens to undermine trust in official health advice and institutions responsible for countering threats to public health, potentially posing a serious threat to the health and wellbeing of individuals, a threat exacerbated ...

The dissemination of mis- and disinformation in traditional media and on social media has surged in recent years, with wide-ranging consequences in various policy areas – from elections to geopolitics to healthcare. The prevalence of false information regarding health issues threatens to undermine trust in official health advice and institutions responsible for countering threats to public health, potentially posing a serious threat to the health and wellbeing of individuals, a threat exacerbated in the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Western Balkans on the European Council agenda: Overview of discussions since the Lisbon Treaty

02-04-2020

The European Council to endorse the 24 March 2020 Council political agreement on the opening of negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia.

The European Council to endorse the 24 March 2020 Council political agreement on the opening of negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia.

Charles Michel as President of the European Council: The first 100+ days

30-03-2020

On 1 December 2019, Charles Michel, previously prime minister of Belgium, became the third President of the European Council. He began his term in dynamic mode, aiming to make his mark in foreign affairs and develop the EU's interinstitutional relations. While pursuing his predecessors' efforts to secure unity between EU leaders, Michel has applied his own style, visible notably in his discourse, social media presence and transparency efforts. An analysis of the President's Twitter activities shows ...

On 1 December 2019, Charles Michel, previously prime minister of Belgium, became the third President of the European Council. He began his term in dynamic mode, aiming to make his mark in foreign affairs and develop the EU's interinstitutional relations. While pursuing his predecessors' efforts to secure unity between EU leaders, Michel has applied his own style, visible notably in his discourse, social media presence and transparency efforts. An analysis of the President's Twitter activities shows his strong focus on EU-Africa relations, climate and, most recently, COVID-19.

Outcome of European Council video-conference of 26 March 2020

30-03-2020

On 26 March, EU Heads of State or Government continued their joint coordination efforts to address the COVID-19 outbreak and held a six hour long video conference on this subject, but failed to agree on the adequate financing instruments to help countries in fiscal difficulty due to the crisis, The President of the European Parliament President, David Sassoli, strongly criticised the results of the European Council and ‘the short-sightedness and selfishness of some governments’.EU leaders asked the ...

On 26 March, EU Heads of State or Government continued their joint coordination efforts to address the COVID-19 outbreak and held a six hour long video conference on this subject, but failed to agree on the adequate financing instruments to help countries in fiscal difficulty due to the crisis, The President of the European Parliament President, David Sassoli, strongly criticised the results of the European Council and ‘the short-sightedness and selfishness of some governments’.EU leaders asked the President of the Commission and the President of the European Council to start working on a Roadmap accompanied by an Action Plan to prepare an exit strategy and a comprehensive recovery plan, including unprecedented investment.

The European Council, health policy and pandemics

27-03-2020

The European Council (of EU Heads of State or Government) has been active in its response to the coronavirus crisis. So far it has held three video-conference calls of national leaders on the subject, with a view to seeking to develop a coordinated response both among the Member States and collectively at EU level. This note sketches the context, describes some of the instruments available to the Union, and compares responses to the outbreaks of Ebola in the past and COVID-19 today.

The European Council (of EU Heads of State or Government) has been active in its response to the coronavirus crisis. So far it has held three video-conference calls of national leaders on the subject, with a view to seeking to develop a coordinated response both among the Member States and collectively at EU level. This note sketches the context, describes some of the instruments available to the Union, and compares responses to the outbreaks of Ebola in the past and COVID-19 today.

Planowane wydarzenia

11-06-2020
CONT Public Hearing: Implementation of EU funds
Przesłuchanie -
CONT
11-06-2020
STOA Roundtable on Digital Sovereign Identity
Warsztat -
STOA
15-06-2020
EPRS online Book Talk | A Certain Idea of France: The life of Charles de Gaulle
Inne wydarzenie -
EPRS

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