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Amazon wildfire crisis: Need for an international response

29-11-2019

The Amazon rainforest, which is the largest ecosystem of its kind on Earth and is shared by eight South American countries as well as an EU outermost region, was ravaged by fires coinciding with last summer’s dry season. However, most of these fires are set intentionally and are linked to increased human activities in the area, such as the expansion of agriculture and cattle farming, illegal logging, mining and fuel extraction. Although a recurrent phenomenon that has been going on for decades, some ...

The Amazon rainforest, which is the largest ecosystem of its kind on Earth and is shared by eight South American countries as well as an EU outermost region, was ravaged by fires coinciding with last summer’s dry season. However, most of these fires are set intentionally and are linked to increased human activities in the area, such as the expansion of agriculture and cattle farming, illegal logging, mining and fuel extraction. Although a recurrent phenomenon that has been going on for decades, some governments' recent policies appear to have contributed to the increase in the surface area burnt in 2019, in particular in Brazil and Bolivia. Worldwide media coverage of the fires, and international and domestic protests against these policies have nevertheless finally led to some initiatives to seriously tackle the fires, both at national and international level – such as the Leticia Pact for Amazonia. Finding a viable long-term solution to end deforestation and achieve sustainable development in the region, requires that the underlying causes are addressed and further action is taken at both national and international levels. The EU is making, and can increase, its contribution by cooperating with the affected countries and by leveraging the future EU-Mercosur Association Agreement to help systematic law enforcement action against deforestation. In addition, as the environmental commitments made at the 2015 Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris will have to be renewed in 2020, COP25 in December 2019 could help reach new commitments on forests.

The concept of 'climate refugee': Towards a possible definition

29-01-2019

According to statistics published by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, every year since 2008, an average of 26.4 million persons around the world have been forcibly displaced by floods, windstorms, earthquakes or droughts. This is equivalent to one person being displaced every second. Depending on the frequency and scale of the major natural disasters occurring, there are significant fluctuations in the total number of displaced people from one year to the next, yet the trend over recent ...

According to statistics published by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, every year since 2008, an average of 26.4 million persons around the world have been forcibly displaced by floods, windstorms, earthquakes or droughts. This is equivalent to one person being displaced every second. Depending on the frequency and scale of the major natural disasters occurring, there are significant fluctuations in the total number of displaced people from one year to the next, yet the trend over recent decades has been on the rise. Many find refuge within their own country, but some are forced to go abroad. With climate change, the number of 'climate refugees' will rise in the future. So far, the national and international response to this challenge has been limited, and protection for the people affected remains inadequate. What adds further to the gap in the protection of such people – who are often described as 'climate refugees' – is that there is neither a clear definition for this category of people, nor are they covered by the 1951 Refugee Convention. The latter extends only to people who have a well-founded fear of being persecuted because of their race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, and are unable or unwilling to seek protection from their home countries. While the EU has so far not recognised climate refugees formally, it has expressed growing concern and has taken action to support and develop resilience in the countries potentially affected by climate-related stress. This briefing is an update of an earlier one of May 2018.

The role of the European Council in internal security policy

11-10-2018

Due to the various terrorist attacks across the EU in recent years, internal security and the fight against terrorism have become major concerns for EU citizens as well as for the EU Heads of State or Government. The European Council has a significant Treaty-based role to play in the area of justice and home affairs, including on policy issues such as the fight against terrorism and organised crime, police cooperation and cybersecurity, often subsumed under the concept ‘internal security’. In recent ...

Due to the various terrorist attacks across the EU in recent years, internal security and the fight against terrorism have become major concerns for EU citizens as well as for the EU Heads of State or Government. The European Council has a significant Treaty-based role to play in the area of justice and home affairs, including on policy issues such as the fight against terrorism and organised crime, police cooperation and cybersecurity, often subsumed under the concept ‘internal security’. In recent years it has carried out this strategic role on various occasions but sometimes in a more reactive way often in the aftermath of major terrorist attacks. The paper also shows that while the policy fields of internal security and migration were usually clearly separated in European Council discussions, the two areas are now increasingly linked, in particular by the subject of external EU border protection. The Salzburg summit of 20 September 2018 is an example for this and also illustrates a recent trend of EU Presidencies to bring together EU Heads of State or Government in their country to discuss policy topics at the top of their own agendas.

Amending Budget No 1 to the 2018 EU budget: Mobilisation of the European Union Solidarity Fund

23-05-2018

The European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF) supports EU Member States struck by natural disaster, through providing financial assistance to contribute to a rapid return to normal conditions. A budgetary proposal to mobilise the EUSF in order to help Greece deal with earthquakes in Lesbos, France with hurricanes in the Caribbean, and Portugal and Spain with forest fires is scheduled to be voted during the May II plenary session. The decision entails adopting Draft Amending Budget (DAB) 1/2018 to account ...

The European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF) supports EU Member States struck by natural disaster, through providing financial assistance to contribute to a rapid return to normal conditions. A budgetary proposal to mobilise the EUSF in order to help Greece deal with earthquakes in Lesbos, France with hurricanes in the Caribbean, and Portugal and Spain with forest fires is scheduled to be voted during the May II plenary session. The decision entails adopting Draft Amending Budget (DAB) 1/2018 to account for the mobilisation of €97 646 105 in EUSF funds.

'Global Trends to 2035' Geo-politics and international power

20-09-2017

This study considers eight economic, societal, and political global trends that will shape the world to 2035, namely an ageing population, fragile globalisation, a technological revolution, climate change, shifting power relations, new areas of state competition, politics of the information age and ecological threats. It first examines how they may affect some of the fundamental assumptions of the international system. Then it considers four scenarios based on two factors: an unstable or stable Europe ...

This study considers eight economic, societal, and political global trends that will shape the world to 2035, namely an ageing population, fragile globalisation, a technological revolution, climate change, shifting power relations, new areas of state competition, politics of the information age and ecological threats. It first examines how they may affect some of the fundamental assumptions of the international system. Then it considers four scenarios based on two factors: an unstable or stable Europe and world. Finally, it presents policy options for the EU to address the challenges created by these trends.

European Union Solidarity Fund

23-01-2017

Established in 2002 to support disaster-stricken regions, the European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF) complements the efforts of public authorities by helping to fund vital emergency and recovery operations in areas affected by catastrophes such as flooding, earthquakes or forest fires. With an annual budget of €500 million, EUSF funding is granted following an application from a Member State or candidate country, and may be used to finance measures including restoring infrastructure to working order ...

Established in 2002 to support disaster-stricken regions, the European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF) complements the efforts of public authorities by helping to fund vital emergency and recovery operations in areas affected by catastrophes such as flooding, earthquakes or forest fires. With an annual budget of €500 million, EUSF funding is granted following an application from a Member State or candidate country, and may be used to finance measures including restoring infrastructure to working order, providing temporary accommodation, or cleaning up disaster areas. Although revision of the EUSF Regulation took place in 2014, simplifying rules and clarifying eligibility criteria, several problems remain. While European Commission reports on the EUSF have drawn attention to the long waiting time countries still face before receiving EUSF funding, industry experts report that certain Member States receive proportionately more funding than others, also pointing to the risk that the EUSF could run out of funding in the event of several large disasters taking place within a short space of time. With a number of major natural disasters occurring over the past year, the EUSF has attracted renewed attention in recent months, a process that has seen the European Commission put forward new proposals addressing the issue of post-disaster support. The European Parliament is also actively involved in these discussions, adopting a resolution on the EUSF in December 2016, including several measures aimed at improving its operations.

EU strategy in the Horn of Africa

07-12-2016

The Horn of Africa countries are plagued by violence and insecurity. A hub on the Red Sea trade and migration route, bordering the unstable areas of the Sahel and central Africa, the region is of strategic interest for the European Union. The EU has adopted an integrated framework to align various external policy programmes and instruments aimed at securing the region. However, strong antagonisms between the states concerned add to the difficulty of achieving a coordinated approach.

The Horn of Africa countries are plagued by violence and insecurity. A hub on the Red Sea trade and migration route, bordering the unstable areas of the Sahel and central Africa, the region is of strategic interest for the European Union. The EU has adopted an integrated framework to align various external policy programmes and instruments aimed at securing the region. However, strong antagonisms between the states concerned add to the difficulty of achieving a coordinated approach.

European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF)

25-11-2016

Set up to help countries cope with the aftermath of a major natural disaster, the EUSF provides support for emergency and recovery operations in the regions concerned. Recent disasters have put the operation of this emergency fund under the spotlight. A report on the assessment of the fund is due to be debated in Parliament's November II plenary session, together with two decisions on its mobilisation.

Set up to help countries cope with the aftermath of a major natural disaster, the EUSF provides support for emergency and recovery operations in the regions concerned. Recent disasters have put the operation of this emergency fund under the spotlight. A report on the assessment of the fund is due to be debated in Parliament's November II plenary session, together with two decisions on its mobilisation.

Japan's humanitarian assistance

17-05-2016

Domestic experience of natural disasters has made Japan a global leader in disaster risk reduction. Japan is now the fifth largest donor of humanitarian aid, and Japan Disaster Relief teams are highly appreciated. On the eve of the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS), Tokyo underlines the importance of strengthening coordination between humanitarian and development assistance.

Domestic experience of natural disasters has made Japan a global leader in disaster risk reduction. Japan is now the fifth largest donor of humanitarian aid, and Japan Disaster Relief teams are highly appreciated. On the eve of the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS), Tokyo underlines the importance of strengthening coordination between humanitarian and development assistance.

China's humanitarian aid policy and practice

17-05-2016

Since the mid-2000s, the People's Republic of China (PRC) has made major headway in integrating into the global humanitarian-assistance architecture and has gradually raised its profile as an emerging non-traditional humanitarian aid provider. China's humanitarian aid policy has shifted away from an approach predominantly determined by ideology and geopolitical considerations, towards one which is set to be more pragmatic and commensurate with the country's growing global economic and political clout ...

Since the mid-2000s, the People's Republic of China (PRC) has made major headway in integrating into the global humanitarian-assistance architecture and has gradually raised its profile as an emerging non-traditional humanitarian aid provider. China's humanitarian aid policy has shifted away from an approach predominantly determined by ideology and geopolitical considerations, towards one which is set to be more pragmatic and commensurate with the country's growing global economic and political clout. China's humanitarian aid was originally provided only through government agencies, but increasingly has also been delivered through United Nations agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), thus improving the transparency of aid flows.

Futuros eventos

28-10-2020
Climate Change and Health
Seminário -
ENVI
28-10-2020
Public Hearing "Women and digitalisation"
Audição -
FEMM AIDA
28-10-2020
Worskhop on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Seminário -
PETI

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