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A macro-regional strategy for the Carpathian region

12-12-2019

Encompassing regions from European Union (EU) Member States and third countries confronted with a common set of challenges, macro-regions are defined on the basis of geographical features. Whether inspired by a sense of regional identity, a desire to engage in closer cooperation or to pool resources, all macro-regional strategies share the aim of ensuring a coordinated approach to issues best addressed jointly. In spite of a broad consensus on the importance of the macro-regional strategies as a ...

Encompassing regions from European Union (EU) Member States and third countries confronted with a common set of challenges, macro-regions are defined on the basis of geographical features. Whether inspired by a sense of regional identity, a desire to engage in closer cooperation or to pool resources, all macro-regional strategies share the aim of ensuring a coordinated approach to issues best addressed jointly. In spite of a broad consensus on the importance of the macro-regional strategies as a relevant instrument for the optimal use of existing financial resources, some assessments indicate that stronger political ownership is needed. Currently the EU has four macro-regional strategies, covering the Baltic Sea region, the Danube region, the Adriatic-Ionian region and the Alpine region, which address common challenges and achieve economic, environmental, social and territorial cohesion. On occasion, calls are made to launch additional strategies, covering new geographical areas. Some Member States currently voice the need for a fifth macro-regional strategy, covering the Carpathian mountains, where the borders of many countries meet. The region suffers inherent weaknesses in fields such as transport, socio-economic development, innovation and energy supply, and needs to protect its rare and valuable natural resources and cultural heritage. The Polish government has presented a proposal for a common strategy for the Carpathian region to the European Commission, after consultation with several countries in the region. This draft plan has not yet been approved by all of the countries concerned. The Council remains open to any commonly agreed and mature initiative aimed at setting up a new macro-regional strategy; however it has not endorsed the creation of a macro-regional strategy for the Carpathian region. The Committee of the Regions explicitly supports the initiative to create an EU strategy for the Carpathian region. The European Commission and the European Parliament are more cautious when it comes to launching new strategies and suggest building on existing ones instead. This briefing has been produced at the request of a member of the European Committee of the Regions, in the framework of the Cooperation Agreement between the European Parliament and the Committee.

The Visegrad Group and the rule of law [What Think Tanks are thinking]

08-05-2018

Political developments in the Visegrád Group countries have raised concern over the commitment of some of their leaders and senior politicians to European Union values, notably the rule of law. The Visegrád Group is an informal alliance of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, all of which joined the EU in 2004. Criticism by EU officials and some other Union governments centres on Hungary and Poland, where governments have implemented a number of controversial reforms, notably of the ...

Political developments in the Visegrád Group countries have raised concern over the commitment of some of their leaders and senior politicians to European Union values, notably the rule of law. The Visegrád Group is an informal alliance of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, all of which joined the EU in 2004. Criticism by EU officials and some other Union governments centres on Hungary and Poland, where governments have implemented a number of controversial reforms, notably of the judiciary. In December 2017, the European Commission triggered the first phase of Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union, which can ultimately deprive a country found guilty of violating EU values of voting rights. In addition, a European Parliament draft report notes a deterioration of the rule of law in Hungary, where Prime Minister Viktor Orbán won a third term in office in the country’s recent general election. This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports from major international think tanks on the Visegrád Group, its internal relations and its role within the EU, with the focus on the rule of law debate.

Gender equality policies in Slovakia

14-04-2017

The Slovak Republic addresses equality between women and men both in its national legislation and relevant strategic materials and documents. With the aim to strengthen institutional support for women and development of effective policies and programmes, the Slovak republic made necessary changes in legislation and adjusted policies to better facilitate creation of conditions for effective implementation of systematic measures at the institutional level. These have been essential in the effort to ...

The Slovak Republic addresses equality between women and men both in its national legislation and relevant strategic materials and documents. With the aim to strengthen institutional support for women and development of effective policies and programmes, the Slovak republic made necessary changes in legislation and adjusted policies to better facilitate creation of conditions for effective implementation of systematic measures at the institutional level. These have been essential in the effort to achieve gender equality and eliminate gender inequalities in the society.

Autor externo

Silvia PORUBANOVA, Institute for Labour and Family Research

European Structural and Investment Funds and People with Disabilities: Focus on the Situation in Slovakia

08-09-2016

Upon request by the PETI Committee, the Policy Department on Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs commissioned the present in-depth analysis on the use of European Structural and Investment Funds to facilitate the transition from the institutional care of people with disabilities to community living in Slovakia, in the view of the PETI Fact Finding Visit of September 2016.

Upon request by the PETI Committee, the Policy Department on Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs commissioned the present in-depth analysis on the use of European Structural and Investment Funds to facilitate the transition from the institutional care of people with disabilities to community living in Slovakia, in the view of the PETI Fact Finding Visit of September 2016.

Autor externo

Camilla PARKER, Ines BULIC COJOCARIU and Lilia ANGELOVA MLADENOVAL

Priority dossiers under the Slovak EU Council Presidency

31-05-2016

On 1 July 2016, Slovakia will take over the six-month rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU from The Netherlands, as part of the Dutch-Slovak-Maltese 'Trio Presidency'. The Slovak "coalition of historic compromise" was only sworn in on 23 March 2016 and Prime Minister Robert Fico was just released from hospital at the beginning of May after heart surgery, still the Slovak government is expected to steer a challenging Presidency programme. On 24 February 2016, the (previous) Slovak government ...

On 1 July 2016, Slovakia will take over the six-month rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU from The Netherlands, as part of the Dutch-Slovak-Maltese 'Trio Presidency'. The Slovak "coalition of historic compromise" was only sworn in on 23 March 2016 and Prime Minister Robert Fico was just released from hospital at the beginning of May after heart surgery, still the Slovak government is expected to steer a challenging Presidency programme. On 24 February 2016, the (previous) Slovak government adopted the framework agenda of the Slovak Presidency, yet the final Presidency programme will be approved by the government on 29 June 2016. In the first half of the year, the Commission has put on the table the politically most important legislative dossiers, such as the energy security package, proposals for e-commerce, an action plan to fight against corporate tax evasion, the review of the posting of workers directive, the establishment of a European Border and Coast Guard and recommendations for visa liberalisation in Ukraine and Turkey. As of May 2016, of around 140 active ordinary legislative procedures, some 25 are being negotiated by the co-legislators in view of a first or (early) second reading agreement. This note aims to present the state of affairs in the priority fields of the Slovak Presidency, as well as the most important related dossiers to be addressed by the Presidency in the next semester. As the fastest growing eurozone member between 2004 and 2014, Slovakia will be closely following the debate on the creation of a fiscal capacity for the eurozone; and as the largest car producer per capita in the world, it will also be sensitive to the adoption of market surveillance rules and limitations in emissions from cars. Other priorities will include the implementation of the Capital Markets Union proposals, the completion of stage 1 of the Economic and Monetary Union, delivering on Energy Union measures and the Single Market, as well as external relations with a particular focus on transatlantic ties and Eastern Partnership. Slovak political priorities will inevitably address the migration crisis, a revision of the Dublin system and the fight against terrorism. In the second half of the year, institutional changes are also likely be on the agenda, concerning namely the mid-term review of the Multiannual Financial Framework, the European electoral reform, the European Parliament's right of inquiry, implementation of the IIA on better law-making and the upcoming IIA on transparency register. Finally, the Slovak Council Presidency will have to address the consequences of the referendum on the UK's membership in the EU, to be held on 23 June 2016.

The Social and Employment Situation in Slovakia and Outlook on the Slovak EU Presidency 2016

13-05-2016

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament's Policy Department for Economic and Scientific Policy at the request of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs of the European Parliament, presents key indicators on employment and poverty, reviews existing social and employment policies, and discusses the current issues relevant to this field. It also provides an outlook on the priorities of the Slovak EU presidency 2016.

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament's Policy Department for Economic and Scientific Policy at the request of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs of the European Parliament, presents key indicators on employment and poverty, reviews existing social and employment policies, and discusses the current issues relevant to this field. It also provides an outlook on the priorities of the Slovak EU presidency 2016.

Autor externo

Martin KAHANEC (Central European Labour Studies Institute, CEU, EUBA, POP UNU, IZA) and Mária SEDLÁKOVÁ (Central European Labour Studies Institute)

Evaluation of the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies

22-12-2015

This study was commissioned by the European Parliament's Policy Department for Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the LIBE Committee. It evaluates the implementation, impact and outcomes of National Roma Integration Strategies in a selection of Member States (Bulgaria, France, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Slovakia, and Spain) in the broader context of the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies. It concludes that these strategies suffer from severe implementation ...

This study was commissioned by the European Parliament's Policy Department for Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the LIBE Committee. It evaluates the implementation, impact and outcomes of National Roma Integration Strategies in a selection of Member States (Bulgaria, France, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Slovakia, and Spain) in the broader context of the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies. It concludes that these strategies suffer from severe implementation gaps and that Roma populations continue to live in significant socio-economic deprivation, suffer extensive discrimination and high levels of anti-Gypsyism. The study puts forward practical policy recommendations for enhanced implementation of Roma integration strategies in Member States, and for improved policies at the EU level that could support a more effective integration of disadvantaged Roma EU citizens.

Autor externo

London School of Economics

Towards a Harmonised EU Assessment of the Added Therapeutic Value of Medicines

08-06-2015

TThis study, produced for the ENVI Committee by Policy Department A, investigates the possibility of a harmonised EU approach concerning the assessment of the added therapeutic value (ATV) of medicinal products. It reviews the current EU legal and policy framework and looks at the state-of-play within all 28 Member States. In addition, it presents the results of an in-depth analysis on the use of ATV in six selected EU countries. The study closes with policy recommendations on how a possible European ...

TThis study, produced for the ENVI Committee by Policy Department A, investigates the possibility of a harmonised EU approach concerning the assessment of the added therapeutic value (ATV) of medicinal products. It reviews the current EU legal and policy framework and looks at the state-of-play within all 28 Member States. In addition, it presents the results of an in-depth analysis on the use of ATV in six selected EU countries. The study closes with policy recommendations on how a possible European harmonisation of the ATV assessment might be taken forward within the current legal framework.

Autor externo

VAN WILDER Philippe (Vrije Universiteit Brussel and SMART&BI), MABILIA Valentina (Milieu Ltd.), KUIPERS CAVACO Yoline (Milieu Ltd.) and MCGUINN Jennifer (Milieu Ltd.)

Gender equality in employment and occupation. European Implementation Assessment

29-05-2015

The principle of equal pay is anchored in the EEC founding Treaty of 1957. Directive 2006/54/EC was a recast of secondary law dating back to 1975 pursuing gender equality in (access to) employment and it ‘consolidated’ case law in this area developed by the European Court of Justice. This European Implementation Assessment is based on input received from four independent groups of experts (included as annexes) on different aspects of the application of the Recast Directive: legal aspects and in ...

The principle of equal pay is anchored in the EEC founding Treaty of 1957. Directive 2006/54/EC was a recast of secondary law dating back to 1975 pursuing gender equality in (access to) employment and it ‘consolidated’ case law in this area developed by the European Court of Justice. This European Implementation Assessment is based on input received from four independent groups of experts (included as annexes) on different aspects of the application of the Recast Directive: legal aspects and in particular direct and indirect discrimination; proper consideration of the role of job evaluation and classification systems; necessary protection of pregnancy and the role of maternity leave and related schemes in view of gender equality at work and for careers. The assessment concludes that there is a very strong case for immediate and vigorous actions at EU level, going beyond voluntary measures, in line with EP resolutions.  

The EU Strategy for the Danube Region

21-05-2015

Responding to the objective of achieving territorial cohesion, the macro-regional approach promoted by the European Union has gained momentum since 2009 and has been put into practice, first in the Baltic Sea Region and subsequently in the Danube River Basin and the Adriatic-Ionian Region through the implementation of strategies targeted at each of these areas, the Danube Region Strategy being one such example. Now that these first macro-regional strategies have been in operation for a few years, ...

Responding to the objective of achieving territorial cohesion, the macro-regional approach promoted by the European Union has gained momentum since 2009 and has been put into practice, first in the Baltic Sea Region and subsequently in the Danube River Basin and the Adriatic-Ionian Region through the implementation of strategies targeted at each of these areas, the Danube Region Strategy being one such example. Now that these first macro-regional strategies have been in operation for a few years, efforts have been made to draw initial lessons from them by assessing their results, the added value of the concept, and the suitability of the governance model applied. Reports from the European Commission, while highlighting the strategies' impact in terms of projects, coordination and integration, promotion of multi-level governance and territorial cohesion, underline the need for stronger political backing, commitment and leadership from the participating countries and regions. Stakeholders have called for a more streamlined governance structure, criticised the limited involvement of civil society organisations, local and regional actors in planning and decision-making processes, and pointed to capacity shortcomings impeding their participation. The question of capacities and resources is of critical importance. As macro-regional strategies do not bring additional EU funding, the participating countries or regions are expected to do more with what is available to address the challenges and opportunities requiring their cooperation. Putting this principle into practice is not a smooth process. This is especially true for the Danube macro-region, which is very diverse in membership. It covers 14 countries whose development levels and status in relation to the European Union (including their access to EU funding as a result of the latter) are not the same. The wide disparities between the partners have a significant impact on the operation of the strategy.

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