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Commitments made at the hearing of Olivér VÁRHELYI, Commissioner-designate - Neighbourhood and Enlargement

22-11-2019

Commissioner-designate Olivér Várhelyi appeared before the European Parliament on 14 November 2019 to answer questions from MEPs in the Committee on Foreign Affairs (the Committee on International Trade was invited). This document highlights a number of commitments which he made during the hearing. They refer to his portfolio, as described in the mission letter sent to him by Ursula von der Leyen, President-elect of the European Commission, including: Western Balkans and Turkey; Eastern Neighbourhood ...

Commissioner-designate Olivér Várhelyi appeared before the European Parliament on 14 November 2019 to answer questions from MEPs in the Committee on Foreign Affairs (the Committee on International Trade was invited). This document highlights a number of commitments which he made during the hearing. They refer to his portfolio, as described in the mission letter sent to him by Ursula von der Leyen, President-elect of the European Commission, including: Western Balkans and Turkey; Eastern Neighbourhood; Southern Neighbourhood.

Western Balkans: State of play in the European Council

17-10-2019

The Western Balkans have regularly featured on the agenda of the European Council since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty in December 2009. Three dimensions – enlargement, counter-terrorism and migration – have been at the centre of the EU leaders' discussion of the subject. The European Commission recommended twice in the last two years the opening of accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia. In the absence of an agreement at the 15 October 2019 General Affairs Council, the ...

The Western Balkans have regularly featured on the agenda of the European Council since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty in December 2009. Three dimensions – enlargement, counter-terrorism and migration – have been at the centre of the EU leaders' discussion of the subject. The European Commission recommended twice in the last two years the opening of accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia. In the absence of an agreement at the 15 October 2019 General Affairs Council, the decision on whether to open accession negotiations with the two countries now lies with the European Council.

Reconciliation in the Western Balkans: The difficulty of emulating the EU model

17-04-2019

In 2017, the European Union turned 60, celebrating not only six decades of peace between its Member States but also integration – based on a framework for a peaceful European ethos – which helped bring reconciliation to its citizens that would have otherwise been impossible to achieve. In the Western Balkans, which were torn apart by wars after the disintegration of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, conflicting narratives about the past continue to charge intra-regional relations with animosity ...

In 2017, the European Union turned 60, celebrating not only six decades of peace between its Member States but also integration – based on a framework for a peaceful European ethos – which helped bring reconciliation to its citizens that would have otherwise been impossible to achieve. In the Western Balkans, which were torn apart by wars after the disintegration of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, conflicting narratives about the past continue to charge intra-regional relations with animosity, and a number of bilateral disputes await resolution. Just as the European Communities helped to bring peace to post-World War II western Europe, so does the EU promote the reconciliation process in the countries that were once part of Yugoslavia. A credible promise of accession to the EU for all Western Balkan countries gives them an incentive to improve their working relationships and work on reconciliation more vigorously. Since 2017, the EU has renewed its attempts to infuse the Western Balkan countries' enlargement process with fresh energy. In a March 2018 statement, the EU High Representative, Federica Mogherini, said it was 'time to close the wounds of the past' and take steps to guarantee stability for the whole of Europe. The European Commission's new enlargement strategy of February 2018, apart from placing special emphasis on solving all bilateral disputes, highlights reconciliation as a prerequisite for EU accession, and envisages a dedicated flagship initiative. This briefing aims to draw attention to the importance of reconciliation, both as part of the Western Balkans' EU integration process and as an answer to the region's widely perceived need to come to terms with the past. Civil-society representatives and experts often see reconciliation in the region as a prerequisite for building sustainable cooperation in many areas and a process that would help local youth to overcome their prejudices and restore their trust in their countries and region. However, achieving reconciliation requires cooperation in practice, something that will likely take decades to accomplish.

Women's rights in Western Balkans

29-01-2019

This study commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the FEMM Committee, entitled Women's rights in Western Balkans, analyzes the countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo* Montenegro and Serbia and is executed so as to address the following issues: 1. Economic-social factors relevant to women's rights, 2. Violence against women (VAW), including membership of the Istanbul ...

This study commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the FEMM Committee, entitled Women's rights in Western Balkans, analyzes the countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo* Montenegro and Serbia and is executed so as to address the following issues: 1. Economic-social factors relevant to women's rights, 2. Violence against women (VAW), including membership of the Istanbul convention and 3. Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and LGBTI rights.

Zunanji avtor

Dasa Duhacek and Milica Mirazic University of Belgrade; Biljana Brankovic, GREVIO member

EP democracy support activities and their follow-up, and prospects for the future

18-01-2019

The Democracy Support and Election Coordination Group (DEG) is responsible for coordinating the democracy support activities of the European Parliament (EP). Over the course of the eighth legislature, the DEG has aimed to bring strategic focus to its democracy support activities through the introduction of a Comprehensive Democracy Support Approach (CDSA). While the introduction of the CDSA has outlined a vision for more focused and strategic interventions around the electoral cycle, the implementation ...

The Democracy Support and Election Coordination Group (DEG) is responsible for coordinating the democracy support activities of the European Parliament (EP). Over the course of the eighth legislature, the DEG has aimed to bring strategic focus to its democracy support activities through the introduction of a Comprehensive Democracy Support Approach (CDSA). While the introduction of the CDSA has outlined a vision for more focused and strategic interventions around the electoral cycle, the implementation remains a ‘work in progress’. There have been some innovative and long-term activities that bring coherence with EU policies, notably in Ukraine, but also there continue to be some cases of one-off actions without clear objectives. The comparative advantage of the EP in democracy support is its political perspective and ability to work ‘peer to peer’ with other parliamentarians, which has been demonstrated in its capacity building and mediation and dialogue activities. Overall the EP should continue to strive to be innovative and strategic in its democracy support, working where it has influence and bringing policy coherence with broader EU priorities. Election observation remains relevant, and follow-up to observer recommendations could be enhanced. The Sakharov Prize and the activities around it, which are also coordinated by the DEG, are consistent with EU values, including through support for human rights defenders and civil society.

Zunanji avtor

Holly Ruthrauff, Hannah Roberts, Sarah Crozier

A global compact on migration: Placing human rights at the heart of migration management

11-01-2019

The global flow of refugees and migrants poses challenges, opportunities and obligations for countries around the world. At the very heart of the debate on migration management is how to ensure that the different interests and needs are addressed within a strong human rights framework. The United Nations (UN) is investigating the issue in great depth, and one of the main outcomes of the UN General Assembly in 2016 was a declaration demanding greater international cooperation on managing migration ...

The global flow of refugees and migrants poses challenges, opportunities and obligations for countries around the world. At the very heart of the debate on migration management is how to ensure that the different interests and needs are addressed within a strong human rights framework. The United Nations (UN) is investigating the issue in great depth, and one of the main outcomes of the UN General Assembly in 2016 was a declaration demanding greater international cooperation on managing migration. This declaration was widely endorsed, including by the European Union (EU). As a result, two global compacts have been adopted in 2018, for refugees and for other migrants; this briefing will focus on the latter. According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the UN migration agency in charge of the global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration, these compacts 'provide the opportunity to move ahead in strengthening the norms, principles, rules and decision-making processes that will allow for more effective international cooperation in responding to what is a defining issue'. Providing continued institutional support to address these issues and implement the outcomes of the global compacts will be a challenge. This an updated version of a briefing from December 2017, jointly authored by Joanna Apap, Daniela Adorna Diaz and Gonzalo Urbina Trevino. See also our infographic, Migration flows to the EU, PE 621.862.

Plenary round-up – Brussels, November II 2018

30-11-2018

The highlights of the November II plenary session were the debate on the future of Europe with the Prime Minister of Denmark, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, and the discussion on the Council and Commission statements on UK withdrawal from the European Union. Debates were held on a Commission statement on the single market package and the long-term strategy for reducing EU greenhouse gas emissions. Members debated and adopted reports on five Western Balkan countries, as well as a report on the way forward ...

The highlights of the November II plenary session were the debate on the future of Europe with the Prime Minister of Denmark, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, and the discussion on the Council and Commission statements on UK withdrawal from the European Union. Debates were held on a Commission statement on the single market package and the long-term strategy for reducing EU greenhouse gas emissions. Members debated and adopted reports on five Western Balkan countries, as well as a report on the way forward for the World Trade Organization (WTO). A number of legislative reports were voted without debate, including on trade in goods that could be used for capital punishment, torture or other cruel treatment or punishment, the temporary reintroduction of border controls at the internal borders, and common rules for the operation of air services.

Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA III)

23-11-2018

On 14 June 2018, the European Commission published a proposal for a regulation establishing the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) III as part of a set of external action instruments under the new 2021 to 2027 multiannual financial framework (MFF). The proposed financial envelope represents a 1.1 % decrease compared with current funding (€12.9 billion in 2018 prices). Beneficiaries include the Western Balkan countries and Turkey. The IPA, set up for the 2007 to 2013 MFF, aims to prepare ...

On 14 June 2018, the European Commission published a proposal for a regulation establishing the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) III as part of a set of external action instruments under the new 2021 to 2027 multiannual financial framework (MFF). The proposed financial envelope represents a 1.1 % decrease compared with current funding (€12.9 billion in 2018 prices). Beneficiaries include the Western Balkan countries and Turkey. The IPA, set up for the 2007 to 2013 MFF, aims to prepare candidate and potential candidate countries for EU membership and supports them in adopting and implementing the necessary political, institutional, legal, administrative, social and economic reforms. IPA III is clearly positioned in the context of the new Western Balkan strategy, adopted in February 2018, and builds in flexibility via à vis the evolving situation in Turkey. It is also designed to complement the EU's internal policies. In Parliament, the file has been allocated to the Committee for Foreign Affairs (AFET), with José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra (EPP, Spain) and Knut Fleckenstein (S&D, Germany) as co-rapporteurs. The draft report presented by the rapporteurs on 30 October 2018 is now awaiting adoption by AFET. First edition. EU Legislation in Progress briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

World Bank support for investment in EU and Western Balkan transport

01-10-2018

Over the six decades during which the World Bank has been active in Europe, its engagement has evolved hand in hand with the development of the continent. Initially supporting reconstruction efforts after World War II, it later shifted the focus of its action to development support. In the past, as today, it has provided financing, knowledge and assistance to countries seeking to join the European Union. As a starting point in providing a deeper insight into how the World Bank contributes to the ...

Over the six decades during which the World Bank has been active in Europe, its engagement has evolved hand in hand with the development of the continent. Initially supporting reconstruction efforts after World War II, it later shifted the focus of its action to development support. In the past, as today, it has provided financing, knowledge and assistance to countries seeking to join the European Union. As a starting point in providing a deeper insight into how the World Bank contributes to the development of European countries today, this briefing first looks at the Bank's complex structure, the functioning of its different parts and the types of investment and assistance it offers its clients. Then, leaving aside the many other areas of the Bank's activity, the focus narrows to its support for transport in the EU and its Western Balkan partners. As the World Bank is one of several international institutions that are active in the Western Balkans, the briefing also looks into how the Bank links with the development-support efforts of the European Commission and the financial landscape of the Western Balkans Investment Framework.

Russia [What Think Tanks are thinking]

21-09-2018

In September, Russia held its largest military exercise since 1981, the height of the Cold War, deploying 300 000 troops and also inviting Chinese forces to participate. The event highlighted Russia’s growing assertiveness in security and foreign policy, following its annexation of Crimea and military intervention in Syria. The policies of President Vladimir Putin, who was re-elected earlier this year, pose a dilemma for the European Union and the United States, with some observers accusing him of ...

In September, Russia held its largest military exercise since 1981, the height of the Cold War, deploying 300 000 troops and also inviting Chinese forces to participate. The event highlighted Russia’s growing assertiveness in security and foreign policy, following its annexation of Crimea and military intervention in Syria. The policies of President Vladimir Putin, who was re-elected earlier this year, pose a dilemma for the European Union and the United States, with some observers accusing him of trying to sabotage Western liberal democracy and others saying that he wants to regain the position of global player that the Soviet Union once occupied. This note offers links to commentaries and studies by major international think tanks, which discuss Russia's policies and how to respond to them. More reports on the topic can be found in a previous edition of 'What Think Tanks are Thinking', published in March 2018. Some more papers on US-Russian relations are available in another edition from the series published in August 2018.

Prihajajoči dogodki

09-11-2020
EPRS online Book Talk | The revolutions of 1989-90 thirty years on [...]
Drug dogodek -
EPRS
09-11-2020
Sexual harassment in the EU institutions - Public Hearing
Predstavitev -
FEMM
10-11-2020
The Annual Rule of Law Report by the Commission and the Role of National Parliaments
Drug dogodek -
LIBE

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