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CETA: Final vote in the plenary session

Written by Krisztina Binder and Wilhelm Schöllmann, The EU-Canada negotiations on a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) began in May 2009 and were concluded in September 2014. For the EU, CETA represents the first comprehensive economic agreement with a highly industrialised Western economy. What’s in the text? The agreement’s overall aim is to increase flows of … Continue reading

Citizens’ enquiries to the European Parliament in 2017

On a daily basis, citizens from all across the EU and the wider world address the European Parliament to request information, express opinions or suggest ideas on an extensive range of topics. The Citizens’ Enquiries Unit (Ask EP) provides answers to citizens on the issues raised. In 2017, citizens put more than 52 000 questions, suggestions and comments to the European Parliament or its President. Continue reading

Europe’s challenges in 2018: Ten issues to watch

‘Ten issues to watch in 2018’ was presented in the Library of the European Parliament on 11 January, in the context of a roundtable discussion that attracted an audience of more than 130 people. The significant attendance demonstrated the high interest in the publication – the second edition of an annual EPRS publication designed to identify key issues and policy areas that are likely to feature prominently on the political agenda of the European Union over the coming year. Continue reading

European Parliament Plenary Session, January 2018

Written by Clare Ferguson, Twin key debates are scheduled on Parliament’s agenda on Wednesday morning, with the appearance of no less than two Prime Ministers. Bulgarian Prime Minister, Boyko Borissov, will present the programme of activities of the Bulgarian Presidency, followed by a debate with the Prime Minister of Ireland, Leo Varadkar, on the future … Continue reading

Brexit / United Kingdom withdrawal from the EU [Ten issues to watch in 2018]

On 29 March 2017, the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, notified the European Council of the UK’s intention to withdraw from the EU, thereby triggering a two-year deadline to reach a withdrawal agreement. Continue reading

European Development Days 2017 [Topical Digest]

The European Parliament is particularly concerned that poverty eradication stays at the centre of EU development policy, while addressing the root causes of irregular migration. EPRS, Parliament’s in-house think-tank, has dedicated a number of papers on the topic. Continue reading

Benefits of EU international trade agreements

Trade is the EU’s most important link to the world beyond its borders. In force since the 1957 Treaty of Rome, the transition to a common EU trade policy was completed in 1968. Continue reading

What is the EU doing to reduce food waste?

In the EU, food waste is estimated at some 88 million tonnes in a single year, which equates to 173 kilograms per person. The total amount of food produced in the EU in 2011 was around 865 kg/person. This means that we are wasting 20 % of the total food produced. In this context, citizens turn to the European Parliament to request information on what the EU is doing to reduce food waste, as well as calling for European legislation to end food waste in every country in Europe, including several petitions introduced on this matter. Continue reading

The European Council in 2016: Overview of decisions and discussions

Written by Suzana Elena Anghel Gavrilescu, Izabela Cristina Bacian, Ralf Drachenberg and Susanna Tenhunen, The European Council held five formal meetings in 2016. The analysis of the conclusions of the debates shows that it dedicated 50 % of its attention to migration. The two other main topics were foreign and security policy; and economic governance, competitiveness, … Continue reading

Trade benefits outweigh costs, but victims need aid: EPRS-OECD conference

Written by Marcin Grajewski. Globalisation and free trade have supported world economic growth and higher living standards, but the process has coincided with rising inequality, a concentration of job losses at the middle skills level, and declines in manufacturing jobs in certain regions of the high-income economies. Although the benefits of free trade outweigh their … Continue reading

‘Erasmus+’: the Union programme for education, training, youth and sport

Young people want to know more about Erasmus+ and are asking for information on mobility opportunities so that they can enhance their skills and improve their job prospects. They frequently pose questions to the European Parliament to find out what support the EU provides for youth training and education. Legal framework Articles 165 and 166 … Continue reading

Outcome of European Council meeting of 9 March 2017 and of informal meeting of the EU27 of 10 March 2017

Written by Suzana Anghel and Ralf Drachenberg, After re-electing Donald Tusk as its President, the European Council meeting of 9 March 2017 discussed the economic situation in Europe, progress on measures regarding migration, internal and external security, and external relations. In his first speech to the European Council, the recently- elected President of the European … Continue reading

Outlook for the 9 March 2017 European Council, and the Informal meeting of the 27 Heads of State or Government on 10 March 2017

Written by Susanna Tenhunen and Ralf Drachenberg, At their 9-10 March 2017 meeting, EU leaders will focus on the economic situation in Europe, including the economic and social priorities of the 2017 European Semester, trade policy and delivery of the different single market strategies. The European Council will also discuss migration, security and defence, and … Continue reading

International Free Trade on the agenda – European Parliament Plenary Session February II

Written by Clare Ferguson, EU relations with Canada top the bill this session, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressing the European Parliament on Thursday, following the previous day’s debate on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between the EU and Canada, known as CETA, finally signed in October 2016. Except for a few sensitive agricultural products, … Continue reading

Canada: Economic indicators and trade with EU

Written by Whilhelm Schöllmann and Giulio Sabbati (both EPRS), In cooperation with Laura Bartolini (from GlobalStat | EUI), Canada is looking to diversify its trade partners in order to reduce its dependence on the US business cycle. The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada promises to increase trade between these … Continue reading

Citizens’ questions to the European Parliament in 2016

In both European and international politics, 2016 was a memorable year, and this was reflected in over 87 000 questions put by citizens to the President of the European Parliament or to its Citizens Enquiries Unit/Ask EP unit. Top topics: EU mechanism on democracy, EU-Canada Free Trade Agreement and Migration The most pressing issue for citizens … Continue reading

Outcome of the European Council of 20-21 October 2016

Written by Ralf Drachenberg and Suzana Anghel, Migration was the main topic at the European Council of 20-21 October 2016, and featured most prominently in its conclusions. Other topics discussed were global and economic issues, external relations and trade issues, in particular the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with Canada. This was the first formal … Continue reading

A guide to EU procedures for the conclusion of international trade agreements [Policy Podcast]

Written by Laura Puccio, The European Union (EU) was the world’s biggest exporter and importer of goods and services in 2015, representing 32.51 % of global trade in goods and services. The USA and China, meanwhile, accounted for 12.01 % and 10.68 % respectively. The EU has been negotiating trade agreements since the 1970s, then … Continue reading

Outlook for the European Council of 20-21 October 2016

Written by Ralf Drachenberg and Izabela Bacian, The 20-21 October 2016 European Council meeting will focus primarily on migration and trade issues, but will also address global economic issues and external relations. On migration, EU leaders will most likely concentrate on progress on the Partnership Framework of cooperation with countries of origin or transit and … Continue reading

Trending: topics catching citizens’ attention in 2016

Every day, citizens from all over Europe and the rest of the world turn to the European Parliament to request information, express opinions or suggest solutions on a wide range of topics. Ask EP provides an overview of the main issues raised by the citizens who wrote to the European Parliament during the first six … Continue reading

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