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Members' Research Service

Members' Research Service has written 1571 posts for European Parliamentary Research Service Blog

Understanding the European Parliament’s History: How the Parliament of the 1950s and 1960s shaped our institution today

On 8 May, the eve of the anniversary of the Schumann Declaration, the European Parliamentary Research Service animated the Library reading room with a fascinating conversation between Koen van Zon, presenting his doctoral research findings on the Parliament of the 1950s and 1960s for Radboud University Nijmegen, and Martin Westlake, currently Visiting Professor at the College of Europe and the London School of Economics.  Continue reading

Artificial intelligence, data protection and elections

The Facebook/Cambridge Analytica case in 2018, revealing alleged misuse of personal data for political advertising, demonstrated how the underlying values of the European data protection rules are essential for democracy. The EU has recently adopted a series of additional initiatives to support free and fair elections, reflected not least in European Parliament (EP) debates and resolutions. Continue reading

Marking International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia

Over the 2014-2019 legislature, the European Parliament has strongly condemned all forms of discrimination against lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, trans-sexual and intersex (LGBTI) people. Parliament has stressed the urgency of tackling increasing levels of hate speech and hate crime motivated by bias against a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, and put forward concrete proposals for combating hate speech and harmful stereotypes in the media. Continue reading

The Future of Europe debates in the European Parliament, 2018-19: A synthesis of the speeches by EU Heads of State and Government

The debates held in the European Parliament on the Future of Europe offered a unique opportunity for Heads of State or Government to present their views on the future direction that the EU-27 should take. This exercise showed, on the one hand, that the question of which policy areas are of compelling importance differs among the speakers, and, on the other hand, that they have converging views on many issues. Continue reading

The Juncker Commission’s ten priorities: An end-of-term assessment

As the European Parliament reaches the end of its 2014-2019 mandate and the European Commission approaches the end of its term, it is timely to look back at the commitments made by the Juncker Commission when it took office in 2014 and assess to what extent it has delivered. Continue reading

Serbia at risk of authoritarianism?

Among the Western Balkan countries aspiring to EU membership, Serbia is seen as a frontrunner in terms of its democratic institutions, level of economic development and overall readiness for accession. However, in November 2018 opposition politician, Borko Stefanović, was beaten up by thugs, triggering a wave of protests that has spread across the country. Continue reading

What role in European defence for a post-Brexit United Kingdom?

Despite the recent turmoil in Britain’s defence establishment, it is in both the European Union and the United Kingdom’s interest to continue to have a deeply interlinked defence partnership. Continue reading

The power of the European Parliament: Examples of EP impact during the 2014 2019 legislative term

As the only European Union institution elected directly, the European Parliament is at the heart of representative democracy, the foundation upon which the EU is built. Since its creation, the Parliament’s power and influence have evolved significantly, transforming it into a full-fledged legislative body and forum of discussion and engagement, whose influence is felt in virtually all areas of EU activity. Continue reading

Living in the EU

European societies face a variety of political, economic, social and cultural challenges. The multiple crises that challenge Europe, from within and without, have recently put considerable stress on the solidarity between nations, one of the fundamental pillars of European integration. Continue reading

Journal of Common Market Studies Annual Review– 2019 Lecture: ‘How the EU 27 came to be’

On 4 April, EPRS hosted, in Parliament’s Library Reading Room, the Journal of Common Market Studies Annual Review 2019 Lecture – ‘How the EU27 came to be’, this year delivered by Professor Dr Brigid Laffan, Director of the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute in Florence. Continue reading

Plenary round-up – Strasbourg, April II 2019

Highlights of the April II plenary session (the last of the current legislature) included debates on the conclusions of the April 2019 European Council meeting on the withdrawal of the UK from the European Union, and the final debate in the series on the future of Europe with the Prime Minister of Latvia, Kisjanis Karins. Important debates also took place on the rule of law in Romania; failure to adopt an EU digital services tax; protecting the European elections against international cybersecurity threats; and on the possible extradition of Julian Assange. Continue reading

How the EU budget is spent: EU cooperation with Greenland

Having been a part of the European Community since 1973 through Denmark’s membership, Greenland withdrew from the European Community in 1985 after the island secured home rule from Denmark. Since then, Greenland has been associated with the European Union as an Overseas Country and Territory (OCT). Continue reading

How the EU budget is spent: Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived

In 2014, around 122 million people were ‘at risk of poverty or social exclusion’ (AROPE) in the 28 EU Member States– a quarter of the population. This means they were in at least one of the following situations: at risk of monetary poverty (17.2 % of the total population); living in households with very low work intensity (11.1 %); or severely materially deprived (9.0 %). Continue reading

Forty years of direct elections to the European Parliament

Between 23 and 26 May 2019, 350 million European Union (EU) citizens have the opportunity to vote for Members of the European Parliament. It will be the ninth time that EU citizens can vote directly for the policy- and decision-makers who will represent them in EU politics. Direct elections to the European Parliament are consequently one of the most important events in the EU political cycle. Continue reading

Scouts [What Europe does for you]

Are you, or is someone you know, one of the 40 million recognised members of the scouting movement worldwide? Then you will already know that scouts in Europe and worldwide are committed to contributing to build a better world where people are self-fulfilled as individuals and play a constructive role in society. Continue reading

How the EU budget is spent: Spending programmes under the 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework

The EU budget corresponds to around 2 % of total public spending in the European Union, and its impact on the economy is debated, with many analysts deeming it relatively small in size in comparison with the wide range of policy areas in which the EU has responsibilities. However, the EU budget has features that can amplify its impact, starting with the underpinning idea that pooling resources at EU level can be more efficient and effective in a number of policy areas than individual expenditure by Member States. Continue reading

People interested in artificial intelligence [What Europe does for you]

Unless you are a robot yourself, you are probably either fascinated or appalled by the prospects of artificial intelligence (AI). No longer limited to science-fiction, artificial intelligence is already a fact in our daily life, through speech recognition, driverless cars, medical diagnosis, etc. AI takes away some tasks from us. Continue reading

European Parliament Plenary Session – April II 2019

Unsurprisingly, the agenda for this final plenary session of Parliament’s 2014-2019 term will deal with a range of issues that are emblematic of the major themes that have marked this eighth legislature. Continue reading

How the EU budget is spent: Fight against fraud: Pericles 2020, Hercule III and AFIS

Member States share an obligation with the EU to protect the Union’s financial interests and to counter fraud, corruption and any other illegal activities affecting them under Article 325 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), on which the EU anti-fraud programme is based. Continue reading

EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Youth empowerment [Policy Podcast]

The proportion of young people (15-29 years old) in the general EU population is declining. On the whole, young people have a higher level of education than older adults, and youth unemployment rates have begun to decrease. Continue reading

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