Members' Research Service

Members' Research Service has written 1150 posts for European Parliamentary Research Service Blog

Performance budgeting: A means to improve EU spending

In 2015, the European Commission launched an initiative entitled, ‘The EU budget focused on results’. The initiative is aimed at changing spending culture and making results a horizontal priority for the EU budget, by paying as much attention to funds’ performance, efficiency and effectiveness as to their absorption and compliance with financial rules. Continue reading

Plenary round-up – Strasbourg, March 2018

Highlights of the session included: a debate on the future of Europe with Portuguese Prime Minister, Antonio Costa; preparation of the European Council meeting on 22 and 23 March; debates on the appointment of the European Commission Secretary-General; on the US decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium; on corporate social responsibility; on conflict minerals; and protection of investigative journalists following the deaths of Jan Kuciak and Martina Kusnirova in Slovakia. High Representative Federica Mogherini made statements on Syria, EU-Cuba Joint Council, and EU-Central Asia relations, followed by debates. Parliament adopted, inter alia, its reports on the post-2020 future multi-annual financial framework and own-resource reform; common (consolidated) corporate tax; and regulation of cross-border parcel delivery; training of professional drivers; and Europass. Continue reading

New US tariffs: Potential impact on the WTO

On 8 March 2018, US President Donald Trump signed orders imposing tariffs of 25 % on steel imports and 10 % on aluminium imports. These tariffs will apply to all countries, except Canada and Mexico (and possibly also Australia). Continue reading

Western Balkans: Enlargement strategy 2018

With a resolute tone and a sense of urgency, the European Commission’s new enlargement strategy for the Western Balkans sets a clear direction for the region’s six countries: it offers them a credible enlargement perspective and pledges enhanced EU engagement. It indicates 2025 as a possible enlargement date. Continue reading

Removing CO2 from the air – golden opportunity or dangerous fantasy?

How can CO2 be taken out of the air? Will the technologies be ready? How much would it cost? How much CO2 could be removed? What are the risks?

These questions were discussed on 8 March 2018 in the European Parliament, at an event co-organised by the European Science Academies’ Advisory Council (EASAC) and the European Parliament Research Service (EPRS). Continue reading

The global state of democracy as seen by citizens

On 7 March 2018, the EPRS Members’ Research Service organised a roundtable on the global state of democracy as seen by citizens. The main questions addressed were: do citizens still trust democratic forms of governance? Are they still committed to the model, and can such commitment be boosted? What factors drive public preference for representative democracy over non-democratic options? These are vital questions to answer if there is to be a future for democracy in Europe and in the world. Continue reading

Permanent structured cooperation (PESCO): Beyond establishment

In its 2016 Global Strategy, the European Union (EU) set a new level of ambition in security and defence. Closer defence cooperation among EU Member States is now at the top of the agenda. Continue reading

Framework for future EU-UK relations

The European Parliament will hold a debate and vote a resolution setting out its proposals on the future relationship with the United Kingdom after Brexit, during its March plenary session. It thus aims to feed into the guidelines the European Council is expected to adopt on 22 March, on opening exploratory discussions with the UK on the framework of the future EU-UK relationship. Continue reading

Russia’s 2018 presidential election: Six more years of Putin

On 18 March 2018, Russians will elect the president who will govern their country for the next six years. Incumbent, Vladimir Putin is firmly on track to win, with approval ratings that have stayed above 80 % since Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014. Continue reading

A new directive on work-life balance [EU Legislation in Progress][Policy podcast]

This proposed directive (complemented with non-legislative measures) should lead to the repeal of the existing Framework Agreement on Parental Leave, made binding by Council Directive 2010/18/EU (the Parental Leave Directive). Continue reading

Migration [What Think Tanks are thinking]

The European Union’s southern borders remain under pressure from irregular migrants escaping poverty and war in the Middle East and Africa. The 2016 agreement between the EU and Turkey significantly slowed the influx to Europe through Greece of people escaping the war in Syria. Continue reading

European Parliament Plenary Session, March 2018

Written by Clare Ferguson, This European Parliament plenary session follows International Women’s Day last week, when events organised by the Committee on Women ‘s Rights and Gender Equality focused on gender equality in the media and digital sector. The committee’s own-initiative report seeks to ensure that everyone is represented equally, and that women and girls … Continue reading

Integrated territorial investment – Implementation and future prospects

An optional territorial development tool, integrated territorial investments (ITIs) make it possible to combine resources from the European Social Fund, European Regional Development Fund or Cohesion Fund under priority axes of one or more operational programmes. Continue reading

Spotlight on gender equality in the media and digital sectors

When we turn on our radio or TV, open our newspaper, or power up our smartphone to surf online, what – and who – do we see? Do the images, narratives and messages fully represent us and convey our voices? Behind the scenes, how are we represented among the people who shape this media content? And why does this matter? Continue reading

Gender equality in the EU’s digital and media sectors

As the ‘digital revolution’ expands into more areas of our lives, from the way we work, to how we consume, look after our health, learn and take part in politics, it is increasingly clear that this is not just a purely technical – or economic – process, but also a social one, and one which is not gender-neutral. Continue reading

Plenary round-up – Brussels, February II 2018

The session’s highlights included debates on the humanitarian situation in Syria, the outcome of the informal European Council, and activation of Article 7 (1) with regard to Poland. The European Commission also made statements on UN Human Rights Council sessions in 2018, the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia, its former President Barroso’s lobbying activities, and removal of third countries from the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes. Among the votes held, Parliament agreed to set up a new special committee on tax questions (TAXE 3) and elected a new vice-president. Continue reading

Europe’s online encyclopaedias: Reliable knowledge for all in the post-fact era?

At a time when information is easily manipulated for ideological and/or economic purposes, emotions often trump evidence, while trust in institutions, expertise and mainstream media is declining. Continue reading

The collaborative economy and taxation: Taxing the value created in the collaborative economy

A relatively recent phenomenon, the collaborative economy has become mainstream in a decade in some areas of activities, such as car-sharing or short-term lets. Although it is now a well-known term – with alternative names from the ‘sharing’ to ‘gig’ to ‘peer‑to‑peer’ economy – it remains difficult to grasp precisely, beyond the central feature that potential consumers and providers are connected via a digital platform that matches demand and supply, providing cheap access to information on a very large scale. Continue reading

Democracy support in EU external policy

The EU’s policy of external democracy support has gained momentum, particularly after the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, which defined democracy as a fundamental principle of the Union, to be enshrined in all policies of external significance. Continue reading

People with rare diseases [What Europe does for me]

Do you, or someone you know, suffer from a rare disease – that affects fewer than 5 in 10 000 people? Most rare disease patients suffer from even rarer conditions, affecting only 1 person in 100 000 or more. However, as there are over 5 000 rare diseases, the number of people suffering from them is high – it is estimated that 30 million Europeans live with a rare disease. Continue reading

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The content of all documents (and articles) contained in this blog is the sole responsibility of the author and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily represent the official position of the European Parliament. It is addressed to the Members and staff of the EP for their parliamentary work. Reproduction and translation for non-commercial purposes are authorised, provided the source is acknowledged and the European Parliament is given prior notice and sent a copy. Copyright © European Union, 2014. All rights reserved