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U.S. withdrawal from Iran nuclear deal [What Think Tanks are thinking]

President Donald Trump announced on May 8 that the United States was withdrawing from the Iran nuclear agreement, ignoring calls from other signatories to preserve the 2015 deal, which lifted sanctions on Teheran in return for measures scaling back its nuclear ambitions. Continue reading

Migration & asylum: Projects & funding

Funding instruments in the field of migration and asylum management cover, on the one hand, different EU policy fields, such as enlargement, neighbourhood, development cooperation and common foreign and security policy, as well as, on the other, international projects such as those managed by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) at a more global level. Continue reading

Peace and Security in 2018: Overview of EU action and outlook for the future

The promotion of global peace and security, following the model of its own peace project, is a fundamental goal and central pillar of the external action of the European Union (EU). Both within and beyond the EU, there is a widespread expectation among citizens that the Union will deliver results in this crucial area. Continue reading

GDPR goes live: A modern data protection law

Aimed at strengthening citizens’ rights uniformly while reducing burdens for companies and public entities, the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) applies fully as of 25 May 2018. The long-awaited (and often feared) law is part of a reform package adopted in 2016 to foster trust in a digital age. The recent revelations on misuses of data show how the underlying values of the GDPR standards are essential for democracy. Continue reading

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

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. Continue reading

Western Balkans [What Think Tanks are thinking]

The European Union’s planned enlargement into the Western Balkans has recently drawn increased attention. In February 2018, the European Commission released its new enlargement strategy, giving a credible accession perspective to the region. The latest impetus came last month, when the Commission proposed opening entry talks with Albania and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). Continue reading

Plenary round-up – Brussels, May I 2018

The May I plenary session highlight was the European Commission statement on the post-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework package adopted by the College of Commissioners on the morning of 2 May 2018. Continue reading

Media freedom trends 2018: Turkey

Over the last two years, media freedom in Turkey has deteriorated rapidly. Although the EU expressed support for the government in the face of the failed military coup in July 2016, it is now concerned about respect for fundamental values in Turkey. Continue reading

Post-2020 MFF and own resources: Ahead of the Commission’s proposal

On 2 May, the Commission is expected to publish proposals for a new multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the European Union for the years after 2020, as well as for a new system of own resources (OR) to provide the EU with the means to finance its annual budgets. Continue reading

Cyber-security [What Think Tanks are thinking]

Cyber-security can be defined as the protection of computer systems and mobile devices from theft and damage to their hardware, software or information, as well as from disruption or misdirection of the services they provide. Cyber-crime and cyber-attacks have become a growing threat to governments, businesses and individuals as digital technologies advance. Continue reading

Malaysia’s 2018 general election

On 9 May 2018, Malaysians go to the polls to elect federal and state parliaments. Although a financial scandal and rising living costs have dented the popularity of the government, the opposition faces an uphill battle to end the governing Barisan Nasional coalition’s six-decade rule, and it is not widely expected to win. Continue reading

Online disinformation and the EU’s response

The proliferation of disinformation – including false news posing as factual stories – became increasingly visible in the context of the crisis in Ukraine, gaining notoriety as a global challenge during the 2016 United States presidential election campaign. While the EU is stepping up its efforts to tackle online disinformation ahead of the European elections in 2019, the EU’s myth-busting team is facing criticism. Continue reading

The Future of Europe [What Think Tanks are thinking]

This note offers links to commentaries, studies and reports from major international think tanks on the state of the EU and possible reforms. Brexit-related publications can be found in a previous edition of ‘What Think Tanks are thinking.’ Earlier papers on the general state of the EU are available in another edition in this series, published in September 2017. More reports on euro zone reforms are also gathered in another item of the series from December 2017. Continue reading

Plenary round-up – Strasbourg, April 2018

The April plenary session’s highlight was the debate on the future of Europe with the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, detailing his ambitions for a reinvigorated Europe, ready to face existing and emerging challenges. Continue reading

Adapting to new digital realities: Main issues and policy responses

Digital technologies have changed the way we live and transformed the world around us at unprecedented speed. They have affected all important aspects of life, both at work and at home, and have influenced almost everything from human relations to the economy, to the extent that access to the internet has now become a basic human right recognised by the United Nations. Continue reading

Economic Partnership Agreement with the East African Community [International Agreements in Progress]

The current ACP-EU Partnership Agreement (the ‘Cotonou Partnership Agreement’) features a provision making it possible for the EU to negotiate different economic partnership agreements (EPAs) with regional ACP sub-groups. Continue reading

Regulating online TV and radio broadcasting [EU Legislation in Progress]

The provision of television and radio broadcasting services over the internet is a fast-developing phenomenon in the European Union. The European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation to promote the cross-border provision of online services ancillary to broadcasts and facilitate digital retransmissions of TV and radio programmes originating in other Member States in September 2016. Continue reading

The added value of the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI), and its revision

Introduced by the 2007 Treaty of Lisbon and made operational on 1 April 2012 by EU Regulation No 211/2011, the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) is aimed at bringing the EU closer to its citizens by enabling them to invite the European Commission to make a proposal for a legal act. Continue reading

From Rome to Sibiu

Analysis shows that in the year since the Rome Declaration, and a year before the special summit on the Future of Europe debate, due to take place in the Romanian city of Sibiu on 9 May 2019, substantive progress has been made regarding the debate itself and implementation of the policy priorities identified in the Bratislava Declaration/Roadmap and the Rome Declaration. Continue reading

The Future of Europe: Contours of the current debate

In the aftermath of the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union (EU), following the referendum of June 2016, the EU launched a profound reflection on the Future of Europe, which continues in various fora and institutions. Continue reading

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