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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

Area of freedom, security and justice: Cost of non-Europe

Since the entry into force of the Treaty of Amsterdam in 1999, the EU offers its citizens an area of freedom, security and justice (AFSJ). In this area, the free movement of persons should be ensured, in conjunction with appropriate measures with respect to external border controls, asylum and migration, as well as preventing and combating crime. Continue reading

Outcome of the informal meeting of EU-27 leaders on 9 May 2019 in Sibiu

Just two weeks before the European elections, EU-27 Heads of State or Government met on 9 May 2019 in the Romanian city of Sibiu, to discuss the Union’s common future. They adopted the Sibiu Declaration, recalling the achievements and values of the European Union. 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

Assessing the Leaders’ Agenda

The Leaders’ Agenda, adopted by the EU Heads of State or Government on 20 October 2017, was designed both as a contribution to the realisation of the objectives set out in the ‘future of Europe’ debate and as a concrete work programme for the European Council up to June 2019. 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

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

What if we could fight drug addiction with digital technology? [Science and Technology podcast]

Drug addiction is one of the greatest problems facing European public health authorities. Advances in drug addiction research have focused mostly on the neurobiological aspects of the disease, but now promising new technologies are enhancing our ability to understand and treat drug addiction. Continue reading

Outcome of the Special European Council (Article 50) meeting, 10 April 2019

At the special European Council (Article 50) meeting on 10 April 2019, Heads of State or Government agreed to further extend the Article 50 period until 31 October 2019 at the latest. This goes beyond the request made by the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, for that period to be extended until 30 June 2019, but represents only half of the time period some European Council members had been seeking to offer. 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

NATO at 70 [What Think Tanks are thinking]

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) celebrates its 70th anniversary in April 2019, proud of its survival, durability and hisotring role in ensuring peace, notably during the Cold War. 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

EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Foreign policy [Policy Podcast]

European Union (EU) action beyond its borders often requires a combination of approaches. The EU Treaties differentiate between common foreign and security policy (CFSP), common security and defence policy (CSDP), external action, and the external dimension of internal policies, but in the field, issues are so intertwined that more often than not a single tool is not sufficient. Continue reading

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