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How the Budget is spent: Youth Employment Initiative

The Youth Employment Initiative (YEI), with an initial financial envelope of €3.2 billion for 2014-2015, is the main EU funding programme of this political commitment. Its objective is the fight against youth unemployment in the worst-affected EU regions by supporting young people not in education, employment or training (NEETs) in regions with a youth unemployment rate above 25 %. Continue reading

The State of the Union [What Think Tanks are thinking]

Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, laid out his vision of the European Union in his annual State of the Union address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 13 September 2017. He noted that the overall outlook has changed for the better over the past year, notably thanks to an accelerating economic recovery. ‘The wind is back in the European sails,’ he declared. Continue reading

How the EU budget is spent: Instrument for Nuclear Safety Cooperation

With a 2014-2020 budget of €225.3 million (0.02 % of the 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework), the current INSC promotes a high level of nuclear safety, radiation protection, and safeguards for nuclear material outside the EU, from Argentina to Mongolia. Continue reading

Global Trendometer: Essays on medium- and long-term global trends – Summer 2017

Europe faces both challenges and opportunities: some readily apparent – others still hidden. Foresight is needed; a habit of lifting the view from everyday concerns, to take a look at what else is coming over the horizon. Continue reading

Session round-up – Strasbourg, September 2017

In addition to the State of the Union address by European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, the main debates held during Parliament’s September plenary session included questions such as fire safety in buildings, the impact of hurricane Irma, breaches of human rights and a series of statements related to external relations presented by the High Representative, Federica Mogherini. Continue reading

Safeguarding competition in air transport [EU Legislation in Progress]

The issue of fair competition between EU and third country airlines and the importance of guaranteeing a level playing field has been recognised for some years by the various EU institutions as key for the future of European aviation. Continue reading

The EU’s new approach to funding peace and security [EU Legislation in Progress]

The link between security, peace and development is recognised by both security and development communities. However, the practical implications of this nexus still pose challenges – especially in the light of a rapidly evolving security environment. Continue reading

Youth challenges and opportunities in the Western Balkans

Albania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia are all candidates for EU membership, while Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and Kosovo are potential candidates. To improve their chances of EU accession and secure their citizens a more prosperous future, one of the key priorities these countries need to address are the problems facing their youth, who hold the key to such a future. Continue reading

Combating terrorism [EU Legislation in Progress]

In December 2015, the European Commission presented a proposal for a directive on combating terrorism, aimed at updating the current framework on criminalising terrorist offences and at bringing EU legislation into line with international developments, such as the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2178 and the Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism. Continue reading

North Korea: Possible scenarios

As the international community tries to resolve the current crisis, analysts have identified a number of possible scenarios. Continue reading

Land use in the EU 2030 climate and energy framework [EU Legislation in Progress]

On 20 July 2016, the European Commission proposed a regulation regarding the inclusion of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and removals from land use and forestry in the EU 2030 climate and energy framework. This would be the first time that the land-use sector is formally included in EU climate policy. The proposed regulation would require Member States to balance emissions and removals from the land-use sector over two five-year periods between 2021 and 2030. It sets out accounting rules and allows for certain flexibilities. Continue reading

CO2 emissions from aviation [Policy Podcast][EU Legislation in Progress]

In February 2017, the European Commission proposed a regulation to prolong the derogation for extra-EEA flights, gradually reduce the number of aviation allowances from 2021 onwards, and prepare for the implementation of the GMBM Continue reading

Reviving risk capital: The proposal to amend EuVECA and EuSEF [EU Legislation in Progress]

In its 2016 review, the Commission noted that these funds remain small and concentrated in a few Member States and that, while the take-up of EuVECA could be considered successful, the EuSEF results have been disappointing. Continue reading

The 2017 State of the Union debate in the European Parliament

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s State of the Union address to the European Parliament, and the subsequent debate, on 13 September come in the context of the ongoing broader reflection on the future path of the European Union. Continue reading

Brexit negotiations [What Think Tanks are thinking]

This note offers links to recent commentaries and reports published by major international think tanks and other organisations on EU-UK negotiations and on the implications of Brexit more widely. Continue reading

What if manmade biological organisms could help treat cancer? [Science and Technology Podcast]

Written by Mihalis Kritikos, Synthetic biology is expected to begin to design, construct and develop artificial (i.e. man-made) biological systems that mimic or even go beyond naturally-occurring biological systems. Applications of synthetic biology in the healthcare domain hold great promise, but also raise a number of questions. What are the benefits and challenges of this … Continue reading

EU sustainability criteria for bioenergy [Policy Podcast]

Written by Gregor Erbach, Bioenergy, which is generally produced from plants such as agricultural crops or trees, comes in various forms. Wood and other solid biomass are commonly used for heating and electricity generation. Liquid biofuels for transport and other purposes are mainly made from food and feed crops, but can also be produced from … Continue reading

EU rules on control of arms exports [Plenary Podcast]

Written by Beatrix Immenkamp, The EU’s Common Position on arms exports is the only legally binding region-wide arrangement on conventional arms exports. While the Common Position has increased information-sharing and transparency of Member States’ arms exports, there is still scope for enhancing the convergence of national arms-exports policies and for stricter implementation of the criteria … Continue reading

WIFI4EU – Promotion of internet connectivity in local communities [Plenary Podcast]

Written by Christian Scheinert, The Commission’s initiative aims at providing free access to fast internet in local communities. The European Parliament will discuss and vote on WIFI4EU in its September plenary. Background The Commission is of the opinion that the EU lags behind other industrialised nations, such as South Korea and Japan, when it comes … Continue reading

Reform of the e-Privacy Directive [EU Legislation in Progress][Policy Podcast]

Written by Shara Monteleone, In January 2017, the Commission tabled a proposal for a regulation on privacy and electronic communications which would replace the current 2002 e-Privacy Directive. The main objectives of the review are: enhancing security and communications confidentiality; defining clearer rules on tracking technologies such as cookies; and achieving greater harmonisation among Member … 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