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Outcome of the special European Council, 20-21 February 2020

On 20-21 February 2020, EU Heads of State or Government held their first meeting specially dedicated to the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) since the publication of the European Commission’s proposal in May 2018. Continue reading

Artificial intelligence [What Think Tanks are thinking]

Artificial intelligence (AI) is usually understood as the ability for a machine to display human-like capabilities such as reasoning, learning, planning and creativity. Continue reading

Future EU-UK trade relationship

The withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU) came into effect on 1 February 2020, following the large majority gained by the Conservative Party, led by Boris Johnson, in the UK general election in December 2019. Continue reading

Implementation of macro-regional strategies

While each macro-regional strategy is unique in terms of the countries it brings together and the scope of its policies, they all share the same common aim: to ensure a coordinated approach to issues that are best tackled together. Continue reading

Just Transition Fund [EU Legislation in Progress]

The EU aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 % by 2030 and achieve climate neutrality by 2050. Continue reading

The European Council and the 2021-27 Multiannual Financial Framework

EU Heads of State or Government will meet on 20 February 2020 for a special European Council meeting to discuss the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). Both the Sibiu Declaration of EU Heads of State or Government and the 2019-24 Strategic Agenda state that ‘the EU must give itself the means to match its ambitions, attain its objectives and carry through its policies’. Continue reading

Family reunification rights of refugees and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection

Separation of family members can have devastating consequences on their well-being and ability to rebuild their lives. This is true for everybody, but especially so for persons who have fled persecution or serious harm and have lost family during forced displacement and flight. Continue reading

Financing the EU’s administration: Heading 7 of the 2021-2027 MFF

In May 2018, the European Commission published its proposal for the EU’s long-term budget for 2021-2027, known as the multiannual financial framework (MFF). The proposed next MFF is structured in 7 headings, encompassing 17 policy clusters. Continue reading

Financing EU external action in the new MFF, 2021-2027: Heading 6 ‘Neighbourhood and the World’

In May 2018, the European Commission published its proposals for the new multiannual financial framework (MFF), the EU’s seven-year budget for the 2021-2027 period, followed by proposals for the MFF’s individual sectoral programmes. Continue reading

Financing EU security and defence: Heading 5 of the 2021-2027 MFF

For the new 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework (MFF), the European Commission proposes to dedicate a separate heading to security and defence – Heading 5. Continue reading

Competition in the EU and globally [What Think Tanks are thinking]

The digital revolution, global trade disputes and low growth in the European economy have, among other factors, revived the debate about the merits and drawbacks of the European Union’s strict EU competition rules, which cover cartels, market dominance, mergers and state aid. Continue reading

Migration and border management: Heading 4 of the 2021-2027 MFF

The Treaty of Lisbon makes explicit reference to pooling financial resources to support common policies on asylum, immigration and external borders. While expenditure for these policy areas still represents a minor share of the EU budget, it has recently increased in the wake of the 2015-2016 refugee crisis. Continue reading

Plenary round-up – Strasbourg, February 2020

Highlights of the February session included debates on a review of economic governance; the revised enlargement methodology proposed by the Commission; a breach of Council Decision 2017/2074 concerning restrictive measures in view of the situation in Venezuela; the current situation in Syria; on fighting against antisemitism, racism and hatred across Europe; as well as on the ongoing threat to the rule of law in Poland. Continue reading

Natural resources and environment: Heading 3 of the 2021-2027 MFF

Dedicated to programmes and funds supporting agriculture and maritime policy, and environment and climate change, Heading 3 is the second biggest in terms of funding in the European Commission proposal on the future multiannual financial framework (MFF) for 2021-2027. Continue reading

Cohesion funds, values and economic and monetary union in the 2021-2027 MFF: European Parliament position on Heading 2 – Cohesion and values

Heading 2 – Cohesion and values – is the biggest in terms of budget in the multiannual financial framework (MFF) proposed by the European Commission for the 2021 to 2027 period. Continue reading

Parliament’s right of legislative initiative [Policy podcast]

The European Commission has a near monopoly on legislative initiative in the European Union (EU), with special initiative rights for other institutions applying only in certain specific cases. Continue reading

Single market, innovation and digital: Heading 1 of the 2021-2027 MFF

The European Union’s long-term budget, the multiannual financial framework (MFF), sets out the maximum annual amounts of spending for a seven-year period. It is structured around the EU’s spending priorities, reflected in broad categories of expenditure or ‘headings’. Continue reading

European Commission Work Programme for 2020

This briefing is intended as a background overview for parliamentary committees planning their activities in relation to the European Commission’s 2020 work programme (CWP 2020). Continue reading

What if crop protection were environment-friendly? [Science and Technology podcast]

Synthetic pesticides are often denounced as harmful to both human health and the environment. European Union (EU) policy has a tendency to encourage a reduction in their use. But what effective alternatives are there to protect plant health and boost crop yields? Continue reading

What if internet by satellite were to lead to congestion in orbit?

Internet satellite companies, such as Starlink, OneWeb and Blue Origin (Amazon), aim at providing global internet access via satellites. This will bring many benefits to citizens, isolated regions and the global economy, but what if internet satellites collide with other satellites? Continue reading

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