This category contains 1682 posts

A guide to EU procedures for the conclusion of international trade agreements

Written by Laura Puccio, The European Union (EU) was the world’s biggest exporter and importer of goods and services in 2015, representing 32.51 % of global trade in goods and services. The USA and China, meanwhile, accounted for 12.01 % and 10.68 % respectively. The EU has been negotiating trade agreements since the 1970s, then … Continue reading

Indonesia: Economic indicators and trade with EU

Written by Martin Rusell and Giulio Sabbati (both EPRS), In cooperation with Laura Bartolini (from GlobalStat | EUI), Which economy grew faster over the past 15 years – the EU or Indonesia? How many Indonesian women have a job, and what is the unemployment rate? Which country is Indonesia’s biggest trading partner? What kind of … Continue reading

Mercury: Aligning EU legislation with Minamata [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Didier Bourguignon (4th edition), The United Nations’ Minamata Convention on mercury was agreed in 2013 with a view to protecting human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury. Although mercury use has declined significantly in recent decades, mercury released into the air, water and land remains a serious threat to … Continue reading

New rules on security of gas supply [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Alex Wilson (2nd edition), On 16 February 2016 the European Commission proposed a new regulation on security of gas supply as part of its sustainable energy security package, in order to develop a stronger collective response to future supply risks. The Commission proposal would replace an existing regulation on the subject, in force … Continue reading

Limits on exposure to carcinogens and mutagens at work [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Nicole Scholz (2nd edition), The European Commission proposes to amend Directive 2004/37/EC by expanding its scope and by including and/or revising occupational exposure limit values for a number of cancer-causing chemical agents. According to the Commission, this would improve workers’ health protection, increase the effectiveness of the EU framework and promote clarity for … Continue reading

The European Neighbourhood Policy

Written by Philippe Perchoc, Since 2004, the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) has provided a framework for relations between the EU and its 16 geographically closest eastern and southern neighbours, affording enhanced cooperation and access to the EU market under bilateral action plans, which are intended to lead eventually to association agreements. Birth, objectives and scope … Continue reading

Counter-terrorist sanctions regimes: Legal framework and challenges at UN and EU levels

Written by Carmen-Cristina Cîrlig, Targeted sanctions against individuals and entities suspected of supporting terrorism are an important part of the United Nations Security Council’s counter-terrorism programme. Under the main counter-terrorist sanctions regimes created under Chapter VII of the United Nations (UN) Charter, UN member states are obliged to impose an asset freeze, travel ban and … Continue reading

Public-public partnerships in research

Written by Vincent Reillon, Since 1974, the objective of coordinating national research policies to create a pan-European research system has been at the heart of European research policy. However, despite a long history of efforts to coordinate research policy throughout the EU, barriers remain at Member State level. In 2000, the launch of the European … Continue reading

The case for a European public credit rating agency

Written by Christian Scheinert, The ‘Big Three’ credit rating agencies – Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch – enjoy an oligopolistic position on the market for the rating of private and public debt. In the run-up to the financial crisis, we now know, they were over-optimistic with their ratings, but once the crisis hit, their … Continue reading

Resettlement of refugees: EU framework [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Anja Radjenovic (1st edition), Resettlement is one tool to help displaced persons in need of protection reach Europe safely and legally, and receive protection for as long as necessary. It is a durable solution which includes selection and transfer of refugees from a country where they seek protection to another country. Apart from … Continue reading

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

Written by Patryk Pawlak (1st edition), Graphic by Christian Dietrich, 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. While the EU’s assistance for peace and security comes … Continue reading

Brexit: Implications and outlook [What Think Tanks are Thinking]

Written by Marcin Grajewski, Uncertainty about the future relations between the European Union and the United Kingdom has contributed to turbulence on financial markets and in European politics, following the country’s vote by referendum on 23 June to leave the EU. The new British Prime Minister, Teresa May, detailed some of her plans in a … Continue reading

Developing health technology assessment in the European Union

Written by Nicole Scholz, Health Technology Assessment (HTA) is a research-based tool to support decision-making in healthcare. HTA assesses the added value of new health technologies – medicines, medical devices and diagnostic tools, surgical procedures as well as measures for disease prevention, diagnosis or treatment – over existing ones. HTA is used with a view … Continue reading

EU mechanism on democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights [Plenary Podcast]

Written by Anja Radjenovic, The European Union is founded on values, including democracy, the rule of law and respect for fundamental rights, laid down in Article 2 TEU. Those values are common to all Member States and a precondition for a well-functioning Union based on mutual trust. In recent years, events in some Member States … Continue reading

Volunteering in the EU [Plenary Podcast]

Written by Ivana Katsarova, Volunteering is a core expression of civic participation. Over the last 20 years, some 100 000 young people have taken part in international volunteering through the European Voluntary Service, thus contributing to sectors as varied and diverse as education, youth, culture, sport, environment, health, social care, consumer protection, humanitarian aid, development policy, … Continue reading

What if blockchain technology revolutionised voting? [Science and Technology Podcast]

Written by Philip Boucher, Is blockchain the revolution in security and transparency that is needed to enable e-voting and, if so, what are the implications for the future of democracy? Despite the digitalisation of several important aspects of modern life, elections are still largely conducted offline, on paper. Since the turn of the century, e-voting … Continue reading

Outlook for the European Council of 20-21 October 2016

Written by Ralf Drachenberg and Izabela Bacian, The 20-21 October 2016 European Council meeting will focus primarily on migration and trade issues, but will also address global economic issues and external relations. On migration, EU leaders will most likely concentrate on progress on the Partnership Framework of cooperation with countries of origin or transit and … Continue reading

The EU’s Russia policy: Five guiding principles

Written by Martin Russell, While EU-Russia relations had long been difficult, in 2013 they took an abrupt turn for the worse, after Ukraine signed an association agreement with the EU, and Russia responded with attacks on its former ally in spring 2014. The latest setback came in October 2016, following Western condemnation of Russia’s part … Continue reading

How the EU budget is spent: The European Regional Development Fund

Written by Magdalena Sapała, The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is one of five European Structural and Investment (ESI) Funds aimed at achieving economic, social and territorial cohesion in the European Union. The ERDF’s primary task is to redress the main regional imbalances in the Union through investment in the structural adjustment of regions where … Continue reading

The liberalisation of EU port services [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Ivana Katsarova and Marketa Pape (4th edition) Serving as access points to Europe, the European Union’s approximately 1 200 seaports are crucial both for its transport sector and its competitiveness. They also have significant potential for creating jobs and attracting investors. The European Commission plans to redress the huge disparities in performance levels by modernising … 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