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The revised Brexit deal: What has changed and next steps?

Brexit talks between the EU and the UK had reached a standstill in spring 2019, with the House of Commons refusing to vote in favour of the negotiated withdrawal agreement, including a Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland. Continue reading

Outcome of the European Council (Article 50) meeting on 17 October 2019

Leaders of the 27 EU Member States (EU-27) endorsed the agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU) with a revised Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland, as well as a revised political declaration on the framework of the future EU-UK relationship. Continue reading

European Union electoral law: Current situation and historical background

The European Parliament did not always enjoy the powers and democratic legitimacy it does now. This is clear from a quick glance at how Parliament has evolved. Continue reading

Outcome of the European Council of 17-18 October 2019

After endorsing the revised UK withdrawal agreement, and approving a revised political declaration, in the European Council (Article 50) format, EU Heads of State or Government had to tackle a range of divisive issues at their 17-18 October meeting, including the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework, enlargement, climate change and Turkey. Continue reading

A decade on from the financial crisis: Key data

The financial crisis began with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, starting a worldwide chain reaction. The EU economy contracted for five consecutive quarters, with growth returning only in the second half of 2009. Continue reading

A decade on from the start of the crisis: Main responses and remaining challenges

It has been a decade since the financial crisis erupted and changed the world in 2008. Few at the time guessed what would be its magnitude and long-term consequences. The interconnectedness of the economy and the financial sector facilitated the spread of the crisis from the United States to Europe. Continue reading

Teaching careers in the EU: Why boys do not want to be teachers [Policy podcast]

An ageing teacher population, severe teacher shortages, difficulties with retaining younger teachers and a significant gender imbalance in staffing at different levels of education are just some of the serious challenges facing the profession. In the EU, only 7 % of all teachers are under 30 years old, while around 36 % are 50 or older. Continue reading

New plant-breeding techniques: Applicability of EU GMO rules [Policy podcast]

New plant genetic modification techniques, referred to as ‘gene editing’ or ‘genome editing’, have evolved rapidly in recent years, allowing much faster and more precise results than conventional plant-breeding techniques. They are seen as a promising innovative field for the agri-food industry, offering great technical potential. Continue reading

Digital challenges for Europe [What Think Tanks are thinking]

The rapid development of digital technologies is posing a challenge to the European Union, spurring initiatives to catch up with the US and China in the area, notably in the context of the digital Single Market. Continue reading

What if technologies replaced humans in elderly care? [Science and Technology podcast]

Europeans are ageing. In 2016, there were 3.3 people of working-age for each citizen over 65 years. By 2070, this will fall to only two. As the population lives longer, our care needs grow, but fewer people will be available to deliver them. Could assistive technologies (ATs) help us to meet the challenges of elderly care? Continue reading

EU trade policy: Frequently asked questions

The EU’s common commercial policy (CCP), or trade policy, has evolved gradually over the years to encompass a range of trade-related areas under the remit of European Union (EU) exclusive competence. Continue reading

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 2019: EU contribution to the fight against child poverty

Over recent decades, there has been marked progress in reducing poverty worldwide. The research conducted by this year’s Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences laureates, Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer, has considerably improved the ability to fight global poverty. Continue reading

Outlook for the European Council (Article 50) meeting on 17 October 2019

The October European Council meeting will represent an important point on the timeline of negotiations on the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU, as leaders will be taking stock of the situation heading up to the end of the extension period on 31 October 2019. Continue reading

Outlook for the meetings of EU leaders, 17-18 October 2019

The meeting of Heads of State or Government on 17-18 October is expected to be dominated by Brexit. The EU-27 leaders will probably meet in a European Council (Article 50) format to discuss the most recent developments in the negotiations, and deliberate on possible consequences. Continue reading

Mainstreaming of climate action in the EU budget: Impact of a political objective

The European Union (EU) has developed many legislative measures related to climate change, and is on track to meet its 2020 targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the improvement of energy efficiency and the increased use of renewables. Continue reading

Reform of the Service of Documents Regulation [EU Legislation in Progress]

In May 2018, the Commission put forward a proposal for amending the existing Regulation on Cross-border Service of Documents in civil proceedings. The proposal aims, above all, to replace the existing mechanisms of paper transmission with an electronic system. Continue reading

A globalisation that works for everyone? Penny Goldberg discusses the 2020 World Development Report

On 1st October 2019, the chief economist of the World Bank (WB), Penny Goldberg, presented an exclusive snapshot of the 2020 World Development Report in the Library Reading Room at the European Parliament, discussing the economic challenges and perspectives of global value chains (GVCs) for economic development: what can policy makers do to facilitate sustainable growth through GVCs? Continue reading

Origins of the 2019-24 EU Strategic Agenda: The Future of Europe debate and the Sibiu European Council

The Sibiu Summit of 9 May 2019 and the subsequent adoption of the 2019-24 Strategic Agenda on 20 June 2019 constitute the end of the Future of Europe debate (at least in its current iteration), which was initiated following the June 2016 UK referendum on EU membership. Continue reading

CAP Amending Regulation (CMO): Amending regulations on the CMO for agricultural products, quality schemes and measures for remote regions [EU Legislation in Progress]

On 1 July 2018, as part of the work on the EU’s 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework, the European Commission proposed a package of three regulations with the aim of reshaping and modernising the common agricultural policy (CAP). Continue reading

Plenary round-up – Brussels, October I 2019

Highlights of the October I plenary session included statements and debates on the preparation of the European Council meeting of 17 and 18 October 2019, on greening the European Investment Bank (EIB), in the presence of the Bank’s president, and on how to prevent conflicts of interest in the EU. Continue reading

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