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Institutional and Legal Affairs

This category contains 793 posts

Plenary round-up – February 2021

The main debates held during the February 2021 plenary session concerned the state of play of the EU’s Covid‑19 vaccination strategy and the de facto abortion ban in Poland. Continue reading

European Commission: Facts and Figures

The European Commission is the executive body of the European Union. Under the Treaties, its tasks are to ‘promote the general interest of the Union’, without prejudice to individual Member States, to ‘ensure the application of the Treaties’ and adopted measures, and to ‘execute the budget’. Continue reading

Transnational electoral lists: Ways to Europeanise elections to the European Parliament

Transnational electoral lists: Ways to Europeanise elections to the European Parliament Continue reading

Search and rescue in the Mediterranean [Policy Podcast]

International law imposes an obligation to render assistance to persons and ships in distress at sea, which must be provided regardless of the persons’ nationality or status or the circumstances in which they are found. Continue reading

EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement: An analytical overview

On 30 December 2020, the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK) signed a Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), concluding nearly ten months of negotiations. Continue reading

Policing in national parliaments: How parliaments organise their security

National parliaments organise their security in a variety of ways. Whereas in some cases the principles of separation of powers or of parliamentary autonomy prevent police forces from entering parliamentary premises − meaning that these legislative chambers rely on in-house security services – in others the security of parliaments is ensured exclusively by the police or other state forces with responsibilities in the area of security, defence or civil protection. Continue reading

Holocaust education: ‘Never, never be a bystander

This year, 27 January, International Holocaust Remembrance Day, marks the 76th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and extermination camp. Continue reading

Outcome of the European Council video conference of 21 January 2021

Discussions at the 21 January video-conference meeting of EU leaders largely focused on a coordinated response to the coronavirus pandemic, including the evolving public health situation with the spread of new virus variants coming from the UK and South Africa, vaccination strategies and international solidarity. Continue reading

Plenary round-up – January 2021

The main debates of the January 2021 plenary session were on the inauguration of the new President of the United States, and the presentation of the Portuguese EU Council Presidency. Continue reading

Qualified majority voting in foreign and security policy: Pros and Cons

In her first State of the Union speech, and in the section of the speech most applauded by the European Parliament, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called for the use of qualified majority voting (QMV) in areas such as sanctions and human rights. Continue reading

Understanding EU action against migrant smuggling

Around 90 % of those who cross the external European Union (EU) borders illegally do so with the assistance of migrant smugglers. Continue reading

Crisis and force majeure regulation [EU Legislation in Progress]

In September 2020, the European Commission proposed a new pact on asylum and migration. Continue reading

Understanding EU counter-terrorism policy

Faced with a persistent international terrorist threat, the European Union (EU) is playing an ever more ambitious role in counter-terrorism. Continue reading

The Twitter activity of members of the European Council

Over recent years, the members of the European Council have, in a number of landmark declarations such as the Bratislava Declaration, pointed to the need to improve communication with citizens, as part of the process of building greater trust and confidence in the European Union and its institutions. Continue reading

Ten issues to watch in 2021

The year ahead of us is critical in many ways: 2021 is the first year of recovery after the coronavirus pandemic hit the world in 2020. In the five-year European political cycle, it is a year in which progress towards significant action and implementation are expected, after a first year generally more focused on declarations and planning. And global events and geopolitical tensions make it no less critical at international level. Continue reading

Priority dossiers under the Portuguese EU Council Presidency

Portugal is a democratic republic with a unitary semi-presidential system of government, whereby the Prime Minister of Portugal is the head of government. The current Prime Minister is António Luís Santos da Costa, from the Socialist Party, and a former MEP who was a Vice-President of the European Parliament between July 2004 and March 2005. Continue reading

What if AI-powered passenger locator forms could help stop the spread of Covid-19?

Asking passengers to complete a passenger locator form (PLF) prior to their flights has been seen in recent months as an efficient way to help public health authorities trace travellers potentially exposed to Covid-19 in airports and ports and at other border check points. Continue reading

Plenary round-up – December 2020

The December 2020 plenary session focused on the agreement on EU finances for the coming years, as well as the conclusions of the 10‑11 December European Council meeting. Continue reading

Outcome of the meetings of EU leaders on 10 and 11 December 2020

On Thursday 10 and Friday 11 December 2020, the European Council agreed on clarifications to the rule-of-law conditionality mechanism, which pave the way for the adoption of the Multiannual Financial Framework and the Next Generation EU recovery fund. Continue reading

Slowing down or changing track? Understanding the dynamics of ‘Slowbalisation’

The period from the fall of the Berlin Wall to the global financial crisis of 2007 marked an era of fast-growing interdependence between different economies and cultures, brought about by cross-border movements of people, goods, services, capital and data. Continue reading

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