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Institutional and Legal Affairs

This category contains 680 posts

European Parliament and the path to German reunification

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, set in motion by the events of 9 November 1989, which led to Germany’s full reunification within less than a year. Continue reading

The powers of the European Parliament

Since its inception in 1951, the European Parliament has come a long way. Initially a consultative body composed of delegations of national parliaments, it became a directly elected institution, obtained budgetary and legislative powers, and now exercises influence over most aspects of EU affairs. Continue reading

Global and regional trends [What Think Tanks are thinking]

The European Union’s key institutions held a joint annual conference on 14-15 October entitled ‘Challenges and Choices for Europe.’ Continue reading

Commission as ‘caretaker administration’

The hearings of the Commissioners-designate before the European Parliament’s committees took place between 30 September and 8 October 2019. Continue reading

Plenary round-up – Strasbourg, October II 2019

The October II plenary session highlights included statements and debates on the outcome of the European Council meeting of 17 and 18 October 2019, and a review of the Juncker Commission’s term. Continue reading

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

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

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

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

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

Brexit: make or break? [What Think Tanks are thinking]

The British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, and the other 27 European Union leaders will make a last-ditch effort on 17-18 October to reach agreement on the United Kingdom’s orderly withdrawal from the EU, currently scheduled for 31 October. Continue reading

Understanding European Parliament delegations

Members of the European Parliament form official groups – delegations – with ties to regions and organisations, as well as parliaments, in non-EU countries. Parliament has expanded its impact EU in foreign policy in recent decades, and its delegations are a key component of its diplomatic work. Continue reading

Overview of the parliamentary hearings

This infographic presents an overview of the schedule of hearings of the Commissioners-designate of the von der Leyen Commission. The parliamentary committees take the lead for the hearings, with each Commissioner-designate invited to a single hearing of three hours duration. All the hearings are to be held in the József Antall building, in rooms 2Q2 and 4Q2, in the period from 30 September to 8 October 2019. Continue reading

Plenary round-up – Strasbourg, September 2019

Highlights of the September plenary session included statements and debates on the preparation for the Climate Action Summit and the Sustainable Development Goals Summit in New York, on the importance of European remembrance for the future of Europe, and on the implementation of anti-money laundering legislation. Continue reading

EU guidelines on ethics in artificial intelligence: Context and implementation

The discussion around artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and their impact on society is increasingly focused on the question of whether AI should be regulated. Following the call from the European Parliament to update and complement the existing Union legal framework with guiding ethical principles, the EU has carved out a ‘human-centric’ approach to AI that is respectful of European values and principles. Continue reading

Women in foreign affairs and international security: Contours of a timely debate

The debate on the participation and role of women in foreign affairs and international security is a timely and relevant one, and is being raised with increasing frequency at both national and international levels. Continue reading

EU challenges at a time of transition [What Think Tanks are thinking]

The European Union faces numerous challenges, both short and long-term, as it prepares to choose the new executive European Commission for the next five years, following elections to the European Parliament in May 2019. The most immediate task is for European Commission President-elect, Ursula von der Leyen, to put together a college of Commissioners and secure the approval of the European Parliament for it. The EU is also engaged in tough negotiations on the terms of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU, currently due on 31 October. Continue reading

Cost of non-Europe in robotics and artificial intelligence

Robotics is a wide and multi-faceted domain that crosses boundaries between many economic sectors and legal disciplines. The perception of a need for some kind of Europe-wide legal framework to accompany the development of robotic and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies is growing. Continue reading

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