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Institutional and Legal Affairs

This category contains 574 posts

Revision of the Community Code on Visas [EU Legislation in Progress]

The European Union Code on Visas is one of the core elements of the EU’s visa policy. It lays down the procedures and conditions for issuing short-stay visas for third-country nationals. Continue reading

The Rome Statute at 20: The International Criminal Court’s achievements and challenges

Adopted on 17 July 1998, the Rome Statute is the founding treaty of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which was set up to deal with the most serious crimes of international concern – genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Continue reading

The EU-UK withdrawal agreement: Progress to date and remaining difficulties

With less than one year to go before the planned Brexit date of 30 March 2019, talks are continuing as regards the terms of the United Kingdom’s (UK) withdrawal from the European Union (EU). Continue reading

Acquisition and loss of citizenship in EU Member States: Key trends and issues

Access to citizenship status is an important prerequisite for enjoying rights and privileges, such as migration and political rights, as well as for developing a sense of identity and belonging. Since the establishment of Union citizenship, all persons who are nationals or citizens of an EU Member State enjoy the status of EU citizenship, which confers on them a number of additional rights and privileges. Continue reading

European Council: Facts and Figures

The European Council is one of the most important European Institutions and receives a lot of media attention when it meets. However, many aspects of this institution are less well known, and citizens ask themselves who are the Members of the European Council, since when does the European Council exist and how did its role evolve and the number and type of participants change over time. Continue reading

Plenary round-up – Strasbourg, July 2018

The July plenary session highlights were: the continuation of the debate on the Future of Europe, this time with the Prime Minister of Poland, Mateusz Morawiecki, the discussion on the outcome of the European Council meeting of 28-29 June 2018, and the review of the Bulgarian and presentation of the activities of the Austrian Presidencies. Continue reading

The European Council in 2017: Overview of decisions and discussions

For the first year in almost a decade, the European Council was not in crisis mode in 2017. Throughout the year, the political and economic situation in the European Union (EU) improved markedly. Continue reading

Priority Dossiers under the Austrian EU Council Presidency

Austria will hold the EU Council Presidency from July to December 2018. Its presidency comes at the end of the Trio Presidency composed of Estonia, Bulgaria and Austria. The last time Austria held the Council Presidency was in 2006. Continue reading

The migration challenge [What Think Tanks are thinking]

Next week, European Union Heads of State or Government will discuss the politically charged issue of reforming the EU’s migration and asylum policies. Divisions among EU members over how to handle migrants were exposed again earlier this month when Italy’s new government tightened its migration policy, while the German ruling coalition faced a potentially destabilising rift over the issue. Continue reading

Plenary round-up – Strasbourg, June 2018

The June plenary session highlights were the continuation of the debate on the future of Europe with the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, and the preparation of the European Council meeting of 28 and 29 June 2018. Continue reading

Future of Europe debates: Parliament hosts Heads of State or Government

Against the background of the many challenges which the European Union has faced in recent years, the European Parliament has taken the lead in launching and hosting a series of high-profile debates on the Future of Europe, intended to run for the whole of 2018. Continue reading

Plenary round-up – Strasbourg, May II 2018

The May II plenary session highlights were the debate on the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework and own resources in the context of the publication of individual proposals for spending programmes, and the debate on the future of Europe with the Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Xavier Bettel. Continue reading

The fight against terrorism: Cost of Non-Europe Report

In the wake of recent attacks, surveys show that combatting terrorism while respecting individual freedom, remains one of the key concerns of EU citizens. The EU fights terrorism through supporting various national measures and exchanges, including those preventing radicalisation and recruitment, measures addressing terrorist financing and regulating the possession and acquisition of weapons and explosives, as well as instruments aimed at strengthening security at the Union’s external borders. Continue reading

Brexit negotiations [What Think Tanks are thinking]

European Union officials have warned the United Kingdom that time is running out if definitive agreement on the country’s withdrawal from the Union is to be reached by this autumn. Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Theresa May is struggling to keep her Cabinet and Conservative Party united as the focus of negotiations has shifted to the future customs regime and the accompanying, highly sensitive, issue of the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Continue reading

Migration & asylum: Projects & funding

Funding instruments in the field of migration and asylum management cover, on the one hand, different EU policy fields, such as enlargement, neighbourhood, development cooperation and common foreign and security policy, as well as, on the other, international projects such as those managed by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) at a more global level. Continue reading

GDPR goes live: A modern data protection law

Aimed at strengthening citizens’ rights uniformly while reducing burdens for companies and public entities, the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) applies fully as of 25 May 2018. The long-awaited (and often feared) law is part of a reform package adopted in 2016 to foster trust in a digital age. The recent revelations on misuses of data show how the underlying values of the GDPR standards are essential for democracy. Continue reading

The Visegrad Group and the rule of law [What Think Tanks are thinking]

Political developments in the Visegrád Group countries have raised concern over the commitment of some of their leaders and senior politicians to European Union values, notably the rule of law. The Visegrád Group is an informal alliance of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, all of which joined the EU in 2004. Continue reading

Online disinformation and the EU’s response

The proliferation of disinformation – including false news posing as factual stories – became increasingly visible in the context of the crisis in Ukraine, gaining notoriety as a global challenge during the 2016 United States presidential election campaign. While the EU is stepping up its efforts to tackle online disinformation ahead of the European elections in 2019, the EU’s myth-busting team is facing criticism. Continue reading

The Future of Europe [What Think Tanks are thinking]

This note offers links to commentaries, studies and reports from major international think tanks on the state of the EU and possible reforms. Brexit-related publications can be found in a previous edition of ‘What Think Tanks are thinking.’ Earlier papers on the general state of the EU are available in another edition in this series, published in September 2017. More reports on euro zone reforms are also gathered in another item of the series from December 2017. Continue reading

The added value of the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI), and its revision

Introduced by the 2007 Treaty of Lisbon and made operational on 1 April 2012 by EU Regulation No 211/2011, the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) is aimed at bringing the EU closer to its citizens by enabling them to invite the European Commission to make a proposal for a legal act. Continue reading

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