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Institutional and Legal Affairs

This category contains 641 posts

Artificial intelligence, data protection and elections

The Facebook/Cambridge Analytica case in 2018, revealing alleged misuse of personal data for political advertising, demonstrated how the underlying values of the European data protection rules are essential for democracy. The EU has recently adopted a series of additional initiatives to support free and fair elections, reflected not least in European Parliament (EP) debates and resolutions. Continue reading

Area of freedom, security and justice: Cost of non-Europe

Since the entry into force of the Treaty of Amsterdam in 1999, the EU offers its citizens an area of freedom, security and justice (AFSJ). In this area, the free movement of persons should be ensured, in conjunction with appropriate measures with respect to external border controls, asylum and migration, as well as preventing and combating crime. Continue reading

Outcome of the informal meeting of EU-27 leaders on 9 May 2019 in Sibiu

Just two weeks before the European elections, EU-27 Heads of State or Government met on 9 May 2019 in the Romanian city of Sibiu, to discuss the Union’s common future. They adopted the Sibiu Declaration, recalling the achievements and values of the European Union. Continue reading

The Future of Europe debates in the European Parliament, 2018-19: A synthesis of the speeches by EU Heads of State and Government

The debates held in the European Parliament on the Future of Europe offered a unique opportunity for Heads of State or Government to present their views on the future direction that the EU-27 should take. This exercise showed, on the one hand, that the question of which policy areas are of compelling importance differs among the speakers, and, on the other hand, that they have converging views on many issues. Continue reading

Assessing the Leaders’ Agenda

The Leaders’ Agenda, adopted by the EU Heads of State or Government on 20 October 2017, was designed both as a contribution to the realisation of the objectives set out in the ‘future of Europe’ debate and as a concrete work programme for the European Council up to June 2019. Continue reading

The Juncker Commission’s ten priorities: An end-of-term assessment

As the European Parliament reaches the end of its 2014-2019 mandate and the European Commission approaches the end of its term, it is timely to look back at the commitments made by the Juncker Commission when it took office in 2014 and assess to what extent it has delivered. Continue reading

The power of the European Parliament: Examples of EP impact during the 2014 2019 legislative term

As the only European Union institution elected directly, the European Parliament is at the heart of representative democracy, the foundation upon which the EU is built. Since its creation, the Parliament’s power and influence have evolved significantly, transforming it into a full-fledged legislative body and forum of discussion and engagement, whose influence is felt in virtually all areas of EU activity. Continue reading

Plenary round-up – Strasbourg, April II 2019

Highlights of the April II plenary session (the last of the current legislature) included debates on the conclusions of the April 2019 European Council meeting on the withdrawal of the UK from the European Union, and the final debate in the series on the future of Europe with the Prime Minister of Latvia, Kisjanis Karins. Important debates also took place on the rule of law in Romania; failure to adopt an EU digital services tax; protecting the European elections against international cybersecurity threats; and on the possible extradition of Julian Assange. Continue reading

Outcome of the Special European Council (Article 50) meeting, 10 April 2019

At the special European Council (Article 50) meeting on 10 April 2019, Heads of State or Government agreed to further extend the Article 50 period until 31 October 2019 at the latest. This goes beyond the request made by the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, for that period to be extended until 30 June 2019, but represents only half of the time period some European Council members had been seeking to offer. Continue reading

How the EU budget is spent: Fight against fraud: Pericles 2020, Hercule III and AFIS

Member States share an obligation with the EU to protect the Union’s financial interests and to counter fraud, corruption and any other illegal activities affecting them under Article 325 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), on which the EU anti-fraud programme is based. Continue reading

EU policies – Delivering for citizens: The fight against terrorism [Policy Podcast]

Faced with a growing international terrorist threat, the European Union (EU) is playing an ever more ambitious role in counter-terrorism. Even though primary responsibility for combating crime and ensuring security lies with the Member States, the EU provides cooperation, coordination and (to some extent) harmonisation tools as well as financial support to address this borderless phenomenon. Continue reading

Ratifying the EU-UK withdrawal deal: State of play and possible scenarios

On 14 November 2018, the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK) negotiators announced their approval of the legal agreement on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. Continue reading

Recasting the Return Directive [EU Legislation in Progress]

The Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee of the European Parliament is considering the 654 amendments, tabled in February 2019, to the European Commission’s September 2018 proposal to recast the Return Directive. The Directive is the main piece of EU legislation governing the procedures and criteria to be applied by Member States when returning irregularly staying third-country nationals, and a cornerstone of the EU return policy. Continue reading

Plenary round-up – Brussels, April I 2019

Highlights of the April I plenary session included debates on the Future of Europe with Swedish Prime Minister, Stefan Löfven, and on UK withdrawal from the EU. Continue reading

What if a simple DNA test could predict your future? [Science and Technology podcast]

What if new-born babies were given a DNA report card that predicted their intelligence, their odds of getting a PhD, their chances of becoming a chain smoker or suffering depression, a heart attack or cancer? Thanks to ongoing genetic studies, a large amount of genetic data is available today involving millions of people. Continue reading

State of the Union: Spring 2019 [What Think Tanks are thinking]

The run-up to the European Parliament elections on 23-26 May has intensified debate about the state of the European Union, the challenges it faces and the reforms needed, both to strengthen its resilience and to enhance its international role. Continue reading

EU policies – Delivering for citizens: The migration issue [Policy Podcast]

Refugee movements and migration are at the centre of global attention. In recent years, Europe has had to respond to the most severe migratory challenge since the end of the Second World War. Continue reading

Brexit: Understanding the withdrawal agreement and political declaration

In November 2018, the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK) endorsed, at leaders’ level, an agreement that would ensure an orderly UK withdrawal from the EU on 30 March 2019, as well as a political declaration setting out the main parameters of the future EU-UK relationship. Continue reading

The cost of non-Europe in the area of legal migration

Ensuring that legally residing non-European Union nationals, referred to as third-country nationals (TCNs), are treated fairly and in a non-discriminatory manner is the goal of the EU’s efforts to build a comprehensive EU immigration policy. Continue reading

Plenary round-up – Strasbourg, March I 2019

Highlights of the March I plenary session included debates on Brexit, preparation of the European Council meeting of 21-22 March 2019, and the latest debate on the Future of Europe, with Peter Pellegrini, Slovakia’s Prime Minister. Continue reading

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