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Institutional and Legal Affairs

This category contains 718 posts

Charles Michel as President of the European Council: The first 100+ days

On 1 December 2019, Charles Michel, previously prime minister of Belgium, became the third President of the European Council. He began his term in dynamic mode, aiming to make his mark in foreign affairs and develop the EU’s interinstitutional relations. Continue reading

Outcome of European Council video-conference of 26 March 2020

On 26 March, EU Heads of State or Government continued their joint coordination efforts to address the COVID-19 outbreak and held a six hour-long video-conference meeting on this subject. They followed up on the priorities defined at the previous video-conferences on 10 and 17 March 2020, and outlined additional coordinated measures aimed at overcoming the crisis in a joint statement. Continue reading

The impact of coronavirus on Schengen borders

The Schengen Area consists of 26 countries that have agreed to remove regular checks at their internal borders in order to facilitate the free and unrestricted movement of people: 22 EU Member States (Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Finland and Sweden), and 4 associated countries (Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein). Continue reading

Terrorist content online: Tackling online terrorist propaganda [EU Legislation in Progress][Policy Podcast]

Dissemination of terrorist content is one of the most widespread and most dangerous forms of misuse of online services in the field of internal security. In line with the 2015 European agenda on security and taking into account the impact of this propaganda on the radicalisation, recruitment and training of terrorists, the European Commission launched a voluntary system for tackling terrorism online, based on guidelines and recommendations. Continue reading

What if smartphones could help contain COVID-19?

The recent outbreak of respiratory diseases triggered by the new coronavirus poses a challenge to public health worldwide. As governments evaluate how to stop further contagion, what role could smartphone apps play in the overall effort? Continue reading

Solidarity in EU asylum policy

The unprecedented arrival of refugees and irregular migrants in the EU in 2015 exposed a number of deficiencies in EU external border, asylum and migration policy, sparking EU action through various legal and policy instruments. Continue reading

Outcome of the video-conference call of EU Heads of State or Government on 17 March 2020

‘The EU is facing a serious and exceptional crisis, in terms of magnitude and nature’. This was the main message from the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, after EU leaders held a three-hour-long video-conference to discuss the COVID-19 outbreak. Continue reading

Temporary border controls in the Schengen area

Free movement across internal borders is one of the EU’s most important achievements, with important benefits for EU citizens. The Schengen Borders Code (or Schengen Code) specifies the conditions under which Member States can introduce temporary checks at their internal borders in cases of serious threats to public policy or internal security. Continue reading

What if we could fight coronavirus with artificial intelligence? [Science and Technology podcast]

Analytics have changed the way disease outbreaks are tracked and managed, thereby saving lives. The international community is currently focused on the 2019-2020 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, first identified in Wuhan, China. Continue reading

What if artificial intelligence made work obsolete? [Science and Technology podcast]

The world of work is regularly disrupted by technology development. From mass production to word processing, innovations have regularly transformed our working lives and, with them, the broader economic system. Continue reading

Family reunification rights of refugees and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection

Separation of family members can have devastating consequences on their well-being and ability to rebuild their lives. This is true for everybody, but especially so for persons who have fled persecution or serious harm and have lost family during forced displacement and flight. Continue reading

Financing the EU’s administration: Heading 7 of the 2021-2027 MFF

In May 2018, the European Commission published its proposal for the EU’s long-term budget for 2021-2027, known as the multiannual financial framework (MFF). The proposed next MFF is structured in 7 headings, encompassing 17 policy clusters. Continue reading

Competition in the EU and globally [What Think Tanks are thinking]

The digital revolution, global trade disputes and low growth in the European economy have, among other factors, revived the debate about the merits and drawbacks of the European Union’s strict EU competition rules, which cover cartels, market dominance, mergers and state aid. Continue reading

Plenary round-up – Strasbourg, February 2020

Highlights of the February session included debates on a review of economic governance; the revised enlargement methodology proposed by the Commission; a breach of Council Decision 2017/2074 concerning restrictive measures in view of the situation in Venezuela; the current situation in Syria; on fighting against antisemitism, racism and hatred across Europe; as well as on the ongoing threat to the rule of law in Poland. Continue reading

Parliament’s right of legislative initiative [Policy podcast]

The European Commission has a near monopoly on legislative initiative in the European Union (EU), with special initiative rights for other institutions applying only in certain specific cases. Continue reading

What if internet by satellite were to lead to congestion in orbit?

Internet satellite companies, such as Starlink, OneWeb and Blue Origin (Amazon), aim at providing global internet access via satellites. This will bring many benefits to citizens, isolated regions and the global economy, but what if internet satellites collide with other satellites? Continue reading

Plenary round-up – Brussels, January II 2020

The highlights of the January II plenary session included discussion and the vote on the agreement on the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU, the ceremony to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day, and a debate on the von der Leyen Commission’s first work programme, for 2020. Continue reading

The von der Leyen Commission’s priorities for 2019-2024

In her statements to the European Parliament in July and November 2019, as candidate for European Commission President and President-elect respectively, Ursula von der Leyen outlined the six political priorities that would shape the working programme of the European Commission over the next five years. Continue reading

Agreement on the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU

On 29 January 2020, the European Parliament is set to vote on the recommendation to give consent to the treaty on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU), endorsed in its current version by EU leaders and the UK Prime Minister in October 2019. Continue reading

Brexit: The final countdown [What Think Tanks are thinking]

It is now clear that the United Kingdom will leave the European Union on 31 January 2020. It will do so on the basis of the revised Withdrawal Agreement negotiated between the EU-27 and the UK by Boris Johnson after he became Prime Minister last year. Continue reading

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