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Policy Cycle

This category contains 87 posts

Outcome of the informal European Council and informal meeting of 27 Heads of State or Government on 3 February 2017

Written by Ralf Drachenberg, The Maltese capital, Valletta, hosted an informal European Council meeting, as well as an informal meeting of EU-27 leaders on 3 February 2017. The first meeting concentrated on migration on the Central Mediterranean route, while the second looked at the future of the EU and preparations for the approaching 60th anniversary … Continue reading

Outlook for the informal European Council and informal meeting of 27 Heads of State or Government on 3 February 2017

Written by Ralf Drachenberg, The informal summit taking place on 3 February 2017 in Valletta, Malta, will take place in two parts: an informal European Council meeting in which all EU Member States will participate, followed by an informal meeting of the 27 Heads of State or Government without the UK. The informal European Council … Continue reading

The Juncker Commission’s ten priorities: State of play at the start of 2017

Written by Étienne Bassot and Wolfgang Hiller, More than two years since Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker took office on 1 November 2014, having presented the ten priority areas that would serve as his Commission’s guiding lines for the following five years, the European Commission is now approaching the midway point of its mandate. Building on the … Continue reading

What if computers were trillions of times faster? [Science and Technology Podcast]

Written by Lieve Van Woensel with James Tarlton, Could the theory of quantum mechanics one day revolutionise commonplace technical devices such as sensors, communication devices and computers? Quantum mechanics is a scientific theory that has revolutionised our understanding of the Universe. In the world of classical physics, a system is always in one particular state … Continue reading

What can European farming expect from new technologies?

Written by Lieve Van Woensel with James Tarlton, How will information technology revolutionise agriculture in the 21st century? That is the question investigated by a recently published study on ‘Precision Agriculture and the Future of Farming in Europe’, which was commissioned by the European Parliament’s Science and Technology Options Assessment (STOA) Panel. The lead panel … Continue reading

Outcome of the European Council of 15 December 2016

Written by Ralf Drachenberg and Suzana Anghel, As flagged up in the EPRS Outlook for the European Council on 15 December 2016, this European Council meeting concentrated on migration and internal and external security, as well as economic and social development. As events unfolded, EU leaders discussed external relations at greater length, in particular Syria, and … Continue reading

Outlook for the 15 December 2016 European Council

Written by Ralf Drachenberg and Susanna Tenhunen, At their 15 December 2016 European Council meeting, EU Leaders will mainly discuss migration, and internal and external security, as well as economic and social development. Particular attention will be paid to assessing the implementation of previous European Council conclusions. For the first time, the European Council will … Continue reading

What if electric cars became an affordable and convenient way to travel? [Science and Technology Podcast]

Written by Christian Kurrer with James Tarlton, Are electric cars on the verge of becoming the norm, should we encourage this transition, and what would be the consequences for the environment, the automobile industry and our electricity grid? Over the past century, cars have become an integral part of our society. They generally offer greater … Continue reading

Ratification of international agreements by EU Member States

Written by Kristina Grosek and Giulio Sabbati, International agreements play a crucial role in defining international relations, and are a source of conventional international law. The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties defines a treaty as ‘an international agreement concluded between States in written form and governed by international law, whether embodied in a … Continue reading

The European Council and EU efforts to strengthen the partnership with the United Nations on crisis management

Written by Suzana Elena Anghel, In June 2016, the European Council ‘welcomed’ the presentation of the Global Strategy for the European Union. One element in the strategy is the recognition of the United Nations’ central role in maintaining international stability, and a call for an integrated EU approach to conflicts and crises. It is thus … Continue reading

Judicial rules and cooperation in family matters (recast of Brussels IIa Regulation)

Written by Hubert Dalli, This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission’s Impact Assessment (IA) accompanying the above Commission proposal (the proposal), submitted on 30 June 2016 and referred to Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs. The proposal is a recast of the Brussels IIa Regulation (the … Continue reading

Outcome of the European Council of 20-21 October 2016

Written by Ralf Drachenberg and Suzana Anghel, Migration was the main topic at the European Council of 20-21 October 2016, and featured most prominently in its conclusions. Other topics discussed were global and economic issues, external relations and trade issues, in particular the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with Canada. This was the first formal … Continue reading

What if blockchain technology revolutionised voting? [Science and Technology Podcast]

Written by Philip Boucher, Is blockchain the revolution in security and transparency that is needed to enable e-voting and, if so, what are the implications for the future of democracy? Despite the digitalisation of several important aspects of modern life, elections are still largely conducted offline, on paper. Since the turn of the century, e-voting … Continue reading

Outlook for the European Council of 20-21 October 2016

Written by Ralf Drachenberg and Izabela Bacian, The 20-21 October 2016 European Council meeting will focus primarily on migration and trade issues, but will also address global economic issues and external relations. On migration, EU leaders will most likely concentrate on progress on the Partnership Framework of cooperation with countries of origin or transit and … Continue reading

The choice of the President of the European Council: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Although it does not exercise legislative functions, the European Council’s role – to ‘provide the Union with the necessary impetus for its development’ and to define its ‘general political directions and priorities’ – has developed rapidly over the past seven years. Continue reading

Global Trendometer: Essays on medium- and long-term global trends, autumn 2016

Written by Danièle Réchard, Global warming, demographic change, mounting inequality, changing balance of power, societal impact of the ongoing technological revolution: in the face of these and other global trends, the world in 2030 or 2040 may appear so unknown, so complex and so distant that it would seem vain to prepare for it, as … Continue reading

Outcome of the informal meeting of 27 Heads of State or Government on 16 September 2016 in Bratislava

Written by Ralf Drachenberg, The Bratislava summit was an informal meeting of Heads of State or Government of 27 Member States. Although attended by all members of the European Council other than the UK Prime Minister, it was not a meeting of that institution. Another difference from the European Council format was the absence of … Continue reading

European Council and CSDP: success or failure?

The European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) will organize a roundtable discussion on ‘The European Council and CSDP: success or failure?’ on 27 September 2016, 13h30-15h00, in the European Parliament’s Library main reading room in Brussels. Participants at this roundtable debate are: Elmar Brok MEP, Chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, General Jean-Paul Perruche, Former Director-General of the European Union Military Staff, Professor Alexander Mattelaer, Institute for European Studies, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), and Elena Lazarou, Policy Analyst, EPRS. Continue reading

Evaluation and ex-post impact assessment at EU level

Parliament has its own ex-post impact assessment tool at its disposal, in the form of so-called implementation reports. This specific type of own-initiative report, provided for in Parliament’s Rules of Procedure (Annex XVII, Article 1, indent 1(e)), allows parliamentary committees to scrutinise how EU legislation, soft law instruments and international agreements have been transposed into national law, implemented and enforced. Continue reading

The European Council in 2015

Written by Suzana Elena Anghel, Izabela Cristina Bacian, Ralf Drachenberg and Susanna Tenhunen Designed to be the first in a series of annual publications, this In-Depth Analysis by the European Council Oversight Unit of the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) examines in detail the activity of the European Council in 2015, in all of the … Continue reading

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The content of all documents (and articles) contained in this blog is the sole responsibility of the author and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily represent the official position of the European Parliament. It is addressed to the Members and staff of the EP for their parliamentary work. Reproduction and translation for non-commercial purposes are authorised, provided the source is acknowledged and the European Parliament is given prior notice and sent a copy. Copyright © European Union, 2014. All rights reserved