Месечни архиви: октомври 2015

Banking Union [What Think Tanks are thinking]

Written by Marcin Grajewski
European Union High Resolution Banks Concept

Fotolia – © xtock

On 11 November, the European Commission will hold an orientation debate on next steps to complete the EU’s Banking Union — the European Union’s single rulebook on the functioning of banks, their supervision, restructuring and liquidation, and the protection of their customers and stakeholders.

The Banking Union was created in response to euro zone debt crisis, to shore up the often fragile banks, boost confidence in the financial system, and break the vicious circle between bank and sovereign debt. Some critics say it does not go far enough as, for example, there is no pan-EU deposit guarantee fund.

This note highlights a selection of recent studies by major international think tanks and research institutes on the banking union, with hyperlinks to the texts concerned. It also includes some recent papers on euro zone governance reform and the European banking system in general.

The great financial plumbing: From Northern Rock to Banking Union
Centre for European Policy Studies, October 2015

Regulatory influence on market conditions in the Banking Union
Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, June 2015

The Banking Union: State of art
Centre for Social and Economic Research, June 2015

Europe’s radical banking union
Bruegel, May 2015

Banking Union and the governance of credit institutions: A legal perspective
Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, April 2015

Changing banking supervision in the euro zone: The ECB as a policy entrepreneur
College of Europe, December 2014

Yes Virginia, there is a European Banking Union! But it may not make your wishes come true
Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, December 2014

ECB banking supervision and beyond
Peterson Institute for International Economics, December 2014

Banking Union and bank regulation: Banking sector stability in Europe
Deutsches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, November 2014

Banking Union in EU: Cure-all drug for distressed banks?
Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, November 2014

Europe’s half a banking union
Bruegel, September 2014

The EMU and the Banking Union: An evaluation of the impacts on the Euroepan monetary integration process
LUISS School of European Political Economy, September 2014

From the Single Supervisory Mechanism to the Banking Union: The role of the ECB and the EBA
LUISS School of European Political Economy, September 2014

How to complete Europe’s Banking Union
European Council on Foreign Relations, June 2014

Designing a genuine EMU: Which “Unions” for EU and euro zone?
College of Europe, June 2014

Bail-in provisions in state aid and resolution procedures: Are they consistent with systemic stability?
Centre for European Policy Studies, May 2014

A Banking Union for an unfinished EMU
Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies, May 2014

Framing Banking Union in the euro area: Some empirical evidence
Centre for European Policy Studies, February 2014

Banking Union and beyond
Collective work for Brussels Think Tank Dialogue, January 2014

The European Central Bank in the age of Banking Union
Bruegel, October 2013

A realistic bridge towards European Banking Union
Peterson Institute for International Economics, June 2013

Other related publications

A smart move: Why the Five Presidents’ Report is cautious on substance and ambitious on process
LUISS School of European Political Economy, August 2015

The vulnerability of Europe’s small and medium-sized banks
Bruegel, July 2015

A Capital Markets Union for Europe: The relevance of banks and markets
Cologne Institute for Economic Research, July 2015

The report of the Five Presidents: A missed opportunity
Instituto Affari Internazionali, July 2015

Towards a fiscal union? On the acceptability of a fiscal transfer system in the euro zone
Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, July 2015

Improving EMU: Our recommendations for the debate on the five presidents report
Notre Europe – Jacques Delors Institute, June 2015

Submission on Analytical Note “Preparing for Next Steps on Better Economic Governance in the Euro Area”
Economic Governance Group, March 2015

Bad banks in the EU: The impact of Eurostat rules
Bruegel, December 2014

Is Europe overbanked?
Centre for Social and Economic Research, November 2014

Source Article from http://epthinktank.eu/2015/10/30/banking-union-what-think-tanks-are-thinking/

Cyber diplomacy: confidence-building measures

Written by Patryk Pawlak
Graphics by Christian Dietrich
Cyber diplomacy: confidence-building measures

© Victoria / Fotolia

The growing importance of internet-enabled platforms for delivery of government, financial, and public services makes them one of the key priorities for national security. Over recent years, state, state-sponsored and non-state actors (i.e. terrorist organisations, organised crime groups) alike have resorted to intrusive techniques to gain the economic, political or security upper hand over their competitors and adversaries. The evolving landscape of threats, and challenges linked to attribution of attacks to specific perpetrators, have further increased the risks of misunderstanding and misperception of operations in cyberspace.

Against this background, a number of international and regional organisations in Europe, Asia and Latin America have embarked on the process of developing confidence-building measures in cyberspace, with a focus on improving communication and information exchange, transparency and verification, cooperation and restraint measures. While these are welcome, there is growing concern that the nascent global ‘cyber stability regime’ may be undermined by diverging concepts, methods and measures elaborated within these diverse frameworks.

The European Union has embraced the peaceful development of cyberspace as one of its key priorities in the EU Cybersecurity Strategy. It contributes actively to the ongoing debates about norms, provides support to regional confidence-building processes, and pursues the objective of a stable, safe and secure cyberspace by providing funding for capacity building in partner countries.

Read the full Briefing on ‘Cyber diplomacy: confidence-building measures‘ in PDF.


Source Article from http://epthinktank.eu/2015/10/29/cyber-diplomacy-confidence-building-measures/

Civil drones in the European Union

Written by Maria Juul
Civil drones in the European Union

© Oleksandr Delyk / Fotolia

Drones are aircraft which are operated with no pilot on board. Initially developed for military and defence purposes, they are increasingly used for various civil purposes, including photography, rescue operations, infrastructure monitoring, farming and aerial mapping.

Being aircraft, drones have to comply with aviation safety rules. International civil aviation rules adopted since 1944 at United Nations level prohibit unmanned aircraft from flying over another state’s territory without its permission. In the EU, the current regulatory system for drones is based on fragmented rules, with many Member States having already regulated or planning to regulate some aspects of civil drones with an operating mass of 150 kg or less. The responsibility for civil drones over 150 kg is left to the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). However, the extent, content and level of detail of national regulations differs, and conditions for mutual recognition of operational authorisations between EU Member States have not been reached.

In 2014, the Commission adopted a Communication outlining a strategy for opening the aviation market gradually to civil drones. In the strategy it calls for adoption of EU-wide rules on civil drones, which should ensure that drones are safe, secure and respect fundamental rights. The Council is in favour of a harmonised European approach, and considers EASA best placed to develop technical and safety standards, licences and certificates. The EP’s Committee on Transport and Tourism presents its views in a report on civil drones to be voted by the EP plenary in October 2015. In its report, the Committee calls for proportionate and risk-based rules, while also putting emphasis on safety, privacy, security and data protection. The next step is the revision of EASA’s Basic Regulation to include in it a specific article on drones, and define their essential requirements.

Read the complete Briefing on ‘Civil drones in the European Union‘ in PDF.
Different types of drones on the basis of weight

Different types of drones on the basis of weight

Source Article from http://epthinktank.eu/2015/10/29/civil-drones-in-the-european-union/

EU Biodiversity strategy to 2020: mid-term assessment

Written by Dessislava Yougova
EU Biodiversity strategy to 2020: mid-term assessment

© M.Gove / Fotolia

In 2011, the EU adopted a Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 aiming ‘to halt the loss of biodiversity and the degradation of ecosystem services in the EU by 2020 and to restore them as far as feasible, while stepping up the EU contribution to averting global biodiversity loss’ . The strategy has six mutually supportive targets and twenty related actions and has also to meet Convention of Biodiversity global targets.

On 2 October 2015, the Commission published its mid-term assessment report which draws a rather lukewarm picture of the results of EU biodiversity policy. Several reports (see below) had already sent out alarm signals regarding the continued erosion of Europe’s biodiversity (EEA, SOER 2015).

In this context, the “fitness check” of the EU Birds and Habitats Directives, which are the main pieces of the EU legislation on nature, pours oil on the flames. In the framework of the Luxembourg EU Council Presidency, Camille Gira, Luxembourg’s Secretary of State for Sustainable Development and Infrastructure was invited by the Committee of the Regions to a round table on the subject. Gira gave active support to both legislative instruments and concluded that ‘the mid-term review is an opportunity to draw the right conclusions to get us back on track to achieving our biodiversity goals’ .

A public hearing was held in the European Parliament on 12 October 2015 to discuss the challenges faced by EU biodiversity and the opportunities provided by ecosystems. An own-initiative report is expected to be adopted by the Environment Committee in December 2015, in response to the EEA report on the State of Nature in Europe and to the mid-term review of the EU’s Biodiversity Strategy. This will also constitute Parliament’s contribution to the ongoing fitness check of legislation on nature.

EPRS publications.
Safeguarding biological diversity: EU policy and international agreements , EPRS in-depth analysis, Didier Bourguignon, May 2015, 29 p.
Ecosystem services: Valuing our natural capital, EPRS briefing, Didier Bourguignon, March 2015, 7 p.

Biodiversity: the state of play in the EU

State of nature in the EU , EEA, May 2015, 178 p.
This report provides facts and figures on the state of nature in the EU. It is based on reports from Member States under the Birds and the Habitats directives and on assessments at EU level. See also EC Press release and article in ENDS Europe.

Biodiversity , in: The European environment: state and outlook (SOER) 2015 , EEA, March 2015
According to this study “the main EU target of ‘halting the loss of biodiversity and the degradation of ecosystem services’ by 2020 remains a serious challenge. Recent data show that 60% of species assessments and 77% of habitat assessments continue to be in unfavourable conservation status. Constant habitat loss, diffuse pollution, over-exploitation of resources, and growing impacts of invasive alien species and climate change contribute cumulatively”. See also the chapter Growing pressures on ecosystems.

Global Biodiversity Outlook 4 , CBD, 2014, 156 p.
Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO) is the flagship publication of the Convention on Biological Diversity. It is a periodic report that summarizes the latest data on the status and trends of biodiversity. Global Biodiversity Outlook 4 is a mid-term assessment of progress towards the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020. See also the article in ENDS Europe.

What is biodiversity and why is it important? , FERN, 2014, 5 p.
This short briefing note explains the term of biodiversity and points out the main raisons for the current state of the nature in the EU with special focus on forest ecosystems.

EU biodiversity policy

Halfway there? , BirdLife, May 2015, 76 p.
This mid-term assessment of the progress on the EU 2020 biodiversity strategy concludes that despite the success of the EU nature legislation, Europe is “far from halting biodiversity loss, as many plants and animals are threatened with extinction in the EU”. The main reason is “the poor implementation of the Birds and Habitats Directives”. Assessing the progress under the six targets of the EU Biodiversity strategy, it recommends more financing, better implementation and enforcement of the EU law, more political will for restoring degraded ecosystems, expanding green infrastructure and supporting the Natura 2000 network. See also summary and article in ENDS Europe.

Review of favourable conservation status and Birds directive Article 2 interpretation within the European Union , A.J. McConville, G.M.Tucker, IEEP, May 2015, 111 p.
The core objective of the Birds and Habitats Directives is to achieve a favourable conservation status of habitats and species of European importance. This study analyses how the concept of favourable conservation status has been interpreted and implemented across the Member States and identifies examples of good practice.

Ecosystem services

Ecosystem services and biodiversity , In-depth report, Science for Environment Policy, May 2015, 32 p.
This report analyses the links between biodiversity and ecosystem services in order to understand if the implementation of ecosystem services framework will also protect the biodiversity. The focus is on the synergies and trade-offs among multiple ecosystem services and the fundamental role of biodiversity. It examines also the mapping techniques which quantify state of ecosystems and their services, as well as the progress towards integrated valuation of the benefits that ecosystems provide.

European ecosystem assessment: concept, data, and implementation , EEA, 2015, 74 p.
This report outlines and explains the major elements for mapping pressures, ecosystem conditions and impacts in order to provide a ” first overview on how pressures affect ecosystem conditions, habitat quality and biodiversity, and how pressures and conditions are changing over time”. It is a contribution to Target 2 Action 5 ‘Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services (MAES)’ of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020.

The economics of ecosystems and biodiversity (TEEB): Challenges and responses , 2014, 16 p.
This publication describes the life of TEEB to date. The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) initiative was launched by Germany and the European Commission in 2007 in order to mainstream the economics of nature. The objective is to draw attention to the invisibility of nature in the economic choices made by policy-makers, public administration, and business.

A synthesis of approaches to assess and value ecosystem services in the EU in the context of TEEB , Roy Brouwer [et al.], Institute for Environmental Studies, University of Amsterdam, May 2013, 144 p.
This report overviews different initiatives to classify, assess and value ecosystem services at national and regional level in EU Member States. It describes the strengths and weaknesses of each alternative assessment option.

The multifunctionality of green infrastructure : In-depth report, Science for environment policy, EC, March 2012, 40 p.
Green Infrastructure (GI) is the network of natural and semi-natural areas, features and green spaces in rural and urban, terrestrial, freshwater, coastal and marine areas. This report describes the different functions of GI as a tool for providing ecological, economic and social benefits through natural solutions and outlines its ability to provide several functions and benefits on the same spatial area.

Biodiversity offsetting

Biodiversity offsets: design of biodiversity metrics and mechanisms for securing long term conservation benefits , IEEP, May 2015, 181 p.
This report reviews international best practice on how to measure biodiversity losses and gains from offsets. It also looks at how to ensure effective conservation activities through regulatory and management systems, how to secure long term land use and how to ensure financial sustainability of conservation management over time. Finally, it explores the implementation issues that could be faced in the EU.

What is biodiversity offsetting and why is it problematic? , FERN, 2014, 6 p.
According to this briefing the biodiversity offsetting causes more problems than it solves.

Policy options to achieve no net loss of biodiversity , IEEP, January 2014, 338 p.
This study identifies related policy gaps and proposes policy options to achieve the ‘no net loss’ target, including biodiversity offsetting. The aim of this is to achieve the target by fully compensating for losses that cannot be avoided.

Exploring potential demand for and supply of habitat banking in the EU and appropriate design elements for a habitat banking scheme , ICF GHK / BIO IS, January 2013, 158 p.
This report presents the findings of a research project undertaken by GHK Consulting and BIO Intelligence Service for DG Environment.
See also executive summary and annexes.

Source Article from http://epthinktank.eu/2015/10/29/eu-biodiversity-strategy-to-2020-mid-term-assessment/

Trends in female employment

Written by Monika Kiss
Trends in female employment

© VadimGuzhva / Fotolia

Statistics and research results show that over the past decade, despite the economic and financial downturn, the EU’s labour market has witnessed an increase in women’s employment rates. Women’s employment seems to be more resilient to the economic crisis then men’s.

This is partly due to long-term developments and institutional framework changes, as well as to women’s tendency to work in particular sectors and accept flexible working arrangements (e.g. part-time work, teleworking). Despite the general upward trend, however, women’s employment rates vary by Member State, age, social group, and educational level.

Even though international and EU legislation takes account of women’s situation in the labour market, and the EU dedicates a substantial amount of analytical work to it, a number of challenges remain unresolved. Examples include the need to harmonise retirement schemes taking into account specific characteristics of women’s careers; to better reconcile work and family life through more flexible employment arrangements; but the improvement and recognition of women’s skills, the equal treatment of domestic work and migrant workers, and the further closing of the gender pay gap are likewise important.

Read the complete Briefing on ‘Trends in female employment‘ in PDF.


Employment rate of men and women 2004–2014

Employment rate of men and women 2004–2014

Source Article from http://epthinktank.eu/2015/10/28/trends-in-female-employment/

EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian region (EUSAIR)

Written by Vasileios Margaras
EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian region (EUSAIR)

© SolisImages / Fotolia

The EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR) is the third EU macro-regional strategy, following the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (2009) and the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (2011). On a mandate from the European Council, the EUSAIR was developed jointly by the Commission with the Adriatic-Ionian region countries and stakeholders. The EUSAIR launch conference took place in Brussels on 18 November 2014.

The Adriatic and Ionian region faces a number of challenges, such as environmental degradation, inefficient transport connections and a lack of strong trans-border cooperation. The EUSAIR aims to tackle these challenges by promoting economic growth and prosperity in the Adriatic-Ionian region through improving its attractiveness, competitiveness and connectivity. It also aims to protect sea, coastal and inland environments and ecosystems. In addition, as the EUSAIR also includes non-EU countries, it should play an important role in promoting the Western Balkans’ EU integration.

The aims of the strategy will be pursued through four main pillars: ‘blue growth’, connecting the region, environmental quality and sustainable tourism. Each participating country will be in charge of coordinating and monitoring the implementation of the strategy. As with all EU macro-regional strategies, the EUSAIR does not rely on new funds but rather exploits existing financial instruments, such as the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF), as well as the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) for non-EU countries. Participating countries are also encouraged to seek alternative sources of finance, including private funds.

Read the complete Briefing on ‘EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian region (EUSAIR)‘ in PDF.


Source Article from http://epthinktank.eu/2015/10/27/eu-strategy-for-the-adriatic-and-ionian-region-eusair/

Refugee status under international law

Written by Ionel Zamfir

Over the past few years, the number of migrants requesting international protection has increased exponentially. The Geneva Convention on refugees and its subsequent Protocol entitle refugees to international protection, most importantly to the right not to be returned to their home countries. However, they define refugees in a restrictive manner, thus excluding many other categories of international migrants from the rights provided therein.

Definition of refugees in international law

Silhouette of a family with children refugees

© Prazis / Fotolia

Every year, millions of persons invoke the protection of international refugee law, making it one of the most relevant international human rights mechanisms. The only international legal norms applying specifically to refugees at global level are the 1951 UN Convention relating to the status of refugees (Geneva Convention) and the 1967 Protocol relating to the status of refugees. The Geneva Convention and its Protocol have been ratified by almost 150 states to date (however a number of countries, such as the Gulf States and India, are not among the signatories). The Convention was drafted under the specific conditions of the post-war period, applying only to persons who became refugees as a result of events occurring before 1 January 1951 in Europe. This temporal and geographical limitation was removed by the 1967 Protocol.

Refugees are a special class of migrants who under international law deserve specific protection by their host state. According to Article 1 of the 1951 UN Convention, as modified by the 1967 Protocol, a refugee is defined as a person who ‘owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country.’ This definition implies that several qualifying conditions apply to be considered a refugee: (1) presence outside home country; (2) well-founded fear of persecution (being at risk of harm is insufficient reason in the absence of discriminatory persecution); (3) incapacity to enjoy the protection of one’s own state from the persecution feared. The definition of refugees was actually intended to exclude internally displaced persons, economic migrants, victims of natural disasters, and persons fleeing violent conflict but not subject to discrimination amounting to persecution.

A refugee is not the same as an asylum-seeker. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) ‘an asylum-seeker is someone who says he or she is a refugee, but whose claim has not yet been definitively evaluated’. In the case of mass refugee movements (usually a result of conflict), the reasons for fleeing are evident and there is no capacity to conduct individual interviews, such groups are often declared prima facie refugees.

Rights of refugees and asylum-seekers

International refugee law or international human rights treaties neither articulate an explicit entitlement to asylum for the individuals concerned, nor impose an obligation on states to grant asylum. Individuals have a right to seek asylum, not to be granted asylum, and the states have the right to grant asylum, but no obligation. The Geneva Convention does not guarantee asylum-seekers the right to be granted refugee status, even if they fulfil the conditions to be considered refugees; this remains at state discretion. States have, however, to refrain from actions that would endanger asylum-seekers, especially from returning them to their country of origin. Each state is also free to establish the conditions for granting asylum. This situation is reinforced by the fact that no body is entitled to interpret the Geneva Convention authoritatively, unlike most other international human rights treaties. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has the duty to supervise its application, but has no authority to provide mandatory interpretations. The task of interpreting the Convention has thus fallen to domestic law-makers and courts.

Because of their vulnerable situation, asylum-seekers are sometimes forced to enter their country of refuge unlawfully. The Geneva Convention does not stipulate that states are required to grant asylum-seekers entry to their territory. Entering a state party to the Convention unlawfully does not forfeit protection (Article 31) and illegal entrants can still qualify as refugees if they fulfil the relevant criteria. ‘Refugees unlawfully in the country of refuge’ should not be punished for their illegal entry if they come directly from the territory where their life and freedom was threatened and if they report themselves immediately to the authorities, showing good reason for their illegal entry (Article 31). Restrictions on their movement can be imposed until their status is regularised. To ‘refugees lawfully in the territory,’ Article 26 of the Convention grants the right to choose their residence and to move freely. The UNHCR considers that detention of asylum-seekers should be a measure of last resort. It has drafted a set of guidelines for the use of detention of asylum-seekers. In certain countries, refugees are confined to refugee camps and their movement is restricted. In other countries, including in many developed countries, detention of irregular migrants until their status as refugees is determined is a common practice.

The Convention establishes a duty on states to accord rights to refugees that in certain areas are on a par with those of their population, while in others are similar to those granted to the most favoured aliens or to aliens in general. Rights accrue to refugees incrementally depending on the legality of their situation in their host country and the duration of their stay there. The first tier of rights applies merely on the basis of presence within a state party’s territory, even if this presence is illegal. Such rights include freedom of religion (Article 4), property rights (Article 13), the right to primary education (Article 22), the right to access to the courts (Article 16(1)), a limited right to move freely, subject to justifiable restrictions (Article 31(2)) etc. The second tier of rights are to be granted when refugees are ‘lawfully present’ in the host state (for example while their asylum claim is processed), including the right to self-employment (Article 18) and the right to move freely, subject to regulations applicable to aliens in general (Article 26). Other rights are accrued when refugees are ‘lawfully staying’ in a state party (usually after recognition of their refugee status by the state concerned), including the right to paid employment (Article 17) under conditions no less favourable than for other aliens. The right to work without any restriction accrues only after a period of three years’ extended residence (Article 17(2)). The absence in the Convention of a definition of the concepts of ‘present lawfully’, ‘staying lawfully’, or ‘residing lawfully’ affords states considerable discretion in according rights to refugees. In practice, states are free to grant permanent or temporary residence and to assign, or decline rights to work and move freely. This leads to great differences as regards refugees’ rights.

The Geneva Convention definition of refugees remains dominant in the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union (Article 78) and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (Article 18). The EU has an extensive set of legislation on asylum-seekers, which has often been the object of critical review by the UNHCR. The Qualification Directive also foresees that other persons entitled to international protection should be treated on a par with refugees.

The principle of non-refoulement

The purpose of the Convention is to assure protection to refugees, as defined in the Convention, by ensuring that they are not returned to their country or sent to any other territory where they could face persecution. Article 33 puts forward what has become known as the principle of non-refoulement: ‘No Contracting State shall expel or return (‘refouler‘) a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion’. This protection does not apply however to persons who represent a security threat to their host country (Article 33(2)). The Geneva Convention does not exclude removal of asylum-seekers to safe third countries. Asylum-seekers unlawfully present in a state can be required to seek protection in another country, but those lawfully present cannot be expelled from its territory (Article 32).

This principle has become part of other international human rights treaties either explicitly (Convention against Torture, Article 3) or implicitly through the relevant jurisprudence (European Convention on Human Rights, Article 3 and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 7) and, according to some scholars, also part of customary international law, making it universally binding. While in the Refugee Convention, the scope of the non-refoulement principle is limited to refugees, and exceptions to it (for reasons of national security) are permitted, these limitations do not exist in the other three treaties. States signatories of these international treaties are thus obliged not to return to their countries persons who may face torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. They are however not entitled to any other rights provided under the Refugee Convention since they are not refugees within its scope.

Download this At a glance on ‘Refugee status under international law‘ in PDF.

Source Article from http://epthinktank.eu/2015/10/27/refugee-status-under-international-law/

La Politique européenne de voisinage

Écrit par Philippe Perchoc
La Politique européenne de voisinage

© ismailgazel / Fotolia

Depuis 2004, la Politique européenne de voisinage (PEV) instaure un cadre général pour les relations de l’UE avec ses 16 États voisins à l’Est et au Sud les plus proches géographiquement. Ce cadre offre une coopération renforcée et un accès au marché européen par le biais de plans d’actions bilatéraux devant, à terme, aboutir à des accords d’association.

La Politique européenne de voisinage est complétée par trois volets régionaux, l’Union pour la Méditerranée, la Synergie pour la mer Noire et le Partenariat oriental. L’Union pour la Méditerranée et le Partenariat Oriental comportent un cadre multilatéral prenant la forme d’une série d’institutions partagées (Assemblée parlementaire de l’Union pour la Méditerranée, Euronest, sommets réguliers).

Les bouleversements géopolitiques majeurs engendrés par les printemps arabes au Sud de la Méditerranée depuis 2011 et par le conflit en Ukraine depuis 2014 poussent l’Union européenne à réviser en profondeur son action dans le voisinage. Le succès de cette réforme et de sa mise en œuvre est essentiel dans l’affirmation de l’UE comme acteur international.

En mars 2015, la Commission européenne et le Service européen pour l’action extérieure ont publié une consultation conjointe sur la réforme de la Politique européenne de voisinage. Cette dernière a reçu un intérêt soutenu de la part de différentes organisations internationales (ONU, UNICEF, UNESCO, OCDE), de parlements nationaux (Italie, Lituanie, Suède) ou régionaux (Catalogne), de divers think-tanks, universités et de nombreux citoyens.

Dans la perspective de la publication en novembre 2015 de la proposition de la Commission, cette étude se propose de revenir sur les origines de la Politique européenne de voisinage en rappelant les débats du début des années 2000 avant d’en détailler le fonctionnement institutionnel. Par la suite, elle revient sur les volets régionaux de la PEV avant de mettre en avant les impacts des bouleversements géopolitiques dans le voisinage européen depuis 2008. Ces derniers et les adaptations de la PEV sont notamment visibles à travers la variabilité des engagements financiers européens dans le voisinage, détaillés ici avant de s’intéresser aux pistes de réformes.

Tout au long du développement, l’étude propose de s’inspirer des concepts mis en avant par la littérature académique pour éclairer les dilemmes et les opportunités de cette politique européenne inédite.

Lisez cette Analyse approfondie sur La Politique européenne de voisinage en PDF.


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Source Article from http://epthinktank.eu/2015/10/27/la-politique-europeenne-de-voisinage/

Science and technology: what do MEPs want to know?

Written by Nera Kuljanic and Liliana Cunha
Science and technology: what do MEPs want to know?

© EU 2015 – On the photo: Members of the STOA Panel

Scientific and technological assessment and foresight are becoming ever more salient politically and are moving to the centre of policy-makers’ preoccupations. It is not surprising therefore that the European Parliament’s Science and Technology Options Assessment Panel (STOA), chaired by Paul Rübig MEP and under the responsibility of EP Vice-President Mairead McGuinness MEP, has recently been enlarged. The STOA Panel, which meets monthly in Strasbourg, now comprises 24 MEPs, compared to the previous 15. Membership of the Panel involves monitoring techno-scientific developments, discussing with researchers and experts, proposing and deciding upon projects, and taking part in workshops and debates that all aim to underpin science-based policy-making in the EP.

Besides the Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI), Employment & Social Affairs (EMPL), Environment, Public Health & Food Safety (ENVI), Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO), Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE), and Transport and Tourism (TRAN) Committees who have appointed members to the STOA Panel since 2004, two further committees – Culture & Education (CULT) and Legal Affairs (JURI) – are now also represented. This means more diversity in proposals and debates about current and emerging technology trends and their impacts on society. Moreover, with the increase in membership, the Panel becomes more representative in terms of the number of political groups and committee competences represented, thus linking STOA closer to committee work.

Find out more about what we do in STOA and follow our monthly meetings.

Over 40 proposals for new projects in 2015

The newly elected MEPs did not take long to demonstrate their interest in STOA, as they submitted proposals for more than 40 studies and workshops to take place in 2015. Precision agriculture, waste management, robotics, cyber-security, 3D printing, technological support for people with disabilities, energy resilience, trans-border transport, and the impact of technologies on the labour market are only some of the topics that interest the STOA Panel.

Following the Panel’s decisions, while completing ongoing projects, STOA is now launching new ones, such as the scientific foresight project on ‘Ethics of Cyber-Physical Systems’, which is being carried out to support the work of the JURI Committee’s Working Group on Robotics and Artificial Intelligence and for which Mady Delvaux MEP is Lead Panel Member.

Forthcoming activities

The end of the year will be packed with STOA events. On 18 November, Members will debate the impacts of organic food on human health, and on 1 December, they will discuss the situation and challenges of e-health in Europe. On 8 December STOA is jointly organising with the LIBE Committee, a high-level conference on online privacy. The following day, 9 December, the fourteenth prestigious STOA Annual Lecture will take place, continuing the practice of welcoming a Nobel laureate. This time the Annual Lecture is being organised aroundsor Serge Haroche, Nobel Prize in Physics 2012, will give the keynote speech.

All STOA events are open to the public, so register here and do not miss your chance to take the floor in the debate.

Source Article from http://epthinktank.eu/2015/10/26/science-and-technology-what-do-meps-want-to-know/

Personalised medicine: The right treatment for the right person at the right time

Written by Nicole Scholz
Personalised medicine: The right treatment for the right person at the right time

© bonumopus / Shutterstock

‘Personalised medicine’ refers to a medical approach that uses molecular insights into health and disease to guide decisions with regard to the prediction, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of illnesses. Genetic factors play a role in most human diseases, with gene variations contributing to their incidence or course.

New tools harnessed by personalised medicine include ‘-omics’ technologies, which seek to define and explain the molecular mechanisms of the human body, and biomarkers, allowing us to subdivide patients into groups according to their likely response to a specific treatment, and so decide on the best-suited medication.

Integrating advances in molecular technology into clinical practice comes with challenges, namely the translational gap, data protection, regulatory clarity and cost. Moreover, it is considered essential to educate patients (to acquire health literacy) as well as healthcare professionals (both in terms of providing them with undergraduate education and with continuous opportunities to advance their skills).

EU initiatives in the field of personalised medicine include the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), financial support to major research projects, and participation in international consortia. The Luxembourg Council Presidency has made personalised medicine one of its health priorities.

Read the complete Briefing on Personalised medicine: The right treatment for the right person at the right time in PDF.


The 4Ps

The 4Ps

Source Article from http://epthinktank.eu/2015/10/26/personalised-medicine-the-right-treatment-for-the-right-person-at-the-right-time/