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Posted on 24-03-2017

EU certification of aviation security screening equipment

Briefing - 24-03-2017

On 7 September 2016, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation establishing a certification system for aviation security screening equipment. The proposal seeks 'to contribute to the proper functioning of the EU internal market and to increase the global competitiveness of the EU industry by establishing an EU certification system for aviation security equipment'. This system would be based on EU type-approval and issuance of a certificate of conformity by manufacturers, which would be valid in all Member States, according to the principle of mutual recognition. The proposal falls under different policy frameworks: the 2012 Commission communication entitled 'Security Industrial Policy Action Plan for an innovative and competitive Security Industry', the European agenda on security adopted by the Commission in April 2015, and the communication 'Delivering the European Agenda on Security to fight against terrorism and pave the way towards an effective and genuine Security Union', adopted in April 2016. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

Turkey and the EU [What Think Tanks are thinking]

Briefing - 24-03-2017

Relations between Turkey and the European Union have been strained for some time, and most recently, Ankara became embroiled in a diplomatic spat with Germany and the Netherlands, following decisions in both countries to prevent Turkish ministers from addressing rallies of expatriate Turks. On 16 April, the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, will hold a referendum to expand presidential powers. Mr Erdogan has said that Turkey, an EU candidate country, may review its relations with the Union after the coming vote. Government officials have also threatened to ditch last year's agreement between the EU and Turkey that has helped to stem the flow of migrants into Europe. In November, 2016, the European Parliament passed a resolution, calling for Turkey's EU entry talks to be suspended until Ankara ended its 'disproportionate' and repressive response to a failed coup in July that year. This note offers links to a series of recent studies and comments from major international think tanks and research institutes on Turkey and its relations with the EU.

The EU as a community of law: Overview of the role of law in the Union

Briefing - 24-03-2017

The term 'community of law' was popularised by Walter Hallstein in the 1960s. It emphasises that the Community, and now the European Union, is founded on the 'rule of law' principle, and underscores the role of law in the European project, which has been described by political scientists precisely as 'integration through law'. Modern definitions of the 'rule of law' include such elements as the limitation of the powers of public officials by the law, the fact that laws are public, general and apply equally, and finally the presence of an independent, impartial and neutral judiciary. The building blocks of the EU as a community of law have been laid, from the 1950s onwards, in the case law of the Court of Justice. The ECJ's case law proclaiming numerous general principles of Community law was inspired by the common legal traditions of the Member States. Over time, many such principles became enshrined in the written sources of EU law, notably the Charter of Fundamental Rights and the Treaties. The 'life cycle' of EU law – including its creation, application, interpretation and enforcement – involves various institutional actors. Key roles in the creation of EU law are played by the Commission, Parliament and Council, while the application of EU law on a day-to-day basis is predominantly the task of national courts. Supreme authority to interpret EU law, and to review the compatibility of legislation with the treaties is vested in the ECJ. Individuals – natural and legal persons – enjoy the status of subjects of EU law, and can seek judicial enforcement of their rights based on EU law before national courts. In certain situations they can also seek legal protection directly from the EU courts – the General Court and the Court of Justice.

Posted on 23-03-2017

Qui sont les NEET ? Être jeune sans emploi, éducation ni formation aujourd’hui

Briefing - 23-03-2017

Le terme de «NEET» (de l’anglais not in education, employment or training) désigne les jeunes qui n'ont pas d'emploi, ne suivent pas d'études ni de formation. Apparu au milieu des années 90 au Royaume-Uni, cet acronyme a rapidement attiré l’attention des médias, des acteurs politiques et des chercheurs, eu égard à sa capacité à décrire les effets disproportionnés de la crise économique sur l’éducation, la formation, l’employabilité et, à terme, l’inclusion sociale des jeunes Européens. En 2015, dans l’Union européenne, 12 % des jeunes de 15 à 24 ans (soit 6,6 millions de personnes) étaient sans emploi, formation, ni stage. Si on inclut les jeunes jusqu’à 29 ans, le nombre de NEET s’élevait à près de 14 millions, soit 14,8 % de cette classe d’âge. L’hétérogénéité de ce groupe social est grande: chômeurs de courte ou de longue durée, jeunes en transition, jeunes avec des responsabilités familiales ou personnes souffrant d’un handicap ou d’une maladie. Statistiquement, les jeunes femmes y sont surreprésentées; la probabilité d’être NEET augmente avec l’âge; elle est inversement proportionnelle au niveau d’éducation et sa part varie fortement d’un État membre à l’autre. Face à l’aggravation de la situation des NEET avec la crise, la Commission européenne a élaboré une stratégie de l’Union européenne en faveur de la jeunesse pour la période 2010-2018 tandis que le Parlement européen a défendu la cause des NEET. Dans ce contexte, la Garantie pour la jeunesse constitue la mesure phare créée par l’Union européenne pour venir en aide aux NEET.

EU citizenship rights

Briefing - 23-03-2017

According to Article 20(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), every person holding the nationality of a Member State is a Union citizen. Union citizenship is additional to national citizenship and does not replace it. The concept of Union citizenship was introduced in the Treaty on European Union, signed in Maastricht in 1992, which endowed Union citizens with a number of novel rights, including political rights. Union citizens enjoy the right to move and reside freely in other Member States, to vote and to stand as candidates in municipal and European elections, to petition the Parliament, to apply to the European Ombudsman, and to enjoy in a third country the protection of the diplomatic and consular authorities of any other Member State. The Lisbon Treaty, signed in 2007, granted Union citizens another novel right – the right to start a Citizens' Initiative. It is estimated that about 15 million Union citizens live in a Member State other than that of their nationality. The rights related to free movement and residence are governed by a central piece of legislation (Directive 2004/38), which covers most aspects of the freedom of movement of persons. It enables Union citizens to travel, (seek) work, study or retire in another Member State – and to enjoy equal treatment while doing so. Yet, EU Treaties and secondary law make clear that the rights granted to Union citizens are not absolute but subject to conditions and limitations.

Mapping the future of Syria: State of play and options

Briefing - 23-03-2017

Despite the humanitarian and security crisis, progress towards a United Nations (UN) negotiated political settlement of the conflict has been slow, mostly on account of disagreement over President Bashar al-Assad's future. The adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2254 on 18 December 2015 – setting out a roadmap for a peace process in Syria with a clear transition timeline – offered new hope but failed to produce results. After several failed attempts at a cessation of hostilities, the ceasefire brokered by Russia and Turkey in December 2016, including a monitoring mechanism for violations, opened the way for a new UN Security Council Resolution 2336 which was adopted unanimously on 31 December 2016. The resolution provided an impulse for re-booting the political process during the talks in Astana at the beginning of 2017. At the same time, the discussion about the future of Syria revolves around questions linked to the future of the Assad regime, territorial integrity of Syria, political accountability, the creation of safe zones, and the reconstruction work that will follow a potential peace agreement. In March 2017, the European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, presented a joint communication providing elements of an EU strategy for Syria. For its part, the European Parliament has focused on addressing the implications of the refugee crisis, strengthening EU humanitarian assistance in Iraq and Syria and aid to vulnerable communities, and improving the EU response to the terrorist threat posed by ISIL/Da'esh.

Human Rights in Iran after the Nuclear Deal Business as Usual or Time for Change?

In-Depth Analysis - 13-03-2017

This report summarises the proceedings of a workshop organised jointly by the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI) and the Delegation for relations with Iran (D-IR). The purpose of the workshop was to analyse the most recent developments regarding human rights in Iran since the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was signed in July 2015 and to explore the options available to the EU in seeking to help improve the situation. Experts and human rights defenders pointed to the gaps between law and practice in Iran and raised continuing concerns about the death penalty, political prisoners, prison conditions, arrests of dual nationals, minority rights and restrictions to internet access. They identified Iran’s dual power structure of elected and non-elected institutions and corruption as some of the chief constraints to any reform efforts. They said the EU should keep human rights — including support for the relevant UN mechanisms and efforts — high on its agenda. They said the key factors for engaging successfully with Iran on human rights in future were clear criteria and benchmarks, detailed knowledge of the human rights issues at stake and interaction with Iranian civil society both inside and outside Iran.

Posted on 22-03-2017

European Leadership in 5G

At a Glance - 22-03-2017

The in depth analysis European Leadership in 5G examines the concept for 5G, how it might fit in the future telecommunications landscape, the state of play in R&D in the EU and globally, the possible business models and the role of standards and spectrum policy. This leaflet presents short summary of this study. Link to the original publication:

Cyber Security Strategy for the Energy Sector

At a Glance - 22-03-2017

The study Cyber Security Strategy for the Energy Sector explores the development of energy specific cyber security solutions and defensive practices. It provides an assessment of existing European policies and legislation to address cyber security in the energy sector and recommends additional policy prescriptions that may be necessary to protect Europe and its citizens. This leaflet presents short summary of this study. Link to the original publication:

Recovery and resolution of central counterparties

Briefing - 22-03-2017

This impact assessment builds a convincing case for action. It is mainly based on expert judgement by the Commission's departments and is backed up by relevant references, public consultation and coordination with international work-streams. The Commission states that the proposal, published in November 2016, is fully in line with the latest policy discussions and orientation by the Financial Stability Board and the G20, quoting a document from August 2016. Notwithstanding this, the Impact assessment itself does not appear to have been fully updated since the summer of 2015. Therefore, some potentially important developments do not seem to be properly reflected in the IA. These include the recognition of non-EU central counterparties, the publication of new material, and the scenarios opened in the clearing world by the UK referendum of 23 June 2016.

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