Tag Archive for European Union

EU Parliament Study: Countering Youth Radicalization in the EU

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Upon request by the LIBE Committee, this study focuses on the question of how to best prevent youth radicalisation in the EU. It evaluates counter-radicalisation policies, both in terms of their efficiency and their broader social and political impact. Building on a conception of radicalisation as a process of escalation, it highlights the need to take into account the relation between individuals, groups and state responses. In this light, it forefronts some of the shortcomings of current policies, such as the difficulties of reporting individuals on the grounds of uncertain assessments of danger and the problem of attributing political grievances to ethnic and religious specificities. Finally, the study highlights the ambiguous nature of pro-active administrative practices and exceptional counter-terrorism legislation and their potentially damaging effects in terms of fundamental rights.

EU Parliament Study on Mass Surveillance

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The disclosure of controversial mass surveillance programmes by intelligence and national security agencies has evoked an international debate on the right of citizens to be protected from illegitimate or warrantless collection and analysis of their data and meta-data. This report aims at identifying what are the risks of data breaches for users of publicly available Internet services such as web browsing, email, social networks, cloud computing, or voice communications, via personal computers or mobile devices, and what are the possible impacts for the citizens and the European Information Society. In this context a clear distinction has to be made between data and meta-data. Also it must be differentiated between mass unwarranted and indiscriminate interception, and targeted lawful interception of Internet and telephony data for the purpose of law enforcement and crime investigation. While targeted lawful interception constitutes a necessary and legitimate instrument of intelligence and law enforcement agencies, mass surveillance is considered a threat to civil liberties such as the right to freedom of opinion and expression. These civil liberties are essential human rights in democratic societies and of particular importance for safeguarding independent journalism and political opposition.

Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) Consolidated Text

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The text of the CETA agreement is made public here exclusively for information purposes. The text presented in this document is the text at the end of the negotiations conducted by the European Commission. It will be subject to legal revision in order to verify the internal consistency and to ensure that the formulations of the negotiating results are legally sound. It will thereafter be transmitted to the Council of the European Union and to the European Parliament for ratification. The text presented in this document is not binding under international law and will only become so after the completion of the ratification process.

EU Parliament Report: Mass Surveillance of Personal Data in EU Member States

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In the wake of the disclosures surrounding PRISM and other US surveillance programmes, this study makes an assessment of the large-scale surveillance practices by a selection of EU member states: the UK, Sweden, France, Germany and the Netherlands. Given the large-scale nature of surveillance practices at stake, which represent a reconfiguration of traditional intelligence gathering, the study contends that an analysis of European surveillance programmes cannot be reduced to a question of balance between data protection versus national security, but has to be framed in terms of collective freedoms and democracy. It finds that four of the five EU member states selected for in-depth examination are engaging in some form of large-scale interception and surveillance of communication data, and identifies parallels and discrepancies between these programmes and the NSA-run operations. The study argues that these surveillance programmes do not stand outside the realm of EU intervention but can be engaged from an EU law perspective via (i) an understanding of national security in a democratic rule of law framework where fundamental human rights standards and judicial oversight constitute key standards; (ii) the risks presented to the internal security of the Union as a whole as well as the privacy of EU citizens as data owners, and (iii) the potential spillover into the activities and responsibilities of EU agencies. The study then presents a set of policy recommendations to the European Parliament.

EU Parliament Study: Oversight of Security and Intelligence Agencies in the European Union

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This study evaluates the oversight of national security and intelligence agencies by parliaments and specialised non-parliamentary oversight bodies, with a view to identifying good practices that can inform the European Parliament’s approach to strengthening the oversight of Europol, Eurojust, Frontex and, to a lesser extent, Sitcen. The study puts forward a series of detailed recommendations (including in the field of access to classified information) that are formulated on the basis of in-depth assessments of: (1) the current functions and powers of these four bodies; (2) existing arrangements for the oversight of these bodies by the European Parliament, the Joint Supervisory Bodies and national parliaments; and (3) the legal and institutional frameworks for parliamentary and specialised oversight of security and intelligence agencies in EU Member States and other major democracies.

IMF Fiscal Affairs Department Cyprus Options for Short-Term Expenditure Rationalization

Increasing public spending had contributed to a substantial deterioration of public finances in Cyprus over recent years. To address fiscal imbalances, the government introduced an initial set of fiscal reform’s in late 2012. However, additional measures are needed to ensure the sustainability of public finances. The size of the necessary adjustment will depend, among other things, on the magnitude of spillovers from financial sector restructuring.

European Central Bank Paper: Shadow Banking in the Euro Area

Shadow banking, as one of the main sources of financial stability concerns, is the subject of much international debate. In broad terms, shadow banking refers to activities related to credit intermediation and liquidity and maturity transformation that take place outside the regulated banking system. This paper presents a first investigation of the size and the structure of shadow banking within the euro area, using the statistical data sources available to the ECB/Eurosystem.

European Commission Green Paper on Shadow Banking

The FSB has roughly estimated the size of the global shadow banking system at around € 46 trillion in 2010, having grown from € 21 trillion in 2002. This represents 25-30% of the total financial system and half the size of bank assets. In the United States, this proportion is even more significant, with an estimated figure of between 35% and 40%. However, according to the FSB estimates, the share of the assets of financial intermediaries other than banks located in Europe as a percentage of the global size of shadow banking system has strongly increased from 2005 to 2010, while the share of US located assets has decreased. On a global scale, the share of those assets held by European jurisdictions has increased from 10 to 13% for UK intermediaries, from 6 to 8% for NL intermediaries, from 4% to 5% for DE intermediaries and from 2% to 3% for ES intermediaries. FR and IT intermediaries maintained their previous shares in the global shadow banks assets of 6% and 2% respectively.

Council of Europe Committee of Ministers Declaration in Support of Whistleblowing Websites

Freedom of expression and the right to receive and impart information and its corollary, freedom of the media, are indispensable for genuine democracy and democratic processes. Through their scrutiny and in the exercise of their watchdog role, the media provide checks and balances to the exercise of authority. The right to freedom of expression and information as well as freedom of the media must be guaranteed in full respect of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ETS No. 5, hereinafter “the Convention”). The right to freedom of assembly and association is equally essential for people’s participation in the public debate and their exercise of democratic citizenship, and it must be guaranteed in full respect of Article 11 of the Convention. All Council of Europe member States have undertaken, in Article 1 of the Convention, to “secure to everyone within their jurisdiction the rights and freedoms” protected by the Convention (without any online/offline distinction).

European Parliament Study on Crowd Control Technologies

This study grew out of the 1997 STOA report, ‘An Appraisal of the Technologies of Political Control’ and takes that work further. Its focus is two fold:(i) to examine the bio-medical effects and the social & political impacts of currently available crowd control weapons in Europe; (ii) to analyse world wide trends and developments including the implications for Europe of a second generation of so called “non-lethal” weapons.

IMF, EU, European Central Bank “Troika” Greece Debt Sustainability Analysis October 21, 2011

Since the fourth review, the situation in Greece has taken a turn for the worse, with the economy increasingly adjusting through recession and related wage-price channels, rather than through structural reform driven increases in productivity. The authorities have also struggled to meet their policy commitments against these headwinds. For the purpose of the debt sustainability assessment, a revised baseline has been specified, which takes into account the implications of these developments for future growth and for likely policy outcomes. It has been extended through 2030 to fully capture long term growth dynamics, and possible financing implications.

Climate Change and the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS): Looking to 2020

The European Union’s (EU) Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) is a cornerstone of the EU’s efforts to meet its obligation under the Kyoto Protocol. It covers more than 10,000 energy intensive facilities across the 27 EU Member countries; covered entities emit about 45% of the EU’s carbon dioxide emissions. A “Phase 1” trading period began January 1, 2005. A second, Phase 2, trading period began in 2008, covering the period of the Kyoto Protocol. A Phase 3 will begin in 2013 designed to reduce emissions by 21% from 2005 levels.

EU Port-Au-Prince International Airport Haiti Damage Assessment

This briefing note covers Toussaint L´Ouverture, Port-au-Prince International Airport in Haiti and provides image analysis of the status, activity and facilities of the airfield with particular regard to any observed damage due to the recent earthquake. The note has been produced using a GeoEye multispectral image, dated 13 January 2010 which has been combined with open source collateral information. The information cut-off date of this briefing note is 22 January 2010.

Climatic Research Unit Documents: European climate policy adaptation and mitigation strategies

Climate change presents a new set of challenges for the development of public policy. This is because the time-scales involved between policy implementation and desired outcome are much longer than in other policy areas; because many areas of policy planning need simultaneously to be addressed, therefore placing a greater demand on the integration of policy across different realms; and because the truly global nature of the problem requires national or regional policies to be designed within some framework of global strategy.

Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA)

The Single Euro Payments Area is an initiative of the European Central Bank which will unify all of the retail payment markets in the euro area to form a single market. The initiative has three phases: a design phase, followed by a period of integration, followed by total migration to the new system. SEPA is currently nearing completion of its migration phase, indicating that its instruments are generally in use at this time.

Draft of the European Union Strategic Framework for ES-BE-HU Trio Presidency

In this changing world today we need to act globally. The XXI century world which is emerging is already being shaped by global players. Our present well-being and common wealth for which our previous generation worked so hard are at stake. To confront the unprecedented challenges that we are facing today on our planet we need to pull our resources and our determination together more than ever before. Only by acting together within the framework of our European Union will we be able to play a leading role and exercise an influence on major issues.

European Union Operational Programme 2010-2011

The revision of the existing Lisbon Strategy will be a key priority for the three Presidencies. On the basis of the Commission’s Strategic Report on the evaluation of the Lisbon Strategy, the Commission’s proposal for the post-2010 strategy, and taking into account in this work the report of the Reflection Group headed by Felipe González as well as the contribution of the European Parliament and the consultative bodies (EESC, CoR), the three Presidencies will establish a framework in order to deliver on the challenges that matter most to Europe’s citizens. In line with the Commission’s communication for the Spring European Council 2009 “Driving European recovery” and the European Council conclusions of 18-19 March 2009 and their implementation, the new Strategy will be prepared and launched during the 18 months of our three Presidencies. This focused policy framework will address the future economic, employment, social, environmental challenges and set realistic common targets for the post 2010 Strategy with special attention to growth and jobs.