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Open Society Foundations;
The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union is a legally binding document that contains a list of human rights recognised by the European Union (EU). It could become a powerful tool available to influence policy makers or serve as a basis for litigation. Individuals can use judicial and political mechanisms to hold EU institutions, and in certain circumstances member countries, to account when they fail to comply with the Charter. The Charter can also be used to pressure decision makers to bring policies and legislation under development in line with human rights standards. This background paper explains when and how the Charter can be used by advocates at national and EU level.
The Pew Charitable Trusts;
Under the European Union's current Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), 2020 had been targeted as the year toachieve a major change in fisheries management: sustainable exploitation rates in place for all stocks. Despiteprogress, the EU did not meet this goal.The story of the policy's implementation begins in 2013, when, after decades of overfishing and ineffectivefisheries management, the European Parliament and the EU's then-28 member state governments agreed onfar-reaching reforms to the previous CFP.1 These included setting sustainable catch limits with the objective torestore stocks, maintain healthy ecosystems and safeguard stable, profitable fisheries for the EU fleet. In 2014,the reformed CFP entered into force, with a focus on bringing fishing pressure in line with scientific advice. Thepolicy required fisheries ministers to ensure sustainable exploitation rates "by 2015 where possible and on aprogressive, incremental basis at the latest by 2020 for all stocks."Now, after the 2020 deadline has passed, it's clear that the reforms have brought progress. But the data alsoshows that policymakers are still setting too many catch limits above the levels recommended by scientists, withdecision-making suffering from a short-term approach and lower ambition than the policy requires.In 2008, The Pew Charitable Trusts began working with 192 organisations in the OCEAN2012 coalition to ensurethat a reformed CFP set ambitious, science-based and achievable objectives. In the years since the reforms cameinto force, Pew and several other groups have pushed to hold decision-makers accountable in the efforts to endoverfishing in North-Western European waters and allow stocks to recover to healthy, productive levels.This report presents eight key lessons learned from this work to help implement the EU's fisheries policy, eachlesson augmented by a deeper look at a specific issue. The experiences in implementing the EU policy show that:1. Good management works.As the experience of fisheries managers around the world has shown, when steps are taken to safeguardthe sustainability of stocks and fisheries for the long term, the results include environmental, economicand social benefits.2. Decreased ambition since 2013 led to under-implementation.Decision-makers approached implementation of most major pillars of the CFP pragmatically, toooften showing less political will than needed to deliver the reforms as intended. This led to diminishedexpectations from stakeholders and EU institutions on what could be delivered, almost from the beginning.3. Decisions often favoured maintaining the status quo rather than changing behaviour.Despite ambitious CFP goals intended to change outcomes in the water, decision-makers often adjustedmanagement measures to fit existing patterns of fishing – to the detriment of achieving the objectives.4. EU decision-making remains siloed.Fisheries policy processes often follow their own internal logic, so a focus on fisheries yields and economicoutcomes may overlook other priorities, such as the urgent need to deliver on wider EU environmentalrequirements and commitments.5. Short-term thinking persists in EU management.A long-term perspective – one of the key aims of the 2014 CFP – often took a back seat to immediatepolitical expediency. For example, fisheries ministers continued to set excessive catch limits on the basisthat they were a "compromise" between short- and long-term aims or were necessary for unexplainedeconomic reasons. 6. Clarity on progress is too often undermined by unclear and inconsistent reporting.Rather than measuring progress against the aims of the CFP, official reporting often uses irrelevant orchanging benchmarks, such as trend comparisons, which frequently do not correspond to the CFP's legalobjectives. This confuses the public about the policy's progress and leads stakeholders to draw differentconclusions on priorities.7. Opaque decision-making hampers progress.A lack of public communication on the scientific basis for European Commission proposals onmanagement measures such as catch limits, and the rationale for legislators' subsequent decisions, toooften prevented scrutiny of decision-making by stakeholders and EU institutions, and undermined trust inthe process.8. Stocks shared with non-EU countries present challenges in achieving CFP aims.Jointly managed stocks require more complex decision-making than stocks that are managed by oneentity. That increases the need for collaborative improvements, especially in the wake of the UK'sdeparture from the EU.To realise the ambitions set by legislators in 2013, EU policymakers need to take the final steps to implementthe CFP in full. The health of marine ecosystems, European fisheries, and the communities that depend on themrequire the sustainable, ecosystem-based management approaches set out in the policy, without exceptions andloopholes. The findings in this review of progress can help guide decision-makers and stakeholders on the workthat remains to fully implement the CFP, and in shaping future priorities for European fisheries.
Tiny Beam Fund;
*Animal farming has intensified in Bulgaria and Romania (both are middle-income countries) in recent years. Many more animals are now reared in large farms that use intensive production practices, while the number of small farms have dwindled.*This report/Guidance Memo charts the significant shift toward intensification, and explains why its key driver is the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). CAP payments and subsidies and their unequal distribution to recipients have triggered deep structural changes in the animal agriculture sector in the EU, chief of which is the livestock industry taking advantage of the favorable climate and generous handouts to intensify production.*At the same time EU animal welfare regulations are not robustly enforced and not comprehensive enough to protect all farm animals. Consumers in the EU, however, are strongly in favor of better treatment of farm animals.
This is the first comprehensive study regarding the state of automated decision-making in Europe. Experts have looked at the situation at the EU level but also in 12 Member States: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands Poland, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK. They assessed not only the political discussions and initiatives in these countries but also present a section "ADM in Action" for all states, listing examples of automated decision-making already in use.
Open Society Foundations;
The 2011 EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies (the EU Roma Framework) set ambitious goals to close the gap between Roma and non-Roma in education, employment, housing, and health, as well as to protect Roma against discrimination. While there have been many achievements since 2011, the EU Roma Framework has failed to reach its goals in all policy areas, including combating discrimination. Its objectives were unrealistic and did not consider crucial missing elements.This report recommends the creation of a fully-fledged strategy on Roma and the EU, not just a framework, and how to make future goals more concrete and achievable.
The European Chronic Disease Alliance (ECDA);
A joint paper by the European Chronic Disease Alliance (ECDA), the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) and the NCD Alliance calls for the creation of an EU Strategic Framework for the Prevention of NCDs towards 2030.Indeed, with epidemic levels of NCDs undermining people's well-being, healthcare systems, and Europe's economic and social prosperity, they consider that preventing chronic diseases should be a main priority for the European Commission.Therefore, the paper proposes principles, priorities and actions for such an EU strategic framework, setting out a roadmap for policy-makers to make change happen.More information and the summary: https://epha.org/joint-paper-i-towards-an-eu-strategic-framework-for-the-prevention-of-ncds/
The development of packaging policies stems from intersecting challenges being faced by economies across the world. On one hand, growth in population has led to an increase in consumption and consequently an increase in the amount of per capita waste generation. Household waste generated contains increasing amounts of packaging waste and, more specifically, plastic packaging waste. On the other hand, existing municipal waste management infrastructure is struggling to keep up with basic collection of waste and is far from equipped handle plastic packaging waste by means that would result in recovery of material by recycling. Most of the plastic packaging waste ends up in the landfill or worse still, leaks into the environment. To confront the growing crisis of plastics leaking into the environment (particularly the marine environment), packaging policies are required to address the intersecting challenges of increasing packaging waste (plastics packaging waste in particular) and the limitations of existing municipal waste management infrastructures. Plastic packaging discussed in this report is defined as plastic materials used to cover and package consumer products. Plastic packaging generally refers to primary, secondary, and in some instances tertiary packaging materials. Whilst there is a lack of definition and standards with respect to plastic packaging waste in ASEAN, this report defines plastic packaging waste as plastic packaging materials which are either disposed of in the landfill or leaked into the environment..Post-consumer packaging collected by the formal and informal sector for recycling is also covered within this report.
International Center for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD);
Border management is a complex and challenging field, whose aims are as varied as they are vital. In a world where passenger numbers are increasing, large numbers of goods are crossing borders and serious security issues have arisen, border management is tasked with contributing to a high level of security and facilitating legitimate crossborder flows (of both people and goods). In recent years, the large-scale collection of information and the implementation of technology for border management tasks have been key developments aimed at supportingthese goals. At the same time, these developments have elicited challenges from fundamental rights defenders who have outlined the potential ways such information could be misused or lead to detrimental consequences on fundamental rights. Moreover, the impact of forced displacement and the knock-on effects large-scale flows had on the EU (especially on the integrity of the Schengen area) have underlined how such a crisis can reverberate from a border management issue across other policy areas and into the political arena.As such, border management has been and will continue to be a touchstone in a debate on how to equally ensure both security needs and fundamental rights. This policy brief outlines the main issues that have arisen in this debate, and provides a number of potential policy options for future border management strategies. While this brief isbased on information collected in the European context, the findings can be applied at a global scale.
Migration Policy Institute Europe;
This report examines the steps European education systems are taking (or might take) to give all students an equitable shot at academic and future labor-market success. It also considers the role schools are increasingly playing in efforts to support the integration of new and longstanding immigrant communities. From ensuring that all school staff are equipped to support diverse classrooms to improving governance structures to prepare for future demographic and social changes, the authors highlight key lessons learned in the education and adjacent policy fields.
European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights;
The founding treaties, the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and secondary EU law all provide for EU citizens' freedom to move and reside freely in any EU country of their choice. Growing numbers of citizens, and their family members, are making use of this freedom and related rights, such as the right not to be discriminated against based on nationality and the right to vote in certain elections in the host Member State. But making these rights a reality remains a challenge. This report presents an EU-wide, comparative overview of the application of the Free Movement Directive (2004/38/EC) across the 28 Member States based on a review of select case law at national level.
Utrecht University Repository;
European Union (EU) citizenship is both about a legal status - a set of civil, social, economic and political rights complementing one's national citizenship - and about being an active participating member of the EU political community. EU citizenship includes therefore influencing decisionmaking on rules, policies and practices that effect one's own national and local societies. The opportunities and capacities to exercise these rights and to participate differ between countries, between groups and in time. Social, cultural and economic trends, national or regional crises, as well as national and EU policy responses to these trends and crises, create potentially new inequalities, new barriers, but possibly new opportunities too. Although we cannot predict the future, we can prepare ourselves for different thinkable futures. Through this study we intend to feed the discussion on what might happen with EU citizenship in different circumstances. Moreover, by doing so we also want to stimulate the discussion on what repertoires of action by which actors in what circumstances might protect, foster or boost EU citizenship in these alternative futures.
European Commission (EC);
Plastic is an important and ubiquitous material in our economy and daily lives. It has multiple functions that help tackle a number of the challenges facing our society. Light and innovative materials in cars or planes save fuel and cut CO2 emissions. High-performance insulation materials help us save on energy bills. In packaging, plastics help ensure food safety and reduce food waste. Combined with 3D printing, bio-compatible plastic materials can save human lives by enabling medical innovation.However, too often the way plastics are currently produced, used and discarded fails to capture the economic benefits of a more 'circular' approach and harms the environment. There is an urgent need to tackle the environmental problems that today cast a long shadow over the production, use and consumption of plastics. The million tonnes of plastic litter that end up in the oceans every year are one of their most visible and alarming signs of these problems, causing growing public concern.Rethinking and improving the functioning of such a complex value chain requires efforts and greater cooperation by all its key players, from plastics producers to recyclers, retailers and consumers. It also calls for innovation and a shared vision to drive investment in the right direction. The plastics industry is very important to the European economy, and increasing its sustainability can bring new opportunities for innovation, competitiveness and job creation, in line with the objectives pursued by the renewed EU Industrial Policy Strategy.