US: Economic indicators and trade with EU

Written by Gyorgyi Macsai and Giulio Sabbati (Members’ Research Service) with Igor Tkalec (GlobalStat, EUI).

The US-EU trading relationship is one of the biggest in the world, even though the overall value of traded goods dropped in 2020 in the pandemic. The EU and US economies account for about half the entire world’s GDP, and for nearly a third of world trade flows. The European Commission reported in 2016 that over 10 million European jobs depend on exports to the USA. This Infographic provides you with essential data on trade between the EU and US. This is a further updated edition of an infographic, the last edition of which was published in October 2019.


© European Union 2021, EPRS

Read this at a glance note on ‘US: Economic indicators and trade with EU‘ in the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.

Source Article from https://epthinktank.eu/2021/06/16/us-economic-indicators-and-trade-with-eu/

Peace and Security in 2021: Overview of EU action and outlook for the future

Written by Tania Lațici and Elena Lazarou.


© fotomaster / Fotolia

The promotion of global peace and security is a fundamental goal and central pillar of European Union (EU) external action, following the model of its own peace project. Both within and beyond the EU, there is a widespread expectation among citizens that the Union will deliver results in this crucial area. Nevertheless, as the deteriorating security environment of the past decade has posed significant challenges, the EU has been intensifying its work in pursuit of peace and security in a number of key policy areas.

According to the Global Peace Index, the state of peace in the world deteriorated further in 2020, owing not least to the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, multilateralism, a core element in the EU’s foreign policy and identity, and a cornerstone of its approach to peace and security, is under increasing pressure from alternative value systems and ideologies; a situation that has been exacerbated by the effects of the pandemic.

The coronavirus crisis has accelerated pre-existing trends, which were already signalling the advent of a more competitive international geopolitical environment, characterised by great-power rivalries and the weakening of multilateral security guarantees. In response to these trends, the European Commission under President Ursula von de Leyen, with the support of the European Parliament, has committed to empowering the EU’s external action. The fundamental goals remain those stipulated by the founding Treaties, including the achievement of peace.

The over-arching values and objectives of the EU guide all facets of its external action, including common foreign and security policy (CFSP); democracy support; development cooperation; economic, financial and technical cooperation; humanitarian aid; trade; and neighbourhood policy. While the promotion of peace remains the objective of EU foreign policy, achieving it is also linked to understanding peace and its components. Thus, measuring peace and the threats that challenge it is becoming an increasingly relevant exercise. In that context, the Normandy Index attempts to measure threats to peace based on variables identified in the EU Global Strategy. The EU Member States, supported by the European External Action Service (EEAS), conducted a comprehensive threat analysis in 2020, as part of the plans to develop an EU Strategic Compass. This has been ongoing in 2021 and is set to be finalised by March 2022.

The EU’s contribution to countering threats to peace, security and democracy globally has been growing significantly through legislation, financing and the creation of new structures and initiatives. A significant share of EU aid goes to fragile states and to issues related to securing peace. The EU’s ‘new consensus on development’ emphasises the role of development cooperation in preventing violent conflicts, mitigating their consequences and aiding recovery from them. On the ground, the EU has been able to strengthen the nexus between security, development and humanitarian aid through the implementation of comprehensive strategies, for example in the Horn of Africa and in the Sahel. Through the CSDP, the EU runs 17 missions and operations, making it one of the United Nation’s main partners in peacekeeping.

In 2020, the EU advanced its work on countering new threats to peace, such as disinformation, cyber-attacks and climate change. New elements strengthening EU security and defence capabilities are being implemented with the aim of boosting EU strategic autonomy, including its capacity to work for peace and security. These elements of ‘hard power’, together with the EU’s long-standing experience in the practice of soft power, form the backbone of its action for peace and security.

The EU also continues to be a staunch promoter of multilateralism on the global and regional levels to counter global threats, such as the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism and global health crises, including the economic and humanitarian consequences of the coronavirus pandemic across the world. A consistent focus in the EU’s work is on its neighbourhood, with the aim of building resilience and upholding peace and democracy, both challenged by the implications of the health crisis.

Looking to the future, the global environment is expected to grow in complexity, not least because of the long-term effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Threats such as cyber-attacks, disinformation and foreign influence campaigns are here to stay, and demand new types of responses that take into account their nuances. While the EU has made significant progress in furthering its aim of strengthening its presence and efficiency in the area of peace and security, more remains to be done. The 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework (MFF) is focused on streamlining the EU’s various programmes and instruments to allow for sufficient flexibility to respond to unforeseen threats, while also implementing innovative financial instruments. Underlying the quest for flexibility, efficiency and innovation is the strategic goal of empowering the EU in its global role as a promoter of peace and security, while adapting to the new realities of the international order and the rapid technological, environmental and societal changes of our times. What constitutes peace and security in 2021 has become more multidimensional, dual, and civil-military in nature. The EU is therefore one of the best placed actors to ensure a comprehensive response by employing all its instruments strategically and coherently. Advancing towards increased strategic autonomy will depend on a harmonious blend of instruments and on increasing political and institutional capacity to act. A strategically autonomous EU will be invaluable in achieving the objective of a more peaceful, secure and prosperous world.


Read this study on ‘Peace and Security in 2021: Overview of EU action and outlook for the future‘ in the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.

See also our animated infographic on Peace and Security

Source Article from https://epthinktank.eu/2021/06/16/peace-and-security-in-2021-overview-of-eu-action-and-outlook-for-the-future/

Asylum in the EU: Facts and Figures

Written by Giulio Sabbati.

Asylum is a form of international protection given by a state on its territory to someone who is threatened by persecution on grounds of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular group or political opinion in their country of origin or residence. This infographic provides an overview of the number of third-country nationals seeking asylum in EU Member States, their success in asylum procedures, and requests for transfers between Member States, as a consequence of the Dublin Regulation.


Read the complete briefing on ‘Asylum in the EU: Facts and Figures‘ in the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.

Source Article from https://epthinktank.eu/2021/06/16/asylum-in-the-eu-facts-and-figures-2/

Computerised system for communication in cross-border judicial proceedings (e-CODEX) [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Rafał Mańko (1st edition).


© everythingpossible / Adobe Stock

The e-CODEX system is the digital backbone of EU judicial cooperation in civil and criminal matters. e-CODEX comprises a package of software products that allow the setting up of a network of access points for secure digital communication between courts and between citizens and the courts, while also enabling the secure exchange of judicial documents. The project, which was launched in 2010 with EU grant funding, is managed by a consortium of Member States and other organisations and is coordinated by the Ministry of Justice of the German Land of North Rhine-Westphalia. Even though it is currently used by 21 Member States, e-CODEX lacks a clear, uniform and EU-wide legal basis. To remedy this situation, on 2 December 2020 the Commission put forward a proposal for an e-CODEX legal instrument (a regulation) to formally establish the e-CODEX system at EU level. The management of the project would be entrusted to eu-LISA (the EU Agency for the Operational Management of Large-Scale IT Systems in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice). Within the European Parliament, the LIBE and JURI committees are jointly in charge of the file, and the draft report is expected shortly.

Versions

Source Article from https://epthinktank.eu/2021/06/15/computerised-system-for-communication-in-cross-border-judicial-proceedings-e-codex-eu-legislation-in-progress/

EU climate action in ocean governance and fisheries policy

Written by Frederik Scholaert.


© shaunwilkinson / Adobe Stock

Marine resources are a vital and growing source of food for human consumption, while oceans also play an important role in climate regulation. Scientific evidence shows that the climate system has changed rapidly in recent decades, with the oceans greatly mitigating the effects of climate change by absorbing excess heat and human-made carbon emissions. The velocity of the effects of climate change leaves little room for adaptation, causing both declines in abundance and geographic shifts in fish populations. As a result, people who rely heavily on seafood and fisheries for their livelihoods run the risk of income loss and food insecurity.

The European Green Deal places climate action at the heart of a wide range of new legislative and non-legislative initiatives and includes ambitious goals such as achieving climate-neutrality by 2050 and preserving and protecting biodiversity. The new ‘farm to fork’ strategy addresses the challenges of sustainability in the food supply chain and, in the area of seafood, highlights the imminent update of the strategic guidelines on aquaculture, the goal to support the algae industry and the focus on climate change in the 2022 common fisheries policy review. In its biodiversity strategy, the Commission proposes a new binding target of 30 % marine protected areas in EU waters by 2030, a target supported by Parliament.

A reduction in fishing pressure could also offset the environmental impacts of climate change. The last reform of the common fisheries policy marked an important milestone by requiring fish stocks to be restored and maintained above levels capable of producing the maximum sustainable yield. An own-initiative report from Parliament’s Committee on Fisheries focuses specifically on the impact of rising seawater temperatures on fish stocks and fisheries. The oceans can be harnessed to help to close the emissions gap however, by unlocking their renewable offshore energy potential. In its offshore renewable energy strategy, the Commission aims to reach a deployment of 300 GW in offshore wind capacity by 2050, a 20-fold increase compared to today. Another own-initiative report from Parliament’s Committee on Fisheries looks into the impact on the fishing sector of offshore wind and other renewable energy systems.

Cumulative installed capacity of offshore wind energy worldwideCumulative installed capacity of offshore wind energy worldwide

Cumulative installed capacity of offshore wind energy worldwide

Cumulative installed capacity of offshore wind energy worldwide

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Read the complete briefing on ‘EU climate action in ocean governance and fisheries policy‘ in the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.

Source Article from https://epthinktank.eu/2021/06/10/eu-climate-action-in-ocean-governance-and-fisheries-policy/

The new EU Roma Strategic Framework: Towards equality, inclusion and participation

Written by Branislav STANICEK.

The European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) held a round table on the new Roma strategy for equality, inclusion and participation on 1 June 2021.This event was part of the regular EPRS policy series, and was a follow-up to the seminar held last year with Vice-President Lívia Járóka (NI, Hungary) who is responsible for the Western Balkans and a member of the High-Level Group on Gender Equality and Diversity. The event marked the 15th anniversary of the adoption of Lívia Járóka’s report entitled Situation of Roma women in the European Union (adopted 1 June 2006).

In his welcome speech, Director of the EPRS Members’ Research Service Etienne Bassot recalled that the EU Roma Strategic Framework for Equality, Inclusion and Participation was adopted by the European Commission on 7 October 2020. The new Roma strategy was endorsed not only by the European Union but also by all Western Balkan countries at the ministerial meeting in Tirana, Albania on 27 October 2020. The ministerial meeting was a follow-up to the 2019 Poznan meeting and declaration on Roma integration in the EU enlargement process.  

The new Roma strategy proposes seven qualitative and quantitative targets for 2030. Three of these objectives are horizontal in the areas of equality, inclusion and participation. The other four are sectoral objectives in the areas of education, employment, housing and health. The European Commission requires the Fundamental Rights Agency to conduct surveys and assess the situation, both in the EU and Balkan countries. In 2021, the survey will be extended to Serbia and North Macedonia.

Vice-President Lívia Járóka, the first Roma ever elected to the European Parliament, stated in her keynote speech that human rights and inclusion for all citizens should remain a cross-cutting priority both for the European Union and Western Balkan countries. Roma participation in some countries remains fragile, and the situation was aggravated during the Covid‑19 pandemic. She also recalled the important role played by the Roma in European culture and emphasised the need for increased Roma political participation, in particular by Roma women. Alongside increased political participation, better and positive media coverage would be highly beneficial.

Sónia Pereira, Portugal’s High Commissioner for Migration responsible for the Roma communities integration strategy and President of the Management Board of the High Commission for Migration, presented the views of the Portuguese Presidency to the European Council. She reviewed the successful adoption of the strategic framework in March 2021, as well as the Portuguese Presidency conference ‘Working together for Roma rights’ held in April 2021. Roma rights are a cornerstone of social rights, and the combat against hate speech and anti-gypsiysm should be taken up by all citizens. Finally, she stressed that the new framework should be implemented in line with multilevel governance, together with regions and cities, respecting the subsidiarity principle.

Marta Garcia Fidalgo, advisor for the coordination of Roma policies and Equality Coordinator at the European Commission (DG NEAR), presented the Roma situation in the Western Balkans accession countries. She noted that, considering that the Roma’s status in the Western Balkans has hardly improved in the last 20 years, despite considerable financial investment by the EU, the new strategic framework is important to Roma equality and participation. The Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) includes the financing of Roma inclusion projects. It is important that references to Roma employment and social inclusion be retained in the new Investment Plan for the Western Balkans adopted last October.

Beata Bislim Olahova, advisor on Roma and Sinti issues at the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), and the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE), presented the social and economic situation of the Roma, as well as their political participation within the OSCE countries. The European Commission recognises that the high NEET rate (not in employment, education or training) among Roma in the EU is a problem. The Commission therefore set an objective to cut the gap in the NEET rate by at least half. Currently the NEET rate among Roma in the EU is 62 %, compared to 10 % among the general population.

Some Roma face double difficulties as they live in poor regions and disadvantaged communities. Marja Eronen, chief coordinator of the International Romani Union in Finland, described the social challenges that the Roma population is facing in Europe. Low schooling rates and frequent premature school leaving, crowded housing and insufficient health care are among the main challenges. Participation in the labour market and social inclusion are fundamental for improving the living conditions of Roma in Europe. She also described the role of the Roma ombudsman in Finland.

Finally, Branislav Stanicek, policy analyst for the External Policies Unit at the EPRS, spoke about the need for accurate data on the Roma population for better policy-making. He pointed to some successful projects, such as the Atlas of Roma Communities, initiated by Iveta Radičová, former Prime Minister of Slovakia, and currently being developed by Ábel Ravasz, former governmental envoy for Roma communities in Slovakia. The countries of Central and Eastern Europe might also better share their best practices with the accession countries of the Western Balkans. Finally, he noted the fact that Roma rights are placed within the first negotiations policy cluster of ‘fundamentals’, establishing the central role of this policy for EU accession of the Balkan countries.


The new EU Roma Strategic Framework: Towards equality, inclusion and participation

Source Article from https://epthinktank.eu/2021/06/10/the-new-eu-roma-strategic-framework-towards-equality-inclusion-and-participation/

Disinformation and science – How gullible are young Europeans with regard to false science news?

Written by Eszter Fay.


©Viperagp/Adobestock

Fake news? Disinformation? Misinformation?

Misinformation is always troubling, not least in science. Scientists feel distress when public understanding diverges from facts. Intentional disinformation (fake news) is not, however, the only source of misinformation. Citizens living in modern democratic societies frequently face the dilemma of whether to consider true or false – and accept or reject – information they receive concerning climate change, vaccinations, genetically modified agricultural products, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, or Covid‑19.

Misinformation is not new – but the information ecosystem within which it is now spreading is. The public sphere has evolved into a completely new phase, where information filtering mechanisms are often ineffective. The producers of messages disseminated through social media can broadcast news unchecked by any scientific or editorial authority. We have entered a world of public communication where facts play a limited role in substantiating the content of the statements.

Political misinformation and disinformation have always existed. What is different today is that contemporary lies by populist actors often have no apparent purpose, but create a climate of shocks and chaos. Although misinformation is a topical issue, there is little consensus concerning the different types of misinformation, however. McCright and Dunlap[1] have recognised the need to differentiate between types of misinformation in order to know how to deal with them. Yet, their types – ‘truthiness, bullshit, systemic lies, and shock-and-chaos’ – are mostly connected with political misinformation and disinformation.

Disinformation is a hot topic today and is of course a global phenomenon, but may also have a correlation with how new and older democratic societies present and teach scientific achievements and innovation in their education systems. The topic of fake news has been extensively studied in political science, but surprisingly enough, no study has dealt with fake science news. As mentioned above, misinformation that contains intentionally false information is known as disinformation, and fake science news usually falls into this category.

Part of the mission of the European Science-Media Hub (ESMH), operating under the political responsibility of the EP’s Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA), is to identify and disseminate trustworthy information sources in the field of science. During a health emergency, it is essential to explore how science information circulates and how people get their news and knowledge about science and new technology. In this context, the ESMH supported a project to conduct a survey examining the spread of disinformation among young people in some countries of Central Europe and in Italy, to explore the public understanding of scientific topics and address the damaging impact of disinformation and junk science.

The survey outcomes were presented to the European Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education (CULT) at its meeting on 19 April 2021. The recording is available here.

Gullibility of false science news in central European countries

The ESMH/STOA study ‘Disinformation and Science – A survey of the gullibility of students with regard to false scientific news’ resulting from the above ESMH project discusses the disinformation phenomenon, its causes related to social trust and types of media consumption among university students in Austria, Croatia, Czechia, Hungary, northern Italy and Slovakia. The survey was coordinated by Professor György Csepeli from Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) in Budapest.

How to tackle the infodemic?

In the midst of the research, Europe was hit by the coronavirus pandemic that highlighted the radically new features of our information ecosystem by magnifying the most controversial aspects of the public sphere. Falsehood has literally become a lethal problem on an unprecedented scale. Pandemics affecting our health will come and go, but the pandemic of misinformation (known as the ‘infodemic’) will stay. The lesson to be drawn from the survey’s results is that, to tackle the infodemic, there is a need to enhance the level of public trust in science. Consumers and producers of social media should be motivated and trained to use fact-checking mechanisms enabling them to distinguish between true and false information. Furthermore, misinformation consumed by credulous persons should be distinguished from disinformation that is manufactured intentionally to cause havoc.

Myths are no doubt inherent parts of the human mind-set. However, myths cannot serve as the only means of constructing reality. Real knowledge, in contrast, lies in recognising information and thoughts produced by trustworthy sources. Science communication alone, however, does not guarantee against inaccuracies and errors. Real wisdom is the art of doubting: this is a lesson Europeans can draw from this experience.

The EuroScience Open Forum 2020 Roundtable

The ESMH/STOA study findings were also presented at an earlier ESOF2020 roundtable discussion on 4 September 2020. The EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) is a biennial, pan-European, general science conference dedicated to scientific research. The 2020 event brought together over 4 500 leading thinkers, innovators, policy-makers, journalists and educators from more than 90 countries, to discuss current and future breakthroughs in contemporary science.

The ESOF roundtable ‘Perspectives on science-related fake news among young people in Central-Eastern Europe and Italy’ was opened by Eva Kaili (S&D, Greece), STOA Chair. The project team members presented the results of the survey. Keynote speaker Stephan Lewandowsky from the University of Bristol addressed the questions of science, misinformation and conspiracy theories in the age of Covid‑19. The ESMH and its activities during the corona crisis were presented at another ESOF2020 panel session devoted to science communication in times of crisis.

Your opinion matters! If you read our study or watched the presentation, let us know what you think at stoa@europarl.europa.eu.


[1] A. M. McCright and R. E. Dunlap, Combatting Misinformation Requires Recognizing Its Types and the Factors That Facilitate Its Spread and Resonance, Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, 2017, 6(4) 389-396.

Source Article from https://epthinktank.eu/2021/06/09/disinformation-and-science-how-gullible-are-young-europeans-with-regard-to-false-science-news/

Recovery plan for Europe: State of play

Written by Magdalena Sapała with Nina Thomassen.


© European Union, 2021, EPRS

In December 2020, the adoption of the legislative package on the 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework (MFF) and the Next Generation EU (NGEU) recovery instrument marked the end of an important stage in the process of launching a unique financial stimulus package – the recovery plan for Europe. However, in order to make the plan fully operational, additional conditions need to be met and preparatory steps completed.

First, there is the financing of NGEU, based on borrowing operations carried out by the European Commission on behalf of the European Union. These operations could start only once the Member States had ratified the Own Resources Decision (ORD). This procedure was completed before the end of May 2021. In the meantime, the Commission started preparing for its role as a borrower on an unprecedented scale and published its diversified funding strategy for the financing of NGEU. The Commission has ensured that the preparations are advanced and that it would be ready to begin the borrowing operations as soon as ratification of the ORD was finalised and the act in force.

In parallel, preparations are ongoing for the spending of the biggest part of NGEU (90 %) under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). This process includes the drawing up of national recovery and resilience plans by the Member States, their evaluation by the European Commission, and approval by the Council of the EU. Only then will the Commission conclude an agreement with each Member State on a legal commitment authorising the financial contribution to be made, and begin pre-financing. An indicative timeline of the whole process shows that the first payments for Member States could be made between July and September 2021.


Read the complete briefing on ‘Recovery plan for Europe: State of play‘ in the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.

Source Article from https://epthinktank.eu/2021/06/09/recovery-plan-for-europe-state-of-play/

Biodiversity protection: Where do we stand?

Written by Vivienne Halleux.


© JasperSuijten / Adobe Stock

Based on Member States’ reporting under the Birds and Habitats Directives, the backbone of European Union (EU) nature conservation policy, the latest assessment on the state of nature by the European Environment Agency shows that despite some encouraging developments, the overall picture remains bleak. Only 15 % of habitats and around 27 % of species protected under EU legislation have a good conservation status. An EU-wide assessment of terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems found that, overall, the condition of ecosystems in the EU is unfavourable. Worldwide, most indicators of ecosystems and biodiversity show rapid decline. Targets set to tackle biodiversity loss by 2020, at both EU and global levels under the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), have not been met.

Under the EU biodiversity strategy for 2030, part of the European Green Deal, the EU has therefore set itself new targets for the next decade. These include enlarging the current network of legally protected areas to cover at least 30 % of the EU’s land area and 30 % of the EU’s seas; and setting legally binding EU nature restoration targets to restore degraded ecosystems. The recent zero-pollution action plan for air, water and soil proposes additional commitments relevant to biodiversity protection.

Parties to the CBD, including the EU, are due to meet on 11-24 October 2021 in China to agree on a post-2020 global biodiversity framework. The EU intends to push for global 2030 targets in line with the commitments set out in its biodiversity strategy and for a much stronger implementation, monitoring and review process. The issue of resource mobilisation will be an important one, especially in the context of the coronavirus crisis, affecting the funding available for biodiversity.

On 28 May 2021, Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety adopted an own-initiative report with recommendations to strengthen the EU biodiversity strategy for 2030. The vote in plenary is scheduled for the June I plenary session.


Read the complete briefing on ‘Biodiversity protection: Where do we stand?‘ in the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.

Source Article from https://epthinktank.eu/2021/06/09/biodiversity-protection-where-do-we-stand/

Citizens’ enquiries on sexual and reproductive health and rights in the European Union

Young asian woman holding pregnancy test showing a positive result in bedroom, Wellness and healthy concept, Abortion problem, Selective focus.Young asian woman holding pregnancy test showing a positive result in bedroom, Wellness and healthy concept, Abortion problem, Selective focus.
© Adobe Stock

Citizens often send messages to the President of the European Parliament (or to the institution’s public portal) expressing their views on current issues and/or requesting action from the Parliament. The Citizens’ Enquiries Unit (AskEP) within the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) looks into these issues and replies to the messages, which may sometimes be identical as part of wider public campaigns.

The President of the European Parliament has recently received a large number of messages regarding a non-binding own-initiative report on the ‘situation of sexual and reproductive health and rights in the European Union, in the context of women’s health’. Citizens first began to write to the President on this subject in May 2021, expressing concerns about the draft report, which they saw as threatening the powers of EU countries to regulate access to abortions. The Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality amended the draft report and adopted its report by 27 votes to 6, with 1 abstention on 11 May 2021. In its report, the committee recognised that the EU has no direct powers to deal with sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in EU countries. In addition, it called on EU countries to safeguard the right of all persons to make their own informed choices with regard to sexual and reproductive health and rights, and to ensure that every person has equal access to these services and rights.

Please find below the main points of the reply sent to citizens who took the time to write to the President of the European Parliament on this matter (in English and in French).

Main points made in the reply in English

On 11 May 2021, the European Parliament’s Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) adopted its report on the situation of sexual and reproductive health and rights in the EU by 27 votes to 6, with 1 abstention. In doing so, the committee amended the draft report to which you are referring. The report, currently only published in English, will be available here in the other official EU languages in early June 2021. It is an own-initiative, non-binding report.

In the report, the FEMM committee points out that the EU has no direct powers to deal with sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in EU countries. In accordance with Article 168(7) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, it is the Member States’ responsibility to define national health policies and organise and deliver health services and medical care. The Union complements the actions of its Member States. It encourages them to cooperate and can lend them support.

The FEMM committee report calls on EU countries to safeguard the right of all persons to make their own informed choices with regard to SRHR, and to ensure that every person has equal access to these services and rights. The report also voices concerns about the impact of the Covid‑19 pandemic on access to health services and sexual and reproductive rights.

For more information on the FEMM committee’s standpoint, the European Parliament’s press release of 11 May 2021, entitled ‘EU countries should ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health’, is available to the public.

The committee’s report will be submitted to Parliament in plenary and put to the vote on 23 June 2021. More details on the procedure can be found here. The results will be published in the section Plenary sitting, Votes, Results of votes. To view them, select a date in the ‘Search by date’ calendar located on the right and the results will appear at the very bottom of the minutes page.

The President of the European Parliament is not permitted to give voting instructions to Members of the European Parliament who, under Article 2 of the Statute for Members of the European Parliament, exercise their mandate freely and independently.

Main points made in the reply in French

Le 11 mai 2021, la commission des droits des femmes et de l’égalité des genres (FEMM) du Parlement européen a adopté par 27 voix pour, 6 contre et 1 abstention son rapport sur la situation de la santé et des droits sexuels et génésiques dans l’Union européenne.  Ce faisant, la commission a modifié le projet de rapport auquel vous faites référence. Le rapport, publié pour l’instant uniquement en langue anglaise, sera disponible ici dans les autres langues officielles de l’UE début juin. Il s’agit d’un rapport d’initiative non-contraignant.

Dans le rapport, la commission des droits des femmes et de l’égalité des genres rappelle que l’Union européenne n’a pas de compétence directe en ce qui concerne la santé et des droits sexuels et génésiques (SDSG) dans les pays de l’Union européenne. En effet, conformément à l’article 168, paragraphe 7, du traité sur le fonctionnement de l’Union européenne, c’est aux pays de l’UE qu’il incombe de définir les politiques nationales de santé, y compris l’organisation et la fourniture de services de santé et de soins médicaux. L’Union complète l’action de ses pays membres. Elle encourage la coopération entre eux et peut soutenir leur action.

Le rapport de la commission FEMM invite les pays de l’UE à sauvegarder le droit des personnes à faire un choix informé en ce qui concerne la santé et les droits sexuels et génésiques et à assurer l’égalité d’accès de toute la population à ces services et droits. Par ailleurs, il exprime des préoccupations concernant les effets de la pandémie de coronavirus sur l’accès aux services de santé et droits sexuels et génésiques.

Pour plus d’informations concernant la position de la commission FEMM, vous pouvez consulter le communiqué de presse du Parlement européen du 11 mai 2021 intitulé « Les États membres doivent garantir l’accès universel à la santé sexuelle et génésique ».

Le rapport de la commission va désormais être soumis au Parlement en séance plénière, pour un vote prévu le 23 juin 2021. Vous trouverez  ici plus de détails sur la procédure. Les résultats des votes seront publiés dans la section Séance plénière, Votes, Résultats des votes. Vous pouvez choisir une date dans le calendrier « Recherche par date » à droite et vous trouverez les résultats des votes au fond de la page du procès-verbal.

Le Président du Parlement européen ne peut donner d’instructions de vote aux députés européens qui sont libres et indépendants, comme le prévoit l’article 2 du statut des députés au Parlement européen.

Main points made in the reply in Italian

L’11 maggio 2021 la commissione per i diritti della donna e l’uguaglianza di genere (FEMM) del Parlamento europeo ha approvato la sua relazione sul tema “La situazione della salute sessuale e riproduttiva e relativi diritti nell’Unione europea” con 27 voti favorevoli, 6 contrari e 1 astensione. In tal modo, la commissione ha modificato il progetto di relazione cui Lei fa riferimento. La relazione, per il momento pubblicata solo in lingua inglese, sarà disponibile qui nelle altre lingue ufficiali dell’UE all’inizio di giugno. Si tratta di una relazione d’iniziativa non vincolante.

Nella relazione, la commissione per i diritti della donna e l’uguaglianza di genere ricorda che l’Unione europea non ha alcuna competenza diretta in materia di salute sessuale e riproduttiva e relativi diritti nei paesi dell’Unione europea. Infatti, a norma dell’articolo 168, paragrafo 7, del trattato sul funzionamento dell’Unione europea, spetta ai paesi dell’UE definire le politiche sanitarie nazionali, comprese l’organizzazione e la fornitura di servizi sanitari e di assistenza medica. L’Unione integra l’azione degli Stati membri, incoraggiando la cooperazione tra questi e sostenendo le azioni intraprese.

La relazione della commissione FEMM invita i paesi dell’UE a tutelare il diritto delle persone a compiere una scelta informata in merito alla salute sessuale e riproduttiva e ai relativi diritti nonché a garantire a tutti parità di accesso a tali servizi e diritti. Esprime inoltre preoccupazione per gli effetti della pandemia di coronavirus sull’accesso ai servizi per la salute sessuale e riproduttiva e i relativi diritti.

Per maggiori informazioni sulla posizione della commissione FEMM, può consultare il comunicato stampa del Parlamento europeo dell’11 maggio 2021 dal titolo “Gli Stati membri devono garantire l’accesso universale alla salute sessuale e riproduttiva”.

La relazione della commissione FEMM sarà presentata in Aula durante la sessione plenaria del Parlamento, con una votazione prevista per il 23 giugno 2021. Maggiori dettagli sulla procedura sono disponibili qui. I risultati delle votazioni saranno pubblicati sulla pagina del Parlamento alla sezione Plenaria, Seduta plenaria, Votazioni, Risultati dei voti. È possibile scegliere una data nel calendario “Ricerca per data” a destra della pagina. I risultati dei voti si trovano in fondo alla pagina del processo verbale.

Il Presidente del Parlamento europeo non può dare istruzioni di voto ai deputati europei, che sono liberi e indipendenti, come previsto dall’articolo 2 dello statuto dei deputati del Parlamento europeo.

Main points made in the reply in Spanish

El 11 de mayo de 2021, la Comisión de Derechos de las Mujeres e Igualdad de Género (FEMM) del Parlamento Europeo aprobó su informe sobre la situación de la salud y los derechos sexuales y reproductivos en la Unión por 27 votos a favor, 6 en contra y 1 abstención.  Al hacerlo, la Comisión modificó el proyecto de informe al que usted hace referencia. El informe, que actualmente solo está disponible en inglés, se publicará aquí en las demás lenguas oficiales de la Unión a principios de junio. Se trata de un informe de propia iniciativa no vinculante.

En él, la Comisión de Derechos de las Mujeres e Igualdad de Género recuerda que la Unión no tiene competencias directas en materia de salud y derechos sexuales y reproductivos en los países de la Unión. De hecho, de conformidad con el artículo 168, apartado 7, del Tratado de Funcionamiento de la Unión Europea, es responsabilidad de los Estados miembros definir las políticas nacionales de salud, incluida la organización y prestación de servicios sanitarios y atención médica. La Unión complementa la acción de los Estados miembros, fomenta la cooperación entre ellos y puede prestarles apoyo.

El informe de la Comisión FEMM pide a los países de la Unión que salvaguarden el derecho de las personas a tomar decisiones con conocimiento de causa en lo que concierne a la salud y los derechos sexuales y reproductivos, y que garanticen la igualdad de acceso de todos a estos servicios y derechos. También expresa su preocupación por las consecuencias de la pandemia de coronavirus sobre el acceso a los servicios de salud y derechos sexuales y reproductivos.

Si desea más información sobre la posición de la Comisión FEMM, puede consultar el comunicado de prensa del Parlamento Europeo de 11 de mayo de 2021 titulado «EU countries should ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health» (Los Estados miembros deben garantizar el acceso universal a la salud sexual y reproductiva).

El informe de la Comisión se presentará al Parlamento en la sesión plenaria para una votación prevista para el 23 de junio de 2021. Puede encontrar más información sobre el procedimiento aquí. Los resultados de las votaciones se publicarán en la sección «Sesión plenaria, Votaciones, Resultados de las votaciones». Puede elegir una fecha en el calendario de «Búsqueda por fecha» que se encuentra en el ángulo inferior derecho de la página. Los resultados de las votaciones se encuentran al final de la página del acta.

El presidente del Parlamento Europeo no puede dar instrucciones de voto a los diputados, que son libres e independientes, como prevé el artículo 2 del Estatuto de los diputados al Parlamento Europeo.

Source Article from https://epthinktank.eu/2021/06/08/citizens-enquiries-on-sexual-and-reproductive-health-and-rights-in-the-european-union/