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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.
UN Environment Programme (UNEP);
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.
Environmental and Energy Study Institute;
This fact sheet focuses on employment in the renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors in the United States and around the world. According to the 2019 U.S. Energy Employment Report (USEER), 611,000 people worked in zero-emission technology industries, including renewables and nuclear in the United States. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) recorded even higher renewable energy employment in the United States at 855,000 direct and indirect jobs in 2018. Jobs in energy efficiency experienced significant growth—the sector now employs more than 3 million people in the United States. IRENA reports that, globally, the renewable energy sector employed 11 million people in 2018, 700,000 more than in 2017.
Open Society European Policy Institute;
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.
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/
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.
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.
Open Society european Policy Institute;
As the stalemate continues over a common set of rules on asylum within the European Union, "externalizing," "offshoring," "outsourcing" and, most recently, "regionalizing" asylum and migration management in non–European Union countries remain on the agenda. So does offshoring actually work? This brief takes a comparative look at offshoring asylum and migration management in Australia, Spain, Tunisia, and the United States, and lessons learned for the European Union.
This brief argues that government attempts to curb irregular migration may make it harder and more dangerous for those involved, but ultimately have little impact if the drivers and the demand for irregular migrants (in certain sectors of European countries' economies, for instance) remain unaltered. Offshoring won't be the silver bullet which will solve the European Union's migration conundrum. Instead, the notion of outsourcing asylum and migration to non-European countries, while politically expedient, will only continue to divert resources and time away from a sustainable, workable model of migration management; to undermine efforts to build genuine partnerships with non–European Union states; and to compromise European values in the process.
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 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.