The Racial Equality Directive - From law to practice

Thien Uyen DO

The transposition of the Racial Equality Directive (2000/43/EC) has immensely enhanced legal protection against discrimination on the grounds of racial and ethnic origin throughout the EU. More than 10 years after its adoption, the main challenge identified in many Member States is the enforcement of anti-discrimination laws in practice, in particular with regard to access to justice. Ultimately it is up to the domestic courts to ensure effective implementation of anti-discrimination law....


The UN General Assembly Vote: Upgrading the Status of Palestine and Its Implications for a Possible Role of the ICC

On 29 November 2012, the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) voted overwhelmingly to accord Palestine ‘Non-Member Observer State’ Status in the UN. In the first part of this Policy Brief, the implications of upgrading the status of Palestine with regard to the possible role of the International Criminal Court (ICC) will be assessed. In April 2012, the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC declined to accept jurisdiction for acts committed on the territory of Palestine since...


The European Union Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020: How to do more for less?

The European Council meeting on 7 and 8 February 2013 attracted an unusual level of attention from media and citizens. For a couple of days, Europe played a more important role in national politics and news. Sensation-frenzied media and excited politicians spouted notions of ‘a battle’, ‘winners’, ‘losers’ or ‘striking deals’, as if Europe had gone back to the time when its military powers still conflicted. After more than 24 hours of intense...


The UN General Assembly Resolution on Access to Legal Aid in Criminal Proceedings - an Example for Europe

The EU’s attempts to adopt an EU-wide instrument on the right to access to legal aid in criminal proceedings have not been successful so far. The important issue was originally part of Measure C of the Roadmap for criminal procedural rights,1 but due to political difficulties legal aid was dropped from the agenda. However, on a different plane agreement was reached on this topic as the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has adopted the world’s first...


DG CONNECT’s Stakeholder Engagement Strategy

Mark Verheyden
Julia Glidden

How do we ensure that public policy represents the interests of all, rather than a select few? How will we ensure it draws upon the best insights and talents of key stakeholders? The European Commission’s DG CONNECT recently announced the results of its Stakeholder Engagement Survey, which is designed to ‘provide empirical results and feedback about existing practices and signal gaps and challenges for action in the area of stakeholder engagement.’ (Directorate-General for...


The Sahel Crisis: Where do European and African perspectives meet?

Hans Hoebeke
The crisis in Mali has brought the Sahel to the centre of international attention. This fragile region not only suffers from longstanding development challenges, but also from an acute security vacuum that has triggered military intervention. Many questions have arisen as a consequence of the crisis. Has the European Union the ability to cope with such a complex and dynamically evolving security environment? How have divergent views on the political roadmap to be adopted, and the lack of...

Lessons for the EU from the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands Crisis

From April until October 2012, China witnessed a series of public protests against the Japanese purchase of the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands. Besides providing further evidence of growing Chinese nationalism, this unrest is interesting for other reasons relevant to EU policy. The Beijing leadership, which is traditionally perceived as the only source of foreign policy decisions in China, faces a changing domestic constellation. Domestic opinion increasingly constrains Chinese foreign policy, and...


The Role of Civil Society Dialogue in the EU-China Cooperation on Renewable Energy

Johanna van Vrede

Expanding EU-China institutional cooperation in the energy sector has been matched by a parallel process of stronger economic ties between European and Chinese companies in the renewable energy (RE) sector (particularly wind and photovoltaics). While the foundation of early EU-China institutional relations was based primarily on trade cooperation, international efforts to mitigate climate change and the common challenge of decreasing energy dependence in a sustainable manner brought a new...


Reviewing the EU’s Crisis Management Procedures

The ongoing review of the EU’s Crisis Management Procedures warrants attention. What passes as an update of an arcane and technical document masks a profoundly political debate concerning what the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) should be about. This policy brief summarises the main proposals and formulates a set of critical reflections. It calls for replacing the bureaucratic scheming with a more forthright political debate, and warns against sacrificing incompatible...


Energy Transition in Europe’s Power House. Alleingang, avant-garde or blackout?

The transformation of Germany’s energy sector will further exacerbate current network fluctuations and intensify the need for modifications in Europe’s power system. Cross-border power transfers will have to increase in order to overcome national limitations for absorbing large volumes of intermittent renewables like wind and solar power. In order to establish such an infrastructure on a European scale, the energy transition needs to be guided by an economic approach designed to...