Strategic Insurance: The Future of the Belgian Armed Forces

Belgium is on the cusp of its next defence reform. While the security landscape throughout Europe’s neighbourhood and beyond deteriorates, the armed forces face numerous challenges. Most importantly, the next defence plan needs to recalibrate the force structure in function of political ambitions and budgetary realities. This Policy Brief argues that Belgium must embrace a nimble but broad-spectrum force. Any future structure must encompass agile land forces as well as a modern combat...


European Energy and Industrial Policy Realigned: Risk or Opportunity for EU Eco-Innovation Strategy?

Europe’s eco-innovation strategy fuses industrial, energy and environmental policy together in a concept for sustainable economic growth in the 21st century. The latest debate about high energy prices and their impact on energy-intensive industry shows, however, that the emphasis among the three policies has shifted over the years. Some adjustments are therefore necessary in order to reduce evolving inconsistencies. This Policy Brief describes the different dimensions of the EU’s...


EU Climate and Energy Policy: Hope for More and Better Climate Policy Integration?

With discussions on-going in the EU on the climate and energy policy framework to 2030, it is timely to assess the reality of climate policy integration into EU energy policy. Such an analysis can lead to lessons for the legislative process for the 2030 package, and even for policies in other sectors and beyond 2030. Climate change is a complex, crosscutting, long-term and global problem. Policymakers acknowledge that integrating climate policy objectives into the elaboration and agreement...


EU Performance in the International Climate Negotiations in 2013: Scope for Improvement

The European Union (EU) has long been an important player and even a leader in the international cooperation on climate change. In 2013, preparations for a new global climate agreement in 2015 moved centre stage in the international negotiations. This policy brief assesses the EU’s performance in 2013 culminating in the Warsaw conference in November 2013. We find that the EU was actively engaged in the negotiations and pursued partially ambitious/progressive policy objectives, which it...


The ICC and its Deteriorating Relationship with Africa in Light of the Kenya Cases: What Should the EU Position be?

The African Union (AU), a union consisting of 54 African States, held an Extraordinary Summit on 11-12 October 2013, to discuss its relationship with the International Criminal Court (ICC or the Court). The meeting took place just weeks before the trial of Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta is scheduled to begin, and was clearly intended to voice discontent and put on hold the ongoing ICC proceedings against Kenyatta as well as his deputy, Vice-President William Ruto. Before the Summit,...


Environmental Degradation, Climate Change and Migration: from Research to Policy-making

Aurelie Sgro
Julie Marchal
Chantal Lacroix

In recent months, the migratory impacts of environmental degradation and climate change have gained increased worldwide attention. In response to the publication of the EC Staff Working Document on Climate Change, Environmental Degradation and Migration, this policy brief critically outlines current themes and issues that surround this global phenomenon, specifically the findings of current international research which frame the discussions on terminology and current legal, political and...


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...