Launched by the European Commission in December 2016 the European Solidarity Corps is aimed at 18 to 30 year olds who want to help make a difference by volunteering or working for a good cause. Over 40,000 people from all EU Member States have signed up in the first year with over 2,000 of them starting placements. In August 2017, for example, a group of volunteers went to Norcia in Italy, to help with the on going efforts to repair damage and rebuild social services for the local community affected by the severe earthquakes that had hit the region a year earlier. In other examples participants are working with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds or with special needs, with refugees or with the elderly. If you are interested in participating find out more here.
On Friday, December 8th, the European Commission recommended to the European Council that sufficient progress has been made in the first phase of the Article 50 negotiations with the United Kingdom. The European Council meeting on December 15th will formally decide if this is the case, allowing negotiations to proceed to the second phase. The European Commission recommendation follows the Joint Report agreed by the European Commission negotiation team led by Michel Barnier and the United Kingdom Government.
The European Commission believes sufficient progress has been made in the three priority areas of citizen’s rights, Ireland and the financial settlement as laid out in the European Council Guidelines of 29th April 2017. You can read details of the Commission’s assessment at the state of progress of the negotiations here. Related documents are also available.
You may also be interested in: the statement made by the Irish Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, following the recommendation made by the European Commission.
The Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) produces research briefings on a wide range of issues, including on EU and International Affairs. These are intended to aid Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) by providing relevant impartial up-to-date background material on topics relevant to their work. However, the briefing papers are useful to anyone starting to research a current issue.
The European Commission are holding a public consultation on fake news and online disinformation, with the objective being to
“help assess the effectiveness of current actions by market players and other stakeholders, the need for scaling them up and introducing new actions to address different types of fake news.”
There are two questionnaires, one for citizens and one for legal entities and journalists. The consultation will run from 13 November 2017 until 23 February 2018. Check the page on Europa for more information and for links to the questionnaires.
The legal journal Public Lawhas produced a ‘Brexit Special Extra Issue’ featuring nine articles discussing the constitutional implications of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union. This special issue is now available for reference in Taylor Library. The Library also has electronic access to Public Law through the Westlaw UK legal database. University of Aberdeen students and staff can access Westlaw UK via Primo.
Yesterday it was announced that the European Medicines Agency will relocate from London to Amsterdam. The EMA is an agency of the European Union and its role involves the scientific evaluation, supervision and safety monitoring of medicines for human and animal use as well as assisting national agencies authorise medicine sales within the EU single market.
The EMA has to relocate due to the UK decision to leave the EU and the UK Government’s desire to no longer be subject to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.
EMA has been based in London, UK, since it’s location was secured by John Major’s government in 1995, the year the Agency was established. It currently employs nearly 900 people with a further 36,000 scientists and regulators visiting each year.
A House of Commons Library Research Paper entitled Brexit and medicines regulationlooks at how medicines are currently regulated in the UK, the role of the EMA and what the options are post Brexit.
Today the UK Supreme Court has ruled that Scottish Government can set a minimum price for alcohol, rejecting a challenge by the Scotch Whisky Association and others that it did not comply with European Union law. The judgment is available here.
In an attempt to reduce both the harm to health and the social consequences arising from the consumption of cheap high strength alcohol, the Scottish Parliament passed The Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Act 2012 . This has been the subject proceeding in the Scottish, European Union and United Kingdom courts since 2012.
Further background to the case is available from the UK Supreme Court here and from the Scottish Government here.
Did you know the average hourly pay of women in Europe is 16.3% lower than that of men? The 3rd November was designated European Equal Pay Day this year to mark the moment when women effectively stop getting paid compared to their male colleagues, with almost two months of the year remaining.
Find out here how the UK gender pay gap compares to other European countries.
Are you looking for an opportunity to volunteer or work for a good cause and help make a difference? Then why not have a look at the European Solidarity Corps, the European Union initiative which creates opportunities for young people from 18 to 30 to volunteer or work in projects in Europe?
The School of Law is hosting a seminar called Investment Arbitration in the EU? A song from the past or a new beat. Presented by Dr Gloria Alvarez it takes place in C11 Taylor Building on 1st November between 2-3pm. Further information is available here.