Category Archives: 2017

Brexit: latest documents

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.

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Scottish Parliament Information Centre Research Briefings

Scottish Parliament (2)
© dun-deagh. Licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

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.

SPICe also produce a blog which has a section devoted to the UK decision to leave the European Union. A  useful feature is the weekly update on current developments following on from the decision to leave.

The latest update from the 30th of November 2017 is available here.

Public Consultation on Fake News

Fake News (Puck)
© Stuart Rankin. Licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

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.

Public Law Brexit Special Issue

Public law Brexit SpecialThe legal journal Public Law has 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.

In the news: The European Medicines Agency

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© Rodrigo Senna and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

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 regulation looks at how medicines are currently regulated in the UK, the role of the EMA and what the options are post Brexit.

 

In the news: Minimum Unit Pricing for Alcohol

Booze
this Creative Commons Licence©  Dave Morris and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

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.

In the news: Gender equality

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.

The European Solidarity Corps

 

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© European Union

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?

A short guide is available from the European Documentation Centre in Taylor Library or online here.

European Statistics Day

ESD-Logo_2017
©European Union

As today is European Statistics Day why not have a look at a new digital and interactive publication produced by Eurostat called ‘The life of women and men in Europe – a statistical portrait’  which includes an interactive quiz.

The publication is divided into 3 parts. Here are some findings from each part:

 

“Living, growing, ageing: In all member states, women leave their parental home earlier than men. In the UK, women leave their parental home at the age of 23 on average while men leave at 25 (2 years earlier for both compared with the EU average).

Learning, working, earning: On average, women earn 16% less than men in all member states. However this gender pay gap varies. The largest differences are observed in Estonia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Austria and the UK, all above 20%.

Eating, shopping, surfing, socialising: A larger share of men than women in the EU drink alcohol on a weekly basis. For the different member states this share varies from 21% in Latvia to 52% in the UK for men, and from 5% in Romania and Lithuania to 40% in the UK for women”.

The EDC in Taylor Library receives publications in hard copy from Eurostat.  Two recent acquisitions are: Monitoring social inclusion in Europe and Smarter, greener,  more inclusive?

In addition the University of Aberdeen is recognised as a ‘research entity’ by Eurostat. This allows researchers at the University of Aberdeen to request access to microdata , the units of data that aggregate statistics are compiled from, by submitting research proposals to Eurostat.