Now that we are in the midst of the 2019 European Elections, several European Civil Society Organisations reflect on what the Parliament had achieved in the past 5 years, and to check up on the progress made against politicians’ promises and citizens’ demands.
The On Our Watch project brings together Civil Society Organisations working on all kinds of topics: from youth to poverty, from transparency to gender equality. Have a look below at all issues we have analysed so far – and contribute yourself! As a Civil Society Organisation, you can contribute by adding your analysis on your key topic(s). As an organisation or individual, you can contribute to the debate on the issues via our blog page. For both, contact us!
The Parliamentary term 2014-2019 has been very active on the field of waste. With the transition towards a circular economy at the centre of current environmental debates, the chamber has discussed and set its own position regarding the revision of four waste-related Directives. It has approved several own initiative reports, finalised the trilogies, and approved the so-called ‘Plastic Bags Directive’, aimed at significantly reducing the use of single-use plastic bags.
During its current mandate, The European Parliament has played an important role in scrutinizing the work of the Commission in relation to volunteering through producing evidence based assessments of active volunteering initiatives. It has used these reports to call for improvements to the EU’s volunteering policy and volunteering initiatives to increase the uptake and impact of volunteering across Europe.
In 2014, AGE Platform Europe, the largest network of older people’s organisations in the EU, has established a manifesto, campaigning tools for older people and a blog to bring forward the concerns of older people. Different progresses have been made, but some very important dossiers have been stalled however.
Homelessness and housing exclusion are on the increase in Europe. Millions of citizens are being left behind by inadequate policy responses, with knock-on effects on social cohesion and economic growth. The tools required to deal with these challenges already exist and the EU has a crucial role to play in finding solutions.
The ECI launch in 2012 was accompanied by high expectations of citizen-led policy making and citizens closer to EU institutions. A dramatic drop in ECI proposals and citizen support soon followed and this innovative democratic tool appeared to be stillborn. In 2017, though, there have been signs of a fragile recovery with favourable Court decisions, reform of the ECI legislation underway, and citizen re-engagement.
The issue of large-scale tax dodging by multinational corporations and wealthy individuals has been high on the political agenda for years. This is not least because of numerous international tax scandals, which have revealed shocking examples of how some of the world’s largest corporations and richest people are using international structures and tax havens to evade or avoid taxation.
In a connected world, our human rights are digital rights. Advances in information and communication technologies have created new opportunities for the protection of human rights and democracy, but also new challenges and threats, particularly in the areas of surveillance and freedom of expression.