The European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) is the in-house research department and think tank of the European Parliament. Created in November 2013 as a directorate-general within the Parliament's permanent administration, the EPRS's mission is to assist Members of the European Parliament and parliamentary committees by providing them with independent, objective analysis. It is divided in three main Directorates: Members' Research Service (Directorate A), Library (Directorate B) and Impact Assessment and European Added Value (Directorate C). In addition, there are two horizontal Units that deal with Strategy and Coordination, and Resources. EPRS is headed by Director-General Anthony Teasdale.
Directorate A, the Members’ Research Service (MRS), undertakes the EPRS's research for individual MEPs and produces a wide variety of general analytical publications on EU issues for the Parliament as a whole. Directorate B, the Library, manages the European Parliament’s Reading Rooms in Brussels, Strasbourg and Luxembourg, which are also used as a venue for policy roundtables. Directorate C, the Directorate for Impact Assessment and European Added Value, conducts specialist studies in ex-ante and ex-post policy evaluation for the Committees of the European Parliament. All publications by EPRS are available freely for general public.
The creation of the EPRS may be explained by the desire in the early 2010s to see a "[…] a more rational organization" of the European Parliament's permanent administration, notably of DG Presidency, which dealt at the time "with a number of not necessarily related matters (security services, library and lawyer linguists); in this context the Library could be separated from DG Presidency and developed into a new Directorate-General for Parliamentary Research Services, with about 200 staff, by bringing together, in a budgetary neutral way" existing services with an analytical focus. 
The Directorate for the Members' Research Service (Directorate A) provides all Members of the European Parliament with independent, objective and authoritative analysis of, and research on, EU-related policy issues, in order to assist them in their parliamentary work. The MRS is organised into five policy units, following the standard committee groupings used within the Parliament’s administration. These units cover respectively: economic policies (EPOL); structural policies (SPOL); citizens' policies (CPOL), budgetary policies (BPOL); and external policies (XPOL). Its policy analysts and information specialists are at Members’ disposal to support them in their work on all policy issues dealt with by the Parliament or the EU institutions as a whole. The work and output of the five policy units is supported by a central Publications Management and Editorial Unit (PMEU), which also serves EPRS as a whole..
The analysis or research produced by the Members' Research Service follow two different logics, they are either prepared on a specific request basis by an MEP or most likely, by one of their assistants, or the EPRS drafts the paper on a proactive basis.
The Directorate for the Library (Directorate B) provides a wide range of services to Members individually and to the Parliament as a whole. It operates the Library Reading Rooms in Brussels, Strasbourg and Luxembourg, housing the Parliament’s extensive physical and digital collection of books and journals, which it acquires and manages. It provides online access to subscription-based publications for and throughout the Parliament as a whole. It maintains the institution’s historical archives and answers citizens’ enquiries about both the Parliament and the EU generally. The Directorate for the Library is organised in four units: On-site and Online Library Services Unit, Comparative Law Library Unit, Historical Archives Unit, and Citizens’ Enquiries (AskEP) Unit.
The Library hosts events throughout the year, including EPRS policy roundtables, conferences, and book launches. Various MEPs are invited to speak at the conferences and alongside MEPs, other notable political figures, the experts and policy analysts of the EPRS often also constitute the panel.
The EPRS' services in the fields of Impact Assessment and European Added Value (Directorate C) help to strengthen the European Parliament's capacity for scrutiny and oversight of the executive at the successive stages of the legislative and policy cycles - from the evolution and proposition of EU law and policy to its implementation, enforcement and effectiveness in practice – so contributing to the quality of law-making itself. This work is designed to support parliamentary committees in the successive stages of the policy cycle - including the identification, quantification and justification of parliamentary initiatives, and on the implementation and effectiveness of EU law and policies in practice. It therefore contributes to the Parliament's influence on policy development, as well as to improving the overall quality of the law-making process.
The Directorate is organised in six units: European Added Value, Ex-Ante and Ex-Post Impact Assessment Units, European Council Oversight, Scientific Foresight (STOA) and Global Trends Unit..
The European Parliament election of 2014 in Bulgaria was held on 25 May 2014 to elect the Members of the European Parliament from Bulgaria to the European Parliament as part of the larger European Parliament election. After a decision by the European Council in 2013, Bulgaria was allocated 17 seats in the European Parliament for the Eighth European Parliament.The election campaign officially began on 25 April 2014, one month before the election day.Anthony Teasdale
Anthony Teasdale, FAcSS, is Director General of the Directorate-General for Parliamentary Research Services (DG EPRS) in the permanent administration of the European Parliament - or the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) as it is usually known - which serves members and committees as the in-house research centre and think tank of the Parliament.Teasdale is also a Visiting Senior Fellow at the European Institute of the London School of Economics (LSE) and co-author of The Penguin Companion to European Union (fourth edition, 880 pages, 2012).Bhutan Peace and Prosperity Party
The Bhutan Peace and Prosperity Party, or Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (Dzongkha: འབྲུག་ཕུན་སུམ་ཚོགས་པ; Wylie: 'brug phun-sum tshog-pa), is one of the major political parties in Bhutan. It was formed on 25 July 2007 as a merger of the All People's Party and the Bhutan People's United Party, which were both short-lived. The working committee of the merged entity, headed by the former home minister, Jigmi Yoezer Thinley, decided on the name for the new party. On 15 August 2007, Jigmi Yoezer Thinley was elected president of the party, and the party applied for registration, thus becoming the second political party in Bhutan to do so. On 2 October 2007, the Election Commission of Bhutan registered the party. On 24 March 2008, the party won the first general election held in Bhutan. The party secured 45 of the 47 seats to the National Assembly.Canada–European Union relations
Relations between Canada and the European Union (EU) and its forerunners date back to the 1950s. While the relationship is primarily an economic one, there are also matters of political cooperation. In addition, Canada and the EU members have similar forms of government, and Canadians speak European languages (English and French are official and majority languages). Canada had achieved full independence from the United Kingdom following the Patriation in 1982 but maintains numerous constitutional ties with its former host nation. They share the same head of state (Elizabeth II), same systems of government (the Westminster system), and a similar culture. Between the province of Quebec and France, they speak the same language (French), the majority of residents of Quebec are of French descent, and ties between that province and France are close. Canada's strong bilateral relations with France and the United Kingdom (both EU members) helps bring Canada diplomatically closer to the union.
Two overseas territories of EU members, Greenland and Saint Pierre and Miquelon, lie adjacent to Canadian territorial waters.Demographics of Iraq
This article is about the demographic features of the population of Iraq, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.
The population is estimated to be 37,202,572 as of 2016, with most of the population being Arab (70%), followed by Kurds (15%), Turkmens (10%) and Assyrians (5%). Iraqis are 0.6–3% Christian (down from 6% before 2003), 3% Yazidis, 2% Shabaks with numerous other faiths Shi'a Muslims make up 65% and form the majority and the rest belong to other religious minorities.Druk Chirwang Tshogpa
The Druk Chirwang Tshogpa (DCT) (Dzongkha: འབྲུག་སྤྱིར་དབང་ཚོགས་པ་; Wylie: ’brug spyir-dbang tshogs-pa) is a former Bhutanese political party. It was registered on January 7, 2013. However, the Election Commission of Bhutan announced on February 26, 2018 that the Party was being deregistered on its own request.
In the primary round of the 2nd National Assembly elections held in 2013, the DCT had 12,457 votes and came fourth place, not winning in any constituency, and so could not take part in the final round.Emerging technologies
Emerging technologies are technologies whose development, practical applications, or both are still largely unrealized, such that they are figuratively emerging into prominence from a background of nonexistence or obscurity. These technologies are generally new but also include older technologies that are still controversial and relatively undeveloped in potential, such as preimplantation genetic diagnosis and gene therapy (which date to circa 1990 but even today have large undeveloped potential). Emerging technologies are often perceived as capable of changing the status quo.
Emerging technologies are characterized by radical novelty (in application even if not in origins), relatively fast growth, coherence, prominent impact, and uncertainty and ambiguity. In other words, an emerging technology can be defined as "a radically novel and relatively fast growing technology characterised by a certain degree of coherence persisting over time and with the potential to exert a considerable impact on the socio-economic domain(s) which is observed in terms of the composition of actors, institutions and patterns of interactions among those, along with the associated knowledge production processes. Its most prominent impact, however, lies in the future and so in the emergence phase is still somewhat uncertain and ambiguous.".Emerging technologies include a variety of technologies such as educational technology, information technology, nanotechnology, biotechnology, cognitive science, psychotechnology, robotics, and artificial intelligence.New technological fields may result from the technological convergence of different systems evolving towards similar goals. Convergence brings previously separate technologies such as voice (and telephony features), data (and productivity applications) and video together so that they share resources and interact with each other, creating new efficiencies.
Emerging technologies are those technical innovations which represent progressive developments within a field for competitive advantage; converging technologies represent previously distinct fields which are in some way moving towards stronger inter-connection and similar goals. However, the opinion on the degree of the impact, status and economic viability of several emerging and converging technologies varies.European Parliament
The European Parliament (EP) is the only parliamentary institution of the European Union (EU) that is directly elected by EU citizens aged 18 or older. Together with the Council of the European Union (also known as the 'Council'), which should not be confused with the European Council and the Council of Europe, it exercises the legislative function of the EU. The Parliament is composed of 751 members (MEPs), that will become 705 starting from the 2019–2024 legislature (because specific provisions adopted about Brexit), who represent the second-largest democratic electorate in the world (after the Parliament of India) and the largest trans-national democratic electorate in the world (375 million eligible voters in 2009).It has been directly elected by the European citizens (each EU Member State's national has his state's nationality and EU one consequently) every five years and by universal suffrage since 1979. However, voter turnout at European Parliament elections has fallen consecutively at each election since that date, and has been under 50% since 1999. Voter turnout in 2014 stood at 42.54% of all European voters.Although the European Parliament has legislative power, as does the Council, they do not formally possess legislative initiative (it is for the European Commission), as most national parliaments of European Union member states do. The Parliament is the "first institution" of the EU (mentioned first in the treaties, having ceremonial precedence over all authority at European level), and shares equal legislative and budgetary powers with the Council (except in a few areas where the special legislative procedures apply). It likewise has equal control over the EU budget. Finally, the European Commission, the executive body of the EU (it exercises executive powers but no legislative ones), is accountable to Parliament. In particular, Parliament elects the President of the Commission, and approves (or rejects) the appointment of the Commission as a whole. It can subsequently force the Commission as a body to resign by adopting a motion of censure.The President of the European Parliament (Parliament's speaker) is Antonio Tajani (EPP), elected in January 2017. He presides over a multi-party chamber, the two largest groups being the Group of the European People's Party (EPP) and the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D). The last union-wide elections were the 2014 elections.
The European Parliament has three places of work – Brussels (Belgium), the city of Luxembourg (Luxembourg) and Strasbourg (France).
Luxembourg is home to the administrative offices (the "General Secretariat"). Meetings of the whole Parliament ("plenary sessions") take place in Strasbourg and in Brussels. Committee meetings are held in Brussels.Freedom of the press
Freedom of the press or freedom of the media is the principle that communication and expression through various media, including printed and electronic media, especially published materials, should be considered a right to be exercised freely. Such freedom implies the absence of interference from an overreaching state; its preservation may be sought through constitutional or other legal protections.
With respect to governmental information, any government may distinguish which materials are public or protected from disclosure to the public. State materials are protected due to either of two reasons: the classification of information as sensitive, classified or secret, or the relevance of the information to protecting the national interest. Many governments are also subject to sunshine laws or freedom of information legislation that are used to define the ambit of national interest.
The United Nations' 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference, and to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers".This philosophy is usually accompanied by legislation ensuring various degrees of freedom of scientific research (known as scientific freedom), publishing, and press. The depth to which these laws are entrenched in a country's legal system can go as far down as its constitution. The concept of freedom of speech is often covered by the same laws as freedom of the press, thereby giving equal treatment to spoken and published expression. Sweden was the first country in the world to adopt freedom of the press into its constitution with the Freedom of the Press Act of 1766.Georgian Dream
Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia (Georgian: ქართული ოცნება – დემოკრატიული საქართველო, Kartuli ocneba – Demok’rat’iuli Sakartvelo) is the governing party of Georgia. The party was established on 19 April 2012 by the billionaire businessman and politician Bidzina Ivanishvili. It is the leading party of the six-party Georgian Dream political coalition which won the 2012 parliamentary election. The political party Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia currently has 115 seats in the 150-seat Georgian parliament.Government of India
The Government of India (IAST: Bhārata Sarakāra), often abbreviated as GoI, is the union government created by the constitution of India as the legislative, executive and judicial authority of the union of 29 states and seven union territories of a constitutionally democratic republic. It is located in New Delhi, the capital of India.Iraq
Iraq (, (listen) or ; Arabic: العراق al-'Irāq; Kurdish: عێراق Eraq), officially known as the Republic of Iraq (Arabic: جُمُهورية العِراق Jumhūrīyyat al-'Irāq; Kurdish: کۆماری عێراق Komari Eraq), is a country in Western Asia, bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, Kuwait to the southeast, Saudi Arabia to the south, Jordan to the southwest and Syria to the west. The capital, and largest city, is Baghdad. Iraq is home to diverse ethnic groups including Arabs, Kurds, Assyrians, Turkmen, Shabakis, Yazidis, Armenians, Mandeans, Circassians and Kawliya. Around 95% of the country's 37 million citizens are Muslims, with Christianity, Yarsan, Yezidism and Mandeanism also present. The official languages of Iraq are Arabic and Kurdish.
Iraq has a coastline measuring 58 km (36 miles) on the northern Persian Gulf and encompasses the Mesopotamian Alluvial Plain, the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range and the eastern part of the Syrian Desert. Two major rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, run south through Iraq and into the Shatt al-Arab near the Persian Gulf. These rivers provide Iraq with significant amounts of fertile land.
The region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, historically known as Mesopotamia, is often referred to as the cradle of civilisation. It was here that mankind first began to read, write, create laws and live in cities under an organised government—notably Uruk, from which "Iraq" is derived. The area has been home to successive civilisations since the 6th millennium BC. Iraq was the centre of the Akkadian, Sumerian, Assyrian and Babylonian empires. It was also part of the Median, Achaemenid, Hellenistic, Parthian, Sassanid, Roman, Rashidun, Umayyad, Abbasid, Ayyubid, Mongol, Safavid, Afsharid and Ottoman empires.The country today known as Iraq was a region of the Ottoman Empire until the partition of the Ottoman Empire in the 20th century. It was made up of three provinces, called vilayets in the Ottoman language: Mosul Vilayet, Baghdad Vilayet, and Basra Vilayet. In April 1920 the British Mandate of Mesopotamia was created under the authority of the League of Nations. A British-backed monarchy joining these vilayets into one Kingdom was established in 1921 under Faisal I of Iraq. The Hashemite Kingdom of Iraq gained independence from the UK in 1932. In 1958, the monarchy was overthrown and the Iraqi Republic created. Iraq was controlled by the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party from 1968 until 2003. After an invasion by the United States and its allies in 2003, Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party was removed from power, and multi-party parliamentary elections were held in 2005. The US presence in Iraq ended in 2011, but the Iraqi insurgency continued and intensified as fighters from the Syrian Civil War spilled into the country. Out of the insurgency came a highly destructive group calling itself ISIL, which took large parts of the north and west. It has since been largely defeated. Disputes over the sovereignty of Iraqi Kurdistan continue. A referendum about the full sovereignty of Iraqi Kurdistan was held on 25 September 2017. On 9 December 2017, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory over ISIL after the group lost its territory in Iraq.Iraq is a federal parliamentary republic consisting of 19 governorates (provinces) and one autonomous region (Iraqi Kurdistan). The country's official religion is Islam. Culturally, Iraq has a very rich heritage and celebrates the achievements of its past in both pre-Islamic as well as post-Islamic times and is known for its poets. Its painters and sculptors are among the best in the Arab world, some of them being world-class as well as producing fine handicrafts, including rugs and carpets. Iraq is a founding member of the UN as well as of the Arab League, OIC, Non-Aligned Movement and the IMF.Media freedom in the European Union
Media freedom in the European Union is a fundamental right that applies to all member states of the European Union and its citizens, as defined in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights as well as the European Convention on Human Rights. Within the EU enlargement process, guaranteeing media freedom is named a "key indicator of a country's readiness to become part of the EU".Media freedom, including freedom of the press, is the principal platform for ensuring freedom of expression and freedom of information, referring to the right to express value judgments and the right of allegation of facts, respectively. While the term media freedom refers to the absence of state monopoly or excessive state intrusion, Media pluralism is understood in terms of lack of private control over media, meaning the avoidance of concentrated private media ownership.The annual World Press Freedom Day is celebrated on 3 May.New Zealand–European Union relations
New Zealand and the European Union (EU) have solid relations and increasingly see eye-to-eye on international issues. The EU-New Zealand relations are founded on a Joint Declaration on Relations and Cooperation, first agreed in 2007. It covers not just economic relations, but broader political issues and cooperation.The New Zealand Government maintains a delegation to the EU at its embassy in Brussels. A Delegation of the European Union is located in Wellington.People's Democratic Party (Bhutan)
The People's Democratic Party (Dzongkha: མི་སེར་དམངས་གཙོའི་ཚོགས་པ་; Wylie: mi-ser dmangs-gtsoi tshogs-pa; abbreviated PDP) is one of the major political parties in Bhutan, formed on March 24, 2007. The founder president of this party is Sangay Ngedup, the former prime minister and agriculture minister of the Royal Government of Bhutan. The current leader of the party is Tshering Tobgay. The People's Democratic Party submitted its application for registration on August 6, 2007 and thus became the first political party in Bhutan to do so. On September 1, 2007 the Election Commission of Bhutan registered the party. The party presented candidates for the 2008 National Assembly election in all 47 constituencies.The party won only two of the National Assembly's 47 seats, and just under one third of the votes cast. The only other party that registered for the election, the Bhutan Peace and Prosperity Party, gained 45 seats and just over two thirds of the votes. The People's Democratic Party's president, Sangay Ngedup, failed to win the seat in his own constituency.In the 2013 elections, the party won 32 seats with 54.88% of the votes.
PDP's election victory is attributed to its comprehensive campaign promises. The campaign promise focused on improving the economy which has recorded a GDP growth rate of 2%, the lowest in the recent 20 years. The confidence in the economy was at its weakest with rupee shortages, raising debt, loans being stopped by financial institutions and corruption having become a major concern.Secretariat of the European Parliament
The secretariat of the European Parliament is the administrative body of the European Parliament headed by a Secretary-General. It is based in the Kirchberg district of Luxembourg and around the Brussels-Luxembourg Station in Brussels and employs 4000 officials.Sonia L'Heureux
Sonia L'Heureux is a Canadian civil servant, who has been the Parliamentary Librarian of Canada since 2012. She was the first woman ever named to the position.Originally from Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, L'Heureux joined the Canadian civil service in 1987. She worked for Human Resources and Social Development Canada, Finance Canada, Environment Canada and Energy, Mines and Resources Canada as a policy analyst before joining the Library of Parliament as associate librarian in 2008. She holds bachelor's and master's degrees in economics from the Université de Montréal.
Following the resignation of Kevin Page in March 2013, L'Heureux also served as interim Parliamentary Budget Officer until the appointment of Jean-Denis Fréchette in September.State of the Union (European Union)
The State of the Union address, also known as the State of the European Union, or SOTEU is the annual speech addressed by the President of the European Commission to the European Parliament plenary session in September. The State of the Union address of the European Union has been instituted by the Lisbon Treaty (with the 2010 Framework
Agreement on relations between the European Parliament and the European Commission - Annex IV(5)), in order to make political life of the Union more democratic and transparent than it hitherto was.
The Framework Agreement thus also foresees that the President of the European Commission sends a letter of intent to the President of the European Parliament and the Presidency of the Council of the European Union that sets out in detail the actions the European Commission intends to take by means of legislation and other initiatives until the end of the following year. The address is then followed by a general debate on political situation of the Union, the so-called State of the Union debate.United National Movement (Georgia)
United National Movement (Georgian: ერთიანი ნაციონალური მოძრაობა, Ertiani Natsionaluri Modzraoba, ENM) is the opposition political party in the nation of Georgia.