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Briefing - Transnational clusters and the Danube macro-regional strategy - 18-03-2019

As geographical concentrations of enterprises, which work together in the same field to develop a high level of expertise, services and skills, clusters are hotbeds of innovation and play an important role in the EU economy. Known as transnational clusters wh
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Briefing - Transnational clusters and the Danube macro-regional strategy - 18-03-2019

As geographical concentrations of enterprises, which work together in the same field to develop a high level of expertise, services and skills, clusters are hotbeds of innovation and play an important role in the EU economy. Known as transnational clusters when they involve actors from two or more countries in the same geographical area, clusters tend to generate higher employment growth than firms located outside clusters, and are estimated to account for a significant proportion of jobs in the European Union. Linking countries from across a wide geographical region, the EU's macro-regional strategies provide a useful framework to support transnational clusters. Launched in December 2010, the EU strategy for the Danube region (EUDSR) covers 14 countries that differ both in terms of their development and their relationship with the EU, including nine EU Member States and five third countries. With one of the major challenges in the Danube region being the uneven levels of innovation performance between the highly developed western part of the region and the less-developed east, transnational clusters have the potential to help redress this balance and to increase regional competiveness. The development of clusters is firmly supported by the EUSDR's action plan, which outlines a number of actions to foster clusters across the Danube region. This has led to several cluster projects, with a particular emphasis on the bio-based and agri-food sectors, building on the expertise of local enterprises in this field. The European Commission and academic experts have welcomed the progress made in the development of clusters in the Danube region in recent years, yet challenges remain, with issues such as funding difficulties, the lack of visibility of macro-regional strategies and declining political commitment all causes for concern. Future discussions on the content of cohesion programmes post-2020 provide a golden opportunity to highlight the potential of macro-regional strategies for fostering regional development and how transnational clusters can contribute to this process. This briefing has been produced at the request of a member of the Committee of the Regions, in the framework of the Cooperation Agreement between the Parliament and the Committee. Source : © European Union, 2019 - EP

Study - Automated tackling of disinformation-Major challenges ahead - 15-03-2019

This study maps and analyses current and future threats from online misinformation, alongside currently adopted socio-technical and legal approaches. The challenges of evaluating their effectiveness and practical adoption are also discussed. Drawing on and co
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Study - Automated tackling of disinformation-Major challenges ahead - 15-03-2019

This study maps and analyses current and future threats from online misinformation, alongside currently adopted socio-technical and legal approaches. The challenges of evaluating their effectiveness and practical adoption are also discussed. Drawing on and complementing existing literature, the study summarises and analyses the findings of relevant journalist and scientific studies and policy reports in relation to detecting, containing and countering online disinformation and propaganda campaigns. It traces recent development and trends and identifies significant new or emerging challenges. It also addresses potential policy implications of current socio-technical solutions for the EU. Source : © European Union, 2019 - EP

Briefing - Presidential elections in Ukraine [What Think Tanks are thinking] - 15-03-2019

Ukraine will hold presidential elections on 31 March, five years after the Maidan protests resulted in the impeachment of pro-Kremlin President Viktor Yanukovich, setting the country on a course to deepen ties with the West. Russia reacted by launching a hybr
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Briefing - Presidential elections in Ukraine [What Think Tanks are thinking] - 15-03-2019

Ukraine will hold presidential elections on 31 March, five years after the Maidan protests resulted in the impeachment of pro-Kremlin President Viktor Yanukovich, setting the country on a course to deepen ties with the West. Russia reacted by launching a hybrid war against Ukraine, which resulted in the illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula in March 2014, and in military aggression in eastern Ukraine. The outcome of the ballot is uncertain, but the new leader is expected to continue the efforts of incumbent President Petro Poroshenko to deepen relations with the European Union and NATO, and continue the country's reform process, including anti-corruption measures. A record 44 candidates are contesting the election, with actor and political novice Volodymyr Zelenskiy holding the lead in opinion polls, followed by Poroshenko and former prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko. If no candidate secures an absolute majority in the first round, the top two contenders will face each other in a run-off on 21 April. This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports from major international think tanks on the situation in Ukraine. Source : © European Union, 2019 - EP

At a Glance - Plenary round-up – Strasbourg, March I 2019 - 15-03-2019

Highlights of the March I plenary session included debates on Brexit, preparation of the European Council meeting of 21-22 March 2019, and the latest debate on the Future of Europe, with Peter Pellegrini, Slovakia's Prime Minister. Parliament also held debate
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At a Glance - Plenary round-up – Strasbourg, March I 2019 - 15-03-2019

Highlights of the March I plenary session included debates on Brexit, preparation of the European Council meeting of 21-22 March 2019, and the latest debate on the Future of Europe, with Peter Pellegrini, Slovakia's Prime Minister. Parliament also held debates on a proposed European human rights violations sanctions regime; the situation in Venezuela and Nicaragua; opening EU-US trade negotiations; climate change; gender balance in nominations to EU economic and monetary affairs bodies; and on the urgency to establish an EU blacklist of third countries with weak regimes on anti-money-laundering and countering terrorist financing. Finally, Parliament adopted first-reading positions on three further proposed funding programmes for the 2021-2027 period. A number of Brexit-preparedness measures were also adopted. Source : © European Union, 2019 - EP

Briefing - Internal market for electricity - 14-03-2019

On 30 November 2016, the European Commission presented a legislative proposal for a regulation on the internal market for electricity, as part of a comprehensive legislative package on the energy union. The proposed regulation is aimed at making the electrici
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Briefing - Internal market for electricity - 14-03-2019

On 30 November 2016, the European Commission presented a legislative proposal for a regulation on the internal market for electricity, as part of a comprehensive legislative package on the energy union. The proposed regulation is aimed at making the electricity market fit for more flexibility, decarbonisation and innovation, by providing for undistorted market signals. It sets out rules for electricity trading within different time frames, and clarifies the responsibilities of market actors. It defines principles for assessing capacity needs at regional and European level and proposes design principles for market-based capacity mechanisms with cross-border participation. It introduces regional operational centres for handling-system operation and a European entity for distribution system operators. The Council adopted its general approach in December 2017. In the European Parliament, the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) adopted its report in February 2018. A provisional trilogue agreement was reached on 19 December 2018. Parliament is expected to vote on the agreement during the March II 2019 plenary session. Third edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing. Source : © European Union, 2019 - EP

Briefing - Common rules for the internal electricity market - 14-03-2019

On 30 November 2016, the European Commission presented a legislative proposal for a recast directive on the internal market for electricity, as part of a comprehensive legislative package entitled ‘Clean Energy for all Europeans’. The proposed directive w
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Briefing - Common rules for the internal electricity market - 14-03-2019

On 30 November 2016, the European Commission presented a legislative proposal for a recast directive on the internal market for electricity, as part of a comprehensive legislative package entitled ‘Clean Energy for all Europeans’. The proposed directive would oblige Member States to ensure a more competitive, customer-centred, flexible and non-discriminatory EU electricity market with market-based supply prices. It would strengthen existing customer rights, introduce new ones and provide a framework for energy communities. Member States would have to monitor and address energy poverty. The proposal clarifies the tasks of distribution system operators and emphasises the obligation of neighbouring national regulators to cooperate on issues of cross-border relevance. The Council adopted its general approach in December 2017. In the European Parliament, the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) adopted its report in February 2018. A provisional trilogue agreement was reached on 17 December 2018. Parliament is expected to vote on this agreement during the March II 2019 plenary session. Third edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing. Source : © European Union, 2019 - EP

At a Glance - EU-Georgia people-to-people contacts - 14-03-2019

Since 2003, relations between the EU and Georgia have deepened, and at present the country is the EU's closest partner in the South Caucasus region. Relations have been strengthened further through the recent signing of an association agreement between the tw
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At a Glance - EU-Georgia people-to-people contacts - 14-03-2019

Since 2003, relations between the EU and Georgia have deepened, and at present the country is the EU's closest partner in the South Caucasus region. Relations have been strengthened further through the recent signing of an association agreement between the two parties and the deep and comprehensive free trade area (DCFTA) it introduced. The EU also seeks to promote more people-to-people contacts between its citizens and Georgians, as well as supporting the vibrant Georgian civil society. Source : © European Union, 2019 - EP

At a Glance - The African Union's blue strategy - 14-03-2019

Harnessing ocean resources in a sustainable manner is the 'new frontier of the African renaissance', according to the African Union. To this end, the African Union has designed an ambitious maritime strategy aimed at restoring ocean health, reinstating securi
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At a Glance - The African Union's blue strategy - 14-03-2019

Harnessing ocean resources in a sustainable manner is the 'new frontier of the African renaissance', according to the African Union. To this end, the African Union has designed an ambitious maritime strategy aimed at restoring ocean health, reinstating security at sea, and strengthening strategic 'blue growth' sectors. The EU is supporting this strategy, which is in line with the main aspects of its own approach to the Africa-EU partnership. Source : © European Union, 2019 - EP

At a Glance - EU-Moldova people-to-people contacts - 14-03-2019

Since the Republic of Moldova joined the Eastern Partnership regional initiative 10 years ago, its ties with the EU have grown closer. In recent years, however, the country's political, economic and societal stability has become increasingly wobbly, and publi
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At a Glance - EU-Moldova people-to-people contacts - 14-03-2019

Since the Republic of Moldova joined the Eastern Partnership regional initiative 10 years ago, its ties with the EU have grown closer. In recent years, however, the country's political, economic and societal stability has become increasingly wobbly, and public trust in institutions and even NGOs remains low. The EU is working to strengthen the role of civil society organisations in public life. Source : © European Union, 2019 - EP

At a Glance - What if your emotions were tracked to spy on you? - 13-03-2019

Recent reports of celebrity singer, Taylor Swift, deploying facial recognition technology to spot stalkers at her concerts raised many eyebrows. What started out as a tool to unlock your smartphone or tag photos for you on social media is surreptitiously beco
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At a Glance - What if your emotions were tracked to spy on you? - 13-03-2019

Recent reports of celebrity singer, Taylor Swift, deploying facial recognition technology to spot stalkers at her concerts raised many eyebrows. What started out as a tool to unlock your smartphone or tag photos for you on social media is surreptitiously becoming a means of monitoring people in their daily lives without their consent. What impact and implications are facial recognition technology applications likely to have, and what can be done to ensure the fair engagement of this technology with its users and the public at large? Source : © European Union, 2019 - EP

Briefing - Leveraged finance: a supervisory concern in the Banking Union? - 12-03-2019

The increased volume of “leveraged finance” in the banking sector has recently led US, EU, and international supervisory authorities to caution against related financial stability risks. This briefing summarises (i) the concept of leveraged finance, (ii)
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Briefing - Leveraged finance: a supervisory concern in the Banking Union? - 12-03-2019

The increased volume of “leveraged finance” in the banking sector has recently led US, EU, and international supervisory authorities to caution against related financial stability risks. This briefing summarises (i) the concept of leveraged finance, (ii) the warnings that the different supervisory authorities have issued, (iii) the market developments, (iv) key financial stability risks, (v) and the related actions taken so far by the ECB. Source : © European Union, 2019 - EP

Briefing - Economic, social and territorial situation of Portugal - 13-03-2019

This briefing was prepared to provide information for the European Parliament’s Committee on Regional Development delegation visit to Portugal of 27 February to 1 March 2019. Source : © European Union, 2019 - EP
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Briefing - Economic, social and territorial situation of Portugal - 13-03-2019

This briefing was prepared to provide information for the European Parliament’s Committee on Regional Development delegation visit to Portugal of 27 February to 1 March 2019. Source : © European Union, 2019 - EP

Briefing - Explosives precursors: Fighting the misuse of chemicals by terrorists - 13-03-2019

Since 2008, in line with its action plan to enhance the security of explosives, the European Union has considered regulating chemicals that could be used to produce homemade explosives to be a priority. A first legislative act in this regard – Regulation (E
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Briefing - Explosives precursors: Fighting the misuse of chemicals by terrorists - 13-03-2019

Since 2008, in line with its action plan to enhance the security of explosives, the European Union has considered regulating chemicals that could be used to produce homemade explosives to be a priority. A first legislative act in this regard – Regulation (EU) No 98/2013 on the marketing and use of explosives precursors – was adopted in 2013. The 2015 Paris and 2016 Brussels terrorist attacks and their operating modes, which were based on the use of homemade explosives, led to an assessment of the efficiency of the 2013 regulation. To take into account existing challenges, and increase stakeholders' ability to implement and enforce restrictions and controls under the regulation, the European Commission launched its revision in February 2017. On 17 April 2018, it adopted a proposal for a new regulation on explosives precursors. Following trilogue negotiations, an agreement between the European Parliament and the Council was reached on 5 February 2019. The Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE), approved the agreed text on 19 February 2019. The vote in plenary is due to take place in April 2019. First edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Source : © European Union, 2019 - EP

Briefing - EU policies – Delivering for citizens: The fight against terrorism - 13-03-2019

Faced with a growing international terrorist threat, the European Union (EU) is playing an ever more ambitious role in counter-terrorism. Even though primary responsibility for combating crime and ensuring security lies with the Member States, the EU provide
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Briefing - EU policies – Delivering for citizens: The fight against terrorism - 13-03-2019

Faced with a growing international terrorist threat, the European Union (EU) is playing an ever more ambitious role in counter-terrorism. Even though primary responsibility for combating crime and ensuring security lies with the Member States, the EU provides cooperation, coordination and (to some extent) harmonisation tools as well as financial support to address this borderless phenomenon. Moreover, the assumption that there is a connection between development and stability, as well as between internal and external security, has come to shape EU action beyond its own borders. EU spending in the area of counter-terrorism has increased over the years and is set to grow in the future, to allow for better cooperation between national law enforcement authorities and enhanced support by the EU bodies in charge of security, such as Europol and eu-LISA. Financing for cooperation with third countries has also increased, including through the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace. The many new rules and instruments that have been adopted since 2014 range from harmonising definitions of terrorist offences and sanctions, and sharing information and data, to protecting borders, countering terrorist financing, and regulating firearms. To evaluate the efficiency of the existing tools and identify gaps and possible ways forward, the European Parliament set up a Special Committee on Terrorism (TERR), which delivered its report in November 2018. TERR made extensive recommendations for immediate or longer term actions aiming to prevent terrorism, combat its root causes, protect EU citizens and assist victims in the best possible way. In line with these recommendations, future EU counter-terrorism action will most probably focus on addressing existing and new threats, countering radicalisation – including by preventing the spread of terrorist propaganda online – and enhancing the resilience of critical infrastructure. Foreseeable developments also include increased information sharing, with planned interoperability between EU security- and border-related databases, as well as investigation and prosecution of terrorist crimes at EU level, through the proposed extension of the mandate of the recently established European Public Prosecutor's Office. Source : © European Union, 2019 - EP

Briefing - Reform Support Programme 2021-2027 - 13-03-2019

The European Commission adopted the proposal on the establishment of the Reform Support Programme on 31 May 2018, as part of the package for the upcoming multiannual financial framework for 2021-2027. The programme will provide financial and technical suppor
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Briefing - Reform Support Programme 2021-2027 - 13-03-2019

The European Commission adopted the proposal on the establishment of the Reform Support Programme on 31 May 2018, as part of the package for the upcoming multiannual financial framework for 2021-2027. The programme will provide financial and technical support for Member States to implement reforms aimed at increasing the resilience of their economies and modernising them, including priority reforms identified in the European Semester. The overall budget for the programme is €25 billion. It comprises three elements: a reform delivery tool (financial support); a Technical Support Instrument (technical expertise, building on the current Structural Reform Support Programme 2017-2020); and a convergence facility (preparation for adopting the euro). The Reform Support Programme will be open to all Member States on a voluntary basis, with no co-financing required. In the European Parliament, the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) and Committee on Budgets (BUDG) are working jointly on this file under Rule 55 of Parliament's Rules of Procedure. A vote in the joint committee meeting is expected on 1 April 2019, with a vote in plenary thereafter, during the second April 2019 part-session. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Source : © European Union, 2019 - EP

At a Glance - Military mobility - 12-03-2019

Military logistics was defined by Baron Henri de Jomini as 'the practical art of moving armies'. In the event of an unpredictable crisis at any border of the European Union (EU), military personnel and equipment must be able to move rapidly across the territo
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At a Glance - Military mobility - 12-03-2019

Military logistics was defined by Baron Henri de Jomini as 'the practical art of moving armies'. In the event of an unpredictable crisis at any border of the European Union (EU), military personnel and equipment must be able to move rapidly across the territory. Currently, training and the movement of military assets across the continent is severely hampered by the lack of appropriate infrastructure and cumbersome customs procedures. This strategic weakness in European defence cooperation is being addressed by means of action on military mobility: an action plan by the European Commission, a project and commitment under permanent structured cooperation, and a key action for EU-NATO cooperation. Military mobility is meant to ensure the seamless movement of military equipment across the EU by reducing physical, legal and regulatory obstacles. Source : © European Union, 2019 - EP

At a Glance - Policy Departments' Monthly Highlights - March 2019 - 11-03-2019

In this edition of the newsletter, Jean Arthuis and Ingeborg Grässle, Chairs of the BUDG and the CONT committees respectively, present the priorities of both committees and describe several examples of good joint efforts made in the course of the legislativ
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At a Glance - Policy Departments' Monthly Highlights - March 2019 - 11-03-2019

In this edition of the newsletter, Jean Arthuis and Ingeborg Grässle, Chairs of the BUDG and the CONT committees respectively, present the priorities of both committees and describe several examples of good joint efforts made in the course of the legislative term. Other issues dealt with in this edition include performance based budgeting, sustainable development, taxation, agriculture and cooperation with the Council. Forthcoming publications and events are also announced. Source : © European Union, 2019 - EP

At a Glance - Parliament's guidelines for the 2020 EU budget: Section III – European Commission - 11-03-2019

The European Parliament launches the discussion on the forthcoming year's budget for the European Union with the agreement of its guidelines. The 2020 budget will be the last one under the current Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF, 2014-2020). The guidelin
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At a Glance - Parliament's guidelines for the 2020 EU budget: Section III – European Commission - 11-03-2019

The European Parliament launches the discussion on the forthcoming year's budget for the European Union with the agreement of its guidelines. The 2020 budget will be the last one under the current Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF, 2014-2020). The guidelines, as adopted by the Committee on Budgets, outline the Parliament's priorities: investing in innovation, sustainable development, citizens' protection and security. Moreover, the proposed guidelines highlight the necessity to mitigate the budgetary consequences of Brexit and the need to recycle the unspent commitments for research. The Parliament is expected to adopt its guidelines during the March I plenary session. Source : © European Union, 2019 - EP

Briefing - The EU fruit and vegetable sector: Main features, challenges and prospects - 11-03-2019

Fruit and vegetables accounted for approximately 14 % of the total value of the EU's agricultural production in 2018. This is a fundamental sector for many EU Member States, especially those where it is particularly well developed, such as in the Mediterranea
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Briefing - The EU fruit and vegetable sector: Main features, challenges and prospects - 11-03-2019

Fruit and vegetables accounted for approximately 14 % of the total value of the EU's agricultural production in 2018. This is a fundamental sector for many EU Member States, especially those where it is particularly well developed, such as in the Mediterranean region and in some northern and eastern European countries. Moreover, all EU Member States produce at least a few types of fruit and vegetables. Apples and tomatoes are the main products of the richly diversified produce of the EU's fruit and vegetable farms. Mostly small-sized with relatively high labour input, these farms earn incomes ranging from average (for fruit specialists) to very high (for horticulture specialists, including also flower and ornamental plant production). EU trade in fruit and vegetables is characterised by the predominance of internal over external flows, where the EU is traditionally a net importer. To strengthen the resilience of both the fruit and vegetable sector and its operators, and to boost the consumption of their produce, the EU has in place a comprehensive support system, especially through the regulatory framework for the common organisation of the markets in agricultural products. Rules on producer organisations and their operational programmes, crisis management and marketing standards, help the functioning of the sector, with additional support from the EU school fruit and vegetables scheme, as well as from the EU promotion and quality policies, income support and rural development measures, valid for all agricultural sectors. Recently passed EU legislation has already brought in important adjustments for the fruit and vegetable sector and no further major policy changes are currently anticipated. It will be its capacity to overcome its structural vulnerability and weak organisation, adopt innovation and respond to consumer needs that will shape its future. Source : © European Union, 2019 - EP

Study - The benefit of EU actions in health policy:The record to date - 08-03-2019

European actions in the field of health are highly beneficial for European citizens, economies and the Member States. The EU does take its responsibility and creates added value with its EU health policies. Source : © European Union, 2019 - EP
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Study - The benefit of EU actions in health policy:The record to date - 08-03-2019

European actions in the field of health are highly beneficial for European citizens, economies and the Member States. The EU does take its responsibility and creates added value with its EU health policies. Source : © European Union, 2019 - EP

Briefing - The EU and Middle East and North Africa [What Think Tanks are thinking] - 08-03-2019

The European Union held its first ever summit with the Arab League in February, highlighting the growing importance of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in tackling problems such as security, terrorism, migration and energy supply. At their meeting in t
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Briefing - The EU and Middle East and North Africa [What Think Tanks are thinking] - 08-03-2019

The European Union held its first ever summit with the Arab League in February, highlighting the growing importance of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in tackling problems such as security, terrorism, migration and energy supply. At their meeting in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, more than 40 leaders from the two blocs discussed issues ranging from ways to fight poverty and reducing irregular migration to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, instability in Libya and wars in Syria and Yemen. The summit's declaration called for stronger economic and political cooperation as well as efforts to support the multilateral, rules-based international order. This note offers links to recent commentaries and reports by major international think tanks on the general problems found within the region and some specific countries. More reports on the region can be found in a previous edition of 'What Think Tanks are Thinking' published in October 2017. The issue of Iran will be discussed in one of the forthcoming issues of the series. Source : © European Union, 2019 - EP

Briefing - EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Foreign policy - 08-03-2019

European Union (EU) action beyond its borders often requires a combination of approaches. The EU Treaties differentiate between common foreign and security policy (CFSP), common security and defence policy (CSDP), external action, and the external dimension o
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Briefing - EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Foreign policy - 08-03-2019

European Union (EU) action beyond its borders often requires a combination of approaches. The EU Treaties differentiate between common foreign and security policy (CFSP), common security and defence policy (CSDP), external action, and the external dimension of internal policies, but in the field, issues are so intertwined that more often than not a single tool is not sufficient. For example, population displacement triggered by a conflict over natural resources has to be addressed by humanitarian aid, itself secured by a CSDP mission, and its effects mitigated by adequate migration and development policies, while peace talks are conducted. Coordination between all stakeholders is challenging but vital, not only as a response but also for prevention. In order to address new challenges such as climate change, rising insecurity or new migration patterns, the EU has put forward concrete solutions to shape synergy between the actors, in order to use shared expertise more effectively, and to find new sources of funding. The new foreign policy framework (EU global strategy) is designed to map the tools and resources best designed to help society as a whole, in the EU and partner countries, to withstand natural and manmade shocks more effectively. This means making connections between actors and between traditionally separate policy areas. Budgetary constraints and the will to depart from a donor/recipient relationship have also resulted in innovative financing tools, using EU funds to leverage private investments. Two years since its launch, the global strategy has proved to be a coherent vision. Nevertheless, sturdy, comprehensive external action requires coordination at all levels. In the years to come, global instability is expected to rise; the challenge for the EU will be to ensure security while upholding the core values of the Treaties – human rights, democracy and the fight against poverty – as its primary objectives on the global stage. Source : © European Union, 2019 - EP

Briefing - Gender equality in sport: Getting closer every day - 07-03-2019

Traditionally, sport has been dominated by men, both in terms of participation and governance. Women were excluded from the first modern Olympic Games, held in Athens in 1896, and were only allowed to gradually start joining in four years later. Even though w
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Briefing - Gender equality in sport: Getting closer every day - 07-03-2019

Traditionally, sport has been dominated by men, both in terms of participation and governance. Women were excluded from the first modern Olympic Games, held in Athens in 1896, and were only allowed to gradually start joining in four years later. Even though women's presence and involvement in the Olympic Movement have progressively evolved, girls and women across the world still get fewer opportunities and less investment, training and corporate attention when they play sport. In 2019, women's participation in sports governance structures has only slightly improved. The International Olympic Committee currently counts 33 female members and honorary members out of a total of 144. Moreover, fewer than 20 % of the members of the governing structures of affiliated bodies are women. Similarly, in 2015 only 14 % of all top decision-making positions in individual EU sports federations were occupied by women. In spite of the fact that the number of women actively involved in sport has increased dramatically over the past 50 years, female coaches across the globe are a statistical minority in nearly all sports, at all performance levels. In Europe, between 20 % and 30 % of all sports coaches are women. Even though the gender pay gap in sport has been narrowing over the years, it still very much exists. A total of 83 % of sports now award men and women equal prize money, with cricket, golf and football displaying the greatest pay gaps. More worryingly, there are still significant differences in the media coverage of women's and men's sports. Research shows that sports journalism in the print media is a man's world, with over 90 % of the articles being written by male journalists and more than 85 % of the coverage being dedicated to male athletes. In 2010, in a bid to establish greater equality in the most popular sport for girls and women – football – the European football governing body UEFA launched its women's football development programme and funded an extensive series of projects across Europe to drive growth and sustainability in women's football. The European Parliament has also been consistently advocating for gender equality in sport. As part of the institution's campaign for the 2019 European elections, high-profile players such as Nilla Fischer will be encouraging women to vote on issues that matter to them. Source : © European Union, 2019 - EP

Briefing - Legal migration to the EU - 07-03-2019

Entering the EU as a non-European is not too difficult for people from stable countries. Those planning to visit one or more EU Member States can get in as a tourist, with or without a visa. If the intention is to live and work for a longer period, they can u
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Briefing - Legal migration to the EU - 07-03-2019

Entering the EU as a non-European is not too difficult for people from stable countries. Those planning to visit one or more EU Member States can get in as a tourist, with or without a visa. If the intention is to live and work for a longer period, they can use the many possibilities offered by labour migration. Regular mobility schemes also include provisions for other categories such as students, researchers, au pairs and voluntary workers. People wishing to join a family member who is already residing legally in the EU might even be eligible for family reunification. However, for people coming from countries at war or where democracy is in serious peril, or who happen to live in a non-EU country after fleeing their own country, or who are simply looking for a better life, the options are more limited. Moreover, even when options exist, gaining access to them is not always possible for people who find themselves in precarious, dangerous or even life-threatening situations. In 2015, a record number of people tried to reach Europe by all means, often risking their lives along their journeys. Although the number of irregular arrivals in the EU is back to pre-crisis levels, immigration remains one of the key concerns of European citizens and is expected to remain a challenge for years to come. In order to address this challenge, the EU has embarked on a process of reform aimed at rebuilding its common asylum policies on fairer and more solid ground, strengthening its external borders by reinforcing the links between border controls and security, and renewing cooperation with third countries on migration issues. A forward-looking and comprehensive European immigration policy, based on solidarity and respect for European values, requires a balanced approach to dealing with both irregular and legal migration. The EU is committed to help create more, safe and controlled channels to migration both to help people in need of protection and to address labour market needs and skills shortages adequately. Source : © European Union, 2019 - EP

Briefing - Minimum loss coverage for non-performing loans - 07-03-2019

The recessions resulting from the financial crisis that broke out at the end of the last decade have caused economic difficulties for more and more EU companies and citizens in recent years, leaving them unable to repay their loans. As a result many EU banks
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Briefing - Minimum loss coverage for non-performing loans - 07-03-2019

The recessions resulting from the financial crisis that broke out at the end of the last decade have caused economic difficulties for more and more EU companies and citizens in recent years, leaving them unable to repay their loans. As a result many EU banks have accumulated high volumes of non-performing loans (NPLs) on their balance-sheets. Although it has almost halved since December 2014, the ratio between NPLs and total loans extended by EU banks (the NPL ratio) remains historically high when measured against the ratios of other advanced economies. NPLs represent a risk to banks' balance sheets inasmuch as future losses they might generate are not sufficiently covered by appropriate reserves. To tackle this issue, in March 2018 the Commission adopted a comprehensive package of measures, including a proposal for a regulation amending the Capital Requirements Regulation (CRR) to introduce common minimum loss coverage levels (a 'statutory backstop') for newly originated loans that become non-performing. First edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Source : © European Union, 2019 - EP

Briefing - Technology and social polarisation - 07-03-2019

With the Cambridge Analytica scandal, it became clear how technologies such as social media and techniques such as psychological profiling can be combined in election campaigns with worrying effects. Personalised political messaging is highly automated. It st
Documents - Think Tank - European Parliament

Briefing - Technology and social polarisation - 07-03-2019

With the Cambridge Analytica scandal, it became clear how technologies such as social media and techniques such as psychological profiling can be combined in election campaigns with worrying effects. Personalised political messaging is highly automated. It starts and ends with social media, which provides both the data for categorising users and the medium for targeting them with personalised messages. Messages might be designed to favour a particular candidate or to encourage widespread discord and mistrust. In either case, it could lead to more polarised societies in which citizens share less common ground and are less understanding of those with different political ideologies, attitudes to populism, or perspectives on specific topics such as immigration. These same technologies and techniques also shape trends in news production and consumption. As newspaper sales dwindle, outlets increasingly rely upon ad-revenue generated by clicks, making extensive use of social media platforms and user profiling. Public debate increasingly occurs via these social media platforms in which citizens, politicians, companies and bots communicate directly to each other without the traditional filters of journalistic standards and editorial oversight. It has been suggested that, where citizens increasingly rely on such platforms for news, they risk entering so-called ‘filter bubbles’ in which they are exposed to a narrow range of perspectives oriented around their own profiles, shielded from contrasting views, in a broad trend that could also lead to more polarised societies. In this context, STOA launched two studies to explore the mechanisms by which these technologies and techniques may foster polarisation in Europe. One study approached the question with reference to trends in the production and consumption of news media, while the other focussed on trends in political campaigning and communication strategies. Source : © European Union, 2019 - EP

At a Glance - Women in local and regional government - 07-03-2019

Local and regional institutions are vital for women's empowerment, being both the level of governance responsible for service delivery and a potential stepping-stone to a public office career at national and European level. Nevertheless, data show that it is
Documents - Think Tank - European Parliament

At a Glance - Women in local and regional government - 07-03-2019

Local and regional institutions are vital for women's empowerment, being both the level of governance responsible for service delivery and a potential stepping-stone to a public office career at national and European level. Nevertheless, data show that it is not always easy for women to participate in local or regional government structures. The European Union has been a staunch advocate of women's participation in decision-making at all levels of governance. Source : © European Union, 2019 - EP

At a Glance - Unfair trading practices in the food supply chain - 06-03-2019

To strengthen the position of smaller operators (farmers) in the food supply chain, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a directive on unfair trading practices. The Parliament and Council reached a negotiated agreement on the proposal, which is sch
Documents - Think Tank - European Parliament

At a Glance - Unfair trading practices in the food supply chain - 06-03-2019

To strengthen the position of smaller operators (farmers) in the food supply chain, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a directive on unfair trading practices. The Parliament and Council reached a negotiated agreement on the proposal, which is scheduled to be voted by Parliament at first reading during the March I plenary session. Source : © European Union, 2019 - EP

At a Glance - Safeguarding competition in air transport - 06-03-2019

Within the context of its 2015 aviation strategy, the Commission adopted, in June 2017, a proposal for a regulation on safeguarding competition in air transport, and repealing Regulation 868/2004. Following the completion of interinstitutional negotiations, w
Documents - Think Tank - European Parliament

At a Glance - Safeguarding competition in air transport - 06-03-2019

Within the context of its 2015 aviation strategy, the Commission adopted, in June 2017, a proposal for a regulation on safeguarding competition in air transport, and repealing Regulation 868/2004. Following the completion of interinstitutional negotiations, which resulted in a provisional agreement on 20 November 2018, Parliament is expected to vote on formal adoption of the text during its March I plenary session. Source : © European Union, 2019 - EP

At a Glance - European Accessibility Act - 06-03-2019

To ensure the full participation of people with disabilities in society, and to reduce the fragmentation of legislation governing their access to products and services, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a new directive – often referred to as th
Documents - Think Tank - European Parliament

At a Glance - European Accessibility Act - 06-03-2019

To ensure the full participation of people with disabilities in society, and to reduce the fragmentation of legislation governing their access to products and services, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a new directive – often referred to as the European Accessibility Act. This would provide a common EU definition of, and implementation framework for, accessibility requirements for certain products and services in the internal market. Following the completion of trilogue negotiations, which resulted in a provisional agreement in December 2018, the European Parliament is expected to vote on the proposal in plenary during March. Source : © European Union, 2019 - EP

At a Glance - Establishment of the European Monetary Fund - 06-03-2019

On 6 December 2017, the European Commission made a proposal to transform the intergovernmental European Stability Mechanism (ESM) into a European Monetary Fund (EMF) under EU law. It would get additional prerogatives, and the decision-making mechanisms would
Documents - Think Tank - European Parliament

At a Glance - Establishment of the European Monetary Fund - 06-03-2019

On 6 December 2017, the European Commission made a proposal to transform the intergovernmental European Stability Mechanism (ESM) into a European Monetary Fund (EMF) under EU law. It would get additional prerogatives, and the decision-making mechanisms would be fundamentally altered, shifting power away from the Member States. The proposal has met considerable resistance at Council level, and at the December 2018 Euro Summit it was decided to maintain the ESM's intergovernmental character. The European Parliament is expected to vote on an interim report during the March I plenary session, with a view to its future consent vote on the proposal – should the Council reach agreement on it. Source : © European Union, 2019 - EP

At a Glance - ENISA and new EU Cybersecurity Act - 06-03-2019

The European Commission proposed to increase EU resilience and response to cyber-attacks via a permanent mandate and an enhanced role for the EU Agency for Network Information Security (ENISA), the EU cybersecurity agency. It also envisages creating the firs
Documents - Think Tank - European Parliament

At a Glance - ENISA and new EU Cybersecurity Act - 06-03-2019

The European Commission proposed to increase EU resilience and response to cyber-attacks via a permanent mandate and an enhanced role for the EU Agency for Network Information Security (ENISA), the EU cybersecurity agency. It also envisages creating the first EU cybersecurity certification framework for ICT products and services, where ENISA will play an important role. The European Parliament's Industry, Research and Energy Committee (ITRE) adopted its report on 10 July 2018, as well as a mandate to enter into interinstitutional negotiations. The Council adopted its mandate on 8 June 2018. During the fifth trilogue meeting on 10 December 2018 an agreement was reached. It is due to be voted by Parliament in plenary during March. Source : © European Union, 2019 - EP

Study - Understanding algorithmic decision-making: Opportunities and challenges - 05-03-2019

The expected benefits of Algorithmic Decision Systems (ADS) may be offset by the variety of risks for individuals (discrimination, unfair practices, loss of autonomy, etc.), the economy (unfair practices, limited access to markets, etc.) and society as a whol
Documents - Think Tank - European Parliament

Study - Understanding algorithmic decision-making: Opportunities and challenges - 05-03-2019

The expected benefits of Algorithmic Decision Systems (ADS) may be offset by the variety of risks for individuals (discrimination, unfair practices, loss of autonomy, etc.), the economy (unfair practices, limited access to markets, etc.) and society as a whole (manipulation, threat to democracy, etc.). We present existing options to reduce the risks related to ADS and explain their limitations. We sketch some recommendations to overcome these limitations to be able to benefit from the tremendous possibilities of ADS while limiting the risks related to their use. Beyond providing an up-to-date and systematic review of the situation, the report gives a precise definition of a number of key terms and an analysis of their differences. The main focus of the report is the technical aspects of ADS. However, other legal, ethical and social dimensions are considered to broaden the discussion. Source : © European Union, 2019 - EP

Briefing - Safeguarding competition in air transport - 04-03-2019

The issue of fair competition between EU and third-country airlines and the importance of guaranteeing a level playing field has been recognised for some years by the various EU institutions as key for the future of European aviation. The 2015 Commission comm
Documents - Think Tank - European Parliament

Briefing - Safeguarding competition in air transport - 04-03-2019

The issue of fair competition between EU and third-country airlines and the importance of guaranteeing a level playing field has been recognised for some years by the various EU institutions as key for the future of European aviation. The 2015 Commission communication on the aviation strategy underlined the importance and legitimacy of EU action to deal with possible unfair commercial practices in international aviation, and announced the revision of existing rules in this field. On 8 June 2017, the Commission adopted a legislative proposal for a regulation on safeguarding competition in air transport, repealing Regulation 868/2004 as part of the ‘Open and Connected Aviation’ package delivering part of the aviation strategy. The objective of the proposal is to provide effective legislation in order ‘to maintain conditions conducive to a high level of Union connectivity and to ensure fair competition with third countries air carriers’. Parliament and Council reached agreement on the proposal in trilogue in November 2018, and this text now needs to be formally adopted. Third edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Source : © European Union, 2019 - EP

Study - Research for AGRI Committee - Impacts of the digital economy on the food chain and the CAP - 15-02-2019

The study presents a state-of-the-art overview on digital agriculture, the impacts of new technologies on the agri-food value chains and opportunities for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Using case studies and examples the study demonstrates the needs f
Documents - Think Tank - European Parliament

Study - Research for AGRI Committee - Impacts of the digital economy on the food chain and the CAP - 15-02-2019

The study presents a state-of-the-art overview on digital agriculture, the impacts of new technologies on the agri-food value chains and opportunities for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Using case studies and examples the study demonstrates the needs for further deployment of innovation in the agriculture sector, fostering research and investments in digital agriculture and integrating Agri-tech into the policy agenda. Source : © European Union, 2019 - EP