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What if we didn't need cows for our beef?

12-07-2019

With the help of cells from a single cow, scientists can produce 175 million hamburgers. What if we didn’t need cows for our beef? Technologies for producing cultured meat and dairy products will help feeding the world in a sustainable way. What if we could produce meat without farming? New technology within reach to produce meat with a very low eco-footprint

With the help of cells from a single cow, scientists can produce 175 million hamburgers. What if we didn’t need cows for our beef? Technologies for producing cultured meat and dairy products will help feeding the world in a sustainable way. What if we could produce meat without farming? New technology within reach to produce meat with a very low eco-footprint

Politische Maßnahmen der EU im Interesse der Bürger: Gesundheits- und Sozialwesen

28-06-2019

Wenngleich das Gesundheits- und Sozialwesen in der Europäischen Union (EU) in erster Linie Aufgabe der einzelnen EU-Mitgliedstaaten ist, ergänzt die EU deren Politik, insbesondere in Bereichen mit einer grenzüberschreitenden Dimension. In einer kürzlich im Auftrag des Europäischen Parlaments durchgeführten Umfrage haben sich über zwei Drittel der Bürgerinnen und Bürger der EU für einen Ausbau der Maßnahmen der EU im Bereich Gesundheit und Soziales ausgesprochen. Die EU-Gesundheitspolitik hat die ...

Wenngleich das Gesundheits- und Sozialwesen in der Europäischen Union (EU) in erster Linie Aufgabe der einzelnen EU-Mitgliedstaaten ist, ergänzt die EU deren Politik, insbesondere in Bereichen mit einer grenzüberschreitenden Dimension. In einer kürzlich im Auftrag des Europäischen Parlaments durchgeführten Umfrage haben sich über zwei Drittel der Bürgerinnen und Bürger der EU für einen Ausbau der Maßnahmen der EU im Bereich Gesundheit und Soziales ausgesprochen. Die EU-Gesundheitspolitik hat die Förderung guter Gesundheit, den Schutz der Bürgerinnen und Bürger vor gesundheitlichen Gefahren und die Unterstützung dynamischer Gesundheitssysteme zum Ziel. Ihre Umsetzung erfolgt hauptsächlich über EU-Aktionsprogramme, derzeit im Rahmen des dritten Gesundheitsprogramms (2014–2020). Zu den Herausforderungen zählen die gesundheitliche Versorgung einer alternden Bevölkerung und die Verringerung der Inzidenz vermeidbarer chronischer Krankheiten. Seit 2014 wurden in einer Reihe von Bereichen Fortschritte erzielt, darunter Antibiotikaresistenz, Übergewicht bei Kindern, Gesundheitssysteme, Medizinprodukte und Impfungen. Die Maßnahmen der EU im Bereich der sozialen Sicherheit sind eng mit der Umsetzung der sogenannten europäischen Säule sozialer Rechte sowie mit den Entwicklungen auf dem Arbeitsmarkt verbunden. Die EU trägt zur Stärkung des sozialen Zusammenhalts bei und strebt nach der Förderung von Gleichheit und Solidarität durch angemessene, zugängliche und finanziell tragfähige Systeme der sozialen Sicherheit sowie durch Maßnahmen zur sozialen Eingliederung. Die Ausgaben der EU für die soziale Sicherung sind mit Arbeitsmarktmaßnahmen verknüpft. Obgleich bei Themen wie der Vereinbarkeit von Beruf und Privatleben und Chancengleichheit Fortschritte zu verzeichnen sind, bleibt noch viel zu tun. Die sozialen Sicherungssysteme müssen künftig besser an die neuen Gegebenheiten auf dem Arbeitsmarkt angepasst werden (weniger Arbeitsplätze in der verarbeitenden Industrie, atypische Verträge, „Plattformarbeit“ usw.). In ihrem Vorschlag für den mehrjährigen Finanzrahmen 2021–2027 plant die Europäische Kommission eine Aufstockung der Mittel, um die Beschäftigungschancen für Arbeitnehmer zu verbessern und den sozialen Zusammenhalt durch einen erweiterten „Europäischen Sozialfonds Plus“ zu stärken. Der Fonds würde auch die Finanzierung des eigenständigen Gesundheitsprogramms umfassen und hätte dabei zum Ziel, Synergien mit den anderen Bausteinen der europäischen Säule sozialer Rechte zu schaffen: Chancengleichheit und Zugang zum Arbeitsmarkt, faire Arbeitsbedingungen sowie soziale Sicherung und Eingliederung. Dies ist eine Aktualisierung eines früheren Briefings, das vor den Europawahlen 2019 veröffentlicht wurde.

What if policy anticipated advances in science and technology?

26-06-2019

What if blockchain revolutionised voting? What if your emotions were tracked to spy on you? And what if we genetically engineered an entire species? Science and policy are intricately connected. Via monthly 'What if' publications, the Scientific Foresight Unit (STOA; part of the European Parliamentary Research Service) draws Members of the European Parliament's attention to new scientific and technological developments relevant for policy-making. The unit also provides administrative support to the ...

What if blockchain revolutionised voting? What if your emotions were tracked to spy on you? And what if we genetically engineered an entire species? Science and policy are intricately connected. Via monthly 'What if' publications, the Scientific Foresight Unit (STOA; part of the European Parliamentary Research Service) draws Members of the European Parliament's attention to new scientific and technological developments relevant for policy-making. The unit also provides administrative support to the Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA), which brings together 25 Members from nine different parliamentary committees who share a strong interest in science and technology in the context of policy-making.

EU fertilising products

26-06-2019

Fertilising products are used to improve plant growth, mainly in agriculture, enabling higher crop yields. However, they are associated with some challenges as regards security of supply, the environment and health. Although the 2003 Fertilisers Regulation, which aimed at ensuring an internal market in fertilisers, has been effective, it mainly addresses mineral fertilisers and deters the introduction of new types of fertilisers. In March 2016, the Commission put forward a legislative proposal on ...

Fertilising products are used to improve plant growth, mainly in agriculture, enabling higher crop yields. However, they are associated with some challenges as regards security of supply, the environment and health. Although the 2003 Fertilisers Regulation, which aimed at ensuring an internal market in fertilisers, has been effective, it mainly addresses mineral fertilisers and deters the introduction of new types of fertilisers. In March 2016, the Commission put forward a legislative proposal on fertilising products, as announced in the circular economy action plan. The proposal modernises the conformity assessment and market surveillance in line with the ‘new legislative framework’ for product legislation, covers a wider range of fertilising products (including those manufactured from secondary raw materials), and sets limits for the presence of heavy metals and contaminants in fertilising products. After completion of the legislative procedure, the final act was signed on 5 June 2019. The regulation will apply in full from 16 July 2022. Fifth edition of a briefing originally drafted by Didier Bourguignon. 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.

Living in the EU: Education and Health

30-04-2019

The European Union complements national health and education policies, in particular those with a cross-border dimension. The main responsibility for health and education, however, lies with the governments of its Member States. This combination explains the spread in government expenditure on national welfare policies among the Member States, and in particular in individual direct payments for health. In terms of the gender gap in the area, women with tertiary education still suffer employment gaps ...

The European Union complements national health and education policies, in particular those with a cross-border dimension. The main responsibility for health and education, however, lies with the governments of its Member States. This combination explains the spread in government expenditure on national welfare policies among the Member States, and in particular in individual direct payments for health. In terms of the gender gap in the area, women with tertiary education still suffer employment gaps. Moreover, national differences in the number of hospital beds available and people suffering from obesity, mainly concentrated among elderly people, also stand out.

Endocrine disruptors: An overview of latest developments at European level in the context of plant protection products

25-04-2019

Endocrine disruptors (EDs) are chemical substances present in many products of daily life, which interact with the hormonal system and can disrupt its proper functioning. There is a growing interest in understanding EDs and progress has been made on both the scientific and regulatory side, but the topic remains of high concern at decision-making and societal levels because of the challenges it still poses. This paper provides a desk-research based overview of the key moments of the (scientific and ...

Endocrine disruptors (EDs) are chemical substances present in many products of daily life, which interact with the hormonal system and can disrupt its proper functioning. There is a growing interest in understanding EDs and progress has been made on both the scientific and regulatory side, but the topic remains of high concern at decision-making and societal levels because of the challenges it still poses. This paper provides a desk-research based overview of the key moments of the (scientific and regulatory) debate on EDs, with a focus on the latest developments at European level, namely Commission Regulation (EU) 2018/605 and the 2018 Commission communication ‘Towards a comprehensive European Union framework on endocrine disruptors’, in the particular context of plant protection products (PPPs).

Boosting cooperation on health technology assessment

15-04-2019

The European Commission has proposed a regulation on health technology assessment (HTA). HTA is a research-based tool that supports decision-making in healthcare by assessing the added value of a given health technology compared to others. The proposal would provide the basis for permanent EU-level cooperation in four areas. Member States would still be responsible for assessing the non-clinical (economic, ethical, social, etc.) aspects of health technology, and for pricing and reimbursement. While ...

The European Commission has proposed a regulation on health technology assessment (HTA). HTA is a research-based tool that supports decision-making in healthcare by assessing the added value of a given health technology compared to others. The proposal would provide the basis for permanent EU-level cooperation in four areas. Member States would still be responsible for assessing the non-clinical (economic, ethical, social, etc.) aspects of health technology, and for pricing and reimbursement. While Member States could choose to delay participation in the joint work until three years after the rules enter into force, it would become mandatory after six years. Stakeholders have broadly welcomed the proposal. National parliaments, however, are divided in their appreciation of it. The Council has not yet agreed its position; technical discussions continue. Parliament's Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety adopted its report on 13 September 2018, and the report was voted in plenary on 3 October. However, with interinstitutional trilogue negotiations unable to start, on the Council side, Parliament adopted its final position at first reading on 14 February 2019.

What if we could fight drug addiction with digital technology?

12-04-2019

What if digital technology could assist drug addiction recovery by online counselling, monitoring behaviour, and real-time interventions in patients’ everyday lives? Assistance at a distance: how could clinicians, health personnel, friends and family support a patient suffering from drug addiction via digital technology?

What if digital technology could assist drug addiction recovery by online counselling, monitoring behaviour, and real-time interventions in patients’ everyday lives? Assistance at a distance: how could clinicians, health personnel, friends and family support a patient suffering from drug addiction via digital technology?

Plenary round-up – Strasbourg, March II 2019

29-03-2019

Highlights of the March II plenary session included debates on the conclusions of the 21-22 March 2019 European Council meeting and on recent developments on the Dieselgate scandal. Parliament also debated the situation in Algeria and the illegal occupation of Crimea by the Russian Federation. Important debates also took place on various legislative proposals, including on interoperability between EU information systems. Members voted on a number of legislative proposals (see below), such as discontinuing ...

Highlights of the March II plenary session included debates on the conclusions of the 21-22 March 2019 European Council meeting and on recent developments on the Dieselgate scandal. Parliament also debated the situation in Algeria and the illegal occupation of Crimea by the Russian Federation. Important debates also took place on various legislative proposals, including on interoperability between EU information systems. Members voted on a number of legislative proposals (see below), such as discontinuing seasonal changes of time. Parliament also voted on the report on the TAX3 committee’s findings and on 53 reports on the 2017 discharge procedure. Finally, Parliament adopted first-reading positions on nine further proposed funding programmes for the 2021-2027 period.

What if a simple DNA test could predict your future?

22-03-2019

What if new-born babies were given a DNA report card that predicted their intelligence, their odds of getting a PhD, their chances of becoming a chain smoker or suffering depression, a heart attack or cancer? Thanks to ongoing genetic studies, a large amount of genetic data is available today involving millions of people. The wealth of information available to researchers allows them to create a polygenic risk score based on the DNA test of a person. This can be used to predict a person's chances ...

What if new-born babies were given a DNA report card that predicted their intelligence, their odds of getting a PhD, their chances of becoming a chain smoker or suffering depression, a heart attack or cancer? Thanks to ongoing genetic studies, a large amount of genetic data is available today involving millions of people. The wealth of information available to researchers allows them to create a polygenic risk score based on the DNA test of a person. This can be used to predict a person's chances of getting a disease, his or her traits and behaviour, and many other things about their future. Are these predictions flawless? Who would benefit from them? What are their implications for a person's life in general?

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