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Posted on 19-03-2019

Piracy and armed robbery off the coast of Africa: EU and global impact

19-03-2019

African maritime security is affected by a wide range of illegal activities. This paper focuses on maritime piracy and armed robbery at sea, examining the legal aspects and societal implications of these forms of violence. Maritime piracy and armed robbery off Africa's coasts also pose a threat to the European Union's security and economy. Since 2008, the European Union has been implementing a maritime security strategy by means of separate regional strategies in the Gulf of Aden and in the Gulf ...

African maritime security is affected by a wide range of illegal activities. This paper focuses on maritime piracy and armed robbery at sea, examining the legal aspects and societal implications of these forms of violence. Maritime piracy and armed robbery off Africa's coasts also pose a threat to the European Union's security and economy. Since 2008, the European Union has been implementing a maritime security strategy by means of separate regional strategies in the Gulf of Aden and in the Gulf of Guinea.

Research for CULT Committee – How to tackle early school leaving in the EU

15-03-2019

This study is a concise update on early school leaving in the EU. It reviews the main developments and causes of the problem since the Council Recommendation of 2011 on policies to reduce early school leaving, and identifies policy initiatives taken by the Member States to address it. The study explores the interplay between early school leaving and public investment and lastly outlines recommendations to address future challenges. The study takes into consideration European and national literature ...

This study is a concise update on early school leaving in the EU. It reviews the main developments and causes of the problem since the Council Recommendation of 2011 on policies to reduce early school leaving, and identifies policy initiatives taken by the Member States to address it. The study explores the interplay between early school leaving and public investment and lastly outlines recommendations to address future challenges. The study takes into consideration European and national literature focusing on six Member States.

External author

Panteia: Amber VAN DER GRAAF, Paul VROONHOF, Georgios ROULLIS, Federica VELLI

Posted on 18-03-2019

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 ...

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.

The next SSM term: supervisory challenges ahead

18-03-2019

Compared to the pre-SSM period, the European banking system appears today healthier and sounder. Capital ratios and asset quality have steadily improved. Capital ratios have become not only higher but also more comparable and reliable. Taking stock of these positive outcomes, the challenges for supervision in the future is to be able to foster financial integration and reconcile harmonisation with greater consideration of bank and country specificities. In this respect, we see positively an approach ...

Compared to the pre-SSM period, the European banking system appears today healthier and sounder. Capital ratios and asset quality have steadily improved. Capital ratios have become not only higher but also more comparable and reliable. Taking stock of these positive outcomes, the challenges for supervision in the future is to be able to foster financial integration and reconcile harmonisation with greater consideration of bank and country specificities. In this respect, we see positively an approach encouraging supervisory dialogue. Furthermore, supervisory requirements need to be simple, clear, and possibly stable to reduce uncertainty and the compliance costs of an overly demanding supervision. We also look forward to a model that does not let out of sight the very final goal of good supervision, that is favouring economic growth through a healthier and sounder banking system. Overall, we encourage more nuanced and less ‘one-size-fits-all’ supervisory decisions, supported by stronger empirical research to reduce the risk of unintended effects.

External author

B. Bruno, E. Carletti

The next SSM term: supervisory challenges ahead

18-03-2019

We look at the challenges facing the Single Supervisory Mechanism in the coming years, and discuss vulnerabilities in the euro area’s banking system, as well as possible improvements in the SSM’s internal practices. Among the former are low profitability, the increased role of the shadow banking system and weak governance. The latter include an overly complex regulatory framework, limits on staffing that lead to excessive usage of consultants, the need for more transparency and accountability. The ...

We look at the challenges facing the Single Supervisory Mechanism in the coming years, and discuss vulnerabilities in the euro area’s banking system, as well as possible improvements in the SSM’s internal practices. Among the former are low profitability, the increased role of the shadow banking system and weak governance. The latter include an overly complex regulatory framework, limits on staffing that lead to excessive usage of consultants, the need for more transparency and accountability. The SSM should help banks achieve more sustainable returns by making supervisory requirements less complex. It should monitor shadow banks, ensuring that traditional lenders are isolated from possible shocks. As for governance, the SSM ought to engage in a multi-year action plan aimed at improving ethics, technical qualifications, checks and balances. Regulatory complexity must be reduced by further harmonising national rules. Constraints on the SSM’s budget and human resources should be loosened, but the use of external consultants ought to be limited to special cases. Accountability and transparency can be enhanced, e.g., through greater disclosure on resources and objectives, SREP and other internal methodologies, and on decisions taken by the SSM’s Administrative Board of Review. The European Court of Auditors should be entitled to assess the soundness of the SSM’s processes, without interfering with individual supervisory decisions.

External author

A.Resti

The next SSM term: Supervisory challenges ahead

18-03-2019

In this note we first highlight different developments for banks under direct ECB supervision within the SSM that may prompt further investigation by supervisors. We find that banks that were weakly capitalised at the start of direct ECB supervision (1) still face elevated levels of non-performing loans, (2) are less cost-efficient and (3) reduced their share of subordinated debt financing over the last years. We then stress the importance of continuous and ongoing cost-benefit analysis regarding ...

In this note we first highlight different developments for banks under direct ECB supervision within the SSM that may prompt further investigation by supervisors. We find that banks that were weakly capitalised at the start of direct ECB supervision (1) still face elevated levels of non-performing loans, (2) are less cost-efficient and (3) reduced their share of subordinated debt financing over the last years. We then stress the importance of continuous and ongoing cost-benefit analysis regarding banking supervision in Europe. We also encourage processes to question existing supervisory practices to ensure a lean and efficient banking supervision. Finally, we underline the need of continuous and intensified coordination among regulatory bodies in the Banking Union since the efficacy of European bank supervision rests on its interplay with many different institutions.

External author

M. R. Götz, T. H. Tröger, M.Wahrenburg

The next SSM term: supervisory challenges ahead

18-03-2019

This paper focuses on two ways in which overall bank supervision and oversight can be improved in the next SSM term (i) by more effective market discipline of banks by investors in banks’ securities, and (ii) by more effective oversight of bank risk taking by bank boards. To improve market discipline, the ECB should consider facilitating the publication of additional bank-specific supervisory information. In addition, the ECB can cooperate with the EBA to increase the coverage of SSM banks in the ...

This paper focuses on two ways in which overall bank supervision and oversight can be improved in the next SSM term (i) by more effective market discipline of banks by investors in banks’ securities, and (ii) by more effective oversight of bank risk taking by bank boards. To improve market discipline, the ECB should consider facilitating the publication of additional bank-specific supervisory information. In addition, the ECB can cooperate with the EBA to increase the coverage of SSM banks in the EU-wide transparency and stress test exercises. The ECB could also review the quality of banks’ Pillar 3 reports as part of its supervisory process, and it could potentially use market information on banks’ valuation and cost of funding to inform its supervisory work. Furthermore, the ECB should revise its current guidance regarding bank boards that has the effect of increasing shareholder influence, as bank shareholders tend to benefit more from excessive bank risk taking than other stakeholders including the bank’s management.

External author

H. Huizinga

Social and employment policies in Romania

16-08-2018

This study, requested by the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, aims to provide an overview of the economic, employment and social inclusion context and recent policies in Romania.

This study, requested by the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, aims to provide an overview of the economic, employment and social inclusion context and recent policies in Romania.

External author

Cristina Vasilescu, Istituto per la ricera sociale

Research for CULT Committee – Science and Scientific Literacy as an Educational Challenge

15-03-2019

European societies are faced with emerging threats relating to the spread of disinformation and pseudo-science. In this context, fostering scientific literacy can provide people with tools to navigate and critically address the vast amounts of information exchanged in public debate, and support democratic processes. Building on a review of academic and policy literature, this study aims to enable Members of the European Parliament to form their opinions on the state of scientific literacy in the ...

European societies are faced with emerging threats relating to the spread of disinformation and pseudo-science. In this context, fostering scientific literacy can provide people with tools to navigate and critically address the vast amounts of information exchanged in public debate, and support democratic processes. Building on a review of academic and policy literature, this study aims to enable Members of the European Parliament to form their opinions on the state of scientific literacy in the EU and on potential education policy responses to better prepare scientifically literate citizens.

External author

Hanna SIAROVA, Dalibor STERNADEL, Eszter SZŐNYI

Endocrine Disruptors: From Scientific Evidence to Human Health Protection

15-01-2019

This study, commissioned by the PETI Committee of the European Parliament, presents the scientific knowledge regarding the health effects of endocrine disruptors, a class of hazards recognized in EU regulation since 1999. This report reviews the scientific evidence regarding the concept of endocrine disruption, the extent of exposure, associated health effects and costs. The existing relevant EU regulations are discussed and recommendations made to better protect human health.

This study, commissioned by the PETI Committee of the European Parliament, presents the scientific knowledge regarding the health effects of endocrine disruptors, a class of hazards recognized in EU regulation since 1999. This report reviews the scientific evidence regarding the concept of endocrine disruption, the extent of exposure, associated health effects and costs. The existing relevant EU regulations are discussed and recommendations made to better protect human health.

External author

Barbara DEMENEIX, PhD, UMR 7221 CNRS/MNHN, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France ; Rémy SLAMA, PhD, Senior Investigator, INSERM (National Institute of Health and Medical Research), IAB Research Center, Team of Environmental Epidemiology, Grenoble, France

Upcoming events

19-03-2019
The science and ethics of gene drive technology
Workshop -
STOA
19-03-2019
Migration and Borders: Roadmap for the future of Europe
Other event -
EPRS
20-03-2019
Is artificial intelligence a human rights issue?
Workshop -
STOA

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