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Posted on 20-06-2019

Workshop on “Strengthening Competitiveness of the Internal Market by Developing the EU Customs Union and its Governance”

15-05-2019

This report summarises the discussion that took place at the workshop on “Strengthening Competitiveness of the Internal Market by Developing the EU Customs Union and its Governance”. The Union Customs Code is a key element of the ongoing actions to modernise EU customs. With the aim of discussing the main challenges related to this topic and the recent proposal of the European Commission to postpone the deadline of 2020, the workshop was hosted by Ms Virginie Rozière, MEP. This document was prepared ...

This report summarises the discussion that took place at the workshop on “Strengthening Competitiveness of the Internal Market by Developing the EU Customs Union and its Governance”. The Union Customs Code is a key element of the ongoing actions to modernise EU customs. With the aim of discussing the main challenges related to this topic and the recent proposal of the European Commission to postpone the deadline of 2020, the workshop was hosted by Ms Virginie Rozière, MEP. This document was prepared by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection.

Posted on 14-06-2019

The historical relationship between artistic activities and technology development

03-05-2019

Understanding the past of art and technology can help us to navigate the present and future. Technology and art have always been linked, and are now more intertwined than ever before. Technology and humanity create and shape each other in profound ways. People are not distinct from the technologies they are surrounded by and use – they are also defined and shaped by them. The present study contributes to our understanding of the cyclic nature of the intertwining of technology and art, focussing on ...

Understanding the past of art and technology can help us to navigate the present and future. Technology and art have always been linked, and are now more intertwined than ever before. Technology and humanity create and shape each other in profound ways. People are not distinct from the technologies they are surrounded by and use – they are also defined and shaped by them. The present study contributes to our understanding of the cyclic nature of the intertwining of technology and art, focussing on pre-digital eras

External author

DG, EPRS

Posted on 04-06-2019

Sovereign Debt Restructuring and Debt Mutualisation in the Euro Area: An Assessment

04-06-2019

Existing proposals for reform in the euro area, including the introduction of an orderly sovereign debt restructuring mechanism and of forms of debt mutualisation, rely on similar implicit or explicit assumptions: The “diabolic loop” between sovereign debt and domestic banks is to be mitigated or avoided; market discipline has to be maintained; and moral hazard has to be avoided. This paper discusses the stated goals of existing proposals, together with their likely anticipated and unanticipated ...

Existing proposals for reform in the euro area, including the introduction of an orderly sovereign debt restructuring mechanism and of forms of debt mutualisation, rely on similar implicit or explicit assumptions: The “diabolic loop” between sovereign debt and domestic banks is to be mitigated or avoided; market discipline has to be maintained; and moral hazard has to be avoided. This paper discusses the stated goals of existing proposals, together with their likely anticipated and unanticipated effects and trade-offs. It recognizes that several of these underlying assumptions and frameworks are at odds with the extant empirical evidence. It concludes by setting forth a three-pronged proposal for reform in the Euro Area. First, it is desirable to have a more explicit seniority structure in sovereign debt, which should be achieved by introducing a junior class of risky sovereign bonds linked to nominal GDP growth. Second, governments with high legacy debt and/or high deficits should be required to access new financing by issuing such junior bonds. Third, the extent of fiscal stabilization and banking union in the Euro area should be increased.

External author

S. Rossi

Posted on 03-06-2019

Mapping threats to peace and democracy worldwide: Introduction to the Normandy Index

03-06-2019

The 'Normandy Index' aims to measure the level of conflict in the world. It is to be presented for the first time on the occasion of the Normandy Global Peace Forum in June 2019, as a result of the partnership between the European Parliament and the region of Normandy. The Index has been designed and prepared by the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) and developed by the Institute for Economics and Peace. This paper sets out the initial findings of the 2019 exercise and explains how the ...

The 'Normandy Index' aims to measure the level of conflict in the world. It is to be presented for the first time on the occasion of the Normandy Global Peace Forum in June 2019, as a result of the partnership between the European Parliament and the region of Normandy. The Index has been designed and prepared by the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) and developed by the Institute for Economics and Peace. This paper sets out the initial findings of the 2019 exercise and explains how the index can be used to compare peace – defined on the basis of a given country's performance against a range of predetermined threats – across countries and regions. It is complemented by 25 individual country case studies, derived from the Index. The paper is part of the EPRS contribution to the Normandy Global Peace Forum, alongside two studies: on the EU's contribution to peace and security in 2019, and on the EU's support for peace in Colombia.

Demographic outlook for the European Union 2019

03-06-2019

This paper is the second in a series that EPRS is producing on the demographic outlook for the European Union (EU). Demography matters. The economy, labour market, healthcare, pensions, the environment, intergenerational fairness and election results – they are all driven by demography. The EU has seen its population grow substantially – by around a quarter since 1960 – and currently stands at over 500 million people. However, it is now beginning to stagnate, before its expected decline from around ...

This paper is the second in a series that EPRS is producing on the demographic outlook for the European Union (EU). Demography matters. The economy, labour market, healthcare, pensions, the environment, intergenerational fairness and election results – they are all driven by demography. The EU has seen its population grow substantially – by around a quarter since 1960 – and currently stands at over 500 million people. However, it is now beginning to stagnate, before its expected decline from around the middle of the century. With the world population having risen still more substantially and growth continuing, the EU represents a shrinking proportion of this population. The EU population is also ageing dramatically, as life expectancy increases and fertility rates fall below their levels in the past. This has serious implications across a range of areas including the economy, healthcare and pensions. Free movement within the EU and migration from third countries also play an important role in shaping demography in individual Member States and regions. The 'in-focus' section of this year's edition looks at pensions. It highlights that, whilst national reforms have largely successfully addressed issues around the sustainability of pension systems, concerns about the adequacy of pensions, particularly in the future, still remain.

Posted on 27-05-2019

Are the current “automatic stabilisers” in the Euro Area Member States sufficient to smooth economic cycles?

27-05-2019

Since 2008, and as the result of central banks reaching the zero-lower bound, fiscal policy has come back as a potential, possibly primary, tool to stabilize business cycles. We present evidence that European countries have historically relied on automatic stabilisers for counter-cyclical policies, while discretionary fiscal policy has been pro-cyclical (unlike in the US). Pro-cyclical fiscal policies became so strong in the years 2010-14 that they completely eliminated the benefits of automatic ...

Since 2008, and as the result of central banks reaching the zero-lower bound, fiscal policy has come back as a potential, possibly primary, tool to stabilize business cycles. We present evidence that European countries have historically relied on automatic stabilisers for counter-cyclical policies, while discretionary fiscal policy has been pro-cyclical (unlike in the US). Pro-cyclical fiscal policies became so strong in the years 2010-14 that they completely eliminated the benefits of automatic stabilisers. Looking forward, there are calls to strengthen automatic stabilisers. We argue in this paper that without addressing the reasons behind the pro-cyclicality of discretionary policy, this cannot be a solution. Strengthening automatic stabilisers faces similar challenges and trade-offs as proposals to make discretionary policy more countercyclical.

External author

A.Fatas

Posted on 24-05-2019

A feasibility check on core elements needed for "orderly" sovereign debt restructuring and/or debt mutualisation in the Euro Area

24-05-2019

The purpose of this briefing note is to explore the requirements for orderly sovereign debt restructuring or the mutualisation of sovereign debt among the Euro Area Member States. The briefing has three sections. The first provides an overview of the challenges associated with restructuring sovereign debt in the euro area. The second examines the underlying need for sovereign debt restructuring and assesses how much of that need can be addressed or mitigated through the institutions for European ...

The purpose of this briefing note is to explore the requirements for orderly sovereign debt restructuring or the mutualisation of sovereign debt among the Euro Area Member States. The briefing has three sections. The first provides an overview of the challenges associated with restructuring sovereign debt in the euro area. The second examines the underlying need for sovereign debt restructuring and assesses how much of that need can be addressed or mitigated through the institutions for European macroeconomic governance. The third section offers policy recommendations to meet those challenges that remain.

External author

E.Jones

Posted on 08-05-2019

The Future of Europe debates in the European Parliament, 2018-19: A synthesis of the speeches by EU Heads of State or Government

08-05-2019

This paper concludes a series of four briefings on the Future of Europe debates that have explained the views of the different Heads of State or Government who have spoken in the European Parliament's plenary sessions from January 2018 until April 2019. The first part of this paper describes the overall points of convergence and divergence among the speakers, trends in the topics tackled, and proposals advanced. In the second part, the paper offers excerpts from some of the most significant statements ...

This paper concludes a series of four briefings on the Future of Europe debates that have explained the views of the different Heads of State or Government who have spoken in the European Parliament's plenary sessions from January 2018 until April 2019. The first part of this paper describes the overall points of convergence and divergence among the speakers, trends in the topics tackled, and proposals advanced. In the second part, the paper offers excerpts from some of the most significant statements by the speakers, as well as a more detailed analysis of their various positions on the following key policy areas: Economic and Monetary Union, migration, the social dimension, international trade, climate change and energy, security and defence, the next Multiannual Financial Framework, and institutional issues.

Posted on 07-05-2019

Robots in healthcare: a solution or a problem?

15-03-2019

This report summarises the presentations and discussions of a workshop on the use of robots and AI in healthcare, held at the European Parliament in Brussels on Tuesday 19 February 2019. The aim of the workshop was to provide background information and advice for Members of the ENVI Committee on the status and prospects of applying robotic and artificial intelligence (AI) based technologies in healthcare. The first part of the workshop focused on the practical application of AI and robots in healthcare ...

This report summarises the presentations and discussions of a workshop on the use of robots and AI in healthcare, held at the European Parliament in Brussels on Tuesday 19 February 2019. The aim of the workshop was to provide background information and advice for Members of the ENVI Committee on the status and prospects of applying robotic and artificial intelligence (AI) based technologies in healthcare. The first part of the workshop focused on the practical application of AI and robots in healthcare, while the second part examined the ethical implications and responsibilities of AI and robotic based technologies in healthcare.

External author

Zrinjka DOLIC, Milieu Consulting Rosa CASTRO, Milieu Consulting Andrei MOARCAS, Milieu Consulting

Posted on 06-05-2019

Assessing the Leaders’ Agenda

06-05-2019

The Leaders' Agenda can be assessed rather favourably as it has enabled more structured work and better preparation by all actors concerned. This method can be recommended for the future work of the European Council as it allows a consistent follow-up. However, it has not helped to overcome deadlock on some of the most sensitive issues, such as migration and taxation.

The Leaders' Agenda can be assessed rather favourably as it has enabled more structured work and better preparation by all actors concerned. This method can be recommended for the future work of the European Council as it allows a consistent follow-up. However, it has not helped to overcome deadlock on some of the most sensitive issues, such as migration and taxation.

Upcoming events

25-06-2019
Meeting EU energy and climate goals: Energy storage for grids and low-carbon mobility
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