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Societal costs of “Fake news” in the Digital Single Market

14-12-2018

This in-depth analysis explores the mechanisms of “fake news” and its societal costs in the Digital Single Market. It describes the risks to the integrity of information and to the integrity of elections. It highlights the roles of the various actors involved in the production and amplification of such information disorders. Finally, it outlines responses that are being tested in different parts of Europe to deal with the issue. The document has been provided by Policy Department A at the request ...

This in-depth analysis explores the mechanisms of “fake news” and its societal costs in the Digital Single Market. It describes the risks to the integrity of information and to the integrity of elections. It highlights the roles of the various actors involved in the production and amplification of such information disorders. Finally, it outlines responses that are being tested in different parts of Europe to deal with the issue. The document has been provided by Policy Department A at the request of the European Parliament Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection.

External author

Prof. Dr. Divina Frau-Meigs

Land Grabbing and Human Rights: The Involvement of European Corporate and Financial Entities in Land Grabbing outside the European Union

10-05-2016

In early research on land grabbing, the initial focus was on foreign companies investing abroad, with a particular focus on those based in countries such as China, Gulf States, South Korea, and India. In recent years, it has become evident that the range of countries land investors originate in is far broader, and includes both North Atlantic - and EU-based actors. In this study, we offer both quantitative and qualitative data illustrating the involvement of EU-based corporate and financial entities ...

In early research on land grabbing, the initial focus was on foreign companies investing abroad, with a particular focus on those based in countries such as China, Gulf States, South Korea, and India. In recent years, it has become evident that the range of countries land investors originate in is far broader, and includes both North Atlantic - and EU-based actors. In this study, we offer both quantitative and qualitative data illustrating the involvement of EU-based corporate and financial entities in land deals occurring outside of the EU. This study also analyses the global land rush within a human rights framework, examining the implications of particular land deals involving EU-based investors and their impact on communities living in areas where the investments are taking place. The research presented here builds partly on Cotula’s 2014 study on the drivers and human rights implications of land grabbing, but differs in that it focuses explicitly on particular cases of possible, actual or potential human rights abuses and violations, in the context of activities involving European corporate and financial entities. In our conclusions, we offer a series of recommendations on how the EU can more effectively address these issues.

External author

Saturnino M. BORRAS Jr. (International Institute of Social Studies, Netherlands), Philip SEUFERT (FIAN International, Germany), Stephan BACKES (FIAN International, Belgium), Daniel FYFE (FIAN International, Switzerland), Roman HERRE (FIAN Germany, Germany), Laura MICHELE (FIAN International, Germany) and Elyse MILLS (International Institute of Social Studies, Netherlands)

The European Union's Role in International Economic Fora - Paper 9: The IOPS

01-10-2015

This paper forms part of a series of nine studies on the role of the European Union (EU) in International bodies and examines the International Organisation of Pension Supervisors (IOPS), where the European Commission, the ESAs and the ECB, as well as Member States' supervisors have been active. The increased role of such standard setting entities is perceived as impacting the shaping of policy and the legal framework. This report provides factual background information about IOPS, the EU’s role ...

This paper forms part of a series of nine studies on the role of the European Union (EU) in International bodies and examines the International Organisation of Pension Supervisors (IOPS), where the European Commission, the ESAs and the ECB, as well as Member States' supervisors have been active. The increased role of such standard setting entities is perceived as impacting the shaping of policy and the legal framework. This report provides factual background information about IOPS, the EU’s role and representation therein, its accountability as well as the coordination and impact and an evaluation of IOPS against Rules and Practices for Accountability of International Organisations recommended by ILA. A key conclusion is that the role of the EU in IOPS is limited. A reconsideration of the EU’s involvement would be necessary should IOPS increase its external footprint. This study was prepared by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs.

External author

Lieve Lowet

The European Union's Role in International Economic Fora - Paper 7: The IASB

15-06-2015

This paper forms part of a series of nine studies on the role of the European Union in International economic fora, prepared by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs. International Financial Reporting Standards define the rules for corporate accounting and are set by a private standard setter: the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). The EU has no formal role in developing these standards, but de facto endorses them ex post. This raises questions ...

This paper forms part of a series of nine studies on the role of the European Union in International economic fora, prepared by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs. International Financial Reporting Standards define the rules for corporate accounting and are set by a private standard setter: the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). The EU has no formal role in developing these standards, but de facto endorses them ex post. This raises questions with regard to the overrepresentation of commercial interests in accounting regulation and the need to debate a stronger role not only for civil society actors but also for public entities such as regulators.

External author

Sebastian BOTZEM

Financial accountability of civil society organisations: Improving cooperation with EU institutions

08-05-2015

Over recent decades Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) – a term used to capture all forms of collective organisation outside the government and business sectors – have grown in both number and impact on policy-making, both at EU and national levels. In consequence, CSOs have come under pressure to demonstrate that they use the public resources they are given in an efficient, accountable and transparent manner. A number of proposals to address these topics have been discussed over the years. However ...

Over recent decades Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) – a term used to capture all forms of collective organisation outside the government and business sectors – have grown in both number and impact on policy-making, both at EU and national levels. In consequence, CSOs have come under pressure to demonstrate that they use the public resources they are given in an efficient, accountable and transparent manner. A number of proposals to address these topics have been discussed over the years. However, only a few of those proposals have been translated into law; and even fewer of these, after being implemented, have offered an effective solution to the issue of financial accountability of the third sector. The debate between scholars, institutions and practitioners is still ongoing. In the meantime, the third sector at the European level remains regulated by a combination of European norms, quasi-legal tools, and self-regulatory initiatives. Efforts to tackle financial mismanagement by CSOs are frustrated by the absence of clear legal definitions at EU level, by the opacity of the information available on CSOs through EU databases and by excessive bureaucracy.

Press freedom in the EU: Legal framework and challenges

30-04-2015

Freedom of expression and information, as well as the freedom of the press, which provides the most powerful platform for the first two, contribute significantly to the formation of public opinion, thus allowing people to make informed choices in their political decisions. These freedoms are therefore essential for democracy, which is one of the fundamental values common to all Member States, on which the European Union is founded (Article 2 TEU). Within the EU legal framework, press freedom is a ...

Freedom of expression and information, as well as the freedom of the press, which provides the most powerful platform for the first two, contribute significantly to the formation of public opinion, thus allowing people to make informed choices in their political decisions. These freedoms are therefore essential for democracy, which is one of the fundamental values common to all Member States, on which the European Union is founded (Article 2 TEU). Within the EU legal framework, press freedom is a fundamental right established in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, with its provision closely resembling that on press freedom in the European Convention on Human Rights. At EU level media freedom was long dealt with purely relative to the Single Market, and thus from a rather economic point of view. However, the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU), for its part, started to see the importance of media pluralism very early, not only for the free movement of services across the EU but also in order to ensure a pluralism in views. The Court's rulings underlined the importance of media pluralism and media freedom not only for the internal market but also for democracy in the EU. The European Parliament has repeatedly advocated press freedom and media pluralism in the EU and abroad. It has recently addressed the issue of the effectiveness of press freedom as an EU fundamental right and an objective EU value, in view of the scarce possibility for the EU institutions to act to enforce respect for EU fundamental rights and values by Member States.

The Open Method of Coordination

19-10-2014

The EU response to the 2008 economic crisis, which has exposed the weaknesses of the EU economic governance of the time, has resulted in a debate on how to find a balance between intergovernmentalism and supranational actions within the EU framework, bringing into question further use of soft intergovernmental methods, such as the Open Method of Coordination (OMC). In addition to that, with social and education issues increasingly gaining attention in the EU, OMC, one of the governance instruments ...

The EU response to the 2008 economic crisis, which has exposed the weaknesses of the EU economic governance of the time, has resulted in a debate on how to find a balance between intergovernmentalism and supranational actions within the EU framework, bringing into question further use of soft intergovernmental methods, such as the Open Method of Coordination (OMC). In addition to that, with social and education issues increasingly gaining attention in the EU, OMC, one of the governance instruments available for addressing such issues, has again found itself the focus of attention of policy-makers.

The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative: state of play

24-06-2014

In 2003, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) was launched as a voluntary multi-stakeholder initiative for the extractive industries, bringing together governments, industry and civil society. Its main objective has been to create a global transparency standard which allows light to be shed on all payments made by extractive-industry companies to governments of resource-rich developing countries, and to cross-check all revenues received by these governments from the industry.

In 2003, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) was launched as a voluntary multi-stakeholder initiative for the extractive industries, bringing together governments, industry and civil society. Its main objective has been to create a global transparency standard which allows light to be shed on all payments made by extractive-industry companies to governments of resource-rich developing countries, and to cross-check all revenues received by these governments from the industry.

Gender balance on company boards

14-11-2013

Although the number of women on company boards is growing, they remain under-represented. Whether greater gender balance is needed and how that could be reached remains controversial. The Commission has proposed to set, at EU level, a minimum quota of women among non-executive board members.

Although the number of women on company boards is growing, they remain under-represented. Whether greater gender balance is needed and how that could be reached remains controversial. The Commission has proposed to set, at EU level, a minimum quota of women among non-executive board members.

The Role and Activities of Employment Agencies

14-06-2013

This study provides an overview of the importance and activities of employment agencies as well as their legal framework (WTO, ILO, EU) in the EU Member States and closely examines their role in selected countries, while focusing on temporary work agencies, a significantly growing market within the EU. Due to limited data, there is no clear-cut result on the agencies’ longer-term impact. However, the four identified market types (market driven, social dialogue based, legislator driven and emerging ...

This study provides an overview of the importance and activities of employment agencies as well as their legal framework (WTO, ILO, EU) in the EU Member States and closely examines their role in selected countries, while focusing on temporary work agencies, a significantly growing market within the EU. Due to limited data, there is no clear-cut result on the agencies’ longer-term impact. However, the four identified market types (market driven, social dialogue based, legislator driven and emerging markets) are analysed through country cases regarding national regulations, the treatment of workers and everyday functioning of the agencies. It becomes evident that there is a wide diversity of the branch, which needs to be taken into account when reviewing EU Directive 2008/104/EC.

External author

Werner Eichhorst (IZA) , Michela Braga (Fondazione Rodolfo DeBenedetti) , Andrea Broughton (Institute for Employment Studies) , An de Coen (IDEA consult) , Henri Culot (UCL Leuven) , Filip Dorssemont (UCL Leuven) , Ulrike Famira-Mühlberger (WIFO) , Maarten Gerard (IDEA consult) , Ulrike Huemer (WIFO) , Michael J. Kendzia (IZA) , Jakob Louis Pedersen (NIRAS) and Ewa Slezak (Krakow University of Economics)

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