569

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European Council Conclusions: A Rolling Check-List of Commitments to Date

20-03-2019

The role of the European Council – to 'provide the Union with the necessary impetus for its development' and to define its 'general political directions and priorities' – has evolved rapidly over the last decade. Since June 2014, the European Council Oversight Unit within the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), the European Parliament's in-house research service and think tank, has been monitoring and analysing the European Council's delivery on commitments made in the conclusions of ...

The role of the European Council – to 'provide the Union with the necessary impetus for its development' and to define its 'general political directions and priorities' – has evolved rapidly over the last decade. Since June 2014, the European Council Oversight Unit within the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), the European Parliament's in-house research service and think tank, has been monitoring and analysing the European Council's delivery on commitments made in the conclusions of its meetings. This overview of European Council conclusions is a new, updated and more comprehensive edition of the Rolling Check-List, which has been published regularly by the European Council Oversight Unit since 2014. It distinguishes between four types of European Council conclusions (commitments, reviews, endorsements and statements) and indicates the follow-up given to calls for action made by EU leaders. It also offers an introductory analysis of each policy area, highlighting the background to the main orientations given by the European Council, as well as the follow-up to them and the future challenges.

Why artificial intelligence matters

14-03-2019

This briefing explains why AI matters by reviewing some of the key opportunities and challenges it presents, but it does so with reference to the functionality and readiness of the technology. The first section focuses on the opportunities and challenges presented by today’s AI while the second explores longer-term speculative opportunities and challenges that are contingent upon future developments that may never happen.

This briefing explains why AI matters by reviewing some of the key opportunities and challenges it presents, but it does so with reference to the functionality and readiness of the technology. The first section focuses on the opportunities and challenges presented by today’s AI while the second explores longer-term speculative opportunities and challenges that are contingent upon future developments that may never happen.

Artificial Intelligence ante portas: Legal & ethical reflections

14-03-2019

This briefing provides accessible introductions to some of the major legal, regulatory and ethical debates surrounding the deployment and use of AI systems. It focuses on the challenges that the sui generis features of AI may pose on the current legal framework and argues that as AI systems become more autonomous, a doctrinal paradigm swift may be needed. Given the foreseeable pervasiveness of AI, the briefing poses the question about how this new technology should be defined and classified in legal ...

This briefing provides accessible introductions to some of the major legal, regulatory and ethical debates surrounding the deployment and use of AI systems. It focuses on the challenges that the sui generis features of AI may pose on the current legal framework and argues that as AI systems become more autonomous, a doctrinal paradigm swift may be needed. Given the foreseeable pervasiveness of AI, the briefing poses the question about how this new technology should be defined and classified in legal and ethical terms. By providing an analysis of the key legal initiatives in this field in Europe, the briefing aims to equip the reader with the understanding they need to engage in clear-headed reflection about AI’s legal and socio-ethical challenges, and meaningful debates about how the current EU acquis may need to be adjusted to the new technological realities.

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 ...

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?

Regulating disinformation with artificial intelligence

13-03-2019

In this study, we examine the consequences of the increasingly prevalent use of artificial intelligence (AI) disinformation initiatives upon freedom of expression, pluralism and the functioning of a democratic polity. The study examines the trade-offs in using automated technology to limit the spread of disinformation online. It presents (self-regulatory to legislative) options to regulate automated content recognition (ACR) technologies in this context. Special attention is paid to the opportunities ...

In this study, we examine the consequences of the increasingly prevalent use of artificial intelligence (AI) disinformation initiatives upon freedom of expression, pluralism and the functioning of a democratic polity. The study examines the trade-offs in using automated technology to limit the spread of disinformation online. It presents (self-regulatory to legislative) options to regulate automated content recognition (ACR) technologies in this context. Special attention is paid to the opportunities for the European Union as a whole to take the lead in setting the framework for designing these technologies in a way that enhances accountability and transparency and respects free speech. The present project reviews some of the key academic and policy ideas on technology and disinformation and highlights their relevance to European policy.

External author

DG, EPRS

Women in politics: A global perspective

28-02-2019

Fair representation of women in political life has a positive impact on gender mainstreaming in various policies. The United Nations has set a dedicated target within the sustainable development goals dealing specifically with women's access to leadership. The available data on the presence of women in parliaments and in governments show a positive trend, but much still remains to be done to ensure an equal presence of both genders in decision-making. The European Union supports gender equality in ...

Fair representation of women in political life has a positive impact on gender mainstreaming in various policies. The United Nations has set a dedicated target within the sustainable development goals dealing specifically with women's access to leadership. The available data on the presence of women in parliaments and in governments show a positive trend, but much still remains to be done to ensure an equal presence of both genders in decision-making. The European Union supports gender equality in politics, and the European Parliament has reaffirmed the importance of such a policy on various occasions.

Victims of trafficking in hotspots

21-02-2019

This briefing looks at the risks of exploitation faced by people leaving their countries in search of safety or better lives and arriving in Europe by sea. It gives an overview of the processes related to early identification of victims of trafficking in first reception facilities (hotspots) and the related challenges.

This briefing looks at the risks of exploitation faced by people leaving their countries in search of safety or better lives and arriving in Europe by sea. It gives an overview of the processes related to early identification of victims of trafficking in first reception facilities (hotspots) and the related challenges.

How to spot when news is fake

19-02-2019

'Fake news' and disinformation – information deliberately manipulated with the aim of fooling people – have become an increasingly visible global phenomenon. Social media and their personalisation tools have made it easier to spread bogus stories. They often use emotions to capture attention and generate clicks, for economic or ideological reasons. Even young, digital-savvy people find it difficult to identify manipulated news. Significantly, six in ten news items shared on social media were not ...

'Fake news' and disinformation – information deliberately manipulated with the aim of fooling people – have become an increasingly visible global phenomenon. Social media and their personalisation tools have made it easier to spread bogus stories. They often use emotions to capture attention and generate clicks, for economic or ideological reasons. Even young, digital-savvy people find it difficult to identify manipulated news. Significantly, six in ten news items shared on social media were not even read first by the user who shared them. Some 85 % of Europeans see 'fake news' as a problem in their own country, and 83 % view it as a problem for democracy in general. This compass will help you navigate the ocean of information, and find your way through waves of lies and disinformation. This is a revised version of an ‘at a glance’ note published in March 2017.

United Nations reform

13-02-2019

At the 72nd United Nations (UN) General Assembly on 18 September 2017, 120 countries expressed their commitment to the reforms proposed by UN Secretary-General António Guterres. Since 1946, the UN has undergone a number of reforms either in whole or in part. The term 'reform' has proved troublesome for UN member states on account of its lack of clarity and the lack of consensus as to execution. This is particularly apparent in the scepticism expressed by the United States (US) in 2018 regarding the ...

At the 72nd United Nations (UN) General Assembly on 18 September 2017, 120 countries expressed their commitment to the reforms proposed by UN Secretary-General António Guterres. Since 1946, the UN has undergone a number of reforms either in whole or in part. The term 'reform' has proved troublesome for UN member states on account of its lack of clarity and the lack of consensus as to execution. This is particularly apparent in the scepticism expressed by the United States (US) in 2018 regarding the need for global governance, the importance of UN Security Council decisions such as the Iran nuclear deal, and the efficiency of the United Nations. This briefing explains how the current reform differs from previous ones, in as much as it focuses on management and addresses the criticisms of a lack of accountability and transparency, ineffectiveness, and the deficit in trust between the organisation and its member states in the current system. The United Nations reform agenda centres on three key areas: development, management, and peace and security. First, development reform will bring a bold change to the UN development system in order to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This will be centred on the creation of a new generation of country teams led by an independent team of UN country experts ('resident coordinators'). Second, the simplification of processes, increased transparency and improved delivery of mandates will form the basis of a new management paradigm for the secretariat. Third, peace and security reform will be underpinned by placing priority on conflict prevention and peacekeeping, increasing the effectiveness and coherence of peacekeeping operations and political missions. Two years after its launch, the reform process is starting to bear fruit, with implementation set to begin in 2019 and a focus on streamlining, accountability, transparency and efficiency. However, the reform process does not make explicit mention of bolstering human rights. This briefing also explores the possibility of capitalising on the current reforms so as to boost the indivisibility of human rights, while taking stock of stakeholders' reactions to the UN reforms under way.

The death penalty and the EU's fight against it

12-02-2019

The European Union is strongly opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances, and fighting it is a foremost priority of its external human rights policy. While most countries in the world have abolished capital punishment, death sentences continue to be handed down and carried out in a number of countries. The Union uses its diplomatic and political weight to encourage these countries to join the abolitionist ranks, or at the very least to respect international minimum standards. It funds campaigns ...

The European Union is strongly opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances, and fighting it is a foremost priority of its external human rights policy. While most countries in the world have abolished capital punishment, death sentences continue to be handed down and carried out in a number of countries. The Union uses its diplomatic and political weight to encourage these countries to join the abolitionist ranks, or at the very least to respect international minimum standards. It funds campaigns to increase awareness of the need to end capital punishment, and restricts trade in substances that could be used for executions.

Upcoming events

01-04-2019
NATO at 70 and CSDP at 20: The future of European security and defence
Other event -
EPRS
02-04-2019
Women’s Role in Peace Processes including the specific case of Western Balkans
Hearing -
FEMM
02-04-2019
Workshop on Conflicts of Interest
Workshop -
PETI

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