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The digital economy in the EU [What Think Tanks are thinking]

19-05-2017

The digital revolution is reshaping the European Union's economy, from financial services and telecoms to creative industries and the way workers are employed. While posing certain threats, such as cyber-attacks, new technologies offer vast opportunities, provided that people acquire the right skill-sets to underpin their use. Seeking to tap the full potential of digitalisation, the European Commission is pushing ahead with its Digital Single Market Strategy. On 10 May, it presented a mid-term review ...

The digital revolution is reshaping the European Union's economy, from financial services and telecoms to creative industries and the way workers are employed. While posing certain threats, such as cyber-attacks, new technologies offer vast opportunities, provided that people acquire the right skill-sets to underpin their use. Seeking to tap the full potential of digitalisation, the European Commission is pushing ahead with its Digital Single Market Strategy. On 10 May, it presented a mid-term review of this strategy, calling for swift approval of proposals already presented and outlining further actions on online platforms, the data economy and cybersecurity. This note offers links to recent studies and reports from major international think tanks and research institutes on problems and opportunities relating to digitalisation.

European Technology Platforms

17-05-2017

European Technology Platforms (ETP) were the first type of public-private partnership established in the research field at European level. These industry-led stakeholders' fora define and implement a strategic research agenda (SRA) aiming at aligning research priorities in a technological area. Without dedicated funding, ETPs remain coordination and advisory structures, helping to define the topics of research programmes at European, national and regional level.

European Technology Platforms (ETP) were the first type of public-private partnership established in the research field at European level. These industry-led stakeholders' fora define and implement a strategic research agenda (SRA) aiming at aligning research priorities in a technological area. Without dedicated funding, ETPs remain coordination and advisory structures, helping to define the topics of research programmes at European, national and regional level.

Joint Technology Initiatives

17-05-2017

Joint technology initiatives (JTIs) were set up as European institutional public-private partnerships to carry out the strategic research agenda of some established European technology platforms. Five JTIs were established under the 7th framework programme for research. Evaluation of these JTIs led to development of their legal framework to simplify their rules and procedures. Six JTIs are currently operational, receiving a €6.7 billion contribution from Horizon 2020.

Joint technology initiatives (JTIs) were set up as European institutional public-private partnerships to carry out the strategic research agenda of some established European technology platforms. Five JTIs were established under the 7th framework programme for research. Evaluation of these JTIs led to development of their legal framework to simplify their rules and procedures. Six JTIs are currently operational, receiving a €6.7 billion contribution from Horizon 2020.

Contractual public-private partnerships in research

17-05-2017

The first three contractual public-private partnerships in research were established as a tool to address the 2008 financial crisis. Their main feature is prior consultation of industry in defining the topics of the calls in the framework programme for research. This allows better alignment of the topics with industry needs, especially regarding demonstration projects, increasing the participation of private actors in the programme. The scheme, easier to establish than institutional public-private ...

The first three contractual public-private partnerships in research were established as a tool to address the 2008 financial crisis. Their main feature is prior consultation of industry in defining the topics of the calls in the framework programme for research. This allows better alignment of the topics with industry needs, especially regarding demonstration projects, increasing the participation of private actors in the programme. The scheme, easier to establish than institutional public-private partnerships such as the joint technology initiatives, was extended under Horizon 2020 with a budget of €7.15 billion ring-fenced for 10 of these partnerships (almost 10 % of the programme's budget).

European Technology and Innovation Platforms

17-05-2017

Following the adoption of the European strategic energy plan (SET plan) in 2007, the European Commission proposed establishing European industrial initiatives (EII) as public-private partnerships to implement research agendas for the development and deployment of low carbon energy technologies. In 2015, the energy policy review under the energy union led to the EIIs merging with existing European technology platforms (ETP) to create nine European technology and innovation platforms (ETIP). They operate ...

Following the adoption of the European strategic energy plan (SET plan) in 2007, the European Commission proposed establishing European industrial initiatives (EII) as public-private partnerships to implement research agendas for the development and deployment of low carbon energy technologies. In 2015, the energy policy review under the energy union led to the EIIs merging with existing European technology platforms (ETP) to create nine European technology and innovation platforms (ETIP). They operate similarly to other ETPs, but are bound to SET plan implementation.

Public-private partnerships in research

17-05-2017

The EU public-private partnerships (PPPs) in research were set up in the context of the development of European Research Area policy in 2003 with two main objectives. First, they were to address the fragmentation of research efforts between the private and public sector and across borders. Second, they were to increase public and private investment in research activities to reach the target of 3 % of EU gross domestic product. The first PPPs – the European Technology Platforms and the Joint Technology ...

The EU public-private partnerships (PPPs) in research were set up in the context of the development of European Research Area policy in 2003 with two main objectives. First, they were to address the fragmentation of research efforts between the private and public sector and across borders. Second, they were to increase public and private investment in research activities to reach the target of 3 % of EU gross domestic product. The first PPPs – the European Technology Platforms and the Joint Technology Initiatives – were developed to achieve these objectives. The initial focus of the PPPs on research activities was broadened in 2005 with the introduction of a more comprehensive view of innovation. The European Institute of Innovation and Technology and its Knowledge and Innovation Communities were set up to embody this new vision by promoting the integration of research, innovation and education activities. The 2008 financial crisis demanded swift action to support investments in research and led to the establishment of the rapidly implemented contractual PPPs. By 2010, the focus on technology challenges had been replaced by the need to tackle societal challenges. The European Innovation Partnerships provided a new tool to better address these challenges by integrating all the actors of the innovation process. Around 70 EU PPPs in research help define common priorities and visions for EU, national and regional research and innovation activities. However, the multiplication of PPPs created a new form of fragmentation with different types of PPPs focusing on similar fields. The 3 % target has not been reached (currently at 2.03 %). The share of private investment in research has stagnated at around 55 % since 2004, whereas the share of the budget of the EU framework programme for research (FP) dedicated to the PPPs has more than doubled (9.1 % for FP7 versus 21.5 % for Horizon 2020). All these aspects will have to be considered when setting the budget for the PPPs in FP9.

Contracts for the supply of digital content and personal data protection

15-05-2017

The proposed directive on the supply of digital content is intended to regulate the main contractual rights and duties of parties to contracts for the supply of digital content and services, and create a harmonised legal framework for digital content to benefit both consumers and businesses. It covers not only contracts where digital content or services are provided in exchange for money, but also those where the consumer provides personal or other data in lieu of money to gain access to digital ...

The proposed directive on the supply of digital content is intended to regulate the main contractual rights and duties of parties to contracts for the supply of digital content and services, and create a harmonised legal framework for digital content to benefit both consumers and businesses. It covers not only contracts where digital content or services are provided in exchange for money, but also those where the consumer provides personal or other data in lieu of money to gain access to digital content or services. The interplay between this proposed private law instrument and the existing public law rules on data protection (notably the recently adopted General Data Protection Regulation) have been the subject of some debate. The European Data Protection Supervisor's recent opinion was critical of the proposal, arguing that, in the EU, personal data 'cannot be conceived as a mere economic asset' and cannot therefore be treated as the consumer's contractual counter-performance in lieu of money. The draft report prepared by the co-rapporteurs in Parliament includes those contracts in which consumers do not pay a price (but potentially provide data) within the scope of the proposal. It eliminates however the notion of personal data as a form of contractual 'counter-performance'. The co-legislators are now facing the challenging task of reconciling the fundamental rights approach with the requirements of economic reality, including the need to grant legal protection to consumers who provide their data in order to access digital content or services.

Consumer Protection Cooperation

11-05-2017

The Commission estimates that the detriment to consumers caused by non-compliance with basic EU consumer rules in certain cross-border online markets and also by inefficient cross-border enforcement amounts to €770 million per year. To remedy this, the Commission has presented a legislative proposal to review the existing rules on consumer protection cooperation between enforcement authorities as part of its e-commerce package in May 2016. The aim is to clarify the rules and to give more powers to ...

The Commission estimates that the detriment to consumers caused by non-compliance with basic EU consumer rules in certain cross-border online markets and also by inefficient cross-border enforcement amounts to €770 million per year. To remedy this, the Commission has presented a legislative proposal to review the existing rules on consumer protection cooperation between enforcement authorities as part of its e-commerce package in May 2016. The aim is to clarify the rules and to give more powers to national enforcement authorities, most importantly to enable them to address unlawful online practices and improve coordination among them. Stakeholders have, in general, welcomed the move to improve cooperation between enforcement authorities and the European Economic and Social Committee in its opinion of 19 October 2016 supported the proposal. The Maltese Council Presidency reached a general approach in February 2017, while the Parliament’s IMCO committee adopted its report in March 2017 and also gave its negotiating team a mandate to negotiate with the Council. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Effective Corporate Tax Rate” and “Digital Business Establishment” in the Corporate Tax Base Proposals

10-05-2017

On 25 October 2016, the Commission presented two proposals for two Council directives on a Common Corporate Tax Base, COM (2016)0685 (CCTB) and a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base, COM (2016)0683 (CCCTB). They both are based of Article 115 TFEU (Council decides after consultation of EP- special legislative procedure). As approximation under this Article shall directly affect the establishment or functioning of the internal market the Council decides by unanimity (exception for fiscal provisions ...

On 25 October 2016, the Commission presented two proposals for two Council directives on a Common Corporate Tax Base, COM (2016)0685 (CCTB) and a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base, COM (2016)0683 (CCCTB). They both are based of Article 115 TFEU (Council decides after consultation of EP- special legislative procedure). As approximation under this Article shall directly affect the establishment or functioning of the internal market the Council decides by unanimity (exception for fiscal provisions in Article 114, par.2 TFEU). The purpose of the proposals is to establish common rules for corporate taxes and to make it possible for corporations to submit a single consolidated tax declaration for the corporation’s activities to the tax authority in only one EU Member State. The proposals shall ensure a corporate tax system that encourages fairness in the internal market as currently businesses with cross-border activity have to comply with up to 28 divergent corporate tax systems (generally, corporate income is taxed at national level).

Outcome of the special European Council (Article 50) meeting of 29 April 2017

09-05-2017

At their first formal meeting as the European Council of the EU-27 on 29 April 2017, EU leaders took a united stance on the main priorities of the EU-27 for the Article 50 negotiations, namely to guarantee EU and UK citizens' rights, settle the UK's financial obligations to the EU, and avoid a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. They also agreed on a phased approach for the negotiations, i.e. the negotiations on the future relationship with the UK can only start once sufficient progress ...

At their first formal meeting as the European Council of the EU-27 on 29 April 2017, EU leaders took a united stance on the main priorities of the EU-27 for the Article 50 negotiations, namely to guarantee EU and UK citizens' rights, settle the UK's financial obligations to the EU, and avoid a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. They also agreed on a phased approach for the negotiations, i.e. the negotiations on the future relationship with the UK can only start once sufficient progress has been made on the three priority issues. EU leaders were also informally updated on the process for the relocation of EU agencies, which should be decided upon in the autumn of 2017.

Upcoming events

29-05-2017
The future of OLAF
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CONT
30-05-2017
The potential of electricity demand response
Workshop -
ITRE
30-05-2017
The current challenges of fighting terrorism and serious crime
Hearing -
LIBE

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