432

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Word(s)
Publication type
Policy area
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The new European electronic communications code

16-01-2019

European telecom rules were last updated in 2009. To make them fit for the digital era the Commission proposed a new Electronic Communications Code in September 2016. The provisional agreement reached in June 2018 was adopted by the Parliament and then by the Council in November 2018. Member States have until 21 December 2020 to transpose the new directive into national legislation. The new rules include measures to stimulate investment in and take-up of very high capacity networks in the EU as well ...

European telecom rules were last updated in 2009. To make them fit for the digital era the Commission proposed a new Electronic Communications Code in September 2016. The provisional agreement reached in June 2018 was adopted by the Parliament and then by the Council in November 2018. Member States have until 21 December 2020 to transpose the new directive into national legislation. The new rules include measures to stimulate investment in and take-up of very high capacity networks in the EU as well as new spectrum rules for mobile connectivity and 5G. The Code also ensures that all citizens have access to affordable communication, including the internet. It increases consumer protection and security for users and facilitates regulatory intervention. Furthermore, it introduces a 'reverse 112 system' which would alert citizens by text message in case of imminent serious emergencies or disasters (from June 2022). During negotiations the Parliament secured for citizens cheaper caps for intra-EU calls and SMS from 15 May 2019. Fourth edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

EU agricultural research and innovation

09-01-2019

The European Union's long-term strategy for agricultural research and innovation was published in January 2016 following a year-long process of development, which included targeted consultations. Based on five priority areas, the strategy guides the programming of its main research and innovation programme – Horizon 2020 – not only for 2018 to 2020 but also for the period beyond 2020, to be covered by Horizon Europe. In light of discussions on the future of the common agricultural policy (CAP), the ...

The European Union's long-term strategy for agricultural research and innovation was published in January 2016 following a year-long process of development, which included targeted consultations. Based on five priority areas, the strategy guides the programming of its main research and innovation programme – Horizon 2020 – not only for 2018 to 2020 but also for the period beyond 2020, to be covered by Horizon Europe. In light of discussions on the future of the common agricultural policy (CAP), the role of innovation in agriculture is examined, including the potential contribution that research and innovation can make to agriculture, the agri-food sector, rural areas and the challenges they face. These are set against changing global trends in public expenditure on agricultural research and development. These trends point to a relatively flat pattern of expenditure over the years 2012 to 2016 for the EU. In global terms, the structure of public agricultural expenditure is changing, with historically richer countries ceding ground to those with rapidly rising per capita incomes. In considering the EU's long-term strategy for agricultural research and innovation, the links between the CAP and the EU's research and innovation policies are identified. Evaluation evidence from a range of sources on the actual or potential impact of investment in agricultural research and innovation point to a link between such investment and productivity growth in agriculture, the potential for multi-dimensional impacts, and the potential offered by the Commission's current approach to agricultural research and innovation through the European innovation partnership operational groups for agriculture (EIP-AGRI).

Ten issues to watch in 2019

08-01-2019

This is the third edition of an annual EPRS publication designed to identify and frame some of the key issues and policy areas that are likely to feature prominently on the political agenda of the European Union over the coming year. The topics analysed are the outlook for a new European Parliament and new European Commission, the way forward for the soon-to-be EU-27, the future financing of the Union, the process of digital transformation, artificial intelligence and collective intelligence, internal ...

This is the third edition of an annual EPRS publication designed to identify and frame some of the key issues and policy areas that are likely to feature prominently on the political agenda of the European Union over the coming year. The topics analysed are the outlook for a new European Parliament and new European Commission, the way forward for the soon-to-be EU-27, the future financing of the Union, the process of digital transformation, artificial intelligence and collective intelligence, internal security, trade wars, Africa, electric mobility, and the oceans.

What if we genetically engineered an entire species?

07-12-2018

‘Gene drives’ are best known for their capacity to suppress malaria by eradicating mosquito populations. However, its applications reach even further, including the potential to eliminate other insect-transmitted diseases, erasing herbicide and pesticide resistance in weeds and pests, and removing invasive species from ecosystems. How do we navigate the potential benefits and significant risks that are involved in gene drive use?

‘Gene drives’ are best known for their capacity to suppress malaria by eradicating mosquito populations. However, its applications reach even further, including the potential to eliminate other insect-transmitted diseases, erasing herbicide and pesticide resistance in weeds and pests, and removing invasive species from ecosystems. How do we navigate the potential benefits and significant risks that are involved in gene drive use?

Global and regional trends [What Think Tanks are thinking]

30-11-2018

The European Union’s key institutions held a joint conference on 28-29 November entitled ‘Global trends to 2030: Shaping the future in a fast-changing world’. The annual event was organised under the auspices of the European Strategy and Policy Analysis System (ESPAS), which is a framework for cooperation between the administrations of the European Parliament, the European Commission, Council of the European Union, European External Action Service and other bodies to work together on medium- and ...

The European Union’s key institutions held a joint conference on 28-29 November entitled ‘Global trends to 2030: Shaping the future in a fast-changing world’. The annual event was organised under the auspices of the European Strategy and Policy Analysis System (ESPAS), which is a framework for cooperation between the administrations of the European Parliament, the European Commission, Council of the European Union, European External Action Service and other bodies to work together on medium- and long-term trends facing or relating to the European Union. This note brings together commentaries, analyses and studies by major international think tanks and research institutes on longer term trends – global and regional, with a focus on Europe. Some reports listed here were presented at the conference, some others can be found in the ESPAS repository of strategic studies, named Orbis.

EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Industrial policy

29-11-2018

Through its industrial policy, the European Union (EU) has been striving to create conditions conducive to increasing industry growth and competitiveness since 1992. European industry remains a cornerstone of the economy, providing one job out of five and is responsible for the bulk of EU exports and investment in research and innovation. Today, the aim of EU policy is to enable a successful transformation towards a digital, knowledge-based, decarbonised and more circular industry in Europe. To reach ...

Through its industrial policy, the European Union (EU) has been striving to create conditions conducive to increasing industry growth and competitiveness since 1992. European industry remains a cornerstone of the economy, providing one job out of five and is responsible for the bulk of EU exports and investment in research and innovation. Today, the aim of EU policy is to enable a successful transformation towards a digital, knowledge-based, decarbonised and more circular industry in Europe. To reach this goal, the EU supports, coordinates or supplements Member State level policies and actions, mainly in the areas of research and innovation, SMEs and digital technologies. In a recent Eurobarometer poll conducted for the European Parliament, more than half of EU citizens expressed support for increased EU action on industrial policy. Despite this, it is still the least understood policy area covered in the poll. Since 2014, efforts have been made in a number of areas, including investment (mainly through the European Fund for Strategic Investment, which supports industrial modernisation); digitalisation (for example setting up a number of research partnerships, or a growing network of digital innovation hubs); financing (making it easier for industry and SMEs to access public markets and attract venture funds); greener industry (for example through the revised 2030 emission targets, or measures on clean mobility); standardisation (bringing together relevant stakeholders to collectively develop and update European standards); and skills (mobilising key stakeholders to close the skills gap and providing an adequate workforce for modern industry). The European Parliament has called for ambitious policies in many of these areas. In the future, EU spending on key areas relevant to industrial policy is expected to rise moderately. The European Commission proposes to boost the share of EU spending on research, SMEs and key infrastructure, although not as much as Parliament has requested. In the coming years, policies are likely to focus on fairer global competition, stimulating innovation, building digital capacities and increasing the sustainability of European industry.

The Horizon Europe framework programme for research and innovation 2021-2027

22-11-2018

Within the context of the multiannual financial framework the Commission is proposing Horizon Europe as the framework programme for research and innovation to succeed Horizon 2020. This initial appraisal of the Commission’s impact assessment on the proposal acknowledges the necessity for impact assessments in relation to financial framework programmes to have a simplified format and scope differing from standard impact assessments and that the document in question sets out the rationale for the new ...

Within the context of the multiannual financial framework the Commission is proposing Horizon Europe as the framework programme for research and innovation to succeed Horizon 2020. This initial appraisal of the Commission’s impact assessment on the proposal acknowledges the necessity for impact assessments in relation to financial framework programmes to have a simplified format and scope differing from standard impact assessments and that the document in question sets out the rationale for the new programme and explains the choices made in its design rather effectively. It however questions the extent of the departure from the standard methodology and format of impact assessments set in the Commission’s better regulation guidelines.

Research and innovation in the EU: Evolution, achievements, challenges

21-11-2018

Research and innovation have become indispensable elements in many areas of our daily lives, including health and wellbeing (e.g. radiotherapy, vaccinations), the search for a sustainable environment (e.g. weather forecasts, solar energy), safety and security (e.g. tsunami alerts, biometric border control) and end-user products (e.g. smart phones, e-cars). Despite the correlation between research, development, innovation and competitiveness, when it comes to international comparisons, most Member ...

Research and innovation have become indispensable elements in many areas of our daily lives, including health and wellbeing (e.g. radiotherapy, vaccinations), the search for a sustainable environment (e.g. weather forecasts, solar energy), safety and security (e.g. tsunami alerts, biometric border control) and end-user products (e.g. smart phones, e-cars). Despite the correlation between research, development, innovation and competitiveness, when it comes to international comparisons, most Member States lag behind the 'Barcelona target' to invest 3 % of national gross domestic product (GDP) in scientific research and innovation. Better coordination of transnational research activities and the completion of the European Research Area (ERA) could benefit the EU economy by an extra €16 billion per year. The instruments, governance and scope of the framework programmes (FP) for research have changed dramatically over time. These changes include the development of public-public and public-private partnerships, the establishment of the European Research Council (ERC) and the European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT), and the introduction of specific instruments for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as well as individual mobility grants. To date, the current FP, Horizon 2020, has supported over 18 000 projects with more than €31 billion in funding. Nevertheless, Horizon 2020 has shortcomings, including complex procedures, a high administrative burden, a lack of flexibility when it comes to reacting to unforeseen circumstances, and insufficient synergies with other EU funds and public interventions and/or private finance.

What if algorithms could abide by ethical principles?

20-11-2018

Algorithms, are step-by-step procedure for solving a problem, usually expressed in computer code as a set of instructions for a computer to follow in order to complete a task. Day-to-day decisions around the world are increasingly based on data science techniques powered by machine learning algorithms that are gradually making a meaningful impact on human lives. For example, the operation of intermediary platforms that propose accommodation (AirBnB) or transportation alternatives (Uber) are extensively ...

Algorithms, are step-by-step procedure for solving a problem, usually expressed in computer code as a set of instructions for a computer to follow in order to complete a task. Day-to-day decisions around the world are increasingly based on data science techniques powered by machine learning algorithms that are gradually making a meaningful impact on human lives. For example, the operation of intermediary platforms that propose accommodation (AirBnB) or transportation alternatives (Uber) are extensively using algorithms. Algorithms implicitly or explicitly are not neutral as they comprise essential value-judgments that can potentially have race or sex biases. This raises an important question: is it possible to develop and ensure that algorithms are ethical?

Horizon Europe – Specific programme: Implementing the framework programme

09-11-2018

In June 2018, the European Commission proposed a total budget allocation of €100 billion to finance science, research and innovation projects during the 2021-2027 period, of which the vast majority, €94.1 billion in current prices, would be allocated to the Horizon Europe framework programme. The main aims are to strengthen science and technology, to foster industrial competiveness, and to implement the sustainable development goals in the EU. Horizon Europe would introduce new features such as the ...

In June 2018, the European Commission proposed a total budget allocation of €100 billion to finance science, research and innovation projects during the 2021-2027 period, of which the vast majority, €94.1 billion in current prices, would be allocated to the Horizon Europe framework programme. The main aims are to strengthen science and technology, to foster industrial competiveness, and to implement the sustainable development goals in the EU. Horizon Europe would introduce new features such as the European Innovation Council, missions to promote research results, and new forms of partnerships. While the proposal for the framework programme sets out the general and specific objective of Horizon Europe as well as the structure and the broad lines of the activities to be carried out, the specific programme aims to define the operational objectives and activities, especially for missions, the European Research Council, the European Innovation Council, work programmes, and the committee procedure. First edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Upcoming events

21-01-2019
Public Hearing on “European Added Value”
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CONT
22-01-2019
Harmonisation as a principle for Single Market legislation
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IMCO
23-01-2019
Implementation of EU Funds aimed at fighting violence against women & girls – Hearing
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FEMM

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