335

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Policy area
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What if computers were trillions of times faster?

12-01-2017

Could the theory of quantum mechanics one day revolutionise commonplace technical devices such as sensors, communication devices and computers? Quantum mechanics is a scientific theory that has revolutionised our understanding of the Universe. In the world of classical physics, a system is always in one particular state (e.g. at rest or in motion) while in the quantum world, a system can be in a superposition of two or more states. Performing a measurement on such a superposition causes it to collapse ...

Could the theory of quantum mechanics one day revolutionise commonplace technical devices such as sensors, communication devices and computers? Quantum mechanics is a scientific theory that has revolutionised our understanding of the Universe. In the world of classical physics, a system is always in one particular state (e.g. at rest or in motion) while in the quantum world, a system can be in a superposition of two or more states. Performing a measurement on such a superposition causes it to collapse into a single state. Furthermore, in contrast to the classical world, where a system can be measured without changing it, in the quantum world a measurement can have an impact on the state of the system.

Human health implications of organic food and organic agriculture

20-12-2016

This study reviews existing scientific evidence regarding the impact of organic food on human health from an EU perspective, with a focus on public health. The development of environmentally sustainable and healthy food systems is an international priority. The study examines how organic food and organic agriculture can contribute to this in relation to public health. Human and animal studies directly addressing the health effects of organic food are reviewed. Furthermore, evidence linking principles ...

This study reviews existing scientific evidence regarding the impact of organic food on human health from an EU perspective, with a focus on public health. The development of environmentally sustainable and healthy food systems is an international priority. The study examines how organic food and organic agriculture can contribute to this in relation to public health. Human and animal studies directly addressing the health effects of organic food are reviewed. Furthermore, evidence linking principles and rules of organic production to human health effects is discussed.

'Roam like at home' by default

16-12-2016

The end of roaming costs within the EU – promised at the political level for over a decade – seems near. Four successive regulations decreased (but did not end) roaming charges for calls, text messages and data by more than 90 %. In 2015, the Council of the EU and the European Parliament agreed on abolishing roaming charges in the EU from 15 June 2017. After that date, the 'roam-like-at-home' (RLAH) system should become a reality for all European citizens travelling within the EU. Before RLAH is ...

The end of roaming costs within the EU – promised at the political level for over a decade – seems near. Four successive regulations decreased (but did not end) roaming charges for calls, text messages and data by more than 90 %. In 2015, the Council of the EU and the European Parliament agreed on abolishing roaming charges in the EU from 15 June 2017. After that date, the 'roam-like-at-home' (RLAH) system should become a reality for all European citizens travelling within the EU. Before RLAH is fully implemented, an agreement has to be reached on: a regulation on wholesale roaming markets, which reviews the prices that operators charge each other. The Parliament's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE), in charge of the proposed wholesale roaming markets regulation, has suggested a substantive reduction of the data roaming caps proposed by the Commission, while the Council has suggested in its general approach an increase to the proposed wholesale roaming cap. Trilogue negotiations, started on 14 December 2016, will have to find an agreement by early 2017 to meet the deadline. A related Commission implementing act, which defines a 'fair use policy' (FUP) for operators with a view to avoiding 'permanent roaming' and other abuses was adopted by the Commission on 15 December 2016, with significant changes from its earlier draft. While consumers look forward to the prospect of free roaming, small and large telecom operators are worried about recovering their costs at the wholesale level. They also fear that RLAH will bring disruption to competition dynamics and infrastructure investments. The Commission review shows that there is still too much fragmentation in the digital single market (DSM), which poses many challenges. Policy-makers have to deal with the complex trade-offs that RLAH involves, such as having to balance between protecting consumer interests, keeping political promises and realising the DSM, while promoting competition and investments and preventing market distortions.

European Council Conclusions (10th edition)

13-12-2016

The European Council's role - to 'provide the Union with the necessary impetus for its development' and to define its 'general political directions and priorities' - has developed rapidly over the past seven years. 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 of the various commitments made in the conclusions ...

The European Council's role - to 'provide the Union with the necessary impetus for its development' and to define its 'general political directions and priorities' - has developed rapidly over the past seven years. 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 of the various commitments made in the conclusions of its meetings. This overview, presented in the form of a regularly updated Rolling Check-List of Commitments to Date, is designed to review the degree of progress in realising the goals which the European Council has set itself since January 2010 and to assist the Parliament in exercising its important oversight role in this field.

What if electric cars became an affordable and convenient way to travel?

07-12-2016

Are electric cars on the verge of becoming the norm, should we encourage this transition, and what would be the consequences for the environment, the automobile industry and our electricity grid? Over the past century, cars have become an integral part of our society. They generally offer greater flexibility than alternative modes of transport, and they are affordable to a large proportion of people. Ever since cars were first mass-produced, they have almost exclusively been powered by ICEs (internal ...

Are electric cars on the verge of becoming the norm, should we encourage this transition, and what would be the consequences for the environment, the automobile industry and our electricity grid? Over the past century, cars have become an integral part of our society. They generally offer greater flexibility than alternative modes of transport, and they are affordable to a large proportion of people. Ever since cars were first mass-produced, they have almost exclusively been powered by ICEs (internal combustion engines), which burn fossil fuels, such as petrol and diesel, to provide the energy required to turn the cars’ wheels and perform auxiliary tasks. However, in recent years concerns about climate change and dependence on oil have led to a great deal of effort and attention being invested in developing alternative ways of providing this energy.

Wholesale roaming regulation: A precondition for 'roam like at home'

06-12-2016

In 2015 the Council and European Parliament agreed in Regulation 2015/2120 that on 15 June 2017 roaming charges for mobile phone use would be abolished in the EU. After that date, 'roam like at home' (RLAH) would become a reality for all Europeans. The regulation did not, however, address the wholesale roaming market, on account of the need to investigate market conditions in more depth. A review for the European Commission concluded that national wholesale roaming markets are not working well and ...

In 2015 the Council and European Parliament agreed in Regulation 2015/2120 that on 15 June 2017 roaming charges for mobile phone use would be abolished in the EU. After that date, 'roam like at home' (RLAH) would become a reality for all Europeans. The regulation did not, however, address the wholesale roaming market, on account of the need to investigate market conditions in more depth. A review for the European Commission concluded that national wholesale roaming markets are not working well and need regulatory intervention. It therefore proposed a regulation establishing the maximum level of wholesale roaming charges that telecoms operators can charge each other, to take effect from 15 June 2017. Stakeholder reactions are divided: while consumers would enjoy free roaming, operators are worried about recovering costs at wholesale level. On 29 November, Parliament's Industry Committee voted for a reduction in the call and data wholesale caps proposed by the Commission. First edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Cyber Security Strategy for the Energy Sector

05-12-2016

This study is provided by the Policy Directorate at the request of the ITRE Committee. The EU energy infrastructure is transitioning into a decentralised, digitalised smart energy system. Already, energy operations are increasingly becoming the target of cyber-attacks with potentially catastrophic consequences. Development of energy specific cyber security solutions and defensive practices are therefore essential. Urgent action is required, including empowering a coordination body, to promote ...

This study is provided by the Policy Directorate at the request of the ITRE Committee. The EU energy infrastructure is transitioning into a decentralised, digitalised smart energy system. Already, energy operations are increasingly becoming the target of cyber-attacks with potentially catastrophic consequences. Development of energy specific cyber security solutions and defensive practices are therefore essential. Urgent action is required, including empowering a coordination body, to promote sharing of incident information, development of best practice and relevant standards.

External author

David Healey (Analysys Mason Limited), Sacha Meckler (nalysys Mason Ltd.), Usen Antia (nalysys Mason Ltd.) and Edward Cottle (nalysys Mason Ltd.)

Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC)

28-11-2016

On 14 September 2016, the European Commission proposed an updated regulation on the Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communications (BEREC) as part of its wider telecoms package. The new proposal aims at transforming BEREC into a single fully fledged agency. The Commission proposes allocating new tasks to BEREC and granting it legally binding powers. New tasks include providing guidelines for national regulatory authorities (NRAs) on geographical surveys, developing common approaches to ...

On 14 September 2016, the European Commission proposed an updated regulation on the Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communications (BEREC) as part of its wider telecoms package. The new proposal aims at transforming BEREC into a single fully fledged agency. The Commission proposes allocating new tasks to BEREC and granting it legally binding powers. New tasks include providing guidelines for national regulatory authorities (NRAs) on geographical surveys, developing common approaches to meet end-user interests, but also developing common approaches to deliver peer-reviewed opinions on draft national measures (e.g. radio spectrum assignments) and on cross-border disputes. Stakeholders have been divided over the Commission’s review as regards the effectiveness and powers of BEREC. While the role of NRAs is widely acknowledged, some stakeholders stressed that the institutional set-up at EU and BEREC levels should be adjusted (e.g. a clearer division of powers, accountability issues, transparency in decision-making). In the European Parliament, the proposal has been referred to the ITRE Committee. First edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

The new European electronic communications code

28-11-2016

On 14 September 2016, the Commission proposed a new European electronic communications code which overhauls the existing legislative framework for telecommunications. The code has been designed to take into account changes in markets, consumer trends and technology, all of which have significantly changed since 2009 when the framework was last amended. The code's provisions include measures to stimulate investment in and take-up of very high capacity networks in the European Union, new spectrum rules ...

On 14 September 2016, the Commission proposed a new European electronic communications code which overhauls the existing legislative framework for telecommunications. The code has been designed to take into account changes in markets, consumer trends and technology, all of which have significantly changed since 2009 when the framework was last amended. The code's provisions include measures to stimulate investment in and take-up of very high capacity networks in the European Union, new spectrum rules for mobile connectivity and 5G, as well as changes to governance, the universal service regime, end-user protection rules, and numbering and emergency communication rules. This proposal comes within the framework of the digital single market strategy, and is one of the legislative proposals under the initiative 'Connectivity for a European gigabit society'. First edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

What if I had to put my safety in the hands of a robot?

18-11-2016

Will intelligent robots bring us benefits in relation to security and safety, or will the vulnerabilities within these systems mean that they cause more problems than they solve? Cyber-physical systems (CPS) are currently found in a wide range of services and applications, and their numbers are rapidly increasing. CPS are intelligent robotic systems linked to the Internet of Things. They make decisions based on the ability to sense their environment. Their actions have a physical impact on either ...

Will intelligent robots bring us benefits in relation to security and safety, or will the vulnerabilities within these systems mean that they cause more problems than they solve? Cyber-physical systems (CPS) are currently found in a wide range of services and applications, and their numbers are rapidly increasing. CPS are intelligent robotic systems linked to the Internet of Things. They make decisions based on the ability to sense their environment. Their actions have a physical impact on either the environment or themselves. This is what sets CPS apart: they are not solely smart systems, but rather, they have physical aspects to them. These robots are likely to infiltrate our everyday lives in the coming years. Due to this, we must look at what impact they will have on citizens’ safety and security. The question remains, how safe are these technologies?

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24-01-2017
"The role of lawyers, accountants and bankers in Panama Papers"
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24-01-2017
Workshop : Human Rights in Iran after the nuclear deal
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DROI
24-01-2017
Academic Further and Distance Education as Part of the Lifelong Learning Strategy
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