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Horizon 2020 EU framework programme for research and innovation

24-02-2017

Horizon 2020, the EU framework programme for research and innovation (2014-2020) is aimed at building a society and an economy based on knowledge and innovation across the Union, while contributing to sustainable development. The programme supports the implementation of the Europe 2020 strategy and other Union policies, as well as the achievement and functioning of the European Research Area (ERA). The introduction to this European implementation assessment (EIA) presents basic information on the ...

Horizon 2020, the EU framework programme for research and innovation (2014-2020) is aimed at building a society and an economy based on knowledge and innovation across the Union, while contributing to sustainable development. The programme supports the implementation of the Europe 2020 strategy and other Union policies, as well as the achievement and functioning of the European Research Area (ERA). The introduction to this European implementation assessment (EIA) presents basic information on the implementation of Horizon 2020, including policy on gender equality and international cooperation. In addition, the annexes contain the input to the EIA received from external experts, who prepared analyses of the implementation of the three Horizon 2020 priorities: excellent science, industrial leadership, and societal challenges. The implementation of each priority was analysed from two perspectives: a) a research and industry perspective prepared by experts from the Centre for Strategy and Evaluation Services (CSES) and the Centre for Industrial Studies (CSIL); b) economic and financial perspective prepared by experts from the Europe Economics consortium.

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

22-02-2017

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 for calls, text messages and data, to take effect from 15 June 2017. On 29 November, Parliament's Industry Committee voted for a significant reduction in the data wholesale caps proposed by the Commission. During the third trilogue meeting on 31 January, an agreement was reached between the Parliament and the Council that lowers significantly the wholesale data caps originally proposed. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. To view earlier editions of this briefing, please see: PE 595.834, 6 December 2016.

How blockchain technology could change our lives

20-02-2017

Blockchain technology is of increasing interest to citizens, businesses and legislators across the European Union. This report is aimed at providing a point of entry for those curious about blockchain technology, so as to stimulate interest and provoke discussion around its potential impact. A general introduction is followed by a closer look at eight areas in which blockchain has been described as having a substantial potential impact. For each of these, an explanation is given of how the technology ...

Blockchain technology is of increasing interest to citizens, businesses and legislators across the European Union. This report is aimed at providing a point of entry for those curious about blockchain technology, so as to stimulate interest and provoke discussion around its potential impact. A general introduction is followed by a closer look at eight areas in which blockchain has been described as having a substantial potential impact. For each of these, an explanation is given of how the technology could be developed in that particular area, the possible impacts this development might have, and what potential policy issues are to be anticipated.

What if animal farming were not so bad for the environment?

08-02-2017

What options exist, especially in terms of new technologies, for reducing the carbon footprint of the livestock industry, how effective might they be, and what could be done to encourage their implementation? The livestock industry is responsible for around 14.5 % of global greenhouse gas emissions. The magnitude of this percentage is due to the emission of large amounts of methane and nitrous oxide, which both result in greater global warming than carbon dioxide per gram of gas released. The main ...

What options exist, especially in terms of new technologies, for reducing the carbon footprint of the livestock industry, how effective might they be, and what could be done to encourage their implementation? The livestock industry is responsible for around 14.5 % of global greenhouse gas emissions. The magnitude of this percentage is due to the emission of large amounts of methane and nitrous oxide, which both result in greater global warming than carbon dioxide per gram of gas released. The main cause of livestock methane emissions is the digestive process in ruminants, such as cattle and sheep. In these animals, food is fermented, generating methane which is burped out. Nitrous oxide is generated through the application of fertilisers for animal feed production. This is also the case with crops grown for human consumption, but, as most of the energy stored in crops is lost when they are fed to animals, emissions due to fertilisers are much greater per calorie of animal produce than of plant produce. Both gases are produced by the storage of manure and its application as a fertiliser. In addition, carbon dioxide is emitted through burning fossil fuels for purposes such as fertiliser production, operation of farm machinery and transport of goods.

The European Cloud initiative

07-02-2017

The economic prospects of cloud computing and the data-driven economy are very promising. However, fragmentation, differences in data policies, scarce incentives, interoperability problems and lack of high-capacity data infrastructure, among other challenges, are slowing down its development in Europe. A European Parliament own-initiative report reflecting on the European Commission's European Cloud initiative is on the agenda of the February II plenary session.

The economic prospects of cloud computing and the data-driven economy are very promising. However, fragmentation, differences in data policies, scarce incentives, interoperability problems and lack of high-capacity data infrastructure, among other challenges, are slowing down its development in Europe. A European Parliament own-initiative report reflecting on the European Commission's European Cloud initiative is on the agenda of the February II plenary session.

European space policy: Historical perspective, specific aspects and key challenges

30-01-2017

Space has been a cooperative endeavour in Europe for over 50 years. The first collaborative structures between the Member States in the 1960s led to the establishment of the European Space Agency (ESA) in 1975. The European Union began to be involved in the field in the 1990s, especially through the design of EU space programmes – Galileo for satellite navigation and Copernicus for earth observation – implemented in cooperation with ESA. European space policy is defined and implemented by the EU, ...

Space has been a cooperative endeavour in Europe for over 50 years. The first collaborative structures between the Member States in the 1960s led to the establishment of the European Space Agency (ESA) in 1975. The European Union began to be involved in the field in the 1990s, especially through the design of EU space programmes – Galileo for satellite navigation and Copernicus for earth observation – implemented in cooperation with ESA. European space policy is defined and implemented by the EU, ESA and their member states. This diversity offers some flexibility, but also creates fragmentation, leading to inefficiency in areas such as the implementation of EU programmes or the development of international relations. New developments, including the role of private actors in the field and the growing importance of security and defence aspects also challenge current European space policy governance.

What if computers were trillions of times faster?

17-01-2017

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: A Rolling Check-List of Commitments to Date (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.

Upcoming events

27-02-2017
The state and development of the biomass of fish stocks managed by the CFP
Hearing -
PECH
28-02-2017
The Third Reform of the Common European Asylum System - Up for the Challenge
Other event -
LIBE
28-02-2017
Workshop on the consequences of Brexit
Workshop -
IMCO

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