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Adapting to new digital realities: Main issues and policy responses

19-04-2018

Digital technologies have changed the way we live and transformed the world around us at unprecedented speed. They have affected all important aspects of life, both at work and at home, and have influenced almost everything from human relations to the economy, to the extent that access to the internet has now become a basic human right recognised by the United Nations. This profound change presents both opportunities and threats to our society. Citizens need specific skills and access to be able ...

Digital technologies have changed the way we live and transformed the world around us at unprecedented speed. They have affected all important aspects of life, both at work and at home, and have influenced almost everything from human relations to the economy, to the extent that access to the internet has now become a basic human right recognised by the United Nations. This profound change presents both opportunities and threats to our society. Citizens need specific skills and access to be able to meaningfully take part in society and work. European businesses need an adequate policy framework and infrastructure to capture the enormous value created by the digital economy. Supporting innovation, removing barriers in the digital single market, and effectively managing and using data are the necessary tools to assist them and boost economic growth in Europe. The European Union takes an active part in shaping the digital economy and society, with cross policy initiatives that range from boosting investment, through reforms of copyright and e privacy, to removal of geo-blocking and development of e-government. This multifaceted approach is necessary to facilitate adaptation to complex new realities. The European Parliament, as co legislator, is involved in shaping the policy framework which will help citizens and businesses fully utilise the potential of digital technologies.

Should we fear artificial intelligence?

26-03-2018

For better or worse, artificial intelligence (AI) is predicted to have a huge impact on the future of humanity. As new promises and concerns reach increasingly mainstream audiences, the debate is starting to capture the public imagination. In this publication, we present four opinion pieces, each responding to the question should we fear AI? The four authors come from different disciplinary backgrounds and present diverging perspectives on whether we should fear the future of AI, and how we should ...

For better or worse, artificial intelligence (AI) is predicted to have a huge impact on the future of humanity. As new promises and concerns reach increasingly mainstream audiences, the debate is starting to capture the public imagination. In this publication, we present four opinion pieces, each responding to the question should we fear AI? The four authors come from different disciplinary backgrounds and present diverging perspectives on whether we should fear the future of AI, and how we should proceed with its development.

Autor externo

EPRS, DG; Peter J. Bentley, University College London Miles Brundage, University of Oxford Olle Häggström, Chalmers University Thomas Metzinger, Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz With a foreword by María Teresa Giménez Barbat, MEP and an introduction by Philip Boucher, Scientific Foresight Unit (STOA)

The UK's Potential Withdrawal from the EU and Single Market Access under EU Financial Services Legislation

15-03-2018

This note, prepared by Policy Department A for the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, summarises the main points presented by the study on “The UK’s Potential Withdrawal from the EU and Single Market Access under EU Financial Services Legislation”.

This note, prepared by Policy Department A for the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, summarises the main points presented by the study on “The UK’s Potential Withdrawal from the EU and Single Market Access under EU Financial Services Legislation”.

IMO’s challenges on the route to decarbonising international shipping Key Issues at Stake at the 72nd Session of the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 72)

15-03-2018

Despite efficiency improvements, CO2 emissions from international shipping are projected to be two to five times higher in 2050 than in 1990. At the Paris climate conference, countries agreed to limit climate change to well below 2°C. Without considerable contributions of the shipping sector to global mitigation efforts this goal will be much harder to achieve. The main issue at stake at MEPC 72 is the comprehensive IMO Strategy on the reduction of GHG emissions from ships. MEPC 72 will be preceded ...

Despite efficiency improvements, CO2 emissions from international shipping are projected to be two to five times higher in 2050 than in 1990. At the Paris climate conference, countries agreed to limit climate change to well below 2°C. Without considerable contributions of the shipping sector to global mitigation efforts this goal will be much harder to achieve. The main issue at stake at MEPC 72 is the comprehensive IMO Strategy on the reduction of GHG emissions from ships. MEPC 72 will be preceded by a weeklong meeting of the GHG Working Group that will discuss issues relating to this Strategy with the view to adopt the Initial Strategy at MEPC 72.

Autor externo

Jakob Graichen, Martin Cames, Vanessa Cook

Overcoming innovation gaps in the EU-13 Member States

14-03-2018

Investing in research is considered essential for achieving smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and jobs in Europe. The EU Framework Programme for research and innovation is the EU’s primary instrument for building the European Research Area. Framework Programmes are expected to produce European added value: therefore the principle of juste retour does not apply. Research needs to be of the highest quality, produced in international collaboration and selected on a competitive basis. Under such ...

Investing in research is considered essential for achieving smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and jobs in Europe. The EU Framework Programme for research and innovation is the EU’s primary instrument for building the European Research Area. Framework Programmes are expected to produce European added value: therefore the principle of juste retour does not apply. Research needs to be of the highest quality, produced in international collaboration and selected on a competitive basis. Under such conditions, uneven participation is unavoidable. However, Framework Programme participation appears to be disproportionately weak for an entire region of the EU. After almost 20 years of access to the opportunities of the FPs, the EU-13 still lags behind the EU-15. The aim of this study is to explore, identify and enlighten reasons for the low participation and success rate of EU-13 countries, in order to improve their future performance in Horizon 2020 and in future Framework Programmes.

Autor externo

EPRS, DG

The long-term EU budget [What Think Tanks are thinking]

09-03-2018

European Union leaders agreed at their informal meeting on 23 February that the EU should spend more after 2020 on curbing illegal migration, on defence and security, and on the Erasmus+ student-exchange programme. The summit marked a preparatory stage in negotiations on the EU's next long-term budget, known as the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), which will span a period of five or seven years, starting in January 2021. There was no agreement on how to plug the hole in the budget resulting ...

European Union leaders agreed at their informal meeting on 23 February that the EU should spend more after 2020 on curbing illegal migration, on defence and security, and on the Erasmus+ student-exchange programme. The summit marked a preparatory stage in negotiations on the EU's next long-term budget, known as the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), which will span a period of five or seven years, starting in January 2021. There was no agreement on how to plug the hole in the budget resulting from the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the EU in 2019. Some net-paying countries argued that EU spending should remain at the current level of approximately 1 % of EU gross national income, despite new priorities. That could mean cuts in funding available for cohesion and agricultural policies. Another dispute concerned the possibility of linking the receipt of EU funds to respect of EU fundamental values. The Commission is due to make a detailed post-2020 MFF proposal in May 2018. This note offers links to a selection of recent commentaries, studies and reports from some of the major international think tanks and research institutes, which discuss the EU's long-term budget and related reforms. It updates a previous edition published in January 2018.

What if all technologies were inherently social?

02-03-2018

How technology has shaped society and how future technologies might affect it in the years to come are subjects for frequent debate. It can be tempting in this context to think of technologies as neutral 'things' that can be used for good or bad depending on the user's intentions and skills. But what if technologies were social objects that reflected and reinforced human activities or even political values? In fact, while mechanisms, effects and implications remain open to debate, experts on the ...

How technology has shaped society and how future technologies might affect it in the years to come are subjects for frequent debate. It can be tempting in this context to think of technologies as neutral 'things' that can be used for good or bad depending on the user's intentions and skills. But what if technologies were social objects that reflected and reinforced human activities or even political values? In fact, while mechanisms, effects and implications remain open to debate, experts on the relationship between technology and society broadly agree that technologies are indeed social in this way. By scripting, restricting and enabling different human behaviours, technologies can influence our lives in much the same way that policy programmes do. A number of key ideas have emerged from this field over the last five decades, with various implications for European policy-making.

The impact of the Common Agricultural Policy on developing countries

22-02-2018

Being the biggest world agri-food importer and exporter, the European Union plays an important role in international agricultural markets. The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) has considerable influence on international agri-food market. With the CAP 2014-2020, the distortive effect of the policy have been dramatically reduced. However, voluntary coupled support are a matter of concern. Following the 20142020 CAP, Member States may grant voluntary coupled support (VCS) to specific sectors undergoing ...

Being the biggest world agri-food importer and exporter, the European Union plays an important role in international agricultural markets. The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) has considerable influence on international agri-food market. With the CAP 2014-2020, the distortive effect of the policy have been dramatically reduced. However, voluntary coupled support are a matter of concern. Following the 20142020 CAP, Member States may grant voluntary coupled support (VCS) to specific sectors undergoing difficulties. All Member States expects Germany have opted to apply VCs in some sectors and this generated market distortions both in the internal and in the international marketplace. Another feature of the 2014-2020 CAP is its competitive -oriented approach. Increased competition can boost agricultural development of non -EU countries but can also imply risks for sustainable development and food security. Growing demand supported by the CAP can also have a negative environmental impact. Therefore there are concerns about the coherence of the CAP support with environmental and climate objectives. Although the 2014-2020 CAP made progress towards ensuring policy coherence, more has to be made in the future CAP reform, particularly with reference to international commitment on climate change. Market distorting effects of some CAP instruments shall also be reconsidered.

Autor externo

Maria BLANCO, Professor Agricultural Economics, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain

Single Digital Gateway: how EU could meet expectations of citizens and businesses?

15-02-2018

Autor externo

Dr. Charlotte Duke

An economic recovery with little sign of inflation acceleration: A transitory phenomenon or evidence of a structural change?

15-02-2018

This paper investigates the possibility that there has been a structural shift in inflation (upward) in the euro area since the recovery in 2014 or 2015. From the perspective of policy, it is important to be sure that any such shifts are significant statistically, sustained or likely to be sustained (durable) over the near future, and are evenly distributed over the member economies so that no one of them is damaged by anti-inflation measures taken to help the others. We approach the problem in two ...

This paper investigates the possibility that there has been a structural shift in inflation (upward) in the euro area since the recovery in 2014 or 2015. From the perspective of policy, it is important to be sure that any such shifts are significant statistically, sustained or likely to be sustained (durable) over the near future, and are evenly distributed over the member economies so that no one of them is damaged by anti-inflation measures taken to help the others. We approach the problem in two steps: we first examine the circumstantial and informal evidence, and then conduct formal statistical tests for structural changes in euro area inflation in 2015 or 2016. We find no evidence of a structural change under the four criteria mentioned. The even distribution of inflation criterion is the closest to being satisfied, but the other three are far from satisfied in any formal sense. There was a brief acceleration in inflation in mid-2016 towards 2%, but it flattened out in 2017 and has been constant at 1.5% ever since. Core inflation was constant at 0.9% throughout. The question is why has there been no inflation in the recovery and how long is that likely to last? In a third step, we explain how low growth in real wages and self-reinforcing low productivity growth produces slow output growth and low inflation. This model fits the data pretty well, down to the lack of labour and total factor productivity and to substituting cheaper labour for excess capital stock. It implies a fall in investment spending (also seen in the data) which in turn extends the period for which low productivity-low inflation outcomes apply.

Autor externo

Andrew HUGHES HALLETT

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