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Statute for Social and Solidarity-based Enterprises

06-12-2017

Social enterprises combine societal goals with entrepreneurial spirit. These organisations focus on achieving wider social, environmental or community objectives. There is currently no specific European legal framework to help social enterprises to benefit from the internal market. Against this background, this European added value assessment identifies the challenges in the existing national legal frameworks regarding social enterprises. It argues that action at EU level would generate economic ...

Social enterprises combine societal goals with entrepreneurial spirit. These organisations focus on achieving wider social, environmental or community objectives. There is currently no specific European legal framework to help social enterprises to benefit from the internal market. Against this background, this European added value assessment identifies the challenges in the existing national legal frameworks regarding social enterprises. It argues that action at EU level would generate economic and social added value. Moreover, it outlines potential legislative measures that could be taken at EU level, and that could generate European added value through simplification and a coordinated approach in this area.

Research for REGI Committee - Integrated use of ESI funds to address social challenges

14-07-2017

The study aims to analyse the implementation of integrated approaches under the ESI Funds in addressing challenges related to social inclusion, including integration of migrants and refugees. Programme logic of intervention, combinations of thematic objectives, synergies with other EC policy instruments and the use of integrated tools are analysed for a set of programmes. Conclusions and recommendations are provided for the 2014-2020 and the next programming period.

The study aims to analyse the implementation of integrated approaches under the ESI Funds in addressing challenges related to social inclusion, including integration of migrants and refugees. Programme logic of intervention, combinations of thematic objectives, synergies with other EC policy instruments and the use of integrated tools are analysed for a set of programmes. Conclusions and recommendations are provided for the 2014-2020 and the next programming period.

Údar seachtarach

François LEVARLET, Nicola BRIGNANI, Andrea GRAMILLANO; Tamam Sarl: Armelle LEDAN PRADE; EureConsult: Thomas STUMM; Nordregio: Lisbeth GREVE HARBO

Empowerment of national competition authorities

13-07-2017

The IA consistently emphasises the benefits of effective enforcement of EU competition law throughout the EU and assesses the contribution of the screened policy options to the general and specific objectives of the proposal. Its strengths lie in the solid expertise, based on internal and external research, its clear structure and its overall coherence. The analysis of the problems and their causes, and of the objectives, is comprehensive and concise. However, despite a clear attempt to comply with ...

The IA consistently emphasises the benefits of effective enforcement of EU competition law throughout the EU and assesses the contribution of the screened policy options to the general and specific objectives of the proposal. Its strengths lie in the solid expertise, based on internal and external research, its clear structure and its overall coherence. The analysis of the problems and their causes, and of the objectives, is comprehensive and concise. However, despite a clear attempt to comply with the BR guidelines, there are some weaknesses. These include the limited quantification of costs and benefits, the rather limited range of policy options – considering that option 1 and 2 are identified from the start as being ineffective – and the limited assessment of the options, except for option 3, which appears to have been identified very early in the process as the preferred option. Finally, the IA does not develop any operational objectives for the preferred option. Consequently, the proposed core indicators relate to the specific objectives, which, in this case, are rather general. This might imply some challenges for the monitoring, measuring and evaluation of the implementation of the provisions in the future.

Measuring social impact in the EU

16-05-2017

Austerity measures in the wake of the financial crisis, coupled with fragile economic growth, have triggered a shift in the focus of EU policy-makers towards deepening the economic and monetary union and achieving greater social convergence across Member States. In addition, due to growing inequalities and changing labour markets, discussions on investing in human capital have also come to the fore. In this context, it has become all the more important to understand and assess the social impact of ...

Austerity measures in the wake of the financial crisis, coupled with fragile economic growth, have triggered a shift in the focus of EU policy-makers towards deepening the economic and monetary union and achieving greater social convergence across Member States. In addition, due to growing inequalities and changing labour markets, discussions on investing in human capital have also come to the fore. In this context, it has become all the more important to understand and assess the social impact of policies and investments. Moreover, both public and private investors want to gain a better understanding of the social outcomes that are achieved by their investments. There is no clear consensual definition of the concept of social impact: while the social sciences look at the impact of policies and programmes, often in terms of social progress, social investors tend to look for the non-financial (that is, social and environmental) returns on their investments, which they tend to quantify and/or express in monetary terms, if possible. Metrics and methodologies to carry out the measurement of social impact are numerous but incoherent. The European Commission and European Parliament have their own mechanisms for impact assessment, in which they also assess social impact. In addition, several initiatives aim at measuring the social dimension of growth beyond GDP, arguing that GDP in itself does not hold enough information on social progress. The third sector has developed several methodologies to measure social impact as well, due to its interest in investing in social causes. Unlike outputs, it is often difficult to quantify outcomes and impacts. Moreover, it is debated whether quantification, no matter how comprehensive it is, can express the intricate nature of the issues at hand. Finally, developing a coherent framework that would help to effectively link strategic thinking with policy-making and policy implementation, including investment, remains a policy challenge.

The future of work in the EU

24-04-2017

Economic and technical changes are redrawing the map of the world of work: new jobs are appearing while others are becoming obsolete, and atypical work patterns are replacing full-time work and open-ended contracts. In addition, work is increasingly being carried out on online platforms connecting buyers and sellers, or by large project teams across borders and time zones. Robotics and digitalisation raise new questions, as machines are progressively replacing the human workforce for routine tasks ...

Economic and technical changes are redrawing the map of the world of work: new jobs are appearing while others are becoming obsolete, and atypical work patterns are replacing full-time work and open-ended contracts. In addition, work is increasingly being carried out on online platforms connecting buyers and sellers, or by large project teams across borders and time zones. Robotics and digitalisation raise new questions, as machines are progressively replacing the human workforce for routine tasks, and as new types of professional and personal skills are required to respond to technological progress. Active labour-market policies are needed to cater for the changing reality in the world of work. This concerns social security systems, which must adapt to new, constantly changing, requirements, unresolved ethical and practical problems relating to robotics, and the need for new digital skills, which are essential to survive in the new working environment.

Energy performance of buildings

28-02-2017

The IA appears to provide a thorough analysis of the current situation and of the likely impacts of the proposed options, based on sound and comprehensive research. The Commission explains the models used for the analysis and is open about the key assumptions. The IA relies largely on the wide stakeholder consultation activities carried out for the ex post evaluation of the EPBD (published on the same day as the IA). However, generally speaking, the information on stakeholders' views in the IA could ...

The IA appears to provide a thorough analysis of the current situation and of the likely impacts of the proposed options, based on sound and comprehensive research. The Commission explains the models used for the analysis and is open about the key assumptions. The IA relies largely on the wide stakeholder consultation activities carried out for the ex post evaluation of the EPBD (published on the same day as the IA). However, generally speaking, the information on stakeholders' views in the IA could have been more precise; the stakeholder support for each option is not readily apparent from the IA.

Fostering social innovation in the European Union

17-01-2017

Strengthening the social dimensions of European Union policies, in general, and of the economic and monetary union, in particular is an increasingly important discourse across the Member States, particularly since the 2008 financial crisis. Social innovation, which is gaining increasing importance in the public, private and third (i.e. voluntary, non-profit) sectors, can greatly contribute to addressing the growing challenges, such as migration, poverty and global warming. The European Union particularly ...

Strengthening the social dimensions of European Union policies, in general, and of the economic and monetary union, in particular is an increasingly important discourse across the Member States, particularly since the 2008 financial crisis. Social innovation, which is gaining increasing importance in the public, private and third (i.e. voluntary, non-profit) sectors, can greatly contribute to addressing the growing challenges, such as migration, poverty and global warming. The European Union particularly promotes social innovation through employment and social policies as well as policies on the single market. The main initiatives explicitly target the governance and funding mechanism of social innovation, including its regulatory environment, powering public-sector innovation, the social economy, as well as providing policy guidance and fostering new policy practices. Due to the complexity of the concept and ecosystem of social innovation and its very diverse contexts in the Member States, European Union policies have varied impact: regulations can have controversial effects in terms of visibility of initiatives, and many organisations still cannot access sufficient funding. To make these initiatives more effective it is important to know more about the impact of social innovation, including its social and environmental value and the importance of these for the economy. Please click here for the full publication in PDF format

Gender Equality in Trade Agreements

28-11-2016

Trade policies have different impacts on different groups of women and men. Carefully assessing the likely gender implications of specific trade agreements is therefore essential to ensure that both women and men benefit from the gains from liberalisation and are adequately protected from its negative effects. This study, commissioned by the European Parliament Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs upon request by the FEMM Committee, reviews evidence and makes recommendations ...

Trade policies have different impacts on different groups of women and men. Carefully assessing the likely gender implications of specific trade agreements is therefore essential to ensure that both women and men benefit from the gains from liberalisation and are adequately protected from its negative effects. This study, commissioned by the European Parliament Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs upon request by the FEMM Committee, reviews evidence and makes recommendations on how to ensure that new trade agreements such as CETA, TTIP and TiSA take gender equality objectives more fully into account.

Vulnerable social groups: Before and after the crisis

11-07-2016

'Vulnerable social groups' are groups of people considered to be at risk of poverty or social exclusion because of physical disabilities, age factors, ethnic origins, lack of housing, or substance abuse. These people, who were already struggling with financial, social and employment difficulties before the 2008 economic crisis, have become further disadvantaged, and the gap between them and the rest of society has grown even wider. Three subgroups stand out as being most affected by the European ...

'Vulnerable social groups' are groups of people considered to be at risk of poverty or social exclusion because of physical disabilities, age factors, ethnic origins, lack of housing, or substance abuse. These people, who were already struggling with financial, social and employment difficulties before the 2008 economic crisis, have become further disadvantaged, and the gap between them and the rest of society has grown even wider. Three subgroups stand out as being most affected by the European economic and financial crisis. The number of people experiencing in-work poverty is rising, with economic constraints forcing them to work in increasingly precarious jobs or obliging them to accept self-employed status. Disabled people, already confronted by barriers hindering their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others, have, as a result of the crisis, lost a great deal of social, economic and mobility support and their chances of re-entering the labour market have diminished. Finally, changes in family structure mean that the number of single parents, especially single mothers, has increased in recent years. These parents struggle to achieve a work-life balance on account of their multiple obligations, and as a group they are also suffering from the effects of the crisis. The situation of vulnerable groups has been of concern to the European institutions for the last decade, from the point of view of poverty as well as of labour market participation and gender equality.

Ethical Aspects of Cyber-Physical Systems

28-06-2016

Cyber-physical systems (CPS) are intelligent robotics systems, linked with the Internet of Things, or technical systems of networked computers, robots and artificial intelligence that interact with the physical world.The project 'Ethical aspects of CPS' aims to provide insights into the potential ethical concerns and related unintended impacts of the possible evolution of CPS technology by 2050. The overarching purpose is to support the European Parliament, the parliamentary bodies, and the individual ...

Cyber-physical systems (CPS) are intelligent robotics systems, linked with the Internet of Things, or technical systems of networked computers, robots and artificial intelligence that interact with the physical world.The project 'Ethical aspects of CPS' aims to provide insights into the potential ethical concerns and related unintended impacts of the possible evolution of CPS technology by 2050. The overarching purpose is to support the European Parliament, the parliamentary bodies, and the individual Members in their anticipation of possible future concerns regarding developments in CPS, robotics and artificial intelligence.The Scientific Foresight study was conducted in three phases:1. A 'technical horizon scan', in the form of briefing papers describing the technical trends and their possible societal, ethical, economic, environmental, political/legal and demographic impacts, and this in seven application domains. 2. The 'soft impact and scenario phase', which analysed soft impacts of CPS, on the basis of the technical horizon scan, for pointing out possible future public concerns via an envisioning exercise and using exploratory scenarios.3. The 'legal backcasting' phase, which resulted in a briefing for the European Parliament identifying the legal instruments that may need to be modified or reviewed, including — where appropriate — areas identified for anticipatory parliamentary work, in accordance with the conclusions reached within the project.The outcome of the study is a policy briefing for MEPs describing legal instruments to anticipate impacts of future developments in the area of cyber-physical systems, such as intelligent robotics systems, linked with the Internet of Things. It is important to note that not all impacts of CPS are easily translated into legislation, as it is often contested whether they are in effect harmful, who is to be held accountable, and to what extent these impacts constitute a public rather than a private concern.

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