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EU policies – Delivering for citizens: The fight against terrorism

28-06-2019

Faced with a growing international terrorist threat, the European Union (EU) is playing an ever more ambitious role in counter-terrorism. Even though primary responsibility for combating crime and ensuring security lies with the Member States, the EU provides cooperation, coordination and (to some extent) harmonisation tools, as well as financial support, to address this borderless phenomenon. Moreover, the assumption that there is a connection between development and stability, as well as between ...

Faced with a growing international terrorist threat, the European Union (EU) is playing an ever more ambitious role in counter-terrorism. Even though primary responsibility for combating crime and ensuring security lies with the Member States, the EU provides cooperation, coordination and (to some extent) harmonisation tools, as well as financial support, to address this borderless phenomenon. Moreover, the assumption that there is a connection between development and stability, as well as between internal and external security, has come to shape EU action beyond its own borders. EU spending in the area of counter-terrorism has increased over the years and is set to grow in the future, to allow for better cooperation between national law enforcement authorities and enhanced support by the EU bodies in charge of security, such as Europol and eu-LISA. Financing for cooperation with third countries has also increased, including through the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace. The many new rules and instruments that have been adopted since 2014 range from harmonising definitions of terrorist offences and sanctions, and sharing information and data, to protecting borders, countering terrorist financing, and regulating firearms. To evaluate the efficiency of the existing tools and identify gaps and possible ways forward, the European Parliament set up a Special Committee on Terrorism (TERR), which delivered its report in November 2018. TERR made extensive recommendations for immediate or longer term actions aiming to prevent terrorism, combat its root causes, protect EU citizens and assist victims in the best possible way. In line with these recommendations, future EU counterterrorism action will most probably focus on addressing existing and new threats, countering radicalisation – including by preventing the spread of terrorist propaganda online – and enhancing the resilience of critical infrastructure. Foreseeable developments also include increased information sharing, with planned interoperability between EU security- and border-related databases, as well as investigation and prosecution of terrorist crimes at EU level, through the proposed extension of the mandate of the recently established European Public Prosecutor's Office. This is an update of an earlier briefing issued in advance of the 2019 European elections.

The new European cybersecurity competence centre and network

16-04-2019

On 13 September 2017, the Commission adopted a cybersecurity package containing a series of initiatives to further improve EU cyber-resilience, deterrence and defence. A year later, the Commission presented a proposal for the creation of a European cybersecurity competence centre with a related network of national coordination centres. The initiative aims to improve and strengthen the EU's cybersecurity capacity, by stimulating the European technological and industrial cybersecurity ecosystem as ...

On 13 September 2017, the Commission adopted a cybersecurity package containing a series of initiatives to further improve EU cyber-resilience, deterrence and defence. A year later, the Commission presented a proposal for the creation of a European cybersecurity competence centre with a related network of national coordination centres. The initiative aims to improve and strengthen the EU's cybersecurity capacity, by stimulating the European technological and industrial cybersecurity ecosystem as well as coordinating and pooling necessary resources in Europe. The competence centre is supposed to become the main body that would manage EU financial resources dedicated to cybersecurity research under the two proposed programmes – Digital Europe and Horizon Europe – within the next multiannual financial framework, for 2021-2027. Within the European Parliament, the file was assigned to the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE). The report was adopted on 19 February 2019 in ITRE committee and voted by Parliament during the March I 2019 plenary. Although trilogue negotiations took place in March 2019, given the short timeframe until the end of the term no agreement could be reached. It is thus expected that Parliament will confirm its position at first reading during the April II plenary.

Plenary round-up – Strasbourg, March I 2019

15-03-2019

Highlights of the March I plenary session included debates on Brexit, preparation of the European Council meeting of 21-22 March 2019, and the latest debate on the Future of Europe, with Peter Pellegrini, Slovakia's Prime Minister. Parliament also held debates on a proposed European human rights violations sanctions regime; the situation in Venezuela and Nicaragua; opening EU-US trade negotiations; climate change; gender balance in nominations to EU economic and monetary affairs bodies; and on the ...

Highlights of the March I plenary session included debates on Brexit, preparation of the European Council meeting of 21-22 March 2019, and the latest debate on the Future of Europe, with Peter Pellegrini, Slovakia's Prime Minister. Parliament also held debates on a proposed European human rights violations sanctions regime; the situation in Venezuela and Nicaragua; opening EU-US trade negotiations; climate change; gender balance in nominations to EU economic and monetary affairs bodies; and on the urgency to establish an EU blacklist of third countries with weak regimes on anti-money-laundering and countering terrorist financing. Finally, Parliament adopted first-reading positions on three further proposed funding programmes for the 2021-2027 period. A number of Brexit-preparedness measures were also adopted.

Artificial Intelligence ante portas: Legal & ethical reflections

14-03-2019

This briefing provides accessible introductions to some of the major legal, regulatory and ethical debates surrounding the deployment and use of AI systems. It focuses on the challenges that the sui generis features of AI may pose on the current legal framework and argues that as AI systems become more autonomous, a doctrinal paradigm swift may be needed. Given the foreseeable pervasiveness of AI, the briefing poses the question about how this new technology should be defined and classified in legal ...

This briefing provides accessible introductions to some of the major legal, regulatory and ethical debates surrounding the deployment and use of AI systems. It focuses on the challenges that the sui generis features of AI may pose on the current legal framework and argues that as AI systems become more autonomous, a doctrinal paradigm swift may be needed. Given the foreseeable pervasiveness of AI, the briefing poses the question about how this new technology should be defined and classified in legal and ethical terms. By providing an analysis of the key legal initiatives in this field in Europe, the briefing aims to equip the reader with the understanding they need to engage in clear-headed reflection about AI’s legal and socio-ethical challenges, and meaningful debates about how the current EU acquis may need to be adjusted to the new technological realities.

L'ENISA e il nuovo regolamento UE sulla cibersicurezza

06-03-2019

La Commissione europea ha proposto di migliorare la resilienza e la risposta dell'UE agli attacchi informatici, tramite un mandato permanente e un ruolo rafforzato per l'Agenzia dell'Unione europea per la sicurezza delle reti e dell'informazione (ENISA), l'agenzia dell'UE per la cibersicurezza. La Commissione prevede, inoltre, la creazione del primo quadro di certificazione della cibersicurezza a livello dell'UE per i prodotti e i servizi TIC, nel cui ambito l'ENISA svolgerà un ruolo importante. ...

La Commissione europea ha proposto di migliorare la resilienza e la risposta dell'UE agli attacchi informatici, tramite un mandato permanente e un ruolo rafforzato per l'Agenzia dell'Unione europea per la sicurezza delle reti e dell'informazione (ENISA), l'agenzia dell'UE per la cibersicurezza. La Commissione prevede, inoltre, la creazione del primo quadro di certificazione della cibersicurezza a livello dell'UE per i prodotti e i servizi TIC, nel cui ambito l'ENISA svolgerà un ruolo importante. La commissione per l'industria, la ricerca e l'energia (ITRE) del Parlamento europeo ha approvato la sua relazione il 10 luglio 2018, nonché un mandato per avviare negoziati interistituzionali. Il Consiglio ha approvato il relativo mandato l'8 giugno 2018. Nel corso del quinto trilogo del 10 dicembre 2018 è stato raggiunto un accordo, che dovrebbe essere votato dal Parlamento in Aula a marzo.

Establishing a cybersecurity competence centre and a network of national coordination centres

19-02-2019

The Commission describes logically the significance of cyberdefence and the potential for improvement in this field for the EU. However, the impact assessment accompanying the proposal does not appear to have fully followed the requirements of the better regulation guidelines particularly as no open public consultation was conducted. The impact assessment presents a limited range of options as a result of a number of parameters that were pre-set from the outset and which could have constrained the ...

The Commission describes logically the significance of cyberdefence and the potential for improvement in this field for the EU. However, the impact assessment accompanying the proposal does not appear to have fully followed the requirements of the better regulation guidelines particularly as no open public consultation was conducted. The impact assessment presents a limited range of options as a result of a number of parameters that were pre-set from the outset and which could have constrained the scope of the impact assessment.

Fintech (financial technology) and the European Union: State of play and outlook

12-02-2019

The financial technology (fintech) sector encompasses firms that use technology-based systems either to provide financial services and products directly, or to make the financial system more efficient. Fintech is a rapidly growing sector: in the first half of 2018, investment in fintech companies in Europe alone reached US$26 billion. The fintech sector brings rewards including innovation and job creation, but also challenges, such as data and consumer protection issues, and the risk of exacerbating ...

The financial technology (fintech) sector encompasses firms that use technology-based systems either to provide financial services and products directly, or to make the financial system more efficient. Fintech is a rapidly growing sector: in the first half of 2018, investment in fintech companies in Europe alone reached US$26 billion. The fintech sector brings rewards including innovation and job creation, but also challenges, such as data and consumer protection issues, and the risk of exacerbating financial volatility or cybercrime. To tackle these multi-disciplinary challenges, policy- and lawmakers in the European Union (EU) have adopted and announced several initiatives, for instance on intra-EU payment services, data protection, crowdfunding and regulatory sandboxes. This briefing outlines current and upcoming fintech-related laws at EU level. It follows on from a March 2017 EPRS briefing that focused, inter alia, on the evolution, scope and economic prospects of fintech.

Digital Europe programme: Funding digital transformation beyond 2020

11-02-2019

In the framework of the next long-term EU budget for 2021-2027, the Commission is proposing a new, €9.2 billion programme to build up digital capacity and infrastructure and support a digital single market. It will operate mainly through coordinated and strategic co-investments with the Member States in the areas of advanced computing and data, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity, their uptake and optimal use in the private and public sectors and boosting advanced digital skills. The programme ...

In the framework of the next long-term EU budget for 2021-2027, the Commission is proposing a new, €9.2 billion programme to build up digital capacity and infrastructure and support a digital single market. It will operate mainly through coordinated and strategic co-investments with the Member States in the areas of advanced computing and data, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity, their uptake and optimal use in the private and public sectors and boosting advanced digital skills. The programme aims to help European societies and businesses to make the most of the ongoing digital transformation. The Commission sees the potential for efficiency gains in exploring complementarities and synergies with other planned programmes such as Horizon Europe, the Connecting Europe Facility and the European Regional Development and Cohesion Funds. The European Parliament adopted amendments on 13 December 2018 and referred the file back to the ITRE committee for interinstitutional negotiations. The Council reached a partial general approach, which excludes budgetary and horizontal issues, in December 2018. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Situation of fundamental rights in the EU in 2017

10-01-2019

2017 was a year during which the EU saw both progress and setbacks in fundamental rights protection. For example, while the adoption of the European Pillar of Social Rights was a further step towards more equality, setbacks were encountered in the area of the independence of the judiciary, the work of civil society organisations and women’s rights. The Commission, the EU Fundamental Rights Agency and the Parliament regularly monitor the situation of fundamental rights in the EU. A LIBE committee ...

2017 was a year during which the EU saw both progress and setbacks in fundamental rights protection. For example, while the adoption of the European Pillar of Social Rights was a further step towards more equality, setbacks were encountered in the area of the independence of the judiciary, the work of civil society organisations and women’s rights. The Commission, the EU Fundamental Rights Agency and the Parliament regularly monitor the situation of fundamental rights in the EU. A LIBE committee report on the situation of fundamental rights in 2017 is scheduled for debate in plenary during January.

Computational propaganda techniques

18-10-2018

The techniques used by anti-democratic state and non-state actors to disrupt or influence democratic processes are constantly evolving. The use of algorithms, automation and artificial intelligence is boosting the scope and the efficiency of disinformation campaigns and related cyber-activities. In response, the EU is stepping up its efforts to protect its democratic processes from manipulation ahead of the European elections in May 2019.

The techniques used by anti-democratic state and non-state actors to disrupt or influence democratic processes are constantly evolving. The use of algorithms, automation and artificial intelligence is boosting the scope and the efficiency of disinformation campaigns and related cyber-activities. In response, the EU is stepping up its efforts to protect its democratic processes from manipulation ahead of the European elections in May 2019.

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