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Policy analysis examines and assesses problems to determine possible courses for policy action (policy options). In highly complex or controversial contexts, evidence-based policy options might not be socially acceptable. Here, policy analysis can benefit from a foresight-based approach, which helps investigate the issue holistically and assess considered evidence-based policy options against societal concerns. This is especially important in a parliamentary setting, as it enables analysts to consider ...

Technological development has long been considered as a disruptive force, provoking change at many levels, from the routine daily activities of individuals to dramatic competition between global superpowers. This analysis examines disruption caused by technologies in a series of key areas of politics, economics and society. It focuses on seven fields: the economic system, the military and defence, democratic debates and the 'infosphere', social norms, values and identities, international relations ...

Artificial intelligence (AI) is probably the defining technology of the last decade, and perhaps also the next. The aim of this report is to support meaningful reflection and productive debate about AI by providing accessible information about the full range of current and speculative techniques and their associated impacts, and setting out a wide range of regulatory, technological and societal measures that could be mobilised in response.

American Starlink project aims to bring high speed internet access across the globe by 2021. It’s certainly a mission in the sky! But how will Elon Musk’s plans to deploy this mega constellation of satellites impact on European citizens?

What if blockchain revolutionised voting? What if your emotions were tracked to spy on you? And what if we genetically engineered an entire species? Science and policy are intricately connected. Via monthly 'What if' publications, the Scientific Foresight Unit (STOA; part of the European Parliamentary Research Service) draws Members of the European Parliament's attention to new scientific and technological developments relevant for policy-making. The unit also provides administrative support to the ...

This briefing explains why AI matters by reviewing some of the key opportunities and challenges it presents, but it does so with reference to the functionality and readiness of the technology. The first section focuses on the opportunities and challenges presented by today’s AI while the second explores longer-term speculative opportunities and challenges that are contingent upon future developments that may never happen.

Recent reports of celebrity singer, Taylor Swift, deploying facial recognition technology to spot stalkers at her concerts raised many eyebrows. What started out as a tool to unlock your smartphone or tag photos for you on social media is surreptitiously becoming a means of monitoring people in their daily lives without their consent. What impact and implications are facial recognition technology applications likely to have, and what can be done to ensure the fair engagement of this technology with ...

This study explains the background necessary for understanding of the Global Satellite Navigation System (GNSS) working principles and the importance of GNSS in our daily life and work. It highlights the specific socio-economic and strategic advantages enabled by the European satellite navigation system ‘Galileo’. It also identifies some of the gaps and challenges towards Galileo’s final operational capability expected in 2021. The study proposes different policy options in order to maximise the ...

This report is the result of a study conducted by the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) for the European Parliament’s Science and Technology Options Assessment (STOA) Panel with the aim of identifying risks, challenges and opportunities for cyber-defence in the context of the EU Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). Acceptance of cyber as an independent domain calls for the investigation of its integration with the EU’s current and future policies and capabilities ...

This Final Study on 'Civilian and Military Air Traffic Control in the EU' presents, on the one side, a factual assessment of Air Traffic Control (ATC) performance in the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) area and, on the other side, introduces a strong, transparent and independent performance review and target setting system of regulations and technical aspects to facilitate more effective management of the European Air Traffic Management (ATM) system.