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How digital technology is easing the burden of confinement

25-05-2020

The coronavirus pandemic is bringing an unforeseen acceleration in the digital transformation of societies around the world. This is the first pandemic in history in which digital technologies are being used on a massive scale to keep people connected while in isolation, allowing them to telework, follow online courses, shop online or consult health professionals from home. As a result, internet traffic has increased substantially since confinement began. According to EU Member States' national regulators ...

The coronavirus pandemic is bringing an unforeseen acceleration in the digital transformation of societies around the world. This is the first pandemic in history in which digital technologies are being used on a massive scale to keep people connected while in isolation, allowing them to telework, follow online courses, shop online or consult health professionals from home. As a result, internet traffic has increased substantially since confinement began. According to EU Member States' national regulators, operators have so far been able to manage this surge, while also introducing many exceptional measures, such as temporarily removing broadband data caps and making extra data and free online content available. The current crisis has highlighted the importance that upgraded telecoms networks and 5G will have for societies and economies. Furthermore, now that confinement has started to ease, it is increasingly clear that digital technology will continue to play a very important longer-term role in controlling the spread of the coronavirus. The scope of contact-tracing apps is likely to expand, and teleworking, telehealth and e-learning are likely to become more prevalent than before. However, the most popular digital apps, whether for e-commerce, social media, videoconferencing or contact tracing are not of EU origin, posing concerns for the EU's digital dependency, competitive advantage and data privacy. In fact, the coronavirus crisis has further consolidated the existing dominance of 'Big Tech'. The pandemic has further exacerbated existing issues; for instance, the digital divide has broadened further and there has been a global rise in cybersecurity incidents. The EU is poised to tackle these issues, while at the same time embracing the digital transformation in our lifestyles and allowing the internet to play a critical role in defeating the virus.

The rise of e-commerce and the cashless society

19-03-2020

Sales in the EU still predominantly take place offline – in bricks and mortar shops – and purchases are still predominantly made with cash. However, thanks to the level of convenience they offer, both online shopping and cashless electronic payments are booming and are among the key drivers of the digital transformation taking place in our economy and society. The real-time accessibility of e commerce products and their availability 24 hours a day, together with the ease of making electronic payments ...

Sales in the EU still predominantly take place offline – in bricks and mortar shops – and purchases are still predominantly made with cash. However, thanks to the level of convenience they offer, both online shopping and cashless electronic payments are booming and are among the key drivers of the digital transformation taking place in our economy and society. The real-time accessibility of e commerce products and their availability 24 hours a day, together with the ease of making electronic payments, are disrupting many aspects of traditional consumer shopping behaviour, which is also increasingly driven by widespread use of mobile devices and apps. Online sales hit a record high in 2019. At the international level, China is leading in both e-commerce transactions and mobile cashless payments. However, the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis has put countries across the world, starting with China, into extraordinary conditions, with citizens staying at home; and some sellers trying to extract the highest profit possible from the situation. In the EU, a large majority of internet users, particularly those under the age of 45, shop online. Clothes, sports goods, travel and online content such as games, videos and music are among the most popular items. This trend is also driven by the increase in cashless payments, which have become very popular in some countries. The numerous different cashless payment methods in existence are often highly localised. One such example, the e-wallet, is gaining particular importance, driven by the over 2 billion users it enjoyed in 2019. On the other hand, e-commerce and the cashless society are facing a host of challenges related to cybercrime, fraud, privacy, the digital divide and pollution, among others. The coronavirus outbreak is also posing various challenges to e-commerce supply chains, many of which are based in the hardest-hit countries. However, the opportunities that e-commerce and cashless transactions afford in terms of convenience, efficiency and affordability will help them gain further ground in the years to come; their popularity among younger generations and strong EU-level policy support for digital transformation are also helping boost their prospects.

ENISA and a new cybersecurity act

05-07-2019

In September 2017, the Commission adopted a cybersecurity package with new initiatives to further improve EU cyber-resilience, deterrence and defence. As part of these, the Commission tabled a legislative proposal to strengthen the EU Agency for Network Information Security (ENISA). Following the adoption of the Network Information Security Directive in 2016, ENISA is expected to play a broader role in the EU's cybersecurity landscape but is constrained by its current mandate and resources. The Commission ...

In September 2017, the Commission adopted a cybersecurity package with new initiatives to further improve EU cyber-resilience, deterrence and defence. As part of these, the Commission tabled a legislative proposal to strengthen the EU Agency for Network Information Security (ENISA). Following the adoption of the Network Information Security Directive in 2016, ENISA is expected to play a broader role in the EU's cybersecurity landscape but is constrained by its current mandate and resources. The Commission presented an ambitious reform proposal, including a permanent mandate for the agency, to ensure that ENISA can not only provide expert advice, as has been the case until now, but can also perform operational tasks. The proposal also envisaged the creation of the first voluntary EU cybersecurity certification framework for ICT products, where ENISA will also play an important role. Within the European Parliament, the Industry, Research and Energy Committee adopted its report on 10 July 2018. An agreement was reached with the Council during the fifth trilogue meeting, on 10 December 2018. The text was adopted by the European Parliament on 12 March and by the Council on 9 April 2019. The new regulation came into force on 27 June 2019. Fourth edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Digital transformation

28-06-2019

A digital revolution is transforming the world as we know it at unprecedented speed. Digital technologies have changed the way businesses operate, how people connect and exchange information, and how they interact with the public and private sectors. European businesses and citizens alike need an adequate policy framework and appropriate skills and infrastructures to capture the enormous value created by the digital economy and make a success of digital transformation. The European Union plays an ...

A digital revolution is transforming the world as we know it at unprecedented speed. Digital technologies have changed the way businesses operate, how people connect and exchange information, and how they interact with the public and private sectors. European businesses and citizens alike need an adequate policy framework and appropriate skills and infrastructures to capture the enormous value created by the digital economy and make a success of digital transformation. The European Union plays an active role in shaping the digital economy, with cross-policy initiatives that range from boosting investment to reforming EU laws, to non-legislative actions to improve Member States' coordination and exchange of best practices. The 2014-2019 parliamentary term has seen a number of initiatives in the areas of digitalisation of industry and public services, investment in digital infrastructure and services, research programmes, cybersecurity, e-commerce, copyright and data protection legislation. There is a growing awareness among EU citizens that digital technologies play an important role in their everyday lives. In a 2017 survey, two-thirds of Europeans said that these technologies have a positive impact on society, the economy and their own lives. However, they also bring new challenges. A majority of respondents felt that the EU, Member States' authorities and companies need to take action to address the impacts of these technologies. The European Union will increase its support for digital transformation in the coming years, as illustrated by the recent proposal for the Digital Europe programme (for 2021-2027) – which would be the first ever funding programme dedicated solely to supporting digital transformation in the EU. Further EU action will doubtless be needed, notably to increase infrastructure investment, boost innovation, foster digital champions and businesses digitalisation, reduce existing digital divides, remove remaining barriers in the digital single market and ensure an adequate legal and regulatory framework in the areas of advanced computing and data, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity. The European Parliament, as co-legislator, is closely involved in shaping the policy framework that will help citizens and businesses fully exploit the potential of digital technologies. 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.

Re-use of public sector information

01-04-2019

The mid-term review of the digital single market strategy in 2017 identified the data economy as one of the top three priority areas for action in the second half of the strategy's implementation, and announced a legislative proposal to improve access to and the re-use of publicly funded data. These data, which include geographical, land registry, statistical and legal information, are needed by re-users in the digital economy, and are increasingly employed by public administrations themselves. On ...

The mid-term review of the digital single market strategy in 2017 identified the data economy as one of the top three priority areas for action in the second half of the strategy's implementation, and announced a legislative proposal to improve access to and the re-use of publicly funded data. These data, which include geographical, land registry, statistical and legal information, are needed by re-users in the digital economy, and are increasingly employed by public administrations themselves. On 25 April 2018, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a revision of the directive on the re-use of public sector information, which was presented as part of a package of measures aiming to facilitate the creation of a common data space in the EU. The directive addresses a number of issues, and presents ways to boost the potential of public sector information, including the provision of real-time access to dynamic data, the supply of high-value public data for re-use, the prevention of new forms of exclusive arrangement, and action to limit the use of exceptions to the principle of charging the marginal cost. Within the European Parliament, the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) adopted its report on 2 December 2018. An agreement was reached with the Council in trilogue on 22 January 2019, and this was approved by the ITRE committee on 19 February. The agreed text is expected to be voted by Parliament in plenary during April 2019.

ENISA and new EU Cybersecurity Act

06-03-2019

The European Commission proposed to increase EU resilience and response to cyber-attacks via a permanent mandate and an enhanced role for the EU Agency for Network Information Security (ENISA), the EU cybersecurity agency. It also envisages creating the first EU cybersecurity certification framework for ICT products and services, where ENISA will play an important role. The European Parliament's Industry, Research and Energy Committee (ITRE) adopted its report on 10 July 2018, as well as a mandate ...

The European Commission proposed to increase EU resilience and response to cyber-attacks via a permanent mandate and an enhanced role for the EU Agency for Network Information Security (ENISA), the EU cybersecurity agency. It also envisages creating the first EU cybersecurity certification framework for ICT products and services, where ENISA will play an important role. The European Parliament's Industry, Research and Energy Committee (ITRE) adopted its report on 10 July 2018, as well as a mandate to enter into interinstitutional negotiations. The Council adopted its mandate on 8 June 2018. During the fifth trilogue meeting on 10 December 2018 an agreement was reached. It is due to be voted by Parliament in plenary during March.

Free flow of non-personal data in the European Union

25-01-2019

One of the 16 key elements of the Commission’s digital single market strategy, presented in 2015, was a legislative proposal to facilitate the free flow of non-personal data. The mid-term review of the digital single market in 2017 identified the data economy as one of the top three priority areas in the second half of the strategy’s implementation. It found the European data economy could grow 18-fold, given favourable policy and legislative conditions, representing 4 % of EU GDP by 2020. On 13 ...

One of the 16 key elements of the Commission’s digital single market strategy, presented in 2015, was a legislative proposal to facilitate the free flow of non-personal data. The mid-term review of the digital single market in 2017 identified the data economy as one of the top three priority areas in the second half of the strategy’s implementation. It found the European data economy could grow 18-fold, given favourable policy and legislative conditions, representing 4 % of EU GDP by 2020. On 13 September 2017, the Commission tabled a proposal for a regulation aimed at removing obstacles to the free movement of non-personal data across borders. It focuses on removing the geographical restrictions on data storage in the internal market, a move long demanded by stakeholders. In addition, the Commission proposes self-regulation to facilitate switching cloud-service-providers for professional users. Other, less widely agreed aspects, such as access rights and liability were left for future proposals. The European Parliament adopted the legislation on 3 October 2018 and it was approved by the Council of Ministers on 9 November. The regulation was signed by both institutions on 14 November and published in the Official Journal on 28 November. It will be directly applicable in all Member States from 18 June 2019. Fourth edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

Free flow of non-personal data in the EU

26-09-2018

In 2017, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation on a framework for the free flow of non-personal data across the EU. This proposal was presented as one of the key actions in the mid-term review of the Digital Single Market strategy. The European Parliament is due to vote on the text agreed in trilogue negotiations during its October I plenary session.

In 2017, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation on a framework for the free flow of non-personal data across the EU. This proposal was presented as one of the key actions in the mid-term review of the Digital Single Market strategy. The European Parliament is due to vote on the text agreed in trilogue negotiations during its October I plenary session.

European high-performance computing joint undertaking

29-06-2018

Following a declaration made by seven EU Member States in March 2017, the European Commission adopted a proposal to establish a joint undertaking for high-performance computing (HPC) under Article 187 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) on 11 January 2018. The proposed regulation would establish the joint undertaking for the period to 31 December 2026, and provide it with €486 million in EU funds from the Horizon 2020 and Connecting Europe Facility programmes as well as ...

Following a declaration made by seven EU Member States in March 2017, the European Commission adopted a proposal to establish a joint undertaking for high-performance computing (HPC) under Article 187 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) on 11 January 2018. The proposed regulation would establish the joint undertaking for the period to 31 December 2026, and provide it with €486 million in EU funds from the Horizon 2020 and Connecting Europe Facility programmes as well as an equivalent contribution from the participating countries. The joint undertaking would be charged with the joint procurement of two pre-exascale supercomputers for the Union. It would also implement an HPC research and innovation programme to support the European HPC ecosystem in developing technologies to reach exascale performance by 2022-2023. Within the European Parliament, the Industry Committee adopted its report on 19 June 2018. It is expected that Parliament will adopt its opinion during the July 2018 plenary session. Second edition, based on an original briefing by Vincent Reillon. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

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