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Towards a common EU approach to lifting coronavirus-related restrictions on freedom of movement

26-11-2020

In an effort to tackle the second wave of the coronavirus outbreak, EU Member States started reinstating restrictions on the freedom of movement in October 2020. To prevent a new series of severe and uncoordinated restrictions at countries' internal borders similar to those of March this year, there have been renewed efforts at the EU level to establish a coordinated approach towards coronavirus-related restrictions on movement. While the focus is now on the ongoing health crisis, concerns about ...

In an effort to tackle the second wave of the coronavirus outbreak, EU Member States started reinstating restrictions on the freedom of movement in October 2020. To prevent a new series of severe and uncoordinated restrictions at countries' internal borders similar to those of March this year, there have been renewed efforts at the EU level to establish a coordinated approach towards coronavirus-related restrictions on movement. While the focus is now on the ongoing health crisis, concerns about the functioning of the Schengen area of free movement predate the pandemic. As recent terrorist attacks in Europe remind us, scant progress and unfinished reforms in the area of migration, external borders and security both weaken and threaten to undo the important achievements of Schengen cooperation. This briefing discusses the key steps taken by the EU to develop a common response to the above challenges and thus to safeguard the Schengen area. It provides an overview of the main restrictions on movement imposed by EU and Schengen countries as of 25 November 2020. Since contact-tracing apps have been promoted as a key tool in combating the pandemic and restoring freedom of movement, this briefing also provides an overview of the existing coronavirus applications in the EU Member States and their interoperability across borders.

The CJEU judgment in the Schrems II case

15-09-2020

In its July 2020 Schrems II judgment, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) declared the European Commission’s Privacy Shield Decision invalid on account of invasive US surveillance programmes, thereby making transfers of personal data on the basis of the Privacy Shield Decision illegal. Furthermore, the Court stipulated stricter requirements for the transfer of personal data based on standard contract clauses (SCCs). Data controllers or processors that intend to transfer data based on ...

In its July 2020 Schrems II judgment, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) declared the European Commission’s Privacy Shield Decision invalid on account of invasive US surveillance programmes, thereby making transfers of personal data on the basis of the Privacy Shield Decision illegal. Furthermore, the Court stipulated stricter requirements for the transfer of personal data based on standard contract clauses (SCCs). Data controllers or processors that intend to transfer data based on SCCs must ensure that the data subject is granted a level of protection essentially equivalent to that guaranteed by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (CFR) – if necessary with additional measures to compensate for lacunae in protection of third-country legal systems. Failing that, operators must suspend the transfer of personal data outside the EU.

National COVID-19 contact tracing apps

15-05-2020

While the coordination of cross-border interoperable COVID-19 contact tracing apps is a competence of the European Commission, their development is a national competence. This short briefing summarises the current efforts towards, functionalities of and technical decisions on the development of national COVID-19 apps, with a focus on the ongoing centralised vs. decentralised approach and the interoperability of different apps across Europe. All Member States and the Commission consider the interoperability ...

While the coordination of cross-border interoperable COVID-19 contact tracing apps is a competence of the European Commission, their development is a national competence. This short briefing summarises the current efforts towards, functionalities of and technical decisions on the development of national COVID-19 apps, with a focus on the ongoing centralised vs. decentralised approach and the interoperability of different apps across Europe. All Member States and the Commission consider the interoperability of the apps and backend servers to be essential for the effective tracing of cross-border infection chains, especially for cross-border workers and neighbouring countries. Ultimately, this effort will support the gradual lifting of border controls within the EU and the restoration of the single market’s integrity.

EU response to the Caribbean hurricanes

20-09-2017

The scenes of devastation caused by recent hurricanes in the Caribbean are a stark reminder of the destructive force of nature. As residents struggle to rebuild their lives following the passage of the latest storms, attention turns to the relief efforts. The EU can help through emergency humanitarian assistance and a variety of funding mechanisms, depending on the status of the territories concerned and their relationship with the EU.

The scenes of devastation caused by recent hurricanes in the Caribbean are a stark reminder of the destructive force of nature. As residents struggle to rebuild their lives following the passage of the latest storms, attention turns to the relief efforts. The EU can help through emergency humanitarian assistance and a variety of funding mechanisms, depending on the status of the territories concerned and their relationship with the EU.

What if intensification of farming could enhance biodiversity?

06-03-2017

Could introducing more precision agriculture in Europe allow us to obtain food resilience, while ensuring sustainability and jobs, and taking into account the EU’s wide agricultural diversity? Precision agriculture (PA), or precision farming, involves using technology to improve the ratio between agricultural output (usually food) and agricultural input (land, energy, water, fertilisers, pesticides, etc.). PA consists of using sensors to identify crop or livestock needs precisely (in space or time ...

Could introducing more precision agriculture in Europe allow us to obtain food resilience, while ensuring sustainability and jobs, and taking into account the EU’s wide agricultural diversity? Precision agriculture (PA), or precision farming, involves using technology to improve the ratio between agricultural output (usually food) and agricultural input (land, energy, water, fertilisers, pesticides, etc.). PA consists of using sensors to identify crop or livestock needs precisely (in space or time), and then intervening in a targeted way to maximise the productivity of each plant and animal, whilst minimising any waste of resources.

Die Raumfahrtpolitik der EU: Industrie, Sicherheit und Verteidigung

02-06-2016

Autonome Raumfahrtfähigkeiten spielen eine zentrale Rolle, wenn es darum geht, die Lageerfassung, den Umgang mit komplexen Krisen (Naturkatastrophen), die Verwaltung natürlicher Ressourcen (Gewässer, Wälder), die Erbringung von Dienstleistungen (in den Bereichen Gesundheit, Energie, Verkehr, Kommunikation und Wettervorhersage) und die nationale Sicherheit zu verbessern. Da immer mehr Länder Zugang zum Weltraum haben, hat die EU ihre Anstrengungen für die Annahme einer Raumfahrtstrategie für Europa ...

Autonome Raumfahrtfähigkeiten spielen eine zentrale Rolle, wenn es darum geht, die Lageerfassung, den Umgang mit komplexen Krisen (Naturkatastrophen), die Verwaltung natürlicher Ressourcen (Gewässer, Wälder), die Erbringung von Dienstleistungen (in den Bereichen Gesundheit, Energie, Verkehr, Kommunikation und Wettervorhersage) und die nationale Sicherheit zu verbessern. Da immer mehr Länder Zugang zum Weltraum haben, hat die EU ihre Anstrengungen für die Annahme einer Raumfahrtstrategie für Europa verstärkt.

Civil drones in the European Union

28-10-2015

Drones are aircraft which are operated with no pilot on board. Initially developed for military and defence purposes, they are increasingly used for various civil purposes, including photography, rescue operations, infrastructure monitoring, farming and aerial mapping. Being aircraft, drones have to comply with aviation safety rules. International civil aviation rules adopted since 1944 at United Nations level prohibit unmanned aircraft from flying over another state’s territory without its permission ...

Drones are aircraft which are operated with no pilot on board. Initially developed for military and defence purposes, they are increasingly used for various civil purposes, including photography, rescue operations, infrastructure monitoring, farming and aerial mapping. Being aircraft, drones have to comply with aviation safety rules. International civil aviation rules adopted since 1944 at United Nations level prohibit unmanned aircraft from flying over another state’s territory without its permission. In the EU, the current regulatory system for drones is based on fragmented rules, with many Member States having already regulated or planning to regulate some aspects of civil drones with an operating mass of 150 kg or less. The responsibility for civil drones over 150 kg is left to the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). However, the extent, content and level of detail of national regulations differs, and conditions for mutual recognition of operational authorisations between EU Member States have not been reached. In 2014, the Commission adopted a Communication outlining a strategy for opening the aviation market gradually to civil drones. In the strategy it calls for adoption of EU-wide rules on civil drones, which should ensure that drones are safe, secure and respect fundamental rights. The Council is in favour of a harmonised European approach, and considers EASA best placed to develop technical and safety standards, licences and certificates. The EP's Committee on Transport and Tourism presents its views in a report on civil drones to be voted by the EP plenary in October 2015. In its report, the Committee calls for proportionate and risk-based rules, while also putting emphasis on safety, privacy, security and data protection. The next step is the revision of EASA's Basic Regulation to include in it a specific article on drones, and define their essential requirements.

Privacy and Data Protection Implications of the Civil Use of Drones

10-06-2015

At the request of the LIBE Committee, this research addresses the implications of the integration of drones for civilian use into the European civil aviation system. It notably looks into the EU policy on drones and the potential impacts on citizens' right to privacy and data protection, as well as on security and safety. The research concludes that a series of important pre-conditions still need to be addressed and met in order to ensure that drones do not pose serious risks for citizens' fundamental ...

At the request of the LIBE Committee, this research addresses the implications of the integration of drones for civilian use into the European civil aviation system. It notably looks into the EU policy on drones and the potential impacts on citizens' right to privacy and data protection, as well as on security and safety. The research concludes that a series of important pre-conditions still need to be addressed and met in order to ensure that drones do not pose serious risks for citizens' fundamental rights to privacy and data protection, to security and to safety.

What if your shopping were delivered by drones?

26-05-2015

Known as Remotely Piloted Air Systems (RPAS) or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), drones have become increasingly present due to a sharp drop in production costs, as a consequence of recent innovations in light-weight materials, on-board computers, batteries and fuel tanks. Since their inception, drones have been developed for military purposes, with the inclusion of weapons in them, as well as for surveillance and policing efforts. Recently, however, other uses have proliferated, in the fields of ...

Known as Remotely Piloted Air Systems (RPAS) or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), drones have become increasingly present due to a sharp drop in production costs, as a consequence of recent innovations in light-weight materials, on-board computers, batteries and fuel tanks. Since their inception, drones have been developed for military purposes, with the inclusion of weapons in them, as well as for surveillance and policing efforts. Recently, however, other uses have proliferated, in the fields of climate data collection, scientific exploration, 3-D mapping, infrastructure maintenance, logistics and delivery services, professional photography and filmmaking, entertainment, wildlife protection and agriculture. The increasing diversity and affordability of drones will surely lead to their widespread use amongst corporations, governmental institutions and common citizens. Thus, the legal and ethical issues already associated with drones will most likely become more prominent and require the attention of European policy makers.

Earth observation satellite data for commercial purposes: supplementary briefing

23-03-2015

This document is a supplementary briefing to the Earth observation satellite data for commercial purposes: Initial Appraisal of a European Commission Impact Assessment based on the additional information contained in the Commission’s non-paper.      

This document is a supplementary briefing to the Earth observation satellite data for commercial purposes: Initial Appraisal of a European Commission Impact Assessment based on the additional information contained in the Commission’s non-paper.      

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