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Posted on 23-07-2021

Artificial Intelligence in smart cities and urban mobility

23-07-2021

Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabling smart urban solutions brings multiple benefits, including more efficient energy, water and waste management, reduced pollution, noise and traffic congestions. Local authorities face relevant challenges undermining the digital transformation from the technological, social and regulatory standpoint, namely (i) technology and data availability and reliability, the dependency on third private parties and the lack of skills; (ii) ethical challenges for the unbiased ...

Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabling smart urban solutions brings multiple benefits, including more efficient energy, water and waste management, reduced pollution, noise and traffic congestions. Local authorities face relevant challenges undermining the digital transformation from the technological, social and regulatory standpoint, namely (i) technology and data availability and reliability, the dependency on third private parties and the lack of skills; (ii) ethical challenges for the unbiased use of AI; and (iii) the difficulty of regulating interdependent infrastructures and data, respectively. To overcome the identified challenges, the following actions are recommended: • EU-wide support for infrastructure and governance on digitalisation, including high performance computing, integrated circuits, CPUs and GPU’s, 5G, cloud services, Urban Data Platforms, enhancing efficiency and ensuring at the same time unbiased data collection. • Inclusion of urban AI in EU research programs addressing data exchange, communication networks and policy on mobility and energy, enhancing capacity building initiatives, also through test and experimentation facilities. • Harmonising AI related policies in the EU, taking into account the context specificity: necessary research. • Adoption of innovative procurement procedures, entailing requirements for technical and ethically responsible AI.

External author

Devin DIRAN, Anne Fleur VAN VEENSTRA, Tjerk TIMAN, Paola TESTA and Maria KIROVA

Euro Area fiscal policies and capacity in post-pandemic times

23-07-2021

The Covid-19 pandemic has created huge challenges for policymakers in the whole world. These challenges have to do with both the short run and the long run. In addition, in the euro area, these challenges have dimensions that are peculiar to the fact that the euro area is a monetary union with one monetary authority and nineteen separate budgetary authorities. In this policy brief, the author provides some answer to two questions: • Which policy mix (national/supranational) supports smooth recovery ...

The Covid-19 pandemic has created huge challenges for policymakers in the whole world. These challenges have to do with both the short run and the long run. In addition, in the euro area, these challenges have dimensions that are peculiar to the fact that the euro area is a monetary union with one monetary authority and nineteen separate budgetary authorities. In this policy brief, the author provides some answer to two questions: • Which policy mix (national/supranational) supports smooth recovery, sustainability of public finances and resilience of the euro area? • Which EMU governance reforms should be prioritised so as to improve the functioning of the euro area?

External author

Paul De Grauwe

Posted on 22-07-2021

Application of the equal pay principle through pay transparency measures

22-07-2021

This briefing provides an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the impact assessment (IA) accompanying the Commission proposal for a directive aimed at strengthening the application of the principle of equal pay for equal work or work of equal value between men and women, enshrined in Article 119 of the Treaty of Rome. Following two negative opinions of the Regulatory Scrutiny Board and an exceptional third positive one, the IA provides a good problem definition. The IA coherently ...

This briefing provides an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the impact assessment (IA) accompanying the Commission proposal for a directive aimed at strengthening the application of the principle of equal pay for equal work or work of equal value between men and women, enshrined in Article 119 of the Treaty of Rome. Following two negative opinions of the Regulatory Scrutiny Board and an exceptional third positive one, the IA provides a good problem definition. The IA coherently identifies the problem drivers and makes a compelling case for the consequences should situation remain unchanged. The options retained for assessment seem built around a pre-selected preferred option package. The analysis regarding the impact on SMEs appears to be insufficiently developed while the one on competitiveness is missing. The proposal includes all the measures presented in the IA's preferred package as well as two extra measures which were suggested, but not explicitly included in the preferred package.

Strengthening Europol’s mandate

20-07-2021

Europol has been at the forefront of fighting serious and organised crime in the EU. However, with digital transformations and a global interconnectedness emerging, security threats have become more complex. Against this background, the Commission has published a recast proposal of the Europol Regulation with the objective of, inter alia, (1) enabling Europol to support Member States and their investigations through big data analysis; (2) enabling Europol to directly exchange data with private parties ...

Europol has been at the forefront of fighting serious and organised crime in the EU. However, with digital transformations and a global interconnectedness emerging, security threats have become more complex. Against this background, the Commission has published a recast proposal of the Europol Regulation with the objective of, inter alia, (1) enabling Europol to support Member States and their investigations through big data analysis; (2) enabling Europol to directly exchange data with private parties; and (3) strengthening Europol's role on research and innovation. While the Commission made efforts to analyse the problems at hand in the accompanying Impact Assessment, more detailed information on the scale and size of the different problems would have been useful. The Commission conducted several targeted consultations for this initiative, but did not carry out a mandatory 12-week open public consultation. The IA assesses relevant impacts, including fundamental rights impacts.

EU-Belarus relations: State of play - Human rights situation and Ryanair flight diversion

22-07-2021

The falsified presidential elections of August 2020, and the brutal crackdown against peacefully protesting Belarusians, led to the isolation of the Aliaksandr Lukashenka regime. Despite the possibility of starting dialogue with the democratic opposition and Belarusian society, Aliaksandr Lukashenka chose another path, involving continued brutal repression of the country's citizens. The worsening human rights situation and hijacking of Ryanair flight FR 4978 provoked a response from the EU, including ...

The falsified presidential elections of August 2020, and the brutal crackdown against peacefully protesting Belarusians, led to the isolation of the Aliaksandr Lukashenka regime. Despite the possibility of starting dialogue with the democratic opposition and Belarusian society, Aliaksandr Lukashenka chose another path, involving continued brutal repression of the country's citizens. The worsening human rights situation and hijacking of Ryanair flight FR 4978 provoked a response from the EU, including a ban on Belarusian air carriers landing in or overflying the EU, a major extension of the list of people and entities already subject to sanctions, and the introduction of sanctions on key sectors of the Belarusian economy. The EU policy also demonstrates a readiness to support a future democratic Belarus. In this respect, the European Commission presented the outline of a comprehensive plan of economic support for democratic Belarus, worth up to €3 billion. The European Parliament is playing an active part in shaping the EU's response. Parliament does not recognise Lukashenka's presidency and is speaking out on human rights abuses in Belarus. The Belarusian democratic opposition, which was awarded the 2020 Sakharov Prize, is frequently invited to speak for the Belarusian people in the European Parliament.

Artificial Intelligence and public services

22-07-2021

AI has become a key enabling technology in public services and its use has increased over the past two years.Ensuring explainabilty of AI systems in public services is crucial but difficult to achieve in case of black-box algorithms. In AI applications in public services, focus is on law enforcement, surveillance and process optimisation. AI for front-end public services seems less of a priority. There is a growing public concern over the development and use of AI in society. With the increase of ...

AI has become a key enabling technology in public services and its use has increased over the past two years.Ensuring explainabilty of AI systems in public services is crucial but difficult to achieve in case of black-box algorithms. In AI applications in public services, focus is on law enforcement, surveillance and process optimisation. AI for front-end public services seems less of a priority. There is a growing public concern over the development and use of AI in society. With the increase of its use, the potential for errors and harms also increases.The public sector should lead the way in creating trustworthy AI. Regulatory sandboxing and pre-procurement are key for creating trustworthy AI for public services.

External author

Tjerk TIMAN, Anne Fleur VAN VEENSTRA and Gabriela BODEA

Health impact of 5G

22-07-2021

Recent decades have experienced an unparalleled development in wireless communication technologies (mobile telephony, Wi-Fi). The imminent introduction of 5G technology across the EU is expected to bring new opportunities for citizens and businesses, through faster internet browsing, streaming and downloading, as well as through better connectivity. However, 5G, along with 3G and 4G, with which it will operate in parallel for several years, may also pose threats to human health. This STOA report ...

Recent decades have experienced an unparalleled development in wireless communication technologies (mobile telephony, Wi-Fi). The imminent introduction of 5G technology across the EU is expected to bring new opportunities for citizens and businesses, through faster internet browsing, streaming and downloading, as well as through better connectivity. However, 5G, along with 3G and 4G, with which it will operate in parallel for several years, may also pose threats to human health. This STOA report aim to take stock of our present understanding of health effects of 5G.

External author

This study has been written by Dr Fiorella Belpoggi, BSC, PhD, International Academy of Toxicologic Pathology Fellow (IATPF), Ramazzini Institute, Bologna (Italy), at the request of the Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA) and managed by the Scientific Foresight Unit, within the Directorate-General for Parliamentary Research Services (EPRS) of the Secretariat of the European Parliament. The scoping review search was performed by Dr Daria Sgargi, PhD, Master in Biostatistics, and Dr Andrea Vornoli, PhD in Cancer Research, Ramazzini Institute, Bologna.

Posted on 20-07-2021

Review of dual-use export controls

20-07-2021

Certain goods and technologies have legitimate civilian applications but can also be used for military purposes; so-called 'dual-use' goods are subject to the European Union's export control regime. The regime has just been revised, mainly to take account of significant technological developments, increase transparency and create a more level playing field among EU Member States. The proposed regulation will recast the regulation in force since 2009. Among other elements, the proposal explicitly ...

Certain goods and technologies have legitimate civilian applications but can also be used for military purposes; so-called 'dual-use' goods are subject to the European Union's export control regime. The regime has just been revised, mainly to take account of significant technological developments, increase transparency and create a more level playing field among EU Member States. The proposed regulation will recast the regulation in force since 2009. Among other elements, the proposal explicitly defines cyber-surveillance technology as dual-use technology and introduces human rights violations as an explicit justification for export control. It also includes provisions to control emerging technologies. The proposed regulation introduces greater transparency into dual-use export control by increasing the level of detail Member States will have to provide on exports, licences, licence denials and prohibitions. On 17 January 2018, based on the INTA committee's report on the legislative proposal, the European Parliament adopted its position for trilogue negotiations. For its part, the Council adopted its negotiating mandate on 5 June 2019, and on the basis of this mandate, the Council Presidency began negotiations with the European Parliament's delegation on 21 October 2019. Trilogue negotiations ended on 9 November 2020, with agreement on a final compromise text. Endorsed by the INTA committee on 30 November, the Parliament formally voted on the text in plenary on 25 March 2021. The Regulation was published in the Official Journal on 11 June 2021 and enters into force on 8 September 2021. Seventh edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

A new neighbourhood, development and international cooperation instrument – Global Europe

20-07-2021

In the context of the Commission's proposal for a multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the 2021-2027 period, on 14 June 2018 the Commission published a proposal for a regulation establishing the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument. Council and Parliament agreed in trilogue negotiations, which ended in March 2021, that Parliament would have an enhanced role in defining the main strategic choices of the instrument, through a delegated act and twice-yearly geopolitical ...

In the context of the Commission's proposal for a multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the 2021-2027 period, on 14 June 2018 the Commission published a proposal for a regulation establishing the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument. Council and Parliament agreed in trilogue negotiations, which ended in March 2021, that Parliament would have an enhanced role in defining the main strategic choices of the instrument, through a delegated act and twice-yearly geopolitical dialogue. The Commission also committed to inform Parliament prior to any use of the 'emerging challenges and priorities cushion', and take its remarks into consideration. Parliament insisted that any activities related to migration had to be in line with the objectives of the instrument, and also secured safeguards on the amounts for capacity-building, election observation missions, local authorities, Erasmus, the Pacific and the Caribbean. Negotiators also agreed to include a reference, in a recital, to existing EU financial rules that allow for the suspension of assistance if a country fails to observe the principles of democracy, human rights and the rule of law. As a final step, negotiators agreed to change the name of the instrument to the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument - Global Europe. After formal adoption by Council and Parliament the regulation was signed on 9 June 2021, and it entered into force on 14 June 2021. The regulation applies retroactively from 1 January 2021. Sixth edition. The 'Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Posted on 19-07-2021

'Future proofing' EU policies-The why, what and how of stress testing

19-07-2021

Governments and policymakers around the world are increasingly stress testing policies to get ‘ahead of the curve’ and to be better equipped in response to plausible futures that may include disruptive events. This EAVA in Action provides an introduction to stress testing and how it could support the work of the European Parliament. The use of stress testing could add value at all stages of the EU legislative cycle and complement existing regulatory policy tools such as ex-ante assessment and ex-post ...

Governments and policymakers around the world are increasingly stress testing policies to get ‘ahead of the curve’ and to be better equipped in response to plausible futures that may include disruptive events. This EAVA in Action provides an introduction to stress testing and how it could support the work of the European Parliament. The use of stress testing could add value at all stages of the EU legislative cycle and complement existing regulatory policy tools such as ex-ante assessment and ex-post evaluation. It could be applied as an anticipatory governance tool across all policy areas to identify weaknesses and opportunities to reinforce the legislative framework.

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