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European health data space

Briefing 11-12-2023

The COVID-19 pandemic shone a light on the growing importance of digital health technologies, both to enable remote medical care and to facilitate the health response by international, national and local authorities. At the same time, personal health data have been key for containment measures such as the EU digital COVID certificate. The Commission's May 2022 proposal for a regulation on a European health data space aims to improve individuals' access to and control of their electronic personal ...

Corruption is a major challenge for the European Union (EU), with all its Member States affected by the problem to some extent. Its scale, however, is difficult to measure both in Europe and elsewhere. Surveys on the perception of corruption among citizens and experts – such as the Global Corruption Barometer and Eurobarometer surveys – are the principal measurement tool. Since the 1990s, countries around the world have joined efforts to address corruption collectively. This has led to the emergence ...

The current Regulation (EC) No 561/2006 on minimum breaks and rest periods for road freight and passenger transport drivers does not take into account the nature of occasional bus and coach services, and their drivers' specific needs. The European Commission has therefore proposed to amend this legislation and to introduce more flexible rules on splitting up breaks and taking daily and weekly rest periods. In the European Parliament, the Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) is responsible for ...

It took over 20 years of discussion in various forums for the European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO) to come to fruition. Established in 2017 through a regulation adopted via enhanced cooperation, it followed an unsuccessful attempt to reach unanimity in the Council on a 2013 Commission proposal. The outcome of the protracted negotiations is a complex body with strong collegial elements. The EPPO is composed of two levels: the central level and the decentralised one. The Central Office, located ...

The 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights falls on 10 December 2023, against a background of war, conflict and geopolitical tensions that would have been familiar to its drafters, and new challenges, such as climate change and technological advances, which they would not have imagined. Then and now, the Declaration, which has served as a foundation for the codification of human rights at global, regional and national level, remains a central reference to be invoked for the ...

International Anti-Corruption Day

At a Glance 08-12-2023

International Anti-Corruption Day is marked every year on 9 December to raise awareness of the negative effects of corruption on all areas of life. While difficult to measure, corruption entails not only economic but also social and political costs. International and EU anti-corruption efforts have translated into a multi-layered policy and legal framework. The European Parliament has called repeatedly for strengthened EU anti-corruption rules.

Critical raw materials act

At a Glance 07-12-2023

The European Commission presented its proposal for a critical raw materials (CRMs) act – establishing a framework to ensure EU access to a secure and sustainable supply of CRMs – in March 2023. On 13 November, the co-legislators reached a provisional agreement on the proposal. The agreed text, which requires formal adoption by both institutions, is expected to be put to a plenary vote in December.

European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

EU Fact Sheets 07-12-2023

The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is one of the main financial instruments of the EUʼs cohesion policy. It was created in 1975 with the purpose of contributing to reducing disparities between the levels of development of European regions and to improving living standards in the least-favoured regions. Particular attention is paid to regions that suffer from severe and permanent natural or demographic disadvantages, such as the northernmost regions, which have very low population densities ...

This briefing provides a summary of the recent economic developments in the EU Member States and gives an overview of relevant economic projections forecasted by major international and EU institutions. Annex 1 includes latest GDP data and forecasts for all EU Member States and Annex 2 the latest inflation data and developments.

European hydrogen bank

At a Glance 07-12-2023

Hydrogen has an important role in helping the EU achieve its target of climate neutrality by 2050. In March 2023, the Commission announced the European hydrogen bank, to facilitate investment in the hydrogen value chain. This initiative aims to support production and imports of hydrogen in the EU. In November, the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy adopted an own-initiative report, suggesting key improvements. The text is due to be voted by the Parliament during the December plenary session ...