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On 13 September 2017, the Commission adopted a cybersecurity package with 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 aimed to improve and strengthen the EU's cybersecurity capacity, by stimulating the European technological and industrial cybersecurity ecosystem as well ...

On 10 April 2024, the European Parliament adopted its position at first reading on two European Commission proposals to revise the EU's pharmaceutical legislation. The revision seeks to enhance the security of supply of medicines, making them more available, accessible and affordable across EU countries, while supporting the attractiveness of the EU pharmaceutical industry by fostering research and innovation. The 'pharmaceutical package' includes proposals for a new directive and a new regulation ...

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for a resilient healthcare system but also for quick access to inventions and technologies in challenging situations. To address this need, in April 2023 the Commission submitted a proposal for a regulation on compulsory licensing for crisis management. The aim is to secure the rapid deployment of patent-protected inventions in times of crisis or emergency, without eroding patent protection as an incentive to innovate. The proposal lays down rules and procedures ...

The Artificial Intelligence (AI) Act moved close to final adoption when the European Parliament voted in favour of the text on 13 March. It will become law after the final endorsement of the Council of the European Union, making the Union the first major world power to adopt horizontal legislation governing AI. The act defines the rules for using and selling artificial intelligence systems in the EU, and regulates general-purpose AI tools such as ChatGPT and AI-based biometric surveillance. It also ...

Enhancing research security

Briefing 26-03-2024

On 24 January 2024, the European Commission tabled a proposal for a Council recommendation on enhancing research security. The procedure does not require the European Parliament's involvement. Research security refers to the safeguarding of scientific activities against misuse and undue influence by third countries or non-state actors. Risks to research include the illicit transfer of knowledge or technology resulting in a threat to the EU's security or undermining its values. Competence for identifying ...

In the framework of the 'farm to fork' strategy, the Commission committed to a complete overhaul of the animal welfare rules. Accordingly, on 7 December 2023 it published a proposal on the welfare and traceability of dogs and cats, together with a proposal for a new regulation on animal welfare in transport. At present, the rules on the protection of dog and cat welfare across the EU are not harmonised. The proposal therefore aims to establish EU standards for the breeding, housing and handling of ...

Artificial intelligence act

Briefing 11-03-2024

European Union lawmakers reached a political agreement on the draft artificial intelligence (AI) act in December 2023. Proposed by the European Commission in April 2021, the draft AI act, the first binding worldwide horizontal regulation on AI, sets a common framework for the use and supply of AI systems in the EU. It offers a classification for AI systems with different requirements and obligations tailored on a 'risk-based approach'. Some AI systems presenting 'unacceptable' risks are prohibited ...

Design package

At a Glance 06-03-2024

In November 2022, the European Commission tabled a pair of proposals as part of a 'design package', as a step towards coherent rules fit for purpose in today's digital age and more efficient for applicants. The first proposal was the amendment of the Community Design Regulation and the second, the recast of the Design Directive. During its March 2024 plenary session, the European Parliament is set to vote on the political agreement on both files reached in trilogue negotiations with the Council.

Compulsory licensing of patents

At a Glance 06-03-2024

In 2023, the Commission submitted six patent-related legislative initiatives aimed at helping companies, in particular SMEs, make the most of their inventions and of new technologies, and contribute to the EU's competitiveness and technological sovereignty. In March, Parliament is due to adopt its first-reading position on one of these initiatives, a new regulation on the compulsory licensing of patents for crisis management.

Academic freedom is widely acknowledged both as a fundamental value of present-day higher education and science, and as a prerequisite for well-functioning democratic societies. Yet in recent years, major concerns about the state of academic freedom in the European Union have been raised by various stakeholders. The European Parliament launched an annual EP Academic Freedom Monitor in 2022, aimed at helping to strengthen the protection of academic freedom in the European Union. This report presents ...