10

result(s)

Word(s)
Publication type
Policy area
Author
Date

Global Trendometer: Essays on medium- and long-term global trends - Summer 2017

06-09-2017

With the publication of the "Global Trendometer" the EPRS Global Trends Unit seeks to contribute to the process of identifying and addressing medium- and long-term trends, and their possible implications for policy-making in the European Union. In this latest edition, three essays and seven two-page vignettes on different geopolitical, economic, technological and social issues paint a broad-ranging picture of some developments that may shape Europe’s future.

With the publication of the "Global Trendometer" the EPRS Global Trends Unit seeks to contribute to the process of identifying and addressing medium- and long-term trends, and their possible implications for policy-making in the European Union. In this latest edition, three essays and seven two-page vignettes on different geopolitical, economic, technological and social issues paint a broad-ranging picture of some developments that may shape Europe’s future.

Digital development in Sub-Saharan Africa

16-11-2015

In the past decade, the use of information and communication technologies (ICT), especially of mobile communications, has increased exponentially in Sub-Saharan Africa. It has become common to talk of a 'mobile revolution' sweeping the region, with mobile phone use spreading quickly, geographically and socially, accompanied by novel applications, impacting on other areas of economic life. The internet still has to catch up with the mobile sector, but there are encouraging signs that it will do so ...

In the past decade, the use of information and communication technologies (ICT), especially of mobile communications, has increased exponentially in Sub-Saharan Africa. It has become common to talk of a 'mobile revolution' sweeping the region, with mobile phone use spreading quickly, geographically and socially, accompanied by novel applications, impacting on other areas of economic life. The internet still has to catch up with the mobile sector, but there are encouraging signs that it will do so. Building the necessary connection infrastructure has considerably advanced, and digital devices are becoming more affordable. However, general literacy and digital skills across the population need to be improved in order for African countries to fully reap the benefits of the digitalisation, and this is a more difficult challenge to tackle. ICT is having an impact on many sectors of the economy, from access to basic amenities like electricity supply and clean water, to financial transactions. It has been a major driver of economic growth and an important contributor to public budgets. A number of digital applications adapted to specific local conditions have been developed in sectors such as agriculture, education, health, and democratic governance. The potential uses of ICT in such sectors promise a transformative impact on economic, social and political life, spurring development in numerous areas. If current trends continue, more and more people will see their life touched by these new technologies. It is also important to remain aware of the potential limitations of the new technologies, which cannot fully substitute, for example, for other major drivers of economic growth, or for real teachers and schools. Digital communications can be used to improve governance, but may also stoke conflict and violence in the absence of appropriate checks. ICT tools can increase public transparency, but cannot on their own eliminate corruption.

Global terrorism: trends in 2014/2015

06-11-2015

Terrorism continues to present one of the main challenges to international stability. Despite political agreement that terrorist threat needs to be addressed jointly by the whole international community, a number of obstacles persist, including disagreements over the definition of terrorism. This latter poses a significant impediment for research on terrorism and only a few institutions have undertaken this difficult task. According to the existing data, the number of terrorist attacks in 2014 was ...

Terrorism continues to present one of the main challenges to international stability. Despite political agreement that terrorist threat needs to be addressed jointly by the whole international community, a number of obstacles persist, including disagreements over the definition of terrorism. This latter poses a significant impediment for research on terrorism and only a few institutions have undertaken this difficult task. According to the existing data, the number of terrorist attacks in 2014 was double that of 2004, an increase primarily linked to the growing number of countries affected by terrorism, in particular in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and North Africa, and southern Asia. The same three regions have also been the most affected by terrorism, with the number of attacks increasing in all three, most significantly in Sub-Saharan Africa. Altogether, the number of casualties almost doubled compared to 2013, even though the number of terrorist attacks increased by 40%. Political instability and weak governance in many countries have provided fertile ground for radicalism and growth in terrorist activities, in particular in Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Although Al-Qaeda and its offshoots maintain a strong position internationally, and continue to pose a serious threat, their standing has been increasingly challenged by the emergence of the 'Islamic State' Group (ISIL/Da'esh). The creation of a terrorist enclave on Syrian and Iraqi territory, and the establishment of a self-proclaimed caliphate, provided an appealing narrative that has fuelled a continued influx of foreign fighters to join the ranks of ISIL/Da'esh.

The European Year for Development: Health

26-03-2015

Although enjoying the highest possible standard of health is a human right, millions of people suffer from preventable and curable diseases. The Millennium Development Goals strongly emphasised health, leading to increased investment in the health sector. Major progress has been made in reducing child and maternal mortality, and in combatting communicable diseases, but several regions will not meet the health targets. The Ebola outbreak has drawn attention to the need for international cooperation ...

Although enjoying the highest possible standard of health is a human right, millions of people suffer from preventable and curable diseases. The Millennium Development Goals strongly emphasised health, leading to increased investment in the health sector. Major progress has been made in reducing child and maternal mortality, and in combatting communicable diseases, but several regions will not meet the health targets. The Ebola outbreak has drawn attention to the need for international cooperation in health matters. The European Parliament is very conscious of the lessons learnt from the Ebola crisis. The Sustainable Development Goals are likely to include new health considerations and to propose universal health coverage. Promoting and supporting equitable access to health care is a focus of EU development cooperation. EU aid in areas such as nutrition, water and sanitation and climate change also improves health. Parliament considers health a fundamental right and has called for clear financial thresholds to ensure that sufficient EU aid goes to health and education.

How the EU Can Support Peaceful Post-Election Transitions of Power : Lessons from Africa

08-11-2012

This paper examines violence round sub-Saharan African elections and how the EU can help reduce it. It presents eight case studies. It identifies factors that can increase or mitigate risks of violence and parts of an election that are vulnerable. It draws out patterns from diverse political contexts, including: (i) elections after civil conflict; (ii) competitive polls in unconsolidated democracies; (iii) votes under authoritarian rule; and (iv) those immediately after the departure of a long-serving ...

This paper examines violence round sub-Saharan African elections and how the EU can help reduce it. It presents eight case studies. It identifies factors that can increase or mitigate risks of violence and parts of an election that are vulnerable. It draws out patterns from diverse political contexts, including: (i) elections after civil conflict; (ii) competitive polls in unconsolidated democracies; (iii) votes under authoritarian rule; and (iv) those immediately after the departure of a long-serving leader. Some drivers of violence recur in different places: high stakes, the vast rewards of public office, elites’ manipulation of cleavages, political or economic exclusion, weak or politicised rule of law and electoral institutions, and the proliferation of weapons and armed groups among them. But the precise mix of causes varies between countries and elections. So too do patterns of violence, often depending on the parity of force between groups, and whether violence results from political competition or is a tool to repress it. Given this diversity, conflict prevention strategies must be multilayered, tailored to context and based on careful analysis of what drives violence. National actors must lead, and this paper offers a set of options for each political context through which the EU could help them. It also suggests broader policy shifts for the EU (including better analysis; sustained engagement; greater focus on the rule of law; a more realistic approach towards its observation and technical assistance; and developing regional capacity) that could improve its support to elections in Africa.

External author

Richard ATWOOD (International Crisis Group, ICG), Belgium)

The Effects of Oil Companies’ Activities on the Environment, Health and Development in Sub-Saharan Africa

08-08-2011

Negative impacts of the oil industry are a major concern in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), threatening not only the health of local communities, but also the livelihoods they depend on. The following study examines the impacts of the oil industry in sub-Saharan Africa and current measures to mitigate these impacts. It offers possible solutions that could be put forward by different stakeholders, including the EU and the European Parliament in particular, to reduce the negative impacts and enhance the ...

Negative impacts of the oil industry are a major concern in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), threatening not only the health of local communities, but also the livelihoods they depend on. The following study examines the impacts of the oil industry in sub-Saharan Africa and current measures to mitigate these impacts. It offers possible solutions that could be put forward by different stakeholders, including the EU and the European Parliament in particular, to reduce the negative impacts and enhance the contribution of the oil sector to sustainable development. The study focuses in particular on Nigeria and Angola, sub- Saharan Africa’s largest oil producers, but is supplemented by insights from other SSA countries. Specifically, the study examines a range of impacts, including the environmental, healthrelated and social effects of oil spills and gas flares; the employment opportunities offered and the wider economic implications of the sector; to what extent the oil industry has contributed to conflict in oil-producing regions, and the extent and consequences of oil theft. It goes on to review current efforts to mitigate some of these impacts through government regulations in oil-producing and importing countries, community engagement, and international standards and initiatives. It also draws on experiences from other natural resources sectors to assess what can be learned with regard to regulating trade in resources from conflict areas or that are illegally sourced. The study concludes with a set of recommendations focusing on regulatory measures, technology solutions, partnership- building and European development assistance.

External author

BAUMÜLLER Heike, DONNELLY Elizabeth, VINES Alex and WEIMER Markus (Chatham House, United Kingdom)

Chinese Resources and Energy Policy in Sub-Saharan Africa

11-06-2007

This report concludes that China has embarked on a well-conceived go-out policy that should enable Chinese companies to gain direct control over African natural resources. The strategy has resulted in a rapidly accelerating flow of African commodities to the People’s Republic, despite the fact that China’s equity projects in Africa remain limited. The Chinese resources and energy policy tends to confirm the conception of Africa as the world’s mining pit. However, only a small number of African countries ...

This report concludes that China has embarked on a well-conceived go-out policy that should enable Chinese companies to gain direct control over African natural resources. The strategy has resulted in a rapidly accelerating flow of African commodities to the People’s Republic, despite the fact that China’s equity projects in Africa remain limited. The Chinese resources and energy policy tends to confirm the conception of Africa as the world’s mining pit. However, only a small number of African countries reap substantial rewards. Moreover, if we go beyond the national trade statistics, it appears that political elites profit most and that new opportunities are unlikely to trickle down or to benefit sectors other than the primary sector. With regard to the EU’s Africa policy, China’s resources and energy policy undermines both the conditional engagement approach and the actorness of the EU as an international player. Finally, the study contains recommendations to the European Union

External author

Jonathan Holslag, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

The external dimension of the EU's area of freedom, security and justice in relation to Sub-Saharan Africa

25-09-2006

The note describes the socio-economic and political situation in some African countries relevant to the EU's area of freedom, security and justice, highlights the challenges for the EU resulting from terrorist activities, organised crime, immigration and human rights violations and analyses the EU response. The note emphasises the necessity for the EU to tackle the so-called push factors for emigration with a successful development policy.

The note describes the socio-economic and political situation in some African countries relevant to the EU's area of freedom, security and justice, highlights the challenges for the EU resulting from terrorist activities, organised crime, immigration and human rights violations and analyses the EU response. The note emphasises the necessity for the EU to tackle the so-called push factors for emigration with a successful development policy.

External author

Dr Robert Dover European Strategic Consulting LLP

South-South Migration Example of Sub-Saharan Africa

31-03-2006

Although migrants within the African continent number over 16 million, so far very little consideration has been given to the diverse nature of this migration. All the attention is focused on migration from South to North. It is true that the diversity and the rapid changes in regional and sub-regional situations make South-South migration difficult to classify. However, the distinction between voluntary and forced migration still applies when the accent is on the factors that prompt people to leave ...

Although migrants within the African continent number over 16 million, so far very little consideration has been given to the diverse nature of this migration. All the attention is focused on migration from South to North. It is true that the diversity and the rapid changes in regional and sub-regional situations make South-South migration difficult to classify. However, the distinction between voluntary and forced migration still applies when the accent is on the factors that prompt people to leave their homes. Also, the links between migration and development seem more complex in the case of South-South migration than in the case of migration from South to North. The former does not generate any significant revenue and has to be seen as a resource, in other words as revenue integrated into local activity systems

External author

Véronique Lassailly-Jacob Professeur à l'Université de Poitiers Florence Boyer Centre Population Développement (CEPED) Julien Brachet Université de Paris I

Third World Debt - Analyses

01-10-1990

Upcoming events

Partners

Stay connected

email update imageEmail updates system

You can follow anyone or anything linked to the Parliament using the email updates system, which sends updates directly to your mailbox. This includes the latest news about MEPs, committees, the news services or the Think Tank.

You can access the system from any page on the Parliament website. To sign up and receive notifications on Think Tank, simply submit your email address, select the subject you are interested in, indicate how often you want to be informed (daily, weekly or monthly) and confirm the registration by clicking on the link that will be emailed to you.

RSS imageRSS feeds

Follow all news and updates from the European Parliament website by making use of our RSS feed.

Please click on the link below to configure your RSS feed.