418

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What if the internet failed?

27-09-2021

What if the internet failed? Since the 1960s, when work on its development began, internet infrastructure has become almost as important as the electricity and transport infrastructure in modern societies. More and more key services, such as banking, food retail and health care, rely on internet connections. Despite the internet's original resilient decentralised design, the increasing importance of a few central players and the shift towards greater centralisation have made the internet more susceptible ...

What if the internet failed? Since the 1960s, when work on its development began, internet infrastructure has become almost as important as the electricity and transport infrastructure in modern societies. More and more key services, such as banking, food retail and health care, rely on internet connections. Despite the internet's original resilient decentralised design, the increasing importance of a few central players and the shift towards greater centralisation have made the internet more susceptible to failure. This would have severe repercussions: people would not be able to withdraw cash or pay by card, supermarkets and large retailers would not be able to bill and sell products, and managing digital certificates (such as the Covid-19 vaccination certificate) would no longer be possible.

European Day of Languages : Multilingualism as a cornerstone of better communication

24-09-2021

Some 7 000 languages are spoken globally today. However, half of the world's population shares just six native languages, and some 90 % of all languages could be replaced by dominant ones by the end of the century. Following the success of the European Year of Languages (2001), the Council of Europe designated 26 September as the European Day of Languages.

Some 7 000 languages are spoken globally today. However, half of the world's population shares just six native languages, and some 90 % of all languages could be replaced by dominant ones by the end of the century. Following the success of the European Year of Languages (2001), the Council of Europe designated 26 September as the European Day of Languages.

Remaining active in spite of the pandemic

20-09-2021

This year, the seventh edition of the European Week of Sport (23-30 September) will kick off again in unusual circumstances. The official opening will take place on 23 September at Lake Bled (Slovenia) and will be centred around three core themes – joy, resilience and inter-generations – thus bringing the Week to life through inspirational and real-life stories. The lockdown measures put in place to curb the coronavirus pandemic have made the initiative more necessary than ever. Indeed, while pre-pandemic ...

This year, the seventh edition of the European Week of Sport (23-30 September) will kick off again in unusual circumstances. The official opening will take place on 23 September at Lake Bled (Slovenia) and will be centred around three core themes – joy, resilience and inter-generations – thus bringing the Week to life through inspirational and real-life stories. The lockdown measures put in place to curb the coronavirus pandemic have made the initiative more necessary than ever. Indeed, while pre-pandemic levels of physical activity were generally low, lockdown has had the unintended consequence of reducing this activity even further.

Inclusion measures within the Erasmus+ programme 2014-2020

16-09-2021

In December 2020, the European Parliament Conference of Committee Chairs authorised the launch of an implementation report on the Implementation of inclusion measures within Erasmus+ 2014-2020 by the European Parliament Committee of Culture and Education (CULT) (2021/2009(INI)). The Ex-Post Evaluation Unit (EVAL) of EPRS has been asked to assist in the preparation of the implementation report with a European Implementation Assessment (EIA). The EIA consists of two parts: an in-house desk-research ...

In December 2020, the European Parliament Conference of Committee Chairs authorised the launch of an implementation report on the Implementation of inclusion measures within Erasmus+ 2014-2020 by the European Parliament Committee of Culture and Education (CULT) (2021/2009(INI)). The Ex-Post Evaluation Unit (EVAL) of EPRS has been asked to assist in the preparation of the implementation report with a European Implementation Assessment (EIA). The EIA consists of two parts: an in-house desk-research analysis and two external studies that combine desk research and primary data collection. The focus of the EIA is the learning mobility of individuals and the inclusion of young people with special needs or fewer opportunities.

External author

Part I: The in-house opening analysis was written by Dr Alina Dinu and Dr Anna Zygierewicz from the Ex-Post Evaluation Unit of the Directorate for Impact Assessment and European Added Value, within the Directorate-General for Parliamentary Research Services (EPRS) of the Secretariat of the European Parliament. Part II: - The research paper on Inclusion measures within Erasmus+ Programme 2014–2020 with respect to learning mobility of individuals has been written by Prof. Dr Maurice de Greef, visiting professor and Unesco Chair at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. - The research paper on Inclusion Measures within Erasmus+ Programme 2014-2020: The Added Value of the Inclusion and Diversity Strategy for Youth has been written by Prof. Silvia Florea, professor and Unesco Chair at Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu.

What if deepfakes made us doubt everything we see and hear?

07-09-2021

Deepfakes are hyper-realistic media products created through artificial intelligence (AI) techniques that manipulate how people look and the things that they appear to say or do. They hit the headlines in 2018 with a deepfake video of Barack Obama, which was designed to raise awareness of their challenges. The accessibility and outputs of deepfake generation tools are improving rapidly, and their use is increasing exponentially. A wide range of malicious uses have been identified, including fraud ...

Deepfakes are hyper-realistic media products created through artificial intelligence (AI) techniques that manipulate how people look and the things that they appear to say or do. They hit the headlines in 2018 with a deepfake video of Barack Obama, which was designed to raise awareness of their challenges. The accessibility and outputs of deepfake generation tools are improving rapidly, and their use is increasing exponentially. A wide range of malicious uses have been identified, including fraud, extortion and political disinformation. The impacts of such misuse can be financial, psychological and reputational. However, the most widespread use so far has been the production of non-consensual pornographic videos, with negative impacts that overwhelmingly affect women. Deepfakes may also contribute to worrying trends in our media, as well as in our social and democratic systems. While the technology itself is legal, some malicious uses are not, and a combination of legal and technical measures may be mobilised to limit their production and dissemination.

Colonial-era cultural heritage in European museums

31-08-2021

While Europeans access and enjoy their rich cultural heritage, making the most of the European Heritage Days every September, it is worth reflecting on what access people living in territories once dominated by Europe's colonial powers have to their cultural heritage. Colonial times saw the destruction of cultural property and removal of precious and symbolic items. Countries now going through the long decolonisation process have reached a point where they are exploring ways to recover their cultural ...

While Europeans access and enjoy their rich cultural heritage, making the most of the European Heritage Days every September, it is worth reflecting on what access people living in territories once dominated by Europe's colonial powers have to their cultural heritage. Colonial times saw the destruction of cultural property and removal of precious and symbolic items. Countries now going through the long decolonisation process have reached a point where they are exploring ways to recover their cultural property and heritage.

Fighting discrimination in sport

09-07-2021

Even though the European Union (EU) has built an extensive framework of legislation, instances of racism and homophobia in sport are still rife. Interestingly, Eurostat surveys reveal that the feeling of discrimination is more widespread than actual discrimination. Although there are some variations, discrimination in sport very frequently involves stigmatisation on the basis of external characteristics such as skin colour, body shape and gender. Data from 2017 show that some 3 % of respondents claimed ...

Even though the European Union (EU) has built an extensive framework of legislation, instances of racism and homophobia in sport are still rife. Interestingly, Eurostat surveys reveal that the feeling of discrimination is more widespread than actual discrimination. Although there are some variations, discrimination in sport very frequently involves stigmatisation on the basis of external characteristics such as skin colour, body shape and gender. Data from 2017 show that some 3 % of respondents claimed to have experienced racist violence in the previous year, with another 24 % being exposed to racist harassment in that period. Worryingly, the results of a 2018 poll confirm that the vast majority of respondents (90 %) perceive homo/transphobia to be a problem in sport, with gay men feeling homophobia to be a bigger problem than lesbian/gay women and bisexual people. Action against discrimination at EU level is grounded in an established EU legal framework, based on a number of Treaty provisions – in particular Articles 2 and 3 of the Treaty on European Union, and Articles 10, 19 and 67(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The general principles of non-discrimination and equality are also reaffirmed in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU. This legal arsenal is completed by a number of directives and framework decisions – such as the Racial Equality Directive, the Victims' Rights Directive and the Framework Decision on Combating Racism and Xenophobia, to name but a few – aimed at increasing individual protection. The objectives of the sports strand of the Erasmus+ programme include combatting violence, discrimination and intolerance in sport and providing funding for various projects such as the setting up of LGBTQI+ sports clubs in central and eastern Europe, increasing inclusion in sport, and by bringing together partners who traditionally face barriers to participation, such as women, the LGBTQI+ community and people with disabilities. In addition, since 2016, the European Commission has supported the Council of Europe in promoting safety and security at sports events. In recent years, the Gay Games and the European Gay and Lesbian Multi-Sports Championships have helped raise awareness, build self-esteem and change perceptions based on prejudice.

Workshop Large Sporting Events: Human Rights as a Game Changer?

06-07-2021

Large sporting events such as the football World Cup or the Olympic Games can have a considerable impact on a variety of human rights, including the rights of citizens in the host countries; the fundamental freedoms of athletes, journalists and spectators; and the rights of workers involved in construction sites and supply chains. In recent years, international sports federations and other stakeholders have increasingly acknowledged their role in promoting and respecting human rights by adopting ...

Large sporting events such as the football World Cup or the Olympic Games can have a considerable impact on a variety of human rights, including the rights of citizens in the host countries; the fundamental freedoms of athletes, journalists and spectators; and the rights of workers involved in construction sites and supply chains. In recent years, international sports federations and other stakeholders have increasingly acknowledged their role in promoting and respecting human rights by adopting strategies, appointing dedicated bodies and including human rights criteria in the bidding and selection process for hosting states. This workshop, requested by the Subcommittee on Human Rights, and organised in association with the Committee on Culture and Education, examined the progress made by sports governing bodies, in addition to the EU’s potential role in advocating for a coherent, human rights-based approach to sports events. The two briefings presented at the workshop analyse the legal human rights provisions in existing bidding and hosting regulations, as well as the political context for promoting human rights through large sporting events, including the potential linkages between human rights objectives and sustainable development goals.

External author

Daniela HEERDT, Hans Erik NÆSS

EU sports policy: assessment and possible ways forward

28-06-2021

Since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the EU has been entitled to support, coordinate or complement Member States’ activities in sport. European sports policies of the past decade are characterised by numerous activities and by on-going differentiation. Against this backdrop, the study presents policy options in four key areas: the first covers the need for stronger coordination; the second aims at the setting of thematic priorities; the third addresses the reinforcement of the role of ...

Since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the EU has been entitled to support, coordinate or complement Member States’ activities in sport. European sports policies of the past decade are characterised by numerous activities and by on-going differentiation. Against this backdrop, the study presents policy options in four key areas: the first covers the need for stronger coordination; the second aims at the setting of thematic priorities; the third addresses the reinforcement of the role of the EP in sport and the fourth stipulates enhanced monitoring.

External author

Deutsche Sporthochschule Köln: Jürgen MITTAG / Vincent BOCK / Caroline TISSON Willibald-Gebhardt-Institut e.V.: Roland NAUL / Sebastian BRÜCKNER / Christina UHLENBROCK EUPEA: Richard BAILEY / Claude SCHEUER ENGSO Youth: Iva GLIBO / Bence GARAMVOLGYI / Ivana PRANJIC

Creative Europe programme 2021-2027

17-06-2021

Having considered the possibility of merging the Creative Europe programme with other programmes supporting European values, rights and justice, the European Commission has decided to continue the Creative Europe programme as a stand-alone programme, increasing its budget by 17 %. The only programme focusing exclusively on cultural and creative activities and enterprises, it falls under the 'Cohesion and values' heading of the 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework. The previous programme focused ...

Having considered the possibility of merging the Creative Europe programme with other programmes supporting European values, rights and justice, the European Commission has decided to continue the Creative Europe programme as a stand-alone programme, increasing its budget by 17 %. The only programme focusing exclusively on cultural and creative activities and enterprises, it falls under the 'Cohesion and values' heading of the 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework. The previous programme focused on the economic dimension of the cultural sector and its contribution to job creation and economic growth. Some stakeholders had voiced concern at taking such a strongly economic approach to culture. Under the new programme, the economic dimension is one axis alongside the social dimension, as well as culture's contribution to international relations. The new framework for cultural policy therefore highlights not only the economic dimension of the cultural and creative sectors, but also the role of culture in social cohesion and its relation to creative and artistic freedom and diversity, and freedom and plurality of media. The Parliament, Council and Commission started trilogue negotiations in autumn 2019. After an almost year-long break, the negotiations resumed in the second half of 2020 when the Council, the Commission and the EP reached a common agreement. The new programme was then finally adopted in May 2021, but applies with retroactive effect from 1 January 2021.

Upcoming events

25-10-2021
European Gender Equality Week - October 25-28, 2021
Other event -
FEMM AFET DROI SEDE DEVE BUDG CONT ECON EMPL ITRE TRAN AGRI PECH CULT JURI PETI
25-10-2021
Ninth meeting of the Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny Group on Europol, 25-26 October
Other event -
LIBE
26-10-2021
Investment Policy and Investment Protection Reform
Hearing -
INTA

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