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Limits on exposure to carcinogens and mutagens at work: Fourth proposal

31-03-2021

The European Commission has proposed to amend Directive 2004/37/EC, by expanding its scope and by including and/or revising occupational exposure limit values for a number of cancer- or mutation-causing chemical agents. The initiative is proceeding in steps and has now become a continuous process. Following on from three previous legislative amendments, which covered a total of 26 priority chemical agents, the present (fourth) proposal addresses an additional three. The proposal was announced as ...

The European Commission has proposed to amend Directive 2004/37/EC, by expanding its scope and by including and/or revising occupational exposure limit values for a number of cancer- or mutation-causing chemical agents. The initiative is proceeding in steps and has now become a continuous process. Following on from three previous legislative amendments, which covered a total of 26 priority chemical agents, the present (fourth) proposal addresses an additional three. The proposal was announced as one of the first measures of the Commission's commitment to fight cancer under Europe's Beating Cancer Plan. Broad discussions with scientists and social partners fed into all four proposals. The Commission's feedback period on the proposal ran until November 2020. While broadly welcoming the proposal, professional organisations, trade unions and patient groups would like carcinogenic and mutagenic hazardous medicines as well as substances toxic for reproduction to be brought within the scope of the current proposal. Parliament's Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) is in charge of the file. The rapporteur's draft report was considered in the EMPL meeting on 27 January 2021 and adopted on 25 March 2021. The Council agreed its position on 25 November 2020. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Demographic Outlook for the European Union 2021

25-03-2021

The demographic situation in the EU-27 has an important influence on a number of areas, ranging from the labour market, to healthcare and pension systems, and education. Recent developments reinforce already existing demographic trends: a strongly ageing population due to lower fertility rates and increasing life expectancy, coupled with a shrinking working-age population. According to research, the coronavirus pandemic has led to slightly higher mortality rates and possibly to lower birth rates, ...

The demographic situation in the EU-27 has an important influence on a number of areas, ranging from the labour market, to healthcare and pension systems, and education. Recent developments reinforce already existing demographic trends: a strongly ageing population due to lower fertility rates and increasing life expectancy, coupled with a shrinking working-age population. According to research, the coronavirus pandemic has led to slightly higher mortality rates and possibly to lower birth rates, mainly owing to economic reasons such as increased unemployment and poverty. This year's edition – the fourth in a series produced by EPRS – of the Demographic Outlook for the European Union focuses on poverty as a global, EU-wide and regional phenomenon, and examines how poverty interacts with demographic indicators (such as fertility and migration rates) or with factors such as the degree of urbanisation. It also observes poverty within different age groups, geographical areas and educational levels. The correlation of poverty and labour market participation and social exclusion is also analysed for different age groups and family types, as well as in the light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Recasting the Return Directive

11-03-2021

The Return Directive is the main piece of EU (European Union) legislation governing the procedures and criteria to be applied by Member States when returning irregularly staying third-country nationals, and a cornerstone of EU return policy. Taking into account the decrease in the EU return rate (from 45.8 % in 2016 to 28.9 % in 2019) and following European Council and Council calls to review the 2008 legal text to enhance the effectiveness of EU return policy, in September 2018 the Commission proposed ...

The Return Directive is the main piece of EU (European Union) legislation governing the procedures and criteria to be applied by Member States when returning irregularly staying third-country nationals, and a cornerstone of EU return policy. Taking into account the decrease in the EU return rate (from 45.8 % in 2016 to 28.9 % in 2019) and following European Council and Council calls to review the 2008 legal text to enhance the effectiveness of EU return policy, in September 2018 the Commission proposed a targeted recast of the directive aiming to 'reduce the length of return procedures, secure a better link between asylum and return procedures, and ensure a more effective use of measures to prevent absconding'. In the 2014-2019 parliamentary term, whereas the Council reached a partial general approach on the proposal, the European Parliament did not reach a position. A draft report was presented to the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) but was not adopted. After the 2019 elections, Parliament decided to resume work on the proposal. A new draft report was published on 21 February 2020, but it was not presented in the LIBE committee until 10 September 2020 on account of delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The deadline for tabling amendments expired on 23 September 2020 and the LIBE committee is currently considering the 754 amendments tabled. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Strengthening Minimum Income Protecion in the EU

10-03-2021

This briefing is preceding a broader study on “Fighting poverty and social exclusion (incl. minimum income schemes)” requested by the EMPL committee in view of a possible Union framework on minimum income protection. The briefing provides an institutional perspective on minimum income schemes (MIS) in Member States and their different roles and scope within national social protection systems. It also further examines the EU monitoring framework and points to shortcomings and gaps on the roadway to ...

This briefing is preceding a broader study on “Fighting poverty and social exclusion (incl. minimum income schemes)” requested by the EMPL committee in view of a possible Union framework on minimum income protection. The briefing provides an institutional perspective on minimum income schemes (MIS) in Member States and their different roles and scope within national social protection systems. It also further examines the EU monitoring framework and points to shortcomings and gaps on the roadway to a Union framework on minimum income protection.

Policy Departments’ Monthly Highlights - February 2021

04-02-2021

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

Digital automation and the future of work

29-01-2021

This report addresses the nature, scope and possible effects of digital automation. It reviews relevant literature and situates modern debates on technological change in historical context. It also offers some policy options that, if implemented, would help to harness technology for positive economic and social ends. The report recognises that technological change can affect not just the volume of work but also its quality. It identifies threats to job quality and an unequal distribution of the risks ...

This report addresses the nature, scope and possible effects of digital automation. It reviews relevant literature and situates modern debates on technological change in historical context. It also offers some policy options that, if implemented, would help to harness technology for positive economic and social ends. The report recognises that technological change can affect not just the volume of work but also its quality. It identifies threats to job quality and an unequal distribution of the risks and benefits associated with digital automation. In response, it recommends a number of policy options – ones that aim to go beyond the provision of skills and training and which seek a human-centred approach to digital transformations of work based on industrial democracy and social partnership. Overall, the report pushes for a new Digital Social Contract and a future of work that works for all

External author

DG, EPRS_This study has been written by David Spencer, Matt Cole, Simon Joyce, Xanthe Whittaker and Mark Stuart of the Leeds University Business School, University of Leeds, UK, 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.

Adequate minimum wages

19-01-2021

This briefing finds that the European Commission's impact assessment (IA), which accompanies the directive proposal on adequate minimum wages, is based on sound data and presents a sufficiently broad range of policy options. It would have been useful if the measures concerning collective bargaining and adequacy of minimum wages had been explained more thoroughly in relation to the chosen legal basis. The problem description would have benefited of using more information from the extensive annexes ...

This briefing finds that the European Commission's impact assessment (IA), which accompanies the directive proposal on adequate minimum wages, is based on sound data and presents a sufficiently broad range of policy options. It would have been useful if the measures concerning collective bargaining and adequacy of minimum wages had been explained more thoroughly in relation to the chosen legal basis. The problem description would have benefited of using more information from the extensive annexes. It would have clarified the text if the IA had provided the comparative analysis and selection of the preferred option separately for both minimum wage setting systems (collective agreements and legal provisions).

What future for democracy?

11-12-2020

A panel at the 2020 ESPAS conference discussed the future of democracy in the light of the coronavirus pandemic. Participatory democracy was seen as a potential remedy for polarisation, while digitisation brings a need for careful governance. Misinformation and disinformation needs to be addressed through education. A poll of attendees identified tax equity as a key innovation for successfully rebuilding democracy.

A panel at the 2020 ESPAS conference discussed the future of democracy in the light of the coronavirus pandemic. Participatory democracy was seen as a potential remedy for polarisation, while digitisation brings a need for careful governance. Misinformation and disinformation needs to be addressed through education. A poll of attendees identified tax equity as a key innovation for successfully rebuilding democracy.

Sustainable economic recovery

11-12-2020

A panel at the 2020 ESPAS conference discussed how to create a sustainable economic recovery after the coronavirus pandemic. Robust governance is needed to get the most out of the new resources created at EU level. Both public funding and private capital are needed for the green transition. Public access to big data sets was identified as a critical issue, to prevent harmful monopolies. A poll of attendees identified dependence on fossil fuels as a key obstacle to a sustainable recovery.

A panel at the 2020 ESPAS conference discussed how to create a sustainable economic recovery after the coronavirus pandemic. Robust governance is needed to get the most out of the new resources created at EU level. Both public funding and private capital are needed for the green transition. Public access to big data sets was identified as a critical issue, to prevent harmful monopolies. A poll of attendees identified dependence on fossil fuels as a key obstacle to a sustainable recovery.

Next generation or lost generation? Children, young people and the pandemic

10-12-2020

The next generation, sometimes referred to as 'Generation Z' or 'Gen Z', includes children and young people born after 1995/1996. Also known as the 'iGeneration' they are the first digital natives: they have grown up with smartphones and tablets, and most have internet access at home. While, in the EU, they are the most diverse generation when it comes to their origins, and best educated, in terms of level of education, they are the most vulnerable, including on the labour market. They are the generation ...

The next generation, sometimes referred to as 'Generation Z' or 'Gen Z', includes children and young people born after 1995/1996. Also known as the 'iGeneration' they are the first digital natives: they have grown up with smartphones and tablets, and most have internet access at home. While, in the EU, they are the most diverse generation when it comes to their origins, and best educated, in terms of level of education, they are the most vulnerable, including on the labour market. They are the generation most at risk of poverty, and worst affected by the lack of intergenerational earning mobility. In addition, they have been hardest hit by the coronavirus crisis, following school closures and also job losses. The negative trends this generation was facing prior to the pandemic solidified during the outbreak and the lockdown measures. The well-being, educational success and labour market integration of this generation have a major impact on the general well-being of society, as well as on productivity growth, and thus on the entire economy now and in the future. It will, however, be another 15 years before this generation, along with the 'Millennials' (born between 1981 and 1995/1996) form the majority in the voting age population across the EU, and their views, expectations and attitudes are taken into consideration when designing policies. In this context, policies must address Generation Z from a young age as active citizens who need to be both protected and empowered. In the von der Leyen Commission more than half the Commissioners have been entrusted with tasks that directly address challenges for this generation, ranging from access to quality education, health, housing, nutrition and labour markets to combating poverty and protecting children's and young people's rights. This is an opportunity to design comprehensive policies that cut across sectors and that address the entire generation under the age of 22/24 in a multidimensional way. It is also a way to include children and young people in the democratic process and monitor their progress across multiple indicators in relation to the United Nations sustainable development goals. Stronger pro-child and pro-youth policies can help to achieve more balanced and efficient welfare states that genuinely protect the entire population.

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13-04-2021
Decarbonisation of the energy system
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ITRE
13-04-2021
AFCO Public Hearing on the Reform of European Electoral Law - 13 April 2021
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AFCO
13-04-2021
Hearing on "Interference through advertisement"
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INGE IMCO

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