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From synthetic biology to artificial intelligence and from blockchain technologies to nanotechnology, a wide range of technological applications are being deployed to combat COVID-19. Are they safe and effective? Have they been tested before in a public health emergency context? Does their use involve risks and threaten our values and rights? This well-timed STOA publication of ten central technological trajectories employed in the fight against this pandemic disease offers us a much-needed analysis ...

Often labelled as one of today's main disruptive technologies, drones have indeed earned this label by prompting a fundamental rethinking of business models, existing laws, safety and security standards, the future of transport, and modern warfare. The European Union (EU) recognises the opportunities that drones offer and sees them as opening a new chapter in the history of aerospace. The EU aviation strategy provides guidance for exploring new and emerging technologies, and encourages the integration ...

This study – commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the JURI Committee – analyses existing European and national legislation on the regulation of drones for civil use, discussing how they are defined and classified, whether certification and registration is required, how liability is apportioned between the subjects involved, and if compulsory insurance is provided for. Finally, on the basis of a risk-management ...

The standardisation of armaments has been a long-standing focus of EU efforts to enhance the Union’s military effectiveness, to improve capability development and to support the competitiveness of the European defence industry. Armaments standardisation is a process that can lead to cost savings for defence spending by injecting added-value in defence production processes and the avoidance of capability and equipment duplication. Standardisation is a method of improving interoperability within and ...

New civil aviation safety rules

Briefing 15-10-2018

Flying remains one of the safest forms of transport, and the EU's accident rate is lower than in the rest of the world. However, it cannot automatically be assumed that such performance will continue, as global air traffic is forecast to double over the next 20 years. New technologies, such as unmanned aircraft (drones), are also appearing in European skies, which require adaption of the current regulatory framework. In December 2015, the European Commission proposed to update aviation safety rules ...

New civil aviation safety rules

Briefing 28-03-2018

Flying remains one of the safest forms of transport, and the EU's accident rate is lower than in the rest of the world. However, it cannot automatically be assumed that such performance will continue, as global air traffic is forecast to double over the next 20 years. New technologies, such as unmanned aircraft (drones), are also appearing in European skies, which require adaption of the current regulatory framework. In December 2015, the European Commission proposed to update aviation safety rules ...

On 13 December 2017, just a few days after the United Nations' Human Rights Day, the European Parliament (EP) adopted in plenary its annual resolution on human rights and democracy. Addressing the numerous pressures exerted on human rights in 2016, the resolution calls upon the European Union to place human rights at the centre of EU relations with all third countries and to lead by example. The resolution hails the step forward made for the empowerment of women, but also warns of two new challenges ...

Artificial intelligence (AI) systems already permeate daily life: they drive cars, decide on mortgage applications, translate texts, recognise faces on social networks, identify spam emails, create artworks, play games, and intervene in conflict zones. The AI revolution that began in the 2000s emerged from the combination of machine learning techniques and 'big data'. The algorithms behind these systems work by identifying statistical correlation in the data they analyse, enabling them to perform ...

This overview was prepared for the mission of the Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) to Silicon Valley (30 October-3 November 2017).

Since the European Parliament (EP) passed a resolution on the use of armed drones in February 2014, it has pointed several times to the need for a common EU position on the matter. It has stressed in particular the importance of ensuring compliance with international human rights and humanitarian law when using armed drones. This publication, which was requested by the EP’s Human Rights Subcommittee, includes a briefing with specific recommendations, drawn up from a legal standpoint, on the elements ...