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Disruption by technology: Impacts on politics, economics and society

21-09-2020

Technological development has long been considered as a disruptive force, provoking change at many levels, from the routine daily activities of individuals to dramatic competition between global superpowers. This analysis examines disruption caused by technologies in a series of key areas of politics, economics and society. It focuses on seven fields: the economic system, the military and defence, democratic debates and the 'infosphere', social norms, values and identities, international relations ...

Technological development has long been considered as a disruptive force, provoking change at many levels, from the routine daily activities of individuals to dramatic competition between global superpowers. This analysis examines disruption caused by technologies in a series of key areas of politics, economics and society. It focuses on seven fields: the economic system, the military and defence, democratic debates and the 'infosphere', social norms, values and identities, international relations, and the legal and regulatory system. It also presents surveillance as an example of how technological disruption across these domains can converge to propel other phenomena. The key disruptive force of 2020 is non-technological, namely coronavirus. The pandemic is used here as an opportunity to examine how technological disruption interacts with other forms of disruption.

Protecting, promoting and projecting Europe's values and interests in the world

11-09-2020

In its foreign policy, the European Union (EU) is committed to 'promoting its values and interests', which include democracy, freedom, human rights, the rule of law, pluralism, peace and security, and multilateralism. Worldwide, however, the values and interests that the EU stands for are under mounting pressure, pressure that the pandemic has further intensified. Growing strategic great power rivalry − witnessed in the 'extraterritorialisation' of US-China tensions, growing pressure on human rights ...

In its foreign policy, the European Union (EU) is committed to 'promoting its values and interests', which include democracy, freedom, human rights, the rule of law, pluralism, peace and security, and multilateralism. Worldwide, however, the values and interests that the EU stands for are under mounting pressure, pressure that the pandemic has further intensified. Growing strategic great power rivalry − witnessed in the 'extraterritorialisation' of US-China tensions, growing pressure on human rights, and the (strategic) undermining of multilateralism − have left something of a moral global leadership vacuum. The need to reinforce the protection, promotion and projection of the EU's values and interests in the world has thus become much more pressing. At the same time, attacks on democracy worldwide during the pandemic have sparked increased global public awareness about fundamental rights, equality and human dignity – values at the heart of the European project. In this sense, the pandemic could be a turning-point when the EU seizes the moment to protect, promote and project its values and visions for the common global good in the century ahead.

Belarus on the brink

25-08-2020

As usual in Belarus, the 9 August presidential election was marred by fraud, repression and state violence against the opposition. As expected, the long-standing President, Aleksander Lukashenko, claimed a landslide victory. What was unusual this time, however, was the scale of Belarusians' disappointment: peaceful protests and strikes spread throughout the entire country in response to the stolen election, despite brutal crackdowns. What started as a national crisis now represents a wider struggle ...

As usual in Belarus, the 9 August presidential election was marred by fraud, repression and state violence against the opposition. As expected, the long-standing President, Aleksander Lukashenko, claimed a landslide victory. What was unusual this time, however, was the scale of Belarusians' disappointment: peaceful protests and strikes spread throughout the entire country in response to the stolen election, despite brutal crackdowns. What started as a national crisis now represents a wider struggle between truth and lies, democracy and autocracy, raising the stakes for both Minsk and Moscow, whose nervousness has spilled over into mounting aggression.

States of emergency in response to the coronavirus crisis: Situation in certain Member States III

17-06-2020

The spread of the coronavirus pandemic has prompted countries to take extensive and far-reaching measures to tackle the consequences of the outbreak. Apart from curbing the spread of the disease, these measures have also posed legal and economic challenges, significantly affecting people's lives. Due to the nature of the virus, citizens' rights and freedoms have been curtailed, inter alia affecting their freedom of movement and assembly, as well as the right to conduct economic activities. Whilst ...

The spread of the coronavirus pandemic has prompted countries to take extensive and far-reaching measures to tackle the consequences of the outbreak. Apart from curbing the spread of the disease, these measures have also posed legal and economic challenges, significantly affecting people's lives. Due to the nature of the virus, citizens' rights and freedoms have been curtailed, inter alia affecting their freedom of movement and assembly, as well as the right to conduct economic activities. Whilst the measures are currently being relaxed, there is debate in some Member States over whether the measures were justified and proportionate. Some Member States resorted to declaring a 'state of emergency', whilst others did not, either because they have no such mechanism in their constitutional framework or because they chose a different path, giving special powers to certain institutions or using and modifying existing legislation. In either case, democratic scrutiny over the situation has been highly important, making parliamentary oversight crucial to ensure the rule of law and respect for fundamental democratic principles. This briefing covers the following countries: Croatia, Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Sweden. It focuses on three key aspects: i) the constitutional framework of the state of emergency or legitimation of the emergency legislation; ii) the specific measures adopted; and iii) the extent of parliamentary oversight exercised on the adopted measures. This briefing is the third in a series aimed at providing a comparative overview of Member States' institutional responses to the coronavirus crisis. The first in the series gives an overview of the responses in Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland and Spain, while the second covers Austria, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Malta, Romania and Slovenia.

Eastern Partnership 3.0: Principles, priorities, and prospects

15-06-2020

The geopolitical, economic and security situation in Europe has evolved significantly in the past 10 years since the Eastern Partnership (EaP) was first created in 2009. With the growing pressure on democracies and multilateralism worldwide, an aggressive Russia under Vladimir Putin and an increasingly influential China, the role of the European Union – a major global champion of democracy and multilateralism – and its responsibility for sustainable stability in the EaP region are growing. Against ...

The geopolitical, economic and security situation in Europe has evolved significantly in the past 10 years since the Eastern Partnership (EaP) was first created in 2009. With the growing pressure on democracies and multilateralism worldwide, an aggressive Russia under Vladimir Putin and an increasingly influential China, the role of the European Union – a major global champion of democracy and multilateralism – and its responsibility for sustainable stability in the EaP region are growing. Against this backdrop, the new 'geopolitical' European Commission and the EU's High Representative have put forward a proposal for the EaP policy beyond 2020, focused on 'reinforcing resilience'.

The EU's response to the coronavirus 'infodemic'

12-06-2020

In parallel to the coronavirus pandemic, governments across the world are having to tackle a viral 'infodemic'; a wave of coronavirus-related information including hoaxes, conspiracy theories and disinformation by third parties. In many countries, the situation is hampering freedom of expression. During the June plenary session, the European Commission and the Council are scheduled to make statements on the fight against disinformation campaigns during the Covid-19 crisis and the impact on freedom ...

In parallel to the coronavirus pandemic, governments across the world are having to tackle a viral 'infodemic'; a wave of coronavirus-related information including hoaxes, conspiracy theories and disinformation by third parties. In many countries, the situation is hampering freedom of expression. During the June plenary session, the European Commission and the Council are scheduled to make statements on the fight against disinformation campaigns during the Covid-19 crisis and the impact on freedom of expression.

The impact of coronavirus on media freedom

08-05-2020

Media freedom has increasingly come under the spotlight in recent years. In its 2019 report on media freedom, Freedom House argued that media freedom around the world was coming under growing threat both in democratic and non-democratic countries, whilst in its 2020 edition of the World Press Freedom Index, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) argue that the next decade will be pivotal in ensuring the preservation of media freedom. This threat to media freedom is often attributed to the recent rise of ...

Media freedom has increasingly come under the spotlight in recent years. In its 2019 report on media freedom, Freedom House argued that media freedom around the world was coming under growing threat both in democratic and non-democratic countries, whilst in its 2020 edition of the World Press Freedom Index, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) argue that the next decade will be pivotal in ensuring the preservation of media freedom. This threat to media freedom is often attributed to the recent rise of populist and authoritarian governments, with many world-leaders – including leaders of major democracies – increasingly seeming to view free media as an opponent, rather than a fundamental aspect of a free society. The knock-on effects of such actions can be grave, particularly given the important role that a free media plays in upholding democracy and democratic freedoms. Media freedom and pluralism are part of the rights and principles enshrined in the European Charter of Fundamental Rights and in the European Convention on Human Rights. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to have significant ramifications for public health, social welfare and the economy, the crisis also presents a significant threat to media freedom. Media freedom proponents have warned that governments across the world could use the coronavirus emergency as a pretext for the implementation of new, draconian restrictions on free expression, as well as to increase press censorship. In many countries, the crisis has been exploited for just such reasons, with political leaders using it as a justification for additional restrictions on media freedom. In its 2020 World Press Freedom Index, RSF argues that certain governments have used the crisis to impose media restrictions that in ordinary times would be impossible. The Council of Europe (CoE) Platform for the Protection of Journalists has warned that the fresh assault on media freedom amid the Covid 19 pandemic has worsened an already gloomy media freedom outlook.

The EU's global response to coronavirus

15-04-2020

The magnitude of the potential impact of the coronavirus pandemic is still unknown. But it is already clear that developed countries are being severely challenged by the crisis, and that many health-care systems around the world are under-resourced for dealing with a problem of this magnitude. The effects around the world in a wide range of linked areas – economy, political stability, security, human rights – are gradually surfacing as the pandemic spreads, and are likely to affect the global geopolitical ...

The magnitude of the potential impact of the coronavirus pandemic is still unknown. But it is already clear that developed countries are being severely challenged by the crisis, and that many health-care systems around the world are under-resourced for dealing with a problem of this magnitude. The effects around the world in a wide range of linked areas – economy, political stability, security, human rights – are gradually surfacing as the pandemic spreads, and are likely to affect the global geopolitical balance. Against this backdrop, the European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President of the Commission, Josep Borrell, have set out the EU's global response to the pandemic. Council and Commission statements on the EU’s coordinated action to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences are scheduled for the European Parliament's plenary session on 16-17 April 2020.

The EU's response to coronavirus in its neighbourhood and beyond

15-04-2020

The true extent of the evolving coronavirus pandemic within the EU and across the world is still unclear, and the magnitude of the consequences is not known either. What is clear, however, is that the healthcare systems of many countries across the world are underfunded, and that even developed countries are severely challenged by the health crisis. Moreover, the socio-economic impact of the crisis across the world will likely be grave, while the multiple crises related to the pandemic – including ...

The true extent of the evolving coronavirus pandemic within the EU and across the world is still unclear, and the magnitude of the consequences is not known either. What is clear, however, is that the healthcare systems of many countries across the world are underfunded, and that even developed countries are severely challenged by the health crisis. Moreover, the socio-economic impact of the crisis across the world will likely be grave, while the multiple crises related to the pandemic – including the global infodemic – may have lasting effects on the global geopolitical balance. Against this backdrop, on 8 April 2020 the European Commission and the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HR/VP) presented a proposal for a strong and targeted EU response to help partner countries cope with the pandemic, as outlined in a joint communication. In its response, the EU is adopting a 'Team Europe' approach, combining resources from the EU, its Member States and financial institutions. The collective package of €15.6 billion is to help here and now, but also has a longer-term perspective. It will focus on addressing the pressing health crisis and resulting humanitarian needs, bolstering partner countries' health, water and sanitation systems and their research and preparedness capacities to deal with the pandemic, as well as mitigating the impact on societies and economies. This should also help to reduce the risk of destabilisation. The EU's financial support for the countries covered by European Neighbourhood Policy will amount to €3.07 billion: €2.1 billion for the southern neighbourhood, and €962 million for the eastern neighbourhood. Moreover, €800 million will support the six western Balkan countries and Turkey. As a long-standing major international aid contributor, the EU will promote and lead a coordinated multilateral response, together with the United Nations (UN), international financial institutions, and the G7 and the G20.

Countering the health 'infodemic'

07-04-2020

The dissemination of mis- and disinformation in traditional media and on social media has surged in recent years, with wide-ranging consequences in various policy areas – from elections to geopolitics to healthcare. The prevalence of false information regarding health issues threatens to undermine trust in official health advice and institutions responsible for countering threats to public health, potentially posing a serious threat to the health and wellbeing of individuals, a threat exacerbated ...

The dissemination of mis- and disinformation in traditional media and on social media has surged in recent years, with wide-ranging consequences in various policy areas – from elections to geopolitics to healthcare. The prevalence of false information regarding health issues threatens to undermine trust in official health advice and institutions responsible for countering threats to public health, potentially posing a serious threat to the health and wellbeing of individuals, a threat exacerbated in the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Tulevat tapahtumat

22-09-2020
How to secure access to COVID-19 vaccines for EU citizens
Kuulemistilaisuus -
ENVI ITRE
23-09-2020
EPRS online policy roundtable: The United Nations at 75
Muu tapahtuma -
EPRS
24-09-2020
AFCO: Hearing on Transnational lists and the Spitzenkandidaten principle
Kuulemistilaisuus -
AFCO

Kumppanit