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Blockchain and the General Data Protection Regulation

24-07-2019

In recent times, there has been much discussion in policy circles, academia and the private sector regarding the tension between blockchains and the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (‘GDPR’). Whereas, the GDPR is based on an underlying assumption that in relation to each personal data point there is at least one the data controller, blockchains make the allocation of responsibility and accountability burdensome. Further, although the GDPR is based on the assumption that data can ...

In recent times, there has been much discussion in policy circles, academia and the private sector regarding the tension between blockchains and the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (‘GDPR’). Whereas, the GDPR is based on an underlying assumption that in relation to each personal data point there is at least one the data controller, blockchains make the allocation of responsibility and accountability burdensome. Further, although the GDPR is based on the assumption that data can be modified or erased where necessary to comply with legal requirements, blockchains, however, render the unilateral modification of data purposefully onerous in order to ensure data integrity and to increase trust in the network.

What if we didn't need cows for our beef?

12-07-2019

With the help of cells from a single cow, scientists can produce 175 million hamburgers. What if we didn’t need cows for our beef? Technologies for producing cultured meat and dairy products will help feeding the world in a sustainable way. What if we could produce meat without farming? New technology within reach to produce meat with a very low eco-footprint

With the help of cells from a single cow, scientists can produce 175 million hamburgers. What if we didn’t need cows for our beef? Technologies for producing cultured meat and dairy products will help feeding the world in a sustainable way. What if we could produce meat without farming? New technology within reach to produce meat with a very low eco-footprint

EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Protecting European consumers

28-06-2019

Consumer protection rules have been improving the rights of consumers in the European Union since the 1970s. While the level of protection is today considered to be among the highest in the world, consumers in the EU are still faced with a number of issues. According to the latest available data, in 2016 one in five consumers said that they had had a reason to complain in the last 12 months, a level which has remained largely unchanged since 2008. Since 2014, efforts have been made in a number of ...

Consumer protection rules have been improving the rights of consumers in the European Union since the 1970s. While the level of protection is today considered to be among the highest in the world, consumers in the EU are still faced with a number of issues. According to the latest available data, in 2016 one in five consumers said that they had had a reason to complain in the last 12 months, a level which has remained largely unchanged since 2008. Since 2014, efforts have been made in a number of areas, including stronger cross-border cooperation between national authorities in charge of consumer protection and market surveillance. Notably, the Commission proposed a 'new deal for consumers' in April 2018, to enable representative legal actions for the protection of the collective interests of consumers and to modernise EU consumer protection rules. Sector-specific efforts included: eliminating roaming charges across the EU in 2017; legislation aimed at facilitating consumer participation in the digital single market; reforms on the rules on privacy and data protection; enhancing the rights of energy consumers and passengers; and efforts to address the 'dual quality' of branded food products. The EU budget for consumer protection is relatively small, because although rules in this field are made at the EU level, their implementation and enforcement are carried out by the Member States. The consumer programme has a budget of €188 million for the 2013-2020 period, or roughly €0.05 per citizen per year. This may change in the new multiannual financial framework, as consumer protection becomes part of a wider single market programme, which is expected to create synergies between its various components. Future policies could focus on longer product lifetime, labelling and quality requirements for non-agricultural and industrial products, fairer food labelling and retail financial services. This is an update of an earlier briefing issued in advance of the 2019 European elections.

What if policy anticipated advances in science and technology?

26-06-2019

What if blockchain revolutionised voting? What if your emotions were tracked to spy on you? And what if we genetically engineered an entire species? Science and policy are intricately connected. Via monthly 'What if' publications, the Scientific Foresight Unit (STOA; part of the European Parliamentary Research Service) draws Members of the European Parliament's attention to new scientific and technological developments relevant for policy-making. The unit also provides administrative support to the ...

What if blockchain revolutionised voting? What if your emotions were tracked to spy on you? And what if we genetically engineered an entire species? Science and policy are intricately connected. Via monthly 'What if' publications, the Scientific Foresight Unit (STOA; part of the European Parliamentary Research Service) draws Members of the European Parliament's attention to new scientific and technological developments relevant for policy-making. The unit also provides administrative support to the Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA), which brings together 25 Members from nine different parliamentary committees who share a strong interest in science and technology in the context of policy-making.

EU fertilising products

26-06-2019

Fertilising products are used to improve plant growth, mainly in agriculture, enabling higher crop yields. However, they are associated with some challenges as regards security of supply, the environment and health. Although the 2003 Fertilisers Regulation, which aimed at ensuring an internal market in fertilisers, has been effective, it mainly addresses mineral fertilisers and deters the introduction of new types of fertilisers. In March 2016, the Commission put forward a legislative proposal on ...

Fertilising products are used to improve plant growth, mainly in agriculture, enabling higher crop yields. However, they are associated with some challenges as regards security of supply, the environment and health. Although the 2003 Fertilisers Regulation, which aimed at ensuring an internal market in fertilisers, has been effective, it mainly addresses mineral fertilisers and deters the introduction of new types of fertilisers. In March 2016, the Commission put forward a legislative proposal on fertilising products, as announced in the circular economy action plan. The proposal modernises the conformity assessment and market surveillance in line with the ‘new legislative framework’ for product legislation, covers a wider range of fertilising products (including those manufactured from secondary raw materials), and sets limits for the presence of heavy metals and contaminants in fertilising products. After completion of the legislative procedure, the final act was signed on 5 June 2019. The regulation will apply in full from 16 July 2022. Fifth edition of a briefing originally drafted by Didier Bourguignon. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

Seirbhísí na Ranna Beartais (IMCO i bhFócas)

14-06-2019

Soláthraíonn Roinn Beartais A saineolas ardcháilíochta, anailís cothrom le dáta agus taighde neamhspleách do na coistí a dtacaíonn sí leo: ECON, EMPL, ENVI, ITRE agus IMCO. Díríonn an bróisiúr seo ar na seirbhísí a chuireann an Rannóg Beartais ar fáil do Choiste IMCO.

Soláthraíonn Roinn Beartais A saineolas ardcháilíochta, anailís cothrom le dáta agus taighde neamhspleách do na coistí a dtacaíonn sí leo: ECON, EMPL, ENVI, ITRE agus IMCO. Díríonn an bróisiúr seo ar na seirbhísí a chuireann an Rannóg Beartais ar fáil do Choiste IMCO.

Rail passengers' rights and obligations in the EU

27-05-2019

In 2007, the EU established a set of basic rights for rail passengers, which became applicable at the end of 2009. These rights provided for all passengers, including those with reduced mobility, a harmonised minimum level of protection, information and assistance. While the implementation of these rights has generally been smooth, recent reports have concluded that this is not done uniformly across the EU. Moreover, other shortcomings have prevented these rights from being used to their full potential ...

In 2007, the EU established a set of basic rights for rail passengers, which became applicable at the end of 2009. These rights provided for all passengers, including those with reduced mobility, a harmonised minimum level of protection, information and assistance. While the implementation of these rights has generally been smooth, recent reports have concluded that this is not done uniformly across the EU. Moreover, other shortcomings have prevented these rights from being used to their full potential. On 27 September 2017, the European Commission presented a new proposal to address these shortcomings and to strike a new balance between keeping rail operators competitive and providing adequate passenger protection. The EP's Committee on Transport and Tourism responsible for the file, adopted its report on 9 October 2018. The Parliament subsequently adopted its first-reading position by a large majority, in plenary on 15 November 2018. In Council, discussions have yet to reach a conclusion. Once the Council adopts its negotiating position, it will be possible to start trilogue negotiations in the new parliamentary term. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Workshop on “Strengthening Competitiveness of the Internal Market by Developing the EU Customs Union and its Governance”

15-05-2019

This report summarises the discussion that took place at the workshop on “Strengthening Competitiveness of the Internal Market by Developing the EU Customs Union and its Governance”. The Union Customs Code is a key element of the ongoing actions to modernise EU customs. With the aim of discussing the main challenges related to this topic and the recent proposal of the European Commission to postpone the deadline of 2020, the workshop was hosted by Ms Virginie Rozière, MEP. This document was prepared ...

This report summarises the discussion that took place at the workshop on “Strengthening Competitiveness of the Internal Market by Developing the EU Customs Union and its Governance”. The Union Customs Code is a key element of the ongoing actions to modernise EU customs. With the aim of discussing the main challenges related to this topic and the recent proposal of the European Commission to postpone the deadline of 2020, the workshop was hosted by Ms Virginie Rozière, MEP. This document was prepared by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection.

Contribution to Growth. Free Movement of Services and Freedom of Establishment. Delivering Improved Rights to European Citizens and Businesses

15-05-2019

This study discusses European legal policy to ensure freedom to provide services and freedom of establishment since 2009, ex-amines the market-opening effects of enacted acts and pro-posals, and identifies legislative challenges that the Union insti-tutions should address in the coming legislative period. It also addresses the specific Brexit-related issues for the freedom to provide services. This document was provided by Policy Department A, in collab-oration with IMCO Secretariat, at the request ...

This study discusses European legal policy to ensure freedom to provide services and freedom of establishment since 2009, ex-amines the market-opening effects of enacted acts and pro-posals, and identifies legislative challenges that the Union insti-tutions should address in the coming legislative period. It also addresses the specific Brexit-related issues for the freedom to provide services. This document was provided by Policy Department A, in collab-oration with IMCO Secretariat, at the request of the IMCO Committee.

Údar seachtarach

Prof. Dr. Friedmann KAINER

Contributing to Growth: European Digital Single - Market Delivering improved rights for citizens and businesses

15-05-2019

TThis study reviews all the rules adopted during the 8th Parliamentary legislature (2014-2019) to strengthen the Digital Single Market. On that basis, the report analyses the rights and obligations as well as the institutions and procedures created or improved in the main policy fields of the Digital Single Market (e-commerce and online platforms, e-government, data and AI, cybersecurity, consumer protection and electronic communications networks and services). Finally, the report identifies remaining ...

TThis study reviews all the rules adopted during the 8th Parliamentary legislature (2014-2019) to strengthen the Digital Single Market. On that basis, the report analyses the rights and obligations as well as the institutions and procedures created or improved in the main policy fields of the Digital Single Market (e-commerce and online platforms, e-government, data and AI, cybersecurity, consumer protection and electronic communications networks and services). Finally, the report identifies remaining gaps and possible actions for the forthcoming Parliament’s legislature. This study has been prepared for the IMCO Committee at the request of the Policy Department A of the European Parliament.

Údar seachtarach

Prof. Alexandre de STREEL, University of Namur and CERRE (Centre on Regulation in Europe) Christian HOCEPIED, University of Namur With the assistance of Michael LOGNOUL and Zorana ROSIC, University of Namurl

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