95

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Područje politike
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The future of regional airports: Challenges and opportunities

26-02-2021

Regional airports are an important part of the aviation system in the European Union (EU). They are engines of socio-economic development and improve accessibility to certain locations, in particular those that are remote or not well served by other forms of transportation. They also have a vital role in terms of economic and social cohesion, stimulating tourism and employment, as well as facilitating access to essential services. In addition, they can help to reduce congestion at major hub airports ...

Regional airports are an important part of the aviation system in the European Union (EU). They are engines of socio-economic development and improve accessibility to certain locations, in particular those that are remote or not well served by other forms of transportation. They also have a vital role in terms of economic and social cohesion, stimulating tourism and employment, as well as facilitating access to essential services. In addition, they can help to reduce congestion at major hub airports. The Covid 19 pandemic has hit regional airports hard, especially those more dependent on passenger traffic, which has been more severely hit than cargo traffic. The situation is so difficult that without government support, many regional airports, which serve local communities, face the risk of insolvency. Meanwhile, the pandemic is putting airports under pressure to become more digital. Moreover, a greater focus on tackling climate change is driving various projects to make airports more sustainable. The recovery from the crisis is likely to take several years. It will depend on several factors, such as the duration and magnitude of the crisis, pace of vaccination and consumer confidence. The speed with which the economy recovers will also affect how long the recovery of air travel will take. All this requires support. The EU has taken steps to ensure that Member States can make full use of the flexibility allowed under State aid rules, to provide regional airports with support to overcome this unprecedented crisis. Since March 2020, the European Commission has approved numerous State aid schemes from which regional airports can benefit. The EU can also support airports through its Recovery and Resilience Facility, which aims at making Europe more sustainable, resilient and better prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the green and digital transitions.

What if we could engineer the planet to help fight climate change?

23-02-2021

Efforts to curb carbon emissions are falling short ‒ and geoengineering is again in the spotlight. Will governments end up tinkering with Earth’s thermostat?

Efforts to curb carbon emissions are falling short ‒ and geoengineering is again in the spotlight. Will governments end up tinkering with Earth’s thermostat?

The future of work: Trends, challenges and potential initiatives

15-02-2021

The current coronavirus pandemic and its accompanying health and economic crises have highlighted and heightened certain trends and challenges which were already affecting the labour market in Europe. These include accelerated digitalisation and automation, increased use of artificial intelligence, constraints relating to a lack of digital skills, and problems concerning the status of platform workers and other workers in non-standard forms of employment. In parallel, there has been an unprecedented ...

The current coronavirus pandemic and its accompanying health and economic crises have highlighted and heightened certain trends and challenges which were already affecting the labour market in Europe. These include accelerated digitalisation and automation, increased use of artificial intelligence, constraints relating to a lack of digital skills, and problems concerning the status of platform workers and other workers in non-standard forms of employment. In parallel, there has been an unprecedented expansion in teleworking, and in the development of transport and delivery platforms, as a result of the need for social distancing during the pandemic. Many of these changes will outlive the current crisis and generate in turn new challenges, which the EU and Member States will need to address.

Democratic institutions and prosperity: The benefits of an open society

04-02-2021

The ongoing structural transformation and the rapid spread of the technologies of the fourth industrial revolution are challenging current democratic institutions and their established forms of governance and regulation. At the same time, these changes offer vast opportunities to enhance, strengthen and expand the existing democratic framework to reflect a more complex and interdependent world. This process has already begun in many democratic societies but further progress is needed. Examining these ...

The ongoing structural transformation and the rapid spread of the technologies of the fourth industrial revolution are challenging current democratic institutions and their established forms of governance and regulation. At the same time, these changes offer vast opportunities to enhance, strengthen and expand the existing democratic framework to reflect a more complex and interdependent world. This process has already begun in many democratic societies but further progress is needed. Examining these issues involves looking at the impact of ongoing complex and simultaneous changes on the theoretical framework underpinning beneficial democratic regulation. More specifically, combining economic, legal and political perspectives, it is necessary to explore how some adaptations to existing democratic institutions could further improve the functioning of democracies while also delivering additional economic benefits to citizens and society as whole. The introduction of a series of promising new tools could offer a potential way to support democratic decision-makers in regulating complexity and tackling ongoing and future challenges. The first of these tools is to use strategic foresight to anticipate and control future events; the second is collective intelligence, following the idea that citizens are collectively capable of providing better solutions to regulatory problems than are public administrations; the third and fourth are concerned with design-thinking and algorithmic regulation respectively. Design-based approaches are credited with opening up innovative options for policy-makers, while algorithms hold the promise of enabling decision-making to handle complex issues while remaining participatory.

The right to disconnect

13-01-2021

In the context of the digital transformation in the world of work, the European Parliament's Employment and Social Affairs Committee has adopted a legislative-initiative report calling on the Commission to propose an EU directive that lays down minimum requirements for the right to disconnect. The practice of remote working through digital tools intensified through the coronavirus lockdown measures has drawn increasing attention to the issues of constant connectivity and the blurring boundaries between ...

In the context of the digital transformation in the world of work, the European Parliament's Employment and Social Affairs Committee has adopted a legislative-initiative report calling on the Commission to propose an EU directive that lays down minimum requirements for the right to disconnect. The practice of remote working through digital tools intensified through the coronavirus lockdown measures has drawn increasing attention to the issues of constant connectivity and the blurring boundaries between working and non-working time. Parliament is expected to vote on this legislative initiative during its January 2021 plenary session.

What if technology and culture combined to boost a green recovery?

21-12-2020

With its recent European Green Deal framework, the EU is striving to achieve climate neutrality in its economy by 2050 and, simultaneously, bring itself on the path of recovery from the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Technology will inevitably play a significant part in this process. However, historical experience tells us that culture and aesthetic have too had significant roles in recovery from a crises, be it war, economic recession, or an epidemic.

With its recent European Green Deal framework, the EU is striving to achieve climate neutrality in its economy by 2050 and, simultaneously, bring itself on the path of recovery from the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Technology will inevitably play a significant part in this process. However, historical experience tells us that culture and aesthetic have too had significant roles in recovery from a crises, be it war, economic recession, or an epidemic.

China's economic recovery and dual circulation model

11-12-2020

After a delayed response to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in late 2019, China has expanded its sophisticated digital surveillance systems to the health sector, linking security and health. It has apparently successfully contained the virus, while most other countries still face an uphill battle with Covid-19. China emerged first from lockdown, and its economy rapidly entered a V-shaped recovery. As in 2008, China is driving the global recovery and will derive strategic gains from this role ...

After a delayed response to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in late 2019, China has expanded its sophisticated digital surveillance systems to the health sector, linking security and health. It has apparently successfully contained the virus, while most other countries still face an uphill battle with Covid-19. China emerged first from lockdown, and its economy rapidly entered a V-shaped recovery. As in 2008, China is driving the global recovery and will derive strategic gains from this role. However, China's relations with advanced economies and some emerging markets have further deteriorated during the pandemic, as its aggressive foreign policy posture has triggered pushback. This has created a more hostile environment for China's economic development and has had a negative impact on China's hitherto almost unconstrained access to these economies. The need to make the Chinese economy more resilient against external shocks and the intention to tap into the unexploited potential of China's huge domestic market in order to realise the nation's ambitions of becoming a global leader in cutting-edge technologies have prompted the Chinese leadership to launch a new economic development paradigm for China. The 'dual circulation development model' still lacks specifics but is expected to be a key theme in China's 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) to be officially approved in March 2021. The concept suggests that, in future, priority will be given to 'domestic circulation' over 'international circulation'. China's more inward-looking development strategy geared towards greater self-reliance in strategic sectors requires major domestic structural reform and investment to unleash the purchasing power of China's low-end consumers and the indigenous innovation efforts to achieve the technological breakthroughs needed. These innovation efforts are expected to be largely state-driven. For the EU the envisaged shifts create challenges and opportunities. On the one hand, competition with China will become fiercer and, on the other, the EU can pursue openings for supply chain diversification with like-minded countries and thus boost its open strategic autonomy.

What if AI could help us become 'greener'?

20-11-2020

While some argue that AI can potentially be useful or even indispensable in ‘green transitions’, important questions remain open. Should AI be only used in resolving different specific problems (for example, intelligent pollinating robots replacing a declining bee population) or should AI be employed in ‘governing’ the sustainability of complex socio-economic systems such as mobility, food, and energy? While the latter option is currently technically unattainable and may be ethically dubious, it ...

While some argue that AI can potentially be useful or even indispensable in ‘green transitions’, important questions remain open. Should AI be only used in resolving different specific problems (for example, intelligent pollinating robots replacing a declining bee population) or should AI be employed in ‘governing’ the sustainability of complex socio-economic systems such as mobility, food, and energy? While the latter option is currently technically unattainable and may be ethically dubious, it marks the axis of a political debate about possible synergies between sustainability and AI.

Research and innovation

13-11-2020

With less than seven per cent of the global population, the European Union (EU) accounts for almost 20 per cent of global investment in research and innovation (R&I). However, despite the well-known correlation between research, development, innovation and competitiveness, when it comes to R&I expenditure as a percentage of GDP, the Union performs poorly compared to South Korea, Japan, the United States (US) and China. Moreover, regional disparities in R&I and a lack of private investment are significant ...

With less than seven per cent of the global population, the European Union (EU) accounts for almost 20 per cent of global investment in research and innovation (R&I). However, despite the well-known correlation between research, development, innovation and competitiveness, when it comes to R&I expenditure as a percentage of GDP, the Union performs poorly compared to South Korea, Japan, the United States (US) and China. Moreover, regional disparities in R&I and a lack of private investment are significant indicators of certain R&I related shortcomings at EU level. While the EU has reacted relatively rapidly to the challenges deriving from the coronavirus pandemic, challenges remain. To better withstand unexpected future shocks and to strengthen the EU's R&I capacity, this Briefing explores a number of options: (i) R&I related funding and budget lines should be increased. Public and private investments should be promoted to bridge regional disparities and to meet the Barcelona objective of spending 3 % of GDP on R&I; (ii) European and national laws could be more innovation-friendly, while the Union should further promote guidelines and best practice to enhance R&I; (iii) the EU could translate visions into meaningful EU-wide missions and better support the market launch of promising innovations; (iv) The Union should enhance its strategic autonomy in the digital field and empower entrepreneurs and citizens to use digital skills; and (v) the realisation of the European research area and European universities initiative has to proceed while further promoting the open access/science approach.

Important projects of common European interest: Boosting EU strategic value chains

12-11-2020

Article 107(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union provides for the possibility of approving state aid for 'important projects of common European interest' (IPCEIs). These provisions have been used very rarely until recently. A specific framework enabling the creation of IPCEIs, originally only in the areas of research, development and innovation, and environmental protection has been in place for 15 years, yet only four such projects have been notified to and assessed by the ...

Article 107(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union provides for the possibility of approving state aid for 'important projects of common European interest' (IPCEIs). These provisions have been used very rarely until recently. A specific framework enabling the creation of IPCEIs, originally only in the areas of research, development and innovation, and environmental protection has been in place for 15 years, yet only four such projects have been notified to and assessed by the Commission so far. The first two – in the area of infrastructure – were partially annulled by the Court of Justice, and the Commission opened in-depth investigations to examine their compatibility with State aid. One of those concluded that the aid was legal, the other is ongoing. The next two were launched successfully in the areas of strategic value chains for microelectronics and batteries. After this rather modest start, there seems to be strong momentum to create more IPCEIs, including in the context of the debate on how to foster the emergence of 'European champions'. The marked political shift towards greater technological sovereignty and strategic autonomy within the EU has been given further impetus with the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, which disrupted global value chains and highlighted the case for a more self-sufficient EU model. IPCEIs may be useful tools for creating complex new value chains that have the potential to ensure the EU's long-term competitiveness and economic growth. A growing number of governments, experts and organisations have been calling for the simplification of current rules to make IPCEIs more frequently and widely used. The European Parliament would also like to see the requirements for the IPCEIs streamlined to allow smaller industrial research projects also to acquire IPCEI status. In its 2021 work programme, the European Commission announced the revision of the current IPCEI framework planned for the fourth quarter of the year.

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