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Three ESPAS Global Trends Reports identify major shifts through the 2010s and the challenges they pose for the European Union. The reports tease out both risks and opportunities arising in geopolitics, the economy, technology, the environment and society. They underline the need for anticipatory governance and for the development of a strategic foresight culture within the EU institutions.

Productivity has a key role to play in the EU's long-term economic growth. The recent economic recovery has reversed the negative trend but concerns remain about long-term prospects. Productivity varies across the EU, with newer Member States reaching only about half the level of the older ones (EU-15) when measured in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) per hour worked, but showing a higher growth dynamic. The recent poor productivity growth in the EU raises a number of important policy questions ...

Economic growth in the euro area has been sluggish since the onset of the global financial crisis of 2008. While some of this sluggishness reflected cyclical patterns, ongoing weak productivity growth and demographic factors point to slow average growth rates for the euro area in the coming decades. This will most likely translate into a lower equilibrium real interest rate. The ECB should follow the Federal Reserve in providing estimates to the public of average nominal interest rate it expects ...

The EU spending on fight against climate change

Részletes elemzés 16-04-2018

The present note has been drafted as a background document for the hearing on 'The EU Budget and the Paris Climate Agreement' of the EP BUDG and ENVI Committees. It aims at providing an introduction to the topic, looking at the EU commitments in the field of climate from a budgetary angle. It contains a brief overview of the policy context, a presentation of budgetary aspects, including a short part on methodology of tracking the climate-related expenditure and on distinction between adaptation and ...

Strategic foresight is increasingly being used as a technique to help organisations anticipate and prepare for potential challenges or opportunities. Its application to agricultural and rural development policies is examined in this briefing. A range of relevant foresight studies are identified and examined across a number of elements, covering: the identification of key drivers of change; the nature of the scenarios they present (including the role of technology and precision farming); and food ...

Interest rates are at historically low levels, both in the European Union and worldwide. For the euro area, a reason for low market interest rate levels is the accommodative monetary policy of the European Central Bank (ECB), which endeavours to increase inflation levels. Most of the time, central banks have to fight inflationary tendencies, but recently inflation was almost non-existent in the euro area, even leading to occasional dips into deflation. For some time, inflation was very far from the ...

World Energy Outlook 2016

Rövid áttekintés 19-12-2016

World Energy Outlook 2016 World Energy Outlook (WEO) is an annual study produced by the International Energy Agency (IEA), which models future global trends in energy based on different policy scenarios. The study looks at how production and consumption of different energy sources is evolving, and considers the likely effects of investment decisions, new technologies, government policies and international agreements. The WEO sheds light on the expected energy trajectory of different regions of the ...

Global Trendometer

Tanulmány 06-10-2016

With the publication of this inaugural edition of the "Global Trendometer," the EPRS Global Trends Unit seeks to contribute to the process of identifying and addressing medium- and long-term trends, and their possible implications for policy-making in the European Union. Three essays and eight two-page vignettes on different geopolitical, economic, technological and social issues paint a broad-ranging picture of developments that may shape Europe’s future.  

Liquefied Natural Gas in Europe

Briefing 04-11-2015

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) represents the main alternative to pipeline supplies of gas. In liquefied form, natural gas (methane) can be stored and transported across long distances, contributing to diversification of supply and enhancing energy security in Europe. The gas market in the EU is characterised by gradually declining domestic consumption and more rapidly declining domestic production. Import needs are likely to increase in the short and medium term, and remain broadly stable in the longer ...

Energy Infrastructure Priorities

Részletes elemzés 09-03-2011

Energy infrastructure priorities are made on the basis of long-term energy models with underlying assumptions influencing the model results. This briefing paper analyses long-term assumptions up to 2050. It recommends that energy savings targets, CO2 reduction targets and third country interconnections for renewable electricity import are used as underlying assumptions for a longer term Impact Assessment of infrastructure priorities. Furthermore, it is recommended to set intermediate targets for ...