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Re-use of public sector information

01-04-2019

The mid-term review of the digital single market strategy in 2017 identified the data economy as one of the top three priority areas for action in the second half of the strategy's implementation, and announced a legislative proposal to improve access to and the re-use of publicly funded data. These data, which include geographical, land registry, statistical and legal information, are needed by re-users in the digital economy, and are increasingly employed by public administrations themselves. On ...

The mid-term review of the digital single market strategy in 2017 identified the data economy as one of the top three priority areas for action in the second half of the strategy's implementation, and announced a legislative proposal to improve access to and the re-use of publicly funded data. These data, which include geographical, land registry, statistical and legal information, are needed by re-users in the digital economy, and are increasingly employed by public administrations themselves. On 25 April 2018, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a revision of the directive on the re-use of public sector information, which was presented as part of a package of measures aiming to facilitate the creation of a common data space in the EU. The directive addresses a number of issues, and presents ways to boost the potential of public sector information, including the provision of real-time access to dynamic data, the supply of high-value public data for re-use, the prevention of new forms of exclusive arrangement, and action to limit the use of exceptions to the principle of charging the marginal cost. Within the European Parliament, the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) adopted its report on 2 December 2018. An agreement was reached with the Council in trilogue on 22 January 2019, and this was approved by the ITRE committee on 19 February. The agreed text is expected to be voted by Parliament in plenary during April 2019.

Europe's online encyclopaedias: Equal access to knowledge of general interest in a post-truth era?

19-12-2018

The post-truth era – in which emotions trump evidence, while trust in institutions, expertise and mainstream media is declining – is putting our information ecosystem under strain. At a time when information is increasingly being manipulated for ideological and economic purposes, public access to sources of trustworthy general-interest knowledge – such as national online encyclopaedias – can help boost our cognitive resilience. Basic, reliable background information about history, culture, society ...

The post-truth era – in which emotions trump evidence, while trust in institutions, expertise and mainstream media is declining – is putting our information ecosystem under strain. At a time when information is increasingly being manipulated for ideological and economic purposes, public access to sources of trustworthy general-interest knowledge – such as national online encyclopaedias – can help boost our cognitive resilience. Basic, reliable background information about history, culture, society and politics is an essential part of our societies' complex knowledge ecosystem, and an important tool for anyone searching for knowledge, facts or figures.

Societal costs of “Fake news” in the Digital Single Market

14-12-2018

This in-depth analysis explores the mechanisms of “fake news” and its societal costs in the Digital Single Market. It describes the risks to the integrity of information and to the integrity of elections. It highlights the roles of the various actors involved in the production and amplification of such information disorders. Finally, it outlines responses that are being tested in different parts of Europe to deal with the issue. The document has been provided by Policy Department A at the request ...

This in-depth analysis explores the mechanisms of “fake news” and its societal costs in the Digital Single Market. It describes the risks to the integrity of information and to the integrity of elections. It highlights the roles of the various actors involved in the production and amplification of such information disorders. Finally, it outlines responses that are being tested in different parts of Europe to deal with the issue. The document has been provided by Policy Department A at the request of the European Parliament Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection.

A Ten-Year-Long “EU Mediation Paradox”- When an EU Directive Needs To Be More …Directive

21-11-2018

Ten years since its adoption, the EU Mediation Directive remains very far from reaching its stated goals. This briefing summarises the main achievements and failures in the implementation at national level. In addition, it assesses the conclusions of previous research and of the European Parliament's resolution on the implmentation of the Mediation Directive.

Ten years since its adoption, the EU Mediation Directive remains very far from reaching its stated goals. This briefing summarises the main achievements and failures in the implementation at national level. In addition, it assesses the conclusions of previous research and of the European Parliament's resolution on the implmentation of the Mediation Directive.

Külső szerző

Giuseppe De Palo, Professor of Alternative Dispute Resolution Law and Practice at Mitchell Hamline School of Law, St Paul, U.S.A

Foreign influence operations in the EU

10-07-2018

Attempting to influence political decision-making beyond one's own political sphere is not a new phenomenon – it is an integral part of the history of geopolitics. Whereas hard power relies on military and economic force, the soft power of a state involves public diplomacy and dialogue on values, cultures and ideas, which should normally correspond with its behaviour abroad. Although the extent is hard to measure, democratic states whose values match the prevailing global norms – pluralism, fundamental ...

Attempting to influence political decision-making beyond one's own political sphere is not a new phenomenon – it is an integral part of the history of geopolitics. Whereas hard power relies on military and economic force, the soft power of a state involves public diplomacy and dialogue on values, cultures and ideas, which should normally correspond with its behaviour abroad. Although the extent is hard to measure, democratic states whose values match the prevailing global norms – pluralism, fundamental rights and freedoms, the rule of law as a principle within states and in international relations – and exert this influence by contributing to the prevention and resolution of conflicts, traditionally appear more attractive, thus having more soft power leverage. However, influence can also serve purposes of interference and destabilisation. Authoritarian state actors struggle to project soft power while engaging in disruptive or destructive behaviour. Instead, some state actors see a means of reaching their goals by making democratic actors, systems and values appear less attractive, through a number of overt and covert instruments. The tools are constantly evolving. Today, social media combines the oral tradition with new electronic means of dissemination, enabling (potentially disruptive) messages to spread instantaneously. Disinformation can be, and is being, combined with other instruments in an increasingly diverse, hybrid 'toolbox' that authoritarian state actors have at their disposal. In recent years, awareness in the research community of online disinformation by state actors has increased around the world, not least in the context of the United Kingdom referendum on EU membership and the US presidential election in 2016. Although their visibility increases in the context of elections and referendums, influence campaigns are not limited to democratic processes.

The legal framework to address “fake news”: possible policy actions at the EU level

15-06-2018

This paper argues that the current policy initiatives adopted by the European Commission are meaningful, but still incomplete. The policy response to online disinformation should ideally rely on: (i) the promotion of responsible behaviour in conveying information to end users; (ii) the enactment of a proactive media policy aimed at promoting pluralism and improving the exposure of diverse content to end users; and (iii) the empowerment of end users through media literacy initiatives, and supports ...

This paper argues that the current policy initiatives adopted by the European Commission are meaningful, but still incomplete. The policy response to online disinformation should ideally rely on: (i) the promotion of responsible behaviour in conveying information to end users; (ii) the enactment of a proactive media policy aimed at promoting pluralism and improving the exposure of diverse content to end users; and (iii) the empowerment of end users through media literacy initiatives, and supports to user behaviour.

Environmental Reporting Initiative: Implementation Appraisal

17-05-2018

Member States' success in implementing environmental legislation can be measured through the information they send to the European Commission (reporting), which is based on the control activities they carry out (monitoring). In its 2018 work programme, the European Commission announced its intention to streamline requirements in this area, as a follow-up to a Fitness Check on Environmental Monitoring and Reporting (finalised in June 2017).

Member States' success in implementing environmental legislation can be measured through the information they send to the European Commission (reporting), which is based on the control activities they carry out (monitoring). In its 2018 work programme, the European Commission announced its intention to streamline requirements in this area, as a follow-up to a Fitness Check on Environmental Monitoring and Reporting (finalised in June 2017).

Technology as Enabler of Fake News and a Potential Tool to Combat It

15-05-2018

This paper investigates the role of technology in the circulation of the so-called fake news. Technology is a major tool for the dissemination of fake news but also offers methods to analyse their real impacts and tools with which fake news can be argued against and even, more or less democratically, stopped. This document was prepared for Policy Department A at the request of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee.

This paper investigates the role of technology in the circulation of the so-called fake news. Technology is a major tool for the dissemination of fake news but also offers methods to analyse their real impacts and tools with which fake news can be argued against and even, more or less democratically, stopped. This document was prepared for Policy Department A at the request of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee.

Külső szerző

Dr Ziga TURK

Review of the Directive on the Re-use of Public Sector Information (Directive 2013/37/EU)

25-04-2018

The Directive on the re-use of public sector information 2013/37/EU (PSI Directive) provides a common legal framework for a European market for public sector information. It entered into force on 17 July 2013 following a review of the initial PSI Directive of 17 November 2003. This implementation appraisal is written in anticipation of the second review of the directive, the plans for which are likely to be presented by the end of April 2018 as part of a broader package targeting the data economy ...

The Directive on the re-use of public sector information 2013/37/EU (PSI Directive) provides a common legal framework for a European market for public sector information. It entered into force on 17 July 2013 following a review of the initial PSI Directive of 17 November 2003. This implementation appraisal is written in anticipation of the second review of the directive, the plans for which are likely to be presented by the end of April 2018 as part of a broader package targeting the data economy. The upcoming review will attempt to identify opportunities for reducing regulatory costs and for simplifying the existing legislation without negatively affecting the achievements of the underlying policy goals. The ongoing evaluation of the Directive on the legal protection of databases 96/9/EC (Database Directive) will feed into the review by identifying potential issues with the interplay between the PSI and Database Directives. The Commission has also announced that the PSI review will be aligned with the follow-up actions to the REFIT mid-term policy evaluation of Directive 2007/2/EC, 'INSPIRE' (Directive establishing an Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community). For these reasons, both these directives have been included in this appraisal.

Interim evaluation of Horizon 2020

21-03-2018

As required by the regulation, the interim evaluation of Horizon 2020 – the European Union (EU) framework programme (FP) for research and innovation – began in October 2016 with a public consultation to gather feedback from stakeholders three years in. The Commission performed its own mid-term evaluation and asked experts to evaluate the programme's specific instruments. In parallel, the European Parliament, the Council of the EU and the advisory committees conducted their own, separate evaluations ...

As required by the regulation, the interim evaluation of Horizon 2020 – the European Union (EU) framework programme (FP) for research and innovation – began in October 2016 with a public consultation to gather feedback from stakeholders three years in. The Commission performed its own mid-term evaluation and asked experts to evaluate the programme's specific instruments. In parallel, the European Parliament, the Council of the EU and the advisory committees conducted their own, separate evaluations of the programme. The Commission adopted its conclusions on the interim evaluation of Horizon 2020 in January 2018, confirming that the programme was relevant and presented clear EU added value. Implementation was considered to be efficient and the first results suggested that the programme was also effective in reaching its objectives. The integration of research and innovation and the Horizon 2020 pillar structure provided for greater internal coherence compared with previous framework programmes. All the evaluations highlighted four key issues to be addressed by the next FP. First, the programme budget needs to match better the funding required to bring the success rate back to acceptable levels. Second, the unbalanced distribution of FP funding across the EU raises concerns regarding the impact of the use of the excellence criterion and calls for changes to enable the various EU funds to generate more synergistic effects so as to maintain EU competitiveness and promote EU cohesion in research and innovation. Third, the evaluations highlight the will to improve the shared, multi-level governance between the EU, Member States and regions and to promote the co-design and co-construction of the FP with the public and civil society. Finally, there is widespread agreement that the EU research and innovation funding landscape has become too complex and should be streamlined, questioning the EU added value of each of the instruments and partnerships.

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