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The government of the United Kingdom (UK) introduced the 'Northern Ireland Protocol bill' in the House of Commons on 13 June 2022. If enacted, the bill provides that certain provisions of the Northern Ireland Protocol would no longer 'have effect in the UK'. The main fields concerned are i) customs and movement of goods, ii) regulation of goods, iii) State aid, and iv) application of EU law. On 15 June, the EU relaunched the infringement procedure against the UK for failing to properly implement ...

On 5 May 2022, voters elected the members of the Northern Ireland Assembly (NIA) in a challenging political context, due among other things to differences over the Northern Ireland Protocol. Indeed, the largest unionist party in Northern Ireland strongly opposes the Protocol, and has blocked the work of Northern Ireland's political institutions pending changes in its operation. The UK government has reiterated its readiness to 'unilaterally dis-apply' the Protocol and/or to suspend it – putting forward ...

Biases are commonly considered one of the most detrimental effects of artificial intelligence (AI) use. The EU is therefore committed to reducing their incidence as much as possible. However, the existence of biases pre-dates the creation of AI tools. All human societies are biased – AI only reproduces what we are. Therefore, opposing this technology for this reason would simply hide discrimination and not prevent it. It is up to human supervision to use all available means – which are many – to ...

Supported by the arrival of 5G and, soon 6G, digital technologies are evolving towards an artificial intelligence-driven internet of robotic and bionano things. The merging of artificial intelligence (AI) with other technologies such as the internet of things (IoT) gives rise to acronyms such as 'AIoT', 'IoRT' (IoT and robotics) and 'IoBNT' (IoT and bionano technology). Blockchain, augmented reality and virtual reality add even more technological options to the mix. Smart bodies, smart homes, smart ...

On 7 June 2022, the European Parliament and the Council reached a provisional agreement on the legislative proposal to amend the 2014 Radio Equipment Directive. The amended directive, proposed by the European Commission on 23 September 2021, is a first step towards mandating a common charger for mobile phones and other small portable devices, which will have to be equipped with a USB Type-C receptacle and will have to incorporate the USB Power Delivery communication protocol. A separate initiative ...

Both the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) and the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) between the EU and the UK allow a party to adopt measures in order to induce the other party to comply with a ruling delivered by an arbitral tribunal. Both agreements also allow the implementation of measures without having first to resort to the relevant dispute settlement mechanism, and the TCA provides for compensatory measures if a party has been found to have applied remedial measures that are inconsistent with ...

Recent events have multiplied concerns about potential fragmentation of the internet into a multitude of non-interoperable and disconnected 'splinternets'. Composed of thousands of compatible autonomous systems, the internet is by definition technically divided. Yet, the internet was also designed to be an open and global technical infrastructure. The unity and openness of the internet appear to be under great pressure from political, commercial and technological developments. This report explores ...

The current Machinery Directive (Directive 2006/42/EC) was designed to allow the free movement of machinery within the internal market, while ensuring a high level of protection of health and safety of users. To reduce the occurrence of accidents, it promotes inherently safe design and construction of machinery, and proper installation and maintenance. On 21 April 2021, the Commission put forward a proposal for a regulation on machinery products, part of a wider 'artificial intelligence package'. ...

This briefing provides an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above-mentioned proposal, submitted on 30 March 2022 and referred to the European Parliament's Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI). The proposal aims to repeal the Ecodesign Directive 2009/125/EC, which establishes a framework for adopting product-specific requirements set out in implementing measures (usually regulations) by the ...

This briefing, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the JURI Committee, provides recommendations for better regulation in the EU by improving quality and reducing delays. It points at significant actual and potential benefits from EU legislative initiatives amounting to over €2,200bn as well as costs of slow Europe of €319 billion in lost annual benefits.