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EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Industrial policy

28-06-2019

Through its industrial policy, the European Union (EU) has been striving to create conditions conducive to increasing industry growth and competitiveness since 1992. European industry remains a cornerstone of the economy, providing one job out of five, and is responsible for the bulk of EU exports and investment in research and innovation. Today, the aim of EU policy is to enable a successful transition towards digital, knowledge-based, decarbonised and more circular industry in Europe. To achieve ...

Through its industrial policy, the European Union (EU) has been striving to create conditions conducive to increasing industry growth and competitiveness since 1992. European industry remains a cornerstone of the economy, providing one job out of five, and is responsible for the bulk of EU exports and investment in research and innovation. Today, the aim of EU policy is to enable a successful transition towards digital, knowledge-based, decarbonised and more circular industry in Europe. To achieve this goal, the EU supports, coordinates and supplements Member State-level policies and actions, mainly in the areas of research and innovation, SMEs and digital technologies. In a Eurobarometer poll conducted for the European Parliament, more than half of EU citizens expressed support for increased EU action on industrial policy. Despite this, it is still the least understood policy area covered by the poll. Since 2014, efforts have been made in a number of areas, including investment (mainly through the European Fund for Strategic Investment, which supports industrial modernisation); digitalisation (for example setting up a number of research partnerships, or a growing network of digital innovation hubs); financing (making it easier for industry and SMEs to access public markets and attract venture funds); greener industry (for example through the revised 2030 emission targets, or measures on clean mobility); standardisation (bringing together relevant stakeholders to collectively develop and update European standards); and skills (mobilising key stakeholders to close the skills gap and providing an adequate workforce for modern industry). The European Parliament has called for ambitious policies in many of these areas. In the future, EU spending on key areas relevant to industrial policy is expected to rise moderately. The European Commission is proposing to boost the share of EU spending on research, SMEs and key infrastructure, although not as much as Parliament has requested. In the coming years, policies are likely to focus on seeking fairer global competition, stimulating innovation, building digital capacities and increasing the sustainability of European industry. This is an update of an earlier briefing issued in advance of the 2019 European elections.

Horizon Europe – Specific programme: Implementing the framework programme

15-05-2019

In June 2018, the European Commission proposed a total budget allocation of €100 billion to finance science, research and innovation projects during the 2021-2027 period, of which the vast majority, €94.1 billion in current prices, would be allocated to the Horizon Europe framework programme. The main aims are to strengthen science and technology, to foster industrial competiveness, and to implement the sustainable development goals in the EU. Horizon Europe would introduce new features such as the ...

In June 2018, the European Commission proposed a total budget allocation of €100 billion to finance science, research and innovation projects during the 2021-2027 period, of which the vast majority, €94.1 billion in current prices, would be allocated to the Horizon Europe framework programme. The main aims are to strengthen science and technology, to foster industrial competiveness, and to implement the sustainable development goals in the EU. Horizon Europe would introduce new features such as the European Innovation Council, missions to promote research results, and new forms of partnerships. While the proposal for the framework programme sets out the general and specific objective of Horizon Europe as well as the structure and the broad lines of the activities to be carried out, the specific programme aims to define the operational objectives and activities, especially for missions, the European Research Council, the European Innovation Council, work programmes, and the committee procedure. In April 2019, after several trilogue meetings, Parliament and Council reached a partial agreement, covering the specific programme’s content. It does not however address budgetary issues, pending negotiations on the EU’s overall 2021-2027 long-term budget. Parliament thus adopted its first-reading position on 17 April 2019, and it is expected that further trilogue negotiations will take place in the new term.

European Defence Fund: Multiannual financial framework 2021-2027

15-05-2019

In June 2018, the European Commission presented a legislative proposal on a European Defence Fund, including a budget allocation of €13 billion in current prices for the 2021-2027 period. The proposal aims to streamline and simplify the current legislation by integrating the Preparatory Action on Defence Research (research window) and the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (as one part of the capability window) into a single fund. The main aims of the fund are to foster the competitiveness ...

In June 2018, the European Commission presented a legislative proposal on a European Defence Fund, including a budget allocation of €13 billion in current prices for the 2021-2027 period. The proposal aims to streamline and simplify the current legislation by integrating the Preparatory Action on Defence Research (research window) and the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (as one part of the capability window) into a single fund. The main aims of the fund are to foster the competitiveness and innovativeness of European defence and to contribute to the EU's strategic autonomy. In this regard, the fund would support collaborative industrial projects; co finance the costs of prototype development; encourage the participation of small and medium-sized enterprises; and promote projects in the framework of permanent structured cooperation. Synergies are expected with other EU initiatives in the field of cybersecurity, maritime transport, border management, Horizon Europe, the space programme and the European Peace Facility. In April 2019, after several trilogue meetings, Parliament and Council reached a partial agreement on the programme, covering the content, but not, among other things, budgetary issues. Parliament adopted its position at first reading in April. Further discussions on the outstanding issues can be expected once Council reaches agreement on the overall multiannual budget. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Assessing the Leaders’ Agenda

06-05-2019

The Leaders' Agenda can be assessed rather favourably as it has enabled more structured work and better preparation by all actors concerned. This method can be recommended for the future work of the European Council as it allows a consistent follow-up. However, it has not helped to overcome deadlock on some of the most sensitive issues, such as migration and taxation.

The Leaders' Agenda can be assessed rather favourably as it has enabled more structured work and better preparation by all actors concerned. This method can be recommended for the future work of the European Council as it allows a consistent follow-up. However, it has not helped to overcome deadlock on some of the most sensitive issues, such as migration and taxation.

European research area (ERA) – Regional and cross-border perspectives

30-04-2019

The ERA is a coordination system for national research infrastructures, and itself constitutes an infrastructure designed to create a single market for science. The main implementing instrument for the ERA is the European Union (EU) framework programme for research and innovation (R&I), currently Horizon 2020, alongside national roadmaps for implementing the common priorities. While the ERA offers a way to improve joint programming for research and innovation activities, interaction between research ...

The ERA is a coordination system for national research infrastructures, and itself constitutes an infrastructure designed to create a single market for science. The main implementing instrument for the ERA is the European Union (EU) framework programme for research and innovation (R&I), currently Horizon 2020, alongside national roadmaps for implementing the common priorities. While the ERA offers a way to improve joint programming for research and innovation activities, interaction between research infrastructures, the use of public-public partnerships between Member States, the application of smart specialisation strategies (S3) and the mobility of researchers, challenges still remain. The Horizon 2020 focus on excellence as the main criterion for receiving funding – a requirement designed to cement the EU's reputation in science and its global competitiveness – has led to a concentration of funding as well as R&I capacities in some countries and regions, while increasing the (innovation) gap between EU-15 and EU-13 countries. Other main challenges include the absence of a clear, shared definition of the ERA concept, the multiplication of instruments, and the non-use of binding legislation for ERA implementation. One way to improve the ERA and to broaden participation and cohesion without undermining the criterion of excellence might be to enhance the interoperability between funding and programmes and to continue working on making the EU state aid rules more R&I-friendly.

The new European cybersecurity competence centre and network

16-04-2019

On 13 September 2017, the Commission adopted a cybersecurity package containing a series of initiatives to further improve EU cyber-resilience, deterrence and defence. A year later, the Commission presented a proposal for the creation of a European cybersecurity competence centre with a related network of national coordination centres. The initiative aims to improve and strengthen the EU's cybersecurity capacity, by stimulating the European technological and industrial cybersecurity ecosystem as ...

On 13 September 2017, the Commission adopted a cybersecurity package containing a series of initiatives to further improve EU cyber-resilience, deterrence and defence. A year later, the Commission presented a proposal for the creation of a European cybersecurity competence centre with a related network of national coordination centres. The initiative aims to improve and strengthen the EU's cybersecurity capacity, by stimulating the European technological and industrial cybersecurity ecosystem as well as coordinating and pooling necessary resources in Europe. The competence centre is supposed to become the main body that would manage EU financial resources dedicated to cybersecurity research under the two proposed programmes – Digital Europe and Horizon Europe – within the next multiannual financial framework, for 2021-2027. Within the European Parliament, the file was assigned to the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE). The report was adopted on 19 February 2019 in ITRE committee and voted by Parliament during the March I 2019 plenary. Although trilogue negotiations took place in March 2019, given the short timeframe until the end of the term no agreement could be reached. It is thus expected that Parliament will confirm its position at first reading during the April II plenary.

How the EU budget is spent: Euratom research and training programme

03-04-2019

The Euratom research and training programme is an important tool that implements the European Union's nuclear policy. Its main aim is to enhance the role of the European Union as a global leader in nuclear research, while efficiently managing its nuclear market.

The Euratom research and training programme is an important tool that implements the European Union's nuclear policy. Its main aim is to enhance the role of the European Union as a global leader in nuclear research, while efficiently managing its nuclear market.

Innovation in Europe [What Think Tanks are thinking]

29-03-2019

Innovation in the economy is a priority for the European Union, vital to its competitiveness globally, and for growth and jobs. The EU is implementing a number of policies and programmes that support innovation, through increased investment in research and development, and to better convert research into improved goods and services. Yet, according to many analysts, despite the roll-out of numerous pro-innovation initiatives, the EU is still lagging behind the United States and China both on innovation ...

Innovation in the economy is a priority for the European Union, vital to its competitiveness globally, and for growth and jobs. The EU is implementing a number of policies and programmes that support innovation, through increased investment in research and development, and to better convert research into improved goods and services. Yet, according to many analysts, despite the roll-out of numerous pro-innovation initiatives, the EU is still lagging behind the United States and China both on innovation and in relation to the related digitalisation process. This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports from major international think tanks on innovation in the EU and related issues. More papers on innovation, notably on the digital economy, can be found in a previous item in this series. published in July 2018.

Artificial intelligence in transport: Current and future developments, opportunities and challenges

27-03-2019

Artificial intelligence is changing the transport sector. From helping cars, trains, ships and aeroplanes to function autonomously, to making traffic flows smoother, it is already applied in numerous transport fields. Beyond making our lives easier, it can help to make all transport modes safer, cleaner, smarter and more efficient. Artificial intelligence-led autonomous transport could for instance help to reduce the human errors that are involved in many traffic accidents. However, with these opportunities ...

Artificial intelligence is changing the transport sector. From helping cars, trains, ships and aeroplanes to function autonomously, to making traffic flows smoother, it is already applied in numerous transport fields. Beyond making our lives easier, it can help to make all transport modes safer, cleaner, smarter and more efficient. Artificial intelligence-led autonomous transport could for instance help to reduce the human errors that are involved in many traffic accidents. However, with these opportunities come real challenges, including unintended consequences and misuse such as cyber-attacks and biased decisions about transport. There are also ramifications for employment, and ethical questions regarding liability for the decisions taken by artificial intelligence in the place of humans. The EU is taking steps to adapt its regulatory framework to these developments, so that it supports innovation while at the same time ensuring respect for fundamental values and rights. The measures already taken include general strategies on artificial intelligence and rules that support the technologies enabling the application of artificial intelligence in transport. In addition, the EU provides financial support, in particular for research.

Member States Progress towards the EU 2020 Targets

21-02-2019

This note prepared by Economic Governance Support Unit gives an overview of the member states progress towards the EU 2020 targets.

This note prepared by Economic Governance Support Unit gives an overview of the member states progress towards the EU 2020 targets.

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