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Mitigating the employment and social effects of the Covid-19 pandemic

09-06-2020

The briefing reviews social and employment policy recommendations made by European and international organisations in relation to the coronavirus crisis.

The briefing reviews social and employment policy recommendations made by European and international organisations in relation to the coronavirus crisis.

Digital culture − Access issues

04-06-2020

The digital shift has touched all aspects of human activity, and culture is no exception. Cultural assets and works have been digitised and digital technology has become a tool for novel creations. Digital-born works have enriched the resources available to those interested in culture. Technology has huge potential to facilitate and democratise access to cultural resources. However, certain technical conditions are required to allow access to these cultural resources, for example webpages devoted ...

The digital shift has touched all aspects of human activity, and culture is no exception. Cultural assets and works have been digitised and digital technology has become a tool for novel creations. Digital-born works have enriched the resources available to those interested in culture. Technology has huge potential to facilitate and democratise access to cultural resources. However, certain technical conditions are required to allow access to these cultural resources, for example webpages devoted to digitised cultural heritage and its hidden treasures as well as those devoted to novel creations. These conditions include an internet infrastructure, computers, tablets, or, more frequently, a smartphone − all of which has a price tag. Moreover, the deployment of such infrastructure needs to be evenly distributed so as to provide equal and democratic access to cultural resources − which is not yet the case. Access to costly technology is not sufficient. The technology used must go hand in hand with digital skills that are not evenly acquired by all ages and social groups. Persons with disabilities are in a particularly difficult situation, since ICT equipment often does not suit their specific needs. Moreover, cultural resources are often not available in suitable formats for them. European Union policies and strategies in many areas take all these challenges and access barriers into consideration. EU funds finance connectivity infrastructure in areas in need, training, and educational initiatives across policy areas going from culture and education to innovation and technology. The relationship between technology, science, the arts, and culture is becoming increasingly close in the digital era.

Education in isolation in the pandemic, following the path of Isaac Newton

03-06-2020

While schools have remained closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, students' education cannot be suspended indefinitely without severe consequences. Alternative methods, mostly dependent on digital technology, have been adopted very rapidly. Organisations such as Unesco have been quick to monitor the situation, and the European Union too has followed developments in the Member States through its agencies and networks. Video-conferences between education ministers have been pivotal for them to discuss ...

While schools have remained closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, students' education cannot be suspended indefinitely without severe consequences. Alternative methods, mostly dependent on digital technology, have been adopted very rapidly. Organisations such as Unesco have been quick to monitor the situation, and the European Union too has followed developments in the Member States through its agencies and networks. Video-conferences between education ministers have been pivotal for them to discuss issues and learn from each other's best practices. What has started as an emergency has become an eye-opener, as existing educational gaps have become more visible. Socio-economic inequalities, greater difficulties of access for those with special educational needs, barriers in home–school communication and between teachers and educational authorities have been compounded by missing digital tools and skills. The sudden leap has also given rise to outreach initiatives and a growing awareness of resources whose potential was still under-exploited. These included numerous online platforms and other resources that became freely available to salvage the situation. As teachers, students and parents experiment with new tools, policy-makers try to understand what can be more systematically adopted in the future to make education more flexible and inclusive, and what needs to be debunked. Learning is not limited to schooling; vocational education and training, universities and adult education sectors have also struggled to maintain their activities. At the same time, they will be expected to contribute to the relaunch following the end of confinement. Given the economic downturn, guidance and career counselling will have a pivotal role in reskilling and upskilling the labour force. The European Union has a supportive role in this process and also needs to safeguard the wellbeing of participants in its programmes Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps. The European Parliament is keen to ensure the institutions do all they can. Where does Isaac Newton fit in all this?

How digital technology is easing the burden of confinement

25-05-2020

The coronavirus pandemic is bringing an unforeseen acceleration in the digital transformation of societies around the world. This is the first pandemic in history in which digital technologies are being used on a massive scale to keep people connected while in isolation, allowing them to telework, follow online courses, shop online or consult health professionals from home. As a result, internet traffic has increased substantially since confinement began. According to EU Member States' national regulators ...

The coronavirus pandemic is bringing an unforeseen acceleration in the digital transformation of societies around the world. This is the first pandemic in history in which digital technologies are being used on a massive scale to keep people connected while in isolation, allowing them to telework, follow online courses, shop online or consult health professionals from home. As a result, internet traffic has increased substantially since confinement began. According to EU Member States' national regulators, operators have so far been able to manage this surge, while also introducing many exceptional measures, such as temporarily removing broadband data caps and making extra data and free online content available. The current crisis has highlighted the importance that upgraded telecoms networks and 5G will have for societies and economies. Furthermore, now that confinement has started to ease, it is increasingly clear that digital technology will continue to play a very important longer-term role in controlling the spread of the coronavirus. The scope of contact-tracing apps is likely to expand, and teleworking, telehealth and e-learning are likely to become more prevalent than before. However, the most popular digital apps, whether for e-commerce, social media, videoconferencing or contact tracing are not of EU origin, posing concerns for the EU's digital dependency, competitive advantage and data privacy. In fact, the coronavirus crisis has further consolidated the existing dominance of 'Big Tech'. The pandemic has further exacerbated existing issues; for instance, the digital divide has broadened further and there has been a global rise in cybersecurity incidents. The EU is poised to tackle these issues, while at the same time embracing the digital transformation in our lifestyles and allowing the internet to play a critical role in defeating the virus.

Adult learners in a digital world

03-10-2019

What impact does the digital world have on adult learners? Do they need to develop specific skills? Is the internet the new space where adults learn or find learning opportunities? This infographic looks at how adults in the EU currently use the internet, and their level of skills, to identify some of their learning needs. It then focuses on the characteristics of those who seek educational opportunities online to detect gaps in access to learning. Finally, it looks at how many actually use the internet ...

What impact does the digital world have on adult learners? Do they need to develop specific skills? Is the internet the new space where adults learn or find learning opportunities? This infographic looks at how adults in the EU currently use the internet, and their level of skills, to identify some of their learning needs. It then focuses on the characteristics of those who seek educational opportunities online to detect gaps in access to learning. Finally, it looks at how many actually use the internet for learning purposes and workplace ICT skills development training to pinpoint learning opportunities. While policy-makers see the potential of the digital environment to broaden access to education, lack of skills and infrastructure may be barriers in their own right.

The regions in the digital single market: ICT and digital opportunities for European regions

19-04-2018

The digital economy is growing at seven times the rate of the rest of the economy. The European Commission estimates that completing the digital single market could contribute €415 billion per year to Europe's economy, create 3.8 million jobs and transform public services. In addition, many future jobs will require information and communications technologies (ICT) skills, rendering the process of acquiring digital skills an imperative. The European Commission has presented several initiatives to ...

The digital economy is growing at seven times the rate of the rest of the economy. The European Commission estimates that completing the digital single market could contribute €415 billion per year to Europe's economy, create 3.8 million jobs and transform public services. In addition, many future jobs will require information and communications technologies (ICT) skills, rendering the process of acquiring digital skills an imperative. The European Commission has presented several initiatives to boost the use of ICT in Europe. The Digital Agenda for Europe, announced in 2010 in the framework of the Europe 2020 strategy, aimed at promoting economic recovery and improving social inclusion through a more digitally proficient Europe. The Digital Single Market strategy, introduced in 2015, complements the Digital Agenda for Europe. Achieving a digital single market will ensure that Europe maintains its position as a world leader in the digital economy, helping European companies to grow globally. In 2016, the European Commission adopted a new Skills Agenda for Europe which includes measures on the acquisition of digital skills. Although many of the digital single market priorities are primarily dealt with at national level, various initiatives can be explored at the local and regional level. Regions and cities can plan and pursue their own digital strategies in the interests of enhancing economic growth and to promote their citizens' wellbeing. Enhanced use of digital technologies can improve citizens' access to information and culture, promote open government, equality and non-discrimination. However, a number of challenges need to be addressed to fully reap the benefits of digitalisation. Personnel with ICT skills are still lacking in Europe and many European citizens are not adequately trained to carry out ICT-related tasks. In addition, broadband connectivity in some parts of Europe remains slow. Although certain EU regions and local authorities experiment with new technologies, not all of them have managed to provide a high-level range of digital services and ICT related activities. This briefing is an update of an earlier edition, published in October 2015.

The impact of new technologies on the labour market and the social economy

01-03-2018

This STOA study investigates the potential employment effects of new information and communication technologies, by examining the relationship between innovation, new technologies, employment and inequality. It reviews the existing literature and experiences of previous technological revolutions, and argues that the race between job creation through new products, and job destruction from process innovation, has been won in the past by the job-creating effects of innovation. It concludes that there ...

This STOA study investigates the potential employment effects of new information and communication technologies, by examining the relationship between innovation, new technologies, employment and inequality. It reviews the existing literature and experiences of previous technological revolutions, and argues that the race between job creation through new products, and job destruction from process innovation, has been won in the past by the job-creating effects of innovation. It concludes that there is an uneven distribution in the costs of digitalisation, because of the skills-biased nature of technological change - so the challenge of the future lies in coping with rising inequality from technological change. The study also proposes a set of policy options for dealing with the employment effects of digitalisation.

Ārējais autors

EPRS, DG

The underlying causes of the digital gender gap and possible solutions for enhanced digital inclusion of women and girls

15-02-2018

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the FEMM Committee, attempts to reveal the links between the different factors (access, skills, socio-economic and cultural), which prevent women from having equal access to digital technology. It then suggests ways of dealing with online and offline inequalities to the effect of closing the digital gender gap and improving women’s and girls’ digital inclusion ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the FEMM Committee, attempts to reveal the links between the different factors (access, skills, socio-economic and cultural), which prevent women from having equal access to digital technology. It then suggests ways of dealing with online and offline inequalities to the effect of closing the digital gender gap and improving women’s and girls’ digital inclusion and future technology-related career paths.

Ārējais autors

MS KONSTANTINA DAVAKI

RESEARCH FOR CULT COMMITTEE - PROMOTING MEDIA AND INFORMATION LITERACY IN LIBRARIES

13-12-2017

Librarians and (public) libraries are active in promoting information literacy and (more recently) media literacy. After a brief historical sketch, this document describes how public libraries assist patrons and educational institutions in enhancing knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to critically engage with media and information. It sketches international organizations' endeavours to put media and information literacy (MIL) on the policy agenda, describes what is (not yet) known about the effectiveness ...

Librarians and (public) libraries are active in promoting information literacy and (more recently) media literacy. After a brief historical sketch, this document describes how public libraries assist patrons and educational institutions in enhancing knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to critically engage with media and information. It sketches international organizations' endeavours to put media and information literacy (MIL) on the policy agenda, describes what is (not yet) known about the effectiveness of MIL programs, and offers recommendations for EU and public library policy.

Ārējais autors

Frank HUYSMANS

Plenary round-up - Strasbourg, September 2017

15-09-2017

In addition to the State of the Union address by European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, the main debates held during Parliament's September plenary session included questions such as fire safety in buildings, the impact of hurricane Irma, breaches of human rights and a series of statements related to external relations presented by the High Representative, Federica Mogherini. On the legislative front, Members voted, inter alia, on proposals concerning the WIFI4EU regulation (an initiative ...

In addition to the State of the Union address by European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, the main debates held during Parliament's September plenary session included questions such as fire safety in buildings, the impact of hurricane Irma, breaches of human rights and a series of statements related to external relations presented by the High Representative, Federica Mogherini. On the legislative front, Members voted, inter alia, on proposals concerning the WIFI4EU regulation (an initiative to promote internet connectivity in local communities), security of gas supply, the European Accessibility Act and the European Venture Capital Funds and European Social Entrepreneurship Funds investment schemes. Parliament pushed the Council to move forward with ratifying the Istanbul Convention on combating violence against women. It also raised concerns over the EU Common Position on arms export, as well as adopting three resolutions aimed at modernising EU-Chile trade relations.

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Public hearing on Co-management of EU fisheries at local level
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PECH
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The impact of Brexit on the level playing field in the area of taxation
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