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Sustainable finance and disclosures: Bringing clarity to investors

15-01-2020

On 24 May 2018, the Commission published three proposals for regulations reflecting the EU's efforts to connect finance with its own sustainable development agenda. The proposals include measures to: create an EU sustainable finance taxonomy; make disclosures relating to sustainable investments and sustainability risks clearer; and establish low-carbon benchmarks. In particular, the proposal for a regulation on disclosures aims to integrate environmental, social and governance considerations into ...

On 24 May 2018, the Commission published three proposals for regulations reflecting the EU's efforts to connect finance with its own sustainable development agenda. The proposals include measures to: create an EU sustainable finance taxonomy; make disclosures relating to sustainable investments and sustainability risks clearer; and establish low-carbon benchmarks. In particular, the proposal for a regulation on disclosures aims to integrate environmental, social and governance considerations into the decision-making process of investors and asset managers. It also aims to increase the transparency duties of financial intermediaries towards final-investors, with regard to sustainability risks and sustainable investment targets. This should reduce investors' research costs as regards sustainable investments and enable easier comparison between sustainable financial products in the EU. Following agreement with the Council in trilogue, Parliament voted to adopt the agreed text at first reading on 18 April 2019. Because of the tight timeline for finalisation before the end of the parliamentary term, linguistic corrections to the voted text were needed. Under the corrigendum procedure, the ECON committee and subsequently the plenary endorsed the corrected text in October 2019, allowing the Council to adopt it at first reading. Signed on 27 November, the regulation entered into force on 29 December, and will become applicable as of March 2021. 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.

A governance framework for algorithmic accountability and transparency

04-04-2019

Transparency and accountability are both tools to promote fair algorithmic decisions by providing the foundations for obtaining recourse to meaningful explanation, correction, or ways to ascertain faults that could bring about compensatory processes. The study develops policy options for the governance of algorithmic transparency and accountability, based on an analysis of the social, technical and regulatory challenges posed by algorithmic systems. Based on an extensive review and analysis of existing ...

Transparency and accountability are both tools to promote fair algorithmic decisions by providing the foundations for obtaining recourse to meaningful explanation, correction, or ways to ascertain faults that could bring about compensatory processes. The study develops policy options for the governance of algorithmic transparency and accountability, based on an analysis of the social, technical and regulatory challenges posed by algorithmic systems. Based on an extensive review and analysis of existing proposals for governance of algorithmic systems, the authors propose a set of four policy options each of which addresses a different aspect of algorithmic transparency and accountability. 1. Awareness raising: education, watchdogs and whistleblowers. 2. Accountability in public sector use of algorithmic decision-making. 3. Regulatory oversight and Legal liability. 4. Global coordination for algorithmic governance.

Awtur estern

DG, EPRS

Women in local and regional government

07-03-2019

Local and regional institutions are vital for women's empowerment, being both the level of governance responsible for service delivery and a potential stepping-stone to a public office career at national and European level. Nevertheless, data show that it is not always easy for women to participate in local or regional government structures. The European Union has been a staunch advocate of women's participation in decision-making at all levels of governance.

Local and regional institutions are vital for women's empowerment, being both the level of governance responsible for service delivery and a potential stepping-stone to a public office career at national and European level. Nevertheless, data show that it is not always easy for women to participate in local or regional government structures. The European Union has been a staunch advocate of women's participation in decision-making at all levels of governance.

Understanding algorithmic decision-making: Opportunities and challenges

05-03-2019

The expected benefits of Algorithmic Decision Systems (ADS) may be offset by the variety of risks for individuals (discrimination, unfair practices, loss of autonomy, etc.), the economy (unfair practices, limited access to markets, etc.) and society as a whole (manipulation, threat to democracy, etc.). We present existing options to reduce the risks related to ADS and explain their limitations. We sketch some recommendations to overcome these limitations to be able to benefit from the tremendous ...

The expected benefits of Algorithmic Decision Systems (ADS) may be offset by the variety of risks for individuals (discrimination, unfair practices, loss of autonomy, etc.), the economy (unfair practices, limited access to markets, etc.) and society as a whole (manipulation, threat to democracy, etc.). We present existing options to reduce the risks related to ADS and explain their limitations. We sketch some recommendations to overcome these limitations to be able to benefit from the tremendous possibilities of ADS while limiting the risks related to their use. Beyond providing an up-to-date and systematic review of the situation, the report gives a precise definition of a number of key terms and an analysis of their differences. The main focus of the report is the technical aspects of ADS. However, other legal, ethical and social dimensions are considered to broaden the discussion.

Women in politics: A global perspective

28-02-2019

Fair representation of women in political life has a positive impact on gender mainstreaming in various policies. The United Nations has set a dedicated target within the sustainable development goals dealing specifically with women's access to leadership. The available data on the presence of women in parliaments and in governments show a positive trend, but much still remains to be done to ensure an equal presence of both genders in decision-making. The European Union supports gender equality in ...

Fair representation of women in political life has a positive impact on gender mainstreaming in various policies. The United Nations has set a dedicated target within the sustainable development goals dealing specifically with women's access to leadership. The available data on the presence of women in parliaments and in governments show a positive trend, but much still remains to be done to ensure an equal presence of both genders in decision-making. The European Union supports gender equality in politics, and the European Parliament has reaffirmed the importance of such a policy on various occasions.

What if algorithms could abide by ethical principles?

20-11-2018

Algorithms, are step-by-step procedure for solving a problem, usually expressed in computer code as a set of instructions for a computer to follow in order to complete a task. Day-to-day decisions around the world are increasingly based on data science techniques powered by machine learning algorithms that are gradually making a meaningful impact on human lives. For example, the operation of intermediary platforms that propose accommodation (AirBnB) or transportation alternatives (Uber) are extensively ...

Algorithms, are step-by-step procedure for solving a problem, usually expressed in computer code as a set of instructions for a computer to follow in order to complete a task. Day-to-day decisions around the world are increasingly based on data science techniques powered by machine learning algorithms that are gradually making a meaningful impact on human lives. For example, the operation of intermediary platforms that propose accommodation (AirBnB) or transportation alternatives (Uber) are extensively using algorithms. Algorithms implicitly or explicitly are not neutral as they comprise essential value-judgments that can potentially have race or sex biases. This raises an important question: is it possible to develop and ensure that algorithms are ethical?

Foresight ? Contribution to the debate on the future of EU agricultural policy

28-08-2017

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 ...

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 security as well as the territorial dimensions relating to the future of Europe’s rural areas. These findings are analysed for their implications for future policy-making in respect of EU agriculture and rural development matters. In the field of public policy, there is a growing realisation that the policy process has to address many challenges such as: advancing greater policy integration; identifying and applying the lessons from previous experience of policy implementation; maximising the use of the available evidence base, and considering and adopting a long-term view of the future through forward thinking involving the development of different scenarios. Foresight studies recognise the multi-disciplinary nature of the challenges facing agriculture and the importance of 'interconnected policy-making'. The potential also exists for strategic foresight to be applied at different territorial levels.

Empowering women in the EU and beyond: Leadership and conflict resolution

02-03-2017

Experts agree that much depends on women being involved on an equal footing in political leadership, as well as corporate governance, conflict prevention, conflict resolution, and post-conflict power structures. In most societies around the world, women hold only a minority of decision-making positions in public and private institutions. Yet for the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), women’s political participation is a fundamental prerequisite for ...

Experts agree that much depends on women being involved on an equal footing in political leadership, as well as corporate governance, conflict prevention, conflict resolution, and post-conflict power structures. In most societies around the world, women hold only a minority of decision-making positions in public and private institutions. Yet for the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), women’s political participation is a fundamental prerequisite for gender equality and genuine democracy. Furthermore, the European Union has increasingly recognised that conflict and crisis management are not gender-neutral and has introduced numerous gender policies and initiatives to forward the aims of landmark United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1325 (2000).

Developing health technology assessment in the European Union

20-10-2016

Health Technology Assessment (HTA) is a research-based tool to support decision-making in healthcare. HTA assesses the added value of new health technologies – medicines, medical devices and diagnostic tools, surgical procedures as well as measures for disease prevention, diagnosis or treatment – over existing ones. HTA is used with a view to improving the quality and efficiency of public health interventions and the sustainability of healthcare systems. It has been growing in importance, given rising ...

Health Technology Assessment (HTA) is a research-based tool to support decision-making in healthcare. HTA assesses the added value of new health technologies – medicines, medical devices and diagnostic tools, surgical procedures as well as measures for disease prevention, diagnosis or treatment – over existing ones. HTA is used with a view to improving the quality and efficiency of public health interventions and the sustainability of healthcare systems. It has been growing in importance, given rising demand for healthcare and economic pressures. HTA in the EU involves multiple national and regional players. European HTA cooperation consists of a strategic level (HTA Network) and a scientific and technical level (EUnetHTA Joint Action). Efforts to advance certain aspects of voluntary cooperation on HTA are gaining momentum. Industry and non-industry stakeholders, as well as academia, generally agree on the benefit of stepping up EU cooperation on HTA. Members of the European Parliament have regularly asked for enhanced EU-level cooperation. The European Commission has recently published an inception impact assessment for an initiative on HTA, planned for the fourth quarter of 2017. It will be preceded by a public stakeholder consultation due to be launched in autumn 2016.

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