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Books and book lovers in the EU

21-04-2021

At a time when many schools, libraries and bookshops around the world remain closed and people are spending more time at home, books can do wonders in combating isolation, while stimulating readers' minds and creativity. Every year since 1995, on 23 April, World Book and Copyright Day is celebrated all over the world. Launched by UNESCO, the event is an opportunity to celebrate the importance of reading and promote a lifelong interest in books.

At a time when many schools, libraries and bookshops around the world remain closed and people are spending more time at home, books can do wonders in combating isolation, while stimulating readers' minds and creativity. Every year since 1995, on 23 April, World Book and Copyright Day is celebrated all over the world. Launched by UNESCO, the event is an opportunity to celebrate the importance of reading and promote a lifelong interest in books.

Getting to know the EU's cultural heritage sites

16-04-2021

Every year since 1983, World Heritage Day has been celebrated around the globe on 18 April. This is an opportunity to raise awareness of the diversity and vulnerability of our cultural heritage and the efforts required for its protection and conservation. With more than 380 cultural and natural sites on the Unesco World Heritage list, the EU attracts over a third of all tourists globally. Even though the pandemic caused a collapse in travel, EU countries remain extremely popular, with France, Spain ...

Every year since 1983, World Heritage Day has been celebrated around the globe on 18 April. This is an opportunity to raise awareness of the diversity and vulnerability of our cultural heritage and the efforts required for its protection and conservation. With more than 380 cultural and natural sites on the Unesco World Heritage list, the EU attracts over a third of all tourists globally. Even though the pandemic caused a collapse in travel, EU countries remain extremely popular, with France, Spain, Italy and Germany being among the world's top 10 countries in this respect.

Europe's Beating Cancer plan: Quick overview and initial reactions

24-03-2021

On 3 February 2021, the European Commission presented Europe's Beating Cancer plan, slightly delayed on account of the pandemic. The plan is a key European Union (EU) public health initiative and a cornerstone of the European health union process launched in November 2020. Responsibility for health lies primarily with the governments of the individual EU Member States. Europe's Beating Cancer plan sets out actions to support, coordinate or supplement Member States' efforts at every stage of the disease ...

On 3 February 2021, the European Commission presented Europe's Beating Cancer plan, slightly delayed on account of the pandemic. The plan is a key European Union (EU) public health initiative and a cornerstone of the European health union process launched in November 2020. Responsibility for health lies primarily with the governments of the individual EU Member States. Europe's Beating Cancer plan sets out actions to support, coordinate or supplement Member States' efforts at every stage of the disease: from prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment, to an improved quality of life for cancer patients and survivors. Cross-cutting themes include research and innovation, digital and personalised medicine, and action to reduce cancer inequalities across the EU. A particular focus will be on childhood cancers. The plan consists of 10 flagship initiatives and 32 supporting actions, to be rolled out over the coming years. Implementation will be monitored by means of a roadmap and progress indicators, and the Commission will establish an EU cancer plan implementation group. With a €4 billion budget, the plan will make use of all available funding instruments, including the new EU4Health programme, Horizon Europe, and the Digital Europe programme. EU institutional actors and public and private stakeholders have widely commented on Europe's Beating Cancer plan. While non-governmental organisations and industry associations broadly welcome the plan and its ambition, some have criticised specific elements. The European Parliament's Special Committee on Cancer is working on an own-initiative report that will be Parliament's contribution to Europe's Beating Cancer plan. Health and Food Safety Commissioner Stella Kyriakides has stressed that Parliament and its special committee has played an important role in shaping the plan, and will also be instrumental during its implementation.

Strategic communications as a key factor in countering hybrid threats

10-03-2021

This report describes the key features, technologies and processes of strategic communications to counter hybrid threats and their components. The theoretical description of hybrid threats is complemented by the analysis of diverse case studies, describing the geopolitical context in which the hybrid threat took place, its main features, the mechanisms related to strategic communications used by the victim to counter the hybrid threat and its impact and consequences. A comprehensive set of policy ...

This report describes the key features, technologies and processes of strategic communications to counter hybrid threats and their components. The theoretical description of hybrid threats is complemented by the analysis of diverse case studies, describing the geopolitical context in which the hybrid threat took place, its main features, the mechanisms related to strategic communications used by the victim to counter the hybrid threat and its impact and consequences. A comprehensive set of policy options aimed at improving the EU response to hybrid threats is also provided.

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DG, EPRS_This study has been written by Juan Pablo Villar García, Carlota Tarín Quirós and Julio Blázquez Soria of Iclaves S.L., Carlos Galán Pascual of the University Carlos III of Madrid, and Carlos Galán Cordero of the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya at the request of the Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA) and managed by the Scientific Foresight Unit, within the Directorate-General for Parliamentary Research Services (EPRS) of the Secretariat of the European Parliament.

EU actions to overcome challenges of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

08-03-2021

This briefing discusses the actions that the EU could take to properly tackle the challenges that SMEs are currently facing. Several initiatives have already been launched, such as the EU Helpdesk, the Access2Markets Platform and the CTEO. The pros and cons of these initiatives are outlined, and examples and a general assessment are provided. In a second step, several actions of Member States and commerce organisations are highlighted and a detailed classification provided. In a final step, recommendations ...

This briefing discusses the actions that the EU could take to properly tackle the challenges that SMEs are currently facing. Several initiatives have already been launched, such as the EU Helpdesk, the Access2Markets Platform and the CTEO. The pros and cons of these initiatives are outlined, and examples and a general assessment are provided. In a second step, several actions of Member States and commerce organisations are highlighted and a detailed classification provided. In a final step, recommendations are formulated for helping the EU to overcome the challenges and concerns of SMEs, to support and improve day-to-day business activities, and facilitate internationalisation.

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Nazareno BRAITO, Davide CECCANTI , Frauke DE TEMMERMAN, Duy HUYNH-OLESEN

Mapping Fake News and Disinformation in the Western Balkans and Identifying Ways to Effectively Counter Them

23-02-2021

Disinformation is an endemic and ubiquitous part of politics throughout the Western Balkans, without exception. A mapping of the disinformation and counter-disinformation landscapes in the region in the period from 2018 through 2020 reveals three key disinformation challenges: external challenges to EU credibility; disinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic; and the impact of disinformation on elections and referenda. While foreign actors feature prominently – chiefly Russia, but also China, ...

Disinformation is an endemic and ubiquitous part of politics throughout the Western Balkans, without exception. A mapping of the disinformation and counter-disinformation landscapes in the region in the period from 2018 through 2020 reveals three key disinformation challenges: external challenges to EU credibility; disinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic; and the impact of disinformation on elections and referenda. While foreign actors feature prominently – chiefly Russia, but also China, Turkey, and other countries in and near the region – the bulk of disinformation in the Western Balkans is produced and disseminated by domestic actors for domestic purposes. Further, disinformation (and information disorder more broadly) is a symptom of social and political disorder, rather than the cause. As a result, the European Union should focus on the role that it can play in bolstering the quality of democracy and governance in the Western Balkans, as the most powerful potential bulwark against disinformation.

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Samuel GREENE, Gregory ASMOLOV, Adam FAGAN, Ofer FRIDMAN, Borjan GJUZELOV

New strategy to reinforce application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights: Local and regional perspective

10-02-2021

The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (EU) enshrines the civil, political, economic and social rights and principles of everyone covered by its scope. Despite evidence of it having resulted in positive outcomes since it became legally binding in 2009, European Commission reports and findings by the Fundamental Rights Agency show that the Charter has not been used to its full potential at national level. Furthermore, according to a Eurobarometer survey, there is lack of awareness ...

The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (EU) enshrines the civil, political, economic and social rights and principles of everyone covered by its scope. Despite evidence of it having resulted in positive outcomes since it became legally binding in 2009, European Commission reports and findings by the Fundamental Rights Agency show that the Charter has not been used to its full potential at national level. Furthermore, according to a Eurobarometer survey, there is lack of awareness of the Charter among EU citizens. The debate around how to promote awareness of the Charter, and of citizens' rights more broadly, in the EU has been going on for a number of years. In this context, a new strategy for effective application of the Charter has been adopted and will guide action for the next 10 years, to raise awareness and promote its effective use. Furthermore, in 2020 the European Commission launched a public consultation to collect input from a wide range of stakeholders on the subject, including actors at local level. The basic idea was that as local and regional authorities represent the tiers of government closest to the public, they are well placed to make the Charter known to citizens. This briefing provides guidance and tools to help local and regional authorities inform citizens of their rights under the Charter. It also presents best practice from selected EU Member States on promoting the principles underpinning the Charter at regional and local level.

Webinar proceedings: Mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic

15-12-2020

This briefing summarises presentations delivered by the invited experts during a remote webinar on "Mental health" organised on 10 November 2020 by the Policy Department for Economic, Scientific and Quality of Life Policies at the request of the ENVI committee.

This briefing summarises presentations delivered by the invited experts during a remote webinar on "Mental health" organised on 10 November 2020 by the Policy Department for Economic, Scientific and Quality of Life Policies at the request of the ENVI committee.

2021: European Year of Rail

10-12-2020

As it has done every year since 1983, the EU selects a specific topic on which to raise awareness and encourage public debate throughout the year. 2021 is to be the European Year of Rail. A wide range of events will be organised to highlight rail’s challenges and opportunities and its contribution to a greener environment. During the December plenary session, Parliament is expected to vote on a legislative proposal on this topic, to promote rail as a sustainable, innovative and safe mode of transport ...

As it has done every year since 1983, the EU selects a specific topic on which to raise awareness and encourage public debate throughout the year. 2021 is to be the European Year of Rail. A wide range of events will be organised to highlight rail’s challenges and opportunities and its contribution to a greener environment. During the December plenary session, Parliament is expected to vote on a legislative proposal on this topic, to promote rail as a sustainable, innovative and safe mode of transport.

The Global HIV/AIDS epidemic

30-11-2020

In the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, World Aids Day on 1 December is a timely reminder of the need for continued efforts to tackle other global health problems. Since the first cases were recorded in 1981, the disease has claimed 33 million lives worldwide. New infections and deaths are steadily declining but there are still huge disparities and challenges to meeting the UN target of ending the epidemic by 2030.

In the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, World Aids Day on 1 December is a timely reminder of the need for continued efforts to tackle other global health problems. Since the first cases were recorded in 1981, the disease has claimed 33 million lives worldwide. New infections and deaths are steadily declining but there are still huge disparities and challenges to meeting the UN target of ending the epidemic by 2030.

Avvenimenti fil-ġejjieni

07-09-2021
EPRS online policy roundtable: What is the future of (European) sovereignty?
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EPRS
08-09-2021
EPRS online policy roundtable: Statistics, Data and Trust: Why figures matter [...]
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EPRS
21-09-2021
EPRS online Book Talk with David Harley: Matters of Record: Inside European Politics
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EPRS

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