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Blockchain for supply chains and international trade

29-05-2020

This study provides an analysis of blockchain technology in the context of international trade. It analyses the potential impacts of blockchain development and applications in eight use cases for supply chains and international trade. It also provides an analysis of the current legislative framework and existing initiatives. Based on this analysis, and following a broad consultation of relevant organisations, the study identifies several challenges in international trade documentation and processes ...

This study provides an analysis of blockchain technology in the context of international trade. It analyses the potential impacts of blockchain development and applications in eight use cases for supply chains and international trade. It also provides an analysis of the current legislative framework and existing initiatives. Based on this analysis, and following a broad consultation of relevant organisations, the study identifies several challenges in international trade documentation and processes, and presents a range of policy options for the European Parliament.

Externe auteur

This study was written by Bertrand Copigneaux, Nikita Vlasov and Emarildo Bani of IDATE DigiWorld, Nikolay Tcholtchev and Philipp Lämmel of Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems, Michael Fuenfzig, Simone Snoeijenbos and Michael Flickenschild from Ecorys, and Martina Piantoni and Simona Frazzani from Grimaldi Studio Legale 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.

The rise of e-commerce and the cashless society

19-03-2020

Sales in the EU still predominantly take place offline – in bricks and mortar shops – and purchases are still predominantly made with cash. However, thanks to the level of convenience they offer, both online shopping and cashless electronic payments are booming and are among the key drivers of the digital transformation taking place in our economy and society. The real-time accessibility of e commerce products and their availability 24 hours a day, together with the ease of making electronic payments ...

Sales in the EU still predominantly take place offline – in bricks and mortar shops – and purchases are still predominantly made with cash. However, thanks to the level of convenience they offer, both online shopping and cashless electronic payments are booming and are among the key drivers of the digital transformation taking place in our economy and society. The real-time accessibility of e commerce products and their availability 24 hours a day, together with the ease of making electronic payments, are disrupting many aspects of traditional consumer shopping behaviour, which is also increasingly driven by widespread use of mobile devices and apps. Online sales hit a record high in 2019. At the international level, China is leading in both e-commerce transactions and mobile cashless payments. However, the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis has put countries across the world, starting with China, into extraordinary conditions, with citizens staying at home; and some sellers trying to extract the highest profit possible from the situation. In the EU, a large majority of internet users, particularly those under the age of 45, shop online. Clothes, sports goods, travel and online content such as games, videos and music are among the most popular items. This trend is also driven by the increase in cashless payments, which have become very popular in some countries. The numerous different cashless payment methods in existence are often highly localised. One such example, the e-wallet, is gaining particular importance, driven by the over 2 billion users it enjoyed in 2019. On the other hand, e-commerce and the cashless society are facing a host of challenges related to cybercrime, fraud, privacy, the digital divide and pollution, among others. The coronavirus outbreak is also posing various challenges to e-commerce supply chains, many of which are based in the hardest-hit countries. However, the opportunities that e-commerce and cashless transactions afford in terms of convenience, efficiency and affordability will help them gain further ground in the years to come; their popularity among younger generations and strong EU-level policy support for digital transformation are also helping boost their prospects.

The Next Generation of Digital Currencies: In Search of Stability

15-11-2019

Recent innovations have re-opened the debate on the forms that money will take in the future. This paper discusses two aspects of the debate on the future of money: the implications of the rise of global private stablecoins, and the role that public central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) could play in the future. This document was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) Committee.

Recent innovations have re-opened the debate on the forms that money will take in the future. This paper discusses two aspects of the debate on the future of money: the implications of the rise of global private stablecoins, and the role that public central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) could play in the future. This document was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) Committee.

Externe auteur

Grégory CLAEYS, Maria DEMERTZIS

The Impact of Digitalisation on the Monetary System

15-11-2019

Against the backdrop of a trend towards a cashless society and the emergence of private electronic monies, the paper discusses properties of digital currencies and implications for currency competition, describes benefits and risks of digitalisation of money for the society, explains the concept and implications of a CBDC, and discusses implications of digital money for monetary policy. The upshot is that the trend towards digitalisation will probably continue, but has to be closely monitored and ...

Against the backdrop of a trend towards a cashless society and the emergence of private electronic monies, the paper discusses properties of digital currencies and implications for currency competition, describes benefits and risks of digitalisation of money for the society, explains the concept and implications of a CBDC, and discusses implications of digital money for monetary policy. The upshot is that the trend towards digitalisation will probably continue, but has to be closely monitored and accompanied with an appropriate regulatory framework. This document was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) Committee.

Externe auteur

Salomon FIEDLER, Klaus-Jürgen GERN, Ulrich STOLZENBURG

The Future of Money

15-11-2019

Cryptocurrencies, Libra, central bank digital currencies (CBDCs)... What will be the future of money? What are the implications for monetary policy? ECON’s Monetary Expert Panel has produced 4 papers which try to help answer these questions ahead of the Monetary Dialogue on 2 December, the first one with the new ECB President, Ms Christine Lagarde. This publication is provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON).

Cryptocurrencies, Libra, central bank digital currencies (CBDCs)... What will be the future of money? What are the implications for monetary policy? ECON’s Monetary Expert Panel has produced 4 papers which try to help answer these questions ahead of the Monetary Dialogue on 2 December, the first one with the new ECB President, Ms Christine Lagarde. This publication is provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON).

Externe auteur

Salomon FIEDLER, Klaus-Jürgen GERN, Ulrich STOLZENBURG, Eddie GERBA, Margarita RUBIO, Alexander KRIWOLUZKY, Chi Hyun KIM, Grégory CLAEYS, Maria DEMERTZIS

Cross-border euro transfers and currency conversions: A step forward in favour of the single market

29-04-2019

Cross-border payments are crucial for the integration of the EU economy, and play an important role in ensuring that citizens and enterprises from all EU Member States enjoy the same rights offered by the single market. Since the introduction of the euro, the EU has launched various initiatives to reduce the cost of cross-border transactions, among them a set of single euro payments area (SEPA) standards, regulations on cross-border payments, and the Payment Services Directives. Nevertheless, cross-border ...

Cross-border payments are crucial for the integration of the EU economy, and play an important role in ensuring that citizens and enterprises from all EU Member States enjoy the same rights offered by the single market. Since the introduction of the euro, the EU has launched various initiatives to reduce the cost of cross-border transactions, among them a set of single euro payments area (SEPA) standards, regulations on cross-border payments, and the Payment Services Directives. Nevertheless, cross-border euro payments made in non-euro-area Member States are still subject to high fees. Furthermore, when paying with a card or making an ATM withdrawal in a country using a currency other than the euro, it is almost impossible to know exactly how much it is going to cost. On 28 March 2018, the European Commission presented a proposal for a regulation amending Regulation (EC) No 924/2009 on cross-border payments. Working through the legislative process, Parliament and Council reached agreement on an amended text, published in the Official Journal on 19 March 2019. The new regulation will make cross-border payments in euros cheaper across the entire EU, while also bringing more transparency to currency-conversion practices. Second edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Fintech (financial technology) and the European Union: State of play and outlook

12-02-2019

The financial technology (fintech) sector encompasses firms that use technology-based systems either to provide financial services and products directly, or to make the financial system more efficient. Fintech is a rapidly growing sector: in the first half of 2018, investment in fintech companies in Europe alone reached US$26 billion. The fintech sector brings rewards including innovation and job creation, but also challenges, such as data and consumer protection issues, and the risk of exacerbating ...

The financial technology (fintech) sector encompasses firms that use technology-based systems either to provide financial services and products directly, or to make the financial system more efficient. Fintech is a rapidly growing sector: in the first half of 2018, investment in fintech companies in Europe alone reached US$26 billion. The fintech sector brings rewards including innovation and job creation, but also challenges, such as data and consumer protection issues, and the risk of exacerbating financial volatility or cybercrime. To tackle these multi-disciplinary challenges, policy- and lawmakers in the European Union (EU) have adopted and announced several initiatives, for instance on intra-EU payment services, data protection, crowdfunding and regulatory sandboxes. This briefing outlines current and upcoming fintech-related laws at EU level. It follows on from a March 2017 EPRS briefing that focused, inter alia, on the evolution, scope and economic prospects of fintech.

What if blockchain offered a way to reconcile privacy with transparency?

27-09-2018

One of the most appealing aspects of blockchain technology is the degree of transparency that it can provide. Blockchain has the potential to improve supply chains and clinical trials, enforce the law, enable responsible consumption and enhance democratic governance through a traceability of information as a means of ensuring that nothing is unduly modified. The level of transparency that blockchain brings forward adds a degree of accountability that has not existed to date. At the same time, one ...

One of the most appealing aspects of blockchain technology is the degree of transparency that it can provide. Blockchain has the potential to improve supply chains and clinical trials, enforce the law, enable responsible consumption and enhance democratic governance through a traceability of information as a means of ensuring that nothing is unduly modified. The level of transparency that blockchain brings forward adds a degree of accountability that has not existed to date. At the same time, one of the most appealing aspects of blockchain technology is the degree of privacy that it can provide. How could blockchain safeguard the rights to privacy and control over one’s data, whilst promoting data transparency?

What if blockchain were to be truly decentralised?

27-09-2018

Technological systems, once introduced in a particular socio-economic context, often evolve in unforeseen ways and may fall prey to unexpected power relations. Blockchain, as a technology that relies on decentralisation to enable storing and securing data-based transactions without central administration, is currently facing significant centralisation pressures that may undermine the purpose of operating a decentralised blockchain network. But what if blockchain fulfilled its promise to be truly ...

Technological systems, once introduced in a particular socio-economic context, often evolve in unforeseen ways and may fall prey to unexpected power relations. Blockchain, as a technology that relies on decentralisation to enable storing and securing data-based transactions without central administration, is currently facing significant centralisation pressures that may undermine the purpose of operating a decentralised blockchain network. But what if blockchain fulfilled its promise to be truly decentralised?

Revision of the Fourth Anti-Money-Laundering Directive

23-07-2018

Directive (EU) 2015/849, which forms part of the EU regulatory framework to combat financial crime, has shown gaps in the light of recent terrorist attacks and various tax leaks. In this context, the European Commission proposed to amend the directive, along with Directive 2009/101/EC, to broaden their scope, lower thresholds benefiting from exemptions and provide for the creation of automated centralised mechanisms (e.g. central electronic data retrieval systems). The European Parliament and Council ...

Directive (EU) 2015/849, which forms part of the EU regulatory framework to combat financial crime, has shown gaps in the light of recent terrorist attacks and various tax leaks. In this context, the European Commission proposed to amend the directive, along with Directive 2009/101/EC, to broaden their scope, lower thresholds benefiting from exemptions and provide for the creation of automated centralised mechanisms (e.g. central electronic data retrieval systems). The European Parliament and Council each put forward substantial modifications to the Commission proposal, including not amending the aforementioned Directive 2009/101/EC. Others include: the obligation for Member States to provide data to the Commission on trusts and legal arrangements; specific professional secrecy obligations for staff working, or having worked for, competent authorities supervising credit and financial institutions; cooperation between competent authorities; or the obligation for Member States to provide Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) with access to information – including through registries or central electronic data retrieval systems – which allows the identification of any natural or legal person owning real estate. Parliament voted on the agreement reached in trilogue on 19 April 2018 and Council adopted the act on 14 May 2018. The final act was published in the Official Journal on 19 June 2018. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

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