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Dissemination of terrorist content is one of the most widespread and most dangerous forms of misuse of online services in the field of internal security. In line with the 2015 European agenda on security, and taking into account the impact of this propaganda on the radicalisation, recruitment and training of terrorists, the European Commission launched a voluntary system for tackling terrorism online, based on guidelines and recommendations. However, given the limitations of self-regulation, in September ...

The European Commission proposed, in 2018, a new regulation aimed at countering the security threat represented by the spread of terrorist content online. The regulation would require service providers to remove online content posted with the objective to radicalise, recruit or incite to violence, within one hour of receiving a removal order from the competent authorities. The European Parliament is due to vote at second reading during its April plenary session on the agreed text reached in trilogue ...

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 ...

This briefing discusses how free trade agreements (FTAs) can help small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It provides an overview of the FTAs that the EU has concluded, along with a classification and a discussion of key provisions on and for SMEs. Several pioneering agreements are studied more closely, including the EU-Japan, EU-Canada, EU-Mercosur and EU-UK agreements. To conclude, the briefing assesses SME awareness of FTA chapters and analyses the related benefits.

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 ...

Digital services act

Briefing 03-03-2021

The rules governing the provision of digital services in the EU have remained largely unchanged since the adoption of the e-Commerce Directive in 2000, while digital technologies and business models continue to evolve rapidly and new societal challenges are emerging, such as the spread of counterfeit goods, hate speech and disinformation online. Against this backdrop, in December 2020, the European Commission tabled a new legislative proposal on a digital services act to amend the e-Commerce Directive ...

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, ...

The deadly insurrection at the US Capitol on 6 January 2021 was a significant cautionary example of the offline effects of online disinformation and conspiracy theories. The historic democratic crisis this has sparked − adding to a number of other historic crises the US is currently battling − provides valuable lessons not only for the United States, but also for Europe and the democratic world. The US presidential election and its aftermath saw domestic disinformation emerging as a more visible ...

What future for democracy?

Pe scurt 11-12-2020

A panel at the 2020 ESPAS conference discussed the future of democracy in the light of the coronavirus pandemic. Participatory democracy was seen as a potential remedy for polarisation, while digitisation brings a need for careful governance. Misinformation and disinformation needs to be addressed through education. A poll of attendees identified tax equity as a key innovation for successfully rebuilding democracy.

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events. regional development, cohesion policy, COVID19, WTO, budget control, budget, economy, international affairs, international law, Schengen governance, single market, European court of Auditors, energy.