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The 2014 Regulation on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market (eIDAS Regulation or eIDAS) was the first digital identity legislation to provide the basis for cross-border electronic identification, authentication and website certification throughout the EU. Application of eIDAS has been mixed. However, the pandemic increased the need for such solutions to be put in place to access public and private services. On 3 June 2021, the Commission ...

European health data space

Briefing 15-09-2022

The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a light on the growing importance of digital health technologies, both to enable remote medical care and to facilitate the health response by international, national and local authorities. At the same time, personal health data have been key for containment measures such as the EU digital COVID-19 certificate. The European Commission's proposal for a regulation on a European health data space aims to improve individuals' access to and control of their electronic personal ...

This EPRS paper analyses progress in attaining the policy agenda set out by Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, and her College of Commissioners. It looks in particular at the state of play in respect of delivery on its six key priorities. Concretely, EPRS finds that, ahead of the 2022 State of the Union address, of the over 500 initiatives foreshadowed by the von der Leyen Commission on taking office or since (521), almost two thirds (330) have already been submitted and, ...

Biases are commonly considered one of the most detrimental effects of artificial intelligence (AI) use. The EU is therefore committed to reducing their incidence as much as possible. However, the existence of biases pre-dates the creation of AI tools. All human societies are biased – AI only reproduces what we are. Therefore, opposing this technology for this reason would simply hide discrimination and not prevent it. It is up to human supervision to use all available means – which are many – to ...

Supported by the arrival of 5G and, soon 6G, digital technologies are evolving towards an artificial intelligence-driven internet of robotic and bionano things. The merging of artificial intelligence (AI) with other technologies such as the internet of things (IoT) gives rise to acronyms such as 'AIoT', 'IoRT' (IoT and robotics) and 'IoBNT' (IoT and bionano technology). Blockchain, augmented reality and virtual reality add even more technological options to the mix. Smart bodies, smart homes, smart ...

The EU has implemented the world's largest carbon-pricing system, the emissions trading system (ETS). While pricing emissions can encourage industrial decarbonisation, it also risks carbon leakage, whereby EU companies move their production abroad. To date, the EU has mitigated carbon leakage through free allocations to certain industries, but with rising climate ambition and higher carbon prices, the Commission seeks to phase out free allocations. In parallel, a novel carbon border adjustment mechanism ...

Semiconductors (or chips) are the engines of the digital transition. Their production relies on complex and vulnerable global supply chains. Against the backdrop of global chip shortages, of a global 'subsidy race' in the world's main producing regions, and of a renewed EU industrial policy, in February 2022 the Commission presented a proposal for an EU chips act aimed at reinforcing the whole EU chips value chain. The chips act is based on a three-pillar structure: pillar 1 aims to bolster large-scale ...

According to a recent European Parliamentary Research Service Cost of Non-Europe (CONE) report, ambitious and united European Union (EU) action in climate and energy policy could be very beneficial, bringing gains of up to 5.6 % of gross domestic product (GDP), equal to €1 trillion additional GDP per year in 2050, compared to a continuation of the status quo (see Figure 1). However, failure to arrive at a common approach, in particular by collectively addressing volatile energy prices and systemic ...

Recent events have multiplied concerns about potential fragmentation of the internet into a multitude of non-interoperable and disconnected 'splinternets'. Composed of thousands of compatible autonomous systems, the internet is by definition technically divided. Yet, the internet was also designed to be an open and global technical infrastructure. The unity and openness of the internet appear to be under great pressure from political, commercial and technological developments. This report explores ...

Critical raw materials are essential to sustain Europe's economic and environmental ambitions. As geoeconomic aggression and geopolitical tensions rise, the EU is re-thinking its reliance on certain imports. Can the EU secure its supply of critical materials?