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Disruption by technology: Impacts on politics, economics and society

21-09-2020

Technological development has long been considered as a disruptive force, provoking change at many levels, from the routine daily activities of individuals to dramatic competition between global superpowers. This analysis examines disruption caused by technologies in a series of key areas of politics, economics and society. It focuses on seven fields: the economic system, the military and defence, democratic debates and the 'infosphere', social norms, values and identities, international relations ...

Technological development has long been considered as a disruptive force, provoking change at many levels, from the routine daily activities of individuals to dramatic competition between global superpowers. This analysis examines disruption caused by technologies in a series of key areas of politics, economics and society. It focuses on seven fields: the economic system, the military and defence, democratic debates and the 'infosphere', social norms, values and identities, international relations, and the legal and regulatory system. It also presents surveillance as an example of how technological disruption across these domains can converge to propel other phenomena. The key disruptive force of 2020 is non-technological, namely coronavirus. The pandemic is used here as an opportunity to examine how technological disruption interacts with other forms of disruption.

PESCO: Ahead of the strategic review

16-09-2020

Permanent structured cooperation (PESCO) was launched in December 2017 with the participation of 25 EU Member States. It operates on the basis of concrete projects and binding commitments, several of which are geared towards strengthening the EU defence sector. PESCO members are committed to increasing national defence budgets and defence investment expenditure, and to investing more in defence research and technology. In addition, they have pledged to develop and provide 'strategically relevant' ...

Permanent structured cooperation (PESCO) was launched in December 2017 with the participation of 25 EU Member States. It operates on the basis of concrete projects and binding commitments, several of which are geared towards strengthening the EU defence sector. PESCO members are committed to increasing national defence budgets and defence investment expenditure, and to investing more in defence research and technology. In addition, they have pledged to develop and provide 'strategically relevant' defence capabilities and to act jointly and make use of the financial and practical support provided by the European Defence Fund. Finally, they are committed to contributing to projects that boost the European defence industry and the European defence technological and industrial base. Discussions on long-awaited rules on third-country participation in PESCO projects are ongoing in September 2020. A strategic review of PESCO should take place by the end of 2020. The review will assess PESCO's strengths and weaknesses and it is expected to provide new information aimed at improving the implementation and development of new EU defence capabilities and capacities through PESCO. Critics argue that the end goal of PESCO projects has still to be contextualised within the wider debate on an EU strategic culture and a concrete vision about the ambition of EU security and defence policy. They also emphasise the need to align PESCO priorities with those identified by parallel EU defence initiatives, as well as with the capability needs of the EU. The European Parliament is expected to vote on a resolution on PESCO in October 2020.

The G5 Sahel and the European Union: The challenges of security cooperation with a regional grouping

15-09-2020

The August 2020 coup in Mali recalls the coup the country witnessed in 2012 and highlights the growing instability and insecurity the Sahel region has been facing for a decade now. The combined effect of population growth, poverty, climate change, unsustainable land tenure and marginalisation of peripheral populations has been fuelling community-based tensions and anger towards governments in the region. Weak state power and porous borders have enabled the proliferation of jihadist and other armed ...

The August 2020 coup in Mali recalls the coup the country witnessed in 2012 and highlights the growing instability and insecurity the Sahel region has been facing for a decade now. The combined effect of population growth, poverty, climate change, unsustainable land tenure and marginalisation of peripheral populations has been fuelling community-based tensions and anger towards governments in the region. Weak state power and porous borders have enabled the proliferation of jihadist and other armed groups and the intensification of violence. In 2014, as a collective answer to the growing security threat, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger created the G5 Sahel, an intergovernmental cooperation framework seeking to coordinate the security and development policies of its member states. In 2017, the G5 Sahel Joint Force was launched with the aim of fighting terrorism and organised crime in the region. In addition to its own security and development strategy in the region, the EU has developed close links with the G5 Sahel in support of its work towards sustainable peace and development, including regular political dialogues and three CSDP missions to train and advise the G5 Sahel national armies and Joint Force. The recent coup in Mali has led to the suspension of some forms of cooperation between the EU and the G5 Sahel. However, while efforts to find common ground for action and to build a lasting partnership with unstable countries remains a challenge, the EU is not ready to leave this strategic field to other players.

Peace and Security in 2020: Overview of EU action and outlook for the future

10-09-2020

This is the third Peace and Security Outlook produced by the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS). The series is designed to analyse and explain the contribution of the European Union to the promotion of peace and security internationally, through its various external policies. The study provides an overview of the issues and current state of play. It looks first at the concept of peace and the changing nature of the geopolitical environment, in light of global shifts of power and of the ...

This is the third Peace and Security Outlook produced by the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS). The series is designed to analyse and explain the contribution of the European Union to the promotion of peace and security internationally, through its various external policies. The study provides an overview of the issues and current state of play. It looks first at the concept of peace and the changing nature of the geopolitical environment, in light of global shifts of power and of the impact of the coronavirus crisis. It then follows the logic of the annual series, by focusing on the promotion of peace and security in the EU's external action. Linking the study to the Normandy Index, which measures threats to peace and democracy worldwide based on the EU Global Strategy, each chapter of the study analyses a specific threat to peace and presents an overview of EU action to counter the related risks. The areas discussed include violent conflict, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, climate change, cyber-attacks, disinformation, and terrorism, among others. The EU's pursuit of peace is understood as a goal embodied in several EU policies, including development, democracy support, humanitarian assistance, security, and defence. The study concludes with an outlook for the future. A parallel study, published separately, focuses specifically on EU peace-building efforts in the Sahel. The studies have been drafted as a contribution to the Normandy World Peace Forum in October 2020.

Mapping threats to peace and democracy worldwide: Normandy Index 2020

10-09-2020

The Normandy Index, now in its second year, aims to measure the level of threat to peace, security and democracy around the world. It was presented for the first time on the occasion of the Normandy Peace Forum in June 2019, as a result of a partnership between the European Parliament and the Region of Normandy. The Index has been designed and prepared by the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), in conjunction with and on the basis of data provided by the Institute for Economics and Peace ...

The Normandy Index, now in its second year, aims to measure the level of threat to peace, security and democracy around the world. It was presented for the first time on the occasion of the Normandy Peace Forum in June 2019, as a result of a partnership between the European Parliament and the Region of Normandy. The Index has been designed and prepared by the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), in conjunction with and on the basis of data provided by the Institute for Economics and Peace. This paper sets out the findings of the 2020 exercise, and explains how the index can be used to compare peace – defined on the basis of a given country's performance against a range of predetermined threats – across countries and regions. It is complemented by 40 individual country case studies, derived from the Index. The paper forms part of the EPRS contribution to the Normandy World Peace Forum 2020. It is accompanied by two studies, one on the EU's contribution to peace and security in 2020, the other on EU support for peace in the Sahel.

Ten opportunities for Europe post-coronavirus: Exploring potential for progress in EU policy-making

29-07-2020

Whilst much commentary and analysis has understandably been focused on reaction to, and mitigation of, the immediate impact of the coronavirus crisis in Europe and worldwide, relatively little attention has been paid to areas of potential opportunity which the crisis may offer to improve policy for the future. This EPRS analysis looks at ten areas which may offer potential for progress, including working more closely together on health policy, using climate action to promote a sustainable recovery ...

Whilst much commentary and analysis has understandably been focused on reaction to, and mitigation of, the immediate impact of the coronavirus crisis in Europe and worldwide, relatively little attention has been paid to areas of potential opportunity which the crisis may offer to improve policy for the future. This EPRS analysis looks at ten areas which may offer potential for progress, including working more closely together on health policy, using climate action to promote a sustainable recovery, re-thinking the world of work, future-proofing education, harnessing e commerce and championing European values and multilateralism.

How the COVID-19 crisis has affected security and defence-related aspects for the EU

27-07-2020

This briefing examines the impact that the COVID-19 crisis has had on security and defence-related aspects for the European Union (EU) between December 2019 and June 2020. Based on this analysis, it identifies key problems or questions that require more attention from policymakers in the coming months and years. Four areas are singled out for analysis, as follows. Section (i), on the security environment and implications for strategy, discusses how COVID-19 tends to feed violent conflict and empowers ...

This briefing examines the impact that the COVID-19 crisis has had on security and defence-related aspects for the European Union (EU) between December 2019 and June 2020. Based on this analysis, it identifies key problems or questions that require more attention from policymakers in the coming months and years. Four areas are singled out for analysis, as follows. Section (i), on the security environment and implications for strategy, discusses how COVID-19 tends to feed violent conflict and empowers non-state actors, but also highlights new opportunities to make cease-fires stick. It makes the case for examining in what areas and through what steps Europe can strengthen its self-reliance, unity and strategic leadership capability amidst the growing risk of great power competition. Section (ii), on Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) and defence-related mechanisms, capabilities and resources, identifies the growing risk to Europe’s defence budget, capabilities and ambitions and suggests a number of ways in which Member States can manage these risks through fiscal measures, greater prioritisation and collaboration. Section (iii) highlights the multi-faceted positive contributions that the armed forces have made to support civilian authorities at home, but suggests substantial untapped potential to do more in future emergencies. It makes the case for analysing the long-term implications of COVID-19 on readiness and generating forces for overseas operations. Section (iv), on the different ways CSDP operations and missions have been affected by COVID-19 and the ways in which they have adapted to support host countries, makes the case for tackling pre-existing problems with staffing of missions and the resilience of missions to infectious diseases. It also recommends reviewing the rationale and scope for what might be termed ‘health diplomacy’.

Externý autor

Christoph O. Meyer, Sophia Besch, Prof. Martin Bricknell, Dr Ben Jones

Scenarios for geo-politics after coronavirus: A recent Atlantic Council analysis

16-07-2020

The Atlantic Council report, 'What World Post-Covid-19? Three Scenarios', has two main takeaways: first, Chinese-US rivalry could get worse and go global, destabilising an increasingly divided EU and endangering the United States' alliances system in Asia. Second, there is no way around the US, Europe and China cooperating to develop a positive, global 'new normal'.

The Atlantic Council report, 'What World Post-Covid-19? Three Scenarios', has two main takeaways: first, Chinese-US rivalry could get worse and go global, destabilising an increasingly divided EU and endangering the United States' alliances system in Asia. Second, there is no way around the US, Europe and China cooperating to develop a positive, global 'new normal'.

Artificial intelligence: How does it work, why does it matter, and what can we do about it?

28-06-2020

Artificial intelligence (AI) is probably the defining technology of the last decade, and perhaps also the next. The aim of this report is to support meaningful reflection and productive debate about AI by providing accessible information about the full range of current and speculative techniques and their associated impacts, and setting out a wide range of regulatory, technological and societal measures that could be mobilised in response.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is probably the defining technology of the last decade, and perhaps also the next. The aim of this report is to support meaningful reflection and productive debate about AI by providing accessible information about the full range of current and speculative techniques and their associated impacts, and setting out a wide range of regulatory, technological and societal measures that could be mobilised in response.

A Comprehensive EU Strategy for Africa

25-06-2020

The new EU-Africa Strategy presented by the Commission on 9 March puts a reinforced emphasis on the creation of a real partnership with a continent whose relevance for Europe is growing by the day. The three briefings focus on different aspects of this new partnership, the first one dealing with the implications for the political dialogue with a focus on (good) governance and the even bigger challenge of security and migration. The second briefing has a look at more ‘traditional’ aspects of this ...

The new EU-Africa Strategy presented by the Commission on 9 March puts a reinforced emphasis on the creation of a real partnership with a continent whose relevance for Europe is growing by the day. The three briefings focus on different aspects of this new partnership, the first one dealing with the implications for the political dialogue with a focus on (good) governance and the even bigger challenge of security and migration. The second briefing has a look at more ‘traditional’ aspects of this relationship, development and humanitarian aid, complemented with the rising challenge of climate change. The new approach is also illustrated by the emphasis put on the promotion of bilateral trade and investment relations, the topic of the third briefing. All these briefings also try to incorporate first elements on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the bilateral relationship.

Externý autor

Morten BØÅS, Ondřej HORKÝ-HLUCHÁŇ,Ainhoa MARIN-EGOSCOZABAL

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