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Podcasts May 2016: Listen again!

Written by Richard Freedman,

In May 2016, EPRS introduced a new series of podcasts focussing on the latest science and technology developments, looking into the impact they will have on our lives and capturing their policy implications. This complimented the two other podcast series namely Plenary and Policy podcasts.

What if others could read your mind?

In the first-ever science and technology podcast in May 2016, we examined how brain-computer interface technology is advancing rapidly and will continue to do so as our knowledge of how the brain works increases. Could this transform our understanding of life as we know it?

Listen to the Science and Technology What if others could read your mind? [Science and Technology podcast]

The usual Plenary podcasts focussed on the World Humanitarian Summit 2016 and Parental Leave Directive: Towards a revision?

World Humanitarian Summit 2016

The first-ever World Humanitarian Summit (WHS), on 23 and 24 May 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey brought together a panoply of representatives of world governments, business, and civil society, to find a way to improve humanitarian responses to increasingly challenging conditions. The May plenary heard from the Commission and Council on the EU approach to the WHS. Despite the highest ever humanitarian spending globally, the exponential growth of the number of people trapped in long-term crisis has deepened the funding gap. The European Parliament has stressed the urgency to reduce the gap and the need for ‘globally coordinated, timely, predictable and flexible funding’. Hence during the two-year long preparation for the World Humanitarian Summit, humanitarian financing has focused much attention.

Listen to the Plenary podcast World Humanitarian Summit 2016 [Plenary podcast]

Parental Leave Directive: Towards a revision?

In the European Union, parental leave is regulated by a 1996 Directive, last amended in 2013. Implementation of this Directive varies greatly among Member States, however, and parental leave overlaps other types of leave granted to families. The EU’s common rules on minimum parental leave should be better enforced EU-wide, says Parliament in a resolution voted in May 2016. Member States should guarantee working parents the right to take four months off, unpaid, regardless of where and how they are employed, and fathers in particular should be encouraged to apply for it, says the text.

Listen to the Plenary podcast Parental Leave Directive: Towards a revision [Plenary podcast]


The longer Policy podcasts in May 2016 highlighted Mid-term review/revision of the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020 and EU-US cooperation in Justice and Home Affairs.

Mid-term review/revision of the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020

The EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) lays down maximum annual levels of EU spending in different areas. The current MFF covers the 2014-2020 period and is the EU’s fifth consecutive multiannual financial plan. However, the Framework is the first to take the form of a regulation, and the first to contain provisions providing for a mid-term review that may lead to its revision.

 Listen to the Policy podcast on the Mid-term review of the Multiannual Financial Framework

EU-US cooperation in Justice and Home Affairs

The United States is a key European Union partner in the area of justice and home affairs (JHA), including in the fight against terrorism. While formal cooperation on JHA issues between the US and the EU goes back to the 1995 New Transatlantic Agenda, it is since 2001 in particular that cooperation has intensified. Today, and for the period up until 2020, the key areas of transatlantic efforts in the JHA field are: personal data protection; counter-terrorism and countering violent extremism; migration and border controls; tracing of firearms and explosives; money laundering and terrorism financing; cybercrime; drugs; and information exchange.

Listen to the Policy podcast on EU-US cooperation in Justice and Home Affairs



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