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Members' Research Service

Members' Research Service has written 798 posts for European Parliamentary Research Service Blog

Digital skills in the EU labour market

Written by Monika Kiss, Information and communications technologies (ICT) play an increasingly important role in our professional and private lives, and digital competence is of growing importance for every individual. In the future, nearly all jobs will require digital skills. However, European Commission figures show that two fifths of the EU workforce have little or … Continue reading

Crowdfunding in Europe: Introduction and state of play

Written by Angelos Delivorias, Crowdfunding is a relatively ‘young’ form of financing – especially for SMEs and start-ups, but also for not-for-profit projects – that is developing fast in Europe. While researchers point out its benefits, among them the fact that project owners have greater control, and financial risk is spread among a larger number … Continue reading

Fostering social innovation in the European Union

Written by Nora Milotay and Giovanni Liva, Strengthening the social dimensions of European Union policies, in general, and of the economic and monetary union, in particular is an increasingly important discourse across the Member States, particularly since the 2008 financial crisis. Social innovation, which is gaining increasing importance in the public, private and third (i.e. … Continue reading

The incoming US Congress’s powers to overturn regulations of the previous administration

Written by Micaela Del Monte, During the election campaign, President-elect Donald Trump stated his intention to repeal or amend regulations issued by the Obama administration. Following the 2016 elections in the USA, as well as the White House the Republicans will hold the majority in both chambers of the 115th Congress. It is thus likely … Continue reading

Public country-by-country reporting by multinational enterprises [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Cécile Remeur (1st edition), Tax transparency has gained particular importance as a tool in the fight against tax avoidance and tax evasion, particularly in the field of corporate income tax and aggressive tax planning. Cooperation between tax authorities aims at allowing them to obtain information covering the global business of multinational enterprises (MNEs), … Continue reading

Medical devices and in vitro diagnostic medical devices [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Nicole Scholz (3rd edition) Medical devices and in vitro diagnostic medical devices cover a wide array of products. The EU legal framework for such devices was harmonised in the 1990s. The European Commission presented a pair of proposals for regulations in September 2012, to update the framework. Following Parliament’s first readings in April … Continue reading

The Juncker Commission’s ten priorities: State of play at the start of 2017

Written by Étienne Bassot and Wolfgang Hiller, More than two years since Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker took office on 1 November 2014, having presented the ten priority areas that would serve as his Commission’s guiding lines for the following five years, the European Commission is now approaching the midway point of its mandate. Building on the … Continue reading

A new President for the European Parliament – January EP Plenary Session

Written by Clare Ferguson, The agenda this session is dominated by the election of the new President of the European Parliament, with time allowed on Tuesday for multiple rounds of voting. Candidates wishing to stand have to have their name put forward before Monday evening, when the January Parliamentary session opens with an announcement of … Continue reading

Human rights in EU trade policy [Plenary Podcast]

Written by Ionel Zamfir, Protection of human rights is one of the EU’s overarching objectives in its external action, in line with the Treaty on European Union. One of the EU’s main tools to promote human rights in third countries is the generalised system of preferences (GSP), granting certain developing countries preferential trade access to … Continue reading

ACP-EU relations after 2020: The end of an era [Policy Podcast]

Written by Eric Pichon with Christian Dietrich (Maps) and Eulalia Claros (Graphics), One of the main building blocks of EU external relations, the Cotonou Partnership Agreement between the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP), is set to expire in 2020. Due to EU institutional evolution and changes in the global balance of … Continue reading

Electing the European Parliament’s President [Plenary Podcast]

Written by Silvia Kotanidis, At the January plenary sitting, the European Parliament (EP) is due to elect its 30th President, to hold the office until the next European parliamentary elections, due in 2019. The President has an important and increasingly visible function in the EU institutional and international setting, mirroring the influential role of the … Continue reading

EFSI and ESI Funds: Complementarity or contradiction?

Written by Vasilis Margaras, Shortly after beginning its 2014-2019 mandate, the European Commission proposed a new investment Plan for Europe, often referred to as the ‘Juncker Plan’. The Investment Plan was seen as a top priority for the European Commission, aimed at strengthening Europe’s competitiveness and stimulating investment in order to create more jobs. It … Continue reading

Control of the acquisition and possession of weapons [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Jana Valant (3rd edition), In the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks, in November 2015 the European Commission presented a package of measures aiming to tighten control on the acquisition and possession of firearms in the European Union, improve traceability of legally held firearms and enhance cooperation between Member States, as well as … Continue reading

Review of dual-use export controls [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Beatrix Immenkamp (2nd edition), Certain goods and technologies have legitimate civilian applications but can also be used for the development of weapons of mass-destruction, terrorist acts and human rights violations; these so-called ‘dual-use’ goods are subject to the European Union’s export control regime. The regime is now being revised, mainly to take account … Continue reading

12 graphs: Article 12 of the Vienna Convention

Written by Clare Ferguson, The European Union conducts and concludes trade agreements with partners on every continent, and is modernising some of the older agreements, dating back as far as the 1970s, to reflect the EU’s new trade competences acquired with the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty. Article 12 of the Vienna Convention … Continue reading

12 graphs: Eleven sectors of ‘data users’

Written by Clare Ferguson, In 2016 we all became more aware of the enormous quantities of data we generate in our daily working and private lives, and the uses to which this data can be put. Analysis of ‘big data’ generated by economic and social activities can be used to improve processes or predict human … Continue reading

12 graphs: Ten branches of Shia Islam

Written by Clare Ferguson, Much has been said, and misrepresented, about the world’s Muslim population, on both sides of the Atlantic this year. While increasing ethnic and religious diversity cannot be ignored, including the possibility that this might prompt increasing social division, future society and governance in the EU must find a way to tackle … Continue reading

12 Graphs: Nine numbers on migration

Written by Clare Ferguson, €9.26 billion – this represents the overall funding available within the European Union budget to tackle the migration crisis during the period from 2014 to 2020. People seeking asylum in the EU (that is, international protection against risk of persecution at home) must present evidence of their case. Because many recent migrants … Continue reading

12 Graphs: Eight programmes replaced by Erasmus+

Written by Clare Ferguson, The Erasmus+ programme (2014-2020) has a €15 000 million budget to support EU action on education, training, youth and sport. The programme replaced eight previous programmes: Comenius, Erasmus, Leonardo da Vinci, Grundtvig, Youth in Action, Erasmus Mundus, ALFA III, Tempus and Edu-link. See our best visuals from 2016 To boost jobs and growth … Continue reading

12 Graphs: Seven eminent scientists

Written by Clare Ferguson, Recent populist waves on both sides of the Atlantic have shown that that expert advice is more than ever distrusted and even flatly rejected. Will this trend continue next year? Or will people go back to considering evidence more thoroughly? Like it or not, politicians make decisions on policies that affect … Continue reading

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The content of all documents (and articles) contained in this blog is the sole responsibility of the author and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily represent the official position of the European Parliament. It is addressed to the Members and staff of the EP for their parliamentary work. Reproduction and translation for non-commercial purposes are authorised, provided the source is acknowledged and the European Parliament is given prior notice and sent a copy. Copyright © European Union, 2014. All rights reserved