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Understanding the European Parliament’s History: How the Parliament of the 1950s and 1960s shaped our institution today

On 8 May, the eve of the anniversary of the Schumann Declaration, the European Parliamentary Research Service animated the Library reading room with a fascinating conversation between Koen van Zon, presenting his doctoral research findings on the Parliament of the 1950s and 1960s for Radboud University Nijmegen, and Martin Westlake, currently Visiting Professor at the College of Europe and the London School of Economics.  Continue reading

Marking International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia

Over the 2014-2019 legislature, the European Parliament has strongly condemned all forms of discrimination against lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, trans-sexual and intersex (LGBTI) people. Parliament has stressed the urgency of tackling increasing levels of hate speech and hate crime motivated by bias against a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, and put forward concrete proposals for combating hate speech and harmful stereotypes in the media. Continue reading

What are Spitzenkandidaten?

The European Parliament regularly receives enquiries from citizens on the election of the President of the European Commission and the process known as ‘Spitzenkandidaten’ or ‘lead candidates’. Continue reading

Using technology to help those in need

As a result of conflict and protracted crises, 200 million people are currently in need of international humanitarian assistance around the world. Providing timely and adequate assistance to everyone who needs it is an increasingly challenging task, due to the growing needs of people and the complex nature of the crises. Continue reading

Is algorithmic transparency and accountability necessary and/or feasible?

The expected benefits of algorithmic decision systems (ADS) may be offset by the variety of risks they present for individuals (discrimination, unfair practices, loss of autonomy), the economy (unfair practices, limited access to markets), and society as a whole (manipulation, threat to democracy). Continue reading

The challenges of regulating disinformation with artificial intelligence

The spread of false information is not merely a reputational threat for news providers in general, but is a risk factor for democratic order. People are increasingly concerned about the influence of fake news on elections in the USA and Europe. Continue reading

Journal of Common Market Studies Annual Review– 2019 Lecture: ‘How the EU 27 came to be’

On 4 April, EPRS hosted, in Parliament’s Library Reading Room, the Journal of Common Market Studies Annual Review 2019 Lecture – ‘How the EU27 came to be’, this year delivered by Professor Dr Brigid Laffan, Director of the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute in Florence. Continue reading

Launch of the new ESPAS foresight report

April 2019 marked the launch of the new European Strategy and Policy Analysis System (ESPAS) report: ‘Global Trends to 2030: Challenges and Choices for Europe’. The report is a result of a multi-year joint effort by key European institutions. The collaborative nature of the ESPAS process was also reflected in the launch event, which featured variety of stakeholders as speakers. Continue reading

Does artificial intelligence threaten human rights?

Asking ‘Is artificial intelligence a human rights issue?’, the workshop co-organised by STOA with the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) on 20 March 2019, gathered academic experts, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), practitioners and representatives of international organisations to share their perspectives on exactly how artificial intelligence (AI) affects the protection and enjoyment of human rights. Continue reading

Forty years of direct elections to the European Parliament

Between 23 and 26 May 2019, 350 million European Union (EU) citizens have the opportunity to vote for Members of the European Parliament. It will be the ninth time that EU citizens can vote directly for the policy- and decision-makers who will represent them in EU politics. Direct elections to the European Parliament are consequently one of the most important events in the EU political cycle. Continue reading

Scouts [What Europe does for you]

Are you, or is someone you know, one of the 40 million recognised members of the scouting movement worldwide? Then you will already know that scouts in Europe and worldwide are committed to contributing to build a better world where people are self-fulfilled as individuals and play a constructive role in society. Continue reading

People interested in artificial intelligence [What Europe does for you]

Unless you are a robot yourself, you are probably either fascinated or appalled by the prospects of artificial intelligence (AI). No longer limited to science-fiction, artificial intelligence is already a fact in our daily life, through speech recognition, driverless cars, medical diagnosis, etc. AI takes away some tasks from us. Continue reading

European Parliament Plenary Session – April II 2019

Unsurprisingly, the agenda for this final plenary session of Parliament’s 2014-2019 term will deal with a range of issues that are emblematic of the major themes that have marked this eighth legislature. Continue reading

Defence anniversaries: NATO turns 70 and CSDP turns 20

Against a backdrop of evolving geopolitical configurations and security threats, anniversaries serve as a useful occasion for reflection, allowing us to draw lessons from the past and informing strategies for the future. In this context, the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), in collaboration with the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, hosted a panel discussion on ‘NATO at 70 and CSDP at 20: The future of European security and defence’ on 1 April 2019. Continue reading

What next for Europe? A new EU strategic foresight report

Europe can no longer take prosperity, stability, or even democracy for granted. Fundamental changes in technology, in relations between and within continents, and not least in climate, demand vigorous responses. Challenges and Choices for Europe, a new report by the EU’s European Strategy and Policy Analysis System (ESPAS), looks closely at the tasks that lie ahead. Continue reading

How gene-drive technology could help eradicate malaria

Should we be prepared to change the population composition of a species in order to wipe out a disease that is a terrible burden to mankind? During a well-attended working breakfast organised by the European Parliament’s Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA) on 19 March 2019, experts and citizens delved into the case study of eradicating malaria by applying gene-drive technology. Continue reading

European Parliament Plenary Session – April I 2019

The first item on Parliament’s agenda in April is – unsurprisingly given the paralysis in the United Kingdom regarding which direction to take on Brexit – Council and Commission statements on the United Kingdom withdrawal from the EU. Continue reading

‘Virality and influencers in digital communication’ – Can the European message go viral?

Over the last decade, public discourse has been moved, to a great extent, into virtual spaces. In the empire of social media, influencers and service providers employing algorithms have overtaken up the important role of shaping public opinion previously the domain of the classical (printed and electronic) media. Continue reading

Roundtable discussion on migration and borders

The European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) hosted a discussion on ‘Migration and Borders: Roadmap for the future of Europe’, including a keynote address from Claude Moraes (S&D, United Kingdom, Chair of Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE)) on 19 March 2019. Continue reading

Reconversion of industrial areas and EU regional policy

An ecological and social approach to converting old-style industries in urban areas may well contribute to a new eco and social friendly development path for the European Union. This prospect was a prominent conclusion of the workshop on ‘Reconversion of industrial areas in the framework of regional policy’, organised by the Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA) on 26 February 2019 at the European Parliament (EP), and proposed by Rosa D’Amato (EFDD, Italy), member of the EP Committee on Regional Development (REGI). Continue reading

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