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How can citizens influence the direction of European science?

Written by Philip Boucher, Recent years have seen strengthened links between science and policy. We often hear about the role of scientific evidence in policy-making, but policy also has a substantial influence on the way that science develops. Scientific research is not only about advancing knowledge, but also about responding to the most important opportunities … Continue reading

Empowering Women requires Women in Power

Written by Rosamund Shreeves, As the British historian, Mary Beard, highlighted this week, although women now sit alongside men in parliaments and government, powerful women – and the association of women with power – continue to elicit strong, negative reactions. For a telling illustration, Beard cites the use of Greek mythological imagery to depict the … Continue reading

Rights and Values: Plenary Session Strasbourg – March II

Written by Clare Ferguson with Peter Charles, Last week’s International Women’s Day highlighted the ever-present danger of reversals to hard-won rights and values in today’s society. Much of recent political debate has focused on issues previously considered settled, particularly, progress, or rather the lack of it, on gender equality. Three reports on the European Parliament … Continue reading

International Women’s Day 2017 – Empowering women in the EU and beyond

Written by Rosamund Shreeves (EPRS) and Gaby Umbach (Globalstat), Graphics by Christian Dietrich and Giulio Sabbati. To mark this year’s International Women’s Day, the European Parliament’s Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) will join the European Commission, UN Women, the OECD, members of national parliaments and activists from Europe and across the world, … Continue reading

Petitions to the European Parliament: How does it work?

What is the procedure for submitting a petition to the European Parliament? Citizens are broadly aware of their right to submit a petition, however they often request further information about the procedure to send the petition and on the way the petitions are afterwards discussed in the EP Committee. Right of petition Any citizen of … Continue reading

Citizens first: European Parliament Plenary Session March I

Written by Clare Ferguson, The first European Parliament plenary session of March is something of a bottom-up affair, with the inclusion of several items on the agenda directly relating to the lives of both citizens and refugees arriving in the EU. Many unaccompanied minors arriving in the EU disappear, or abscond, partly because reception conditions … Continue reading

Circular economy: animated infographic

Written by Didier Bourguignon, Jana Valant, Christian Dietrich and Mitja Brus. In a circular economy, products and the materials they contain are highly valued. This contrasts with the traditional, linear economic model, which is based on a ‘take-make-consume-throw away’ pattern. In practice, a circular economy minimises waste through reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials … Continue reading

How does the EU promote sign languages?

In reference to sign languages, citizens contact the European Parliament requesting information on the status of sign languages at EU level, the actions taken to promote it and how its interpretation works in the EU institutions. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (the Convention), ratified by the European Union on … Continue reading

Better Law-Making in Practice, 2-3 February 2017

Written by Eva Casalprim and Laura Tilindyte, The implementation and the broader implications of the Interinstitutional Agreement on Better Law-Making (which entered into force on 13 April 2016), were a common thread of the joint seminar devoted to better law-making in practice on 2-3 February 2017, jointly organised by the European Parliament’s Legal Service and … Continue reading

Guide to EU Funding 2014-2020

Written by Vasilis Margaras, Finding the appropriate funding sources for a local authority, a public entity, a company or a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) can be a major problem. Information is scattered across many different sources and is often confusing and outdated. The EPRS ‘Guide to EU Funding 2014-2020’ is a basic introduction to EU funding … Continue reading

Ethical and social challenges of agricultural technologies

Written by Mihalis Kritikos with James Tarlton, ‘We shouldn’t hinder technological development, but we should … protect our citizens and our natural resources” is how Marijana Petir (EPP, Croatia), a member of the European Parliament’s STOA (Science and Technology Options Assessment) Panel, opened the ‘ethical and social challenges of agricultural technologies – issues for decision-makers’, … Continue reading

How will evolving global shifts impact us in 2017?

Written by Naja Bentzen, Following 2016, a year of shifts and shocks, there is little doubt that 2017 holds potential for much uncertainty. A new EPRS publication, Ten issues to watch in 2017, explores a number of issues – internal and external security, the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU (Brexit), the new United States … Continue reading

CETA: Final vote in the plenary session

Written by Krisztina Binder and Wilhelm Schöllmann, The EU-Canada negotiations on a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) began in May 2009 and were concluded in September 2014. For the EU, CETA represents the first comprehensive economic agreement with a highly industrialised Western economy. What’s in the text? The agreement’s overall aim is to increase flows of … Continue reading

Multilingualism in the digital age: The need for a ‘European language programme’

Written by Zsolt G. Pataki with Bianca A. Schranz, The first STOA (Science and Technology Options Assessment) workshop in 2017, held on 10 January in the European Parliament, and titled ‘Language equality in the digital age – towards a human language project’, attracted many experts and six Members, all actively involved in the discussion. The workshop … Continue reading

International Free Trade on the agenda – European Parliament Plenary Session February II

Written by Clare Ferguson, EU relations with Canada top the bill this session, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressing the European Parliament on Thursday, following the previous day’s debate on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between the EU and Canada, known as CETA, finally signed in October 2016. Except for a few sensitive agricultural products, … Continue reading

What measures is the EU taking to combat terrorism?

Following various terrorist attacks in Europe, citizens write to the European Parliament expressing their deepest rejection of these acts of terrorism. Citizens also ask the EU institutions to adopt new measures to combat and prevent these crimes. Many European countries have been affected by terrorism in one form or another. Heinous terrorist attacks have demonstrated … Continue reading

The future of robotics: find out yourself (animated infographic)

Written by Lieve Van Woensel with James Tarlton, What are cyber-physical systems? The integration of Cyber-physical systems (CPS) into society promises many benefits, including increasing the efficiency and sustainability of many of our current practices, and creating new markets and growth. These promises include automated cars, mass-customisation of products, and smart technological aids for disabled … Continue reading

Have your say on Robotics and Artificial Intelligence!

Written by Tatjana Evas, Are you worried about robots taking over your job? Do you have views on how artificial intelligence could help your company become more profitable? Today the European Parliament asks what the public thinks of the legal situation regarding robots as it launches a public consultation on robotics and artificial intelligence. The … Continue reading

4 February: World Cancer Day

Written by Nicole Scholz, World Cancer Day is a global awareness-raising initiative of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). The initiative aims to spread the word about cancer and prod governments and individuals into action, with a view … Continue reading

Adoption, Erasmus, FGM and … fish. European Parliament Plenary Session February I

Written by Clare Ferguson with Jack Meredith, Adopting a child is a major step for anyone, involving many checks and official procedures. Under the present system, however, there is no guaranteed EU-wide recognition of domestic adoptions in other Member States (the Hague Convention only recognises adoptions where the child lived in a different state). This … 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