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European Parliament Plenary Session, March II 2019

European citizens are running out of patience with companies and people who do not pay their fair share of the taxes that support services for everyone. The agenda for Parliament’s second plenary session of March opens with a debate on Monday evening on the report of Parliament’s TAX3 Special Committee on the progress made and the work still to do to tackle financial crimes, tax evasion and tax avoidance. Continue reading

Does technology exacerbate social polarisation?

With the Cambridge Analytica scandal, it became clear how technologies such as social media and techniques such as psychological profiling can be combined in election campaigns with worrying effects. Continue reading

Is artificial intelligence a human rights issue?

The debate on artificial intelligence (AI) brings new human rights risks (as diverse as non-discrimination, privacy, security, freedom of expression, and access to public services), to the fore. Continue reading

Plant protection products: Friend or foe of future farming?

The STOA workshop ‘Farming without agro-chemicals’, which took place on 6 March 2019, gave participants an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the impact of plant protection products (PPPs) on food production, and the perspectives of all the different stakeholders in the discussion on PPPs were explored. Continue reading

Babies [What Europe does for you]

Your baby is special. The European Union helps babies’ parents and guardians through measures aimed at children in general that always take the babies’ best interests as a primary consideration. Continue reading

Wine consumers [What Europe does for you]

The identity and reputation of EU wine regions are protected through the EU’s geographical indications (GI), which are recorded in something called the E-Bacchus register. Continue reading

Bank account holders [What Europe does for you]

Bank accounts are an essential part of everyday life, allowing us to manage our money, shop online, and pay bills. Continue reading

Air travellers to and from peripheral and under-served regions [What Europe does for you]

Do you live in a peripheral or under-served region? If so, the EU is working to ensure that regions like yours are linked up to the air travel network. Continue reading

European Parliament Plenary Session, March I 2019

The agenda for the first plenary session in March features, for this month’s debate on the Future of Europe, the attendance on Tuesday morning of Peter Pellegrini, Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic. Continue reading

Measuring gender equality

During the events held at the European Parliament this week to mark International Women’s Day on 8 March, a number of speakers referred to the slow progress made towards gender equality in the EU over the past decade. How do we know how much progress has been achieved?  Continue reading

Spotlight on Women in Politics

With the 2019 European elections fast approaching, the European Parliament’s Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) is focusing its International Women’s Day event on the theme of women in politics, highlighting the contribution women have already made and urging more women to get involved, both as voters and as candidates. Continue reading

Shaping the future: the Annual ESPAS Conference (afternoon sessions)

The afternoon opened with a session on Global Power in 2030. Shada Islam, Director of Friends of Europe, sees that it is increasingly difficult to generate international consensus on most important issues, and suggests that a model based on ‘constellations’ could help: multilateral agreements in policy areas such as climate change, security cooperation or development initiatives, each bringing together different sets of countries. Continue reading

Shaping the future: the Annual ESPAS Conference (morning sessions)

Parliament Vice-President Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso gave the opening address, following welcoming remarks from EPRS Director-General, Anthony Teasdale, and the Head of the European Policy Strategy Centre, Ann Mettler. The Vice-President reminded guests that the EU stands at a critical juncture. While it prepares for the 2019 elections – ‘one of the world’s largest democratic exercises’ – the EU faces a crisis of confidence from citizens who ‘have felt abandoned’ over the last ten years. ‘This is no time for humility’, therefore – it is fundamental the Parliament remind citizens how it has taken their side. Continue reading

Reconversion of industrial areas and EU regional policy: STOA workshop

Old-model industries, such as the coal and steel, may well represent a symbol of the first steps towards European integration. This workshop aims to show how a more eco and social-friendly approach to reconverting old-style industry in urban areas might trigger a new development path in the European Union. Continue reading

How the internet can harm us, and what can we do about it?

The internet has received much negative news coverage in recent years. Articles focus on major privacy scandals and security breaches, the proliferation of fake news, rampant harmful behaviours like cyber-bullying, cyber-theft, revenge porn, the exchange of child porn and internet predation, internet addiction, and the negative effects of the internet on social relations and social cohesion. Continue reading

Small investors [What Europe does for you]

Individual investors who buy securities for themselves (and not on behalf of a fund or a bank) have access to a growing range of investment products, funds and investment-linked insurance policies, also known as ‘packaged retail and insurance-based investment products’ (or PRIIPs), offered by banks and insurance companies. Continue reading

Child victims of sexual abuse [What Europe does for you]

Did you know that, according to estimates, between 10 % and 20 % of children in Europe suffer sexual abuse before they turn 18? Abuse occurs mainly in their immediate environment, but the internet and new technologies have brought a new dimension to the sexual exploitation of children, which is sometimes of a commercial nature. Continue reading

General elections in Nigeria: EU support for democracy in Africa’s most populous country

Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy and most populous nation, prepares to hold general elections on 16 February 2019 in an environment characterised by a struggling economy and a volatile security situation. After the first peaceful change of power following the 2015 elections, upcoming elections are expected to be tightly contested. Continue reading

Building a renewable energy future on dialogue and cooperation

The STOA workshop ‘Responding to public opposition to low-carbon energy technologies’ gathered academic experts, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), regulators and grid operators to share their perspectives on managing public opposition to and support for low-carbon energy technologies. Continue reading

European elections: voting rights for EU citizens living abroad

The European Parliament regularly receives enquiries from EU citizens living abroad about how to vote in the European elections. Continue reading

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