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Economic and Social Policies

This category contains 680 posts

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

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

Capital Markets Union [What Think Tanks are thinking]

Written by Marcin Grajewski, Since the 2008 financial crunch and the ensuing recession, the European Union has been overhauling its regulation of financial markets to try to avoid any repetition of the crisis and to shore up economic growth. The current European Commission has prioritised the creation of Capital Markets Union, which would encourage companies … Continue reading

What if computers were trillions of times faster? [Science and Technology Podcast]

Written by Lieve Van Woensel with James Tarlton, Could the theory of quantum mechanics one day revolutionise commonplace technical devices such as sensors, communication devices and computers? Quantum mechanics is a scientific theory that has revolutionised our understanding of the Universe. In the world of classical physics, a system is always in one particular state … 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

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

Work-life balance in the EU

Written by Ulla Jurviste and Rosamund Shreeves, Finding a suitable balance between work and daily life is a challenge that all workers face. Families are particularly affected. The ability to successfully combine work, family commitments and personal life is important for the well-being of all members in a household. The EU recognises the importance of reconciliation … Continue reading

Vulnerability of unaccompanied and separated child migrants

Written by Joanna Apap, The United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) has estimated that in 2015, there were globally no fewer than 100 000 unaccompanied migrant and refugee children. Europol has stated that at least 10 000 unaccompanied child refugees have gone missing after arriving in Europe. There are various reasons why a child may be … Continue reading

Smart appliances and the electrical system

Written by Nikolina Šajn, Smart appliances could help shift demand away from peak periods, which is important for an electricity system that relies on variable renewable energy sources. Most of this move will have to be automated, with smart appliances communicating with the electricity system. However, this is contingent on solving issues regarding the interoperability … Continue reading

Roam like at home by default

Written by Mar Negreiro, The end of roaming costs within the EU – promised at the political level for over a decade – seems near. Four successive regulations decreased (but did not end) roaming charges for calls, text messages and data by more than 90 %. In 2015, the Council of the EU and the … Continue reading

Effort Sharing Regulation

Written by Dessislava Yougova, The European Union aims to reduce at least 40% of its greenhouse gases emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. The main instruments to achieve this target are the EU ETS and the effort sharing exercise that covers the non-ETS sectors, mainly transport, buildings, waste and agriculture. On 20 July 2016 … Continue reading

New radio frequencies for mobile internet services [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Marcin Szczepański (3rd edition), While radio spectrum management is predominantly a national competence, EU policy plays an increasingly important role in its coordination and harmonisation. The EU actively seeks ways to harmonise use of the different bands of the spectrum to meet the ever-growing demand for wireless mobile broadband. Nevertheless, spectrum allocation in … Continue reading

Limits on exposure to carcinogens and mutagens at work [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Nicole Scholz (3rd edition), The European Commission proposes to amend Directive 2004/37/EC by expanding its scope and by including and/or revising occupational exposure limit values for a number of cancer-causing chemical agents. According to the Commission, this would improve workers’ health protection, increase the effectiveness of the EU framework and promote clarity for … Continue reading

EU Defence [What Think Tanks are Thinking]

Written by Marcin Grajewski, Europe’s increasingly unstable neighbourhood, Britain’s plans to leave the European Union and a search for potentially successful areas of cooperation amid several crises have all renewed momentum for increased EU defence cooperation. Plans for stronger military ties among EU Member States, already envisaged in the recent EU Global Strategy, have received … Continue reading

What if electric cars became an affordable and convenient way to travel? [Science and Technology Podcast]

Written by Christian Kurrer with James Tarlton, Are electric cars on the verge of becoming the norm, should we encourage this transition, and what would be the consequences for the environment, the automobile industry and our electricity grid? Over the past century, cars have become an integral part of our society. They generally offer greater … Continue reading

Wholesale roaming regulation: A precondition for ‘roam like at home’ [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Mar Negreiro (1st edition), In 2015 the Council and European Parliament agreed in Regulation 2015/2120 that on 15 June 2017 roaming charges for mobile phone use would be abolished in the EU. After that date, ‘roam like at home’ (RLAH) would become a reality for all Europeans. The regulation did not, however, address … Continue reading

EU energy policy [What Think Tanks are Thinking]

Written by Marcin Grajewski, On 30 November, the European Commission unveiled its ‘Clean Energy for All Europeans‘ legislative package, which it hopes will mark a major step twards creating an Energy Union that ensures a functioning internal market in  gas and electricity, addresses security of supply issues, promotes renewable energy sources,  encourages  energy efficiency and … 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