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This tag is associated with 97 posts

What if we didn’t need cows for our beef? [Science and Technology podcast]

With the help of cells from a single cow, scientists can produce 175 million hamburgers. When fully commercialised, this type of technology could greatly impact the way we produce and consume meat. Continue reading

Cyber: How big is the threat?

The internet has transformed the world into a global village transcending physical borders and palpable distances. Often described as ‘fog’ or a ‘globalised network of networks’, cyberspace is extremely complex, accessible to everyone and difficult to pinpoint. Continue reading

Outcome of the special European Council meeting of 30 June-2 July 2019

After a lengthy meeting, lasting from 30 June to 2 July with interruptions, the European Council agreed on a package of candidates for the EU high-level positions. The German Defence Minister, Ursula von der Leyen, was proposed as candidate for European Commission President, now subject to election by the European Parliament. Continue reading

(Non-)replacement of Commissioners elected to EP

Having been elected to the European Parliament, two current members of the College of Commissioners have resigned as Commissioners in order to take up their seats. As a general rule, a vacancy caused in this way needs to be filled by a new Commissioner of the same nationality – unless the Council unanimously decides otherwise. Continue reading

Continuation of work in progress from last term

With European elections held on 23-26 May 2019, the eighth parliamentary term formally ends on 1 July 2019, a day before the constituent part-session of the newly elected Parliament. Despite the efforts of the co-legislators, agreement could not be found on a number of legislative proposals before the end of the parliamentary term, and these form a major part of the business that needs to be picked up again in the new term. In order to ensure continuity in its work, therefore, Parliament has adopted rules on how to deal with unfinished files. Continue reading

What if policy anticipated advances in science and technology? [Science and Technology podcast]

What if blockchain revolutionised voting? What if your emotions were tracked to spy on you? And what if we genetically engineered an entire species? Continue reading

Electing the European Parliament’s President [Policy Podcast]

At the July I plenary sitting, the newly elected European Parliament (EP) is due to elect its 31st President, to hold office until mid-term at the beginning of 2022, when a new election for Parliament’s President will be held. The President has an important and increasingly visible function in the EU institutional and international setting, mirroring the influential role of the Parliament as shaper of EU policies and co-legislator. Continue reading

European elections: A historical perspective

Between 23 and 26 May 2019, 427 million European Union (EU) citizens had the opportunity to vote for Members of the European Parliament. This was the ninth time that EU citizens could vote directly for the policy- and decision-makers who will represent them in EU politics. Continue reading

Outcome of the informal dinner of Heads of State or Government on 28 May 2019

EU leaders met to consider the outcome of the European Parliament elections, and to start the appointment process to high-level EU positions ahead of the June 2019 European Council. They discussed the principles that would guide their action, and mandated the European Council President, Donald Tusk, to begin consultations with the Parliament. Continue reading

Artificial intelligence, data protection and elections

The Facebook/Cambridge Analytica case in 2018, revealing alleged misuse of personal data for political advertising, demonstrated how the underlying values of the European data protection rules are essential for democracy. The EU has recently adopted a series of additional initiatives to support free and fair elections, reflected not least in European Parliament (EP) debates and resolutions. Continue reading

Living in the EU

European societies face a variety of political, economic, social and cultural challenges. The multiple crises that challenge Europe, from within and without, have recently put considerable stress on the solidarity between nations, one of the fundamental pillars of European integration. Continue reading

What if we could fight drug addiction with digital technology? [Science and Technology podcast]

Drug addiction is one of the greatest problems facing European public health authorities. Advances in drug addiction research have focused mostly on the neurobiological aspects of the disease, but now promising new technologies are enhancing our ability to understand and treat drug addiction. Continue reading

Towards a new EU policy approach to China: 21st EU-China Summit – April 2019

With the European Parliament elections set for May 2019, the 21st EU-China Summit has been advanced, to be held in Brussels on 9 April 2019, only nine months after the previous one. Continue reading

What if a simple DNA test could predict your future? [Science and Technology podcast]

What if new-born babies were given a DNA report card that predicted their intelligence, their odds of getting a PhD, their chances of becoming a chain smoker or suffering depression, a heart attack or cancer? Thanks to ongoing genetic studies, a large amount of genetic data is available today involving millions of people. Continue reading

What if your emotions were tracked to spy on you? [Science and Technology Podcast]

Recent reports of celebrity singer, Taylor Swift, deploying facial recognition technology to spot stalkers at her concerts raised many eyebrows. What started out as a tool to unlock your smartphone or tag photos for you on social media is surreptitiously becoming a means of monitoring people in their daily lives without their consent. Continue reading

Victims of terrorism

The European Day of Remembrance of Victims of Terrorism has been established as 11 March each year, marking the Madrid bombings in 2004. The protection of victims of terrorism constitutes an essential part of the EU’s action to address all dimensions of the terrorist threat. Continue reading

Venezuela [What Think Tanks are thinking]

The situation in Venezuela appears to be approaching a tipping-point, as President Nicolas Maduro faces growing international and domestic pressure to relinquish power to National Assembly leader and self-proclaimed acting President Juan Guaidó. The latter is recognised by many Western countries as the legitimate interim leader of the oil-rich Latin American country, which has seen its economy undermined by mismanagement and corruption. Continue reading

The euro at 20 [What Think Tanks are thinking]

The euro marked its 20th anniversary in January 2019, as debates continued about the single currency’s track-record and the shape of future reform. Continue reading

The death penalty and the EU’s fight against it

The European Union is strongly opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances, and fighting it is a foremost priority of its external human rights policy. While most countries in the world have abolished capital punishment, death sentences continue to be handed down and carried out in a number of countries. Continue reading

What if we could design better technologies through dialogue? [Science and Technology Podcast]

While we often worry about the acceptance of technology in the face of real and potential public opposition, there are frequently gaps between how regulators, developers and experts conceptualise acceptance and opposition. Continue reading

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