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This tag is associated with 57 posts

European information systems in the area of justice and home affairs: An overview

Written by Costica Dumbrava, High levels of irregular migration and the increase in transnational terrorist activities have pushed the EU to take concerted measures to strengthen its external borders and to enhance internal security. The revision and development of information systems for border management and law enforcement has been a key aspect of this response. … Continue reading

UK withdrawal from the European Union: Legal and procedural issues

Written by Jesús Carmona, Carmen-Cristina Cîrlig and Gianluca Sgueo, On 29 March 2017, the United Kingdom (UK) is expected to give formal notification of its intention to leave the European Union (EU), following the recent adoption of an Act of Parliament authorising the British government to take this important step. The notification follows nine months … Continue reading

How blockchain technology could change our lives

Written by Philip Boucher, At their simplest, blockchains can be described as lists of all transactions that have ever been executed in a specific domain. They are organised into ‘blocks’, connected in linear, chronological ‘chains’, and – unlike traditional records of transactions – public, and decentralised. This means that, instead of having a central ‘middleman’ … Continue reading

European space policy; Historical perspective, specific aspects and key challenges

Written by Vincent Reillon, In the 1950s, development of the space sector in Europe was limited to investments made by individual Member States (France, Italy, the United Kingdom). The failure of the first European partnerships in space activities in the 1960s led to the establishment of the European Space Agency (ESA), an intergovernmental institution, in … Continue reading

Ten issues to watch in 2017

Written by Etienne Bassot, This is the first edition of a new EPRS publication designed to identify key issues and policy areas that are likely to feature prominently on the agenda of Members of the European Parliament over the coming year. The ten issues raised in this publication include both internal EU policy areas, and … Continue reading

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

The Juncker Commission’s ten priorities: State of play at the start of 2017

Written by Étienne Bassot and Wolfgang Hiller, More than two years since Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker took office on 1 November 2014, having presented the ten priority areas that would serve as his Commission’s guiding lines for the following five years, the European Commission is now approaching the midway point of its mandate. Building on the … Continue reading

La Politique européenne de voisinage

Écrit par Philippe Perchoc Depuis 2004, la Politique européenne de voisinage instaure un cadre général pour les relations de l’UE avec ses 16 États voisins les plus proches géographiquement. Ce cadre offre une coopération renforcée et un accès au marché européen par le biais de plans d’actions bilatéraux devant, à terme, aboutir à des accords … Continue reading

Low and negative interest rates: Overview of policy aims and possible effects

Negative rates were introduced by Europe’s central banks for the first time in 2014. Two years later, they still regularly fill newspaper columns and fuel debates. Presented by the central banks as a solution to the current growth problems, they are vilified by the financial sector as being unsustainable and by some Member States as ‘expropriating’ savers and pensioners and stirring social tension. This overview introduces interest rates, discusses the possible causes behind their trends and presents the main arguments in the current debate. Continue reading

A fiscal capacity for the euro area? Options for reforms to counter asymmetric shocks

The idea to create a ‘fiscal capacity’ for the euro area was launched in the wake of the sovereign debt crisis, with the recognition that weaknesses in the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) had worsened the crisis. Although the debate has lost some momentum as euro-area countries have stepped back from the acute phase of the crisis, the EU institutions continue to work on designing a framework to bolster EMU, looking in particular at automatic stabilisers. The European Parliament’s Committees on Budgets and Economic and Monetary Affairs are currently preparing a report on a budgetary capacity for the euro area. Continue reading

The European Council in 2015

Written by Suzana Elena Anghel, Izabela Cristina Bacian, Ralf Drachenberg and Susanna Tenhunen Designed to be the first in a series of annual publications, this In-Depth Analysis by the European Council Oversight Unit of the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) examines in detail the activity of the European Council in 2015, in all of the … Continue reading

Promotion of renewable energy sources in the EU: EU policies and Member State approaches

Written by Gregor Erbach, The development of renewable energy sources (RES) is a priority for the EU. One of the goals of the Energy Union strategy is to make the EU the world leader in renewable energies. Renewable energy comprises a wide variety of energy sources. The most important RES in the EU are wood … Continue reading

Parliament’s committees of inquiry and special committees

Written by Eva-Maria Poptcheva, The European Parliament has recently been making increasing use of its investigative instruments – special and inquiry committees. The TAXE Committee, established in the aftermath of the ‘LuxLeaks’ scandal to look into unfair tax practices in the EU, was followed by the TAXE 2 special committee on tax rulings. The EMIS … Continue reading

Cloud computing: An overview of economic and policy issues

Written by Ron Davies, Cloud computing is a model for providing information and communication technology (ICT) services (including servers, systems, storage and applications) over a network such as the internet. By taking advantage of self-service implementation and configuration, and flexible pools of virtual computers based on shared hardware in vast purpose-built data centres managed by … Continue reading

The Juncker Commission’s ten priorities: State of play in 2016

Written by Étienne Bassot and Wolfgang Hiller, A year and a half has elapsed since Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker took office on 1 November 2014, having presented the ten priority areas which would serve as his Commission’s guiding lines for the next five years and which would therefore form the basis of its annual work … Continue reading

An EU mechanism on democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights: European Added Value Assessment

Updated on 27 October 2016 Written by Wouter van Ballegooij and Tatjana Evas, This European Added Value Assessment (EAVA) accompanies a resolution based on the legislative initiative report prepared by Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) (rapporteur: Sophie in’t Veld (ALDE, Netherlands) presenting recommendations to the Commission on an EU mechanism … Continue reading

Organised Crime and Corruption: Cost of Non-Europe Report

Written by Wouter van Ballegooij and Thomas Zandstra, This study demonstrates the need to tackle organised crime and corruption together as the two are in a mutually reinforcing relationship. Organised crime groups attempt to regulate and control the production and distribution of a given commodity of service unlawfully. In so doing, their aim is to … Continue reading

Poverty in the European Union: The crisis and its aftermath

Written by Marie Lecerf, The economic crisis has exacerbated social burdens such as poverty and inequality, which were already major issues before the crisis. Due to the multifaceted nature of poverty, the European Union uses a multidimensional indicator – the ‘at risk of poverty or social exclusion’ rate – based on three different dimensions: monetary … Continue reading

The European Research Area: Evolving concept, implementation challenges

Written by Vincent Reillon, In 1972, the Commission proposed the first guidelines for a Community policy on research and innovation with two dimensions: Member State cooperation in tackling common issues, and national research policy coordination. The former dimension was implemented gradually and led to the adoption of the first framework programme for Community research in … Continue reading

The fourth railway package: Another step towards a Single European Railway Area

Written by Damiano Scordamaglia with the collaboration of Ivana Katsarova, Railways were the first modern means of transport and the rail network developed considerably across the EU over time. Despite its expansion, when comparing 1995 with 2013, rail’s share has decreased for freight and has remained fairly constant at about 6% for passenger transport. This … Continue reading

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