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Veröffentlicht am 17-01-2020

Using technology to 'co-create' EU policies

17-01-2020

What will European Union (EU) decision-making look like in the next decade and beyond? Is technological progress promoting more transparent, inclusive and participatory decision-making at EU level? Technology has dramatically changed both the number and quality of connections between citizens and public administrations. With technological progress, citizens have gained improved access to public authorities through new digital communication channels. Innovative, tech-based, approaches to policy-making ...

What will European Union (EU) decision-making look like in the next decade and beyond? Is technological progress promoting more transparent, inclusive and participatory decision-making at EU level? Technology has dramatically changed both the number and quality of connections between citizens and public administrations. With technological progress, citizens have gained improved access to public authorities through new digital communication channels. Innovative, tech-based, approaches to policy-making have become the subject of a growing debate between academics and politicians. Theoretical approaches such as ‘CrowdLaw’, ‘Policy-Making 3.0’, ‘liquid’, ‘do-it-yourself’ or ‘technical’ democracy and ‘democratic innovations’ share the positive outlook towards technology; and technology is seen as the medium through which policies can be ‘co-created’ by decision-makers and stakeholders. Co-creation is mutually beneficial. Decision-makers gain legitimacy by incorporating the skills, knowledge and expertise of citizens, who in turn have the opportunity to shape new policies according to their needs and expectations. EU institutions are at the forefront of experimentation with technologically innovative approaches to make decision-making more transparent and accessible to stakeholders. Efforts in modernising EU participatory channels through technology have evolved over time: from redressing criticism on democratic deficits, through fostering digital interactions with stakeholders, up to current attempts at designing policy-making in a friendly and participative manner. While technological innovation holds the promise of making EU policy-making even more participatory, it is not without challenges. To begin with, technology is resource consuming. There are legal challenges associated with both over- and under-regulation of the use of technology in policy-making. Furthermore, technological innovation raises ethical concerns. It may increase inequality, for instance, or infringe personal privacy.

Support for fishermen affected by the eastern Baltic cod closure

17-01-2020

Eastern Baltic cod has long supported the livelihoods of many Baltic fishermen, but stocks of this valuable fish have been declining sharply in recent years. Every year since 2014, total allowable catches have been reduced accordingly. Recent scientific advice, published in May 2019, reinforced concerns regarding eastern Baltic cod, showing an even steeper decline and estimating the stock to be below safe biological limits for the past two years. Scientists point to high natural mortality resulting ...

Eastern Baltic cod has long supported the livelihoods of many Baltic fishermen, but stocks of this valuable fish have been declining sharply in recent years. Every year since 2014, total allowable catches have been reduced accordingly. Recent scientific advice, published in May 2019, reinforced concerns regarding eastern Baltic cod, showing an even steeper decline and estimating the stock to be below safe biological limits for the past two years. Scientists point to high natural mortality resulting from various environmental pressures, including a lack of salinity, little oxygen, pollution, high water temperatures and parasite infestation. On 22 July 2019, as an emergency measure, the Commission imposed an immediate closure of the fishery for six months, with the exception of a limited amount arising from the unavoidable by-catch. Subsequently, fishing opportunities for 2020 were cut by 92 %. As recovery of the stock is not expected before 2024, on 31 October 2019 the Commission issued a proposal amending the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Regulation in order to allow support for permanent cessation and introducing parallel changes to the Baltic multiannual plan by setting capacity limits for the fishing segments concerned and by including additional control and data collection measures.

Future of European Security and Defence Policy [What Think Tanks are thinking]

17-01-2020

The EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) aims to ensure an appropriate role for the Union in peace-keeping operations, conflict prevention and in the strengthening of international security. It is an integral part of the EU's comprehensive approach towards crisis management, drawing on civilian and military assets. Now its importance is rising because of the increasingly uncertain strategic environment. For years, the EU has been considered as an economic powerhouse but militarily weak, ...

The EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) aims to ensure an appropriate role for the Union in peace-keeping operations, conflict prevention and in the strengthening of international security. It is an integral part of the EU's comprehensive approach towards crisis management, drawing on civilian and military assets. Now its importance is rising because of the increasingly uncertain strategic environment. For years, the EU has been considered as an economic powerhouse but militarily weak, and it is currently debating whether and how to enhance its defence capabilities, notably because of the growing complexity of transatlantic security relations. The new European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, is determined to expand the EU’s international role, calling her Commission ‘geopolitical’. This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports from international think tanks on the state of the future of the EU’s foreign, security and defence policy.

Veröffentlicht am 16-01-2020

Comprendre la fiscalité environnementale

16-01-2020

Parmi les mesures visant à promouvoir un changement vers des choix plus respectueux de l’environnement figure la fiscalité environnementale, en complément des autres instruments disponibles pour effectuer l’adaptation nécessaire pour faire face aux défis environnementaux et climatiques. La fiscalité environnementale, dans son principe, a pour but d’inclure dans les prix le coût des atteintes à l'environnement (dites externalités négatives) afin de réorienter vers des choix de production et de consommation ...

Parmi les mesures visant à promouvoir un changement vers des choix plus respectueux de l’environnement figure la fiscalité environnementale, en complément des autres instruments disponibles pour effectuer l’adaptation nécessaire pour faire face aux défis environnementaux et climatiques. La fiscalité environnementale, dans son principe, a pour but d’inclure dans les prix le coût des atteintes à l'environnement (dites externalités négatives) afin de réorienter vers des choix de production et de consommation plus respectueux de l’environnement. La fiscalité environnementale couvre potentiellement tous les domaines de la protection et de la préservation de l’environnement. La lutte contre le changement climatique, les pollutions (de l'air et de l'eau notamment) et les pressions subies par l’environnement (usage des ressources, biodiversité en particulier) ainsi que les facteurs qui y contribuent (par exemple les émissions de gaz et l'utilisation de substances pouvant être dommageables) peuvent être l’objet des mesures fiscales. Ce sont des mesures générales ou sectorielles, dont l’application varie selon les États et leurs collectivités. Dans l’Union européenne, la politique environnementale et la politique fiscale déterminent les contours de l’action respective des États membres et de l’Union. Les mesures fiscales environnementales existantes ont une part modeste parmi les revenus fiscaux des États. Si les objectifs environnementaux sont généralement reconnus, l’application de mesures relevant de la fiscalité environnementale nécessite la prise en compte de divers aspects, notamment ceux relatifs à la compétitivité et l’équité afin d’assurer une lisibilité de la fiscalité environnementale apte à assurer son acceptabilité pour en faire un instrument effectif de la transition nécessaire.

Veröffentlicht am 10-01-2020

EU cohesiveness and cohesion [What Think Tanks are thinking]

10-01-2020

The European Union is envisaged as an area of growing stability, security and prosperity, with integration allowing it to boost citizens’ living standards and to enhance its influence globally. Generous cohesion and regional development funds are meant to limit wealth disparities among the various EU regions and countries. However, frequent difficulties in forging common foreign and economic policies, due to national differences, can diminish the EU’s domestic effectiveness and international leverage ...

The European Union is envisaged as an area of growing stability, security and prosperity, with integration allowing it to boost citizens’ living standards and to enhance its influence globally. Generous cohesion and regional development funds are meant to limit wealth disparities among the various EU regions and countries. However, frequent difficulties in forging common foreign and economic policies, due to national differences, can diminish the EU’s domestic effectiveness and international leverage, while inequalities in income have been widening, especially in the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2008. This note brings together commentaries, analyses and studies by international think tanks and research institutes on EU cohesiveness and cohesion published over the past year.

Cross-border threats to health: EU action on preparedness and response

10-01-2020

Serious threats to health – such as those due to infectious disease outbreaks or environmental factors – do not respect borders. They do, however, require cross-border cooperation and a coordinated response. Decision No 1082/2013/EU is the framework for European Union action on health emergencies. It provides for information exchange, risk assessment and joint procurement, among other mechanisms. The EU-level response is coordinated by the Health Security Committee. The European Centre for Disease ...

Serious threats to health – such as those due to infectious disease outbreaks or environmental factors – do not respect borders. They do, however, require cross-border cooperation and a coordinated response. Decision No 1082/2013/EU is the framework for European Union action on health emergencies. It provides for information exchange, risk assessment and joint procurement, among other mechanisms. The EU-level response is coordinated by the Health Security Committee. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control meanwhile plays a crucial role in identifying, assessing and communicating threats to health from communicable diseases. Parliament has adopted own-initiative and legislative resolutions focusing both on the general and more specific aspects of cross-border threats to health. At global level, all EU Member States are party to the legally binding International Health Regulations that require them to develop, strengthen and maintain core public health capacities for surveillance and response. Implementation is coordinated by the World Health Organization. Going forward, Member States have expressed interest in exploiting the potential of joint procurement beyond pandemic influenza vaccines. Moreover, a joint action on strengthened International Health Regulations and preparedness in the EU has recently been launched, focusing, in particular, on countering biological and chemical terror attacks in Europe across the health, security and civil protection sectors.

Veröffentlicht am 09-01-2020

Understanding development effectiveness: Concepts, players and tools

09-01-2020

In the context of the limited availability of development aid, there is an increased demand for effective results. This means that both developing and richer countries must commit to spending and using aid more effectively. Public funding is not enough to cover all needs, but it can leverage initiatives from civil society and the private sector. The increase in stakeholders and intervention methods, both in terms of numbers and variety, combined with the necessity to address needs in the field more ...

In the context of the limited availability of development aid, there is an increased demand for effective results. This means that both developing and richer countries must commit to spending and using aid more effectively. Public funding is not enough to cover all needs, but it can leverage initiatives from civil society and the private sector. The increase in stakeholders and intervention methods, both in terms of numbers and variety, combined with the necessity to address needs in the field more precisely, has led to a global rethinking of how to assess development. High-level forums and stakeholder networks have helped to fine-tune the main principles of development effectiveness and to shift from a donor-recipient relationship to a more cooperative framework. Methods and tools have improved and led to better planning, implementation and appraisal of development projects. The EU has been closely involved in designing and implementing the effectiveness principles. The European Parliament often refers to them, insisting that they must not be sacrificed for the sake of short-term interests. This briefing is an update of a previous edition from April 2017.

Veröffentlicht am 08-01-2020

Is data the new oil? Competition issues in the digital economy

08-01-2020

The global debate on the extent to which current competition policy rules are sufficient to deal with the fast-moving digital economy has never been more pertinent. An important part of this debate concerns the market power of large high-tech companies that dominate many online markets. The main factors behind these developments are economies of scale and scope, network externalities, and the rising economic significance of data, which are a highly valuable commodity in an online economy. While being ...

The global debate on the extent to which current competition policy rules are sufficient to deal with the fast-moving digital economy has never been more pertinent. An important part of this debate concerns the market power of large high-tech companies that dominate many online markets. The main factors behind these developments are economies of scale and scope, network externalities, and the rising economic significance of data, which are a highly valuable commodity in an online economy. While being indispensable to the development of potential game changers – such as artificial intelligence – data are also a crucial input to many online services, production processes, and logistics – making it a critical element in the value chain of many different industries. Data-dependent markets are also characterised by a high level of concentration and, according to many experts, high entry barriers relating to access to and ownership of data – which make it difficult to challenge the incumbent companies. On the other hand, the large players are generally considered to be very productive and innovative. Some studies, however, show that the diffusion of know-how and innovation between the market leaders and the rest of the economy may be affecting competiveness in general. One possible way to correct these shortcomings is to regulate the sharing of data. While the risks of policy-making in this field are generally well-known and centre around the need to protect privacy – particularly where personal data are involved – and to prevent the collusive aspects of data sharing, there is currently no global model to follow. The European Union has taken multiple initiatives to unlock data markets through modern, user-centred laws such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the regulation on the reuse of public sector information. The global thinking seems to gradually favour more prudent oversight of the market, considering its economic heft.

Veröffentlicht am 20-12-2019

Reporting on SDG implementation: UN mechanisms and the EU approach

20-12-2019

Adopted in 2015 by the United Nations (UN), the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – 'the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all' – clearly links the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) it introduced to a series of targets to be reached by 2030. The 2030 Agenda includes a detailed mechanism to monitor progress with regard to these targets. At the core of this mechanism are a number of quantified indicators for each target that are regularly revised by the UN and ...

Adopted in 2015 by the United Nations (UN), the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – 'the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all' – clearly links the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) it introduced to a series of targets to be reached by 2030. The 2030 Agenda includes a detailed mechanism to monitor progress with regard to these targets. At the core of this mechanism are a number of quantified indicators for each target that are regularly revised by the UN and other international agencies. These agencies and the EU provide support to national statistical services across the world in collecting data for the SDG indicators in order to gather reliable and comparable datasets. These data feed the voluntary national reports that countries prepare to exchange good practices and advice on tackling the challenges they encounter in implementing their SDG strategies. High-level forums take stock of both progress and weaknesses in implementation, so as to ensure that everybody is on track in pursuing the SDGs. The EU has long experience in collecting consistent data from its Member States. The European Union Statistical Office (Eurostat) has created a set of sustainable development indicators that provide a good overview of progress within the EU; yet, according to analysts, these indicators do not give a clear picture of the risks of not attaining some goals by 2030. EU development cooperation services have devised a framework of indicators to assess how EU support contributes to other countries' implementation of the SDGs. However, the European Parliament and other stakeholders regret that the spill-over effect of EU policies on third countries remains a blind spot in the evaluation of the EU's contribution to the SDGs. Although technical in nature, SDG indicators and data also have a political dimension, as they clearly measure countries' and other stakeholders' achievements against their own commitments.

2019: A year of challenges and choices [What Think Tanks are thinking]

20-12-2019

The European Parliament elections and formation of a new European Commission with new priorities, together with a general economic slowdown against the backdrop of the US-China trade conflict, to say nothing of Brexit, defined 2019 as a year of tough choices in the context of old and new challenges. Those include efforts to fight climate change, the defence of the rules-based international order, the advance of the digital revolution, the emerging debate over the EU’s strategic sovereignty, and the ...

The European Parliament elections and formation of a new European Commission with new priorities, together with a general economic slowdown against the backdrop of the US-China trade conflict, to say nothing of Brexit, defined 2019 as a year of tough choices in the context of old and new challenges. Those include efforts to fight climate change, the defence of the rules-based international order, the advance of the digital revolution, the emerging debate over the EU’s strategic sovereignty, and the need to re-define relations with the United Kingdom post-Brexit. This note offers links to recent selected commentaries, studies and reports from major international think tanks on the state of the EU in 2019 and its outlook in several important areas.

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