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Posted on 19-09-2019

EU guidelines on ethics in artificial intelligence: Context and implementation

19-09-2019

The discussion around artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and their impact on society is increasingly focused on the question of whether AI should be regulated. Following the call from the European Parliament to update and complement the existing Union legal framework with guiding ethical principles, the EU has carved out a 'human-centric' approach to AI that is respectful of European values and principles. As part of this approach, the EU published its guidelines on ethics in AI in April 2019 ...

The discussion around artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and their impact on society is increasingly focused on the question of whether AI should be regulated. Following the call from the European Parliament to update and complement the existing Union legal framework with guiding ethical principles, the EU has carved out a 'human-centric' approach to AI that is respectful of European values and principles. As part of this approach, the EU published its guidelines on ethics in AI in April 2019, and European Commission President-elect, Ursula von der Leyen, has announced that the Commission will soon put forward further legislative proposals for a coordinated European approach to the human and ethical implications of AI. Against this background, this paper aims to shed some light on the ethical rules that are now recommended when designing, developing, deploying, implementing or using AI products and services in the EU. Moreover, it identifies some implementation challenges and presents possible further EU action ranging from soft law guidance to standardisation to legislation in the field of ethics and AI. There are calls for clarifying the EU guidelines, fostering the adoption of ethical standards and adopting legally binding instruments to, inter alia, set common rules on transparency and common requirements for fundamental rights impact assessments, and to provide an adequate legal framework for face recognition technology. Finally, the paper gives an overview of the main ethical frameworks for AI under development in countries such as the United States and China.

Posted on 18-09-2019

EU Public Health Policies: State of play, current and future challenges

17-09-2019

This study provides an outlook on the topics that may shape the ENVI Committee’s public health agenda during the new legislature. It describes key public health definitions, principles and concepts, discusses the EU’s powers to act on health, and presents an overview of health policy developments and challenges. This document was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety of the European Parliament.

This study provides an outlook on the topics that may shape the ENVI Committee’s public health agenda during the new legislature. It describes key public health definitions, principles and concepts, discusses the EU’s powers to act on health, and presents an overview of health policy developments and challenges. This document was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety of the European Parliament.

External author

Nikolai PUSHKAREV, Fiona GODFREY, Sascha MARSCHANG, Zoltán, MASSAY-KOSUBEK, Yannis NATSIS, Ann Marie BORG, Vivana GALLI

EU Environment and Climate Change Policies: State of play, current and future challenges

18-09-2019

This study reviews the state of play of on-going EU environmental and climate legislation and pinpoints key challenges for the next five years. Challenges arise from the plans released by the president-elect, such as a new European Green Deal, the completion of work started in the previous term (e.g. the Regulation on a framework for sustainable finance and the completion of the multiannual finance framework), by reviews of legislation foreseen for the next term and the need for action where indicators ...

This study reviews the state of play of on-going EU environmental and climate legislation and pinpoints key challenges for the next five years. Challenges arise from the plans released by the president-elect, such as a new European Green Deal, the completion of work started in the previous term (e.g. the Regulation on a framework for sustainable finance and the completion of the multiannual finance framework), by reviews of legislation foreseen for the next term and the need for action where indicators show that current EU environment targets may not be achieved. This document was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety of the European Parliament.

External author

Anke HEROLD, Vanessa COOK, Yifaat BARON, Martin CAMES, Sabine GORES, Jakob GRAICHEN, Peter KASTEN, Georg MEHLHART, Anne SIEMONS, Cristina URRUTIA, Franziska WOLFF

Posted on 17-09-2019

Consumers and repair of products

17-09-2019

Repairing broken or damaged products can save consumers money by helping them postpone making replacement purchases, while also bringing benefits to the environment through lower waste production and use of resources. The EU's circular economy strategy considers maintenance and repair to be important ways of both keeping resources from being thrown away and of prolonging the lifespan of products. A 2018 European Commission behavioural study on consumer engagement in the circular economy showed that ...

Repairing broken or damaged products can save consumers money by helping them postpone making replacement purchases, while also bringing benefits to the environment through lower waste production and use of resources. The EU's circular economy strategy considers maintenance and repair to be important ways of both keeping resources from being thrown away and of prolonging the lifespan of products. A 2018 European Commission behavioural study on consumer engagement in the circular economy showed that 64 % of consumers always repair broken or damaged products. The top reason for not repairing products was the high price of repair, followed by the preference to get a new product and the feeling that the old product was obsolete or out of fashion. As for repairers, especially independent ones, they often complain about having no access to original spare parts, technical information, diagnostic software and training, as manufacturers sometimes limit these to their own after-sales services or to recognised repairers of a specific brand. EU consumer legislation regulates the right of consumers to have products repaired within the legal guarantee period, but not beyond its expiry or for defects not covered by the guarantee. Efforts to ensure access to repair are also included in EU environmental and product legislation. The upcoming ecodesign requirements for TV screens, refrigerators, lighting, household washing machines and dishwashers are expected to ensure that independent repairers have access to spare parts and repair information. The European Parliament has called for extending the ecodesign requirements to non-energy related products, including the reparability of products, more systematically in ecodesign legislation, and extending the duration of legal guarantees. Similar calls have come from a range of stakeholders.

Women in foreign affairs and international security: Contours of a timely debate

17-09-2019

The debate on the participation and role of women in foreign affairs and international security is a timely and relevant one, and is being raised with increasing frequency at both national and international levels. In particular, there is growing attention to the imbalances in the representation of women in leadership and other key positions in the area of foreign and security policy, as well as to the growing body of evidence regarding the positive effect of including women in several key areas ...

The debate on the participation and role of women in foreign affairs and international security is a timely and relevant one, and is being raised with increasing frequency at both national and international levels. In particular, there is growing attention to the imbalances in the representation of women in leadership and other key positions in the area of foreign and security policy, as well as to the growing body of evidence regarding the positive effect of including women in several key areas of foreign and security policy. Among these issues, women's role in peacekeeping receives particular attention, as research has repeatedly shown that gender equality contributes to peace, and that peace negotiations involving women have a better chance of being sustainable and effective. Gender-equal societies enjoy better health, stronger economic growth and higher security. The United Nations and the EU have put pronounced emphasis on the issue in the past two decades. UN Security Council Resolution 1325 established the women, peace and security (WPS) agenda in 2000. Since then, more WPS-related resolutions have been adopted, widening the scope and breadth of gendered peace and security. These resolutions have been instrumental in changing the philosophy and rhetoric focused on conflict and gender equality, thereby challenging the international community to do more. Several initiatives are also being implemented at EU level, including through the 2018 EU Strategic Approach to WPS. However, critics posit that a lot remains to be done, as women continue to be under-represented in the field of foreign and security policy across the world.

Posted on 16-09-2019

Policy Departments' Monthly Highlights - September 2019

16-09-2019

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

Posted on 13-09-2019

What if Libra disrupted the financial system?

13-09-2019

Facebook’s envisaged cryptocurrency project Libra may enable a way of more connected, digital banking. However, it also triggered a debate around the added value of cryptocurrencies. What would change for banks, businesses and consumers with the new digital currency?

Facebook’s envisaged cryptocurrency project Libra may enable a way of more connected, digital banking. However, it also triggered a debate around the added value of cryptocurrencies. What would change for banks, businesses and consumers with the new digital currency?

Appointment of Christine Lagarde as president of the European Central Bank

13-09-2019

During its September 2019 plenary sitting, the European Parliament is expected to vote on a resolution on the candidate (Christine Lagarde) for president of the European Central Bank (ECB). While it is the European Council that appoints the ECB president, it must first consult Parliament. Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON) held a hearing with Christine Lagarde in September 2019 and then voted favourably on the candidacy. The ECB president is a key figure within the Eurosystem ...

During its September 2019 plenary sitting, the European Parliament is expected to vote on a resolution on the candidate (Christine Lagarde) for president of the European Central Bank (ECB). While it is the European Council that appoints the ECB president, it must first consult Parliament. Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON) held a hearing with Christine Lagarde in September 2019 and then voted favourably on the candidacy. The ECB president is a key figure within the Eurosystem when setting monetary policy for the euro area.

Amending budget No 1/2019: 2018 surplus

13-09-2019

Draft Amending Budget No 1/2019 (DAB1/2019) enters the surplus resulting from implementation of the 2018 budget into the EU's 2019 budget. The 2018 surplus totals over €1.8 billion, as compared to €0.56 billion in 2017. It consists mostly of higher than expected revenues and underspending on the expenditure side. Inclusion of the surplus will reduce the Member States' contributions to the 2019 EU budget accordingly. The European Parliament is expected to vote on the Council position on DAB1/2019 ...

Draft Amending Budget No 1/2019 (DAB1/2019) enters the surplus resulting from implementation of the 2018 budget into the EU's 2019 budget. The 2018 surplus totals over €1.8 billion, as compared to €0.56 billion in 2017. It consists mostly of higher than expected revenues and underspending on the expenditure side. Inclusion of the surplus will reduce the Member States' contributions to the 2019 EU budget accordingly. The European Parliament is expected to vote on the Council position on DAB1/2019 during its September 2019 plenary session.

Amending budget No 2/2019: Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+

13-09-2019

The European Commission's Draft Amending Budget No 2 aims to reinforce two key programmes for EU competitiveness: Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+. The intended increase amounts to €100 million of commitment appropriations for the two programmes, with no reinforcement in payment appropriations envisaged. A vote on this proposal, which reflects the agreement between the European Parliament and the Council on the 2019 budget, is scheduled for the September plenary session.

The European Commission's Draft Amending Budget No 2 aims to reinforce two key programmes for EU competitiveness: Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+. The intended increase amounts to €100 million of commitment appropriations for the two programmes, with no reinforcement in payment appropriations envisaged. A vote on this proposal, which reflects the agreement between the European Parliament and the Council on the 2019 budget, is scheduled for the September plenary session.

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