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Cybersecurity of critical energy infrastructure

25-10-2019

The European Union (EU) has a high level of energy security, enabled by oil and gas reserve stocks, and one of the most reliable electricity grids in the world. However, a number of established and emerging trends pose new challenges to the security of energy supply, notably in the electricity sector. The production, distribution and use of energy is becoming increasingly digitalised and automated, a trend which will further increase with the transformation towards a distributed carbon-neutral energy ...

The European Union (EU) has a high level of energy security, enabled by oil and gas reserve stocks, and one of the most reliable electricity grids in the world. However, a number of established and emerging trends pose new challenges to the security of energy supply, notably in the electricity sector. The production, distribution and use of energy is becoming increasingly digitalised and automated, a trend which will further increase with the transformation towards a distributed carbon-neutral energy system and the growth of the 'internet of things', which means that more and more networked devices will be connected to the electricity grid. This provides increased opportunities for malicious actors to carry out attacks on the energy system, notably cyber-attacks, possibly in combination with physical damage and social engineering. It also increases the risk of inadvertent disruption. Hackers are becoming increasingly capable, and are already probing and exploiting vulnerabilities in the energy system, as a number of incidents outside the EU have demonstrated.

European Council conclusions:A rolling check-list of commitments to date

16-10-2019

The role of the European Council – to 'provide the Union with the necessary impetus for its development' and to define its 'general political directions and priorities' – has evolved rapidly over the last decade. Since June 2014, the European Council Oversight Unit within the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), the European Parliament's in-house research service and think tank, has been monitoring and analysing the European Council's delivery on commitments made in the conclusions of ...

The role of the European Council – to 'provide the Union with the necessary impetus for its development' and to define its 'general political directions and priorities' – has evolved rapidly over the last decade. Since June 2014, the European Council Oversight Unit within the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), the European Parliament's in-house research service and think tank, has been monitoring and analysing the European Council's delivery on commitments made in the conclusions of its meetings. This overview of European Council conclusions is the latest edition of the Rolling Check-List which has been published regularly by the European Council Oversight Unit since 2014. It is designed to review the degree of progress in achieving the goals that the European Council has set itself and to assist the Parliament in exercising its important oversight role in this field.

Key issues in the European Council - State of play in October 2019

16-10-2019

This EPRS publication, 'Key issues in the European Council', which will be updated quarterly to coincide with European Council meetings, aims to provide an overview of the institution’s activities on major EU issues. It analyses nine policy areas, explaining the legal and political background and the main priorities and orientations defined by the European Council. It also assesses the results of European Council involvement to date and identifies future challenges in the various policy fields.

This EPRS publication, 'Key issues in the European Council', which will be updated quarterly to coincide with European Council meetings, aims to provide an overview of the institution’s activities on major EU issues. It analyses nine policy areas, explaining the legal and political background and the main priorities and orientations defined by the European Council. It also assesses the results of European Council involvement to date and identifies future challenges in the various policy fields.

Hearings of the Commissioners-designate: Kadri Simson - Energy

26-09-2019

This briefing is one in a set looking at the Commissioners-designate and their portfolios as put forward by Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen. Each candidate faces a three-hour public hearing, organised by one or more parliamentary committees. After that process, those committees will judge the candidates' suitability for the role based on 'their general competence, European commitment and personal independence', as well as their 'knowledge of their prospective portfolio and their communication ...

This briefing is one in a set looking at the Commissioners-designate and their portfolios as put forward by Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen. Each candidate faces a three-hour public hearing, organised by one or more parliamentary committees. After that process, those committees will judge the candidates' suitability for the role based on 'their general competence, European commitment and personal independence', as well as their 'knowledge of their prospective portfolio and their communication skills'. At the end of the hearings process, Parliament votes on the proposed Commission as a bloc, and under the Treaties may only reject the entire College of Commissioners, rather than individual candidates. The Briefing provides an overview of key issues in the portfolio areas, as well as Parliament's activity in the last term in that field. It also includes a brief introduction to the candidate.

EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Energy supply and security

28-06-2019

Energy policy is a competence shared between the EU and its Member States. Whereas the EU has responsibility under the Treaties to ensure security of supply, Member States are responsible for determining the structure of their energy supply and their choice of energy sources. EU legislation on security of supply focuses on natural gas and electricity markets, and is closely related to other EU objectives: consolidating a single energy market, improving energy efficiency, and promoting renewable energy ...

Energy policy is a competence shared between the EU and its Member States. Whereas the EU has responsibility under the Treaties to ensure security of supply, Member States are responsible for determining the structure of their energy supply and their choice of energy sources. EU legislation on security of supply focuses on natural gas and electricity markets, and is closely related to other EU objectives: consolidating a single energy market, improving energy efficiency, and promoting renewable energy sources to decarbonise the economy and meet the Paris Agreement goals. The 2014-2019 legislature saw numerous initiatives in connection with security of supply. The EU institutions reached agreement on a revised regulation on security of gas supply, a revised regulation on security of electricity supply, a revised decision on intergovernmental agreements in the energy field, a targeted revision of the gas directive to apply its key provisions to pipelines with third countries, and also new targets for energy efficiency and renewables by 2030. Parliament also adopted several own-initiative resolutions in the energy field, including one on the new EU strategy on liquefied natural gas and gas storage, which is key to gas supply security. Meanwhile, EU projects of common interest (PCIs) finance energy infrastructure that improves interconnection and supports security of supply. There is growing expectation among EU citizens that the EU will step up its involvement in energy supply and security. Whereas this view was shared by just over half of EU citizens in 2016 (52 %), it is now expressed by roughly two thirds (65 %). The EU will retain a key role in monitoring security of supply throughout the energy transition from the old system of centralised generation dominated by fossil fuels in national markets, towards a new system characterised by a high share of renewables, more localised production and cross-border markets. However, the EU would need to use a special legislative procedure if it wanted to intervene directly in determining the energy supply of its Member States. This procedure requires decision-making by unanimity in Council and only a consultative role for the Parliament. This is an update of an earlier briefing issued in advance of the 2019 European elections.

What if policy anticipated advances in science and technology?

26-06-2019

What if blockchain revolutionised voting? What if your emotions were tracked to spy on you? And what if we genetically engineered an entire species? Science and policy are intricately connected. Via monthly 'What if' publications, the Scientific Foresight Unit (STOA; part of the European Parliamentary Research Service) draws Members of the European Parliament's attention to new scientific and technological developments relevant for policy-making. The unit also provides administrative support to the ...

What if blockchain revolutionised voting? What if your emotions were tracked to spy on you? And what if we genetically engineered an entire species? Science and policy are intricately connected. Via monthly 'What if' publications, the Scientific Foresight Unit (STOA; part of the European Parliamentary Research Service) draws Members of the European Parliament's attention to new scientific and technological developments relevant for policy-making. The unit also provides administrative support to the Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA), which brings together 25 Members from nine different parliamentary committees who share a strong interest in science and technology in the context of policy-making.

Energy storage and sector coupling: Towards an integrated, decarbonised energy system

24-06-2019

In order to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change, the European energy system will need to become carbon-neutral by the second half of this century. However, while renewable sources of energy are key to achieving this, some of the most important renewables are variable: the output of solar and wind power depends on the time of day, the seasons and the weather. As the share of variable renewables increases, energy storage is playing an increasingly important role in bridging the ...

In order to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change, the European energy system will need to become carbon-neutral by the second half of this century. However, while renewable sources of energy are key to achieving this, some of the most important renewables are variable: the output of solar and wind power depends on the time of day, the seasons and the weather. As the share of variable renewables increases, energy storage is playing an increasingly important role in bridging the gap in time between energy production and energy consumption. While the share of renewable energy in the electricity sector is growing continually, other sectors, such as transport, buildings and industry, still depend largely on fossil fuels. To decarbonise these sectors, they can either be electrified or the fossil fuels can be substituted by renewable gases such as hydrogen or renewable liquid fuels. Transformation from electricity to gases and vice versa can add further storage capacity and flexibility to the energy system. Research indicates that coupling different sectors in this way would lower the overall cost of decarbonising the energy system. The EU has reformed its electricity markets to facilitate the participation of storage in managing supply and demand, and revised the renewable energy directive to include renewable gases. When it comes to industrial policy, the EU supports initiatives for batteries and hydrogen. The debate about the pathways towards a carbon-neutral economy is ongoing, and is based on the Commission's clean planet strategy. The outcome of this debate will influence EU policies in various fields and inform the EU's low greenhouse gas emission development strategy under the Paris Agreement, which must be submitted in 2020.

Key issues in the European Council

20-06-2019

The European Council Oversight Unit within the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) monitors and analyses the activities, commitments and impact of the European Council, so as to maximize parliamentary understanding of the political dynamics of this important institution. This new EPRS publication, 'Key issues in the European Council', which will be updated quarterly to coincide with European Council meetings, aims to provide an overview of the institution’s activities on major EU issues ...

The European Council Oversight Unit within the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) monitors and analyses the activities, commitments and impact of the European Council, so as to maximize parliamentary understanding of the political dynamics of this important institution. This new EPRS publication, 'Key issues in the European Council', which will be updated quarterly to coincide with European Council meetings, aims to provide an overview of the institution’s activities on major EU issues. It analyses nine policy areas, explaining the legal and political background and the main priorities and orientations defined by the European Council. It also assesses the results of European Council involvement to date and identifies future challenges in the various policy fields.

Usluge resornog odjela (ITRE u fokusu)

14-06-2019

Resorni odjel A odborima kojima pruža podršku – ECON, EMPL, ENVI, ITRE i IMCO – stavlja na raspolaganje visokokvalitetna stručna mišljenja, najnovije analize i neovisna istraživanja. Naglasak je ove brošure na uslugama koje Resorni odjel pruža odboru ITRE.

Resorni odjel A odborima kojima pruža podršku – ECON, EMPL, ENVI, ITRE i IMCO – stavlja na raspolaganje visokokvalitetna stručna mišljenja, najnovije analize i neovisna istraživanja. Naglasak je ove brošure na uslugama koje Resorni odjel pruža odboru ITRE.

European Council conclusions - A rolling check-list of commitments to date

14-06-2019

The role of the European Council – to 'provide the Union with the necessary impetus for its development' and to define its 'general political directions and priorities' – has evolved rapidly over the last decade. Since June 2014, the European Council Oversight Unit within the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), the European Parliament's in-house research service and think tank, has been monitoring and analysing the European Council's delivery on commitments made in the conclusions of ...

The role of the European Council – to 'provide the Union with the necessary impetus for its development' and to define its 'general political directions and priorities' – has evolved rapidly over the last decade. Since June 2014, the European Council Oversight Unit within the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), the European Parliament's in-house research service and think tank, has been monitoring and analysing the European Council's delivery on commitments made in the conclusions of its meetings. This overview of European Council conclusions is a new, updated and more comprehensive edition of the Rolling Check-List, which has been published regularly by the European Council Oversight Unit since 2014. It distinguishes between four types of European Council conclusions (commitments, reviews, endorsements and statements) and indicates the follow-up given to calls for action made by EU leaders. It also offers an introductory analysis of each policy area, highlighting the background to the main orientations given by the European Council, as well as the follow-up to them and the future challenges.

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