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Zverejnené 13-12-2019

Enhancing EU competitiveness [What Think Tanks are thinking]

13-12-2019

The European Union has been established as an area of security, stability and prosperity, in which economic competitiveness plays a key role. Although in terms of productivity some EU countries are doing well, compared to, for example, the United States, the EU is lagging behind some other world regions in reaping the fruits of the digital revolution. Analysts also point to the need to continue euro-area governance reforms, completing the Banking Union and pushing ahead with the creation of the Capital ...

The European Union has been established as an area of security, stability and prosperity, in which economic competitiveness plays a key role. Although in terms of productivity some EU countries are doing well, compared to, for example, the United States, the EU is lagging behind some other world regions in reaping the fruits of the digital revolution. Analysts also point to the need to continue euro-area governance reforms, completing the Banking Union and pushing ahead with the creation of the Capital Markets Union. A debate continues about whether the EU should support the creation of EU industrial champions, which advocates claim could be well placed to compete internationally in some sectors. This note brings together commentaries, analyses and studies by international think tanks and research institutes on EU competitiveness and related issues. Earlier papers on reforming the euro area are available in a previous issue from the series, published in December 2019.

Irrigation in EU agriculture

13-12-2019

Irrigation is the provision of water to help crops grow when rainfall is not sufficient. While new farming methods and technologies allow some types of crops to be grown without soil, a certain amount of water is needed to grow any kind of crop. In today's economy, agriculture is one of the sectors that consumes the most water resources. Irrigation is the major cause of water consumption in agriculture. It contributes to increasing crop productivity, but it is also a threat to the preservation of ...

Irrigation is the provision of water to help crops grow when rainfall is not sufficient. While new farming methods and technologies allow some types of crops to be grown without soil, a certain amount of water is needed to grow any kind of crop. In today's economy, agriculture is one of the sectors that consumes the most water resources. Irrigation is the major cause of water consumption in agriculture. It contributes to increasing crop productivity, but it is also a threat to the preservation of water resources. Therefore, the issue of water scarcity requires careful reflection on the trade-off between higher agricultural productivity and the deterioration of water resources. A number of elements determine the amount of irrigation water used in agriculture, from the types of crop and cropping method to the characteristics of the soil and the irrigation technique, to name just a few. Therefore, agriculture itself provides opportunities for better water management and water savings, through both traditional farm practices and new farming technologies. Irrigation has been a feature of European agriculture for thousands of years. Not surprisingly, the majority of irrigated agricultural areas are in the EU’s southern regions, in particular in Spain and Italy. However, there are areas equipped for irrigation elsewhere, especially in the Netherlands. Over 40 % of the EU's water use is on agriculture, and most of the freshwater abstraction is for agricultural use in countries like Greece, Spain, and Cyprus. Prolonged periods of drought in many parts of the Union, the effects of climate change and pollution, as well as competition over use add further pressure on EU waters. Ensuring food security in view of climate change requires improvement in water-management capacity, including making users (farmers) more responsible. In recent times, the environmental performance of sectoral policies, such as in the area of agriculture, is increasingly scrutinised by citizens, stakeholders, and policy-makers. Various EU policy initiatives have been launched to address the challenge of sustainable water use in agriculture, including a more integrated approach to water management, water re-use, research and innovation, and more environmental ambition in the agricultural policy. Better policy coordination between EU policies and actions is seen as key to achieving the sustainable safeguarding of EU waters.

Understanding the Sustainable Development Goals

13-12-2019

In 2015, the United Nations adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to be attained by 2030, as a follow-up to the Millennium Development Goals (2000-2015) and the Rio+20 Summit (2012). Unlike their predecessors, the SDGs commit both developed and developing countries, and embrace the economic, environmental and social aspects of development. The SDGs and the broader 2030 Agenda for sustainable development of which they form the core, are based on the findings that human activities have ...

In 2015, the United Nations adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to be attained by 2030, as a follow-up to the Millennium Development Goals (2000-2015) and the Rio+20 Summit (2012). Unlike their predecessors, the SDGs commit both developed and developing countries, and embrace the economic, environmental and social aspects of development. The SDGs and the broader 2030 Agenda for sustainable development of which they form the core, are based on the findings that human activities have triggered dramatic changes in the conditions on Earth (climate change and biodiversity loss), which in turn have contributed to the deterioration of human well being. To reverse the trend, there is an urgent need to simultaneously address the multiple causes and consequences of environmental depletion and social inequalities, by developing synergies and managing trade-offs between the SDGs. Challenges in pursuing the SDGs include the fact that countries do not necessarily have an equal start and, even more importantly, that regardless of their stage of development, they can no longer afford to apply the current development model, where production and consumption happen at the expense of natural resources. According to many observers, such a model creates unsolvable tensions between SDGs, notably between the safeguarding of natural resources and the aspirations for improved well-being. The structural transformation that would bring about the desired change requires a joint effort by the international community, but equally so by natural and public or private legal persons, to urgently speed up the process. The European Union has been a leader in drafting and implementing the SDGs; however, the European Parliament considers the EU could go further in devising a common SDG strategy. This briefing updates an EPRS 'At a glance' note published in November 2017, PE 608.819.

Zverejnené 12-12-2019

European Institute of Innovation and Technology and its Strategic Innovation Agenda, 2021-2027

12-12-2019

The main objective of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) is to stimulate and support innovation and competitiveness in Europe. In this light, it is regrettable that the impacts on SMEs, competitiveness, or territorial impacts are not discussed in the impact assessment. The budget of the EIT under Horizon 2021-2027 proposal is EUR 3 billion. As most innovation activities managed by EIT take place in 5 countries only, improved regional outreach is one of the objectives of this ...

The main objective of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) is to stimulate and support innovation and competitiveness in Europe. In this light, it is regrettable that the impacts on SMEs, competitiveness, or territorial impacts are not discussed in the impact assessment. The budget of the EIT under Horizon 2021-2027 proposal is EUR 3 billion. As most innovation activities managed by EIT take place in 5 countries only, improved regional outreach is one of the objectives of this initiative. New activity - HEInnovate - is proposed to support entrepreneurial and innovation capacity of universities.

EU-Africa academic cooperation

12-12-2019

EU-Africa academic cooperation is one of the priority of the strategic partnership between both regions. It allows the mobility of students, researchers and academic staff as well as the cooperation between academic institutions from both regions. The cooperation is supported, not least with the EU funds, through the Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020 programmes as well as through the Inter-Africa Mobility Scheme. With the new financial perspective and the new ‘post-Cotonou’ agreement, still in negotiations ...

EU-Africa academic cooperation is one of the priority of the strategic partnership between both regions. It allows the mobility of students, researchers and academic staff as well as the cooperation between academic institutions from both regions. The cooperation is supported, not least with the EU funds, through the Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020 programmes as well as through the Inter-Africa Mobility Scheme. With the new financial perspective and the new ‘post-Cotonou’ agreement, still in negotiations, it is important to ensure the future of the EU-Africa academic cooperation is relevant in scale to the needs and expectations and is focusing on topics important for both regions.

Zverejnené 10-12-2019

Public hearing with Andrea Enria, Chair of the ECB Supervisory Board

10-12-2019

This note is prepared in view of a regular public hearing with the Chair of the Supervisory Board of the European Central Bank (ECB), Andrea Enria, which will take place on 12 December 2019. The briefing addresses (i) Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) priorities for 2020, (ii) Banks’ profitability issues; (iii) Stress testing developments; (iv) some individual bank cases; (v) supervisory issues and policies (anti-money laundering, Brexit, and impact of Basel III and IFRS9), and (vi) the completion ...

This note is prepared in view of a regular public hearing with the Chair of the Supervisory Board of the European Central Bank (ECB), Andrea Enria, which will take place on 12 December 2019. The briefing addresses (i) Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) priorities for 2020, (ii) Banks’ profitability issues; (iii) Stress testing developments; (iv) some individual bank cases; (v) supervisory issues and policies (anti-money laundering, Brexit, and impact of Basel III and IFRS9), and (vi) the completion of the Banking Union.

Zverejnené 09-12-2019

Outlook for the meetings of EU leaders on 12-13 December 2019

09-12-2019

The main issues on the agenda of the European Council are climate change and the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). EU leaders will also address the idea of a Conference on the Future of Europe, with the aim of developing a joint position of Member States on the initiative. In addition, the European Council (Article 50) meeting is expected to discuss the result of the general election in the UK (taking place on 12 December) and the likely consequences for the Brexit process, as well as preparations ...

The main issues on the agenda of the European Council are climate change and the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). EU leaders will also address the idea of a Conference on the Future of Europe, with the aim of developing a joint position of Member States on the initiative. In addition, the European Council (Article 50) meeting is expected to discuss the result of the general election in the UK (taking place on 12 December) and the likely consequences for the Brexit process, as well as preparations for the negotiations on future EU-UK relations. Finally, the Euro Summit will concentrate on the revision of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) Treaty, the budgetary instrument for convergence and competitiveness (BICC), and technical work on the strengthening of the banking union.

Zverejnené 06-12-2019

Thematic Digest on Economic Governance in the EU - December 2019

06-12-2019

This document presents a selection of thematic briefings in the area of EU economic governance recently published by the Economic Governance Support Unit of the European Parliament. They are notably related to the implementation of the European Semester for economic policy coordination. These thematic documents are drafted and kept updated on a regular basis, following relevant developments. All papers published by EGOV are available on the ECON homepage.

This document presents a selection of thematic briefings in the area of EU economic governance recently published by the Economic Governance Support Unit of the European Parliament. They are notably related to the implementation of the European Semester for economic policy coordination. These thematic documents are drafted and kept updated on a regular basis, following relevant developments. All papers published by EGOV are available on the ECON homepage.

Zverejnené 05-12-2019

Climate change [What Think Tanks are thinking]

05-12-2019

Government officials from across the world are currently engaged in the 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP25, focussing on how to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The conference, which runs from 2 to 13 December 2019, was moved at short notice to Madrid in Spain, to avoid the social unrest in Chile. Meanwhile, the new President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, is preparing a set of new climate and environmental ...

Government officials from across the world are currently engaged in the 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP25, focussing on how to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The conference, which runs from 2 to 13 December 2019, was moved at short notice to Madrid in Spain, to avoid the social unrest in Chile. Meanwhile, the new President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, is preparing a set of new climate and environmental initiatives, as part of the European Green Deal. This note brings together commentaries, analyses and studies by major international think tanks and research institutes on climate talks and wider issues relating to climate change.

Zverejnené 03-12-2019

Preparing the Conference on the Future of Europe

03-12-2019

After the many debates and declarations of principles on the future of Europe of recent years, the time for a more structured reflection on the future of Europe's development has arrived. The new President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen has pledged to establish a Conference on the Future of Europe, in an effort to give new impulse to European construction and bring Europe closer to citizens. At this stage, details of this initiative are still up for discussion. For Dubravka Šuica ...

After the many debates and declarations of principles on the future of Europe of recent years, the time for a more structured reflection on the future of Europe's development has arrived. The new President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen has pledged to establish a Conference on the Future of Europe, in an effort to give new impulse to European construction and bring Europe closer to citizens. At this stage, details of this initiative are still up for discussion. For Dubravka Šuica, the Commissioner who will take charge of the process, the inclusion of all citizens' voices will be an essential characteristic of the Conference. However, how to ensure that European citizens are properly represented remains to be clarified. Preparation of the Conference, in von der Leyen's approach, will follow three steps: first, the elaboration of the concept, structure, timing and scope with Parliament and Council; then, design of a means to ensure that citizens participate as much as possible, including by fostering online participation for younger people; and last, making sure that appropriate follow-up is provided to the actions agreed by the Conference. The Parliament has created a working group to contribute to the design of the Conference, in particular in respect of its structure, with a view to a vote in plenary. Parliament's Committee on Constitutional Affairs (AFCO) has also launched discussions, confirming the eagerness of Parliament and its political bodies to play an active part from the beginning of this process. The Conference on the Future of Europe should be an excellent opportunity to engage in more structured debate, with the intention to find concrete proposals to improve the way in which the EU works not only in terms of institutional dynamics, but also of its policies. Some have however cautioned that the initiative needs to be carried out with the utmost care, in particular on the follow-up to be given to its outcomes, so that it can remain a meaningful endeavour.

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