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Zveřejněno na 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.

Zveřejněno na 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.

Zveřejněno na 11-12-2019

Study in Focus "International Climate Negotiations - Issues at stake in view of the COP25 UN Climate Change Conference in Madrid"

15-11-2019

At the 25th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, delegates will negotiate the further implementation of the Paris Agreement. This study in focus provides an overview of the international framework to address climate change, the stakeholders involved, the status of the negotiations and recent developments that may affect the negotiations. This document was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health ...

At the 25th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, delegates will negotiate the further implementation of the Paris Agreement. This study in focus provides an overview of the international framework to address climate change, the stakeholders involved, the status of the negotiations and recent developments that may affect the negotiations. This document was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI).

Externí autor

Lorenz MOOSMANN, Cristina URRUTIA, Anne SIEMONS, Martin CAMES, Lambert SCHNEIDER (Öko-Institut e.V.)

Introduction to the European Semester: Coordinating and monitoring economic and fiscal policies in the EU

11-12-2019

The European Semester is a framework for the coordination of economic policies across the European Union that was established after the European sovereign debt crisis. This paper aims to provide a simple but comprehensive introduction, explaining the main steps of the Semester from November to July each year. It also provides a short review of the academic and institutional debates around the Semester, before closing with the priorities in the relevant areas identified by the new European Commission ...

The European Semester is a framework for the coordination of economic policies across the European Union that was established after the European sovereign debt crisis. This paper aims to provide a simple but comprehensive introduction, explaining the main steps of the Semester from November to July each year. It also provides a short review of the academic and institutional debates around the Semester, before closing with the priorities in the relevant areas identified by the new European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen.

Zveřejněno na 10-12-2019

Current membership of the European Council

10-12-2019

The European Council consists of the 28 Heads of State or Government of the EU Member States, who are voting members, together with the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission, who have no vote (Article 15(2) TEU). The chart shows the current members, the national office they hold and their political affiliation, as well as the year their membership of the institution began. This publication is updated periodically to reflect changes in the European Council's ...

The European Council consists of the 28 Heads of State or Government of the EU Member States, who are voting members, together with the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission, who have no vote (Article 15(2) TEU). The chart shows the current members, the national office they hold and their political affiliation, as well as the year their membership of the institution began. This publication is updated periodically to reflect changes in the European Council's membership.

Mercosur: Economic indicators and trade with EU

10-12-2019

Mercosur, the 'southern common market', was founded in 1991 when Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay signed the Treaty of Asunción. In 2012, Venezuela formally joined Mercosur as a fifth member, but in December 2016 the country was suspended temporarily for failure to transpose Mercosur rules into Venezuelan law. In August 2017, the suspension was prolonged indefinitely. This paper presents economic indicators for the four members, for example showing their GDP and labour market situations, ...

Mercosur, the 'southern common market', was founded in 1991 when Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay signed the Treaty of Asunción. In 2012, Venezuela formally joined Mercosur as a fifth member, but in December 2016 the country was suspended temporarily for failure to transpose Mercosur rules into Venezuelan law. In August 2017, the suspension was prolonged indefinitely. This paper presents economic indicators for the four members, for example showing their GDP and labour market situations, and it also shows those countries’ relative positions on several indexes that assess the situation in terms of doing business, corruption and human development. Finally, it looks at trade between the EU and Mercosur – of both goods and services – highlighting the main trading partners, and the main products and services that the EU exports to and imports from the four Mercosur members.

Tackling VAT fraud related to e-commerce

10-12-2019

Changes to the value added tax (VAT) regulatory framework for e-commerce introduced the destination principle for cross-border business-to-consumer (B2C) transactions. Identification of the online businesses supplying goods and services to customers in other Member States is going to be key when it comes to ensuring compliance with VAT rules and addressing e-commerce VAT fraud. Parliament is due to vote on two Commission proposals in plenary in December.

Changes to the value added tax (VAT) regulatory framework for e-commerce introduced the destination principle for cross-border business-to-consumer (B2C) transactions. Identification of the online businesses supplying goods and services to customers in other Member States is going to be key when it comes to ensuring compliance with VAT rules and addressing e-commerce VAT fraud. Parliament is due to vote on two Commission proposals in plenary in December.

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