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EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Industrial policy

28-06-2019

Through its industrial policy, the European Union (EU) has been striving to create conditions conducive to increasing industry growth and competitiveness since 1992. European industry remains a cornerstone of the economy, providing one job out of five, and is responsible for the bulk of EU exports and investment in research and innovation. Today, the aim of EU policy is to enable a successful transition towards digital, knowledge-based, decarbonised and more circular industry in Europe. To achieve ...

Through its industrial policy, the European Union (EU) has been striving to create conditions conducive to increasing industry growth and competitiveness since 1992. European industry remains a cornerstone of the economy, providing one job out of five, and is responsible for the bulk of EU exports and investment in research and innovation. Today, the aim of EU policy is to enable a successful transition towards digital, knowledge-based, decarbonised and more circular industry in Europe. To achieve this goal, the EU supports, coordinates and supplements Member State-level policies and actions, mainly in the areas of research and innovation, SMEs and digital technologies. In a Eurobarometer poll conducted for the European Parliament, more than half of EU citizens expressed support for increased EU action on industrial policy. Despite this, it is still the least understood policy area covered by the poll. Since 2014, efforts have been made in a number of areas, including investment (mainly through the European Fund for Strategic Investment, which supports industrial modernisation); digitalisation (for example setting up a number of research partnerships, or a growing network of digital innovation hubs); financing (making it easier for industry and SMEs to access public markets and attract venture funds); greener industry (for example through the revised 2030 emission targets, or measures on clean mobility); standardisation (bringing together relevant stakeholders to collectively develop and update European standards); and skills (mobilising key stakeholders to close the skills gap and providing an adequate workforce for modern industry). The European Parliament has called for ambitious policies in many of these areas. In the future, EU spending on key areas relevant to industrial policy is expected to rise moderately. The European Commission is proposing to boost the share of EU spending on research, SMEs and key infrastructure, although not as much as Parliament has requested. In the coming years, policies are likely to focus on seeking fairer global competition, stimulating innovation, building digital capacities and increasing the sustainability of European industry. This is an update of an earlier briefing issued in advance of the 2019 European elections.

Interactions between trade, investment and trends in EU industry: EU regions and international trade

27-10-2017

This study analyses the interactions between EU and regional trade patterns and the trends in EU manufacturing on the one hand, and the influence of industrial and regional competitiveness factors on trade and industrial developments, on the other. The study specifically reviews theories on the factors behind trade specialisation and the role of trade in growth and inequalities, and links these to regional trade patterns in 13 EU Member States.

This study analyses the interactions between EU and regional trade patterns and the trends in EU manufacturing on the one hand, and the influence of industrial and regional competitiveness factors on trade and industrial developments, on the other. The study specifically reviews theories on the factors behind trade specialisation and the role of trade in growth and inequalities, and links these to regional trade patterns in 13 EU Member States.

Digitising Industry (Industry 4.0) and Cybersecurity

18-10-2017

The digitalisation of manufacturing industry, i.e. employing in depth digital technologies for the performance of good production raises additional cybersecurity questions. Currently EU cybersecurity policies are mainly targeting network security and large infrastructures of public interest, with little emphasis on the needs of a digitised industry. Still, recent policy developments do provide framework of possibly covering these needs.

The digitalisation of manufacturing industry, i.e. employing in depth digital technologies for the performance of good production raises additional cybersecurity questions. Currently EU cybersecurity policies are mainly targeting network security and large infrastructures of public interest, with little emphasis on the needs of a digitised industry. Still, recent policy developments do provide framework of possibly covering these needs.

Helping European SMEs to grow: Start-up and scale-up initiatives for business ventures in the EU

06-06-2017

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) constitute 99 of every 100 businesses, and employ two out of three employees in Europe. Some of them are high-growth firms that generate a disproportionately high number of new jobs. However, SMEs often face obstacles specific to their smaller size that can hamper their growth potential. The main recent initiatives undertaken to help European SMEs grow fall within the flagship initiatives of the Commission: the European Fund for Strategic Investments, the ...

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) constitute 99 of every 100 businesses, and employ two out of three employees in Europe. Some of them are high-growth firms that generate a disproportionately high number of new jobs. However, SMEs often face obstacles specific to their smaller size that can hamper their growth potential. The main recent initiatives undertaken to help European SMEs grow fall within the flagship initiatives of the Commission: the European Fund for Strategic Investments, the single market strategy, the digital single market, and the capital markets union. The EU also supports SMEs through a range of long-term programmes running in the 2014-2020 period, such as COSME, Horizon 2020 and the structural and investment funds.

Gender Equality in Trade Agreements

28-11-2016

Trade policies have different impacts on different groups of women and men. Carefully assessing the likely gender implications of specific trade agreements is therefore essential to ensure that both women and men benefit from the gains from liberalisation and are adequately protected from its negative effects. This study, commissioned by the European Parliament Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs upon request by the FEMM Committee, reviews evidence and makes recommendations ...

Trade policies have different impacts on different groups of women and men. Carefully assessing the likely gender implications of specific trade agreements is therefore essential to ensure that both women and men benefit from the gains from liberalisation and are adequately protected from its negative effects. This study, commissioned by the European Parliament Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs upon request by the FEMM Committee, reviews evidence and makes recommendations on how to ensure that new trade agreements such as CETA, TTIP and TiSA take gender equality objectives more fully into account.

Global Trendometer

06-10-2016

With the publication of this inaugural edition of the "Global Trendometer," the EPRS Global Trends Unit seeks to contribute to the process of identifying and addressing medium- and long-term trends, and their possible implications for policy-making in the European Union. Three essays and eight two-page vignettes on different geopolitical, economic, technological and social issues paint a broad-ranging picture of developments that may shape Europe’s future.  

With the publication of this inaugural edition of the "Global Trendometer," the EPRS Global Trends Unit seeks to contribute to the process of identifying and addressing medium- and long-term trends, and their possible implications for policy-making in the European Union. Three essays and eight two-page vignettes on different geopolitical, economic, technological and social issues paint a broad-ranging picture of developments that may shape Europe’s future.  

Lawsuits triggered by the Volkswagen emissions case

30-05-2016

In September 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency claimed that Volkswagen had installed illegal software on some of its diesel vehicles, to modify emissions of certain air pollutants. Subsequently, the company has been the subject of legal action brought by consumers, investors, non-governmental organisations and government agencies. In many cases, the plaintiffs have gathered their actions together into collective (or class action) complaints. In the United States, complaints ...

In September 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency claimed that Volkswagen had installed illegal software on some of its diesel vehicles, to modify emissions of certain air pollutants. Subsequently, the company has been the subject of legal action brought by consumers, investors, non-governmental organisations and government agencies. In many cases, the plaintiffs have gathered their actions together into collective (or class action) complaints. In the United States, complaints have been filed by law firms, government departments and even individual states (including the US Justice Department and US Federal Trade Commission, as well as the states of Texas, New Mexico and New Jersey). This briefing provides a non-exhaustive overview of the range of lawsuits under way, many of them still in their initial stages. Several countries around the globe have opened more general investigations on whether car manufacturers respect vehicle emission limits on the road, as opposed to under test conditions. Some other carmakers are suspected also to have used software that manipulates emission levels, similar to that used by Volkswagen. In April 2016, Volkswagen agreed in principle with the US authorities and US class action plaintiffs to buy back, or modify or cancel the leases of affected vehicles. US consumers might also receive substantial compensation. Final details of the settlement are expected in June 2016. No similar agreement has been reached in Europe.

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP): Challenges and Opportunities for the Internal Market and Consumer Protection in the Area of Engineering

15-07-2015

The European Engineering industry, by far the biggest exporter of goods to the US, suffers from a range of TBTs (Technical Barriers to Trade) when exporting to the US. After two decades of trying – in vain - to reduce the costs of these TBTs, TTIP should address them, yielding significant economic gains. US standards, relevant for US safety regulation, are very rarely international standards from ISO and IEC, in sharp contrast with the EU. This is costly for EU exporters. Conformity assessment issues ...

The European Engineering industry, by far the biggest exporter of goods to the US, suffers from a range of TBTs (Technical Barriers to Trade) when exporting to the US. After two decades of trying – in vain - to reduce the costs of these TBTs, TTIP should address them, yielding significant economic gains. US standards, relevant for US safety regulation, are very rarely international standards from ISO and IEC, in sharp contrast with the EU. This is costly for EU exporters. Conformity assessment issues related to OSHA requirements (US regulator) should be resolved as EU exporters suffer from a triple cost disadvantage. The US insistence of ‘mutual recognition of standards’ is not a solution at all, undermining the EU single standard environment and ‘trading in’ a first best (world standard) solution for a second-best one, if not worse. Over time globalisation increases the pressure to find effective US/EU solutions.

Policy Departments’ Monthly Highlights - February 2015

10-02-2015

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.

TTIP Impacts on European Energy Markets and Manufacturing Industries

12-01-2015

This study, provided by the Policy Department A at the request of the Industry, Research and Energy Committee (ITRE), aims to assess whether and to which extent European energy markets and manufacturing industries would be affected by the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Although the negotiations are currenly on-going, the analysis shows that the TTIP will improve the EU’s security of energy supply through adding liquidity and competition to the natural gas market. The TTIP ...

This study, provided by the Policy Department A at the request of the Industry, Research and Energy Committee (ITRE), aims to assess whether and to which extent European energy markets and manufacturing industries would be affected by the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Although the negotiations are currenly on-going, the analysis shows that the TTIP will improve the EU’s security of energy supply through adding liquidity and competition to the natural gas market. The TTIP will not directly lower either environmental or social legislation, but the study recommends the ITRE Committee to be aware of the potential for weakening of legislation implementation such as REACH and FQD.

Προσεχείς εκδηλώσεις

20-11-2019
Europe's Future: Where next for EU institutional Reform?
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