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Digital challenges for Europe [What Think Tanks are thinking]

18-10-2019

The rapid development of digital technologies is posing a challenge to the European Union, spurring initiatives to catch up with the US and China in the area, notably in the context of the digital single market. Among the dilemmas are how to reconcile Europe’s sensitivity towards protecting private data with the need to use them in many algorithms, and ensure that automation and artificial intelligence strengthen rather than weaken labour market participation. This note offers links to a series of ...

The rapid development of digital technologies is posing a challenge to the European Union, spurring initiatives to catch up with the US and China in the area, notably in the context of the digital single market. Among the dilemmas are how to reconcile Europe’s sensitivity towards protecting private data with the need to use them in many algorithms, and ensure that automation and artificial intelligence strengthen rather than weaken labour market participation. This note offers links to a series of some recent commentaries and reports from major international think tanks and research institutes on digital challenges. Many earlier papers on the issue can be found in a previous item in the series, published in July 2018. Many reports on cybersecurity are available in a publication from October 2018.

A decade on from the crisis: Main responses and remaining challenges

17-10-2019

It has been a decade since the financial crisis erupted and changed the world in 2008. Few at the time guessed what would be its magnitude and long-term consequences. The interconnectedness of the economy and the financial sector facilitated the spread of the crisis from the United States to Europe. First, the EU faced the Great Recession in the 2008-2009 period and then, after a short recovery, several Member States succumbed to the sovereign debt crisis. The combined crises had catastrophic consequences ...

It has been a decade since the financial crisis erupted and changed the world in 2008. Few at the time guessed what would be its magnitude and long-term consequences. The interconnectedness of the economy and the financial sector facilitated the spread of the crisis from the United States to Europe. First, the EU faced the Great Recession in the 2008-2009 period and then, after a short recovery, several Member States succumbed to the sovereign debt crisis. The combined crises had catastrophic consequences for economic growth, investment, employment and the fiscal position of many Member States. The EU engaged in short-term 'fire-fighting' measures such as bailouts to save banks and help stressed sovereigns, while at the same time reforming the inadequate framework. While signs of moderate recovery showed in 2014, the risk of falling into deflation or secular stagnation remained high, and it was only in 2017 that the EU economy returned to a state similar to that of before the crisis. The signs in 2019 are not so promising however. Many efforts have been made to improve resilience in the EU and the euro area. These have included improving the stability of the financial sector, strengthening economic governance, creating a safety net for sovereigns in distress and carrying out structural reforms, particularly in the countries most affected. In addition, the European Central Bank (ECB) has taken unconventional policy measures. Nonetheless many argue that the pace of the reforms has slowed down considerably since 2013 when the economic situation began to improve. The legacy of the crisis is still present and many challenges persist. These include the absence of a clear and agreed vision for the future of economic and monetary union (EMU), perennial macroeconomic imbalances and high public deficits in a number of Member States, and the ongoing risk of a doom loop between sovereigns and the banking sector. Post crisis vulnerabilities also include rising inequalities, youth unemployment and high in-work poverty risk levels. See also our infographic, A decade on from the financial crisis: Key data, PE 640.145.

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.

European Stability Mechanism – Main Features, Instruments and Accountability

11-10-2019

This document presents the main features of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), including governance, capital structure and funding sources, main lending instruments, as well as its oversight and accountability framework. It also reviews recent proposals and contributions on the possible evolution of the ESM. This note is regularly updated.

This document presents the main features of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), including governance, capital structure and funding sources, main lending instruments, as well as its oversight and accountability framework. It also reviews recent proposals and contributions on the possible evolution of the ESM. This note is regularly updated.

The 2019 proposed amendments to the Treaty establishing the European Stability Mechanism

11-10-2019

This document presents the proposed amendments to the Treaty establishing the European Stability Mechanism, following the decisions taken by the Eurogroup and the June 2019 Euro Summit. It complements an EGOV briefing on the ESM features, instruments and accountability. The note outlines the relevant changes and provides a comparison between the current ESM Treaty and the proposed amended one.

This document presents the proposed amendments to the Treaty establishing the European Stability Mechanism, following the decisions taken by the Eurogroup and the June 2019 Euro Summit. It complements an EGOV briefing on the ESM features, instruments and accountability. The note outlines the relevant changes and provides a comparison between the current ESM Treaty and the proposed amended one.

What next for Europe? A strategic foresight perspective

10-10-2019

The ESPAS report examines the challenges posed for the European Union by megatrends such as digitisation, demographic change and the climate crisis. It emphasises the need for judicious responses, arguing that inaction heightens the risk of bad outcomes. It also notes that the more equal our societies are, the better prepared we are to face the future. Topics examined The report is the fruit of an inter-institutional strategic foresight exercise.

The ESPAS report examines the challenges posed for the European Union by megatrends such as digitisation, demographic change and the climate crisis. It emphasises the need for judicious responses, arguing that inaction heightens the risk of bad outcomes. It also notes that the more equal our societies are, the better prepared we are to face the future. Topics examined The report is the fruit of an inter-institutional strategic foresight exercise.

Towards a fundamental re-design of Banks’ Stress Tests in the EU?

04-10-2019

On 26 September 2019, Andrea Enria, Chair of the European Central Bank’s Supervisory Board, gave a speech on the future of stress testing (“The future of stress testing – realism, relevance and resources”) in which he outlined a proposal on how to achieve meaningful progress with a view to make the tests both more realistic and more relevant, with fewer resources required. Andrea Enria’s proposals involve a decisive re-design of the stress test exercise. Stress tests are currently carried out using ...

On 26 September 2019, Andrea Enria, Chair of the European Central Bank’s Supervisory Board, gave a speech on the future of stress testing (“The future of stress testing – realism, relevance and resources”) in which he outlined a proposal on how to achieve meaningful progress with a view to make the tests both more realistic and more relevant, with fewer resources required. Andrea Enria’s proposals involve a decisive re-design of the stress test exercise. Stress tests are currently carried out using a “constrained bottom-up approach” whereby supervisory authorities ensure a quality check of models run by banks. It is suggested to split stress tests into a supervisory view (“top-down” approach along the lines of stress tests under Dodd-Frank in the US) and a “banks’ view” (bottom-up approach).

EU support for coal regions

03-10-2019

The EU has committed to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 % before 2030, and by at least 80 % by 2050. This will require a transition from relying on fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, and in particular a reduction in power generation from coal. While EU production and consumption of coal has declined steadily, coal still provides about a quarter of EU power generation. Coal is mined in 12 Member States, and coal-fired power plants operate in 21 Member States. The European coal sector employs ...

The EU has committed to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 % before 2030, and by at least 80 % by 2050. This will require a transition from relying on fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, and in particular a reduction in power generation from coal. While EU production and consumption of coal has declined steadily, coal still provides about a quarter of EU power generation. Coal is mined in 12 Member States, and coal-fired power plants operate in 21 Member States. The European coal sector employs 238 000 people in directly linked activities, such as coal mines and power plants. An estimated 160 000 jobs could disappear by 2030. Further job losses are expected in indirect activities along the value chain, e.g. power generation, equipment supply, services, research and development. Impacts of phasing out coal are also likely to be felt in the iron and steel sectors, mining equipment manufacturing and coal terminals. Transition to a low-carbon economy will therefore require structural changes in coal-producing regions. Proposed solutions include helping workers to retrain and supporting their search for new employment, promoting local economies' diversification, modernising energy and power generation systems, developing the renewable energy sector, and rehabilitating mining land, for instance by converting former mines for renewable energy use or creating industrial heritage sites. The EU provides a variety of funding that can be used to alleviate the socio-economic consequences for coal regions. Energy and climate adaptation programmes, along with cohesion policy and research funding opportunities, offer financial support, while additional technical assistance is also available. The European Commission's Platform for Coal Regions in Transition assists regions to prepare and implement transition activities. As the EU is currently negotiating its post-2020 budgetary framework, the European Parliament and the European Committee of the Regions call for specific measures and tailored funding sources to offer support to facilitate transition in coal regions. The Commission President-elect has announced the establishment of a Just Transition Fund as part of the European Green Deal, and new legislative proposals can be expected early in her term in office.

Economic Dialogues and Exchanges of Views with the Member States under the European Semester Cycles - State-of-Play (October 2019)

03-10-2019

This table provides a regular update on Member States invited for an Economic Dialogue in the competent Committee of the European Parliament and an overview of the respective legal base.

This table provides a regular update on Member States invited for an Economic Dialogue in the competent Committee of the European Parliament and an overview of the respective legal base.

Προσεχείς εκδηλώσεις

05-11-2019
The Art and Craft of Political Speech-writing: A conversation with Eric Schnure
Άλλη δραστηριότητα -
EPRS
06-11-2019
Where next for the global and European economies? The 2019 IMF Economic Outlook
Άλλη δραστηριότητα -
EPRS
06-11-2019
EPRS Annual Lecture: Clash of Cultures: Transnational governance in post-war Europe
Άλλη δραστηριότητα -
EPRS

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