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The evolving consequences of the coronavirus 'infodemic': How viral false coronavirus-related information affects people and societies across the world

23-09-2020

Massive waves of information, including extensive amounts of false information have accompanied the coronavirus pandemic. False information is being spread by a number of different actors for various reasons. Deliberately deceptive (geo-)political disinformation campaigns to undermine democracies – including the European Union (EU) – have been spread by authoritarian state actors and their proxies. Extremist groups have exploited the situation to spread their messaging. Others have propagated misleading ...

Massive waves of information, including extensive amounts of false information have accompanied the coronavirus pandemic. False information is being spread by a number of different actors for various reasons. Deliberately deceptive (geo-)political disinformation campaigns to undermine democracies – including the European Union (EU) – have been spread by authoritarian state actors and their proxies. Extremist groups have exploited the situation to spread their messaging. Others have propagated misleading information for financial gain. At the same time, a combination of widespread anxiety as well as increased use of social media during lockdowns in many countries have provide fertile ground for 'organic' false information and conspiracy theories by individual users who do not intentionally want to deceive anyone, but inadvertently become part of the problem by spreading and/or amplifying misleading messages. The repercussions of the 'infodemic' are still evolving, but have impacted the ability of authorities to effectively deal with the pandemic, with the infodemic is aggravating the spread of the virus itself. Different regions of the world have been challenged by a variety of types of false information and both general and region-specific narratives – many of which have impacted public health, the economy, geopolitics and societal stability.

A European week of sport... like no other

21-09-2020

This year, the sixth round of the European Week of Sport (23-30 September) will kick off in unusual circumstances. The lockdown measures put in place to curb the coronavirus pandemic have made the initiative more necessary than ever.

This year, the sixth round of the European Week of Sport (23-30 September) will kick off in unusual circumstances. The lockdown measures put in place to curb the coronavirus pandemic have made the initiative more necessary than ever.

Disruption by technology: Impacts on politics, economics and society

21-09-2020

Technological development has long been considered as a disruptive force, provoking change at many levels, from the routine daily activities of individuals to dramatic competition between global superpowers. This analysis examines disruption caused by technologies in a series of key areas of politics, economics and society. It focuses on seven fields: the economic system, the military and defence, democratic debates and the 'infosphere', social norms, values and identities, international relations ...

Technological development has long been considered as a disruptive force, provoking change at many levels, from the routine daily activities of individuals to dramatic competition between global superpowers. This analysis examines disruption caused by technologies in a series of key areas of politics, economics and society. It focuses on seven fields: the economic system, the military and defence, democratic debates and the 'infosphere', social norms, values and identities, international relations, and the legal and regulatory system. It also presents surveillance as an example of how technological disruption across these domains can converge to propel other phenomena. The key disruptive force of 2020 is non-technological, namely coronavirus. The pandemic is used here as an opportunity to examine how technological disruption interacts with other forms of disruption.

Outlook for the special European Council meeting of 24-25 September 2020

21-09-2020

At the special European Council on 24-25 September 2020, EU Heads of State or Government are expected to dedicate much of their time to external relations issues, notably to a strategic discussion on Turkey and a debate on relations with China. Continuing illegal Turkish drilling activities in the eastern Mediterranean have made the former more urgent, while the latter is long overdue. The European Council is also likely to adopt extensive conclusions regarding the single market, industrial and digital ...

At the special European Council on 24-25 September 2020, EU Heads of State or Government are expected to dedicate much of their time to external relations issues, notably to a strategic discussion on Turkey and a debate on relations with China. Continuing illegal Turkish drilling activities in the eastern Mediterranean have made the former more urgent, while the latter is long overdue. The European Council is also likely to adopt extensive conclusions regarding the single market, industrial and digital policy, reiterating the key objective of achieving strategic autonomy, whilst maintaining an open economy. EU leaders are expected to call for development of EU autonomy in the space sector, a more integrated defence industrial base, and for the presentation of a 'digital compass' setting out the EU's digital ambitions for 2030 in its move towards digital sovereignty. The European Council is also likely to seek development of new industrial alliances and the removal of remaining unjustified barriers, particularly in services. EU leaders will also take stock of the coronavirus situation and review the coordination of national and European measures.

Plenary round-up – Brussels, September 2020

18-09-2020

The September 2020 plenary session was the sixth conducted with Members participating remotely, using the alternative voting procedure put in place in March by Parliament's Bureau, although a majority were again present in Brussels. As well as the Commission President's traditional State of the Union address, Parliament held a joint debate on the risk of breach of the rule of law and LGBTI-free zones in Poland. Parliament also debated European Commission statements on the preparation of the special ...

The September 2020 plenary session was the sixth conducted with Members participating remotely, using the alternative voting procedure put in place in March by Parliament's Bureau, although a majority were again present in Brussels. As well as the Commission President's traditional State of the Union address, Parliament held a joint debate on the risk of breach of the rule of law and LGBTI-free zones in Poland. Parliament also debated European Commission statements on the preparation of the special European Council focusing on Turkey's actions in the eastern Mediterranean, on the consequences for the single market of EU coordination of sanitary measures in the ongoing pandemic, on combatting sexual abuse and exploitation of children, and on the need for a humanitarian EU response to the situation in the Moria refugee camp. Parliament also debated statements from the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borell, on the situation in Belarus, in Lebanon and the poisoning of Alexei Navalny. Parliament also voted on legislative proposals and resolutions, including on arms exports, the Union Civil Protection Mechanism, the EU Association Agreement with Georgia, protecting world forests, EU-African security cooperation in the Sahel, type approval of motor vehicles and the importance of urban and green infrastructure.

Developing a pandemic emergency purchase programme: Unconventional monetary policy to tackle the coronavirus crisis

18-09-2020

The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union specifies the maintenance of price stability in the euro area as the primary objective of EU single monetary policy. Subject to that, it should also contribute to the achievement of the Union's objectives, which include 'full employment' and 'balanced economic growth'. Responsibility for the conduct of monetary policy is attributed to the Eurosystem, which carries out its tasks through a set of standard instruments referred to as the 'operational ...

The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union specifies the maintenance of price stability in the euro area as the primary objective of EU single monetary policy. Subject to that, it should also contribute to the achievement of the Union's objectives, which include 'full employment' and 'balanced economic growth'. Responsibility for the conduct of monetary policy is attributed to the Eurosystem, which carries out its tasks through a set of standard instruments referred to as the 'operational framework'. To tackle the financial crisis, the Eurosystem has complemented its regular operations by implementing several non-standard monetary policy measures since 2009. The first strand of these measures had the primary objective of restoring the correct functioning of the monetary transmission mechanism by supporting certain distressed financial market segments, playing an important role in the conduct of monetary policy. A second strand of non-standard measures was aimed at sustaining prices and fostering economic growth by expanding the size of the Eurosystem balance sheet through massive purchases of eligible securities, including public debt instruments issued by euro-area countries. Net purchases were conducted between October 2014 and December 2018, after which the Eurosystem continued to simply reinvest repayments from maturing securities to maintain the size of cumulative net purchases at December 2018 levels. Due to prevailing conditions, however, in September 2019, the European Central Bank (ECB) Governing Council decided to recommence net purchases in November of the same year 'for as long as necessary to reinforce the accommodative impact of its policy rates'. The spread of the coronavirus in early 2020 has impaired growth prospects for the global and euro-area economies and made additional monetary stimulus necessary. In this context, the ECB has increased the size of existing asset purchase programmes, and launched a temporary, separate and additional pandemic emergency purchase programme (PEPP). This is an updated edition of a briefing published in April 2020.

EU/EA measures to mitigate the economic, financial and social effects of coronavirus - State-of-play 18 September 2020

18-09-2020

This document compiles information, obtained from public sources, on the measures proposed and taken at the EU or Euro Area level to mitigate the economic and social effects of Covid19. It will be regularly updated, following new developments.

This document compiles information, obtained from public sources, on the measures proposed and taken at the EU or Euro Area level to mitigate the economic and social effects of Covid19. It will be regularly updated, following new developments.

The ECB's Asset Purchase Programmes: Experience and Future Perspectives

18-09-2020

In response to the unprecedented shock brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, the European Central Bank (ECB) has deployed a massive package of monetary policy stimulus to safeguard the monetary policy transmission mechanism and keep the euro area economy afloat. As part of this package, the ECB has stepped up its asset purchases, including with the introduction of the new pandemic emergency purchase programme (PEPP) with an envelope of EUR 1.35 trillion by June 2021. Over the years, the impact and ...

In response to the unprecedented shock brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, the European Central Bank (ECB) has deployed a massive package of monetary policy stimulus to safeguard the monetary policy transmission mechanism and keep the euro area economy afloat. As part of this package, the ECB has stepped up its asset purchases, including with the introduction of the new pandemic emergency purchase programme (PEPP) with an envelope of EUR 1.35 trillion by June 2021. Over the years, the impact and the side effects of the non-standard asset purchase programmes have been widely debated. Should they remain as part of the ECB’s toolkit in the future, considering that inflation is expected to stay low and that interest rates are in negative territory? Six papers were prepared for the ECON Committee by the Monetary Expert Panel, presenting empirical evidence and discussing future perspectives of the ECB’s asset purchase programmes. This publication is prepared by Policy Department for Economic, Scientific and Quality of Life Policies for the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON), ahead of the Monetary Dialogue with ECB President Lagarde on 28 September 2020.

External author

Pierre L. SIKLOS, Christophe BLOT, Jérôme CREEL, Paul HUBERT, Luigi BONATTI, Andrea FRACASSO, Roberto TAMBORINI, Joscha BECKMANN, Salomon FIEDLER, Klaus-Jürgen GERN, Stefan KOOTHS, Josefine QUAST, Maik WOLTERS, Angela CAPOLONGO, Daniel GROS, Pierpaolo BENIGNO, Paolo CANOFARI, Giovanni DI BARTOLOMEO, Marcello MESSORI

The future of multilateralism and strategic partnerships

11-09-2020

The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 has exacerbated global geopolitical trends, including the struggle to uphold multilateralism in a climate of growing nationalism, protectionism and rising great power competition. At the same time, it has demonstrated the need for multilateral cooperation for the effective mitigation of cross-border threats, including health crises. Within this environment, the European Union (EU), a multilateral entity in itself, has illustrated the relevance of cooperation. Beyond ...

The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 has exacerbated global geopolitical trends, including the struggle to uphold multilateralism in a climate of growing nationalism, protectionism and rising great power competition. At the same time, it has demonstrated the need for multilateral cooperation for the effective mitigation of cross-border threats, including health crises. Within this environment, the European Union (EU), a multilateral entity in itself, has illustrated the relevance of cooperation. Beyond its internal strengthening, the EU has set the defence and reform of multilateralism as one of its key priorities under the current European Commission. This will require a more coordinated and autonomous EU foreign policy, a smart approach towards the escalating US–China rivalry, reinvigorated cooperation with major democracies, and mobilisation of the EU's foreign policy tools, widely defined. As coronavirus leaves parts of the world more fragile and vulnerable, it also precipitates the need for a reformed multilateral system 'fit for purpose' and able to address the challenges of the future. Thinking through new practices to enrich multilateralism will be important for the further development of international cooperation.

Addressing violations of democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights

11-09-2020

The common values of democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights (DRF) lie at the heart of the European integration process and are central to the values of the European Union (EU). In practice, however, individual and collective (lack of) Member State action can undermine these common values. This situation applied before the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis, but some of the national measures taken since the outbreak of the pandemic have tested the resilience of these values further. More ...

The common values of democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights (DRF) lie at the heart of the European integration process and are central to the values of the European Union (EU). In practice, however, individual and collective (lack of) Member State action can undermine these common values. This situation applied before the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis, but some of the national measures taken since the outbreak of the pandemic have tested the resilience of these values further. More generally, the EU's response to DRF violations has so far not comprehensively tackled the problem. The status quo can result in impunity for criminal activities, as prosecutors are unwilling or unable to take on certain cases, as well as violations of human dignity and fundamental rights. It also denies opportunities for individuals to live out their human potential, and take advantage of economic opportunities, as well as eroding the basis for mutual trust among national administrative and judicial authorities. This Briefing puts forward a set of proposals aimed at enhancing the EU's resilience to DRF violations. It focuses in particular on possibilities for the European Parliament and national parliaments, with their dual mandate from EU citizens, to jointly strengthen their monitoring and investigative capabilities. In particular, they could build on their general resources to evaluate the implementation of (EU) law and further coordinate their tools to ensure the democratic accountability of Member State governments.