583

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The rise of e-commerce and the cashless society

19-03-2020

Sales in the EU still predominantly take place offline – in bricks and mortar shops – and purchases are still predominantly made with cash. However, thanks to the level of convenience they offer, both online shopping and cashless electronic payments are booming and are among the key drivers of the digital transformation taking place in our economy and society. The real-time accessibility of e commerce products and their availability 24 hours a day, together with the ease of making electronic payments ...

Sales in the EU still predominantly take place offline – in bricks and mortar shops – and purchases are still predominantly made with cash. However, thanks to the level of convenience they offer, both online shopping and cashless electronic payments are booming and are among the key drivers of the digital transformation taking place in our economy and society. The real-time accessibility of e commerce products and their availability 24 hours a day, together with the ease of making electronic payments, are disrupting many aspects of traditional consumer shopping behaviour, which is also increasingly driven by widespread use of mobile devices and apps. Online sales hit a record high in 2019. At the international level, China is leading in both e-commerce transactions and mobile cashless payments. However, the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis has put countries across the world, starting with China, into extraordinary conditions, with citizens staying at home; and some sellers trying to extract the highest profit possible from the situation. In the EU, a large majority of internet users, particularly those under the age of 45, shop online. Clothes, sports goods, travel and online content such as games, videos and music are among the most popular items. This trend is also driven by the increase in cashless payments, which have become very popular in some countries. The numerous different cashless payment methods in existence are often highly localised. One such example, the e-wallet, is gaining particular importance, driven by the over 2 billion users it enjoyed in 2019. On the other hand, e-commerce and the cashless society are facing a host of challenges related to cybercrime, fraud, privacy, the digital divide and pollution, among others. The coronavirus outbreak is also posing various challenges to e-commerce supply chains, many of which are based in the hardest-hit countries. However, the opportunities that e-commerce and cashless transactions afford in terms of convenience, efficiency and affordability will help them gain further ground in the years to come; their popularity among younger generations and strong EU-level policy support for digital transformation are also helping boost their prospects.

Treatment optimisation in drug development

06-03-2020

The current drug development paradigm is too drug-centred and does not sufficiently take into account the patients that will receive the new therapy. This has led to the emergence of a research gap between the pre-approval development of medicines and their post-approval use in real-world conditions. In this study, semi-structured interviews were performed with experts in drug development process. It offer an overview concerning the concept of treatment optimisation and potential policy options.

The current drug development paradigm is too drug-centred and does not sufficiently take into account the patients that will receive the new therapy. This has led to the emergence of a research gap between the pre-approval development of medicines and their post-approval use in real-world conditions. In this study, semi-structured interviews were performed with experts in drug development process. It offer an overview concerning the concept of treatment optimisation and potential policy options.

External author

This study has been written by Dr Denis Lacombe of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC), Robbe Saesen of the Catholic University of Leuven (KU Leuven) and EORTC, Stéphane Lejeune of EORTC, and Prof. Dr Isabelle Huys of KU Leuven, at the request of the Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA) and managed by the Scientific Foresight Unit (STOA) within the Directorate-General for Parliamentary Research Services (EPRS) of the Secretariat of the European Parliament.

Artificial intelligence [What Think Tanks are Thinking]

21-02-2020

Artificial intelligence (AI) is usually understood as the ability for a machine to display human-like capabilities such as reasoning, learning, planning and creativity. The 'Holy Grail' for many governments and companies seeking to benefit from the digital revolution, the first to invent and apply true AI could achieve an enormous advantage in economic and military terms. However, there are serious ethical implications in such potential developments. Many aspects of AI have already been applied since ...

Artificial intelligence (AI) is usually understood as the ability for a machine to display human-like capabilities such as reasoning, learning, planning and creativity. The 'Holy Grail' for many governments and companies seeking to benefit from the digital revolution, the first to invent and apply true AI could achieve an enormous advantage in economic and military terms. However, there are serious ethical implications in such potential developments. Many aspects of AI have already been applied since the 2000s in machines with sufficiently fast processing speeds, equipped with learning techniques and fed large amounts of data. Current versions of AI help to drive cars, beat chess champions, and offer excellent medical diagnostics, to take a few examples. This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports from international think tanks on AI and related issues.

Just Transition Fund

17-02-2020

The EU aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 % by 2030 and achieve climate neutrality by 2050. This will require a socio-economic transformation in regions relying on fossil fuels and carbon-intensive industries. As part of the European Green Deal, on 14 January 2020, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation to create the Just Transition Fund, aimed at supporting EU regions most affected by the transition to a low carbon economy. Funding will be available to all Member ...

The EU aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 % by 2030 and achieve climate neutrality by 2050. This will require a socio-economic transformation in regions relying on fossil fuels and carbon-intensive industries. As part of the European Green Deal, on 14 January 2020, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation to create the Just Transition Fund, aimed at supporting EU regions most affected by the transition to a low carbon economy. Funding will be available to all Member States, while focusing on regions with the biggest transition challenges. The fund will support workers, companies, and regional authorities, encouraging investments that facilitate the transition. The proposed budget for the Just Transition Fund (JTF) is €7.5 billion, to be complemented with resources from cohesion policy funds and national co financing (up to a total of €30-50 billion). The Fund will be part of a Just Transition Mechanism, which also includes resources under InvestEU and loans from the European Investment Bank. Total funding mobilised under the mechanism is expected to reach €100 billion, according to the Commission. In the European Parliament, the file has been entrusted to the Committee on Regional Development. The committee is due to hold a workshop on 19 February 2020 before starting discussion on the rapporteur's draft report. First edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

What if internet by satellite were to lead to congestion in orbit?

05-02-2020

American Starlink project aims to bring high speed internet access across the globe by 2021. It’s certainly a mission in the sky! But how will Elon Musk’s plans to deploy this mega constellation of satellites impact on European citizens?

American Starlink project aims to bring high speed internet access across the globe by 2021. It’s certainly a mission in the sky! But how will Elon Musk’s plans to deploy this mega constellation of satellites impact on European citizens?

Economic and Budgetary Outlook for the European Union 2020

31-01-2020

This study, the fourth in an annual series, provides an overview of the economic and budgetary situation in the EU and beyond. It summarises the main economic indicators in the EU and euro area and their two-year trends. It explains the annual EU budget, provides an overview of its headings for 2020, and sets out the wider budgetary framework – the multiannual financial framework (MFF) – and its possible evolution in the new decade. A special 'economic focus' puts the spotlight on the international ...

This study, the fourth in an annual series, provides an overview of the economic and budgetary situation in the EU and beyond. It summarises the main economic indicators in the EU and euro area and their two-year trends. It explains the annual EU budget, provides an overview of its headings for 2020, and sets out the wider budgetary framework – the multiannual financial framework (MFF) – and its possible evolution in the new decade. A special 'economic focus' puts the spotlight on the international role of the euro, and on various recent EU-level initiatives in this field.

Just transition in EU regions

28-01-2020

The EU plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 % by 2030, and to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. This will require a socio-economic transformation in regions relying on fossil fuels and carbon-intensive industries. As part of the European Green Deal, the new Commission has announced a 'Just Transition Mechanism' of €100 billion to support the territories most affected by the transition towards climate neutrality.

The EU plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 % by 2030, and to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. This will require a socio-economic transformation in regions relying on fossil fuels and carbon-intensive industries. As part of the European Green Deal, the new Commission has announced a 'Just Transition Mechanism' of €100 billion to support the territories most affected by the transition towards climate neutrality.

New EU rules on labelling of tyres

20-01-2020

On 17 May 2018, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a new regulation on the labelling of tyres for the purposes of fuel efficiency, safety, and noise reduction. This would replace the 2009 Tyre Labelling Regulation (TLR), while maintaining and reinforcing most of its key provisions. The proposed regulation would increase consumer awareness of the tyre label, and improve market surveillance and enforcement of TLR provisions across the EU Member States. Suppliers would be obliged to display ...

On 17 May 2018, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a new regulation on the labelling of tyres for the purposes of fuel efficiency, safety, and noise reduction. This would replace the 2009 Tyre Labelling Regulation (TLR), while maintaining and reinforcing most of its key provisions. The proposed regulation would increase consumer awareness of the tyre label, and improve market surveillance and enforcement of TLR provisions across the EU Member States. Suppliers would be obliged to display the tyre label in all forms of purchase, including where the tyre is not physically shown in the store and where it is sold online or on a long-distance basis. Whereas the tyre label is currently applicable to passenger and light-duty vehicles, in future it would also apply to heavy-duty vehicles. The new label would include visual information on tyre performance in snow or ice conditions, and could be adjusted by means of delegated acts to include information on mileage, abrasion or re-studded tyres. Tyre labels would be included in the product registration database being set up as part of the revised EU framework for energy efficiency labelling. On 13 November 2019, successful trilogue negotiations resulted in a provisional agreement on the content of the new regulation. Council and then Parliament need now to formally adopt the new TLR, which would allow its provisions to become applicable from 1 May 2021. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

What if we lived up to 150 years?

16-12-2019

Would you structure your life differently if the average life expectancy was 150 years? How would society reframe its conception of education and work, and the value placed on older generations? How can we ensure a coinciding increase in healthy life years? This latest foresight publication explores impacts and policy considerations in a dramatically aged population.

Would you structure your life differently if the average life expectancy was 150 years? How would society reframe its conception of education and work, and the value placed on older generations? How can we ensure a coinciding increase in healthy life years? This latest foresight publication explores impacts and policy considerations in a dramatically aged population.

EU industrial policy at the crossroads: Current state of affairs, challenges and way forward

02-12-2019

Industry plays a pivotal role in the EU's economy and growth model. Today, however, it stands at the crossroads, heavily affected by new disruptive forces, ranging from the rise of new technologies to shifts in global economic power and evolving geopolitical circumstances. Addressing these challenges raises a number of critical dilemmas, such as the need to pursue openness of markets and trade while protecting industry from unfair competition, or the need to promote greener and more sustainable industry ...

Industry plays a pivotal role in the EU's economy and growth model. Today, however, it stands at the crossroads, heavily affected by new disruptive forces, ranging from the rise of new technologies to shifts in global economic power and evolving geopolitical circumstances. Addressing these challenges raises a number of critical dilemmas, such as the need to pursue openness of markets and trade while protecting industry from unfair competition, or the need to promote greener and more sustainable industry while maintaining its global competitiveness. It also prompts a reconsideration of the EU's strategic positioning from a defensive to an offensive policy stance. These developments have triggered a lively debate on the need for a renewed, more assertive, comprehensive and coordinated industrial policy at EU level. This paper reviews the current state of affairs and key challenges facing the EU and provides an analysis of the main policy options going forward.

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