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EU policies – Delivering for citizens: The fight against terrorism

28-06-2019

Faced with a growing international terrorist threat, the European Union (EU) is playing an ever more ambitious role in counter-terrorism. Even though primary responsibility for combating crime and ensuring security lies with the Member States, the EU provides cooperation, coordination and (to some extent) harmonisation tools, as well as financial support, to address this borderless phenomenon. Moreover, the assumption that there is a connection between development and stability, as well as between ...

Faced with a growing international terrorist threat, the European Union (EU) is playing an ever more ambitious role in counter-terrorism. Even though primary responsibility for combating crime and ensuring security lies with the Member States, the EU provides cooperation, coordination and (to some extent) harmonisation tools, as well as financial support, to address this borderless phenomenon. Moreover, the assumption that there is a connection between development and stability, as well as between internal and external security, has come to shape EU action beyond its own borders. EU spending in the area of counter-terrorism has increased over the years and is set to grow in the future, to allow for better cooperation between national law enforcement authorities and enhanced support by the EU bodies in charge of security, such as Europol and eu-LISA. Financing for cooperation with third countries has also increased, including through the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace. The many new rules and instruments that have been adopted since 2014 range from harmonising definitions of terrorist offences and sanctions, and sharing information and data, to protecting borders, countering terrorist financing, and regulating firearms. To evaluate the efficiency of the existing tools and identify gaps and possible ways forward, the European Parliament set up a Special Committee on Terrorism (TERR), which delivered its report in November 2018. TERR made extensive recommendations for immediate or longer term actions aiming to prevent terrorism, combat its root causes, protect EU citizens and assist victims in the best possible way. In line with these recommendations, future EU counterterrorism action will most probably focus on addressing existing and new threats, countering radicalisation – including by preventing the spread of terrorist propaganda online – and enhancing the resilience of critical infrastructure. Foreseeable developments also include increased information sharing, with planned interoperability between EU security- and border-related databases, as well as investigation and prosecution of terrorist crimes at EU level, through the proposed extension of the mandate of the recently established European Public Prosecutor's Office. This is an update of an earlier briefing issued in advance of the 2019 European elections.

Re-use of public sector information

01-04-2019

The mid-term review of the digital single market strategy in 2017 identified the data economy as one of the top three priority areas for action in the second half of the strategy's implementation, and announced a legislative proposal to improve access to and the re-use of publicly funded data. These data, which include geographical, land registry, statistical and legal information, are needed by re-users in the digital economy, and are increasingly employed by public administrations themselves. On ...

The mid-term review of the digital single market strategy in 2017 identified the data economy as one of the top three priority areas for action in the second half of the strategy's implementation, and announced a legislative proposal to improve access to and the re-use of publicly funded data. These data, which include geographical, land registry, statistical and legal information, are needed by re-users in the digital economy, and are increasingly employed by public administrations themselves. On 25 April 2018, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a revision of the directive on the re-use of public sector information, which was presented as part of a package of measures aiming to facilitate the creation of a common data space in the EU. The directive addresses a number of issues, and presents ways to boost the potential of public sector information, including the provision of real-time access to dynamic data, the supply of high-value public data for re-use, the prevention of new forms of exclusive arrangement, and action to limit the use of exceptions to the principle of charging the marginal cost. Within the European Parliament, the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) adopted its report on 2 December 2018. An agreement was reached with the Council in trilogue on 22 January 2019, and this was approved by the ITRE committee on 19 February. The agreed text is expected to be voted by Parliament in plenary during April 2019.

Road safety in the EU

26-02-2019

Between 1991 and 2017, and especially after 2000, the EU witnessed substantial improvements in terms of road safety, whether measured in terms of fatalities, accidents or injuries. Over a shorter period, between 2001 and 2010, the number of deaths on EU roads decreased by 43 %, and by around another 20 % since 2010. The most recent figures, however, show that progress in reducing the fatality rate is stagnating, and that specific road users or demographic groups are not witnessing the same improvements ...

Between 1991 and 2017, and especially after 2000, the EU witnessed substantial improvements in terms of road safety, whether measured in terms of fatalities, accidents or injuries. Over a shorter period, between 2001 and 2010, the number of deaths on EU roads decreased by 43 %, and by around another 20 % since 2010. The most recent figures, however, show that progress in reducing the fatality rate is stagnating, and that specific road users or demographic groups are not witnessing the same improvements as the rest of the population. Road safety is a shared competence, implying that many measures are primarily dealt with by Member States. However, the EU, in line with Article 91(c) TFEU, has significantly developed the acquis in this area, with the Commission adopting several policy frameworks on road safety. In 2003, the EU set itself a target in terms of reducing road fatalities, and regularly monitors progress towards this goal. In June 2017, the Council endorsed the Valletta Declaration, which reasserted commitments and targets in the area of road safety. In May 2018, within the context of the third and last 'mobility package', the Commission presented a common framework for road safety for the 2021-2030 period, recalling the EU’s long-term goal of moving as close as possible to zero fatalities in road transport by 2050 ('Vision Zero'). The European Parliament has adopted numerous resolutions regarding or covering road safety, calling notably for more detailed and measurable targets, more account taken of vulnerable users as well as of the safety challenges emerging from the development of connected and automated mobility. This is an updated edition of a Briefing published in November 2016: PE 593.542.

Cooperatives: Characteristics, activities, status, challenges

26-02-2019

Cooperatives are autonomous associations of people aspiring to achieve their objectives through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise. International organisations, such as the United Nations and the European Union (EU), value the role cooperatives play for society, the economy and (international) development. There are 3 million cooperatives worldwide; together, they provide employment for 280 million people, equating to 10 % of the world's employed population. The 300 largest ...

Cooperatives are autonomous associations of people aspiring to achieve their objectives through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise. International organisations, such as the United Nations and the European Union (EU), value the role cooperatives play for society, the economy and (international) development. There are 3 million cooperatives worldwide; together, they provide employment for 280 million people, equating to 10 % of the world's employed population. The 300 largest cooperatives and mutuals in the world had a total turnover of US$2.018 trillion in 2016. In the EU there are some 131 000 cooperatives, with more than 4.3 million employees and an annual turnover of €992 billion. While cooperatives have grown in importance for the (social) economy over the past four decades, they face both long-standing and new challenges, resulting from globalisation or the presence of myriad national laws, but also from organisational and governance issues. Cooperatives have become more product-based and less region-based (in terms of member representation). In addition, cross-border-oriented cooperatives and producer organisations often experience legal uncertainty because of the absence or inconsistent application of international legislation. Policy- and law-makers are currently discussing a number of initiatives aimed at creating a level playing field for cooperatives, both in the EU and globally, that would allow them to compete with investor-oriented firms without giving up their social and cultural orientation. An enabling European legal framework could provide transversal recognition of the cooperative business model across the different sectors of the economy. While small and emerging cooperatives need more targeted funding, and assistance with capacity-building and organisational aspects, larger cooperatives require more EU and national-level support in order to achieve their aims in terms of professionalisation.

Preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online

04-02-2019

The Commission is a legislative measure to introduce measures to prevent the misuse of hosting services for the dissemination of terrorist content online. This initial appraisal of the Commission’s impact assessment on the proposal finds that the impact assessment clearly determines the problems with the status quo, but is short on detail in outlining the options to tackle these problems. The Impact assessment is particularly sensitive to concerns of encroachment on fundamental rights and freedoms ...

The Commission is a legislative measure to introduce measures to prevent the misuse of hosting services for the dissemination of terrorist content online. This initial appraisal of the Commission’s impact assessment on the proposal finds that the impact assessment clearly determines the problems with the status quo, but is short on detail in outlining the options to tackle these problems. The Impact assessment is particularly sensitive to concerns of encroachment on fundamental rights and freedoms and makes a distinctive effort to highlight the proportionality of the measures proposed and the safeguards to fundamental rights and freedoms integrated within.

Europe's online encyclopaedias: Equal access to knowledge of general interest in a post-truth era?

19-12-2018

The post-truth era – in which emotions trump evidence, while trust in institutions, expertise and mainstream media is declining – is putting our information ecosystem under strain. At a time when information is increasingly being manipulated for ideological and economic purposes, public access to sources of trustworthy general-interest knowledge – such as national online encyclopaedias – can help boost our cognitive resilience. Basic, reliable background information about history, culture, society ...

The post-truth era – in which emotions trump evidence, while trust in institutions, expertise and mainstream media is declining – is putting our information ecosystem under strain. At a time when information is increasingly being manipulated for ideological and economic purposes, public access to sources of trustworthy general-interest knowledge – such as national online encyclopaedias – can help boost our cognitive resilience. Basic, reliable background information about history, culture, society and politics is an essential part of our societies' complex knowledge ecosystem, and an important tool for anyone searching for knowledge, facts or figures.

Societal costs of “Fake news” in the Digital Single Market

14-12-2018

This in-depth analysis explores the mechanisms of “fake news” and its societal costs in the Digital Single Market. It describes the risks to the integrity of information and to the integrity of elections. It highlights the roles of the various actors involved in the production and amplification of such information disorders. Finally, it outlines responses that are being tested in different parts of Europe to deal with the issue. The document has been provided by Policy Department A at the request ...

This in-depth analysis explores the mechanisms of “fake news” and its societal costs in the Digital Single Market. It describes the risks to the integrity of information and to the integrity of elections. It highlights the roles of the various actors involved in the production and amplification of such information disorders. Finally, it outlines responses that are being tested in different parts of Europe to deal with the issue. The document has been provided by Policy Department A at the request of the European Parliament Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection.

Vanjski autor

Prof. Dr. Divina Frau-Meigs

A Ten-Year-Long “EU Mediation Paradox”- When an EU Directive Needs To Be More …Directive

21-11-2018

Ten years since its adoption, the EU Mediation Directive remains very far from reaching its stated goals. This briefing summarises the main achievements and failures in the implementation at national level. In addition, it assesses the conclusions of previous research and of the European Parliament's resolution on the implmentation of the Mediation Directive.

Ten years since its adoption, the EU Mediation Directive remains very far from reaching its stated goals. This briefing summarises the main achievements and failures in the implementation at national level. In addition, it assesses the conclusions of previous research and of the European Parliament's resolution on the implmentation of the Mediation Directive.

Vanjski autor

Giuseppe De Palo, Professor of Alternative Dispute Resolution Law and Practice at Mitchell Hamline School of Law, St Paul, U.S.A

From post-truth to post-trust?

25-10-2018

Is the 'very concept of objective truth' fading out of the world, as George Orwell wrote in his Homage to Catalonia in the 1930s? Or is truth even 'dead', as Time magazine asked in 2017? Can we draw clear lines between objective facts, spin and lies? What are the consequences of 'truth decay' for trust, democracy and multilateralism?

Is the 'very concept of objective truth' fading out of the world, as George Orwell wrote in his Homage to Catalonia in the 1930s? Or is truth even 'dead', as Time magazine asked in 2017? Can we draw clear lines between objective facts, spin and lies? What are the consequences of 'truth decay' for trust, democracy and multilateralism?

Foreign influence operations in the EU

10-07-2018

Attempting to influence political decision-making beyond one's own political sphere is not a new phenomenon – it is an integral part of the history of geopolitics. Whereas hard power relies on military and economic force, the soft power of a state involves public diplomacy and dialogue on values, cultures and ideas, which should normally correspond with its behaviour abroad. Although the extent is hard to measure, democratic states whose values match the prevailing global norms – pluralism, fundamental ...

Attempting to influence political decision-making beyond one's own political sphere is not a new phenomenon – it is an integral part of the history of geopolitics. Whereas hard power relies on military and economic force, the soft power of a state involves public diplomacy and dialogue on values, cultures and ideas, which should normally correspond with its behaviour abroad. Although the extent is hard to measure, democratic states whose values match the prevailing global norms – pluralism, fundamental rights and freedoms, the rule of law as a principle within states and in international relations – and exert this influence by contributing to the prevention and resolution of conflicts, traditionally appear more attractive, thus having more soft power leverage. However, influence can also serve purposes of interference and destabilisation. Authoritarian state actors struggle to project soft power while engaging in disruptive or destructive behaviour. Instead, some state actors see a means of reaching their goals by making democratic actors, systems and values appear less attractive, through a number of overt and covert instruments. The tools are constantly evolving. Today, social media combines the oral tradition with new electronic means of dissemination, enabling (potentially disruptive) messages to spread instantaneously. Disinformation can be, and is being, combined with other instruments in an increasingly diverse, hybrid 'toolbox' that authoritarian state actors have at their disposal. In recent years, awareness in the research community of online disinformation by state actors has increased around the world, not least in the context of the United Kingdom referendum on EU membership and the US presidential election in 2016. Although their visibility increases in the context of elections and referendums, influence campaigns are not limited to democratic processes.

Buduća događanja

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