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Blockchain for supply chains and international trade

29-05-2020

Blockchain could benefit supply chain management and international trade processes. See the new STOA study of potential use cases, their impacts, and potential policy responses. Blockchain technology could be valuable for supply chain management and international trade processes which require cooperation and trust between several actors arranged in complex relationships across different regulatory frameworks. Blockchain could facilitate of trade through a combination of digitalisation, information ...

Blockchain could benefit supply chain management and international trade processes. See the new STOA study of potential use cases, their impacts, and potential policy responses. Blockchain technology could be valuable for supply chain management and international trade processes which require cooperation and trust between several actors arranged in complex relationships across different regulatory frameworks. Blockchain could facilitate of trade through a combination of digitalisation, information exchange and automation, reducing costs and increasing transparency. Blockchain could facilitate SME’s access to trade and trade finance, as well as consumers’ access to product information with could enable more ethical and environmentally responsible choices. There are no major technical barriers to the use of some types of blockchain solution for some elements of trade. Many of the benefits of blockchain for trade derive from digitalisation, which could be achieved through other means. There remain substantial barriers to digitalisation of trade processes. Barriers to blockchain in supply chains and international trade include legal recognition, data localisation, identification of applicable laws, allocation of liability, and interoperability and standardisation across various economic operators and regulatory frameworks. 20 policy options for blockchain in supply chains and international trade including supporting customs facilitation, sustainable trade, SME involvement, leadership in standardisation, evidence-based policy and awareness raising.

Ārējais autors

This study was written by Bertrand Copigneaux, Nikita Vlasov and Emarildo Bani of IDATE DigiWorld, Nikolay Tcholtchev and Philipp Lämmel of Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems, Michael Fuenfzig, Simone Snoeijenbos and Michael Flickenschild from Ecorys, and Martina Piantoni and Simona Frazzani from Grimaldi Studio Legale at the request of the Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA) and managed by the Scientific Foresight Unit, within the Directorate-General for Parliamentary Research Services (EPRS) of the Secretariat of the European Parliament.

EU agricultural policy and climate change

19-05-2020

In December 2019, the European Parliament declared a climate and environmental emergency in Europe and across the globe – a recognition of the challenges that the EU faces in this area. The agricultural sector is not only affected by climate change but also contributes significantly to it, according to some assessments. Evidence from a range of reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the European Commission's Joint Research Centre points to the impacts that climate change ...

In December 2019, the European Parliament declared a climate and environmental emergency in Europe and across the globe – a recognition of the challenges that the EU faces in this area. The agricultural sector is not only affected by climate change but also contributes significantly to it, according to some assessments. Evidence from a range of reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the European Commission's Joint Research Centre points to the impacts that climate change will have on yields, length of growing season, water availability, biodiversity, and habitats. The pattern of climate change will have a differential impact in terms of the regions affected. A clear north–south divide emerges, with countries of southern Europe likely to face declining yields due to increased temperatures and reduced precipitation. In the legislative proposals for the common agricultural policy (CAP) for the post-2020 period, the European Commission has set a high level of ambition in both environmental and climate change objectives, taking into account the fact that agriculture is responsible for around 10 % of the EU's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The European Green Deal outlined in the Commission's political guidelines aims to make Europe the world's first climate-neutral continent by 2050. A range of mitigation and adaptation responses are available, designed to curb GHG emissions and reduce vulnerability to climate change. The EU can use the CAP as a tool to influence policy-making in the area of climate change. In fact, data on the operation and impact of the CAP on climate change and GHG emissions have been examined using a range of sources, including a study undertaken for the Commission. One of its conclusions is that there are a range of CAP measures that are only partially relevant to climate needs, as the CAP is constrained by the lack of compulsory implementation. Additionally, a series of inconsistencies and 'missed opportunities' were identified in the study. It remains to be seen how such findings will influence the content and design of the new CAP strategic plans, given that the Commission's future proposals for them include giving greater discretion to Member States.

Brazil and the Amazon Rainforest: Deforestation, biodiversity and cooperation with the EU and international forums

15-05-2020

For the largest tropical rainforest on Earth, an aggravated forest fire and deforestation regime in Amazonia put at risk the world’s richest biodiversity assets and a major climate regulator. For the EU27, it highlights the need to associate the question of embodied deforestation consumption by placing deforestation-free supply chains at the centre of negotiations surrounding the EU-Mercosur Association Agreement, given the volume of trade between these economic blocs in meat, leather, soy, coffee ...

For the largest tropical rainforest on Earth, an aggravated forest fire and deforestation regime in Amazonia put at risk the world’s richest biodiversity assets and a major climate regulator. For the EU27, it highlights the need to associate the question of embodied deforestation consumption by placing deforestation-free supply chains at the centre of negotiations surrounding the EU-Mercosur Association Agreement, given the volume of trade between these economic blocs in meat, leather, soy, coffee, rubber, wood pulp, biofuel and timber.

Ārējais autors

Cristina MÜLLER

Coronavirus and the cost of non-Europe: An analysis of the economic benefits of common European action

11-05-2020

This EPRS paper focuses on the economic benefits of common action at European level and the risk involved if the current coronavirus crisis and its aftermath were to stall or reverse the process of European integration. It attempts to quantify the losses from: (i) any gradual dismantling of the EU project - where cautious estimates suggest that erosion of the EU single market alone would cost the European economy between 3.0 and 8.7 per cent of its collective GDP (this would be existing 'European ...

This EPRS paper focuses on the economic benefits of common action at European level and the risk involved if the current coronavirus crisis and its aftermath were to stall or reverse the process of European integration. It attempts to quantify the losses from: (i) any gradual dismantling of the EU project - where cautious estimates suggest that erosion of the EU single market alone would cost the European economy between 3.0 and 8.7 per cent of its collective GDP (this would be existing 'European added value' permanently lost); and (ii) a parallel failure to take advantage of the unexploited potential of collective public goods that have yet be achieved (this would be future GDP growth foregone). The latter 'cost of non-Europe' in 50 policy areas was identified by EPRS in 2019 as around 14 per cent of EU GDP by the end of a ten-year running-in period.

Study in focus: The Green Deal’s growth, financial and regulatory challenges

08-05-2020

The aim of this study is to critically assess the proposed Green Deal’s growth, financing and regulatory challenges. The study discusses the need for a strong narrative and coordination. It examines the key growth drivers of the Green Deal and the green investment gap, the optimal mix of taxation and command-and-control measures, trade and competition policy and the implications for macroprudential supervision. This document was provided by the Policy Department for Economic, Scientific and Quality ...

The aim of this study is to critically assess the proposed Green Deal’s growth, financing and regulatory challenges. The study discusses the need for a strong narrative and coordination. It examines the key growth drivers of the Green Deal and the green investment gap, the optimal mix of taxation and command-and-control measures, trade and competition policy and the implications for macroprudential supervision. This document was provided by the Policy Department for Economic, Scientific and Quality of Life Policies at the request of the committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs.

Ārējais autors

Karel Volckaert

Coronavirus and the trade in wildlife

04-05-2020

Nearly three quarters of emerging infectious diseases in humans are caused by zoonotic pathogens. The majority of them originate in wildlife. Human activities, such as trade in wildlife, increase opportunities for animal–human interactions and facilitate zoonotic disease transmission. Several significant diseases, including Ebola and the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak, have been traced, in part, to substantial animal-human contact along the trade chain. Current information suggests ...

Nearly three quarters of emerging infectious diseases in humans are caused by zoonotic pathogens. The majority of them originate in wildlife. Human activities, such as trade in wildlife, increase opportunities for animal–human interactions and facilitate zoonotic disease transmission. Several significant diseases, including Ebola and the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak, have been traced, in part, to substantial animal-human contact along the trade chain. Current information suggests that the Covid-19 pandemic may have started from a local Chinese wildlife market. Wildlife trade, though difficult to quantify, is one of the most lucrative trades in the world. It is regulated under the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES), an international agreement to which the European Union (EU) and its Member States are parties. Through a permit system, CITES aims to ensure that international trade in listed species is sustainable, legal and traceable. Curbing illegal trade, however, remains a challenge. In 2016, the EU adopted an action plan on wildlife trafficking, which runs until 2020 and is currently under evaluation. The European Parliament supports its renewal and the strengthening of its provisions. The coronavirus crisis has thrown into sharp focus the threat of disease transmission posed by trade in and consumption of wild animal species, prompting calls for bans on wildlife trade and closure of wildlife markets. Others advocate better regulation, including enhanced health and safety and sanitation measures. With matters relating to zoonotic diseases outside CITES' mandate, some have suggested the development of a new international convention to address the issue. To reduce the risks of future outbreaks, many recommend an integrated approach, which would notably also cover nature preservation and restoration.

What if we could fight antibiotic resistance with probiotics?

23-04-2020

Recent research suggests that the future combat against antimicrobial resistance (AMR) may involve probiotic-based approaches. Their use in our microbial ecosystems, including humans, animals and the healthcare environment, may provide a novel approach which deserves exploration.

Recent research suggests that the future combat against antimicrobial resistance (AMR) may involve probiotic-based approaches. Their use in our microbial ecosystems, including humans, animals and the healthcare environment, may provide a novel approach which deserves exploration.

Newsletter on COVID-19

22-04-2020

In its resolution of 17 April 2020, the European Parliament called on the Commission and the Member States to act together and to ensure that the European Union will emerge stronger from the COVID-19 crisis. This newsletter on COVID-19 aims to keep the ECON, EMPL, ENVI, ITRE and IMCO committees updated about the main EU recent developments and responses to the current crisis.

In its resolution of 17 April 2020, the European Parliament called on the Commission and the Member States to act together and to ensure that the European Union will emerge stronger from the COVID-19 crisis. This newsletter on COVID-19 aims to keep the ECON, EMPL, ENVI, ITRE and IMCO committees updated about the main EU recent developments and responses to the current crisis.

Water reuse: Setting minimum requirements

20-04-2020

Although freshwater is relatively abundant in the European Union (EU), water stress occurs in many areas, particularly in the Mediterranean region and parts of the Atlantic region, with environmental and economic impacts. In May 2018, the European Commission put forward a proposal for a regulation setting EU-wide standards that reclaimed water would need to meet in order to be used for agricultural irrigation, with the aim of encouraging greater use of reclaimed water and contributing to alleviating ...

Although freshwater is relatively abundant in the European Union (EU), water stress occurs in many areas, particularly in the Mediterranean region and parts of the Atlantic region, with environmental and economic impacts. In May 2018, the European Commission put forward a proposal for a regulation setting EU-wide standards that reclaimed water would need to meet in order to be used for agricultural irrigation, with the aim of encouraging greater use of reclaimed water and contributing to alleviating water scarcity. The Commission estimates that the proposal could increase water reuse in agricultural irrigation from 1.7 billion m³ to 6.6 billion m³ per year, thereby reducing water stress by 5 %. The European Parliament adopted its first-reading position on 12 February 2019, and the Council agreed on a general approach on 26 June 2019. Trilogue negotiations concluded with a provisional agreement on 2 December. The agreed text, endorsed by the ENVI committee on 21 January 2020, was adopted at first reading by the Council on 7 April. It now returns to the Parliament for final adoption at second reading. Second edition of a briefing originally drafted by Didier Bourguignon. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

European climate law

20-04-2020

On 4 March 2020, the European Commission adopted a legislative proposal for a European climate law, setting the objective for the EU to become climate-neutral by 2050 and establishing a framework for achieving that objective. This would involve the Commission reviewing the EU's 2030 target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in light of the mid-century climate neutrality objective, exploring options for 50 to 55 % emissions reduction, and proposing a new 2030 target, if necessary. The Commission ...

On 4 March 2020, the European Commission adopted a legislative proposal for a European climate law, setting the objective for the EU to become climate-neutral by 2050 and establishing a framework for achieving that objective. This would involve the Commission reviewing the EU's 2030 target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in light of the mid-century climate neutrality objective, exploring options for 50 to 55 % emissions reduction, and proposing a new 2030 target, if necessary. The Commission would be empowered to set out an emissions trajectory for the period between 2030 and 2050. The proposed regulation would also require EU institutions and Member States to build on their climate change measures. The Commission would have to carry out five-yearly assessments – aligned with the review cycle of the Paris Agreement – of progress made towards the objectives and of the consistency of national and EU measures with the objectives. It would be required to take corrective action and could issue recommendations to Member States whose measures were inconsistent with the emissions trajectory. Moreover, the Commission would have to ensure broad public participation. The December 2019 European Council meeting endorsed the 2050 climate-neutrality objective. In the European Parliament, the proposal has been referred to the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety. First edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

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