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A Comprehensive EU Strategy for Africa

25-06-2020

The new EU-Africa Strategy presented by the Commission on 9 March puts a reinforced emphasis on the creation of a real partnership with a continent whose relevance for Europe is growing by the day. The three briefings focus on different aspects of this new partnership, the first one dealing with the implications for the political dialogue with a focus on (good) governance and the even bigger challenge of security and migration. The second briefing has a look at more ‘traditional’ aspects of this ...

The new EU-Africa Strategy presented by the Commission on 9 March puts a reinforced emphasis on the creation of a real partnership with a continent whose relevance for Europe is growing by the day. The three briefings focus on different aspects of this new partnership, the first one dealing with the implications for the political dialogue with a focus on (good) governance and the even bigger challenge of security and migration. The second briefing has a look at more ‘traditional’ aspects of this relationship, development and humanitarian aid, complemented with the rising challenge of climate change. The new approach is also illustrated by the emphasis put on the promotion of bilateral trade and investment relations, the topic of the third briefing. All these briefings also try to incorporate first elements on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the bilateral relationship.

Externe auteur

Morten BØÅS, Ondřej HORKÝ-HLUCHÁŇ,Ainhoa MARIN-EGOSCOZABAL

A Comprehensive EU Strategy for Africa - Trade and Investments

25-06-2020

The new European Commission (EC) is putting EU-African relations to the fore. A Joint Communication of the EC towards a comprehensive Strategy with Africa stresses the African Continent’s strategic importance and the EU’s need to strengthen its partnership with (and not for) Africa. Proposals in the Joint Communication maintain promotion of sustainable investments with Africa on top of the EU’s agenda. Partnership with Africa to attract investors and boost regional as well as continental integration ...

The new European Commission (EC) is putting EU-African relations to the fore. A Joint Communication of the EC towards a comprehensive Strategy with Africa stresses the African Continent’s strategic importance and the EU’s need to strengthen its partnership with (and not for) Africa. Proposals in the Joint Communication maintain promotion of sustainable investments with Africa on top of the EU’s agenda. Partnership with Africa to attract investors and boost regional as well as continental integration are specific actions aimed to attain sustainable growth and jobs in African countries. This emphasis is not new, being in line with a geopolitically oriented Commission and the European Union’s (EU) trend of shifting from a Donor-recipient model to a relationship based on mutual cooperation, pursuing common interests and mutual benefits. As the COVID-19 pandemic takes hold in Africa during 2020, it is becoming more urgent that EU and African relations post COVID-19 be tailored to a new scenario and show tangible action using partnership rhetoric.

Externe auteur

Ainhoa MARIN-EGOSCOZABAL

Artificial intelligence: From ethics to policy

24-06-2020

There is little doubt that artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) will revolutionise public services. However, the power for positive change that AI provides simultaneously has a potential for negative impacts on society. AI ethics work to uncover the variety of ethical issues resulting from the design, development, and deployment of AI. The question at the centre of all current work in AI ethics is: 'How can we move from AI ethics to specific policy and legislation for governing ...

There is little doubt that artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) will revolutionise public services. However, the power for positive change that AI provides simultaneously has a potential for negative impacts on society. AI ethics work to uncover the variety of ethical issues resulting from the design, development, and deployment of AI. The question at the centre of all current work in AI ethics is: 'How can we move from AI ethics to specific policy and legislation for governing AI?' Based on a framing of 'AI as a social experiment', this study arrives at policy options for public administrations and governmental organisations who are looking to deploy AI/ML solutions, as well as the private companies who are creating AI/ML solutions for use in the public arena. The reasons for targeting this application sector concern: the need for a high standard of transparency, respect for democratic values, and legitimacy. The policy options presented here chart a path towards accountability; procedures and decisions of an ethical nature are systematically logged prior to the deployment of an AI system. This logging is the first step in allowing ethics to play a crucial role in the implementation of AI for the public good.

Externe auteur

DG, EPRS_This study has been written by Dr Aimee van Wynsberghe of Delft University of Technology and co-director of the Foundation for Responsible Robotics 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.

Policy Departments' Monthly Highlights - June 2020

12-06-2020

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

Three critical issues in EU-UK relations

08-06-2020

Following the withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU) on 1 February 2020, the EU and the UK launched negotiations on a new partnership agreement, to come into effect at the end of the transition period, scheduled for 31 December 2020. The negotiations are intended to address nearly all the domains covered in the Political Declaration negotiated by both parties alongside the Withdrawal Agreement, including trade and economics, fisheries, thematic cooperation, and internal ...

Following the withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU) on 1 February 2020, the EU and the UK launched negotiations on a new partnership agreement, to come into effect at the end of the transition period, scheduled for 31 December 2020. The negotiations are intended to address nearly all the domains covered in the Political Declaration negotiated by both parties alongside the Withdrawal Agreement, including trade and economics, fisheries, thematic cooperation, and internal and external security. As far as negotiations on the future economic relationship are concerned, while the parties agree in principle on an exceptional zero-tariff and zero-quota comprehensive and balanced free trade agreement (FTA) aiming for as 'frictionless' trade as possible, they still disagree on major aspects of the economic partnership, especially fisheries and level playing-field (LPF) commitments. The EU wants the future agreement in the fisheries domain to retain the status quo as far as possible, including reciprocal access to waters in return for access to markets and quota-shares that are based on historical fishing patterns. The EU also insists that an effective LPF would ensure fair competition. After the third round of talks, which took place in May 2020, the UK's chief negotiator, David Frost, said that the EU proposal on fisheries was ‘simply not realistic’, and it was unacceptable that the LPF binds the UK to EU law or standards; if need be, the UK would aim for a less ambitious FTA. The EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, said that negotiating an FTA providing for tariffs would be far more time-consuming, and the EU would still demand the same LPF commitments because 'open and fair competition is not a "nice-to-have", it is a "must-have" '. Following the fourth round of negotiations, from 2 to 5 June, the positions therefore still seemed irreconcilable. However, the long stand-off in the earlier negotiations on UK withdrawal had seemed equally irreconcilable before the final agreement was reached and then ratified. One area in which the two sides did manage to agree in those negotiations is the financial settlement included in the Withdrawal Agreement. While that settlement is now being implemented, it had initially been seen as one of the more difficult areas of the withdrawal negotiations.

Trade and biodiversity

05-06-2020

International trade has a direct impact on EU biodiversity, imported invasive species and pathogens, being an example. Trade also impacts global biodiversity, for instance through the 'virtual' water, land, and deforestation contained in EU imports. Economic theory shows that trade with countries that fail to protect a renewable resource can be detrimental for all. Protecting global biodiversity calls for a variety of instruments, at the EU border as well as in the provisions of preferential agreements ...

International trade has a direct impact on EU biodiversity, imported invasive species and pathogens, being an example. Trade also impacts global biodiversity, for instance through the 'virtual' water, land, and deforestation contained in EU imports. Economic theory shows that trade with countries that fail to protect a renewable resource can be detrimental for all. Protecting global biodiversity calls for a variety of instruments, at the EU border as well as in the provisions of preferential agreements. The EU already includes biodiversity-related non-trade provisions in trade agreements, but these provisions are not legally binding and hardly effective. This is partly explained by the complexity of the issues posed by biodiversity: since there is no simple synthetic indicator, policy instruments are difficult to enforce. However, an effort to specify measurable and verifiable commitments is needed; more binding mechanisms, along with transparent and automatic sanctions in case of non-compliance should be considered.

Externe auteur

Cecilia BELLORA (CEPII, France), Jean-Christophe BUREAU (AgroParisTech, France), Basak BAYRAMOGLU (INRAE, France), Estelle GOZLAN (INRAE, France), Sébastien JEAN (CEPII and INRAE, Paris)

European Commission follow-up to European Parliament requests 2017 - 2019

02-06-2020

This study seeks to present a comprehensive overview of non-legislative resolutions adopted by Parliament between January 2017 and May 2019 on the basis of own-initiative reports, in the light of the response provided by the Commission and the subsequent follow-up documents and related actions undertaken by the Commission up to 1 January 2020.

This study seeks to present a comprehensive overview of non-legislative resolutions adopted by Parliament between January 2017 and May 2019 on the basis of own-initiative reports, in the light of the response provided by the Commission and the subsequent follow-up documents and related actions undertaken by the Commission up to 1 January 2020.

Blockchain for supply chains and international trade

29-05-2020

This study provides an analysis of blockchain technology in the context of international trade. It analyses the potential impacts of blockchain development and applications in eight use cases for supply chains and international trade. It also provides an analysis of the current legislative framework and existing initiatives. Based on this analysis, and following a broad consultation of relevant organisations, the study identifies several challenges in international trade documentation and processes ...

This study provides an analysis of blockchain technology in the context of international trade. It analyses the potential impacts of blockchain development and applications in eight use cases for supply chains and international trade. It also provides an analysis of the current legislative framework and existing initiatives. Based on this analysis, and following a broad consultation of relevant organisations, the study identifies several challenges in international trade documentation and processes, and presents a range of policy options for the European Parliament.

Externe auteur

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.

Food trade and food security in the coronavirus pandemic

26-05-2020

The coronavirus pandemic has not only created a global public health crisis, but it has had a significant effect on the global economy and international trade. Measures to deal with the consequences of the pandemic while also affecting food trade have impacted on the world's food systems and have raised concerns for global food security. The EU is committed to keeping trade flowing and supply chains functioning, and supports international cooperation to promote food security.

The coronavirus pandemic has not only created a global public health crisis, but it has had a significant effect on the global economy and international trade. Measures to deal with the consequences of the pandemic while also affecting food trade have impacted on the world's food systems and have raised concerns for global food security. The EU is committed to keeping trade flowing and supply chains functioning, and supports international cooperation to promote food security.

EU export authorisation scheme for personal protection equipment

26-05-2020

In the midst of the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the European Commission issued an implementing regulation requiring authorisations for exports of personal protection equipment (PPE), effective as of 15 March 2020 for a six-week period. A second implementing regulation extended the period for another 30 days. The latter reduced the range of products subject to authorisation to three categories, namely mouth-nose protection, protective spectacles and visors, and protective garments; gloves ...

In the midst of the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the European Commission issued an implementing regulation requiring authorisations for exports of personal protection equipment (PPE), effective as of 15 March 2020 for a six-week period. A second implementing regulation extended the period for another 30 days. The latter reduced the range of products subject to authorisation to three categories, namely mouth-nose protection, protective spectacles and visors, and protective garments; gloves and face shields were dropped from the list. The authorisations are granted by national competent authorities, and must be coordinated with the Commission's new 'clearing house for medical equipment' and the rescEU stockpile of medical equipment in order to verify that the PPE being exported is not needed by other EU Member States in their fight against coronavirus. The export authorisation regulations are among the EU coordination and solidarity mechanisms implemented by the European Commission. A mapping of exports and imports of PPE subject to authorisation shows that, even though the EU runs a large trade surplus for medical products in general, it had been running trade deficits on these specific products for the last decade. The scale of trade in these products is also very small since imports represented as little as 0.05 % of EU gross domestic product (GDP) in 2019. This all goes to show how what amounts to a tiny portion of international trade can have dramatic consequences.

Toekomstige activiteiten

02-07-2020
EPRS online Book Talk | Has the EU become a regulatory superpower?
Diverse activiteiten -
EPRS
06-07-2020
Geopolitical implications of the COVID-19 crisis - online hearing
Hoorzitting -
AFET
06-07-2020
Follow-up of OLAF case files, fighting fraud, corruption and other irregularities
Hoorzitting -
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