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Collective intelligence at EU level: Social and democratic dimensions

31-03-2020

Humans are among the many living species capable of collaborative and imaginative thinking. While it is widely agreed among scholars that this capacity has contributed to making humans the dominant species, other crucial questions remain open to debate. Is it possible to encourage large groups of people to engage in collective thinking? Is it possible to coordinate citizens to find solutions to address global challenges? Some scholars claim that large groups of independent, motivated, and well-informed ...

Humans are among the many living species capable of collaborative and imaginative thinking. While it is widely agreed among scholars that this capacity has contributed to making humans the dominant species, other crucial questions remain open to debate. Is it possible to encourage large groups of people to engage in collective thinking? Is it possible to coordinate citizens to find solutions to address global challenges? Some scholars claim that large groups of independent, motivated, and well-informed people can, collectively, make better decisions than isolated individuals can – what is known as 'collective intelligence.' The social dimension of collective intelligence mainly relates to social aspects of the economy and of innovation. It shows that a holistic approach to innovation – one that includes not only technological but also social aspects – can greatly contribute to the EU's goal of promoting a just transition for everyone to a sustainable and green economy in the digital age. The EU has been taking concrete action to promote social innovation by supporting the development of its theory and practice. Mainly through funding programmes, it helps to seek new types of partners and build new capacity – and thus shape the future of local and national innovations aimed at societal needs. The democratic dimension suggests that the power of the collective can be leveraged so as to improve public decision-making systems. Supported by technology, policy-makers can harness the 'civic surplus' of citizens – thus providing smarter solutions to regulatory challenges. This is particularly relevant at EU level in view of the planned Conference on the Future of Europe, aimed at engaging communities at large and making EU decision-making more inclusive and participatory. The current coronavirus crisis is likely to change society and our economy in ways as yet too early to predict, but recovery after the crisis will require new ways of thinking and acting to overcome common challenges, and thus making use of our collective intelligence should be more urgent than ever. In the longer term, in order to mobilise collective intelligence across the EU and to fully exploit its innovative potential, the EU needs to strengthen its education policies and promote a shared understanding of a holistic approach to innovation and of collective intelligence – and thus become a 'global brain,' with a solid institutional set-up at the centre of a subsidised experimentation process that meets the challenges imposed by modern-day transformations.

Carbon emissions pricing: Some points of reference

30-03-2020

The need to do more to mitigate climate change resulting from emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), in particular in terms of pricing, is widely accepted. Several countries around the globe are either planning to implement or have introduced carbon-emission pricing measures (i.e. taxing or internalising negative externalities), with varying scope (upstream, downstream), coverage (sector exclusions) and boundaries (subnational or national areas). The objective is to reduce emissions in line with medium-term ...

The need to do more to mitigate climate change resulting from emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), in particular in terms of pricing, is widely accepted. Several countries around the globe are either planning to implement or have introduced carbon-emission pricing measures (i.e. taxing or internalising negative externalities), with varying scope (upstream, downstream), coverage (sector exclusions) and boundaries (subnational or national areas). The objective is to reduce emissions in line with medium-term climate change mitigation pathways. There are broadly two approaches: the emissions trading system (cap and trade) and carbon taxing. The existing measures are assessed regularly so as to be made more effective as regards emission reductions. The number of jurisdictions having adopted or intending to adopt carbon pricing has increased but still remains limited, in particular as regards the level of emissions covered. One concern is to address 'carbon leakage', a term that describes shifts in economic activities and/or changes in investment configurations, directly or indirectly causing GHG emissions to be moved away from a jurisdiction with GHG constraints to another jurisdiction with fewer or no GHG constraints. Measures addressing carbon leakage have complementary objectives and outcomes that need to be addressed in their design. They address competitiveness and trade concerns, while their central raison d’être is climate change mitigation. They are now at the top of the EU agenda.

Promoting product longevity

16-03-2020

Product longevity can play a useful role in achieving the Paris Agreement goals – material efficiency is an important contributor to energy efficiency and is also important in its own right. The product safety and compliance instruments available at European level can contribute to these efforts, if wisely applied.

Product longevity can play a useful role in achieving the Paris Agreement goals – material efficiency is an important contributor to energy efficiency and is also important in its own right. The product safety and compliance instruments available at European level can contribute to these efforts, if wisely applied.

Autor externo

J. Scott MARCUS et al.

Outcome of the video-conference call of EU Heads of State or Government on10 March 2020

13-03-2020

Given the unprecedented circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak and the potential EU-wide ramifications, Heads of State or Government of the 27 EU Member States welcomed the initiative to hold a special meeting by video-conference on 10 March 2020. European Council President Charles Michel expressed his sympathy for all those citizens affected by the disease and, in particular, for Italy, the country most affected so far. The Member States discussed the COVID-19 outbreak and agreed on four ...

Given the unprecedented circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak and the potential EU-wide ramifications, Heads of State or Government of the 27 EU Member States welcomed the initiative to hold a special meeting by video-conference on 10 March 2020. European Council President Charles Michel expressed his sympathy for all those citizens affected by the disease and, in particular, for Italy, the country most affected so far. The Member States discussed the COVID-19 outbreak and agreed on four lines of action to contain the spread of the disease. The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Central Bank, Christine Lagarde, the President of the Eurogroup, Mario Centeno, and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, also took part in the discussion.

What if we could fight coronavirus with artificial intelligence?

10-03-2020

Αs coronavirus spreads, raising fears of a worldwide pandemic, international organisations and scientists are using artificial intelligence to track the epidemic in real-time, effectively predict where the virus might appear next and develop effective responses. Its multifaceted applications in the frame of this public health emergency raise questions about the legal and ethical soundness of its implementation.

Αs coronavirus spreads, raising fears of a worldwide pandemic, international organisations and scientists are using artificial intelligence to track the epidemic in real-time, effectively predict where the virus might appear next and develop effective responses. Its multifaceted applications in the frame of this public health emergency raise questions about the legal and ethical soundness of its implementation.

The European Green Deal [What Think Tanks are thinking]

09-03-2020

The European Green Deal is a key policy plank of the new European Commission led by President Ursula von der Leyen. It is a package of measures that aims to radically cut emissions of greenhouse gases while creating jobs in clean industries. Its main objectives are for the EU to become climate neutral by 2050, radically reduce other types of pollution, help European companies to become world leaders in green products, and offer aid to regions affected by this economic transition. This note offers ...

The European Green Deal is a key policy plank of the new European Commission led by President Ursula von der Leyen. It is a package of measures that aims to radically cut emissions of greenhouse gases while creating jobs in clean industries. Its main objectives are for the EU to become climate neutral by 2050, radically reduce other types of pollution, help European companies to become world leaders in green products, and offer aid to regions affected by this economic transition. This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports from international think tanks on the Green Deal and climate issues. More studies on the topics can be found in a previous item from these series, published in early December 2019.

COP25 climate change conference: Outcomes

06-03-2020

The COP25 climate change conference took place from 2-15 December 2019 in Madrid, Spain, under the presidency of the Chilean government. It addressed outstanding issues relating to the rulebook for implementation of the Paris Agreement, notably the rules on cooperative approaches. Despite a two-day prolongation, the parties failed to reach an agreement and postponed the decision until 2020. The conference did however make progress on implementation of the Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and ...

The COP25 climate change conference took place from 2-15 December 2019 in Madrid, Spain, under the presidency of the Chilean government. It addressed outstanding issues relating to the rulebook for implementation of the Paris Agreement, notably the rules on cooperative approaches. Despite a two-day prolongation, the parties failed to reach an agreement and postponed the decision until 2020. The conference did however make progress on implementation of the Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage, and adopted an enhanced gender action plan. A European Parliament delegation attended the conference.

EMAS in the European Parliament: A quiet success story

28-02-2020

The European Union (EU) Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) is a voluntary management instrument for companies and other organisations wanting to evaluate, report and continuously improve their environmental performance. In 2007, as part of its commitment to making a long-term contribution to sustainable development, the European Parliament became one of the few EU institutions and the first parliament in the EU to obtain EMAS certification. Through its environmental management system it is able ...

The European Union (EU) Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) is a voluntary management instrument for companies and other organisations wanting to evaluate, report and continuously improve their environmental performance. In 2007, as part of its commitment to making a long-term contribution to sustainable development, the European Parliament became one of the few EU institutions and the first parliament in the EU to obtain EMAS certification. Through its environmental management system it is able to track progress towards targets with regard to reducing carbon dioxide emissions and waste, promoting the efficient use of energy, water and paper, and incorporating environmental guidelines into procurement procedures. Concerted efforts have resulted in achieving or exceeding several of the targets set in 2017. The targets were revised accordingly; on 16 December 2019, the Bureau adopted a decision setting new targets to be achieved by the end of the 9th parliamentary term. This document details the Parliament's progress to date in meeting its targets in all of the above-mentioned areas, and maps out its ambitions for the future.

Autor externo

This document is an update of a December 2018 publication, compiled and edited by Desislava Boyadjieva, with graphics by Nadejda Kresnichka-Nikolchova, Publications Management and Editorial Unit, EPRS, on behalf of the EMAS Unit.

Information package on ‘Innovation in Agriculture’ Public Hearing of 18 February 2020

18-02-2020

This information package is prepared by the Policy Department for Structural and Cohesion Policies for the hearing of 18 February 2020 organised by the European Parliament’s Agricultural and Rural Development Committee (AGRI Committee). The main purpose of the paper is to facilitate the legislative work of MEPs related to the agri-food research & innovation issues.

This information package is prepared by the Policy Department for Structural and Cohesion Policies for the hearing of 18 February 2020 organised by the European Parliament’s Agricultural and Rural Development Committee (AGRI Committee). The main purpose of the paper is to facilitate the legislative work of MEPs related to the agri-food research & innovation issues.

What if crop protection were environment-friendly?

11-02-2020

Pesticides are indispensable in modern agriculture, but the EU wants crop protection to be responsible and eco-friendly. What options are there to reduce the use of synthetic pesticides?

Pesticides are indispensable in modern agriculture, but the EU wants crop protection to be responsible and eco-friendly. What options are there to reduce the use of synthetic pesticides?

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