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Artificial Intelligence: Opportunities and Challenges for the Internal Market and Consumer Protection

16-03-2020

Developing appropriate policies and regulations for AI is a priority for the European Union. AI has become a powerful driver of social transformation, reshaping individual lives and interactions as well as economical and political organisations. AI brings huge opportunities for development, sustainability, health and knowledge, as well as significant risks of unemployment, discrimination, exclusion, etc. Multiple areas are affected by AI, such as data protection (lawful and proportionate processing ...

Developing appropriate policies and regulations for AI is a priority for the European Union. AI has become a powerful driver of social transformation, reshaping individual lives and interactions as well as economical and political organisations. AI brings huge opportunities for development, sustainability, health and knowledge, as well as significant risks of unemployment, discrimination, exclusion, etc. Multiple areas are affected by AI, such as data protection (lawful and proportionate processing of personal data, subject to oversight), fair algorithmic treatment (not being subject to unjustified prejudice resulting from automated processing), transparency and explicability (knowing how and why a certain algorithmic response has been given or a decision made), protection from undue influence (not being misled, manipulated, or deceived). This collection of studies presents research resulting from ongoing interest of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection in improving functioning of the Digital Single Market and developing European digital and AI related policy based on scientific evidence and expertise.

The Unified Patent Court after Brexit

11-03-2020

Great Britain has recently made known that it does not intend to apply the International Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPCA).

Great Britain has recently made known that it does not intend to apply the International Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPCA).

Trade and competitiveness policies in the European Council

10-03-2020

In recent years, international trade has gained increasing visibility on the European Council agenda. A high level of economic interconnectedness and the ineluctable rise of emerging economies on the world stage, notably China, have highlighted differences across economic systems and divergences over the impact of certain policies and practices in the global economy. Moreover, the United States administration's pursuit of an 'America first' foreign policy has been accompanied by a trade policy aimed ...

In recent years, international trade has gained increasing visibility on the European Council agenda. A high level of economic interconnectedness and the ineluctable rise of emerging economies on the world stage, notably China, have highlighted differences across economic systems and divergences over the impact of certain policies and practices in the global economy. Moreover, the United States administration's pursuit of an 'America first' foreign policy has been accompanied by a trade policy aimed primarily at reducing trade deficits with partners. The existential threat which the World Trade Organization now faces, as the core of the multilateral trading system, has compounded growing trade tensions and translated into a highly unstable global environment. The European Council has reacted to these developments promptly, with the last three years seeing the adoption of measures to strengthen the European Union's capacity to address such challenges. It has placed high emphasis on the need for the EU to be able to defend itself against unfair trade practices, through strengthened defence instruments, greater surveillance of foreign direct investment, and broader access to public procurement markets abroad. The objectives set out in its Strategic Agenda for 2019-24 reflect a need for a more assertive and united European Union on the global stage, able to tackle the technological and environmental challenges of the coming decade.

EU–São Tomé and Príncipe fisheries agreement

04-03-2020

EU fishing vessels have long been active in the waters of the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe, in the framework of a bilateral EU fisheries agreement. The conclusion of a new protocol implementing this agreement is expected to be the subject of a consent vote in Parliament during the March I plenary part-session. The protocol provides access rights for the EU fleet to fish for tunas in São Tomean waters. In addition, it aims to promote sustainable exploitation of fisheries resources ...

EU fishing vessels have long been active in the waters of the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe, in the framework of a bilateral EU fisheries agreement. The conclusion of a new protocol implementing this agreement is expected to be the subject of a consent vote in Parliament during the March I plenary part-session. The protocol provides access rights for the EU fleet to fish for tunas in São Tomean waters. In addition, it aims to promote sustainable exploitation of fisheries resources in the region and to support the development of the local fisheries sector.

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.

European Regional Development Fund and Cohesion Fund 2021-2027

30-01-2020

In the context of the upcoming Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027, the European Commission published a proposal for a regulation on the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund (CF) on 29 May 2018. The new single regulation on the ERDF and CF (previously covered by two separate regulations) identifies the specific objectives and scope of support for both funds, including non-eligible activities. The majority of ERDF funding (65 % to 85 %) will focus on smart growth ...

In the context of the upcoming Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027, the European Commission published a proposal for a regulation on the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund (CF) on 29 May 2018. The new single regulation on the ERDF and CF (previously covered by two separate regulations) identifies the specific objectives and scope of support for both funds, including non-eligible activities. The majority of ERDF funding (65 % to 85 %) will focus on smart growth and the green economy, while the fund will also support other activities such as connectivity, social issues and local development. The CF will continue to focus predominantly on environmental and transport infrastructure. Special provisions have been proposed for territories such as urban areas and outermost regions. The indicator framework for monitoring progress will include new common results indicators. In the European Parliament, the file was allocated to the Committee on Regional Development, and on 27 March 2019 the Parliament adopted a legislative resolution in plenary constituting its first-reading position. The proposal is currently at trilogue stage with a view to an early second-reading agreement. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

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.

Support for fishermen affected by the eastern Baltic cod closure

17-01-2020

Eastern Baltic cod has long supported the livelihoods of many Baltic fishermen, but stocks of this valuable fish have been declining sharply in recent years. Every year since 2014, total allowable catches have been reduced accordingly. Recent scientific advice, published in May 2019, reinforced concerns regarding eastern Baltic cod, showing an even steeper decline and estimating the stock to be below safe biological limits for the past two years. Scientists point to high natural mortality resulting ...

Eastern Baltic cod has long supported the livelihoods of many Baltic fishermen, but stocks of this valuable fish have been declining sharply in recent years. Every year since 2014, total allowable catches have been reduced accordingly. Recent scientific advice, published in May 2019, reinforced concerns regarding eastern Baltic cod, showing an even steeper decline and estimating the stock to be below safe biological limits for the past two years. Scientists point to high natural mortality resulting from various environmental pressures, including a lack of salinity, little oxygen, pollution, high water temperatures and parasite infestation. On 22 July 2019, as an emergency measure, the Commission imposed an immediate closure of the fishery for six months, with the exception of a limited amount arising from the unavoidable by-catch. Subsequently, fishing opportunities for 2020 were cut by 92 %. As recovery of the stock is not expected before 2024, on 31 October 2019 the Commission issued a proposal amending the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Regulation in order to allow support for permanent cessation and introducing parallel changes to the Baltic multiannual plan by setting capacity limits for the fishing segments concerned and by including additional control and data collection measures.

Road infrastructure safety management

13-01-2020

On 17 May 2018, the Commission adopted the proposal for a directive amending Directive 2008/96/EC on road infrastructure safety management. The revision was presented together with another legislative proposal on vehicle and pedestrian safety, and with non-legislative initiatives to promote safe mobility. The general objective of the proposal, which seeks to address the shortcomings of the existing legislation, is to reduce both road fatalities and serious injuries by improving the safety performance ...

On 17 May 2018, the Commission adopted the proposal for a directive amending Directive 2008/96/EC on road infrastructure safety management. The revision was presented together with another legislative proposal on vehicle and pedestrian safety, and with non-legislative initiatives to promote safe mobility. The general objective of the proposal, which seeks to address the shortcomings of the existing legislation, is to reduce both road fatalities and serious injuries by improving the safety performance of road infrastructure. It proposes key changes to strengthen road infrastructure safety management procedures and extends the scope of the directive beyond the trans-European transport network (TEN-T). Interinstitutional negogiations (trilogues) concluded on 21 February 2019. The agreed text was adopted by the Parliament in plenary on 4 April 2019 and by the Council on 7 October 2019. After its final signature, the new legislative act came into force on 16 December 2019, and has to be transposed into national law in each Member State by 17 December 2021. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

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