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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.

Externý autor

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.

Employment and disability in the European Union

27-05-2020

Approximately one in six people in the European Union (EU) aged 15 and over lives with some kind of disability. Even if there has been an overall improvement in the employment situation of persons with disabilities in the EU (given the increase in employment rates), they still remain among the most disadvantaged groups as regards employment. This phenomenon considerably affects the EU's social integration ability and economic growth. Alongside and in support of Member States' policies, the EU has ...

Approximately one in six people in the European Union (EU) aged 15 and over lives with some kind of disability. Even if there has been an overall improvement in the employment situation of persons with disabilities in the EU (given the increase in employment rates), they still remain among the most disadvantaged groups as regards employment. This phenomenon considerably affects the EU's social integration ability and economic growth. Alongside and in support of Member States' policies, the EU has introduced a series of legal provisions, initiatives, actions and strategies to improve the employment situation of disabled people. In 2010, the EU signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which is a legally binding international treaty. According to the CRPD, the right to work and employment is a fundamental right (Article 27). The main instrument supporting the CRPD's implementation in the EU is the European disability strategy 2010-2020. Its overall aim is to empower people with disabilities so that they can enjoy their full rights, participate in society and have equal access to employment as others. Since 2017, the European Pillar of Social Rights has provided further impetus to the active social inclusion of people with disabilities. In relation to the European disability strategy 2010-2020, the European Pillar of Social Rights and the European Semester (established in 2010 as an annual cycle for economic, social and fiscal policy coordination), the EU supports a number of initiatives designed to assist disabled people as regards employment. These include: non-discrimination, workplace adaptations, public employment services, accessibility, financial incentives and EU funding. Since the early 1980s, the European Parliament has given priority to combating all forms of discrimination against disabled people, in particular, as regards employment. Academics and stakeholders share the view that tackling any kind of discrimination against, and fostering the active inclusion of, people with disabilities in the labour market are equally important for the EU's economy and society.

Potentially negative effects of internet use

13-05-2020

It is increasingly recognised that the internet, in spite of all its benefits to society, can also be correlated with significant harms to individuals and society. Some of these harms have been studied extensively, particularly harms to privacy, harms associated with security and cybercrime, and harms resulting from digital divides. This report covers less studied but equally important harms: harms associated with internet use that concern the health, well-being a functioning of individuals, and ...

It is increasingly recognised that the internet, in spite of all its benefits to society, can also be correlated with significant harms to individuals and society. Some of these harms have been studied extensively, particularly harms to privacy, harms associated with security and cybercrime, and harms resulting from digital divides. This report covers less studied but equally important harms: harms associated with internet use that concern the health, well-being a functioning of individuals, and the impact on social structures and institutions. The ultimate aim of the study is to develop concrete policy options to be considered by the EU Institutions and Member States, to mitigate negative effects of the internet for European citizens.

Social governance in the European Union: Managing complex systems

12-05-2020

Whereas economic governance is now undertaken in the EU through a regulated, 'hard' framework, there is no equivalent framework for social governance. At present, social governance in the EU functions mainly within the 'soft', unregulated realms, although it is also marked by some 'hard' governance mechanisms. This paper aims to give an overview of the social aspects of EU governance. It looks at existing EU social governance mechanisms and tools, including their current state of play, the debates ...

Whereas economic governance is now undertaken in the EU through a regulated, 'hard' framework, there is no equivalent framework for social governance. At present, social governance in the EU functions mainly within the 'soft', unregulated realms, although it is also marked by some 'hard' governance mechanisms. This paper aims to give an overview of the social aspects of EU governance. It looks at existing EU social governance mechanisms and tools, including their current state of play, the debates that surround them and possible avenues for their further development. It is an updated and revised edition of a publication from November 2017: PE 614.579.

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.

Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies up to 2020: European Implementation Assessment

23-04-2020

This study provides a review of the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies (NRIS) up to 2020. It was produced at the request of the Committee for Civil Liberties. Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) and the Committee for Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) to feed into the discussions regarding the post-2020 Framework. The study provides a synthesis of evaluations and opinions of the Framework. It gives an appreciation of the coordination, consultation and monitoring structures and the ...

This study provides a review of the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies (NRIS) up to 2020. It was produced at the request of the Committee for Civil Liberties. Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) and the Committee for Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) to feed into the discussions regarding the post-2020 Framework. The study provides a synthesis of evaluations and opinions of the Framework. It gives an appreciation of the coordination, consultation and monitoring structures and the way they work out in practice. It also looks at the interplay with other EU legal, funding and policy instruments. It then reviews the main policy objectives, namely (Roma access to) education, employment, health, housing, as well as anti-discrimination and anti-gypsyism.

Road transport: Driving, breaks, rest times and tachographs

20-04-2020

The Driving Time and Tachograph Regulations were adopted to improve drivers' working conditions and road safety, as well as to enhance compliance with the rules, and competition between road operators. In the context of the European Commission's 2017 'Europe on the move' package, the current proposal aims to remedy the shortcomings of these regulations, on which a broad consensus has emerged: lack of clarity, non-uniform implementation, insufficient enforcement and a need for strengthened cooperation ...

The Driving Time and Tachograph Regulations were adopted to improve drivers' working conditions and road safety, as well as to enhance compliance with the rules, and competition between road operators. In the context of the European Commission's 2017 'Europe on the move' package, the current proposal aims to remedy the shortcomings of these regulations, on which a broad consensus has emerged: lack of clarity, non-uniform implementation, insufficient enforcement and a need for strengthened cooperation between Member States and authorities. In June 2018, Parliament's Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) adopted its report. After further debate and procedural developments, Parliament adopted its first-reading position on 4 April 2019. The Council, on its side, reached a general approach on the proposal in December 2018, under the Austrian Presidency. After four negotiating rounds, the Council and Parliament reached a provisional agreement on the proposal on 12 December 2019, which was approved by Coreper on 20 December, by a narrow majority, and by the TRAN committee on 21 January 2020. The Council adopted its first-reading position on 7 April, meaning the agreed text will now return to the Parliament for final adoption at second reading. This would put an end to three years of debate on a complex and controversial proposal. Fifth edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

The social and employment situation of Roma communities in Slovakia

15-04-2020

Originally commissioned for a committee delegation which had to be postponed due to the Coronavirus measures, the full study has now been published to mark International Roma Day on 8 April 2020. It attempts to provide an overview of the situation of Roma communities in Slovakia, by first presenting key indicators on their employment and poverty levels, reviewing existing social and employment policies. Second, it discusses the situation of Roma children in education. Third, the paper presents achievements ...

Originally commissioned for a committee delegation which had to be postponed due to the Coronavirus measures, the full study has now been published to mark International Roma Day on 8 April 2020. It attempts to provide an overview of the situation of Roma communities in Slovakia, by first presenting key indicators on their employment and poverty levels, reviewing existing social and employment policies. Second, it discusses the situation of Roma children in education. Third, the paper presents achievements and lessons learned from the use of EU funds for marginalized communities and, finally, it reviews the work of other organisations (EFRA, Council of Europe, ERRC, and European Court of Auditors) in assessing the situation of Roma people in Slovakia.

Externý autor

M. KAHANEC, L. KOVÁČOVÁ, Z. POLÁČKOVÁ, M. SEDLÁKOVÁ

Employment and social situation in Germany

15-04-2020

This study of the labour market and social situation in Germany looks into major employment trends including atypical employment, unemployment and underemployment. It presents policy responses and major challenges for the future, such as digitisation and demographic change. Further, it explores policy action to fight poverty, trends in the German social partnership model and in the skills development system. Finally, it describes the contribution of the European Social Fund. The note covers aspects ...

This study of the labour market and social situation in Germany looks into major employment trends including atypical employment, unemployment and underemployment. It presents policy responses and major challenges for the future, such as digitisation and demographic change. Further, it explores policy action to fight poverty, trends in the German social partnership model and in the skills development system. Finally, it describes the contribution of the European Social Fund. The note covers aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Externý autor

Nicola Duell, Tim Vetter

Rethinking education in the digital age

31-03-2020

Traditional roles, content and methods of education are being challenged – today’s education needs to prepare students for changing tasks and roles both in the labour market and as European citizens. Rethinking education in the digital age should become a central matter for today’s policy-makers and matters for safeguarding European values such as equality, democracy and the rule of law. The current study presents policy options on the basis of a thorough analysis of current strengths and weaknesses ...

Traditional roles, content and methods of education are being challenged – today’s education needs to prepare students for changing tasks and roles both in the labour market and as European citizens. Rethinking education in the digital age should become a central matter for today’s policy-makers and matters for safeguarding European values such as equality, democracy and the rule of law. The current study presents policy options on the basis of a thorough analysis of current strengths and weaknesses, as well as future opportunities and threats for education in the digital age.

Externý autor

DG, EPRS_This study has been written by VDI Technologiezentrum GmbH at the request of the Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA) and managed by the Scientific Foresight Unit of the Directorate for Impact Assessment and European Added Value, within the Directorate-General for Parliamentary Research Services (EPRS) of the Secretariat of the European Parliament.

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CONT Public Hearing: Implementation of EU funds
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