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The ethics of artificial intelligence: Issues and initiatives

11-03-2020

This study deals with the ethical implications and moral questions that arise from the development and implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. It also reviews the guidelines and frameworks that countries and regions around the world have created to address these. It presents a comparison between the current main frameworks and the main ethical issues, and highlights gaps around mechanisms of fair benefit sharing; assigning of responsibility; exploitation of workers; energy demands ...

This study deals with the ethical implications and moral questions that arise from the development and implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. It also reviews the guidelines and frameworks that countries and regions around the world have created to address these. It presents a comparison between the current main frameworks and the main ethical issues, and highlights gaps around mechanisms of fair benefit sharing; assigning of responsibility; exploitation of workers; energy demands in the context of environmental and climate changes; and more complex and less certain implications of AI, such as those regarding human relationships.

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DG, EPRS This study has been drafted by Eleanor Bird, Jasmin Fox-Skelly, Nicola Jenner, Ruth Larbey, Emma Weitkamp and Alan Winfield from the Science Communication Unit at the University of the West of England, 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.

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).

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.

European arrest warrant

19-02-2020

The European Arrest Warrant has led to simplified and faster surrender procedures for suspects and sentenced persons. However, trust in the system needs to be enhanced through proper implementation and further harmonisation of substantive and procedural criminal law.

The European Arrest Warrant has led to simplified and faster surrender procedures for suspects and sentenced persons. However, trust in the system needs to be enhanced through proper implementation and further harmonisation of substantive and procedural criminal law.

Parliament's right of legislative initiative

12-02-2020

The European Commission has a near monopoly on legislative initiative in the European Union (EU), with special initiative rights for other institutions applying only in certain specific cases. However, the European Parliament and the Council may invite the Commission to submit legislative proposals. Whilst this 'indirect' initiative right does not create an obligation on the Commission to propose the legislation requested, the Treaty of Lisbon codified the Commission's obligation to provide reasons ...

The European Commission has a near monopoly on legislative initiative in the European Union (EU), with special initiative rights for other institutions applying only in certain specific cases. However, the European Parliament and the Council may invite the Commission to submit legislative proposals. Whilst this 'indirect' initiative right does not create an obligation on the Commission to propose the legislation requested, the Treaty of Lisbon codified the Commission's obligation to provide reasons for any refusal to follow a parliamentary initiative. Against this backdrop, some argue that Parliament could take the Commission to the Court of Justice of the EU if it fails to justify a negative decision. Others see Parliament's increasing participation in overall political planning – particularly through negotiations on the Commission's annual work programme (CWP) – as a further channel for Parliament to increase its influence on EU legislation. It is thus argued that the increased role of Parliament in the legislative procedure should have reduced the need for its Members to make use of legislative initiatives. Notwithstanding that, there is a trend towards greater use of formal parliamentary legislative initiatives to assert greater influence on the political process. Most recently, in her inaugural address in July 2019 and in her Political Guidelines, the then newly elected President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, pledged to strengthen the partnership with the European Parliament, inter alia, by responding with a proposal for a legislative act whenever Parliament, acting by a majority of its members, adopts a resolution requesting that the Commission submit legislative proposals. She added that this commitment would have to be in full respect of the proportionality, subsidiarity and better law-making principles. President von der Leyen also declared herself supportive of moves towards recognition of a right for Parliament of legislative initiative. This briefing is an update of a European Parliament Library briefing from 2013, by Eva-Maria Poptcheva.

Ten issues to watch in 2020

06-01-2020

This is the fourth edition of an annual EPRS publication designed to identify and frame some of the key issues and policy areas that are likely to feature prominently on the political agenda of the European Union over the coming year. The topics analysed are biodiversity, EU policies for children, the 5G era, the price for energy transition, 'gamification' of EU democracy, finding solutions for asylum policy, the EU's long-term budget, climate action, the US elections, and the Arctic.

This is the fourth edition of an annual EPRS publication designed to identify and frame some of the key issues and policy areas that are likely to feature prominently on the political agenda of the European Union over the coming year. The topics analysed are biodiversity, EU policies for children, the 5G era, the price for energy transition, 'gamification' of EU democracy, finding solutions for asylum policy, the EU's long-term budget, climate action, the US elections, and the Arctic.

Election of the European Ombudsman

10-12-2019

In December, the European Parliament is set to elect the European Ombudsman for the new parliamentary term following a public hearing of the candidates by the Committee on Petitions (PETI). Five candidates are running: Giuseppe Fortunato (Italy), Ombudsman of the Campania Region; Julia Laffranque (Estonia), judge at the European Court of Human Rights; Nils Muižnieks (Latvia), former Commissioner for Human Rights at the Council of Europe; Emily O'Reilly (Ireland), the incumbent Ombudsman (since 2014 ...

In December, the European Parliament is set to elect the European Ombudsman for the new parliamentary term following a public hearing of the candidates by the Committee on Petitions (PETI). Five candidates are running: Giuseppe Fortunato (Italy), Ombudsman of the Campania Region; Julia Laffranque (Estonia), judge at the European Court of Human Rights; Nils Muižnieks (Latvia), former Commissioner for Human Rights at the Council of Europe; Emily O'Reilly (Ireland), the incumbent Ombudsman (since 2014); and Cecilia Wikström (Sweden), former MEP and Chair of the PETI committee.

The European Council under the Lisbon Treaty: How has the institution evolved since 2009?

04-12-2019

On 1 December 2009, with the coming into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, the European Council became a formal EU institution. Ten years later, the European Council is seen by many as representing the centre of gravity of the EU's institutional framework. However, was this development purely the result of the changes to the Treaties made with Lisbon or did it happen naturally over time? This study analyses both the formal changes brought about by the Lisbon Treaty and the incremental evolution resulting ...

On 1 December 2009, with the coming into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, the European Council became a formal EU institution. Ten years later, the European Council is seen by many as representing the centre of gravity of the EU's institutional framework. However, was this development purely the result of the changes to the Treaties made with Lisbon or did it happen naturally over time? This study analyses both the formal changes brought about by the Lisbon Treaty and the incremental evolution resulting from the institution's day-to-day practice, including the European Council's behaviour during the various crises of the last decade. It outlines the responsibilities envisaged for the European Council in the Treaty and the informal roles it has taken on over time. It explores the extent to which the Lisbon Treaty changed the functioning of the European Council, and how EU leaders themselves tried to optimise the working methods of their institution. Special attention is to the new position of full-time European Council President and the way in which the first two incumbents have interpreted their office. The analysis concludes that, while the EU’s various crises strongly contributed to the rise of the European Council, the Lisbon Treaty united two previously separate dimensions – the political and the legal, formally adding new competences to the role already performed by the EU Heads of State or Government. Many of these competences have yet to be fully exploited and represent a rich seam of unused Treaty potential for the future.

Preparing the Conference on the Future of Europe

03-12-2019

After the many debates and declarations of principles on the future of Europe of recent years, the time for a more structured reflection on the future of Europe's development has arrived. The new President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen has pledged to establish a Conference on the Future of Europe, in an effort to give new impulse to European construction and bring Europe closer to citizens. At this stage, details of this initiative are still up for discussion. For Dubravka Šuica ...

After the many debates and declarations of principles on the future of Europe of recent years, the time for a more structured reflection on the future of Europe's development has arrived. The new President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen has pledged to establish a Conference on the Future of Europe, in an effort to give new impulse to European construction and bring Europe closer to citizens. At this stage, details of this initiative are still up for discussion. For Dubravka Šuica, the Commissioner who will take charge of the process, the inclusion of all citizens' voices will be an essential characteristic of the Conference. However, how to ensure that European citizens are properly represented remains to be clarified. Preparation of the Conference, in von der Leyen's approach, will follow three steps: first, the elaboration of the concept, structure, timing and scope with Parliament and Council; then, design of a means to ensure that citizens participate as much as possible, including by fostering online participation for younger people; and last, making sure that appropriate follow-up is provided to the actions agreed by the Conference. The Parliament has created a working group to contribute to the design of the Conference, in particular in respect of its structure, with a view to a vote in plenary. Parliament's Committee on Constitutional Affairs (AFCO) has also launched discussions, confirming the eagerness of Parliament and its political bodies to play an active part from the beginning of this process. The Conference on the Future of Europe should be an excellent opportunity to engage in more structured debate, with the intention to find concrete proposals to improve the way in which the EU works not only in terms of institutional dynamics, but also of its policies. Some have however cautioned that the initiative needs to be carried out with the utmost care, in particular on the follow-up to be given to its outcomes, so that it can remain a meaningful endeavour.

Commitments made at the hearing of Maroš ŠEFČOVIČ, Vice-President-designate - Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight

22-11-2019

This briefing includes a series of quotes, which make reference to the oral commitments made during the hearing of Vice-President-designate for Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight Maroš Šefčovič.

This briefing includes a series of quotes, which make reference to the oral commitments made during the hearing of Vice-President-designate for Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight Maroš Šefčovič.

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