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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.

Extern avdelning

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.

EU rules on administrative procedure - state of play

23-04-2020

What if smartphones could help contain COVID-19?

24-03-2020

In recent years, smartphones have increasingly attracted attention as a key tools in emergency and disaster situations. Almost all smartphones are nowadays equipped with GPS sensors that can track the location of their owners. Comparing the location history of infected individuals with the location history of all other Smartphone users (tested positive or not yet tested) could help health authorities gain much better understanding of where the transmission might have occurred, and who else should ...

In recent years, smartphones have increasingly attracted attention as a key tools in emergency and disaster situations. Almost all smartphones are nowadays equipped with GPS sensors that can track the location of their owners. Comparing the location history of infected individuals with the location history of all other Smartphone users (tested positive or not yet tested) could help health authorities gain much better understanding of where the transmission might have occurred, and who else should be tested with urgency, avoiding the further spread of the infection.

The European Commission package of ETIAS consequential amendments: Substitute impact assessment

20-12-2019

On 7 January 2019, the European Commission presented two proposals for amendments to the legal instruments of the EU information systems following the adoption of Regulation 2018/1240 on the establishment of a European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS). The ETIAS Regulation requires all visa-exempt non-EU nationals to apply online for travel authorisation prior to the date of their departure. Neither the original Commission proposal for ETIAS, nor the two subsequent proposals (‘ ...

On 7 January 2019, the European Commission presented two proposals for amendments to the legal instruments of the EU information systems following the adoption of Regulation 2018/1240 on the establishment of a European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS). The ETIAS Regulation requires all visa-exempt non-EU nationals to apply online for travel authorisation prior to the date of their departure. Neither the original Commission proposal for ETIAS, nor the two subsequent proposals (‘the Commission package’) were accompanied by Commission impact assessments. The European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) therefore requested a targeted substitute impact assessment of the expected fundamental rights impacts of specific elements of the Commission package. In particular, this study assesses: 1) whether the amendments to the ECRIS-TCN Regulation provided for in the Commission package extend the scope of that information system and, if so, whether such an extension is necessary and proportionate in accordance with Article 52(1) of the EU Charter; and 2) whether the amendments regarding the automated processing of ETIAS application files through comparisons against data present in EU information systems raise concerns in relation to the rights to respect for private life and protection of personal data.

Extern avdelning

This study has been written by Dr Niovi Vavoula from Queen Mary University of London at the request of the Ex-ante Impact Assessment 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.

Appraising the quality of the European Commission's impact assessments

18-12-2019

Based on a scoring exercise of 132 Commission Impact Assessments, adopted between July 2015 and December 2018, and their appraisal by the IMPA unit of the EPRS, this study provides a critical assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of these IAs. While their overall average quality is considered satisfactory, the analysis finds considerable variation between different parts of an IA. In view of contributing to future improvements of the IA process and promoting the value of IAs to support transparent ...

Based on a scoring exercise of 132 Commission Impact Assessments, adopted between July 2015 and December 2018, and their appraisal by the IMPA unit of the EPRS, this study provides a critical assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of these IAs. While their overall average quality is considered satisfactory, the analysis finds considerable variation between different parts of an IA. In view of contributing to future improvements of the IA process and promoting the value of IAs to support transparent political decision-making, this study indicates the main structural shortcomings to be addressed.

Extern avdelning

DG, EPRS

Outcome of the meetings of EU leaders, 12-13 December 2019

17-12-2019

At the first European Council meeting chaired by the new President, Charles Michel, the main issues on the agenda were climate change, the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), and the proposed Conference on the Future of Europe. Regarding climate change, the European Council announced an agreement on the objective of achieving a climate-neutral EU by 2050, despite the refusal of one Member State to commit to implementing this objective at this stage. On the MFF, the European Council did not ...

At the first European Council meeting chaired by the new President, Charles Michel, the main issues on the agenda were climate change, the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), and the proposed Conference on the Future of Europe. Regarding climate change, the European Council announced an agreement on the objective of achieving a climate-neutral EU by 2050, despite the refusal of one Member State to commit to implementing this objective at this stage. On the MFF, the European Council did not reach agreement, but mandated its President to take the negotiations forward. The European Council also considered the idea of a Conference on the Future of Europe, and tasked the in-coming Croatian Council presidency to work towards defining a Council position on the matter, and on that basis, to engage with the European Parliament and the Commission. EU leaders also discussed a wide range of international issues, including relations with Turkey and Russia.

European Institute of Innovation and Technology and its Strategic Innovation Agenda, 2021-2027

12-12-2019

The main objective of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) is to stimulate and support innovation and competitiveness in Europe. In this light, it is regrettable that the impacts on SMEs, competitiveness, or territorial impacts are not discussed in the impact assessment. The budget of the EIT under Horizon 2021-2027 proposal is EUR 3 billion. As most innovation activities managed by EIT take place in 5 countries only, improved regional outreach is one of the objectives of this ...

The main objective of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) is to stimulate and support innovation and competitiveness in Europe. In this light, it is regrettable that the impacts on SMEs, competitiveness, or territorial impacts are not discussed in the impact assessment. The budget of the EIT under Horizon 2021-2027 proposal is EUR 3 billion. As most innovation activities managed by EIT take place in 5 countries only, improved regional outreach is one of the objectives of this initiative. New activity - HEInnovate - is proposed to support entrepreneurial and innovation capacity of universities.

Payment service providers and the fight against e-commerce VAT fraud

24-10-2019

This briefing analyses the quality of the IA accompanying the Commission’s proposal to transmit payment service providers’ data to the national tax authorities of the EU Member States in order to combat cross-border e-commerce VAT fraud. The IA focuses on the economic impacts, namely the potential recovery of VAT loss by Member States, which is expected to outweigh the costs of the initiative (even though benefits and costs could not be quantified with certainty). Regional divergences are acknowledged ...

This briefing analyses the quality of the IA accompanying the Commission’s proposal to transmit payment service providers’ data to the national tax authorities of the EU Member States in order to combat cross-border e-commerce VAT fraud. The IA focuses on the economic impacts, namely the potential recovery of VAT loss by Member States, which is expected to outweigh the costs of the initiative (even though benefits and costs could not be quantified with certainty). Regional divergences are acknowledged in the IA, but not assessed. The IA also admits that a key assumption, the improved cooperation with third countries, remains uncertain (it could imply counterproductive trade diversion towards extra-EU areas).

Revision of the EU system for monitoring, reporting and verifying CO2 emissions from ships

18-10-2019

This initial appraisal assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment accompanying its proposals to revise the EU system to monitor, report, and verify CO2 emissions from ships, established by Regulation (EU) 2015/757. The proposal envisages aligning partially the EU system with the system adopted by the International Maritime Organization to monitor and report ship's fuel oil consumption. While the IA clearly identifies the problem – to facilitate the simultaneous ...

This initial appraisal assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment accompanying its proposals to revise the EU system to monitor, report, and verify CO2 emissions from ships, established by Regulation (EU) 2015/757. The proposal envisages aligning partially the EU system with the system adopted by the International Maritime Organization to monitor and report ship's fuel oil consumption. While the IA clearly identifies the problem – to facilitate the simultaneous application of the EU and IMO systems – its evolution could have been substantiated further. The general objectives identified by the IA are not entirely consistent with the manner in which the problem was defined; furthermore, there are no specific objectives, contrary to the requirements of the Better Regulation guidelines. The operational objective identified is not defined in operational terms. The only two options considered for further assessment, in addition to the baseline, do not appear to be substantially very different from each other, with the third option even being judged artificial by the Commission’s Regulatory Scrutiny Board. Moreover, the IA does not appear to have succeeded in structuring these two options convincingly. The analysis regarding the impacts of the identified options is very succinct. The Commission consulted a wide range of stakeholders, whose views were satisfactorily reported in the IA and were taken into account when considering the policy options. Overall, the IA appears to have taken on board most of the RSB's recommendations. However, the final revision of the IA report does not appear to have quantified the cost savings of the preferred option, as demanded by the RSB, and still contains Option 3, which the RSB had recommended to discard. As the IA does not explain how it has addressed the Board's suggestion regarding Option 3, it is unclear whether any changes were made to it or it was left untouched. Finally, the legislative proposal seems to be substantially consistent with the analysis carried out in the IA.

The European Council's role in the EU policy cycle

02-09-2019

Since its establishment in 1975, the European Council, which is made up of the Since its establishment in 1975, the European Council, which is made up of the Heads of State or Government of EU Member States, has wielded considerable influence over the development of the European Union. According to the Treaties, the European Council's primary role is to 'define the general political directions and priorities' (Article 15(1) of the Treaty on European Union). This role has rapidly evolved over the ...

Since its establishment in 1975, the European Council, which is made up of the Since its establishment in 1975, the European Council, which is made up of the Heads of State or Government of EU Member States, has wielded considerable influence over the development of the European Union. According to the Treaties, the European Council's primary role is to 'define the general political directions and priorities' (Article 15(1) of the Treaty on European Union). This role has rapidly evolved over the past decade, and today the European Council's involvement in the EU policy cycle is much broader, covering tasks from agenda-setting to exercising scrutiny. In practice, its activities often exceed the role envisaged in the Treaties. This level of involvement has a significant impact both on the role of the other EU institutions within the policy cycle and the functioning of the ordinary legislative procedure.

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