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Artificial intelligence (AI) has been under the limelight of so strong political and social debate that its suitability for its main original purpose of improving supply chain efficiency may come up as a surprise; but, what if, under the actual situation of stress artificial intelligence really can provide solutions for strategic sectors significan…
 
Culture plays a fundamental role in human life. It is also an essential source of identity, at local, regional, national and European levels, while making a significant contribution to the EU economy. EU cultural policy relates to cultural heritage, but also to the cultural and creative sector. The EU supports culture through a variety of initiativ…
 
The EU solar energy strategy proposed under the REPowerEU plan aims to make solar energy a cornerstone of the EU energy system. Boosting renewable energy is also an important part of the European Green Deal in the context of the green transition towards climate neutrality. Solar energy is affordable, clean and has been the fastest-growing energy so…
 
Inflation is defined as a process of continuously rising prices and falling purchasing power. In other words, a general and broad-based increase in the price of goods and services over an extended period. The main objective of central banks is to keep prices stable, to preserve the integrity and purchasing power of people's money. The most common i…
 
Demographic, socio-political and economic pressures have made eating meat an unsustainable practice for the long term. However, meat substitutes have proved unpopular, owing to social norms and a lack of trust; some alternatives also contribute heavily to climate change. Could microbial protein be a sustainable alternative to meat that not only sol…
 
The last two decades have been marked by the unprecedented development of the online world. This has provided new opportunities for citizens to access political information, discuss issues, and engage in politics, as well as new possibilities for political actors to influence public opinion, mobilise people and organise electoral campaigns. #Future…
 
Defined by the International Energy Agency as 'reliable, affordable access to all fuels and energy sources', energy security is vital to the EU's economy. However, lacking sufficient energy reserves of its own, the EU is critically dependent on imports. Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 disrupted gas supplies to Europe. The European Com…
 
Extreme weather events, including deadly floods in Germany and Belgium, and wildfires in Greece, Italy and France, shook Europe in 2021. Yet such events can no longer be considered rarities, as the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events has been increasing over recent decades. Scientists have linked these increases to the human-induced g…
 
The fifth generation of communication technologies, known as 5G, is fundamental to achieving a European gigabit society by 2025. But how will this affect our health and that of our children? Is 5G really safe? https://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document.html?reference=EPRS_BRI(2020)646172 Source: © European Union - EP…
 
The Commission proposes, Parliament and Council decide … has been the traditional approach to law-making in the European Union, until now … But the increasing need to put the citizens' voice at the heart of EU law-making, giving the European Parliament greater power to propose laws, is challenging this assumption and could open the door to a more d…
 
Key to a fair single market, EU rules do not allow State aid, unless it is used to promote general economic development, for example, when tackling the challenges of global competition or the ongoing financial crisis … The European Parliament agrees with this general principle, but calls for less and better targeted state aid in the future. https:/…
 
The rapid growth of genetic databases worldwide, coupled with fast-decreasing costs and increased technological speed, has raised the possibility of every human genome on Earth being sequenced within this century. This brings to the forefront ethical and legal questions on data privacy and ownership. While a world genomic database would revolutioni…
 
The EU has contributed to creating the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), established in 2015, as part of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and takes action to implement them through its internal and external policies, as outlined in the 'Towards a Sustainable Europe by 2030' reflection paper, the European Green Deal, the European …
 
At least one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the UN will be missed in 2030 – SDG 2 – 'zero hunger'. Hunger and malnutrition are rising dramatically across the world, a trend aggravated by the pandemic. In 2020, 811 million people in the world were facing hunger, the highest level since 2014. In the EU itself, considered one of…
 
SDG 14 on 'life below water' focuses on the sustainability of the oceans, recognising their essential role in life on our planet. Oceans contain 80 % of all life forms, produce more than 50 % of the Earth's oxygen and play a central role in regulating the climate. In addition, the 'blue economy' provides 4.5 million direct jobs in the EU. To manage…
 
In 2015, the United Nations adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to be attained by 2030. The SDGs and the broader 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, of which they form the core, are based on findings that human activities have triggered dramatic changes in the conditions on Earth (climate change and biodiversity loss), which in t…
 
Rising sea levels place coastal cities under constant threat. An estimated 250 million people currently live on land below projected annual flood levels, often in coastal cities such as London, Lagos, Mumbai or Shanghai; and this number may rise to 630 million by the end of the century. An additional 318 million people have been displaced since 201…
 
The European Union already has an outstanding level of social security compared to the rest of the world. While the EU constitutes less than 6 % of the world's population and 20 % of global gross domestic profit (GDP), it accounts for at least 40 % of global public spending on social protection. According to Eurostat, In the EU-27 in 2020, expendit…
 
European industry is central when it comes to achieving the twin green and digital transition of the EU's economy and society, and making Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. While European industry has strengths (for instance in green tech), it has lagged behind in some key strategic sectors. Common weaknesses in strategic European …
 
The war on Ukraine is the latest manifestation of Russia's revisionist policy over the past decade. Russia has increasingly been using hybrid warfare tactics to assert its international position and gain 'strategic leverage'. Russia has used both non-conventional and conventional warfare tactics in conflicts in the EU's neighbourhood, in particular…
 
The most serious risks are both complex and complicated. Multiple risks can also arise together. We have recent examples of risks that became reality, and that had an impact on society, economy and political life together. This strengthens the case for cross-sectoral monitoring and cross-sectoral strategies. In this podcast, we’ll give you an overv…
 
The FuelEU Maritime regulation seeks to steer the EU maritime sector towards decarbonisation. The proposal sets up a fuel standard for ships and introduces a requirement for the most polluting ship types to use onshore electricity when at berth. It puts the responsibility for compliance on the shipping company. The legislative outcome of this propo…
 
On 17 November 2021, the European Commission tabled a proposal to revise EU rules governing shipments of waste. The proposed regulation aims at easing shipments of waste for reuse and recycling in the EU, to support the transition to a circular economy; ensuring that waste exported from the EU is managed in an environmentally sound manner in the de…
 
Managing the risks of the Covid-19 pandemic remains a challenge. While EU vaccination rates have reached three quarters of the population, new SARS-CoV-2 variants keep emerging in the EU. Although these variants appear to be generally less severe, they still pose challenges to health systems. The implementation of a globally effective vaccine strat…
 
The EU Temporary Protection Directive enables EU Member States to move rapidly to offer protection and rights to people in need of immediate protection and to avoid overwhelming national asylum systems in cases of mass arrivals of displaced persons. Although invoked several times in the past, the directive has never been activated before. Russia's …
 
Automated decision-making by systems that use machine learning to dynamically improve performance are still seen as lacking the 'human perspective' and flexibility to adapt to the particular nuances of specific cases. But perhaps, as they lack the 'cunning' to hide their biases, automated systems actually make fairer decisions than do humans, when …
 
In an unprecedented and unanimous reaction to the Russian war on Ukraine that began on 24 February 2022, the EU swiftly decided to provide €500 million from the European Peace Facility to fund and coordinate EU military assistance and to deliver military (including lethal) equipment to Ukraine. The Council had already adopted an assistance measure …
 
The EU taxonomy is a classification system that aims to channel public and private investment into environmentally sustainable economic activities in order to achieve environmental objectives, such as those in the fight against climate change. It establishes a dynamic list of economic activities considered to be environmentally sustainable, provide…
 
Over the past decade, space has gained increasing importance as an economic sector offering opportunities for established and emerging markets. Space policies and their applications have also gained in political relevance due to their capacity to tackle global challenges, such as the climate and biodiversity crises, but also due to the growing reli…
 
Equal pay for equal work is one of the European Union's founding principles, enshrined in Article 157 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). However, the implementation and enforcement of this principle remain a challenge. Due to a lack of pay transparency, pay discrimination often goes undetected and victims face difficulti…
 
Precise figures about the numbers of illegal firearms in the European Union (EU) are lacking, but several indicators point to their widespread availability and accessibility. According to the Small Arms Survey, over half of the estimated total number of firearms held by civilians in the EU in 2017 were unlicensed. While most of these citizens had n…
 
As part of the 'Fit for 55' package, the Commission is proposing a revision to the EU's emissions trading system (ETS) as regards carbon dioxide emissions from aviation. The proposal seeks to ensure that the sector contributes to the EU's climate targets through increased auctioning of allowances, with an end to free allowances from 2027, and by ap…
 
As part of the 'Fit for 55' package, the Commission presented a legislative proposal to review the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS). The aim of the review is to align the EU ETS Directive with the EU target set out in the European Climate Law to reduce net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 55 % by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. To this end, the am…
 
While killing all microorganisms in our bodies may seem tempting to some germaphobes, scientific evidence indicates that beneficial microorganisms (that live in nearly ubiquitous communities called microbiota) are an essential component of human health, and could form a new frontier for personalised medicine to fight non-communicable diseases and i…
 
Green bonds are committed to financing or re-financing investments, projects, expenditure or assets helping to address climate and environmental issues. Both governments and companies use them to finance the transition to a more sustainable and low-carbon economy. Since the EIB inaugurated the green bond market in 2007 with its Climate Awareness Bo…
 
On 20 July 2021, the European Commission presented a package of legislative proposals in the area of anti-money-laundering efforts and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT). The package includes a proposal for a regulation on preventing the use of the financial system for money laundering or terrorist financing. The proposed regulation wo…
 
The European Commission has announced the establishment of a 'right to repair', with a view of saving costs for consumers and facilitating the development of a circular economy. The right to repair may refer to different issues and situations: repair during the legal guarantee, the right to repair after the legal guarantee has expired, and the righ…
 
Payment systems are of vital importance for today's economies and are the core activity of central banks. To adapt to recent trends – including the decline in cash usage, the surge in online commerce and contactless forms of payment, and the creation of cryptocurrencies – central banks have, in recent years, explored the possibility of issuing digi…
 
On 23 September 2021, the European Commission adopted a legislative proposal to amend the 2014 Radio Equipment Directive, as a first step towards mandating a common charger for mobile phones and other small portable devices. Under the proposal, these devices would have to be equipped with a USB Type-C receptacle that can be charged with cables comp…
 
Following the first successful organ transplant in 1954, this procedure has become increasingly prevalent as it has revolutionised the treatment of end-stage organ failure. Nevertheless, organ shortage remains a critical problem which could potentially be overcome with xenotransplantation, regarded a promising alternative approach. In this podcast,…
 
The growing importance of global supply chains has fundamentally changed the way the global economy and goods manufacturing are organised. While trade conducted through global supply chains has fallen somewhat as a share of total trade since the 2008-2010 global financial and economic crisis, more than two-thirds of international trade still involv…
 
The fit for 55 package is part of the Commission's European Green Deal, which aims to set the EU firmly on the path towards net zero GHG emissions (climate neutrality) by 2050. The fit for 55 package includes a regulation establishing a new social climate fund (SCF). The aim of the SCF is to help vulnerable households, micro-businesses and transpor…
 
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