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A snapshot of industry in Europe

December 19, 2014 Comments off

A snapshot of industry in Europe
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

This document draws on the recently published study How can European Industry contribute to Growth and Foster European Competitiveness?, aiming to complement it by presenting an overview of specific indicators that further illustrate the current situation of Europe’s industry.

Beginning with a snapshot of the distribution of employment by sector and the contribution of industry to the gross value added in the EU’s regions, it then goes on to chart medium- term developments in labour productivity and in industrial output across Member States. It looks at how manufacturing sectors with different technology levels have been affected during the crisis years. An analysis of the major manufacturing sectors follows, comparing performance in terms of turnover, employment and investment. It concludes with a picture of the exports of manufactured goods from Member States, both within the EU and with the rest of the world.

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Reforms to Help Meet the Growing Demand for Long-Term Care Services

December 18, 2014 Comments off

Reforms to Help Meet the Growing Demand for Long-Term Care Services
Source: Center for American Progress

Long-term care is a growing challenge in many countries, but this issue brief focuses specifically on Germany and the United States.

About 12 million elderly or disabled Americans rely on long-term care to help them with tasks ranging from eating and bathing to housekeeping and cooking.

The need for long-term care can arise at any age—about 40 percent of people who need this care are under age 65—but the doubling of the elderly population over the coming decades means a substantial increase in the number of people who will need long-term care. The first of the Baby Boom generation reached the traditional retirement age of 65 three years ago, and each day for the next 18 years, about 8,000 more Americans will reach that milestone. As dramatic as these numbers may seem, the U.S. population is aging at a slower pace than other industrialized nations: By 2050, 1 in 5 American residents will be ages 65 and older, as opposed to fewer than 1 in 7 today. Germany, on the other hand, is a particularly fast-aging society: Today, 1 in 5 German residents are already ages 65 and older, and almost 1 in 3 will be those ages by 2050. At the same time, the German workforce is shrinking, and its overall population is projected to decline by 13 percent by 2050.

And thanks to public health improvements and medical breakthroughs, millions of seniors in industrialized nations—including in the United States and Germany—are, on average, living longer and are healthier and more active during their retirement years. But the increased longevity of the senior population also means that millions more people are likely to need long-term care, especially as more seniors age into their 80s and beyond, when the rates of dementia and other cognitive and physical conditions increase. In addition, these conditions require more comprehensive, costly care. For instance, the rate of dementia is less than 1 percent for people under 65 years old, but it rapidly increases to more than 40 percent for those over 85 years old. By 2050, the annual number of new cases of Alzheimer’s is projected to more than double.

Together, these demographic changes have placed enormous pressure on the United States’ inadequate mechanisms for financing long-term supports and services. Policymakers should consider comprehensive changes that will enhance how we pay for these services, balancing public and private insurance with family and friend caregiving. Germany—with its even greater demographic challenges—has taken precisely this approach and therefore provides an illustrative example for the United States.

Global trade increasingly obstructed, EU Report says

December 18, 2014 Comments off

Global trade increasingly obstructed, EU Report says
Source: European Commission

The tendency to impose trade-restricting measures remains strong among the EU’s commercial partners, fuelling continuing uncertainty in the world economy. These are the main findings of the European Commission’s annual report on protectionism published today 17 November.

In the 13 months covered by the report, G20 members and other key EU trading partners adopted a total of 170 new trade-unfriendly measures. The countries that have adopted the most such measures were Russia, China, India and Indonesia. At the same time, only 12 pre-existing trade barriers have been removed. This means that hundreds of protectionist measures adopted since the beginning of the economic downturn continue to hamper world trade, despite the G20 commitment.

The number of measures applied at the border and quickly obstructing trade –already high last year – continued to rise, with Russia applying the highest number of individual measures affecting imports. The number of new exports restrictions has also risen, a trend that is particularly worrying. All countries depend on each other’s natural resources and such practices can have detrimental consequences for global commodity markets and value chains.

Countries also resorted more frequently to discriminatory internal taxation, technical regulations or localisation requirements to shield their markets from foreign competition. China introduced the highest number of such measures.

Investors and service providers also continue to be affected by limitations in access to foreign markets. Finally, the tendency to restrict participation of foreign companies in public tenders remains strong, in particular in the United States.

EU — Employment opportunities for people with chronic diseases

December 18, 2014 Comments off

Employment opportunities for people with chronic diseases
Source: Eurofound

This report examines employment opportunities for people with chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic respiratory disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, arthritis and mental health problems in the EU28 Member States and Norway. People with a chronic disease may have a reduced working capacity and experience difficulty staying at or returning to work. The report looks at the prevalence of people suffering from chronic diseases, their employment situation, uneven distribution among occupations and sectors, and working conditions. It looks at policies and measures adopted by governments, social partners and enterprises to improve employment prospects and working conditions of people with chronic diseases.

CRS — U.S. – EU Cooperation Against Terrorism (December 1, 2014)

December 17, 2014 Comments off

U.S. – EU Cooperation Against Terrorism (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via U.S. State Department Foreign Press Center)

The September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States and the subsequent revelation of Al Qaeda cells in Europe gave new momentum to European Union (EU) initiatives to combat terrorism and improve police, judicial, and intelligence cooperation among its member states. Other deadly incidents in Europe, such as the Madrid and London bombings in 2004 and 2005 respectively, injected further urgency into strengthening EU counterterrorism capabilities and reducing barriers among national law enforcement authorities so that information could be meaningfully shared and suspects apprehended expeditiously. Among other steps, the EU has established a common definition of terrorism and a common list of terrorist groups, an EU arrest warrant, enhanced tools to stem terrorist financing, and new measures to strengthen external EU border controls and improve transport security. Over the years, the EU has also encouraged member states to devote resources to countering radicalization and terrorist recruitment, issues that have been receiving renewed attention in light of growing European concerns about the possible threats posed by European fighters returning from the conflicts in Syria and Iraq.

The Economic Benefits from Air Transport in the UK

December 16, 2014 Comments off

The Economic Benefits from Air Transport in the UK
Source: Oxford Economics

This study, commissioned by leading players from the aviation and tourism sectors and published at the Annual Conference & Exhibition of the Airport Operators Association (AOA), the trade body for UK airports, on 10 November, shows that all three elements of the sector made a significant contribution to the UK economy.

It brings together data for airlines, airports and other ground-based infrastructure and aerospace manufacturing. It shows that aviation provides substantial economic benefits to the UK economy and its citizens, some of which are unique and essential to the operation of a modern economy.

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EU — Acquisition of citizenship statistics

December 16, 2014 Comments off

Acquisition of citizenship statistics
Source: Eurostat

This article presents recent statistics on the acquisition of citizenship in the European Union (EU).

In 2012, 818 100 people obtained citizenship of an EU-28 Member State, an increase of 4.0 % compared with 2011; More people had acquired the citizenship of an EU Member State than in any other year during the period from 2002 to 2011. The main contribution to the increase at EU level came from United Kingdom (+16 300), followed by Ireland (+14 300) and Sweden (+13 500). The increase in Ireland, however, is a consequence of the efforts in the past two years to reduce the backlog of citizenship applications.

Most new citizenships in 2012 were granted by the United Kingdom (193 900 or 24 %), Germany (114 600 or 14 %), France (96 100 or 12 %), Spain (94 100 or 12 %) and Italy (65 400 or 8.0 %).

Of those acquiring citizenship of an EU-28 Member State, 87 % had previously been citizens of non-EU countries. Of these, citizens of Morocco and Turkey made up the highest numbers, followed by citizens of India, Ecuador and Iraq.

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