Archive

Archive for the ‘Europe’ Category

Ofcom has today published research on consumer attitudes and trends in violence shown on UK TV programmes

July 21, 2014 Comments off

Ofcom has today published research on consumer attitudes and trends in violence shown on UK TV programmes
Source: Ofcom

Ofcom has today published research on consumer attitudes and trends in violence shown on UK TV programmes.

The research supports Ofcom in its role in protecting TV viewers, especially children. It looks at how violence on TV has changed since Ofcom issued guidelines to broadcasters in 2011 to avoid programmes being shown before 9pm that might be unsuitable for children.

The research comprises two separate reports. The first study focused on public attitudes towards violence on TV among people from a range of ages and socio-economic groups.

The second was an analysis of four popular UK soap operas, which looked at instances of violence, or threats of violence, and people’s views on them.

About these ads

EU — Fighting fraud: Major progress in anti-fraud policy but Member States must do more to combat fraud

July 18, 2014 Comments off

Fighting fraud: Major progress in anti-fraud policy but Member States must do more to combat fraud
Source: European Commission

Member States must step up their work to prevent, detect and report fraud affecting EU funds, according to the Commission’s annual report on the protection of financial interests (PIF report). The report sets out detailed recommendations on areas that national authorities should particularly focus on in this respect. The report finds that detected fraud in EU spending accounts for less than 0.2% of all funds. Nevertheless, the Commission believes that greater efforts at national level both on combatting and detecting fraud should be deployed. The annual PIF report therefore recommends, amongst other things, that Member States review their controls to ensure they are risk-based and well-targeted.

On the positive side, the report notes that good progress is being made at national level to implement new rules and policies which will strengthen the fight against fraud in the years ahead. Moreover, at EU level, the past 5 years have seen major advances in shaping a stronger anti-fraud landscape. These initiatives can have a marked impact on fraud levels, once they are fully implemented.

Crime in England and Wales, Year Ending March 2014

July 18, 2014 Comments off

Crime in England and Wales, Year Ending March 2014
Source: Office for National Statistics

Key points

  • Latest figures from the CSEW show there were an estimated 7.3 million incidents of crime against households and resident adults (aged 16 and over) in England and Wales for the year ending March 2014. This represents a 14% decrease compared with the previous year’s survey, and is the lowest estimate since the survey began in 1981.
  • The CSEW covers a broad range of victim based crimes and includes crimes which do not come to the attention of the police. Decreases were evident for most major crime types compared with the previous year; violence saw a 20% fall, criminal damage fell by 17%, and theft offences decreased by 10%.
  • In contrast, police recorded crime shows no overall change from the previous year, with 3.7 million offences recorded in the year ending March 2014. Prior to this police recorded crime figures have shown year on year reductions since 2002/03.
  • While both series have shown falls in crime since 2002/03, police recorded crime has fallen at a faster rate than the survey, particularly between 2006/07 and 2011/12. This has raised questions about the quality of crime recording by the police.
  • For the most recent year this pattern has changed with the recorded crime series showing a similar level of crime compared with the previous year while the survey continues to fall. The renewed focus on the quality of crime recording by the police is likely to have prompted improved compliance with crime recording standards in some police forces, leading to a higher proportion of reported crimes being recorded. This is thought to have particularly impacted the police recorded figures for violence against the person (up 6%) and public order offences (up 2%).
  • The number of police recorded shoplifting offences showed a 7% increase compared with the previous year. Anecdotal evidence from police forces suggests that this rise is likely to be a result of a genuine increase in crime rather than any change in recording practice.
  • There was also a large increase in the volume of fraud recorded (17% year on year), though it is difficult to judge to what extent that reflected an improvement in recording practices, an increase in public reports or a rise in actual criminality.
  • Sexual offences recorded by the police saw a 20% rise from the previous year and continues the pattern seen in recent publications. This rise is related to the effect of the Operation Yewtree investigation, connected to the Jimmy Savile inquiry, whereby more victims are coming forward to report offences to the police. Improved compliance with the recording standards for sexual offences in some police forces may also be a factor.

The Future of Driving in Developing Countries

July 17, 2014 Comments off

The Future of Driving in Developing Countries
Source: RAND Corporation

The level of automobility, defined as travel in personal vehicles, is often seen as a function of income: The higher a country’s per capita income, the greater the amount of driving. However, levels of automobility vary quite substantially between countries even at similar levels of economic development. This suggests that countries follow different mobility paths. The research detailed in this report sought to answer three questions: What are the factors besides economic development that affect automobility? What is their influence on automobility? What will happen to automobility in developing countries if they progress along similar paths as developed countries? To answer these questions, the authors developed a methodology to identify these factors, model their impact on developed countries, and forecast automobility (as defined by per capita vehicle-kilometers traveled [VKT]) in four developing countries. This methodology draws on quantitative analysis of historical automobility development in four country case studies (the United States, Australia, Germany, and Japan) that represent very different levels of per capita automobility, in combination with data derived from an expert-based qualitative approach. The authors used the latter to assess how these experiences may affect the future of automobility in the BRIC countries: Brazil, Russia, India, and China. According to this analysis, automobility levels in the four BRIC countries will fall between those of the United States (which has the highest per capita VKT level of the four case studies) and Japan (which has the lowest). Brazil is forecasted to have the highest per capita VKT and India the lowest.

Gender and time allocation of cohabiting and married women and men in France, Italy, and the United States

July 17, 2014 Comments off

Gender and time allocation of cohabiting and married women and men in France, Italy, and the United States
Source: Demographic Research

Background:
Women, who generally do more unpaid and less paid work than men, have greater incentives to stay in marriages than cohabiting unions, which generally carry fewer legal protections for individuals that wish to dissolve their relationship. The extent to which cohabitation is institutionalized, however, is a matter of policy and varies substantially by country. The gender gap in paid and unpaid work between married and cohabiting individuals should be larger in countries where cohabitation is less institutionalized and where those in cohabiting relationships have relatively fewer legal protections should the relationship dissolve, yet few studies have explored this variation.

Objective:
Using time diary data from France, Italy, and the United States, we assess the time men and women devote to paid and unpaid work in cohabiting and married couples. These three countries provide a useful diversity in marital regimes for examining these expectations: France, where cohabitation is most “marriage like” and where partnerships can be registered and carry legal rights; the United States, where cohabitation is common but is short-lived and unstable and where legal protections vary across states; and Italy, where cohabitation is not common and where such unions are not legally acknowledged and less socially approved than in either France or the United States.

Results:
Cohabitating men’s and women’s time allocated to market and nonmarket work is generally more similar than married men and women. Our expectations about country differences are only partially borne out by the findings. Greater gender differences in the time allocated to market and nonmarket work are found in Italy relative to either France or the U.S.

CRS — The United Kingdom and U.S.-UK Relations (updated)

July 16, 2014 Comments off

The United Kingdom and U.S.-UK Relations (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via University of North Texas Digital Library)

Many U.S. officials and Members of Congress view the United Kingdom (UK) as the United States’ closest and most reliable ally. This perception stems from a combination of factors, including a sense of shared history, values, and culture, as well as extensive and long-established cooperation on a wide range of foreign policy and security issues. In the minds of many Americans, the UK’s strong role in Iraq and Afghanistan during the past decade reinforced an impression of closeness and solidarity.

UK Consumers Open to Pure Digital Banks, According to Accenture Survey

July 16, 2014 Comments off

UK Consumers Open to Pure Digital Banks, According to Accenture Survey (PDF)
Source: Accenture

One-quarter (25 percent) of UK consumers would consider using a pure digital bank – a bank with no branches or call centres that is only accessible via laptops and mobile devices, according to the latest survey of UK current account customers conducted by Accenture (NYSE: ACN).

Customers aged 25 to 34 are most keen on the idea of a pure digital, branchless bank; 33 percent would consider using one, while the youngest group of bank customers – those aged 18 to 24 – are the least receptive, with only 22 percent saying they would consider it.

Based on interviews with more than 3,600 UK current account holders, the survey points to continuing growth in the use of digital banking channels. It shows that 80 percent of customers went online at least once a month to interact with their banks, while monthly mobile banking usage has risen to 27 percent of customers compared with 21 percent in 2012 and 10 percent in 2011.

However, the survey also points to a rise in customers using branches. According to the survey, the number of customers going into a branch at least once a month has risen from 45 percent in 2012 to 52 percent this year, with the most pronounced increase among customers aged 18 to 24. Fifty-four percent of the youngest group, say they visit their bank branch each month compared to 39 percent of the same group in 2012.

UK Wages Over the Past Four Decades, 2014

July 15, 2014 Comments off

UK Wages Over the Past Four Decades, 2014
Source: Office for National Statistics

This report looks at changes in earnings in the UK over the past forty years. It makes use of distributional and cohort analysis to assess the impact of the recession on real earnings as well as looking at the impact of the introduction of the national minimum wage.

UK — What Does the 2011 Census Tell Us About Inter-ethnic Relationships?

July 11, 2014 Comments off

What Does the 2011 Census Tell Us About Inter-ethnic Relationships?
Source: Office for National Statistics

Key Points

  • Nearly 1 in 10 people (9% or 2.3 million) who were living as part of a couple were in an inter-ethnic relationship in England and Wales in 2011. This has increased from 7% in 2001.
  • People from the Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups were most likely to be in an inter-ethnic relationship (85%).
  • Outside the Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups, White Irish (71%), Other Black (62%) and Gypsy or Irish Travellers (50%) were the most likely to be in an inter-ethnic relationship.
  • White British (4%) were least likely to be in inter-ethnic relationships, followed by Bangladeshi (7%), Pakistani (9%) and Indian (12%) ethnic groups.
  • The biggest difference between the sexes was found with the Chinese group, where women were almost twice as likely (39%) to be in an inter-ethnic relationship as men (20%).
  • Of all people in inter-ethnic relationships, 4 in 10 (40%) included someone who was White British – the most common being between Other White and White British (16%).
  • People who were married (or in a civil partnership) were less likely to be in an inter-ethnic relationship than people who were co-habiting (8% compared with 12%).
  • Some 7% of dependent children lived in a household with an inter-ethnic relationship.
  • Pakistani (3%), Indian (3%) and Bangladeshi (2%) dependent children were least likely to live in a household with an inter-ethnic relationship.

National Funding of Road Infrastructure

July 10, 2014 Comments off

National Funding of Road Infrastructure
Source: Law Library of Congress

This report examines the funding of roads and highways in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, England and Wales, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, South Africa, and Sweden. It provides a description of the infrastructure in the jurisdiction, information on the ownership and responsibility of the roads, and taxes or other ways of collecting money to fund the nation’s infrastructure. If applicable, a discussion of reforms or new initiatives is examined.

EU spending on renewable energy needs improvements to enhance its contribution to policy goals, say EU Auditors

July 10, 2014 Comments off

EU spending on renewable energy needs improvements to enhance its contribution to policy goals, say EU Auditors
Source: European Court of Auditors

EU spending on renewable energy needs improvements to enhance its contribution to policy goals, say EU Auditors.

A report published today by the European Court of Auditors (ECA) reveals that improvements are needed if EU funding is to make the maximum possible contribution to achieving the 2020 renewable energy target. The EU auditors examined whether funds in that period had been allocated to well prioritised, cost-effective and mature renewable energy generation projects with rational objectives and to what extent these funds had achieved good results in contributing to the EU 2020 target for energy from renewable sources.

+ Full Report (PDF)

In Pursuit of Health Equity: Comparing U.S. and EU Approaches to Eliminating Disparities

July 8, 2014 Comments off

In Pursuit of Health Equity: Comparing U.S. and EU Approaches to Eliminating Disparities
Source: Urban institute

Researchers compare and contrast the U.S. public policy approach to tackling the problem of health disparities with the European approach in this paper. They begin by providing an overview of the ways in which the issue of health disparities has been framed in American and European policy discourse. They next compare how health disparities have been addressed in policy statements produced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and by the European Commission, the executive body of the European Union. In so doing, they seek to illuminate implicit choices that stand to have a bearing on the outcomes of these initiatives.

EU — Student support crucial for offsetting impact of university tuition fees, says report

July 7, 2014 Comments off

Student support crucial for offsetting impact of university tuition fees, says report
Source: European Commission

When balanced with student support, increased tuition fees do not have an overall negative impact on enrolments in higher education, even among students from lower socio-economic groups, unless the magnitude of change is exceptional. However increases in fees can result in falling enrolments among older students, according to an international study released by the European Commission today. The report underlines that grants and/or loans are crucial for offsetting negative consequences of fees or fee rises on university enrolments, particularly from vulnerable groups.

The Commission-funded study, carried out by independent researchers, analysed the impact of changes in student fees in nine countries with different models of funding over the past 15 years (Austria, Canada, UK-England, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Portugal and South Korea).

EU — Think Tank Review — Issue 14/2014

June 30, 2014 Comments off

Think Tank Review — Issue 14/2014
Source: General Secretariat of the Council of the EU (Central Library)

The June Think Tank Review is out, referencing papers published in May 2014.

As could be expected, a large share of the think tank papers published last May were devoted to the European elections. We found analyses of rising parties, maps of the networks among anti-EU parties, assessments of the impact of the top candidates and views on social media in the campaign. Partly related to the elections, we also found several papers elaborating on surveys and opinion polls. In addition, most EU think tanks and the major political foundations had papers on the Banking Union compromise reached in March.

Among the other focal points this month: energy policy and gas supply, the 10th anniversary of the 2004 enlargement, and the UK relationship with the EU. On the latter, we note a project at the German Council on Foreign Relations with views from various Member States. Among the many papers on migration and asylum, we note a series of case studies on migrants’ outcome on national labour markets. In the external relations section, Ukraine features prominently once again, with many think tanks putting forward wide-ranging measures for the country, from deployment of a joint stabilization force to constitutionally-sanctioned neutrality.

EU — Social entrepreneurship: new standard to measure social impact

June 27, 2014 Comments off

Social entrepreneurship: new standard to measure social impact
Source: European Commission

A new standard to allow social enterprises of all sizes to better measure and demonstrate their social impact and so help them in their discussions with partners, investors, and public sector funders has been published by the European Commission. The standard, featured in a report on social impact measurement, will help European social enterprises to benefit from funding via the European Social Entrepreneurship Funds (EuSEF) and the new Employment and Social Innovation programme (EaSI). The report has been endorsed by an expert group on social entrepreneurship (GECES) set up by the Commission.

The report found that it was not possible to devise a rigid set of indicators in a top-down way to measure social impact in all cases. Instead, it proposes a standard for social impact measurement in five stages, which is flexible enough to be adapted to the needs of very different social enterprises.

The necessity for a standard for the measurement of social impact is important in terms of funding: the EaSI programme stipulates that social enterprises must demonstrate that they are focused on achieving measurable, positive social or societal impacts in order to benefit from support. The new EuSEFs (European Social Entrepreneurship Funds) also require social businesses seeking financing to measure their social impact.

The development of a standard should help to avoid the current duplication of costs due to the fact that there are different approaches, as well as encouraging best practice in the rapidly evolving field of social impact measurement.

Home Hours in the United States and Europe

June 26, 2014 Comments off

Home Hours in the United States and Europe
Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Using data from the Multinational Time Use Study, this paper documents the trends and levels of time allocation, with a focus on home hours, for a relatively large set of industrialized countries during the past 50 years. Three patterns emerge. First, home hours have decreased in both the United States and European countries. Second, female time allocation contributes more to the cross-country difference in both the trends and the levels of market hours and home hours per person. Third, time allocations between the United States and Europe are more similar for the prime-age group than for the young and old groups.

2011 Census Analysis: How do Living Arrangements, Family Type and Family Size Vary in England and Wales?

June 26, 2014 Comments off

2011 Census Analysis: How do Living Arrangements, Family Type and Family Size Vary in England and Wales?
Source: Office for National Statistics

This story summarises the distribution of family types (married couples, cohabiting couples and lone parents with/without dependent children) within England and Wales and the interaction with family size (number of dependent children). Variations in family size and type by country of birth are also highlighted.

News consumption in the UK – 2014 report

June 26, 2014 Comments off

News consumption in the UK – 2014 report
Source: Ofcom

This summary report provides key findings from Ofcom’s 2014 research into news consumption across the four main platforms: television, radio, print and online, and highlights where these have changed since 2013. Further detailed information is available in the chart pack which accompanies the document. It is published as part of our market research range of publications that examine the consumption of content and attitudes towards that content on different platforms. The aim of this report is to inform an understanding of news consumption across the UK, and within each UK nation.

The report details various findings relating to the consumption of news; the sources and platforms used, the perceived importance of different platforms and outlets for news, attitudes to individual news sources, the definition of news and interest in topics, and an overview of local media consumption. It provides details of our cross-platform news consumption metric – ‘share of references’. The report also compares findings related to news consumption with those from 2013, where possible.

Measuring National Well-being, European comparisons, 2014

June 25, 2014 Comments off

Measuring National Well-being, European comparisons, 2014
Source: Office for National Statistics

  • In 2011, 71.8% of adults aged 16 and over in the UK rated their life satisfaction as 7 or more out of 10, higher than the EU–28 average of 69.3%.
  • The average rating of satisfaction with family life by people aged 16 and over in the UK in 2011 was 8.2 out of 10, higher than the EU–28 average of 7.8 out of 10.
  • Over 6 in 10 people (62.7%) aged 16 and over in the UK rated their health status as very good or good in 2011, lower than the EU–28 average of 64.0%.
  • In 2011, 58.4% of people aged 16 and over in the UK reported that they felt close to other people in the area where they lived, lower than the EU–28 average of 66.6%.
  • A fifth (20.2%) of households in the UK in 2012 reported great difficulty or difficulty in making ends meet, lower than the estimated EU–28 average of 27.7%.
  • In 2013, 79% of adults aged 15 and over in the UK scored very high, high or medium on an index of cultural practice (measuring frequency of cultural participation), higher than the EU–27 average of 66%.

EU – Employment: report shows lower skilled workers face increasing difficulties to find a job

June 25, 2014 Comments off

Employment: report shows lower skilled workers face increasing difficulties to find a job
Source: European Commission

Low-skilled workers encounter increasing difficulties to find a job, face lower job stability and are out-competed by medium-skilled workers even in elementary occupations. In contrast, job opportunities are growing in some high-skilled professions. These are the main findings of the European Vacancy and Recruitment Report 2014 published today. The report also highlights the increase in temporary and part-time work during the crisis and underlines the need to better support school-to-work transitions, to decrease segmentation of the labour markets and to up-skill jobseekers, particularly the low qualified.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 856 other followers