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Archive for the ‘Gov – EU’ Category

Health and technology in life sciences

September 16, 2014 Comments off

Health and technology in life sciences
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

We are seeing developments in biotechnology that seem futuristic, such as computing systems at clinical testing stages used as ‘sensitive interaction partners’ for the elderly that help to provide care in response to individual needs. Such developments raise a range of questions. To what extent should humans use technology to enhance life? And how can these technologies be governed to uphold social, ethical and legal standards?

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EU — Occupational profiles in working conditions: Identification of groups with multiple disadvantages

September 16, 2014 Comments off

Occupational profiles in working conditions: Identification of groups with multiple disadvantages
Source: Eurofound

Job quality indexes are constructed on the basis of such aspects of working conditions as earnings, prospects, working time, and intrinsic job quality. Occupations where job quality is consistently low are labelled ‘occupations with multiple disadvantages’. This report uses data from the fifth European Working Conditions Survey to identify such occupations. It finds that workers in mid-skilled manual and lowskilled occupations do quite poorly when it comes to earnings, prospects and intrinsic job quality, and they report relatively low levels of both physical and mental well-being. However, their working time quality is generally good. In contrast, workers in high-skilled occupations do relatively well on almost all job quality indicators, except working time. An executive summary is also available.

Mapping youth transitions in Europe

September 10, 2014 Comments off

Mapping youth transitions in Europe
Source: Eurofound

Young people in Europe continue to experience great difficulties in entering the labour market. Although the youth unemployment rate in a few Member States has started to fall, overall 23% of young European job-seekers aged 15–24 could not find a job in January 2014. In 2012, 14.6 million young people across Europe were not in employment, education or training (NEETs), accounting for 15.9% of the entire population of those aged 15–29. This report analyses the labour market situation of young people in Europe, focusing in particular on their school-to-work transition, while also monitoring their more general transition to adulthood. The report also investigates the ability of young people to remain in employment against the odds during the crisis and charts their transitions from temporary to permanent contracts. The report concludes with a discussion on the strengths and weaknesses of selected policy measures. An executive summary is also available.

EU — Income inequality: nearly 40 per cent of total income goes to people belonging to highest (fifth) quintile

September 4, 2014 Comments off

Income inequality: nearly 40 per cent of total income goes to people belonging to highest (fifth) quintile
Source: Eurostat

This article presents data on income inequality, measured by the Gini coefficient, across the EU-28 and three EFTA countries. Income inequality is a complex phenomenon, the result of interaction between several factors. It can be related to employment patterns, income sources, individual characteristics (education level, age, gender, etc.) or household features (number of earners in the household, family size, etc.). Inequality is a broader concept than poverty; while poverty mainly relates to the lowest part of the income distribution, inequality takes into account the living conditions of all people in a society.

Roaming charges in the EU

September 3, 2014 Comments off

Roaming charges in the EU
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

The “roaming charge” refers to the cost of using mobile communications (typically with a mobile phone) to make and receive voice calls, send and receive data, or access other services, when travelling outside the geographical area of the user’s home network and using another network in the location they are visiting. (Eurostat) Wholesale prices refer to the amount network operators charge each other for carrying traffic, whereas the caller is charged the retail price.

Spreading information on the risks of drug use: a European challenge

August 29, 2014 Comments off

Spreading information on the risks of drug use: a European challenge
Source: Eurobarometer

Young Europeans are less informed about the effects and risks of drugs than just a few years ago. While they widely use the Internet to gather knowledge, a new Eurobarometer survey shows that compared to 2011, respondents are less likely to have received such information from most sources, in particular from media campaigns and school prevention programmes.

More than one quarter of young people (29%) say they have not been informed at all in the past year about the effects and risks of so-called legal highs – currently legal substances that imitate the effects of illegal drugs. This comes at a time when the number of young people saying they have used ‘legal highs’ has risen to 8%, from 5% in 2011.

More than 13,000 citizens aged 15-24 were interviewed for the Eurobarometer “Young People and Drugs” across the EU. Drug use and drug-related problems continue to be a major concern for EU citizens. They are also a significant public health and public safety issue. According to studies by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), drug experimentation often starts in the school years, and it is estimated that one in four 15-16 year-olds have used an illicit drug. In recent years, the use of ‘legal-highs’ has become increasingly popular, and the European Commission is working to strengthen the EU’s ability to protect young people by reducing the availability of harmful substances, as part of an overall drug policy regulatory framework

NATO – road to the 2014 Summit

August 28, 2014 Comments off

NATO – road to the 2014 Summit
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

Last NATO Summit was held in Chicago, in May 2012. The Afghan transition, the missile defence system, and cyber defence policies were at the centre of the discussion then. Two years later, the on-going withdrawal from Afghanistan, Ukraine and Russia, Syria and Iraq, and the re-thinking of the Transatlantic Partnership will be at the centre of the attention.

NATO is still struggling with its own identity in a world where geopolitics keeps feeding social unrest and conflicts. The 1949 definition of NATO to the circumscription of the North Atlantic has been challenged since the end of Soviet Union and the Berlin Wall, but the discussion is ever more pertinent in a context where the focus of instability has changed from Europe to the Middle East.

Consensual areas of NATO’s contributions are more technologic and preventive: the cyber-domains, the defence policies, and the conceptualizing of international standards of security. These areas will probably also be in the agenda for the Wales meeting on the 4-5 September 2014.

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