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Antisemitism Summary overview of the situation in the European Union 2003-2013

November 21, 2014 Comments off

Antisemitism Summary overview of the situation in the European Union 2003-2013
Source: Agency for Fundamental Rights

The present update relates to manifestations of antisemitism as they are recorded by official and unofficial sources in the 28 European Union (EU) Member States. ‘Official data’ is understood here as that collected by law enforcement agencies, criminal justice systems and relevant state ministries at the national level. ‘Unofficial data’ refers to data collected by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and civil society organisations (CSOs). This update compiles available data on antisemitic incidents collected by international, governmental and non-governmental sources, covering the period 1 January 2003–31 December 2013. No data on manifestations of antisemitism were available for Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Romania and Slovenia at the time this update was compiled.

This is the 10th in a series of yearly updates about data collected on antisemitism published by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) and its predecessor, the European Union Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC).

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EU — ECB’s in-depth review shows banks need to take further action

November 21, 2014 Comments off

ECB’s in-depth review shows banks need to take further action
Source: European Central Bank

Key results of comprehensive assessment of 130 largest euro area banks:

  • Capital shortfall of €25 billion detected at 25 participant banks
  • Banks’ asset values need to be adjusted by €48 billion, €37 billion of which did not generate capital shortfall
  • Shortfall of €25 billion and asset value adjustment of €37 billion implies overall impact of €62 billion on banks
  • Additional €136 billion found in non-performing exposures
  • Adverse stress scenario would deplete banks’ capital by €263 billion, reducing median CET1 ratio by 4 percentage points from 12.4% to 8.3%

India: the biggest democracy in the world

November 19, 2014 Comments off

India: the biggest democracy in the world
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

With 1 267 million inhabitants, of which 834 million can vote, India is the largest democracy in the world. Despite India’s linguistic and religious diversity, the 2014 general elections have given the newly elected Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, a strong mandate. Since coming into office, Modi has reinforced his focus on the economy and international trade, which may further cement EU-India relations. The EU and India have been strategic partners since 2004. They began negotiations on a free trade area in 2007, although several Indian political parties have concerns over these.

Pakistan: human rights situation

November 17, 2014 Comments off

Pakistan: human rights situation
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

Human rights abuse is one of the most complex and challenging issues in Pakistan today. The EU has expressed concerns about the human rights situation and monitors events closely. The European Parliament is worried about the sharp increase in sectarian violence and religious intolerance, as well as the continuing repression of women in the country.

EU — Trafficking in human beings 2010-2014: eradicating the slave trade

November 12, 2014 Comments off

Trafficking in human beings 2010-2014: eradicating the slave trade
Source: European Commission

During the years 2010-2012, EU Member States registered 30 146 victims of trafficking in human beings. Behind this number are human tragedies, broken hopes and destroyed plans for a better life. During the same period, 8 551 prosecutions against traffickers were reported across the EU. 80 percent of victims of trafficking were female, and over 1 000 child victims were registered as trafficked for sexual exploitation. This data is part of a statistical report on victims and perpetrators of trafficking released today by the European Commission. A report also shows that many concrete measures against this severe human rights violation have been undertaken during 2010-2014, such as better cooperation with civil society, and guidelines issued to border authorities and other stakeholders on how to better identify victims.

EU — Being human in a hyper-connected era – The onlife initiative

November 11, 2014 Comments off

Being human in a hyper-connected era – The onlife initiative
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

The “Onlife Initiative”, a project launched by the Commission’s DG-CONNECT, explores the societal consequences of on-going digital transition. DG-CONNECT will present the conclusions of this project during a STOA workshop in the European Parliament on 2 December 2014.

The STOA workshop takes as its evidence-base that mobile broadband access to the internet, the Internet of Things, big data, open data, cloud-computing, social networks, and new forms of internet-based collaborative and co-creation models, (such as commons-based peer production and crowdsourcing), result in the ever-increasing pervasiveness of ICT in all aspects of our lives.

The digital revolution is clearly on its way. Governments are deploying e-government and e-participation systems, and in the political sphere, the new concept of online e-democracy clearly challenges the old representative democratic model invented by the Ancient Greeks. Progress in robotics, artificial intelligence, additive manufacturing, self-driving vehicles, drones and smart factories may result in the massive automation (between 30-50%) of existing jobs in the next 20 years and will require changes to the education system for the new jobs that may be created.

Long-term prospects for health look promising and are aided by the rapid development of technologies such as low powered electronics, 3D printing and nanotechnologies. The application of the latest advances in gaming technologies to the learning and teaching environment already allows for dramatic improvemenst in education and vocational and education training in some sectors, such as medicine – a trend which looks likely to grow in the future. According to economists, the increased use of ICT in all sectors of the EU economy would be, all other things being equal, the most sensible way of increasing labour productivity and therefore growing the EU’s GDP per capita.

A quick and simple guide on current EU budget issues

November 11, 2014 Comments off

A quick and simple guide on current EU budget issues
Source: European Commission

Autumn and the beginning of winter are traditionally the “EU budget season” as most pending issues of the current year’s budget usually are negotiated together with the following year’s budget. However, the number of such pending issues couples with their technicalities may combine to make it difficult to understand what is negotiated and why. Hence this quick and (hopefully) simple guide.

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