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Archive for the ‘Gov – EU’ Category

Unemployment in the EU [What Think Tanks are thinking]

June 30, 2015 Comments off

Unemployment in the EU [What Think Tanks are thinking]
Source: European Parliament Think Tank

Unemployment in the euro zone and the whole European Union has been inching down for many months, adding to signs of economic recovery, but remains well above levels recorded before the start of the financial crisis in 2008. The seasonally-adjusted euro area unemployment rate was 11.1 percent in April 2015 down from 11.7 percent in the same month last year. The EU-28 rate was 9.7 percent in April 2015, compared with 10.3 percent in April 2014. There are significant differences among member states in the jobless rate, which was 4.7 percent in Germany in April 2015 and 25.4 percent in Greece. The slow decline in current unemployment levels and the fact that, even before the crisis, unemployment was much higher in the EU than in many other regions of the world are attributed by some economists to certain labour market issues. High joblessness, especially among young people, is now considered a major social and economic problem, prompting calls for reform. Boosting what is the still sluggish economic growth and increasing the number of jobs are a key priority for European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. This note highlights a selection of commentaries and studies by major international think tanks and research institutes on labour market issues, with hyperlinks to the texts concerned.

EU Council Library Think Tank Review — June 2015

June 25, 2015 Comments off

EU Council Library Think Tank Review — June 2015 (PDF)
Source: General Secretariat of the Council of the EU (Central Library)

Among the immediate concerns, think tank papers reflected international and national events which took place in May: on the Eastern Partnership summit in Riga we gathered papers from Latvia, Hungary, Austria and Poland. Still on Poland, we noted the briefing on the presidential ballot, part of the regular Election Monitor published by the Fondation Robert Schuman. The release in May of the Commission’s package on Better Regulation also triggered commentary by Brussels-based think tanks (here for the state of play in a recent Council document).

Still in May, ILO published its employment and social outlook, which can be read in conjunction with the many publications we gathered on welfare, pensions and employment; while some of them surveyed policies or stakeholder opinions across Member States, others (like those from IAI and CEPS) set out possible schemes for a European Unemployment Insurance.

On a longer perspective, we found think tanks in Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels and elsewhere looking back at the European elections in 2014 and forward to 2019, with stances that range from ‘business as usual’ to seeing the EP as the possible driver of EU reform. Still on the European Parliament, we noted the analysis by votewatch.eu on the reform of copyright law, in the wake of recent proposals on the Digital Single Market.

Health Literacy And The Role Of Technology In Europe

June 24, 2015 Comments off

Health Literacy And The Role Of Technology In Europe
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

Developments in science and technology give access to much health-related information we could not have imagined a few years ago – but are we sufficiently health-literate to take responsibility for our own health, as well as that of our family and community? On 1 July 2015, the Science and Technology Options Assessment (STOA) Panel of the European Parliament will host a workshop entitled Health Literacy in Europe. Empowering patients – how can technology contribute to improving health literacy?, which will seek an answer to this and many other questions. The workshop will be chaired by Dr Paul Rübig, STOA Chair. Karin Kadenback, MEP and member of the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI), will close the even

Health literacy, according to a widely-accepted definition, is ‘linked to literacy and entails people’s knowledge, motivation and competences to access, understand, appraise and apply health information in order to make judgements, and take decisions in everyday life concerning health care, disease prevention and health promotion to maintain or improve quality of life during the life course’. However, the health literacy concept is much broader than this, and includes interesting fields of application for new technologies.

Technological improvements raise new challenges, as well as opportunities to achieve health literacy.

Questions and answers on how the European Commission helps refugees

June 23, 2015 Comments off

Questions and answers on how the European Commission helps refugees
Source: European Commission

Refugees are among the most vulnerable in humanitarian crises. This is why the European Commission provides substantial resources to help them. The European Commission gave more than €854 million or some 70% of its annual humanitarian aid budget in 2014 to projects helping refugees and IDPs in 33 countries worldwide. The European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) invests heavily in assisting displaced people and is currently responding to crises such as: Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq, Afghan refugees in Iran and Pakistan, Somali refugees in Kenya and Yemen, Congolese refugees in the Great Lake region, Colombian refugees in Ecuador and Venezuela, Myanmar refugees in Thailand, Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and Sahrawi refugees.

Water Legislation : Cost Of Non-Europe Report

June 19, 2015 Comments off

Water Legislation : Cost Of Non-Europe Report
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

This ‘Cost of Non-Europe’ study examines the state of implementation of current EU Water Legislation and identifies the cost of the lack of further European action in this field.

The assessment made of existing water legislation confirms that there are still implementation gaps and areas of poor performance. The subsequent examination of five case studies, where it was believed that a significant potential exists for further EU action, served to demonstrate that there are several barriers which hinder the achievement of the goals set in the legislation. More European action would accordingly be necessary to limit the impact on Europe’s water quality of flooding or of pharmaceutical residues. To limit the use of fresh water more generally, there is a need for European coordination to increase the use of water-efficient equipment and water-metering.

This research makes a cautious estimate that the benefits of full implementation of existing legislation could reach 2.8 billion euro per year. The study also demonstrates that further European action in this field could provide further added value, representing a ‘cost of non-Europe’ of some 25 billion euro per year.

EU — Renewable energy progress report

June 18, 2015 Comments off

Renewable energy progress report
Source: European Commission

The European Commission has published the progress report on 2020 renewable energy targets, showing that the EU is on track to meet its 20% renewable energy targets. With a projected share of 15.3% of renewable energy in 2014 in the gross final energy consumption, the EU and the vast majority of Member States are advancing well: 25 Member States are expected to meet their 2013/2014 national targets.

These results are published in the European Commission’s 2015 report on progress made in achieving the EU’s legally binding target for a 20% share of renewable energy, the 10% target for renewable energy use in transport, and the binding national targets by 2020.

EU-Turkey relations [What Think Tanks are thinking]

June 17, 2015 Comments off

EU-Turkey relations [What Think Tanks are thinking]
Source: European Parliament Think Tank

Turkey’s ruling AKP party won the 7 June parliamentary election, but lost its majority in the house, opening the way for talks on a coalition government and plunging the country into uncertainty. The vote ended more than a decade of single-party rule in the EU candidate country and dealt a blow to President Tayyip Erdogan’s ambitions for a more powerful executive role. It is expected to have many implications, including on EU-Turkey relations. This note offers links to commentaries, studies and reports from major international think tanks on recent developments in Turkey, and the relations between the EU and Turkey.

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