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Archive for the ‘Gov – EU’ Category

How digital is your country? New figures reveal progress needed towards a digital Europe

February 26, 2015 Comments off

How digital is your country? New figures reveal progress needed towards a digital Europe
Source: European Commission

There are plenty of digital opportunities waiting to be unlocked to benefit European citizens and companies. From shopping or studying online, to paying bills or using public services over the Internet – the Web is the answer, if the right conditions are in place. This is the conclusion of a new Digital Economy and Society Index developed by the European Commission and released today. Data shows that the picture of how digital countries are varies across the EU and that borders remain an obstacle to a fully-fledged Digital Single Market – one of the top priorities of the Juncker Commission.

The new tool presented today gives snapshots, per country, of connectivity (how widespread, fast and affordable broadband is), Internet skills, the use of online activities from news to shopping, how key digital technologies (e-invoices, cloud services, e-commerce, etc) and digital public services such as e-government and e-health are developed. The data is mostly from 2013 and 2014 and gives an overview of how digital Europe is, including rankings of the top digital performers.

Implementation of the European Citizens’ Initiative: The experience of the first three years

February 26, 2015 Comments off

Implementation of the European Citizens’ Initiative: The experience of the first three years
Source: European Parliament Think Tank

The European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) has been in operation for three years now. It was introduced by the Lisbon Treaty as an innovative instrument for transnational participatory democracy. It aims to involve citizens in political agenda-setting at EU level, by providing them with an indirect form of the right of legislative initiative. By 1 April 2015, the Commission is required to issue its first report on the application of the ECI Regulation. It is widely expected that this review will prompt a revision of that regulation. Observers have identified a number of shortcomings in its implementation, which impact negatively on the effectiveness and acceptance of this relatively new instrument of transnational participatory democracy.Against this background, stakeholders are calling for simplification and a substantial revision of the current ECI framework and its application, including its implementation in the EU Member States. This paper seeks to provide a systematic overview of the current weaknesses in the ECI process and summarises concrete recommendations actors have put forward for a better functioning ECI.

100 Books on Europe to Remember

February 24, 2015 Comments off

100 Books on Europe to Remember
Source: European Parliament

Welcome to this dedicated new web space freely available to the public which presents, in at least one official EU language, a selection of the 100 Books on Europe to Remember.

The European Parliament has attempted to make a comprehensive selection of academic, intellectual and political works on the European idea and the development of the European integration process, taking into account the vast geographical, linguistic and intellectual spectrum of ideas.

EU — Quality of Transport

February 23, 2015 Comments off

Quality of Transport (PDF)
Source: Eurobarometer
From Summary (PDF):

Transport directly affects everyone in Europe. Whatever age we are and whatever activities we undertake, transportation and mobility play a fundamental role for our daily lives and for business. The estimated annual budget of the average EU household for transport is € 4 530. With a population of over 505 million this represents a significant investment.

The aim of the European Commission’s Directorate General for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE) is to promote transport solutions that are efficient, safe, secure and environmentally friendly and to create the conditions for a competitive industry, generating growth and jobs. With this in mind, DG MOVE is actively working on a range of activities that concern all modes of transportation: policy making and the proposition of new laws, project funding and research as well as activities to increase citizen’s awareness. Furthermore, DG MOVE provides statistical insights to all interested parties: decision makers, industries, citizens and media – for example, the annual statistical pocketbook or the recent EU Transport Scoreboard.

DG MOVE commissioned this survey to gather information from European citizens, understand their habits, hear their opinions and analyse their perceptions of transport related matters. The survey focussed on:
+ The most frequently used modes of transport for daily trips and long journeys and the reasons these modes were chosen;
+ How to encourage people who use cars and motorbikes to use public transport ;
+ The perceptions of the quality of road, air, rail and sea transport over the last five years and the most serious problems affecting these modes of transport;
+ How to make the transport sector more appealing for job seekers.

EU’s opposition to the death penalty

February 18, 2015 Comments off

EU’s opposition to the death penalty
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

The death penalty is prohibited by law in all Member States of the European Union (EU). The ban is laid down in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (Charter) and European Convention on Human Rights (Convention) and its Protocols, particularly Protocol 6 and 13. All Member States have ratified the Convention and all of them have ratified its Protocols 6 and 13. Protocol 13 provides for the total abolition of the death penalty.

In addition, the Treaty on European Union (TEU) states in article 6 that the EU recognises the rights, freedoms and principles set out in the Charter and that the EU (as a whole) shall accede to the Convention.

As one of the conditions for accession to the EU, every candidate country must ensure respect for fundamental rights and EU citizens’ rights, as guaranteed by the acquis (all current EU rules) and by the Charter – this entails also the abolition of the death penalty.

Foreign Direct Investment stocks at the end of 2013 – EU was a net investor in the rest of the world – The United States, by far the main partner of the EU

February 16, 2015 Comments off

Foreign Direct Investment stocks at the end of 2013 – EU was a net investor in the rest of the world – The United States, by far the main partner of the EU
Source: Eurostat

Data on FDI stocks help to quantify the impact of globalisation and provide a measurement of longstanding economic links between countries. They measure the accumulated value of all FDI carried out in the past.

+ Full Release (PDF)

Cultural Heritage Policy in the European Union

February 10, 2015 Comments off

Cultural Heritage Policy in the European Union
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

The European Commission defines cultural heritage as including “natural, built and archaeological sites; museums; monuments, artworks; historic cities; literary, musical, and audiovisual works, and the knowledge, practices and traditions of European citizens”.

Whilst the Member States are principally responsible for their own cultural heritage policy, European cultural heritage benefits from a range of supportive measures (policies, programmes and funding) aimed at preserving (art. 3 TEU) and promoting it (art 167 TFEU).

European cultural heritage is of exceptional economic importance for the tourism industry, generating an estimated annual revenue of EUR 335 billion, and many of the 9 million jobs in the tourism sector are linked to it directly or indirectly.

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