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Employment: report shows worker mobility key to tackle EU demographic and skills challenges

October 17, 2014 Comments off

Employment: report shows worker mobility key to tackle EU demographic and skills challenges
Source: European Commission/OECD

To address the effects of population ageing, the EU will need to close the gender gap and increase the participation of young and older workers in the labour market, but mobility and migration also have a key role to play. This is the main finding of the joint Commission-OECD report on Matching Economic Migration with Labour Market Needs published today.

Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion László Andor commented “This joint report with the OECD offers valuable guidance on the serious demographic challenges ahead. Ensuring fair labour mobility within the EU, improving training to close skills gaps, ensuring decent working conditions to workers and better integration of non-EU workers can be part of the solution to population ageing and future skill shortages in the European labour market”.

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Erasmus Impact Study confirms EU student exchange scheme boosts employability and job mobility

October 15, 2014 Comments off

Erasmus Impact Study confirms EU student exchange scheme boosts employability and job mobility
Source: European Commission

Young people who study or train abroad not only gain knowledge in specific disciplines, but also strengthen key transversal skills which are highly valued by employers. A new study on the impact of the European Union’s Erasmus student exchange programme shows that graduates with international experience fare much better on the job market. They are half as likely to experience long-term unemployment compared with those who have not studied or trained abroad and, five years after graduation, their unemployment rate is 23% lower. The study, compiled by independent experts, is the largest of its kind and received feedback from nearly 80 000 respondents including students and businesses.

EU ‘single market for research’ now depends on national reforms, study finds

October 8, 2014 Comments off

EU ‘single market for research’ now depends on national reforms, study finds
Source: European Commission

The ERA partnership between Member States, research stakeholders and the Commission has made good progress in delivering ERA. The conditions for achieving a European Research Area (ERA), where researchers and scientific knowledge can circulate freely, are in place at the European level. Reforms must now be implemented at the Member State level to make ERA work.

This is the main conclusion of the latest ERA progress report, presented today by the European Commission. The report updates last year’s overview (IP/13/851), and presents individual country reports that give a snapshot of implementation on the ground, notably at the level of research organisations.

European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Máire Geoghegan-Quinn said: “We have made good progress on the European Research Area in recent years. It is now up to Member States and research organisations to make good on their commitments and put in place the necessary reforms. The Commission will help where it can, including with the €80 billion investment from our new research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020. In particular, national and EU research efforts need to be much more closely aligned if we are to increase impact at EU level.”

EU — Horizon Report urges schools to tackle ‘wicked’ digital skills challenge

October 3, 2014 Comments off

Horizon Report urges schools to tackle ‘wicked’ digital skills challenge
Source: European Commission

Low digital skills and competences among school pupils and the need to integrate effective use of information and communication technologies into teacher training are among the most pressing challenges faced by European school education today, according to a report published by the European Commission and the New Media Consortium, a US-based not-for-profit body bringing together experts in education technology. The first-ever Horizon Report Europe: 2014 Schools edition outlines the trends and technological developments that are likely to have an impact on education over the next five years. It grades the challenges faced by European schools in three categories: ‘Solvable’, ‘Difficult’ and ‘Wicked’.

The report echoes the objectives of the Commission’s Opening up Education initiative and is based on input from more than 50 experts from 22 European countries, the Commission’s Joint Research Centre, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations’ Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). It says action is urgently needed to promote innovation in the classroom to take advantage of increased use of social media, open educational resources and the rise of data-driven learning and assessment.

Progress in industrial competitiveness per EU country

September 25, 2014 Comments off

Progress in industrial competitiveness per EU country
Source: European Commission

The 2014 Member States’ Competitiveness Report “Reindustrialising Europe” found that European firms fought hard to maintain their competitiveness during the crisis originating in 2008. However, despite these efforts, without appropriate action at EU and Member State level the severe legacy of the crisis cannot be overcome.

Aggregate data demonstrates the recovery of exports and an increase in productivity in most Member States. However this positive data at EU level masks considerable differences between the performance and policies of Member States and sectors. The report indicates that many factors which hinder competiveness are common across Member States. Examples include lack of investment, limited access to finance and access to markets, in particular for SMEs; high energy prices, and the need for a more business friendly environment and a public administration.

EU — Customs action to tackle goods infringing Intellectual Property Rights – Frequently Asked Questions

August 1, 2014 Comments off

Customs action to tackle goods infringing Intellectual Property Rights – Frequently Asked Questions
Source: European Commission

As the EU’s 2020 Strategy underlines, the protection of IPRs is key to the EU economy. By giving people the incentive to be creative and innovative, IPRs foster economic growth, creating and protecting millions of jobs.

Right-holders can ask for customs action to protect their rights at the border. When they have a suspicion of an infringement, customs can detain the goods or suspend their release and inform the right-holder accordingly. The right-holder is given the opportunity to initiate court proceedings to determine the infringement, while the goods remain under customs control.

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

July 31, 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.

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