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Archive for the ‘European Parliament’ Category

A snapshot of industry in Europe

December 19, 2014 Comments off

A snapshot of industry in Europe
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

This document draws on the recently published study How can European Industry contribute to Growth and Foster European Competitiveness?, aiming to complement it by presenting an overview of specific indicators that further illustrate the current situation of Europe’s industry.

Beginning with a snapshot of the distribution of employment by sector and the contribution of industry to the gross value added in the EU’s regions, it then goes on to chart medium- term developments in labour productivity and in industrial output across Member States. It looks at how manufacturing sectors with different technology levels have been affected during the crisis years. An analysis of the major manufacturing sectors follows, comparing performance in terms of turnover, employment and investment. It concludes with a picture of the exports of manufactured goods from Member States, both within the EU and with the rest of the world.

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EU — Cloning of animals

December 12, 2014 Comments off

Cloning of animals
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

Cloning animals means creating animals by using the genetic material from a cell from another animal. It is a form of asexual reproduction performed in a laboratory. The closest natural analogy to a clone is identical twins. As identical twins, clones and cell donor animals share exactly the same genetic information (DNA). Cloning does not involve any genetic modification. In fact, the clone is a near exact genetic copy of the donor animal. Currently, cloning is used for research purposes in the EU.

At present food from clones is regulated and subject to a European Union (EU) authorisation under the Regulation (EC) No 258/97 on Novel Food. According to this regulation, food products from cloned animals have been subject to a pre-market authorisation. Member States report that no cloning is taking place on their territory for food production, so no application has been submitted so far and therefore no authorisation granted.

EU — Poverty risk, inequality and social exclusion

December 11, 2014 Comments off

Poverty risk, inequality and social exclusion
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

The distribution of poverty, inequality and social exclusion varies significantly across EU Member States. Based on 2013 data, this infographic shows who is at risk, how equally disposable income is distributed,and how much EU countries spend on specific measures to combat poverty and social exclusion.

Cyber defence in the EU: Preparing for cyber warfare?

December 3, 2014 Comments off

Cyber defence in the EU: Preparing for cyber warfare?
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

n recent years, cyber attacks on a serious scale have become a matter of concern to states, due to the threat they can pose to national security, but also a potential foreign policy and military tool to be added to existing options in their arsenals. While international law is still struggling with defining norms on state actions in cyberspace, the latter is now increasingly viewed as a fifth domain of warfare.

Although, for the time being, no cyber attack is known to have provoked death or physical damage to human beings, an ever growing number of states around the world are preparing for conflict in the cyber domain, and, in this context, have been developing national doctrines, cyber-defence strategies and defensive and offensive capabilities for cyber warfare.

The definitions surrounding ‘cyber war’ and ‘cyber defence’ are still widely debated, and indeed have become a burgeoning topic for international legal scholars, along with governments and international organisations. With little agreement among the major countries preparing their own cyber warfare capabilities, there are not yet rules comparable to those for conventional warfare. A number of EU Member States are amongst those developing their capabilities, while the EU’s own Defence Agency is also working on projects to augment cyber-defences in the Union. NATO too is involved in efforts to develop defensive capabilities.

EU lagging behind in fast broadband

December 2, 2014 Comments off

EU lagging behind in fast broadband
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

The high speed broadband gap between the EU and U.S is widening as the U.S performs better than the EU in most broadband metrics: this is the main message from the publication: U.S. vs. European Broadband Deployment: What Do the Data Say?, presented by its author in a meeting at the think-tank CEPS in Brussels last October. This comprehensive study compiles a wide range of broadband indicators and comparisons, looking among other criteria at deployment levels in urban and rural areas, the type of technology, investment levels, broadband speeds, prices and other relevant policy indicators, with the U.S leading on most.

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.

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