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Archive for the ‘European Parliament’ Category

European Parliamentary Research Service Graphics Warehouse

September 29, 2014 Comments off

European Parliamentary Research Service Graphics Warehouse
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

You can use our collection of graphs, charts, tables and maps with statistical data for any purpose (just please credit the European Parliamentary Research Service). The images were created by the EPRS based on statistical information from sources mentioned on the graphic.

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The European Union’s response to Ebola

September 24, 2014 Comments off

The European Union’s response to Ebola
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

A number of West African countries are currently experiencing the worst Ebola epidemic in history. As the situation continues to deteriorate rapidly, the European Commission has stepped up its response since March 2014 and is now pledging more than €147 million in response to the devastating human, sanitary, economic and political effects of this crisis for the region. Since the beginning of the epidemic, the European Parliament has shown its concern as regards this critical situation.

Health and technology in life sciences

September 16, 2014 Comments off

Health and technology in life sciences
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

We are seeing developments in biotechnology that seem futuristic, such as computing systems at clinical testing stages used as ‘sensitive interaction partners’ for the elderly that help to provide care in response to individual needs. Such developments raise a range of questions. To what extent should humans use technology to enhance life? And how can these technologies be governed to uphold social, ethical and legal standards?

Roaming charges in the EU

September 3, 2014 Comments off

Roaming charges in the EU
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

The “roaming charge” refers to the cost of using mobile communications (typically with a mobile phone) to make and receive voice calls, send and receive data, or access other services, when travelling outside the geographical area of the user’s home network and using another network in the location they are visiting. (Eurostat) Wholesale prices refer to the amount network operators charge each other for carrying traffic, whereas the caller is charged the retail price.

NATO – road to the 2014 Summit

August 28, 2014 Comments off

NATO – road to the 2014 Summit
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

Last NATO Summit was held in Chicago, in May 2012. The Afghan transition, the missile defence system, and cyber defence policies were at the centre of the discussion then. Two years later, the on-going withdrawal from Afghanistan, Ukraine and Russia, Syria and Iraq, and the re-thinking of the Transatlantic Partnership will be at the centre of the attention.

NATO is still struggling with its own identity in a world where geopolitics keeps feeding social unrest and conflicts. The 1949 definition of NATO to the circumscription of the North Atlantic has been challenged since the end of Soviet Union and the Berlin Wall, but the discussion is ever more pertinent in a context where the focus of instability has changed from Europe to the Middle East.

Consensual areas of NATO’s contributions are more technologic and preventive: the cyber-domains, the defence policies, and the conceptualizing of international standards of security. These areas will probably also be in the agenda for the Wales meeting on the 4-5 September 2014.

Social media freedom in Turkey

August 27, 2014 Comments off

Social media freedom in Turkey
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

After a two-month ban, the Turkish government restored access to the video-sharing website YouTube in June 2014. This move was necessary to comply with a Constitutional Court (CC) ruling, which judged blocking the site as a breach of freedom of expression. In April Turkey’s highest court had ruled in a similar case, overturning the controversial ban on the micro-blogging site Twitter. While Turkish Prime Minister (PM) Erdogan criticized the judgment fiercely, Stefan Füle, EU Commissioner for Enlargement, commended the CC for “safeguard[ing] rule of law and respect for fundamental rights and freedoms”.

The two social media court cases illustrate the widening gap between an increasingly authoritarian government and the judiciary in Turkey.

EU — Organic production and labelling of organic products

August 27, 2014 Comments off

Organic production and labelling of organic products
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission’s Impact Assessment (IA) accompanying the above proposal which was adopted on 24 March 2014.

The general problem identified is that the overall objective of the current EU political and legislative framework to ensure the sustainable development of organic production, is not being met. Over the last ten years, the organic market has been characterised by dynamic development driven by strong growth in demand. The global market for organic food expanded fourfold between 1999 and 2011, yet the area under organic production in the EU only doubled in the decade 2000-2010. According to the IA, neither internal supply, nor the legislative framework, has kept up with this market expansion, resulting in lost opportunities for EU producers. Moreover, the IA considers that the continued growth of the organic market might itself be at threat from possible erosion of consumer confidence, due to the watering down of some EU organic production rules, with excessive use of exceptions, and cases of fraud in the control system and the import regime. In addition, the development of private schemes has led to confusion, with a multiplication of logos competing with the EU organic logo. The entire regulatory framework is extremely complex and difficult to understand for operators, producers, consumers and public authorities, and will become more so with the foreseen implementation of a compliance regime for control bodies in non-recognised third countries from 2014. There is significant administrative burden linked notably to the management of the exceptions by national administrations and to the control of business operators.

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