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Hong Kong: one country, two systems?

October 23, 2014 Comments off

Hong Kong: one country, two systems?
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

The on-going heated debate about the introduction of universal suffrage for the election of Hong Kong’s Chief Executive has turned into widespread protests on the territory’s streets. Hopes that the public would be able to nominate candidates were dashed by China’s decision to allow only committee-based nomination of candidates in the 2017 election. The Occupy Central protests, widely known as the Umbrella Revolution, kicked off on 28 September. Agreement to talks, scheduled for 10 October, saw tensions lowered, but after those talks were cancelled by the authorities, organisers called for protesters to return to the streets. With numbers not reaching earlier heights, the authorities appear to have concluded that the protests’ momentum is going.

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EU — Photonics: An industry moving at the speed of light

October 9, 2014 Comments off

Photonics: An industry moving at the speed of light
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

Photonics is all around us; it is an integral part of modern human society, contributing to our daily lives. The science of photonics is the study an utilisation of light or photons. Consequently due to its interdisciplinary nature it crosses the fields of physics, chemistry and electrical engineering.

The majority of society is unaware if the collective study of phonics or its importance to industry. Instead of seeing devices that are produced by, or that use photonics, we simply see electronics. Unaware of the amazing technology within, it’s extensive nature or its complexities. Yet photonics is a sector that is increasingly vital to our economic growth and standard of living.it is driving innovation forward faster than ever before and revolutionising our lives, and altering the way we view and experience the world around us.

EU — Online gambling

October 7, 2014 Comments off

Online gambling
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

The online gambling market is growing rapidly with betting being the biggest sector. National levels of demand vary across the EU. With an estimated 6.84 million consumers, in 2012 annual revenues were €10.54 billion.

EU — Urban mobility: Shifting towards sustainable transport systems

October 3, 2014 Comments off

Urban mobility: Shifting towards sustainable transport systems
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

Urban mobility is confronted by many challenges, the key one being traffic congestion: urbanisation and a high dependence on cars having led to congestion in urban areas. Traffic congestion adversely impacts the urban environment itself in a direct way, leading to poor air quality, noise emissions, high levels of CO2 and road safety problems. It also affects current and future economic competitiveness, social cohesion and the continent’s sustainable growth.

Tackling urban mobility while minimising its undesirable impacts on the economy, society and the environment i.e. improving sustainable urban mobility goes beyond focusing on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of transport systems, also covering in particular demand-orientated measures, such as promoting walking, cycling, and a reduction in the need to travel.

While many cities are experiencing serious mobility issues, the effects of demographic and socio-economic changes such as ageing populations, migration, processes of suburbanisation and urban sprawl touch them in different ways and thus confront them with different mobility challenges. The ability of local entities or cities to act on mobility issues is also dependent on their regulatory and funding powers as well as their situation in terms of wealth and resources. Though dealing with urban mobility is primarily the responsibility of local, regional or national authorities, the EU has for many years placed urban mobility at the top of the EU agenda.

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.

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?

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