Archive for the ‘European Parliament’ Category

The Rights Of LGBTI People In The European Union

May 22, 2015 Comments off

The Rights Of LGBTI People In The European Union
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

The prohibition of discrimination and the protection of human rights are important elements of the EU legal order. Nevertheless, discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons persists throughout the EU, taking various forms including verbal abuse and physical violence.

Sexual orientation is now recognised in EU law as a ground of discrimination. However, the scope of these provisions is limited and does not cover social protection, healthcare, education and access to goods and services, leaving LGBTI people particularly vulnerable in these areas.

EU — Cybersecurity: Jihadism and the internet

May 21, 2015 Comments off

Cybersecurity: Jihadism and the internet
Source: European Parliament Think Tank

Since the beginning of the conflict in Syria in March 2011, the numbers of European citizens supporting or joining the ranks of ISIL/Da’esh have been growing steadily, and may now be as high as 4 000 individuals. At the same time, the possible avenues for radicalisation are multiplying and the risks of domestic terrorism increasing. The proliferation of global jihadi messaging online and their reliance on social networks suggest that the internet is increasingly a tool for promoting jihadist ideology, collecting funds and mobilising their ranks.

Tackling Long-Term Unemployment In The EU

May 19, 2015 Comments off

Tackling Long-Term Unemployment In The EU
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

With the onset of the crisis, unemployment rates have increased sharply throughout Europe and the trend seemed set to continue. However in March 2015, the European Commission reported that, for the first time since 2009, the LTU rate fell slightly. Currently, long-term unemployment (LTU) stands at 4,9% for the EU. LTU remains highest in Greece, Spain, Croatia and Slovakia and lowest in Austria, Sweden and Finland.

Anyone who is without a job for more than 12 months is considered to be long-term unemployed. Affected are people in all age groups, but older workers have the most difficulty to return to the labour market. The nature of one’s previous job also seems to impact chances for re-employment. Common obstacles on the employer’s side are high labour costs, rigid employment protection or lack of incentives. For those affected, being away from the labour market for a long time can have devastating effects, such as social isolation and exclusion, stigmatisation, skills obsolescence and negative effects on family life, health and well-being.

EU Expenditure On Animal And Plant Health And A Safe Food Chain

May 12, 2015 Comments off

EU Expenditure On Animal And Plant Health And A Safe Food Chain
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

The agri-food sector plays a significant role in the EU’s economy, employing close to 50 million people. EU expenditure on ‘food and feed’ aims to contribute to safety along the food chain, mainly by preventing, controlling and eradicating serious pests and diseases, in animals or plants, and strengthening related controls. Key objectives include safeguarding public health and consumers as well as animal and plant health, and protecting the value of economic sectors related to the food chain.

EU — Technology And Education: Opportunities And Side-Effects

April 27, 2015 Comments off

Technology And Education: Opportunities And Side-Effects
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

Technology arouses great expectations as far as its impact on learning and teaching is concerned; yet to date these are only partially satisfied. Although there has been huge public investment and progress has been made, the pace of integration of technology in education is slower than expected. This may be due to the fact that evidence of its benefits remains elusive. The Scientific Foresight Unit (STOA) study on Teaching and learning technology options, spotlights technology options for education in Europe, presenting both the opportunities and the risks involved. Lead Panel Member for the study is Paul RÜBIG, Chair of the STOA Panel.

Education technology encompasses a wide range of tools, services and methodologies that, when used correctly and in combination, help develop the potential of the education environment. The study identifies four underlying trends affecting this environment. Firstly, enabling technologies improve broadband internet access for European households and schools, thus promoting full and fair access to online educational resources. Secondly, cloud technologies, allow delivery of on-demand services through the network by third parties, encouraging information and content sharing, and collaborative working environments. Thirdly, mobile devices facilitate a more dynamic and user-friendly use of technology by shifting the focus from fixed connectivity, based on shared personal computers, towards mobile and multimedia personal connectivity. Lastly, technical support is a core issue for the long-term availability of technological improvements, which require constant maintenance.

Making the US federal budget: Process and hazards

April 22, 2015 Comments off

Making the US federal budget: Process and hazards
Source: European Parliament Think Tank

The federal budget makes up roughly half of all public spending in the US, with the rest spent at state and local level. The United States (US) Congress, comprising the House of Representatives and the Senate, is responsible for passing the legislation that constitutes the budget, but the President also plays an important role, both in launching the process through a formal budget proposal and in bringing it to an end by signing appropriations, revenue and entitlement bills into law. While the budget process is formally set out in legislation, budget-making in practice can be quite different. The Constitution grants the ‘power of the purse’ to Congress, but it is ultimately the President who signs bills into law. This de facto division of powers between President and Congress, and within Congress between the House of Representatives and the Senate, poses specific challenges – not least when the House, the Senate and the Presidency are controlled by different parties. These challenges have been conspicuous in recent years, as lawmakers have struggled to follow the prescribed timetable, necessitating other procedures and stopgap measures to maintain funding for vital government functions. In addition, in response to mounting government debt and political deadlock, attempts have been made to bind future legislatures, by locking in budget cuts in a process known as ‘sequestration’. At times the key players have been unable to reach agreement, cutting off funding from parts of the government and putting the US at risk of a sovereign default.

Alcohol Policy In The EU – State Of Play March 2015

April 22, 2015 Comments off

Alcohol Policy In The EU – State Of Play March 2015
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

The 2006 EU Alcohol Strategy officially came to an end in December 2012. A report published in December 2012 evaluated the impact of this strategy and concluded that it was still very relevant and had brought about positive added value in terms of addressing alcohol-related harm.

Although the European Commission intended to present a new European Action Plan to reduce alcohol related harm for the period 2014-2017 , no new proposal has as yet been introduced. The Commission nevertheless proposed a new EU action plan on youth drinking and also included alcohol-harm preventive measures in its 2014-2020 Health Programme. Furthermore the Commission also undertook a study to examine the different practices related to labelling of alcoholic beverages.

Recently, the Latvian Presidency 2015 promised in its programme, as part of its health priorities , to “follow the work of the Committee on National Alcohol Policy and Action, and is in the process of developing a scoping paper on the vision of future actions to be taken in the area of an alcohol policy in the EU”.

By means of resolutions and questions, the European Parliament has repeatedly put pressure on the Commission to present a new European Action Plan since alcohol related harm is still a major public health concern across the EU.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,053 other followers