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EU — Digital Single Market – Key Studies

March 4, 2015 Comments off

Digital Single Market – Key Studies
Source: European Parliament Think Thank

This leaflet provides a compilation of papers prepared by the European Parliament’s Policy Departments in relation to the Digital Single Market. The completion of a Digital Single Market for all citizens and sectors, across all of Europe will boost productivity and contribute to the development of the European economy. The Digital Agenda for Europe is a roadmap for bringing the benefits of a digital society and economy to Europe’s citizens. Legislative work is being carried out in order to deliver sustainable economic and social benefits and create a legal framework for all data processing activities in the EU for the years to come.

In Focus: European Shipping Week 2015

March 3, 2015 Comments off

In Focus: European Shipping Week 2015
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

Our focus this week is on shipping, with EU policy makers and stakeholders meeting in Brussels for EU Shipping Week. The shipping industry is a solid pillar of the EU economy, with almost 90% of EU external freight trade carried by sea, and short-sea shipping representing 40% of intra-EU exchanges in terms of ton-kilometers. EPRS has a number of publications available to help keep you up-to-date with the different economic, social, environmental and technological issues facing EU shipping.

Implementation of the European Citizens’ Initiative: The experience of the first three years

February 26, 2015 Comments off

Implementation of the European Citizens’ Initiative: The experience of the first three years
Source: European Parliament Think Tank

The European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) has been in operation for three years now. It was introduced by the Lisbon Treaty as an innovative instrument for transnational participatory democracy. It aims to involve citizens in political agenda-setting at EU level, by providing them with an indirect form of the right of legislative initiative. By 1 April 2015, the Commission is required to issue its first report on the application of the ECI Regulation. It is widely expected that this review will prompt a revision of that regulation. Observers have identified a number of shortcomings in its implementation, which impact negatively on the effectiveness and acceptance of this relatively new instrument of transnational participatory democracy.Against this background, stakeholders are calling for simplification and a substantial revision of the current ECI framework and its application, including its implementation in the EU Member States. This paper seeks to provide a systematic overview of the current weaknesses in the ECI process and summarises concrete recommendations actors have put forward for a better functioning ECI.

100 Books on Europe to Remember

February 24, 2015 Comments off

100 Books on Europe to Remember
Source: European Parliament

Welcome to this dedicated new web space freely available to the public which presents, in at least one official EU language, a selection of the 100 Books on Europe to Remember.

The European Parliament has attempted to make a comprehensive selection of academic, intellectual and political works on the European idea and the development of the European integration process, taking into account the vast geographical, linguistic and intellectual spectrum of ideas.

EU’s opposition to the death penalty

February 18, 2015 Comments off

EU’s opposition to the death penalty
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

The death penalty is prohibited by law in all Member States of the European Union (EU). The ban is laid down in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (Charter) and European Convention on Human Rights (Convention) and its Protocols, particularly Protocol 6 and 13. All Member States have ratified the Convention and all of them have ratified its Protocols 6 and 13. Protocol 13 provides for the total abolition of the death penalty.

In addition, the Treaty on European Union (TEU) states in article 6 that the EU recognises the rights, freedoms and principles set out in the Charter and that the EU (as a whole) shall accede to the Convention.

As one of the conditions for accession to the EU, every candidate country must ensure respect for fundamental rights and EU citizens’ rights, as guaranteed by the acquis (all current EU rules) and by the Charter – this entails also the abolition of the death penalty.

Cultural Heritage Policy in the European Union

February 10, 2015 Comments off

Cultural Heritage Policy in the European Union
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

The European Commission defines cultural heritage as including “natural, built and archaeological sites; museums; monuments, artworks; historic cities; literary, musical, and audiovisual works, and the knowledge, practices and traditions of European citizens”.

Whilst the Member States are principally responsible for their own cultural heritage policy, European cultural heritage benefits from a range of supportive measures (policies, programmes and funding) aimed at preserving (art. 3 TEU) and promoting it (art 167 TFEU).

European cultural heritage is of exceptional economic importance for the tourism industry, generating an estimated annual revenue of EUR 335 billion, and many of the 9 million jobs in the tourism sector are linked to it directly or indirectly.

EU — A connected Digital Single Market – State of play and the way forward

February 6, 2015 Comments off

A connected Digital Single Market – State of play and the way forward
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

Information and communication technologies and the digital economy have the potential to improve Europe’s productivity and create growth and jobs. The EU has been making efforts to help create a more integrated European digital economy since the mid-1990s. In 2010, the Commission added new momentum to the process, and with the launch of the Digital Agenda set out to reap the benefits of a digital single market for households and businesses.

Despite a relatively high level of implementation of the actions on the Agenda and the adoption of numerous legislative initiatives, the Digital Single Market remains fragmented into 28 national markets, and the EU continues to lag behind its main international competitors.

The new European Commission recognised these shortcomings and the potential of the internet economy to help Europe recover from the crisis, and so placed completion of the Digital Single Market high on its agenda to the extent that there is now a dedicated project team of 13 Commissioners. In its 2015 Work Programme, the Commission outlined its intentions to conclude work on key pending proposals and table new legislative and non-legislative initiatives in this promising but challenging policy field, however to what extent tangible results will be achieved remains to be seen.

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