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Reinvigorating the EU Single Market

October 20, 2014 Comments off

Reinvigorating the EU Single Market
Source: OECD

The EU Single Market remains fragmented by complex and heterogeneous rules at the EU and national levels affecting trade, capital, including foreign direct investment, and labour mobility. Further development of the Single Market and removing barriers to external trade would bring substantial growth and employment gains by enhancing resource allocation in Europe, by generating economies of scale and by strengthening competition and hence incentives to innovate. Reforming regulation and other implicit barriers can also yield a double dividend: it would stimulate cross-border activities and support the necessary reallocation process within countries. Such reallocation can cause hardships, especially for the less-skilled workers who may not be able to compete. To deal with such problems, it is important to enhance active labour market policies and training. The Single Market would also benefit from better networks between countries that can be supported by a well-targeted infrastructure policy. New digital networks can be promoted by an appropriate regulatory framework to strengthen confidence and to promote fair competition. Regarding external trade, the first-best solution is clearly multilateral trade negotiations, but short of that external trade and investment barriers can be reduced with Free Trade Agreement negotiations with the United States and other partners. This Working Paper relates to the 2014 OECD Economic Survey of the European Union (www.oecd.org/eco/surveys/economic-survey-european-union.htm).

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UN — Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism

October 17, 2014 Comments off

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism (PDF)
Source: United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

The present report in the fourth annual report submitted to the General Assembly by the current Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freesoms while countering terrorism, Ben Emmerson.

The key activities undertaken by the Special Rapporteur between 17 December 2013 and 31 July 2014 are listed in section II of the report. In section III, the Special Rapporteur examines the use of mass digital surveillance for counter-terrorism purposes and considers the implications of bulk access technology for the right to privacy under article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Employment: report shows worker mobility key to tackle EU demographic and skills challenges

October 17, 2014 Comments off

Employment: report shows worker mobility key to tackle EU demographic and skills challenges
Source: European Commission/OECD

To address the effects of population ageing, the EU will need to close the gender gap and increase the participation of young and older workers in the labour market, but mobility and migration also have a key role to play. This is the main finding of the joint Commission-OECD report on Matching Economic Migration with Labour Market Needs published today.

Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion László Andor commented “This joint report with the OECD offers valuable guidance on the serious demographic challenges ahead. Ensuring fair labour mobility within the EU, improving training to close skills gaps, ensuring decent working conditions to workers and better integration of non-EU workers can be part of the solution to population ageing and future skill shortages in the European labour market”.

Making the Atom Work for the Environment; New IAEA Publication Explains How Nuclear Techniques Support Sustainable Development

October 13, 2014 Comments off

Making the Atom Work for the Environment; New IAEA Publication Explains How Nuclear Techniques Support Sustainable Development
Source: International Atomic Energy Agency

Environmental degradation is a major development challenge for many of the IAEA’s Member States, affecting local, national, regional and global communities. Nuclear techniques can play an important role in addressing such challenges, contributing to sustainable development and environmental protection. A new IAEA publication, The Atom, the Environment and Sustainable Development, describes how nuclear-related technologies, such as isotopic analysis, can be used to monitor and understand environmental processes. Ultimately, such technologies advance innovative medical treatment methods, increase food security and help manage scarce natural resources.

Global Monitoring Report 2014/2015 : Ending Poverty and Sharing Prosperity

October 11, 2014 Comments off

Global Monitoring Report 2014/2015 : Ending Poverty and Sharing Prosperity
Source: World Bank

The Global Monitoring Report 2014/2015 will, for the first time, monitor and report on the World Bank Group’s twin goals of ending extreme poverty by 2030 and boosting shared prosperity, while continuing to track progress toward the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

This Global Monitoring Report examines how a select set of policies in the areas of human capital and the environment can create jobs and make development more inclusive and sustainable, while highlighting how social assistance policies can help end poverty and improve growth prospects. It discusses most of these issues across a full spectrum of countries. This means the Report not only addresses low- and middle-income countries but also, for the first time, includes a discussion of high-income countries as well.

The Report will contain quantitative information about the World Bank Group’s twin goals: It will provide an assessment on how far the world has to go to end extreme poverty by 2030 and how much of prosperity has been shared with the bottom 40 percent of a country’s population.

The report is prepared in collaboration with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

How solar energy could be the largest source of electricity by mid-century

October 10, 2014 Comments off

How solar energy could be the largest source of electricity by mid-century
Source: International Energy Agency

The sun could be the world’s largest source of electricity by 2050, ahead of fossil fuels, wind, hydro and nuclear, according to a pair of reports issued today by the International Energy Agency (IEA). The two IEA technology roadmaps show how solar photovoltaic (PV) systems could generate up to 16% of the world’s electricity by 2050 while solar thermal electricity (STE) from concentrating solar power (CSP) plants could provide an additional 11%. Combined, these solar technologies could prevent the emission of more than 6 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide per year by 2050 – that is more than all current energy-related CO2 emissions from the United States or almost all of the direct emissions from the transport sector worldwide today.

The economic impact of the 2014 Ebola epidemic : short and medium term estimates for West Africa

October 9, 2014 Comments off

The economic impact of the 2014 Ebola epidemic : short and medium term estimates for West Africa
Source: World Bank

The 2014 outbreak of the Ebola virus disease in West Africa has taken a devastating human toll. Although the outbreak originated in rural Guinea, it has hit hardest in Liberia and Sierra Leone, in part because it has reached urban areas in these two countries, a factor that distinguishes this outbreak from previous episodes elsewhere. As of October 3, 2014, there had been 3,431 recorded deaths out of 7,470 probable, suspected, or confirmed cases of Ebola. This report informs the response to the epidemic by presenting best-effort estimates of its macroeconomic and fiscal effects. Any such exercise is necessarily highly imprecise due to limited data and many uncertain factors, but it is still necessary in order to plan the economic assistance that must accompany the immediate humanitarian response. The goal is to help affected countries to recover and return to the robust economic growth they had experienced until the onset of this crisis. This document presents the World Bank’s preliminary estimates of the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa for 2014 (short term impact) and 2015 (medium term impact). Section 2 presents a single set of 2014 estimates for Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, based on available data on current economic activity as well as assumptions about the short-term impact. It also presents current data on the limited current impacts on other countries in the region.

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