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How does the EU regulate the post term activities of members of the EU institutions, as for example, Commissioners and Members of the European Parliament, as opposed to staff members? The European Ombudsman has looked the phenomenon, also called ‘revolving doors’ in the context of several individual cases; on a few occasions this has ended in an un…
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Exposure to 'forever chemicals', air pollution, stress and many other factors depends on where a person lives and their lifestyle choices. These exposures combine over the course of a lifetime, affecting human biology and health. The 'exposome' concept offers a framework for understanding and analysing this complex reality, and ultimately for infor…
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How does the EU regulate the post term activities of members of the EU institutions, as for example, Commissioners and Members of the European Parliament, as opposed to staff members? The European Ombudsman has looked the phenomenon, also called ‘revolving doors’ in the context of several individual cases; on a few occasions this has ended in an un…
  continue reading
 
Key to a fair single market, EU rules do not allow State aid, unless it is used to promote general economic development, for example, when tackling the challenges of global competition or the ongoing financial crisis … The European Parliament agrees with this general principle, but calls for less and better targeted state aid in the future. https:/…
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The Commission proposes, Parliament and Council decide … has been the traditional approach to law-making in the European Union, until now … But the increasing need to put the citizens' voice at the heart of EU law-making, giving the European Parliament greater power to propose laws, is challenging this assumption and could open the door to a more d…
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Since 2012 – when Xi was first made General-Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) – the China-Russia relationship has evolved into an informal alliance in the face of what both countries consider a rising threat from the West to their regimes. China's response to Russia's war on has so far been much closer to Russia than it was in 2014 whe…
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The fifth generation of communication technologies, known as 5G, is fundamental to achieving a European gigabit society by 2025. But how will this affect our health and that of our children? Is 5G really safe? https://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document.html?reference=EPRS_BRI(2020)646172 Source: © European Union - EP…
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One of the most important roles of the European Parliament, next to legislating, is to hold the European Commission accountable. As the newly elected 720 Members of the European Parliament take their seats, one of their first and most important tasks will be to elect the next President of the European Commission, and, shortly after, to greenlight t…
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In June 2024, around 400 million EU citizens go to the polls to elect the Members of the European Parliament's 10th legislature. As the only EU institution that represents EU citizens, elections to the European Parliament are a major democratic event, and the only one at EU level that resembles national democratic electoral consultation. European e…
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Women continue to be under-represented in EU countries at all levels of political decision-making as well as in political parties. The origins of this situation are complex, but one reason stands out: violence against women active in politics discourages many women from entering the political arena. Women politicians are exposed to two severe and i…
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Getting involved in political life: standing for elected office, joining a political party, or following the news; is at the heart of what it means to live in a democracy. People with disabilities are active citizens, keen to participate given the right opportunities. However, they face legal, administrative, institutional and accessibility barrier…
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The European Union needs high-performing digital connectivity infrastructure to give all citizens the best access to digital services and to maintain prosperity. As the 2030s approach, the groundwork for the next frontier in mobile communications is being laid – the era of 6G. However, with the promise of unprecedented capabilities comes a host of …
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The European automotive industry is striving to adapt to market changes driven by the dual green and digital transition. Electrification has become the main strategy for reducing CO2 emissions, especially in urban traffic. At the same time, the average size and weight of cars have greatly increased. Big electric cars are the trend, but are they rea…
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Digital trade has become a key element in the EU's trade policy. The EU is the world's largest exporter and importer of digitally deliverable services and has a strong market position. Therefore, the development towards more digital trade provides opportunities for European consumers, for the economy and for the EU’s green and digital transition. T…
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The world is not on track to keep the global temperature rise below 2°C. Even under the most optimistic scenarios, the temperature rise is expected to overshoot 1.5°C for a while, before falling back below 1.5°C thanks to large-scale carbon removals. While action to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and scale up carbon dioxide removal remains c…
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European elections represent a crucial moment: they give EU citizens a say in the political direction of the European Union. After declining ever since the first European direct elections in 1979, electoral turn out increased in the 2019 elections to reach 50.6 % largely due to youth participation (according to a post-election Eurobarometer survey)…
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Next Generation EU (NGEU) and its centrepiece for investment, the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), are the main EU funding instruments for green and digital measures. Against the backdrop of huge investment needs in these strategic policy areas, 2024 marks a crucial phase in NGEU implementation. - Original publication on the EP Think Tank we…
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Robot applications, including 'collaborative robots' - cobots - designed to collaborate with humans, are in high demand, with sales and installation figures constantly on the rise. However, it is necessary to analyse the risks and opportunities of this technology and its possible social, economic, and ethical impacts. The following study presents t…
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In November 2023, the European Commission presented its annual enlargement reports. Its strategic orientations and recommendations include accelerating the accession process with the Western Balkan countries, opening accession negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova, and granting candidate status to Georgia. According to the European Parliament's 202…
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Corruption is a major challenge for the European Union (EU), with all its Member States affected by the problem to some extent. The EU has gradually adopted laws addressing a range of corruption-related issues. However, the current legal framework remains patchy, the lack of minimum rules on the definition of criminal offences and sanctions in the …
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The European Commission estimates that 15 % of Europeans fall victim to a crime every year. In July 2023, the Commission published its proposal for a revision of the Victims' Rights Directive, the key EU legislation on the protection of the rights of victims of crime. Despite progress in recent years, victims still lack access to information, suppo…
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In July 2023, the European Commission adopted a proposal to revise the EU toy safety legislation. This proposal pursues two main objectives: a) achieving a higher level of child protection, including from the most harmful substances; and b) reducing the number of non-compliant and unsafe toys on the EU market. - Original publication on the EP Think…
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Generative artificial intelligence applications, such as ChatGPT, are powered through complex learning processes by comprehensive datasets of – potentially dubious – human-created content. There are concerns that such tools could develop consciousness and spark emergent behaviour that is, by definition, unpredictable and therefore potentially unsaf…
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On 30 June 2022, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and then New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the conclusion of negotiations on a comprehensive EU-New Zealand free trade agreement (FTA). The agreement was signed on 9 July 2023. Although the 2014-2019 Commission had initially aimed to finalise negotiations before the end of…
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Families in the European Union (EU) are increasingly likely to move and travel between the EU Member States. Yet, given the differences in Member States' laws, parents can face difficulties in having their parenthood recognised when crossing borders within the EU. Non recognition in one Member State of parenthood established in another Member State…
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The EU depends on imported fossil fuels (gas, oil and coal) for about 56 % of its energy needs (gross energy consumption), which in 2021 represented an energy bill of around EUR 300 billion. The domestic production of renewable energy sources has increased significantly in recent years to 22 % of total demand. The European Union can aspire to achie…
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