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European Parliament - EPRS Policy podcasts

European Parliament - EPRS Policy podcasts

Listen to a selection of EPRS policy podcasts here. An in-depth look at different topical EU policy areas based on objective authoritative and independent research.

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Intelligent road transport systems

The European Commission proposed to expand the scope of the existing EU rules on the deployment of intelligent transport systems (ITS) in road transport to cover new and emerging challenges and to make essential ITS services mandatory across the EU. The proposal seeks to resolve problems stemming from the lack of interoperability and continuity of the existing applications and services, but also from the low level of availability and sharing of the data supporting ITS services. Finally, it aims to ensure effective concertation and cooperation among stakeholders.

- Original publication on the EP Think Tank website
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- Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTube

Source: © European Union - EP
2022-11-18
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The Data act

The proposed EU data act lays down harmonised rules on fair access to and use of data. The aim is to remove barriers before consumers and businesses' access to data in a context in which the volume of data generated by humans and machines is increasing exponentially and becoming a critical factor for innovation by businesses (e.g. algorithm training) and by public authorities (e.g. shaping of smart cities).

- Original publication on the EP Think Tank website
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- Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTube

Source: © European Union - EP
2022-11-18
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Sustainable carbon cycles: Promoting removal, storage and recycling

The European Commission outlined various approaches to capture and store or isolate carbon dioxide emissions, or capture already released carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere to reduce the concentration and thereby its warming effect. Various solutions, both technology- and nature-based, are being brought forward to this end. A key challenge will be to ensure permanence of carbon dioxide removals, whether in underground geological storage or through actively managed natural processes, such as carbon farming and management practices in the land use, land-use change and forestry sectors.

- Original publication on the EP Think Tank website
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- Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTube

Source: © European Union - EP
2022-11-18
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Small farms' role in the EU food system

Small farms make up the vast majority of the EU's 10 million farms. Recent studies have lowered past estimates of how much of the global food supply is produced by small farms. Notwithstanding the complex nature of such estimates and the possible under-estimation of small operators' production because of self consumption, it is clear that small farms allocate larger shares of their production to food and have a more diversified produce portfolio than larger farms. In addition to producing food, small farms are typically associated with protecting landscape features and biodiversity and the notion of providing public goods.

- Original publication on the EP Think Tank website
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- Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTube

Source: © European Union - EP
2022-10-14
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Outermost regions of the EU

The European Union's outermost regions (ORs) qualify for special treatment owing to structural difficulties ? such as remoteness, difficult topography and economic dependence on a few products ? that can severely hamper their development. In addition, the coronavirus pandemic has hit their economies particularly hard. While these regions are quite different from one another, they have levels of unemployment and GDP significantly worse than EU and national averages. Article 349 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union provides for specific measures to support the ORs, including the tailored application of EU law and access to EU programmes.

- Original publication on the EP Think Tank website
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- Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTube

Source: © European Union - EP
2022-10-14
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What if care work were recognised as a driver of sustainable growth?

Care work provided in homes and institutions is a public good that is under-valued by society. Care workers are more likely to have low earnings and precarious working conditions. About 9 in 10 care workers are women. Most unpaid care work within households is carried out by women. The 'unpaid care penalty' for women in the EU, which is equivalent to the earnings they lost because of this unbalanced distribution of care responsibilities, is estimated to reach ?242 billion per year. EU action in the care sector has the potential for high returns for society. Fostering the 'equal earner ? equal carer model' could generate benefits of between ?24 billion and ?48 billion a year.

- Original publication on the EP Think Tank website
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- Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTube

Source: © European Union - EP
2022-10-14
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Inflation explained: What lies behind and what is ahead?

Inflation is defined as a process of continuously rising prices and falling purchasing power. In other words, a general and broad-based increase in the price of goods and services over an extended period. The main objective of central banks is to keep prices stable, to preserve the integrity and purchasing power of people's money. The most common inflation indicator measures the average change in the price of a basket of consumer goods and services over time. The closest approximation of what people intuitively understand by the term inflation is the change in their cost of living. Inflation is expected to remain significantly above the euro area inflation target of 2 % for some time, due to continued geopolitical uncertainty and persistent supply bottlenecks.

- Original publication on the EP Think Tank website
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- Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTube

Source: © European Union - EP
2022-09-30
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Solar energy in the EU

The EU solar energy strategy proposed under the REPowerEU plan aims to make solar energy a cornerstone of the EU energy system. Boosting renewable energy is also an important part of the European Green Deal in the context of the green transition towards climate neutrality. Solar energy is affordable, clean and has been the fastest-growing energy source in the last decade. It can be used for electricity and heating, while also helping reduce EU dependency on energy imports by replacing them with domestic production. EU measures to boost solar energy include making the installation of solar panels on the rooftops of new buildings obligatory within a specific timeframe, streamlining permitting procedures for renewable energy projects, improving the skills base in the solar sector and boosting the EU's capacity to manufacture photovoltaic panels.

- Original publication on the EP Think Tank website
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- Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTube

Source: © European Union - EP
2022-09-30
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Culture and regional development

Culture plays a fundamental role in human life. It is also an essential source of identity, at local, regional, national and European levels, while making a significant contribution to the EU economy. EU cultural policy relates to cultural heritage, but also to the cultural and creative sector. The EU supports culture through a variety of initiatives, including the European Capitals of Culture scheme. A number of EU programmes also offer funding for cultural projects, for instance the Creative Europe programme, Horizon Europe and New European Bauhaus. As one of the sectors of the economy worst affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the EU included culture in its coronavirus response investment initiatives and the REACT-EU programme aimed at dealing with the consequences of the pandemic. The European Parliament has called for increased support for culture as part of the post-pandemic recovery efforts.

- Original publication on the EP Think Tank website
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- Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTube

Source: © European Union - EP
2022-09-30
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Future Shocks 2022: Building a healthier online environment for healthy democracies

The last two decades have been marked by the unprecedented development of the online world. This has provided new opportunities for citizens to access political information, discuss issues, and engage in politics, as well as new possibilities for political actors to influence public opinion, mobilise people and organise electoral campaigns.

#FutureShocks2022

- Original publication on the EP Think Tank website
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- Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTube

Source: © European Union - EP
2022-09-09
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Future Shocks 2022: Strengthening our energy security

Defined by the International Energy Agency as 'reliable, affordable access to all fuels and energy sources', energy security is vital to the EU's economy. However, lacking sufficient energy reserves of its own, the EU is critically dependent on imports. Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 disrupted gas supplies to Europe. The European Commission has proposed a reduction of two-thirds in EU energy imports from Russia by the end of 2022.

#FutureShocks2022

- Original publication on the EP Think Tank website
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- Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTube

Source: © European Union - EP
2022-09-09
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Future Shocks 2022: Extreme weather events

Extreme weather events, including deadly floods in Germany and Belgium, and wildfires in Greece, Italy and France, shook Europe in 2021. Yet such events can no longer be considered rarities, as the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events has been increasing over recent decades. Scientists have linked these increases to the human-induced global warming.

#FutureShocks2022

- Original publication on the EP Think Tank website
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- Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTube

Source: © European Union - EP
2022-09-09
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Sustainable Development Goals in EU regions

The EU has contributed to creating the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), established in 2015, as part of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and takes action to implement them through its internal and external policies, as outlined in the 'Towards a Sustainable Europe by 2030' reflection paper, the European Green Deal, the European Commission's political priorities and its work programme. The Sustainable Development Goals also have a regional dimension, sometimes called 'localisation'. Achieving around 65 % of the targets is estimated to require local and regional authority participation. Numerous regions and cities, including in the EU, have expressed support for the SDGs and many have integrated them in their policy frameworks.

- Original publication on the EP Think Tank website
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- Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTube

Source: © European Union - EP
2022-07-01
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SDG 2 ? zero hunger and EU action against hunger and malnutrition

At least one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the UN will be missed in 2030 ? SDG 2 ? 'zero hunger'. Hunger and malnutrition are rising dramatically across the world, a trend aggravated by the pandemic. In 2020, 811 million people in the world were facing hunger, the highest level since 2014. In the EU itself, considered one of the most food-secure regions in the world, nearly 7 million people were already experiencing severe food insecurity before the pandemic, and malnutrition is on the rise. SDG 2 aims not only at achieving food security but also at improving nutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture. These objectives have been mainstreamed in the recently reformed common agricultural policy and the 'farm to fork' and biodiversity strategies.

- Original publication on the EP Think Tank website
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- Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTube

Source: © European Union - EP
2022-07-01
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EU action on ocean governance and achieving SDG 14

SDG 14 on 'life below water' focuses on the sustainability of the oceans, recognising their essential role in life on our planet. Oceans contain 80 % of all life forms, produce more than 50 % of the Earth's oxygen and play a central role in regulating the climate. In addition, the 'blue economy' provides 4.5 million direct jobs in the EU. To manage maritime activities sustainably and cope with different environmental pressures, the EU has implemented a wide range of policies, such as the common fisheries policy, the marine strategy framework directive and the maritime spatial planning directive, as well as specific legislation related to marine litter. Other new initiatives under the European Green Deal also play an important role in relation to ocean governance and sustainable blue growth, such as the 2030 biodiversity strategy, the offshore renewable energy strategy, the 'Fit for 55' package and the new guidelines on aquaculture.

- Original publication on the EP Think Tank website
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- Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTube

Source: © European Union - EP
2022-07-01
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Understanding SDGs: The UN's Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, the United Nations adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to be attained by 2030. The SDGs and the broader 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, of which they form the core, are based on findings that human activities have triggered dramatic changes in the conditions on Earth (climate change and biodiversity loss), which in turn have contributed to the deterioration of human wellbeing. To reverse the trend, there is an urgent need to simultaneously address the multiple causes and consequences of environmental depletion and social inequalities, by developing synergies and managing trade-offs between the SDGs. The European Union has been a leader in drafting the SDGs; it is also a frontrunner in mainstreaming the SDGs in all its policies.

- Original publication on the EP Think Tank website
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- Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTube

Source: © European Union - EP
2022-07-01
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Future shocks: Building a European social model for the 21st century

The European Union already has an outstanding level of social security compared to the rest of the world. While the EU constitutes less than 6 % of the world's population and 20 % of global gross domestic profit (GDP), it accounts for at least 40 % of global public spending on social protection. According to Eurostat, In the EU-27 in 2020, expenditure on social protection stood at 22.0 % of GDP, at 41.3 % of total global public spending and at ?2 943 billion. While the European social model is undoubtedly a unique achievement, it has to be adapted to the challenges of the future to maintain its long-term sustainability

#FutureShocks2022 - Original publication on the EP Think Tank website
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Source: © European Union - EP
2022-06-03
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Future shocks: Establishing greater strategic autonomy for European industry

European industry is central when it comes to achieving the twin green and digital transition of the EU's economy and society, and making Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. While European industry has strengths (for instance in green tech), it has lagged behind in some key strategic sectors. Common weaknesses in strategic European industrial sectors include high dependency on critical raw materials ? for instance around half of the materials needed in aircraft production come from third countries. Other weaknesses are insufficient research and development funding, technology gaps, market fragmentation, underinvestment, and lack of skills. The pandemic has, meanwhile, highlighted the broader vulnerabilities of global supply chains.

#FutureShocks2022 - Original publication on the EP Think Tank website
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Source: © European Union - EP
2022-06-03
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Future shocks: Russia's brutal expansionism

The war on Ukraine is the latest manifestation of Russia's revisionist policy over the past decade. Russia has increasingly been using hybrid warfare tactics to assert its international position and gain 'strategic leverage'. Russia has used both non-conventional and conventional warfare tactics in conflicts in the EU's neighbourhood, in particular in Syria, Libya, Africa and in Ukraine. Prior to the ongoing war, Russia seized and illegally annexed Crimea in 2014 and carried on a war in Donbass, recognising unilaterally, a couple of days before the invasion of Ukraine, the independence of the self-proclaimed independent republics of Luhansk and Donetsk.

#FutureShocks2022
Future Shocks 2022: Strengthening European defence union - Original publication on the EP Think Tank website
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Source: © European Union - EP
2022-06-03
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Future shocks: Overview of risks for Europe in 2022 and beyond

The most serious risks are both complex and complicated. Multiple risks can also arise together. We have recent examples of risks that became reality, and that had an impact on society, economy and political life together. This strengthens the case for cross-sectoral monitoring and cross-sectoral strategies. In this podcast, we?ll give you an overview of the most serious risks facing the EU, from health and security ones, to climate change, energy and economic risks. Governance is key for facing future risks as a society. Effective governance needs to be holistic and strategic analytical capacity. So, risk monitoring should be conducted as part of a broader effort to develop strategic foresight and anticipatory governance.

#FutureShocks2022 - Original publication on the EP Think Tank website
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Source: © European Union - EP
2022-06-03
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Temporary protection directive

The EU Temporary Protection Directive enables EU Member States to move rapidly to offer protection and rights to people in need of immediate protection and to avoid overwhelming national asylum systems in cases of mass arrivals of displaced persons. Although invoked several times in the past, the directive has never been activated before. Russia's military aggression prompted a unanimous decision in the Council to grant temporary protection (for an initial period of one year) to people fleeing the war in Ukraine. This temporary protection may be extended automatically by two six-monthly periods, for a maximum of another year. The EU's decision to grant temporary protection has been widely welcomed and the directive is considered the most appropriate instrument under the current exceptional circumstances. There are, however, still many open questions as to its practical implementation in the EU Member States.

- Original publication on the EP Think Tank website
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Source: © European Union - EP
2022-04-29
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Sustainable maritime fuels - 'Fit for 55' package: the FuelEU Maritime proposal

The FuelEU Maritime regulation seeks to steer the EU maritime sector towards decarbonisation. The proposal sets up a fuel standard for ships and introduces a requirement for the most polluting ship types to use onshore electricity when at berth. It puts the responsibility for compliance on the shipping company. The legislative outcome of this proposal will be closely linked to the simultaneously proposed rules on including the maritime sector in the EU emissions trading system, as well as those on alternative fuels infrastructure, energy taxation and renewable energy. Moreover, some of the proposed rules do not concern EU shipping only but have wider implications for international maritime shipping, which is regulated by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

- Original publication on the EP Think Tank website
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Source: © European Union - EP
2022-04-29
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Revision of the EU's Waste Shipment Regulation

On 17 November 2021, the European Commission tabled a proposal to revise EU rules governing shipments of waste. The proposed regulation aims at easing shipments of waste for reuse and recycling in the EU, to support the transition to a circular economy; ensuring that waste exported from the EU is managed in an environmentally sound manner in the destination countries; and stepping up enforcement to counteract illegal shipments of waste. While supporting the proposed streamlining and digitalisation of procedures, stakeholders have stressed the need for significant improvements to ensure that the new regulation fulfils its objectives, in particular as regards exports of waste.

- Original publication on the EP Think Tank website
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Source: © European Union - EP
2022-04-29
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Russia's war on Ukraine: The EU's financing of military assistance to Ukraine

In an unprecedented and unanimous reaction to the Russian war on Ukraine that began on 24 February 2022, the EU swiftly decided to provide ?500 million from the European Peace Facility to fund and coordinate EU military assistance and to deliver military (including lethal) equipment to Ukraine. The Council had already adopted an assistance measure of ?31 million for non-lethal assistance to Ukraine on 2 December 2021. For the first time in its history, the EU is now using a dedicated, although off-budget, tool to finance ? but not to deliver, with that responsibility falling on Member States alone ? lethal military equipment for a third country.

- Original publication on the EP Think Tank website
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Source: © European Union - EP
2022-04-01
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EU taxonomy: Delegated acts on climate, and nuclear and gas

The EU taxonomy is a classification system that aims to channel public and private investment into environmentally sustainable economic activities in order to achieve environmental objectives, such as those in the fight against climate change. It establishes a dynamic list of economic activities considered to be environmentally sustainable, provided they contribute substantially to at least one environmental objective and do not significantly harm any other. The European Commission claims that such a common understanding of what constitutes environmentally sustainable investment can facilitate the funding of the transition to a more sustainable economy by bringing clarity to investors, avoiding market fragmentation and reducing the risk of greenwashing.

- Original publication on the EP Think Tank website
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Source: © European Union - EP
2022-04-01
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EU space policy: Boosting EU competitiveness and accelerating the twin ecological and digital transition

Over the past decade, space has gained increasing importance as an economic sector offering opportunities for established and emerging markets. Space policies and their applications have also gained in political relevance due to their capacity to tackle global challenges, such as the climate and biodiversity crises, but also due to the growing reliance of the EU economy and society on space infrastructure, services and data. This briefing focuses on the state of play in regard to the EU's space economy, while also examining the EU's reliance on space services. Specifically, it highlights the relevance of the EU in the global space market and looks at the ways the EU could boost its use of space data and services to deliver on its main political priorities.

- Original publication on the EP Think Tank website
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Source: © European Union - EP
2022-04-01
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Equal pay for equal work between men and women: Pay transparency and enforcement mechanisms

Equal pay for equal work is one of the European Union's founding principles, enshrined in Article 157 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). However, the implementation and enforcement of this principle remain a challenge. Due to a lack of pay transparency, pay discrimination often goes undetected and victims face difficulties in making a claim for redress. On 4 March 2021, the European Commission adopted a legislative proposal on binding pay transparency measures. The proposed directive to strengthen the application of the principle of equal pay for equal work or work of equal value between men and women through pay transparency and enforcement mechanisms focuses on measures to ensure pay transparency, and better access to justice for victims of pay discrimination.

- Original publication on the EP Think Tank website
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- Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTube

Source: © European Union - EP
2022-04-01
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Understanding EU policy on firearms trafficking

Precise figures about the numbers of illegal firearms in the European Union (EU) are lacking, but several indicators point to their widespread availability and accessibility. According to the Small Arms Survey, over half of the estimated total number of firearms held by civilians in the EU in 2017 were unlicensed. While most of these citizens had no criminal intentions, their illicit firearms could be used for self-harm or domestic violence, or end up in the hands of criminals or terrorists. Firearms seizures suggest that the EU illicit firearms market is made up mostly of shotguns, pistols and rifles, with converted or convertible weapons also frequently appearing. Illicit firearms trafficking is driven by criminal demand, with organised crime groups that engage in firearms trafficking also involved in other forms of criminality.

- Original publication on the EP Think Tank website
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Source: © European Union - EP
2022-03-04
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Revision of EU ETS as regards aviation: 'Fit for 55' package

As part of the 'Fit for 55' package, the Commission is proposing a revision to the EU's emissions trading system (ETS) as regards carbon dioxide emissions from aviation. The proposal seeks to ensure that the sector contributes to the EU's climate targets through increased auctioning of allowances, with an end to free allowances from 2027, and by applying the linear reduction of aviation allowances. The proposal will also integrate, into the revised ETS, the International Civil Aviation Organization's agreed global market-based Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) and apply it to international flights departing from or arriving at an airport inside the European Economic Area (EEA). For domestic flights in the Member States or flights within the EEA, the ETS would continue to apply.

- Original publication on the EP Think Tank website
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Source: © European Union - EP
2022-03-04
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Review of the EU ETS: 'Fit for 55' package

As part of the 'Fit for 55' package, the Commission presented a legislative proposal to review the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS). The aim of the review is to align the EU ETS Directive with the EU target set out in the European Climate Law to reduce net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 55 % by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. To this end, the amount of emission allowances would be reduced, fewer allowances would be allocated for free, and the ETS would be extended to maritime transport. This would reduce emissions in the ETS sectors by 61 % by 2030, compared to 2005. A separate new emissions trading system would be established for fuel distribution for road transport and buildings.

- Original publication on the EP Think Tank website
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Source: © European Union - EP
2022-03-04
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European green bonds: A standard for Europe, open to the world

Green bonds are committed to financing or re-financing investments, projects, expenditure or assets helping to address climate and environmental issues. Both governments and companies use them to finance the transition to a more sustainable and low-carbon economy. Since the EIB inaugurated the green bond market in 2007 with its Climate Awareness Bond, the market has grown very fast, but it still represents only about 3 to 3.5 % of overall bond issuance. The green bond market needs to grow more quickly to achieve the targets in the Paris Agreement. In this podcast, we'll talk about European green bonds, a tool for financing green investments that can help us make the transition to a low-carbon economy, and how a European standard could be become global.

- Original publication on the EP Think Tank website
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Source: © European Union - EP
2022-02-11
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Fighting money laundering and counter terrorist financing

On 20 July 2021, the European Commission presented a package of legislative proposals in the area of anti-money-laundering efforts and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT). The package includes a proposal for a regulation on preventing the use of the financial system for money laundering or terrorist financing. The proposed regulation would be the central element of what is commonly referred to as an EU 'single rulebook' on AML/CFT. Its detailed and directly applicable provisions would replace the minimum rules of the EU AML directives currently in force. In this podcast, we'll examine the European Commission proposal to strengthen the EU's anti-money-laundering and counter-terrorist financing rules, which is vital to ensure financial stability and security in our continent.

- Original publication on the EP Think Tank website
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Source: © European Union - EP
2022-02-11
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Right to repair

The European Commission has announced the establishment of a 'right to repair', with a view of saving costs for consumers and facilitating the development of a circular economy. The right to repair may refer to different issues and situations: repair during the legal guarantee, the right to repair after the legal guarantee has expired, and the right for consumers to repair products themselves. Research shows that consumers favour products that are easily repaired, but their willingness to pay for such products depends on the type of product and the way information on the reparability is presented to them. In this podcast, we'll talk about the Commission's plans to grant consumers a 'right to repair', in order to save costs for them and facilitate the development of a circular economy, where we don't just throw away things that no longer work but try to repair them first.

- Original publication on the EP Think Tank website
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Source: © European Union - EP
2022-02-11
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Central bank digital currencies: Evolution or revolution?

Payment systems are of vital importance for today's economies and are the core activity of central banks. To adapt to recent trends ? including the decline in cash usage, the surge in online commerce and contactless forms of payment, and the creation of cryptocurrencies ? central banks have, in recent years, explored the possibility of issuing digital currencies themselves. In this podcast, we'll talk about digital currencies issued by central banks. We'll look at the different design choices and examine the potential benefits and risks of such crypto-currencies.

- Original publication on the EP Think Tank website
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Source: © European Union - EP
2022-01-14
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A common charger for electronic devices: Revision of the Radio Equipment Directive

On 23 September 2021, the European Commission adopted a legislative proposal to amend the 2014 Radio Equipment Directive, as a first step towards mandating a common charger for mobile phones and other small portable devices. Under the proposal, these devices would have to be equipped with a USB Type-C receptacle that can be charged with cables compatible with USB Type C, and to incorporate the USB Power Delivery communication protocol. In this podcast, we'll talk about a common charger for electronic devices, a proposal by the European Commission that could make our lives much easier if finally approved.

- Original publication on the EP Think Tank website
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Source: © European Union - EP
2022-01-14
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Resilience of global supply chains: Challenges and solutions

The growing importance of global supply chains has fundamentally changed the way the global economy and goods manufacturing are organised. While trade conducted through global supply chains has fallen somewhat as a share of total trade since the 2008-2010 global financial and economic crisis, more than two-thirds of international trade still involves transactions made possible by such chains. In this podcast, we'll focus on global supply chains. We'll analyse how dependent we are on them, the impact of the pandemic and what can be done ?at the European and the global level- to make these chains more resilient in the future.

- Original publication on the EP Think Tank website
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Source: © European Union - EP
2022-01-14
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Global human rights sanctions - Mapping Magnitsky laws: The US, Canadian, UK and EU approach

Human rights sanctions are nothing new, but the death in 2009 of Russian whistle-blower Sergei Magnitsky in detention resulted in calls for more vigorous action to counter continuing abuses in many countries. Adopted by the US in 2016, the Global Magnitsky Act was the first of a new generation of human rights sanctions programmes, which, in contrast to traditional sanctions targeted at individual countries, can be flexibly applied to perpetrators from all over the world, regardless of their geographical location. In this podcast, we'll talk about the rise of global human rights sanctions and compare how the US, Canada, the UK and the EU deal with human rights violations and abuses worldwide.

- Original publication on the EP Think Tank website
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- Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTube

Source: © European Union - EP
2021-12-10
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Social climate fund: Fit for 55 package

The fit for 55 package is part of the Commission's European Green Deal, which aims to set the EU firmly on the path towards net zero GHG emissions (climate neutrality) by 2050. The fit for 55 package includes a regulation establishing a new social climate fund (SCF). The aim of the SCF is to help vulnerable households, micro-businesses and transport users meet the costs of the green energy transition in the buildings and road transport sector. The SCF is designed to counter the additional costs that vulnerable consumers may face when the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) Directive is revised to cover these two sectors, as proposed in the fit for 55 package. The SCF aims to provide over ?72 billion in EU funding over the 2025-2032 period.

- Original publication on the EP Think Tank website
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- Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTube

Source: © European Union - EP
2021-12-10
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Artificial intelligence act

The European Commission proposes to establish a technology-neutral definition of AI systems in EU law and to lay down a classification for AI systems with different requirements and obligations tailored on a 'risk-based approach'. Some AI systems presenting 'unacceptable' risks would be prohibited. A wide range of 'high-risk' AI systems would be authorised, but subject to a set of requirements and obligations to gain access to the EU market. Those AI systems presenting only 'low or minimal risk' would be subject to very light transparency obligations. In this podcast, we'll talk about the EU artificial intelligence act, the first ever comprehensive attempt at regulating the uses and risks of this emerging technology.

- Original publication on the EP Think Tank website
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- Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTube

Source: © European Union - EP
2021-12-10
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The concept of 'climate refugee': Towards a possible definition

According to statistics since 2008 over 318 million people around the world have been forcibly displaced by floods, windstorms, earthquakes or droughts, 30.7 million in 2020 alone. This is equivalent to one person being displaced every second. Depending on the frequency and scale of the major natural disasters occurring, there are significant fluctuations in the total number of displaced people from one year to the next, yet the trend over recent decades has been a growing one. Many find refuge within their own country, but some are forced to go abroad. In this podcast, we'll talk about 'climate refugees', a concept that remains unclear despite the rising number of people forcibly displaced because of climate disasters.

- Original publication on the EP Think Tank website
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- Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTube

Source: © European Union - EP
2021-11-19
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Taxing the digital economy: New developments and the way forward

In March 2018, the EU introduced a legislative package on the fair taxation of the digital economy. It contained proposals for an interim and a long-term digital tax. However, there was no immediate political agreement in the Council. As finding a global solution at the OECD level or a coordinated EU approach was not yet feasible at the time, some Member States started designing or implementing their own digital taxes, which gave rise to trade tensions. In this podcast, we talk about taxing the digital economy. We analyse the main challenges, look at EU proposals and new developments to make international tax regimes fit for the digital age.

- Original publication on the EP Think Tank website
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Source: © European Union - EP
2021-11-19
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Introducing the European Union agency for asylum

In 2016, as a response to the shortcomings revealed in the EU's migration management, the Commission presented a proposal to amend and expand the mandate of The European Asylum Support Office (EASO), also changing its name to the European Union agency for asylum to reflect its stronger powers. As part of the asylum reform package, the proposal was put on hold, but was then relaunched as part of the new pact on asylum and migration in September 2020. On 29 June 2021, the European Parliament and the Council reached a political agreement on the agency. In this podcast, we'll look at its changing role and extended powers to improve asylum management in Europe.

- Original publication on the EP Think Tank website
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Source: © European Union - EP
2021-11-19
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General product safety regulation

On 30 June 2021, the Commission adopted a proposal for a general product safety regulation, which would replace the current General Product Safety Directive, as part of the regulatory fitness-check programme (REFIT). The proposal seeks to address the challenges of product safety of emerging technologies, including use of artificial intelligence (AI) and connected devices, and to establish clear obligations for online marketplaces, which consumers increasingly use for their online purchases. In this podcast, we'll talk about the new general product safety regulation with which the EU wants to address challenges linked to new technologies and online sales.

- Original publication on the EP Think Tank website
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Source: © European Union - EP
2021-10-15
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Understanding the EU's response to drugs

The EU is an important market for illicit drugs, both in terms of consumption and production. An estimated 28.9 % of European adults aged 15-65 have used illicit drugs at least once in their lifetime, a majority of them being men. The illicit drugs market is the largest criminal market in the EU, with an estimated minimum retail value of ?30 billion per year in the EU alone. Although the EU Member States carry the primary responsibility for developing their drug policy and legislation, cross-border cooperation is paramount in the fight against illicit drugs. In this podcast, we'll talk about the EU illicit drugs market! We'll look at current demand and supply trends, the challenges ahead and EU's response to this increasingly complex and global problem.

- Original publication on the EP Think Tank website
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Source: © European Union - EP
2021-10-15
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The EU-US Trade and Technology Council

In December 2020, the European Commission proposed the creation of the EU-US Trade and Technology Council (TTC), to facilitate trade, expand investment, develop compatible standards, boost innovation and strengthen the partners' technological and industrial leadership. The 2021 change of administration in Washington reinvigorated the relationship between the EU and USA. The TTC was formally launched during the EU-US Summit on 15 June 2021. The first meeting took place on 29 September 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In this episode, we'll look at TTC's purpose, objectives and its role in the context of the wider trade and tech relations between the EU and the USA.

- Original publication on the EP Think Tank website
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- Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTube

Source: © European Union - EP
2021-10-15
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Development of organic production in the EU: 2021-2027 action plan

In May 2020, the European Commission published its 'farm to fork' strategy ? 'for a fair, healthy and environmentally friendly food system' ? along with the EU biodiversity strategy, as part of the implementation of the European Green Deal. In those strategies the Commission set a target of 25 % of the EU's agricultural land to be under organic farming by 2030, as well as a significant increase in organic aquaculture. In this podcast, we'll decorticate the Commission's new plan to promote organic production in Europe.
https://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document.html?reference=EPRS_BRI(2021)696182
https://youtu.be/Reeud7jtG7I

Source: © European Union - EP
2021-10-01
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Protecting pollinators

In the European Union, 78 % of native flora and 84 % of crops are either partially or fully dependent on insects for pollination. But significant pollinator loss has been documented over time across the EU. According to the European Red List of Bees, around 9 % of all bee species are threatened in the EU. In this episode, we'll talk about the key role pollinators play in nature, the threats they face and EU action to protect them.
https://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document.html?reference=EPRS_BRI(2021)696175
https://youtu.be/igbDomuXBUA

Source: © European Union - EP
2021-10-01
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The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE): A pillar of the European security order

In this episode, we'll focus on one organisation that has become a pillar of the modern European security order: the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, or OSCE. The OSCE lacks the legal powers and the resources needed to live up to its ambition of becoming a platform for pan-European/trans-Atlantic cooperation. But OSCE agreements, such as the Vienna Document, help to promote military transparency, and election observation missions have advanced democratic reforms in several countries.
https://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document.html?reference=EPRS_BRI(2021)696190
https://youtu.be/Ux-MUyB_jzs

Source: © European Union - EP
2021-10-01
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Matching priorities and resources in the EU budget: Climate action, migration and borders

Over the past two decades, the European Union (EU) has been entrusted with a growing number of objectives and responsibilities. However, ensuring financing of related activities through the EU budget has often proven problematic, as this has long been capped at around 1 % of the Union's gross national income (GNI). During the preparation of the post-2020 EU multiannual financial framework (MFF), climate action, migration and border management were identified among the emerging priorities that required increased joint action and funding.
https://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document.html?reference=EPRS_BRI(2021)690586
https://youtu.be/URWEBGtfF0I

Source: © European Union - EP
2021-07-02
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EU rural development policy: Impact, challenges and outlook

What is the EU's long term vision for rural areas? In this episode, we'll look at their needs, their potential and challenges, see where current support policies have succeeded and where they've been less successful? and have a quick look into the future.
https://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document.html?reference=EPRS_BRI(2021)690711
https://youtu.be/KnCvakhSTsI

Source: © European Union - EP
2021-09-10
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