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How trade policy and regional trade agreements support and strengthen EU economic performance 26 March 2015, 22:18 CET
This discussion paper, presented at this week's ministerial Council, reviews the contribution that trade agreements between the EU and its trading partners can make to boost jobs and growth in Europe. The EU has an ambitious bilateral agenda which can complement the multilateral trading system centred on the WTO. The paper calculates that, if concluded successfully, ongoing bilateral negotiations could boost EU's GDP by more than 2%, or 250 billion euros. In the EU, 31 million jobs – over 14% of total employment – depend on our exports to third countries. Each additional €1bn of exports supports roughly 14.000 additional jobs across the EU, the paper adds. These are in general more qualified and better paid than in the rest of the economy. The millions of trade-related jobs include retail, wholesale, port handling, logistics and transportation.

Differential treatment of workers under 25 with a view to their access to the labour market 19 March 2015, 23:57 CET
This Policy Department A study aims at providing the EMPL Committee with an up-todate, comprehensive picture of the latest developments in policy measures regarding differential treatment of workers under 25 in the EU with a view to their access to the labour market. The evidence collected shows that in the last 15 years the youth unemployment rate has been constantly higher than the adult rate in the EU. Active labour market policies and employer incentives can be combined effectively to increase the employment rate of young people. When measures discriminate, this tends to be the result of the interplay between the measure and the institutional and socioeconomic context. While the responsibility for employment policies resides at national level, the EU can enhance its coordinating and overseeing role to support young people in becoming financially independent and socially included. The EU should promote policy innovation and better define anti-discrimination legislation with respect to age

Bird's eye view of Latvia 19 March 2015, 23:54 CET
This exhibition is all about revealing the beauty of the Earth. When you fly above our earth in an airplane all the details begin to merge, the daily bustle of life disappears, puffy cumulus clouds float by as if a white flock of sheep as you traverse the broad heavens. Stunning landscapes open up before your very eyes – all of this has of course been superbly described by Antoine de Saint- Exupéry and Richard Bach. But this exhibition is about the particular beauty of Latvia, about Latvia’s green forests, its winding rivers, the fields that farmers till, the fascination of marshes and other landscapes as seen from above, the mystery of the Old City streets of Rīga and the majesty of its churches as they reach toward heaven.

Understanding crowdfunding and its regulations - How can crowdfunding help ICT innovation? 19 March 2015, 23:51 CET
This report offers an overview of crowdfunding using the current literature on the topic. It explains how crowdfunding campaigns and crowdfunding platforms function. It next explains how start-ups can benefit from crowdfunding: start-ups can gain access to finance not otherwise available; but crowdfunding can also lend legitimacy to projects and can help these projects access traditional financing. This report also discusses potential drawbacks, such as the risk that crowdfunding might lead entrepreneurs to disclosure requirements that destroy the value of their ideas and might expose investors to fraud, incompetent managers, and investment lock-ins. Finally, this report highlights how current equity crowdfunding regulations have regulated platforms, participating crowds, and fundraising companies. We conclude by offering further avenues of investigation to assess how crowdfunding and these regulations will impact the funding of ICT innovations .

The future of the transport industry 19 March 2015, 23:48 CET
This publication aims to bridge the gap between the analysis of the trends in the European transport system and the evaluation of their impacts on competitiveness. Specifically, this report presents the future challenges, demand drivers and upcoming innovations which can have a considerable impact on the global demand patterns for the passenger and freight transport and how this might affect the competitiveness of related industries and service providers. Emphasis is given to targeted research strategies. The goal is to investigate the challenges for the European transport sector in the long term, in order to develop the suitable strategic options for European transport research policy.

ERM Annual Report 2014: Restructuring in the public sector 12 March 2015, 22:25 CET
The European Restructuring Monitor’s annual report for 2014 explores the rapid transformation of the public sector in Europe since the onset of the financial crisis in 2008. Initially, employment expansion in the sector helped to stabilise Europe’s economy while the private sector suffered severe job losses. However, subsequent austerity measures (or fiscal consolidation) have brought in their wake widespread restructuring in the public sector. Hiring freezes have meant the public sector workforce has shrunk and become significantly older, with more female workers. Lack of job security means working in the public sector is no longer quite as attractive. More restructuring will undoubtedly occur, and it is vital that those involved in its planning develop a more forward-looking, anticipatory strategy, to soften the blow for those workers who leave and to enhance conditions for those who stay.

2015 EU Justice Scoreboard 10 March 2015, 00:15 CET
The EU Justice Scoreboard is an information tool that contributes to the European Semester by providing objective data on the quality, independence and efficiency of justice systems in all Member States. The aim of the EU Justice Scoreboard is to assist Member States, as part of an open dialogue, in improving the functioning of their justice systems. The Justice Scoreboard contributes to identifying potential shortcomings and good practices and aims to present trends on the functioning of the national justice systems over time. While the Scoreboard presents comparative information on Member States’ justice systems based on a number of particular indicators, it is not intended to present an overall single ranking, or to promote any particular form of justice system. Whatever the model of the national justice system or the legal tradition in which it is anchored, timeliness, independence, affordability, and user-friendly access are some of the essential parameters of what constitutes an effective justice system.

New psychoactive substances in Europe - an update from the EU Early Warning System (March 2015) 10 March 2015, 00:03 CET
New psychoactive substances (NPS or ‘new drugs’) were detected in the European Union last year at the rate of around two per week, according to an update issued today by the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA). A total of 101 new substances were reported to the EU Early Warning System (EWS) in 2014 (up from 81 in 2013), continuing an upward trend in substances notified in a single year. This short report provides an update on new psychoactive substances (NPS) in Europe for 2014. It highlights recent developments, including the growth of the market over the past few years, as illustrated by seizures by law enforcement and other indicators, as well as the growing number of serious harms that are being reported as a result.

Post-visa liberalisation monitoring for the Western Balkan countries - Fifth Report 26 February 2015, 23:12 CET
The European Commission published on 25 February its fifth assessment of the functioning of the visa-free scheme with Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. The fifth post visa liberalisation report on the Western Balkans shows that more measures are necessary to maintain the integrity of the visa-free scheme and to address potential abuses of the EU asylum system.

Promoting uptake of parental and paternity leave among fathers in the European Union 26 February 2015, 15:47 CET
The take-up rate of parental and paternity leave among fathers has been increasing in most Member States but it still remains relatively low. Covering all the EU Member States and Norway, this report looks at the most recent trends in terms of take-up of parental and paternity leave, existing provisions and factors influencing take-up rates. It also examines measures and initiatives recently implemented by national authorities, governments and social partners to promote the take-up of parental and paternity leave, particularly among fathers.

General report on the activities of the European Union 2014 23 February 2015, 17:59 CET
The year 2014 contained many events that made me proud to be European. The euro area family welcomed Latvia on 1 January — with Lithuania joining 1 year later. In Lima, Peru, the EU acted in a spirit of constructiveness and compromise to help pave the way towards a meaningful global climate-change deal in Paris. In the wake of the Ukraine crisis, we were able to unite, speak with one voice and act effectively, with trade sanctions, an association agreement and an energy deal to ensure gas supplies continue. The EU made significant progress towards a banking union, restoring confidence, ending the era of taxpayers having to pay for the mistakes of banks and enabling the financial sector to start lending again. In the opening year of the EU’s new multiannual financial framework, the first tranche of almost EUR 1 trillion of funding began to flow to the EU’s researchers, regions, farmers and more. Meanwhile, 510 million kilometres away, a European spacecraft was the first ever to land on a comet; an astonishing achievement of innovation and ingenuity.

European Company Survey 2013 19 February 2015, 00:11 CET
European companies play a crucial role in getting out of the crisis and in reaching the goals of the European 2020 strategy for sustainable, inclusive and smart growth. The main focus of the third European Company Survey was on work organisation, HR practices, employee participation and social dialogue. The survey, carried out in the spring of 2013, maps a number of practices used in European workplaces, as well as how they are discussed and negotiated at workplace level as well as some of their outcomes.

Complaints, Complainants, and Rulings Regarding Drug Promotion in the United Kingdom and Sweden 2004–2012 18 February 2015, 23:31 CET
In many European countries, medicines promotion is governed by voluntary codes of practice administered by the pharmaceutical industry under its own system of self-regulation. Involvement of industry organizations in policing promotion has been proposed to deter illicit conduct, but few detailed studies on self-regulation have been carried out to date. The objective of this study was to examine the evidence for promotion and self-regulation in the UK and Sweden, two countries frequently cited as examples of effective self-regulation. This new report from Lund University in Sweden shows how the pharmaceutical industry time and again violates regulations on the marketing of drugs. The study has been published in the journal PLOS Medicine.

EU sanctions against Russia impact on reported restructuring job losses in Europe - Eurofound ERM Quarterly 05 February 2015, 22:02 CET
Dramatic recent oil price declines have seen deflation take hold in the EU. General price levels in December 2014 were 0.2% lower than a year earlier. This is further evidence of a tentative European economic recovery that appears to be running out of steam. Growth forecasts for the EU have been trimmed to 1.1% in 2015 after growth failed to reach even 1% in 2014. This issue includes: Macroeconomic trends and prospects; Job creation and job loss at a glance (1/10/14 - 31/12/14); Sectoral distribution of job losses/job gains, and top five cases; Case in focus: Lloyds Banking Group and branch banking; Situation in focus: Restructuring arising from Russian sanctions; Restructuring support measures in focus: public employment incentives.

research.eu results magazine no 38 04 February 2015, 15:47 CET
research*eu results features highlights from the most exciting EU-funded research and development projects. Special feature: Can Hydrogen revolutionise our lifestyles? It is published 10 times per year in English, and covers: Biology and medicine - Social sciences and humanities - Energy and transport - Environment and society - IT and telecommunications - Industrial technologies - Space

Pension fund exemption from central clearing requirements- EC report 03 February 2015, 15:16 CET
On 3 February 2015, the European Commission adopted a report in accordance with Article 85(2) of EMIR, assessing the progress and effort made by CCPs in developing technical solutions for the transfer by PSAs of non-cash collateral as variation margin, as well as the need for any measures to facilitate such solution. In order to assess the current situation fully, the Commission ordered a baseline study on the subject which was prepared by Europe Economics and Bourse Consult.

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: An Accident Report - ECIPE Policy Brief 29 January 2015, 17:03 CET
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) was launched with highest of ambitions. Yet after more than 500 days of negotiations, the results are plainly discouraging. The EU and the US misunderstood each other’s intention on market access, and deteriorated into retaliatory behaviour. Each side has also its set of politically sensitive issues, but TTIP negotiations stimulate sensitive issues when European governments are at their weakest. The revelations of US electronic surveillance and wiretapping coincided with the first round of TTIP talks; Europe’s decision to open up public consultations on ISDS gave the opposition space to congeal public opinion, and the anti-trade forces appear better organized and possibly even better funded than business groups. It is in the interest of the US and EU to fashion a new, open and fair global trading system for the 21st century. But time is running out. Getting TTIP back on course will require, three elements. First, the EU and the US need a common understanding of ambitions. Are the parties negotiating a regular FTA, or a new form of an economic partnership going beyond any existing precedent? The second element concerns political leadership and mobilizing support – in the end, this question comes down to: Who is willing to pay for TTIP? The last element concerns the overarching objective of TTIP, which must be approached as strategic in its purpose. TTIP could be the third pillar of a new global economic governance together with TPP and EU-Asia agreements. TTIP should be the most comprehensive and sturdiest of these three pillars – not the weakest.

An employment-oriented investment strategy for Europe - Studies on Growth with Equity - ILO 28 January 2015, 15:37 CET
Against a backdrop of sluggish economic conditions and continued weak job creation, the Investment Plan proposed by the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker would provide a rapid economic stimulus that would foster Europe’s competitiveness at the same time as boosting much-needed employment creation. The main finding of this ILO report is that, if careful consideration is given to the design of the programme and its allocation, over 2.1 million net new jobs would be created by mid-2018.

Eurofound Annual work programme 2015 13 January 2015, 21:25 CET
The year 2015 marks the third year of implementation of Eurofound’s four-year work programme 2013–2016, From crisis to recovery: Better informed policies for a competitive and fair Europe. The multiannual strategy laid down in the four-year programme provides Eurofound with a clear framework for the development of its annual programmes. The programme describes the policy context in which the Agency operates and defines the mission of the organisation and its core areas of expertise. It identifies four policy priority areas where Eurofound will provide high-quality, timely and policy-relevant knowledge as input to better informed policies. This is the Agency’s strategic objective for the 2013–2016 period.

How To Run The European Parliament 12 January 2015, 17:47 CET
How do you gain influence and publicity in the European Parliament? How do you compete successfully with the Council and the Commission? How can you use reporters and lobbyists to advance your political career? How To Run The European Parliament offers a unique look behind the scenes and reveals the secret tactics and manoeuvres Members of the European Parliament need to master in order to prevail. This brutally honest tutorial is a must-read for all MEPs, assistants, public servants, lobbyists, and journalists who want to understand how power politics is played.

Pocket guide to EU's new fish and aquaculture consumer labels 11 December 2014, 21:03 CET
From 13 December 2014, the rules for labels accompanying all fishery and aquaculture products for EU consumers change. This pocket guide explains what must appear on the new labels and what additional information can be displayed. This is a handy guide to help you apply the new rules. It is neither a legal or formal document nor an exhaustive list of requirements.

Transatlantic Relations: a European perspective - Regent's Report 2014 11 December 2014, 18:09 CET
The relationship between the EU and the US is one of the most important bilateral relationships in the world. They are the biggest economic and military powers in the world, they dominate global trade, and they play the leading roles in international political relations. Yet they have regularly disagreed with each other on a wide range of specific issues, as well as having often quite different political, economic, and social agendas. Regent's Report 2014 explores this complex relationship through 15 specially commissioned essays. This publication follows the inaugural Regent's Report 2013 The UK and Europe: Costs, Benefits, Options.

The Census Hub: easy and flexible access to European census data 09 December 2014, 23:12 CET
This leaflet from Eurostat presents information on the Census Hub: a new, easy and flexible way to access population and housing census data from all EU countries.

2014 EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard 04 December 2014, 22:15 CET
The 2014 EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard (the Scoreboard) contains economic and financial data for the world's top 2500 companies ranked by their investments in research and development (R&D). The sample consists of 633 companies based in the EU and 1867 companies based elsewhere. The Scoreboard data are drawn from the latest available companies' accounts, i.e. usually the fiscal year 2013/14. The 2014 Scoreboard shows that Investment in research and development by companies based in the EU grew by 2.6% in 2013, despite the unfavourable economic environment. However, this growth has slowed in comparison to the previous year's 6.8%. It is also below the 2013 world average (4.9%), and lags behind companies based in the US (5%) and Japan (5.5%).

Health at a Glance: Europe 2014 03 December 2014, 18:18 CET
This third edition of Health at a Glance: Europe presents the latest information on health and health systems in 35 European countries, including all European Union Member States, candidate countries (with the exception of Albania due to limited data availability) and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries. The selection of indicators is largely based on the European Core Health Indicators (ECHI) shortlist, a list of indicators that has been developed by the European Commission to guide the development and reporting of health statistics. It is complemented by additional indicators on health expenditure, quality of care and access to care, building on the OECD expertise in these areas. Each health information area is based on health indicators including charts illustrating variations across countries and over time, brief descriptive analyses highlighting the major findings, and an information box on the definition of the indicators and possible limitations in data comparability. An annex provides additional information on the demographic and economic context in which health systems operate. This publication is the result of collaboration between the OECD and the European Commission in the field of health information, with the help of national data correspondents from the 35 countries.