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Eurofound yearbook 2014: Living and working in Europe 28 May 2015, 13:14 CET
Eurofound in 2014 expanded its evidence base on the repercussions of the crisis on the living and working conditions of Europeans, and offered guidance on viable options available to policymakers in their efforts to turn Europe around. The Agency produced new knowledge in some of the areas of most immediate concern to Europeans and in fields crucial to their long-term prosperity. Its reporting of recent employment trends highlighted where in the economy most job creation and job loss has occurred and suggested where investment in future growth is best directed.

ECB Financial Stability Review May 2015 28 May 2015, 12:45 CET
Euro area systemic stress has remained low over the past six months, according to the ECB’s latest Financial Stability Review. This also reflects ECB action that calmed fears of a too prolonged period of low inflation threatening to harm both price and financial stability. The Financial Stability Review is published twice a year to provide an overview of the possible sources of risk and vulnerability to financial stability in the euro area.

European bathing water quality in 2014 - EEA Report No 1/2015 20 May 2015, 18:03 CET
The report assesses bathing water quality in 2014, indicating where the quality of bathing water is expected to be good in 2015. The report was compiled using information from more than 21 000 bathing waters in the 28 EU Member States. The report also covers bathing waters in Albania and Switzerland. The report is a joint production of the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the European Commission.

State of Nature in the EU - Report on the status of and trends for habitat types and species covered by the Birds and Habitats Directives for the 2007-2012 period 20 May 2015, 14:22 CET
The Commission has adopted a new report providing the most comprehensive picture yet on the ‘State of Nature in the EU’. The findings show that the majority of birds have a secure status, and some species and habitats are doing better. Targeted conservation actions have brought successes, but a much greater effort is required for the situation to improve significantly.

Europe and the Eurozone: No Vision, No Strategy? 14 May 2015, 23:11 CET
The rise of populist parties across Europe is a severe threat to European integration. Irrespective of their underlying political ideologies, populist parties mainly benefit from widespread EU scepticism among their national constituencies. At the same time, criticising the EU is not about bashing Brussels anymore. It is about the South bashing the North, the North bashing the South, and some bashing Germany, quite often unfairly. It is high time for European leaders to recognise that the future of EU integration critically depends on a model of economic integration whose success is not measured by temporary success in plastering together a flailing Eurozone.

European Economic Forecast - Spring 2015 05 May 2015, 11:59 CET
Economic growth in the European Union is benefiting from positive economic tailwinds. According to the European Commission's Spring 2015 Economic Forecast, these short-term factors are boosting an otherwise mild cyclical upswing in the EU. The European Economy series contains important reports and communications from the Commission to the Council and the Parliament on the economy and economic developments.

Youth entrepreneurship in Europe: Values, attitudes, policies 29 April 2015, 23:05 CET
The level of youth unemployment is alarmingly high in several EU Member States, with rates of over 50% recorded in Spain and Greece in 2013. In light of the potential of entrepreneurs to create employment and sustainable growth, promoting youth entrepreneurship and making Europe more entrepreneur‑friendly has recently become a priority on the EU policy agenda. However, research has shown that among young people the wish to become an entrepreneur, and their assessment of its feasibility, is lower in EU Member States than in comparable and emerging economies. This report investigates successful initiatives that have been implemented in five countries in the following areas: fostering an entrepreneurial mindset and culture; removing perceived practical and logistical barriers; and providing information, advice, coaching and mentoring to young would‑be entrepreneurs. As entrepreneurship is not a viable career path for all young people, just for the minority equipped with the right skills, attitudes and values, future initiatives should focus on this target group to ensure the best use of public funds.

Treatment of cannabis-related disorders in Europe 23 April 2015, 17:50 CET
Providing effective treatment for those with cannabis use disorders is likely to become a matter of growing importance in European drug policy. This is according to the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA) as it launched its a new in-depth study: Treatment of cannabis-related disorders in Europe. This publication reviews the interventions used in the treatment of cannabis disorders and maps out the geography of cannabis treatment in Europe.

The European Union's China Policy: Priorities and Strategies for the New Commission - ECIPE Policy Briefs 22 April 2015, 13:57 CET
The arrival of a new European Commission is a good opportunity for Europe to re-consider its policy vis-à-vis China. Under Xi Jinping, China is going through a period of change in domestic as well as foreign policy - and this change adds urgency to Europe’s quest for an effective China policy. If Europe wants to carry weight in its relation with China, it first needs to set its house in order. The Eurozone’s crisis and the lack of economic vitality are not just causing worries in Beijing; they also undermine Europe’s standing in China as a powerful entity to deal with. Europe’s absence as a strategic and military power in the Asian region makes its economic health all the more important if it wants to get listened to a country that prizes power. The European Union should prioritise its trade and investment ambitions with China. These are the areas where the European treaties endow the EU institutions with power. China has great stakes in its commercial relation to Europe and if the EU acts skillfully it can obtain improvements in its access to China’s market. However, Europe needs to formulate a policy that does not split its own ranks. It needs to be able to speak with one voice and not give China the opportunity to play the game of divide and rule with Europe. China can play that game skillfully and did that in several trade-defence disputes with Europe during the previous Commission. Beyond trade and investment, it needs to put the emphasis on areas of cooperation where the two sides share ambitions.

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.