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Women and men in ICT: a chance for better work - life balance - research note
Rapid technological advancements and digitalisation are transforming the world of work and how we live our day-to-day lives. There is an increasing demand for digital skills and higher qualifications across a wide variety of sectors. However, only around 17 % of the almost 8 million ICT specialists are women, and the number of women graduating from ICT studies has been decreasing over the last decade. The vast under-representation of women in ICT shows a waste of highly qualified human resources and has larger implications for the wider economy. In particular, it threatens the EU’s innovative and economic potential in the future and contradicts the EU’s highest political priority of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Following the request by the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union (2018), the overall objective of this research note is to deepen the understanding of the major enabling and hindering factors for a more balanced uptake of ICT jobs by women and men. This research note seeks to provide an important contribution to the EU-level commitments to combat occupational segregation and to better comprehend and design relevant policy measures to enhance work–life balance.

Women in management: Underrepresented and overstretched? - Eurofound policy brief
Despite years of gender equality legislation, men outnumber women in management positions by two to one. While structural barriers continue to impede women's career advancement, women themselves may be deterred from becoming managers if they perceive that it would have a negative impact on their working and personal lives. What is the experience of women in management roles and how can their under-representation in management be addressed? These are the questions this policy brief seeks to answer by looking at the job quality of managers, both female and male, and the impact a management job has on personal life.

The Swiss Cheese of Trade Policy: The Case Against Product Exclusions in Trade Agreements - ECIPE Policy Brief No. 6/2018
There have been calls to exclude certain products from trade agreements because they cause damages to public health or the environment. Lately, campaigns for product exclusions have included chemicals (generally or specific chemicals like glyphosate), sugary drinks and candy (or sugar generally), and alcoholic beverages. Previously the same case has been made for tobacco products. In this paper, it is argued that product exclusions are neither legally feasible nor desirable. Measures to exclude products would run foul of the rules and market-access commitments that countries have agreed in the WTO, and that serve as a basis also for other trade deals, like bilateral Free Trade Agreements. Importantly, excluding products from current market-access commitments in the WTO would per se do nothing with regard to public health because the main effect is that local production of the excluded goods would substitute goods that are now imported. The conclusion is that trade policy is not a tool for regulatory ambitions. Nor does it stand in the way for regulations that aim to improve public health. Trade policy concerns trade, and the instruments and agreements that exist for the pursuit of better and less-discriminatory trade conditions simply cannot be used for sundry regulatory proposals, however relevant they may be.

"Achieving Greater Diversity in Broadcasting - special focus on Gender" - Comparative Background Paper
Final revised version of the EPRA Comparative Background Report on "Acheving Greater Diversity in Broadcasting - special focus on Gender; benefits and best practice approaches" by Ofcom (UK) on behalf of EPRA. The purpose of the comparative report was to provide an overview of the different roles and approaches adopted by national audiovisual regulatory authorities in promoting greater gender representation and portrayal both on- and off-screen, and raising some points for regulators to consider.

Burnout in the workplace: A review of data and policy responses in the EU
This report looks at the extent of burnout experienced by workers in the EU, based on national research. As a starting point, the report sets out to consider whether burnout is viewed as a medical or occupational disease. It then examines the work determinants associated with burnout and looks at the effects of burnout, including psychosocial and physical work factors, work intensity and work organisation. It also reviews national strategies and policies regarding this issue, the involvement of the social partners in the current debate, as well as preventive actions currently in place.

State of the Union 2018 brochure
Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission, delivered his fourth State of the Union Address on 12 September 2018. This year's speech comes in the lead up to the 2019 European elections and the ongoing debate about the future of the European Union at 27.

Special report no 23/2018: Air pollution: Our health still insufficiently protected
Air pollution causes great harm to European citizens’ health. Each year, about 400 000 people die prematurely due to excessive air pollutants such as dust particles, nitrogen dioxide and ozone. For about 30 years, the EU has had clean air legislation that sets limits to the concentrations of pollutants in the air. Nevertheless, bad air is still common today in most of the EU Member States and in numerous European cities. We found that European citizens still breathe harmful air mostly due to weak legislation and poor policy implementation. Our recommendations aim to strengthen the Ambient Air Quality Directive and to promote further effective action by the European Commission and the Member States, including better policy coordination and public information.

WWF Valuing Rivers Report (August 2018)
As floods and droughts ravage communities and countries worldwide, a WWF report highlights the capacity of healthy rivers to help mitigate these natural disasters but warns that all these 'hidden' benefits of rivers could be lost if they continue to be undervalued and overlooked.

Employment and Social Developments in Europe - Annual Review 2018
The European Commission published on 13 July the 2018 edition of its yearly Employment and Social Developments in Europe (ESDE) review. This year's edition confirms the ongoing positive labour market trends as well as an improving social situation. The numbers of people in employment reached new record levels. At the same time we witness rising disposable incomes and lower levels of poverty. Severe material deprivation has receded to an all-time low, with 16.1 million fewer people affected, compared with 2012.

Monitoring the application of European Union law 2017 Annual Report
Every year, the European Commission draws up an annual report on its monitoring of the application of EU law. In 2017, the Commission launched 716 infringement cases with highest number in Environment (173), Mobility and Transport (155) and Financial stability, financial services and Capital Markets Union (84). At the end of 2017, 1 559 infringement procedures remained open. The number of new late-transposition infringement cases decreased sharply in 2017 (558) compared to 2016 (845).

Doing Business in the European Union 2018: Croatia, Czech Republic, Portugal and Slovakia
Doing Business in the European Union 2018: Croatia, the Czech Republic, Portugal and Slovakia - the first report of the subnational Doing Business series in these countries - assesses the business regulatory environment and its impact on local entrepreneurs in 5 cities in Croatia (Osijek, Rijeka, Split, Varazdin and Zagreb), 7 cities in the Czech Republic (Brno, Liberec, Olomouc, Ostrava, Plzen, Prague and Usti nad Labem), 8 cities in Portugal (Braga, Coimbra, Evora, Faro, Funchal, Lisbon, Ponta Delgada and Porto), 5 cities in Slovakia (Bratislava, Kosice, Presov, Trnava and Zilina). The report measures regulations relevant to 5 stages in the life of a small to medium-size domestic firm: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property and enforcing contracts.

European waters - Assessment of status and pressures 2018
The main aim of EU water policy is to ensure that a sufficient quantity of good-quality water is available for both people's needs and the environment. The Water Framework Directive (WFD), which came into force in 2000, established a framework for the assessment, management, protection and improvement of the quality of water resources across the EU. Since December 2015, EU Member States have been publishing the second river basin management plans (RBMPs) for achieving the environmental objectives of the WFD. These plans are updates of the first RBMPs, which were published in 2009.

European Innovation Scoreboard 2018
The 2018 edition of the Scoreboard highlights that the EU's innovation performance continues to improve, that progress is accelerating, and that the outlook is positive. Since 2010, the EU's average innovation performance has increased by 5.8 percentage points, and it is expected to improve by an additional 6 percentage points over the next 2 years. The EU continues to improve its position relative to the United States, Japan, and Canada. However, China is catching up at three times the EU's innovation performance growth rate. Within the EU, innovation performance increased in 18 countries and decreased in 10 countries since 2010. Sweden remains the EU innovation leader, followed by Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, the UK, and Luxembourg. Lithuania, the Netherlands, Malta, the UK, Latvia, and France are the fastest growing innovators. The 2018 edition follows the methodology of the 2017 edition. However, results should not be compared across editions due to data revisions. Time series using the most recent data allow performance to be tracked over time.

What It’s Like to Chill Out With Whom the Rest of the World Considers As The Most Ruthless Men: Ratko Mladic, Goran Hadzic and Radovan Karadzic (+) Confessions of a Female War Crimes Investigator
Retrospectively, it was all so simple, natural and matter of fact being on a boat restaurant in Belgrade, sitting with, laughing, drinking a two hundred bottle of wine and chatting about war and peace while Ratko Mladic held my hand. Mladic, a man considered the world’s most ruthless war criminal since Adolf Hitler, still at large and currently having a five million dollar bounty on his head for genocide by the international community. Yet there I was with my two best friends at the time, a former Serbian diplomat, his wife, and Ratko Mladic just chilling. There was no security, nothing you’d ordinarily expect in such circumstances. Referring to himself merely as, Sharko; this is the story of it all came about.

Five Questions about the Digital Services Tax to Pierre Moscovici
The European Commission has recently proposed to upend decades of international tax cooperation and introduce a new three percent tax on corporate turnover from digital advertising and online intermediation services. The proposal is not just remarkable for the actual design of the tax; it is equally notable that the digital services tax is proposed without any supporting evidence that it is in EU Member States' economic and fiscal interest to tax digital business models differently. The proposed tax on turnover would undoubtedly have direct and indirect consequences for many firms and for economic activity, and it is neither reasonable nor credible to assume that this tax would not have enough impact on EU economies to warrant a full tax-economic impact analysis. The Commission's own impact assessment was sharply criticised by the EU's Regulatory Scrutiny Board. Simplistic and narrow in scope, the Commission's assessment fails to take account of the most common consequences of business taxes and any policymaker who cares about the health of Europe's economy should send back these proposals to the Commission and ask for a response to the following five questions: first, what is the incidence of the proposed digital services tax – that is, who will actually carry the economic burden of the tax? Second, won't the digital services tax impact on downstream output and offline sales? Third, won't the digital services tax particularly hurt SMEs and micro businesses and change competition between large and small firms? Fourth, won't a digital services tax effectively become a tax on investment in the EU? And lastly, won't this tax become a levy on innovation, economic renewal and economic convergence in the EU?

European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) Annual Report 2017
The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) Annual Report 2017 provides a comprehensive overview of the Authority's activities in 2017. During this year, the focus of the Authority's work was strengthening supervisory convergence, enhancing consumer protection and maintaining financial stability.

Annual Report on the Situation of Asylum in the EU 2017
New figures published today by the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) show the trend of significant decreased asylum applications has continued in 2018. During the first four months of 2018, 197,000 persons asked for asylum in the EU, Norway and Switzerland, a lower level than during the same period in each of the last three years.

European Drug Report 2018: Trends and Developments
Evidence of increased cocaine availability is highlighted by the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA) in its European Drug Report 2018. The report provides a comprehensive analysis of recent drug trends across the 28 EU Member States, Turkey and Norway.

European bathing water quality in 2017 - EEA Report No 2/2018
This report by the European Environment Agency gives an overview of the 2017 bathing water quality thereby also indicating where the best quality bathing sites are likely to be found this year. In the 2017 season, almost 22 000 bathing waters were monitored throughout Europe.

Convergence Report 2018
The European Commission published on 23 May the 2018 Convergence Report that assesses EU Member States' progress towards joining the euro area and covers the seven non-euro area countries that are legally committed to adopting the euro: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Sweden. The Convergence Reports examine whether the Member States satisfy the necessary conditions to adopt the single currency. The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union requires the Commission and the European Central Bank to issue these reports at least once every two years or at the request of an EU Member State which would like to join the euro area.

Pension adequacy report 2018 – Current and future income adequacy in old age in the EU (Volume 2)
The 2018 edition of the triennial Pension Adequacy Report analyses how current and future pensions help prevent old-age poverty and maintain the income of men and women for the duration of their retirement. Volume I is devoted to comparative analysis of pension adequacy in the EU- 28. It examines the current living standards of older people and how they are shaped by pension systems, proceeds with an overview of recent pension reforms and concludes by analysing the main challenges to the adequacy of future pensions and ways of tackling them. Among other issues, the report highlights the gender differences in pension entitlements, the pension adequacy of persons in non-standard or self-employment and the role of supplementary pensions. Volume II provides a more detailed description of the pension system and pension adequacy in each of the 28 Member States.

Pension adequacy report 2018 – Current and future income adequacy in old age in the EU (Volume 1)
The 2018 edition of the triennial Pension Adequacy Report analyses how current and future pensions help prevent old-age poverty and maintain the income of men and women for the duration of their retirement. Volume I is devoted to comparative analysis of pension adequacy in the EU- 28. It examines the current living standards of older people and how they are shaped by pension systems, proceeds with an overview of recent pension reforms and concludes by analysing the main challenges to the adequacy of future pensions and ways of tackling them. Among other issues, the report highlights the gender differences in pension entitlements, the pension adequacy of persons in non-standard or self-employment and the role of supplementary pensions.

Europe and South-East Asia: An Exercise in Diplomatic Patience
Few of Europe's trading relations have faced such an inauspicious fate over so many intricate political complexities as the EU's relations with the countries of South-East Asia. The EU's bilateral negotiations with Singapore were concluded after four years of negotiations in October 2014, but the deal remains unsigned. Instead, the agreement was deferred to an opinion of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) - a decision which did not only leave the Government of Singapore nonplussed, but also unleashed the ongoing debate on the division of investment competences between the EU and its members.

Assessing UK Trade Policy Readiness
The UK is setting out on the path of an independent trade policy at a difficult time. Public interest in trade policy has never been greater, with US political rejection of a trade agreement negotiated by their government the prime example of the challenge of successfully pursuing a long-term strategy. The UK has a tradition of outward-oriented economic policy, but trade agreements are seen by many as a problem. Trade policy always has the potential for controversy. Domestic and international interests ask for the protection or promotion of their interests, and this is not fully possible, not least given some are contradictory. Successfully managing these trade-offs is at the heart of effective trade policy.

Under watchful eyes - biometrics, EU IT-systems and fundamental rights
Europe's migration and security challenges have prompted the European Union (EU) to develop and enhance multiple large-scale information technology systems (IT systems). Policy and legal developments in this area are evolving rapidly. The European Commission has proposed amending the legal bases for Eurodac and the Schengen Information System (SIS II), and is expected to propose amending the Visa Information System (VIS) in 2018. In addition, four new systems are planned: the Entry-Exit System (EES), the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS), the European Criminal Records Information System for Third-Country Nationals (ECRIS-TCN), and, most crucially, an IT system that seeks to ensure interoperability across existing and planned systems. Such systems provide invaluable support to border management efforts, but also have wide-ranging fundamental rights implications. The persons affected – including both regular travellers and persons who may be in situations of vulnerability - typically do not fully understand the implications of the use of such systems.

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Libcast’s Online Video Platform in the limelight at BETT 2015
Libcast of France will be showcasing its Online Video Platform at BETT 2015 in London, in January. The specialist company’s innovative and versatile solution enables users to host, manage and broadcast lectures live or in streaming mode. With 200,000 users, Libcast’s technology has already been chosen by many universities and schools, including leading colleges in France and Norway.

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