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Challenges and prospects in the EU: Quality of life and public services
What have been the major developments in quality of life and public services in Europe in recent years, as captured by research into these areas in Eurofound’s work programme for 2017–2020? This flagship publication provides a synthesis of the main findings on several key topics, based, in part, on European Quality of Life Survey data. It maps developments and perceptions regarding the following: trust in institutions and social cohesion; access to and quality of health and care services; the impact of digitalisation on social services; access to services for young people; and measures aimed at integrating refugees. While the report highlights many challenges and emerging issues for public services, it also showcases a number of positive experiences with the involvement of client groups in the design of services and take-up of new technologies.

Blockchain now and tomorrow: Assessing multidimensional impacts of distributed ledger technologies
Blockchain can enable parties with no particular trust in each other to exchange digital data on a peer-to-peer basis with fewer or no third parties or intermediaries. Data could correspond, for instance, to money, insurance policies, contracts, land titles, medical and educational records, birth and marriage certificates, buying and selling goods and services, or any transaction or asset that can be translated into a digital form. The potential of blockchain to engender wide-ranging changes in the economy, industry and society – both now and tomorrow – is currently being explored across sectors and by a variety of organisations. This report provides multidimensional insights into the state of blockchain technology by identifying ongoing and upcoming transformations in a range of sectors and setting out an anticipatory approach for further exploration. Moving beyond the hype and debunking some of its controversies, we aim to offer both an in-depth and practical understanding of blockchain and its possible applications.

Education and Training Monitor EU analysis, volume 1 2019
Published as a European Commission Staff Working Document, the Education and Training Monitor presents a yearly evaluation of education and training system across Europe. The report brings together the latest data, technical reports and studies, as well as examples of policy measures from different EU countries. Volume 1 offers a cross-national and thematic analysis. Volume 2 consists of 28 individual country reports.

Intellectual property rights intensive industries and economic performance in the European Union
This joint study by the EPO and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) analyses the contribution of IPR-intensive sectors to the EU economy. Third edition (September 2019) It covers all major IP rights (patents, trade marks, designs, copyright, geographical indications and plant varieties), identifies which industries make above-average use of them and quantifies the contribution of these IPR-intensive industries to major macro-economic variables (employment, wages, GDP, and trade) from across the EU as well as from Switzerland, Norway and Iceland. The study provides comprehensive and robust data, as well as a solid evidence base for policymakers.

European Prevention Curriculum: a handbook for decision-makers, opinion-makers and policy-makers in science-based prevention of substance use
This handbook has been developed with the primary purpose of providing specific reference material for the European Prevention Curriculum (EUPC) training courses. It also serves to provide a more general introduction to prevention science and, in particular, to science-based interventions. The training curriculum has been developed by a European project entitled UPC-Adapt, which was co-funded by the European Commission.

Report on the EU customs enforcement of intellectual property rights: results at the EU border, 2018
New figures released by the European Commission on 19 September show that the number of interceptions of fake goods being imported into the EU increased in 2018 due to a large amount of small parcels in express and postal traffic. Detention figures for seized consignments jumped from 57,433 in 2017 to 69,354 in 2018, though the total amount of articles detained decreased compared to previous years. Almost 27 million articles that infringed on intellectual property rights (IPR) were detained in 2018 with a street value of nearly EUR 740 million.

Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement
The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) was a proposed multilateral treaty for the purpose of establishing international standards for intellectual property rights enforcement. The agreement aims to establish an international legal framework for targeting counterfeit goods, generic medicines and copyright infringement on the Internet, and would create a new governing body outside existing forums, such as the World Trade Organization, the World Intellectual Property Organization, and the United Nations.

Digital Education at School in Europe - Eurydice Report
Acknowledging the key role school education plays in preparing young people for a tech-driven world, this report sheds light on two different but complementary perspectives of digital education: the development of digital competences relevant to learners and teachers on the one hand, and the pedagogical use of technologies to support, improve and transform learning and teaching on the other. The report provides indicators on the development of students' digital competence through school curricula and teacher-specific digital competences, the assessment of students' digital competences and the use of technology for assessment in general, and finally, on the strategic approaches to digital education and specifically policies supporting schools in this matter. While the four main chapters provide policy-makers, researchers and the education community with comparative information on the current school digital education policies across Europe, the annexes add specific information by country, on school curricula, teacher competence frameworks, top-level strategies and agencies supporting digital education at school.

Climate change adaptation in the agriculture sector in Europe - EEA Report No 4/2019
Climate change affects agriculture in a number of ways. Changes in temperature and precipitation as well as weather and climate extremes are already influencing crop yields and livestock productivity in Europe. Weather and climate conditions also affect the availability of water needed for irrigation, livestock watering practices, processing of agricultural products, and transport and storage conditions. Climate change is projected to reduce crop productivity in parts of southern Europe and to improve the conditions for growing crops in northern Europe. Although northern regions may experience longer growing seasons and more suitable crop conditions in future, the number of extreme events negatively affecting agriculture in Europe is projected to increase.

Annual Report on the Situation of Asylum in the EU 2018
The 2018 edition of the EASO Annual Report on the Situation of Asylum in the European Union reflects an effort to offer, as in previous years, a concise, yet comprehensive overview of qualitative and quantitative information on key developments and trends in the area of international protection and the functioning of the Common European Asylum System. The Report also indicates key activities and initiatives undertaken by EASO in the course of the year, promoting the consistent implementation of the CEAS in EU+ countries. Reflecting the advances in EASO’s work on collecting and analysing information, the Report integrates insights from a wide range of sources, allowing for an in-depth presentation and analysis of major developments related to international protection in the EU+ and the context within which these occur. To this end, an effort was made to reflect the diversity of perspectives, expressed by a variety of actors in regards to pressing asylum-related issues, which at times may be of a constructively critical nature.

Trade and Investment Barriers Report 2018
The European Commission's report released on 17 June 2019 confirms the continuous rise in barriers encountered by European companies in foreign markets. 123 such barriers have been eliminated since the beginning of the current Commission mandate, allowing for more than €6 billion extra exports in 2018. The latest edition of the Trade and Investment Barriers Report (TIBR) identifies 45 new trade barriers put in place in countries outside the EU in 2018, bringing the total number to a record high of 425 measures in 59 different countries, costing EU businesses billions of euros every year.

European Drug Report 2019: Trends and Developments
The Trends and Developments report presents a top-level overview of the drug phenomenon in Europe, covering drug supply, use and public health problems as well as drug policy and responses. Together with the online Statistical Bulletin and 30 Country Drug Reports, it makes up the 2019 European Drug Report package.

EU actions for cross-border healthcare: significant ambitions but improved management required - European Court of Auditors special report no 07/2019
The 2011 Cross-border Healthcare Directive seeks to ensure EU patients' rights to access safe and high-quality healthcare, including across national borders within the EU. These rights are also intended to facilitate closer cooperation between Member States on eHealth and the treatment of rare diseases. We concluded that although EU actions in cross-border healthcare enhance Member States' collaboration, the benefits for patients were limited. We found that despite the progress made on providing EU citizens with information on cross-border healthcare, in some areas this information remains difficult to access. We identified weaknesses in the Commission's strategic planning and project management. We make recommendations focusing on the Commission's support for National Contact Points, the deployment of cross-border exchanges of health data, and EU's actions in the field of rare diseases.

Europe and South-East Asia: Shifting from Diplomacy to Unilateralism
The postponement of the planned 'strategic partnership' between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the EU highlights deep concerns and divisions for opening up in the relationship. The EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (FTA), and Investment Partnership Agreement (IPA), stand alone as a success for EU-ASEAN trade relations, in an otherwise troubled landscape. Bilateral trade agreements with Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand remain frozen or unratified for multiple non-trade reasons, often stemming from domestic politics.

2018 EU trade defence report
The EU shields 320,000 direct jobs across Europe from unfair foreign competition through its trade defence measures, according to a report out on 28 March 2019.

Council of European Energy Regulators (CEER) 2020 Vision
CEER and BEUC (The European Consumer Organisation) have developed a joint vision for 2020 of the EU’s energy industry that focuses on putting customers first. This vision is based on four key principles that unify the customers and the energy sector: Reliability - processes are to be set up so that any disputes or problems are resolved quickly, fairly and openly; Affordability - charges are to be fair and kept at a reasonable level for every customer; Simplicity - bills shall be fully understandable to enable customers to make the right choices to better manage their energy consumption; Protection and empowerment - customers shall be able to make quick and informed decisions in the energy market through developments in the sector, including energy efficiency measures.

Standing Up for Competition: Market Concentration, Regulation, and Europe's Quest for a New Industrial Policy
The pressure to reform EU competition policy is growing. After the failed merger of Alstom and Siemens, the French and German governments have called for a revamp of competition policy. The ultimate goal is to create European Champions - but this is something that will come at the expense of European citizens and businesses. 'It is worrying that the two most powerful governments in the EU are rushing to reinvent an industrial policy that failed in the past' says Oscar Guinea, a co-author of the paper. 'It is equally troubling that they take their cue from a view of current markets, concentration and firm power that is profoundly wrong. Market competition in Europe is on the decline and has been for decades' he adds.

Special report no 04/2019: The control system for organic products has improved, but some challenges remain
Since 1991, the EU has had a control system governing the production, processing, distribution and import of organic products. It aims to give consumers the confidence that organic rules are applied at every stage of the supply chain. The EU organic sector has developed rapidly over recent years. Following up on our Special Report No 9/2012 published in June 2012, we found that the control system had improved. Our recommendations had generally been implemented, but some challenges remained. We make recommendations to address the remaining weaknesses we identified in the Member States for EU products, to improve the supervision of imported organic products through better cooperation as well as to carry out more complete traceability checks.

Recycling rates and use of recycled materials in the EU
The recycling rates and use of recycled materials in the in the European Union (EU) are steadily growing. Overall, the EU recycled around 55% of all waste excluding major mineral waste in 2016 (compared with 53% in 2010). The rate for recovering construction and demolition waste reached 89% (2016), the recycling rate of packaging waste exceeded 67% (2016, compared with 64% in 2010) while the rate of plastic packaging was over 42% (2016, compared with 24% in 2005). The recycling rate for municipal waste stood at 46% (2017, compared with 35% in 2007) and for the waste of electrical and electronic equipment such as computers, televisions, fridges and mobile phones, which include valuable materials which can be recovered (e-waste) in the EU reached 41% (2016, compared with 28% in 2010).

Sweden, UK and the EU: Managing post-Brexit Relations and Defining a new Agenda for European Competitiveness - Policy Brief No. 1/2019
There is an urgent need to move on from the shock of the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, and all the melodrama in the past two years over what form Brexit should take, and focus on building a new relationship between the UK and EU. Trade and political relationships face change, but there is much that can be done to make sure that negative effects are temporary, and that we find a stable future path. The relationship will only be decided with many years of talking, but in this paper we suggest a structure that builds on existing EU practice of putting in place a web of agreements with other countries, anchored by something like an Association Agreement. The EU without the UK will be a different organisation, and countries such as Sweden will have to step up to protect their interests. In short, the future relationship with the UK could also define the future of the EU.

Commission report on the implementation of the Water Framework Directive (assessment of the second River Basin Management Plans) and the Floods Directive (first Flood Risk Management Plans)
The European Commission published on 26 February its assessment of how EU Member States have implemented EU water legislation, highlighting successes and shortcomings. The six-yearly implementation report evaluates both Member States' River Basin Management Plans and Flood Risk Management Plans for the period 2015 to 2021.

Convenient Truths - Mapping climate agendas of right-wing populist parties in Europe
Right-wing and Eurosceptic parties are expected to win more than 150 seats in the European Parliament in the 2019 European elections (up to 25 percent). Right-wing populists already hold seats in seven national governments of EU member states. This increases the influence of right-wing populists in the European Union and their ability to torpedo climate and energy policy. Publication by adelphi, a leading independent think tank and public policy consultancy on climate, environment and development.

Share of renewable energy in the EU 2017
Today's Eurostat report shows that the EU is on track for reaching its renewable energy target for 2020. In 2017, the share of energy from renewable sources in gross final consumption of energy in the EU, reached 17.5%, up from 17.0% in 2016 and more than double the share as in 2004 (8.5), the first year for which the data are available.

Briefing Paper: The EU's response to the "dieselgate" scandal
The question of discrepancies between laboratory figures and vehicle emissions on the road was brought into sharp focus with the discovery of the manipulation of vehicle emissions systems by the Volkswagen group, the so-called "dieselgate" scandal, which came to light in September 2015. This briefing paper sets out the actions taken, at the level of the European Union and Member States, and describes changes made to the system for measuring vehicle emissions after September 2015. The paper does not seek to assess whether the actions taken and proposed have solved the problem.

2019 Association Implementation Report on Georgia
In line with the revised European Neighbourhood Policy, this report sets out the state of play of Georgia’s commitments under the EU-Georgia Association Agreement (AA) since the meeting of the EU-Georgia Association Council of 5 February 2018 and ahead of its next meeting of 5 March 2019.

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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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