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Blockchain and Trade: Not a Fix for Brexit, but Could Revolutionise Global Value Chains (If Governments Let It)
One of the most tone-deaf suggestions in the Brexit proceedings so far came in August 2017, when the UK Brexit team released a long-awaited position paper setting out its proposal on how to manage its border with Ireland. It suggested that "technology-based solutions" – meaning blockchain, the technology behind cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin – could be implemented to "make it easier to comply with customs procedures."

Long-term unemployed youth: Characteristics and policy responses
While the youth labour market has improved considerably since 2014, one legacy of the recent economic crisis is the large cohort of long-term unemployed young people, which represents nearly one-third of jobless young people. This report provides an updated profile of the youth labour market in 2016 and describes trends over the past decade. It explores the determinants of long-term unemployment, at both sociodemographic and macroeconomic levels. It also provides evidence on the serious consequences for young people of spending a protracted time in unemployment, such as scarring effects on income and occupation and on several dimensions of young people’s well-being. The report concludes with a discussion of selected policy measures recently implemented by 10 Member States in order to prevent young people from becoming long-term unemployed or, if they are in such circumstances, to integrate them into the labour market or education.

The Missing Entrepreneurs 2017
The Missing Entrepreneurs 2017 is the fourth edition in a series of publications that examine how public policies at national, regional and local levels can support job creation, economic growth and social inclusion by overcoming obstacles to business start-ups and self-employment by people from disadvantaged or under-represented groups in entrepreneurship. It shows that there is substantial potential to combat unemployment and increase labour market participation by facilitating business creation in populations such as women, youth, the unemployed, and migrants. However, the specific problems they face need to be recognised and addressed with effective and efficient policy measures.

Second European Union Minorities and Discrimination Survey (EU-MIDIS II)
Seventeen years after adoption of EU laws that forbid discrimination, immigrants, descendants of immigrants, and minority ethnic groups continue to face widespread discrimination across the EU and in all areas of life - most often when seeking employment. For many, discrimination is a recurring experience. This is just one of the findings of FRA's second European Union Minorities and Discrimination Survey (EU-MIDIS II), which collected information from over 25,500 respondents with different ethnic minority and immigrant backgrounds across all 28 EU Member States.

Drugs and the darknet: perspectives for enforcement, research and policy
This joint report prepared by the EMCDDA and Europol considers the latest findings from international research, fresh empirical data, and operational information and intelligence in order to illuminate how darknet markets function and how they relate to criminal behaviour. The publication adopts an EU focus of what is a global phenomenon. It is comprehensive but accessible and policy-oriented, intended to facilitate discussions at EU-level on how to respond to darknet drug markets, whilst identifying key priority areas that require attention and where activities are likely to have most impact.

Restrictions to Cross-Border Data Flows: a Taxonomy
Strict privacy regimes, requests to use local data centres and outright bans to transfer data abroad are a few examples of policies imposed recently that restrict data from crossing national or regional borders. This paper is the first one to propose a comprehensive taxonomy of these restrictions, which has a bearing on international trade law. Restrictions on cross-border data flows may affect countries’ legal commitments under various trade agreements, including the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). This taxonomy can be the basis of further legal and economic research to assess the legitimacy and necessity of these under international trade law.

Annual report on European SMEs 2016-2017 - Focus on self-employment
The 2016/2017 annual report on European SMEs is now available. It presents good news: SME recovery continues. The annual report, prepared on a yearly basis, provides a synopsis of the size, structure and importance of SMEs to the European economy and an overview of the past and forecasted performance of SMEs from 2008 to 2018. Comparisons with partner countries outside the EU and with the large enterprise sector are also included.

Air Quality in European cities - Urban PM2.5 Atlas
Many European cities suffer from poor air quality and regularly exceed both the European standards prescribed by the Air Quality Directive and the guidelines recommended by the World Health Organization. This is particularly the case for fine particulate matter (PM10) for which both the daily and yearly average limit values are regularly exceeded in many cities and several regions in Europe. Similar conclusions hold for PM2.5 where few cities manage to keep concentrations below the levels recommended by the WHO. Actions have been proposed and taken at the international, national and urban scales to reduce air pollution. While they have undoubtedly resulted in an overall improvement of the air quality over the years, there are still problems which are localised in specific regions and many cities. A key issue is thus to determine at which scale to act in order to abate these remaining air pollution problems most effectively. Central to this for cities, is a quantitative assessment of the different origins of air pollution in the city (urban, regional, national and transboundary) to support the design of efficient and effective air quality plans, which are a legal obligation for countries and regions whenever exceedances occur. The “Screening for High Emission Reduction Potentials for Air quality” tool (SHERPA) has been developed by the Joint Research Centre to quantify the origins of air pollution in cities and regions. In this Atlas, both the spatial (urban, country…) and sectoral (transport, residential, agriculture…) contributions are quantified for 150 European urban areas in Europe, where many of the current exceedances to the air quality EU limit values and WHO guidelines are reported. There is a need to provide information to improve air quality policy governance, to support authorities in choosing the most efficient actions at the appropriate administrative level and scale. In particular, actions at the local level focusing on the urban scale and at national/international level needs to be carefully balanced. Key conclusions are: • For many cities, local actions at the city scale are an effective means of improving air quality in that city. The overall conclusion is that cities have a role to play by taking actions at their own scale. It is important to emphasise that the emissions in cities contribute significantly to country and EU overall PM concentrations, reinforcing the important role of cities in reducing the air pollution through a multilevel approach. • Impacts of abatement measures on air quality are city specific The impact of a given abatement measure on air quality differs from city to city, even for cities that are located in the same country. Actions taken at different scales or in different activity sectors therefore lead to impacts on air quality that are city-specific. The diversity of possible responses to abatement measures stresses the need to take into account these city-specific circumstances when designing air quality plans. Actions that are efficient in one city might not be efficient in others. • Sectoral measures addressing agriculture at country or EU scale would have a clear benefit on urban air quality. Although agricultural emissions are limited in the "city" as defined here, agriculture considerably impacts air quality in many EU cities. The extent of the impact of agriculture on air quality is indicative of the potential of EU- or country-wide measures addressing this sector. Moreover, other sectoral measures can have an important potential at the urban scale even though they are applied at EU or country scale. This is the case of road transport where the EURO norms are, in practice, most effective in the areas where traffic is most important, i.e. cities.

Special report No 17/2017: The Commission's intervention in the Greek financial crisis
The European Court of Auditors examined the European Commission's management of the three Economic Adjustment Programmes for Greece, bearing in mind the institutional set-up of the different financial assistance instruments used. In relation to the ongoing programme, the audit focused only on the design aspects. Funding for the first programme (GLF), in 2010, was 110 billion euros; for the second (EFSF; 2012) it was 172.6 billion euros and for the third (ESM; 2015) it was 86 billion euros. As of mid-2017, Greece still requires external financial support and the ECA found that the objectives of the programmes were met only to a limited extent. Overall, the programmes' design did make the progress of reform in Greece possible, but weaknesses were found. The ECA makes a number of recommendations to the Commission for future support programmes.

Education and Training Monitor 2017
The European Commission published on 9 November the 2017 edition of the Education and Training Monitor, which analyses and compares the main challenges for European education systems. The Monitor shows that national education systems are becoming more inclusive and effective. Yet it also confirms that students' educational attainment largely depends on their socio-economic backgrounds.

Implementation of EU Free Trade Agreements 1 January 2016 - 31 December 2016
The European Commission published on 9 November 2017 a report assessing the implementation of the EU's existing trade agreements. This is another step towards a fully transparent and inclusive trade policy, in line with the Commission's commitments set out in the EU's 2015 'Trade for All' strategy. The report shows that the export increases observed for the agreements negotiated in the past amount to as much as 416% for Mexico, 170% for Chile, and around 60% for South Korea and Serbia. The agricultural and car sectors appear to be benefiting the most (e.g. 244% increase in car exports to South Korea since 2011 and 92% and 73% increase to Colombia and Peru respectively for agricultural goods since 2013).

Citizenship Education at School in Europe 2017 - Eurydice Report
There has been a strong focus in recent years on the promotion of citizenship education, as a result of the increasing threats to fundamental values such as peace, equality and human rights Europe is faced with, and several countries are making changes to their policies in this area. But what is citizenship education? How is it taught? How are students evaluated? Can citizenship skills be developed outside the classroom? What training and support do teachers receive? The report is divided into four chapters, each of which is complemented by a case study on recent policy initiatives: Curriculum Organisation and Content; Teaching, Learning and Active Participation; Student Assessment and School Evaluation; Teacher Education, Professional Development and Support

Reactivate: Employment opportunities for economically inactive people
Employment policies tend to focus on unemployed people, but evidence indicates that many people who are economically inactive also have labour market potential. This report examines groups within the inactive population that find it difficult to enter or re-enter the labour market and explores the reasons why. It maps the characteristics and living conditions of these groups, discusses their willingness to work and examines the barriers that prevent them from doing so. The report also looks at strategies being implemented by Member States to promote the inclusion of those outside the labour market. It highlights that many inactive people would like to work in some capacity, particularly students and homemakers. Stressing the importance of focusing on the specific needs of the inactive population in designing and implementing effective strategies for their labour market integration, the report argues that Member States should fully implement the 2008 European Commission Recommendation on the active inclusion of people excluded from the labour market. An executive summary is available.

Health and social responses to drug problems: a European guide
This guide and the associated package of online materials provides a reference point for planning or delivering health and social responses to drug problems in Europe. The most appropriate responses will depend on the specific drug problems, the contexts in which these occur and the types of intervention that are possible and socially acceptable. By providing key information on some of the most important drug issues for Europe and the responses available, this guide aims to assist those involved in tackling these challenges to develop new programmes and improve existing ones.

New Coalitions for Europe's Digital Future - Building Capacity, Improving Performance - ECIPE Policy Briefs
In Europe's digital policy, digital managerialists, digital frontrunners, and digital convergers have emerged as coalitions among EU member states. This paper lays a focus on their stances on digital-policy reform and on their own understanding of the costs and benefits of the growth of the digital economy. The paper also suggests new ways for countries to cooperate in current or new constellations, which will allow them to profit from other countries' experiences, and to fully develop their own policy preferences as well as a clear understanding of appropriate digital reforms for them.

Labour Market and Wage Developments in Europe - Annual Review 2017
The Labour Market and Wage Developments in Europe report analyses the labour market from a macroeconomic perspective. It provides an analysis of recent employment and wage developments, looking at the euro area and the EU as a whole in comparison with its global trading partners. The 2017 edition shows that job creation continued to progress in 2016 and the first half of 2017 and analyses the reasons behind this improvement. The report also focuses on the structural and institutional determinants of labour market segmentation in the EU, focussing in particular on temporary employment and self-employment without employees.

How To Stop Brexit (And Make Britain Great Again)
There is nothing remotely inevitable about Brexit – except that it will be deeply damaging if it happens. Extricating Britain from Europe will be the greatest challenge this country has faced since the Second World War. And as negotiations with the EU expose the promises of the Brexit campaign to have been hollow, even some Brexit-voters now wish to exercise their democratic right to change their mind, seeing that the most pragmatic option is to … stop. It would certainly be the best thing for Britain. But how can it be done? Haven't the people spoken? No. In this indispensable handbook, Nick Clegg categorically debunks the various myths that have been used to force Brexit on Britain, not by 'the people' but by a small, extremely rich, self-serving elite, and explains precisely how this historic mistake can be reversed – and what you can do to make sure that it is. This indispensable handbook offers readers of every political allegiance non-partisan ways to pull together in response to the greatest crisis in a generation, reunite our country and prevent national decline.

The Escape Industry: How Iconic and Innovative Brands Built the Travel Business
The Escape Industry, by Mark Tungate, explores the evolution of the travel industry and the lessons we can take away from some of the world's leading brands. He explores the origins of these companies, and asks what it is that has enabled them to thrive, whilst others have failed and disappeared. The book explores the beginnings of some of travel's most iconic brands, including Thomas Cook, AirBnB, The Ritz,, British Airways and Ryanair. Studded with exclusive interviews and alive with incidents and anecdotes, The Escape Industry takes readers on a journey into the past, and the future, of a fascinating industry in a way that will appeal to business leaders, marketers, travel industry professionals and anyone who has an interest in travel as a consumer.

Standard Essential Patents and the Quest for Faster Diffusion of Technology
Standard-essential patents (SEPs) have been critical to the ICT revolution. SEPs have allowed for the fast rates of innovation diffusion that the world has witnessed in the past 25 years. Yet the SEP system is under pressure. It suffers from a smoldering crisis of confidence as costly legal disputes across several international jurisdictions have caused unpredictable frictions in the markets for standardized technologies. Regulators in several parts of the world are now considering actions that seek to overcome obscurities in the SEP system. Asymmetric information is at the very heart of current problems in the market for SEPs, and all too often resembles a market dominated by a “confusopoly” with little transparency about products, quality and prices. In this paper, we will discuss ideas and concepts for what could be done to maintain a balanced and trusted system that supports technological innovation and at the same time conforms to economic efficiency.

Developments in working life 2016: EurWORK annual review
Developments in Working Life in Europe is part of a series of annual reviews published by Eurofound and provides an overview of the latest developments in industrial relations and working conditions across the EU and Norway. The annual review collates information based on reports from Eurofound’s network of European correspondents throughout 2016, complemented by recent research findings, including data from Eurofound’s European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS). This review is divided into seven thematic chapters, which provide an overview of the current situation, explore developments at European and national level, and examine particular issues rising from the analysis of the quarterly reporting for EurWORK.

Second European Union Minorities and Discrimination Survey (EU-MIDIS II): Muslims - Selected findings
Muslims living in the EU face discrimination in a broad range of settings – and particularly when looking for work, on the job, and when trying to access public or private services. The report examines how characteristics – such as an individual's first and last name, skin colour and the wearing of visible religious symbols like a headscarf, for example – may trigger discriminatory treatment and harassment.

Working time patterns for sustainable work - Eurofound report
Working time is a recurrent topic of study because the nature of work, its content, the conditions under which it is performed and the labour market itself keep changing. This report provides an overview of the recent evolution of working time duration and organisation in the EU and highlights the most important trends and differences between Member States. Through an in-depth analysis of data from the sixth European Working Conditions Survey carried out in 2015, it examines - from a gender and life course perspective – the links between working time patterns, work–life balance and working time preferences, on the one hand, and workers’ health and well-being on the other. Finally, the report explores the extent to which prevailing working conditions and working time patterns in EU Member States are sustainable in the long term.

Eurostat regional yearbook 2017
Statistical information is an important tool for understanding and quantifying the impact of political decisions in a specific territory or region. The Eurostat regional yearbook 2017 gives a detailed picture relating to a broad range of statistical topics across the regions of the EU Member States, as well as the regions of the EFTA and candidate countries. Each chapter presents statistical information in maps, tables and figures, accompanied by a description of the policy context, main findings and data sources. These regional indicators are presented for the following 12 subjects: regional policies and European Commission priorities, population, health, education and training, the labour market, the economy, structural business statistics, research and innovation, the digital economy and society, tourism, transport, and agriculture. In addition, two special chapters are included in this edition: a focus on European cities and a focus on rural areas.

For a New Europeanism
Just as it did seventy years ago, European integration today has four strategic objectives: peace, security, prosperity and identity. However, 'mainstream Europeanism' - the current European consensus—seems increasingly incapable of providing the right vision for a successful continuation of the European project. To meet the present challenges of European integration and secure unity across the continent, we should develop a new Europeanism that promotes stronger integration in defence, foreign policy and border control, while putting greater emphasis on decentralisation, national autonomy, economic reforms and cultural traditions. This would put into practice the EU's motto 'Unity in diversity' and give precise content to the ideal of an EU that is 'big on big things and small on small things'. The Martens Centre “Future of Europe” series aims to contribute to the continental debate launched by the European Commission with its White Paper on the Future of Europe, published in March 2017. It is designed to stimulate frank and innovative reflections on possible ways ahead for the European project, hoping that this will ultimately contribute to strengthening it.

Tragedy & Challenge: An Inside View of UK Engineering's Decline and the Challenge of the Brexit Economy
Tragedy & Challenge offers a unique insight into the challenges facing engineering companies post-Brexit, as well as the impact engineering has on the economy, on our exports, on people's working lives, and on society as a whole. The book draws from Tom's 45 years of experience in the industry to analyse the causes of the decline in UK engineering, considering its poor leadership, original analysis of the detrimental effects of government economic policy, and the destructive influence of the City including an insider's uninhibited view of fund managers, analysts, and private equity.

Contained Smart Folders:

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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