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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.

Eurofound News, Issue 7, July/August 2017
This issue contains articles on: Findings in figures; Latest developments in flexible working arrangements and work-life balance; Changing employment trends post-crisis; News in brief; and Articles online.

Report on EU customs enforcement of intellectual property rights - results of the EU border 2016
The European Commission's 2016 report on EU customs enforcement of intellectual property rights shows that customs authorities detained more than 41 million fake and counterfeit products at the EU's external border in 2016.

Employment and Social Developments in Europe: Annual Review 2017
The 'Employment and social developments in Europe: 2017 review', published on 17 July 2017, shows positive trends but highlights high burden on the young.

Taxation Trends in the European Union - Data for the EU Member States, Iceland and Norway
This report contains a detailed statistical and economic analysis of the tax systems of the 28 Member States of the European Union, plus Iceland and Norway which are members of the European Economic Area. In addition to the analysis of Europe-wide trends in Part 1, the report includes in Part 2 country chapters covering the 28 EU Member States, Iceland and Norway. For each country, key taxation indicators are provided on tax revenues as a percentage of GDP for the years 2003 to 2015. These are supplemented by factual tables presenting the latest tax reforms in each country. In Annex A, the reader can find more than 80 tables of the various taxation indicators, while Annex B contains a detailed description of the methodology used to calculate the indicators. The data in the report are presented within a unified statistical framework (the ESA 2010 system of national and regional accounts).

Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor - 2017 Edition
The new Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor is a tool which provides comparable data on how European cities perform across nine dimensions – covering culture and creativity – and underlines how their performance contributes to cities' social development and economic growth and job creation. Developed by the European Commission's in-house science service, the Joint Research Centre (JRC), the Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor will help policy makers as well as the cultural and creative sectors identify local strengths and areas for improvement, and learn from comparable cities. It also sheds light on the strong relationship between cultural vibrancy and various dimensions of a city's life, starting with its social diversity and its economic activity.

Monitoring the application of European Union law - 34th annual report
Every year, the European Commission draws up an annual report on its monitoring of the application of EU law. In 2016, the Commission launched 986 new procedures by sending a letter of formal notice and issued 292 reasoned opinions. At the end of 2016, 1 657 infringement procedures remained open. The number of new late-transposition infringement cases increased sharply in 2016 (847) compared to 2015 (543).

China’s technology protectionism and its non-negotiable rationales
China's restrictions on the internet and the ICT sector are tightening, with over 50 measures targeting this sector implemented just in the last decade. The rationale for these restrictions is not merely about shielding the country from foreign competition or security threats, but also to defer politically challenging reforms. Much of the rationale behind such digital protectionism is historically unprecedented and uniquely Chinese. This paper explores the policy framework applied to the digital sector in China. More often than not, China's digital mercantilism is interlinked with non-commercial objectives, such as public order, fiscal governance and national security, making them more difficult to reform or to negotiate. China's technology restrictions protract many economic and political reforms, but inaction also comes at a cost: Digitalisation is necessary to spur consumption, improve industrial productivity and revitalise the Chinese economy.

Reforming Services: What Policies Warrant Attention? - ECIPE Policy Brief No. 1/2017
Economic growth in the European Union has been low for more than a decade now. While some of the poor performance can be explained by the crisis, the sustained low growth is to a very large extent the consequence of sluggish productivity performance. Productivity is above all an indicator of a society’s long-term welfare and measures how effective we are at using our scarce resources in the economy. Therefore, it is critically important – and any reform effort should focus on boosting growth through higher productivity growth. The recent Services Package – a set of proposals to support Europe’s services sector – is a case in point. It has long been established that rates of productivity growth in Europe’s services sector trails the rates in the United States and other comparable economies. As the economy increasingly gets dependent on services, the risk for Europe is that the natural economic transformation will weigh down our productivity growth. Obviously, any services reform aiming at delivering growth should start from the policy barriers that hold back growth and a greater degree of economic dynamism. Few, however, do. The type of restrictive policy measures in the EU vary across different services sectors – and, hence, what is the right policy priority for one country may not be right for the other. Yet, when looking at some services policy developments in Europe more closely, some patterns do become clear. Those should now be the focus of policy reform.

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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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