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EU unable to approve new gene-editing plans in current mandate - Wed, 03/27/2024 - 17:39
The approval of much-anticipated legislation loosening the EU’s strict rules on New Genomic Techniques (NGTs), will have to wait until the next legislative mandate, Belgian Agriculture Minister David Clarinval confirmed at the Agriculture and Fisheries Council (AGRIFISH) on Tuesday’s (26 March).
Categories: European Union

'Swiftly dial back' interest rates, ECB told - Wed, 03/27/2024 - 17:11
Italian central banker Piero Cipollone in his first monetary policy speech since joining the ECB's board in November, said that the bank should be ready to "swiftly dial back our restrictive monetary policy stance."
Categories: European Union

French government refuses to put CETA to parliamentary vote before European elections - Wed, 03/27/2024 - 17:03
The ratification of CETA, the trade agreement between the EU and Canada, rejected last week by the Senate, will not be submitted to the National Assembly before the European elections, the government has confirmed, so as not to "instrumentalise the debate".
Categories: European Union

The Brief – DSA is branching into genAI regulation for EU elections - Wed, 03/27/2024 - 16:21
While the European Commission released its guidelines on how to avoid the abuse of generative artificial intelligence (AI) in June's EU elections, the internet was ablaze with theories that a video intended to show the wellbeing of Kate Middleton, a member of the British Royal Family, was fake and created by AI.
Categories: European Union

German economy to nearly flatline this year, Kiel, ifo Institutes say - Wed, 03/27/2024 - 16:11

Frankfurt, Germany, March 27, 2024 (AFP) - The German economy is expected to barely grow this year, leading economic institutes said Wednesday, as weak demand at home and abroad slows the path to recovery.

Europe's largest economy will expand by just 0.1 percent in 2024, five think-tanks said in a joint statement, a sharp downgrade from their earlier forecast of 1.3 percent growth.

"Cyclical and structural factors are overlapping in the sluggish overall economic development," said Stefan Kooths from the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel).

"Although a recovery is likely to set in from the spring, the overall momentum will not be too strong," he added.

The German economy shrank by 0.3 percent last year, battered by inflation, high interest rates and cooling exports, and is struggling to emerge from the doldrums.

Even though inflation has steadily dropped in recent months, consumer spending was picking up "later and less dynamically" than previously forecast as wages lag behind, the institutes (DIW, Ifo, IfW Kiel, IWH and RWI) said.

And Germany's export sector, usually a key driver of economic growth, was suffering from cooling foreign trade against a fragile global economic backdrop.

Energy-intensive businesses in particular have been hit hard by soaring energy prices following Russia's war in Ukraine, contributing to a manufacturing slump in Europe's industrial powerhouse.

Corporate investments meanwhile have been dampened not just by the European Central Bank's interest rate rises, which have made borrowing more expensive, but also by "uncertainty about economic policy", the institutes said.

- Debt brake debate -

The criticism of Berlin comes after a shock legal ruling late last year threw Chancellor Olaf Scholz's budget into disarray, forcing the government to rethink its spending plans.

The government recently also drastically downgraded its own economic forecasts, expecting output to expand by just 0.2 percent this year.

Economy Minister Robert Habeck last month acknowledged the economy was "in rough waters" and in need of a "reform booster".

But Scholz's three-way coalition government -- made up of the Social Democrats, the Greens and the liberal FDP -- is divided over how to turn the tide.

Calls have grown for the government to relax its constitutionally enshrined "debt brake", a self-imposed cap on annual borrowing, in order to turbocharge much-needed spending on infrastructure modernisation and the green transition.

Habeck is in favour of relaxing the debt rules, but Finance Minister Christian Lindner from the FDP is deeply opposed.

The think-tanks said they recommended "a mild reform" of the debt brake to allow "for more debt-financed investments than before".

Looking ahead, the institutes expect the recovery to quicken next year as inflation eases further and demand picks up.

They now expect the economy to grow by 1.4 percent in 2025, only slightly below their previous forecast of 1.5 percent.

Categories: European Union

Agenda - The Week Ahead 01 – 07 April 2024

European Parliament - Wed, 03/27/2024 - 16:03
Committee meetings

Source : © European Union, 2024 - EP
Categories: European Union

Azerbaijan keeps trade option open amid sanctions busting accusations - Wed, 03/27/2024 - 16:00
Azerbaijan has positioned itself as a significant energy trade partner for the EU following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, amid accusations that Baku would be involved in 'laundering' sanctioned Russian gas and oil.
Categories: European Union

[Podcast] Moscow's terror attack, security and Gaza - Wed, 03/27/2024 - 15:55
This week's Euroscopic explores the consequences of Moscow's terror attack, the convergence of public safety and border/migration policy in an EU election year, and the United Nations Security resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.
Categories: European Union

[Opinion] Why UK-EU defence and security deal may be difficult - Wed, 03/27/2024 - 15:12
Rather than assuming a pro-European Labour government in London will automatically open doors in Brussels, the Labour party needs to consider what it may be able to offer to incentivise EU leaders to factor the UK into their defence thinking.
Categories: European Union

EU unveils plan to create a European cross-border degree - Wed, 03/27/2024 - 14:58
The so-called "European degree" is to be a new type of diploma, awarded after transnational programmes run at national, regional or institutional level — and on a voluntary basis.
Categories: European Union

[Investigation] How migrants risk becoming drug addicts along Balkan route - Wed, 03/27/2024 - 14:57
Psychotropic drug abuse is one of the many dangers migrants face along the Balkan route. In overcrowded camps, doctors prescribe tranquilisers to calm people down. And black market circuits and pharmacies selling drugs without prescription contribute to the issue.
Categories: European Union

Artificial intelligence [What Think Tanks are thinking]

Written by Marcin Grajewski.

The Artificial Intelligence (AI) Act moved close to final adoption when the European Parliament voted in favour of the text on 13 March. It will become law after the final endorsement of the Council of the European Union, making the Union the first major world power to adopt horizontal legislation governing AI.

The act defines the rules for using and selling artificial intelligence systems in the EU, and regulates general-purpose AI tools such as ChatGPT and AI-based biometric surveillance. It also requires much more transparency than up to now in high-risk AI systems, and delineates unacceptable risks of AI.

This note offers links to recent reports and commentaries from some major international think tanks and research institutes on artificial intelligence. More publications on the topic can be found in a previous edition of What think tanks are thinking.

Charting the geopolitics and European governance of Artificial Intelligence
Carnegie Europe, March 2024

The EU’s AI Act creates regulatory complexity for open-source AI
Center for Data Innovation, March 2024

What to expect from the Digital Markets Act
Centre for European Reform, March 2024

Quantum computing: A blessing and a threat to our digital world
Friends of Europe, March 2024

Artificial intelligence, diplomacy and democracy: from divergence to convergence
Friends of Europe, March 2024

Is the EU missing another tech wave with AI?
Atlantic Council, February 2024

Should the UN govern global AI?
Brookings Institution, February 2024

Fairness in machine learning: Regulation or standards?
Brookings Institution, February 2024

Licensing AI is not the answer, but it contains the answers
Brookings Institution, February 2024

Tech firms’ promise to fight election fakes is a good start, but only a start
Bruegel, February 2024

Intellectual monopolization on steroids: Big Tech in the AI age
Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, February 2024

The AI election year: How to counter the impact of Artificial Intelligence
German Council on Foreign Relations, February 2024

Quel rôle pour le groupe aéronaval à l’heure de la guerre en réseau?
Institut français des relations internationales, February 2024

Artificial Intelligence and democracy
Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies,

Why artificial general intelligence lies beyond deep learning
Rand Corporation, February 2024

The dark side of urban Artificial Intelligence: addressing the environmental and social impact of algorithms
Barcelona Centre for International Affairs, January 2024

The impact of generative AI in a global election year
Brookings Institution, January 2024

Effective AI regulation requires understanding general-purpose AI
Brookings Institution, January 2024

The implications of the AI boom for non-state armed actors
Brookings Institution, January 2024

How the EU can navigate the geopolitics of AI
Carnegie Europe, January 2024

Rethinking concerns about AI’s energy use
Center for Data Innovation, January 2024

The New York Times’ copyright lawsuit against OpenAI threatens the future of AI and fair use
Center for Data Innovation, January 2024

The long-termist fear of a future malevolent superintelligence is hindering our progress today
Centre for European Policy Studies, January 2024

Envisioning Africa’s AI governance landscape in 2024
European Centre for Development Policy Management, January 2024

Nuclear arms control policies and safety in artificial intelligence: Transferable lessons or false equivalence?
Finnish Institute of International Affairs, January 2024

Algorithms by and for the workers
Foundation for European Progressive Studies, January 2024

Rethinking concerns about AI’s energy use
Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, January 2024

Pour une Autorité française de l’IA
Institut Montaigne, January 2024

The promise and peril of AI in the power grid
Rand Corporation, January 2024

AI poses risks to both authoritarian and democratic politics
Wilson Center, January 2024

A cluster analysis of national AI strategies
Brookings Institution, December 2023

New technologies in the workplace: A round-up of project research
Bruegel, December 2023

Skills or a degree? The rise of skills-based hiring for AI and green jobs
Bruegel, December 2023

The competitive relationship between cloud computing and generative AI
Bruegel, December 2023

Artificial intelligence and energy consumption
Bruegel, December 2023

Policymakers should use the SETI model to prepare for AI doomsday scenarios
Center for Data Innovation, December 2023

What Is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?
Council on Foreign Affairs, December 2023

Artificial Intelligence and the clustering of human capital: The risks for Europe
European Centre for International Political Economy, December 2023

Après le ravage des écrans, l’école doit-elle vraiment sauter dans le train de l’intelligence artificielle?
Institut Thomas More, December 2023

Philosophical debates about AI risks are a distraction
Rand Corporation, December 2023

The EU AI Act is a cautionary tale in open-source AI regulation
Center for Data Innovation, December 2023

Generative AI: Global governance and the risk-based approach
Centre on Regulation in Europe, November 2023

AI won’t be safe until we rein in Big Tech
European Policy Studies, November 2023

The drama at OpenAI shows that AI governance remains in the hands of a select few
Chatham House, November 2023

The global race for Artificial Intelligence regulation
Istituto per gli Studi di Politica Internazionale, November 2023

Awareness of artificial intelligence: Diffusion of information about AI versus ChatGPT in the United States
Kiel Institute for the World Economy, November 2023

The geopolitics of Generative AI: international implications and the role of the European Union
Real Institute Elcano, November 2024

Read this briefing on ‘Artificial intelligence‘ in the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.

Categories: European Union

EU liberals leader visits Kyiv as Ukraine takes spotlight in EU elections - Wed, 03/27/2024 - 13:45
As all main EU political parties have placed Ukraine and defence at the fore of their EU elections campaign, the EU liberals chief and campaign leader, Valérie Hayer, visited Kyiv on Tuesday (26 March) to show support and announce her plans to integrate Ukrainian parliamentarians and leaders into Renew Europe. 
Categories: European Union

Agri ministers call the Commission to speed up work on animal transport - Wed, 03/27/2024 - 12:46
European Union agriculture ministers backed on Tuesday (26 March) the European Commission’s initiatives on animal welfare, calling for tougher standards on transport, labelling, and slaughter in the next political mandate.
Categories: European Union

EU Commission to sign partnership with Australia on critical raw materials - Wed, 03/27/2024 - 12:29
The European Commission will sign a strategic partnership with Australia on critical raw materials, a source familiar with the matter told Euractiv, as the EU continues its drive to secure access to these materials from sources other than China.
Categories: European Union

Carbon circularity requires EU action: lessons from 3 EU projects [Promoted content] - Wed, 03/27/2024 - 12:00
CO2SMOS, VIVALDI and CATCO2NVERS are EU-funded projects exploring ways to replace fossil-based carbon in chemicals with carbon emitted by installations processing biomass. Their recommendations? EU regulations must ensure that sustainable carbon is recognised as the easier, cheaper and necessary alternative.
Categories: European Union

‘A new chapter in EU climate policy’ – Swedish EU lawmaker talks carbon capture and bioenergy - Wed, 03/27/2024 - 10:51
Europe is heading into a new chapter of climate policy, paving the way for negative emissions also from the bioenergy sector, Renew Europe lawmaker Emma Wiesner told Euractiv in an interview.
Categories: European Union

Vandenbroucke takes another jab at slow EU action on tobacco, alcohol - Wed, 03/27/2024 - 10:00
“Prevention is very much about consumption. Consumption is about what is on the market. When you say market you say EU,” Belgian Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke told an even in Brussels on Tuesday.
Categories: European Union

Sanctions (don’t) work to stop the war? How Russia uses the narrative against the West - Wed, 03/27/2024 - 10:00
Western sanctions and their effectiveness are one of the favourite topics of Russian propaganda, demonstrating both the importance for the Kremlin of managing this narrative and the real impact sanctions are having on the Russian economy.
Categories: European Union

Talking to humans about nature protection - Wed, 03/27/2024 - 09:00
Irrespective of whether the Commission’s nature restoration law proposal survives or falls, we need to learn how to talk to humans about nature protection - and fast.
Categories: European Union


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