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Author: EP think tank

Briefing – Revision of the Blue Card Directive – 18-05-2017

Attracting highly qualified immigrants to Europe has been one of the EU’s key priorities for several years. However, up until now the EU has not been as successful as other OECD countries. This demand for workers is expected to increase due to the increasing shortage of certain skills and the aging of the EU’s population. The proposed directive, which would replace the 2009 Blue Card Directive, increases the attractiveness of the EU highly skilled migration scheme by expanding its scope, lowering criteria for admission, expanding the rights of beneficiaries, and abolishing parallel national schemes. Stakeholders and experts agree with...

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Briefing – Public-private partnerships in research – 17-05-2017

The EU public-private partnerships (PPPs) in research were set up in the context of the development of European Research Area policy in 2003 with two main objectives. First, they were to address the fragmentation of research efforts between the private and public sector and across borders. Second, they were to increase public and private investment in research activities to reach the target of 3 % of EU gross domestic product. The first PPPs – the European Technology Platforms and the Joint Technology Initiatives – were developed to achieve these objectives. The initial focus of the PPPs on research activities...

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At a Glance – European Technology Platforms – 17-05-2017

European Technology Platforms (ETP) were the first type of public-private partnership established in the research field at European level. These industry-led stakeholders’ fora define and implement a strategic research agenda (SRA) aiming at aligning research priorities in a technological area. Without dedicated funding, ETPs remain coordination and advisory structures, helping to define the topics of research programmes at European, national and regional level. Source : © European Union, 2017 –...

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Briefing – Foreign direct investment screening: A debate in light of China-EU FDI flows – 17-05-2017

In 2016, the flow of Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) into the EU hit record levels, in sharp contrast to the continued decline in EU FDI flows to China. Chinese FDI was mainly driven by market-seeking and strategic asset-seeking motives and focused on big EU economies, targeting cutting-edge technologies in particular. In 2016, a number of Chinese proposals for transactions in strategic sectors came under scrutiny during security reviews at EU Member-State level. Some were delayed, and some were ultimately withdrawn by the Chinese investors. In this context, new challenges going beyond national security have emerged in terms of...

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Briefing – Circular economy with focus on waste, renewable energy and sustainable bioenergy in Estonia – 15-05-2017

This briefing reviews Estonia’s progress in the transition to a circular economy, focusing on a three crucial and related policy areas: waste, renewable energy and sustainable bioenergy. A key challenge for Estonia in terms of moving to a circular economy will be to strengthen recycling, as well as high rates of separate collection in cities including Tallinn – Estonia is not on track to meet the EU’s 2020 targets for municipal solid waste recycling. • The share of renewable energy has increased strongly in the past ten years, due mainly to a growth in wind power and biomass, which...

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Briefing – Plastics in a circular economy: Opportunities and challenges – 17-05-2017

Plastics pervade modern life; plastics production has been growing exponentially since the 1960s and is expected to double by 2036. Although there are over 1 000 types of plastic, 90 % of plastics are derived from virgin fossil fuels. In Europe, post-consumer plastic waste is either incinerated with energy recovery (39 %), landfilled (31 %) or recycled (30%). It is estimated that half of the plastic waste recycled is treated in the EU, while the other half is exported for recycling. The production and consumption of plastics today offer a series of benefits (in particular low production costs, durability...

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EU Fact Sheets – The citizens of the Union and their rights – 01-04-2017

European citizenship is enshrined in the Treaties (Article 20 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and Article 9 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU)). It is an essential factor in the formation of a European identity. European citizenship exists as a complement to citizenship of a Member State. The main difference between the two is that the rights that citizens enjoy as a result of European citizenship are not matched with duties. Source : © European Union, 2017 –...

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Briefing – Measuring social impact in the EU – 16-05-2017

Austerity measures in the wake of the financial crisis, coupled with fragile economic growth, have triggered a shift in the focus of EU policy-makers towards deepening the economic and monetary union and achieving greater social convergence across Member States. In addition, due to growing inequalities and changing labour markets, discussions on investing in human capital have also come to the fore. In this context, it has become all the more important to understand and assess the social impact of policies and investments. Moreover, both public and private investors want to gain a better understanding of the social outcomes that...

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