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European Parliament - EPRS Policy podcasts


Listen to a selection of EPRS policy podcasts here. An in-depth look at different topical EU policy areas based on objective authoritative and independent research.

Listen to a selection of EPRS policy podcasts here. An in-depth look at different topical EU policy areas based on objective authoritative and independent research.




Listen to a selection of EPRS policy podcasts here. An in-depth look at different topical EU policy areas based on objective authoritative and independent research.




Resilience of global supply chains: Challenges and solutions

The growing importance of global supply chains has fundamentally changed the way the global economy and goods manufacturing are organised. While trade conducted through global supply chains has fallen somewhat as a share of total trade since the 2008-2010 global financial and economic crisis, more than two-thirds of international trade still involves transactions made possible by such chains. In this podcast, we'll focus on global supply chains. We'll analyse how dependent we are on them,...


A common charger for electronic devices: Revision of the Radio Equipment Directive

On 23 September 2021, the European Commission adopted a legislative proposal to amend the 2014 Radio Equipment Directive, as a first step towards mandating a common charger for mobile phones and other small portable devices. Under the proposal, these devices would have to be equipped with a USB Type-C receptacle that can be charged with cables compatible with USB Type C, and to incorporate the USB Power Delivery communication protocol. In this podcast, we'll talk about a common charger for...


Central bank digital currencies: Evolution or revolution?

Payment systems are of vital importance for today's economies and are the core activity of central banks. To adapt to recent trends – including the decline in cash usage, the surge in online commerce and contactless forms of payment, and the creation of cryptocurrencies – central banks have, in recent years, explored the possibility of issuing digital currencies themselves. In this podcast, we'll talk about digital currencies issued by central banks. We'll look at the different design...


Artificial intelligence act

The European Commission proposes to establish a technology-neutral definition of AI systems in EU law and to lay down a classification for AI systems with different requirements and obligations tailored on a 'risk-based approach'. Some AI systems presenting 'unacceptable' risks would be prohibited. A wide range of 'high-risk' AI systems would be authorised, but subject to a set of requirements and obligations to gain access to the EU market. Those AI systems presenting only 'low or minimal...


Social climate fund: Fit for 55 package

The fit for 55 package is part of the Commission's European Green Deal, which aims to set the EU firmly on the path towards net zero GHG emissions (climate neutrality) by 2050. The fit for 55 package includes a regulation establishing a new social climate fund (SCF). The aim of the SCF is to help vulnerable households, micro-businesses and transport users meet the costs of the green energy transition in the buildings and road transport sector. The SCF is designed to counter the additional...


Global human rights sanctions - Mapping Magnitsky laws: The US, Canadian, UK and EU approach

Human rights sanctions are nothing new, but the death in 2009 of Russian whistle-blower Sergei Magnitsky in detention resulted in calls for more vigorous action to counter continuing abuses in many countries. Adopted by the US in 2016, the Global Magnitsky Act was the first of a new generation of human rights sanctions programmes, which, in contrast to traditional sanctions targeted at individual countries, can be flexibly applied to perpetrators from all over the world, regardless of their...


How State aid works in the EU

Key to a fair single market, EU rules do not allow State aid, unless it is used to promote general economic development, for example, when tackling the challenges of global competition or the ongoing financial crisis … The European Parliament agrees with this general principle, but calls for less and better targeted state aid in the future. Source: © European Union - EP


Introducing the European Union agency for asylum

In 2016, as a response to the shortcomings revealed in the EU's migration management, the Commission presented a proposal to amend and expand the mandate of The European Asylum Support Office (EASO), also changing its name to the European Union agency for asylum to reflect its stronger powers. As part of the asylum reform package, the proposal was put on hold, but was then relaunched as part of the new pact on asylum and migration in September 2020. On 29 June 2021, the European Parliament...


Taxing the digital economy: New developments and the way forward

In March 2018, the EU introduced a legislative package on the fair taxation of the digital economy. It contained proposals for an interim and a long-term digital tax. However, there was no immediate political agreement in the Council. As finding a global solution at the OECD level or a coordinated EU approach was not yet feasible at the time, some Member States started designing or implementing their own digital taxes, which gave rise to trade tensions. In this podcast, we talk about taxing...


The concept of 'climate refugee': Towards a possible definition

According to statistics since 2008 over 318 million people around the world have been forcibly displaced by floods, windstorms, earthquakes or droughts, 30.7 million in 2020 alone. This is equivalent to one person being displaced every second. Depending on the frequency and scale of the major natural disasters occurring, there are significant fluctuations in the total number of displaced people from one year to the next, yet the trend over recent decades has been a growing one. Many find...


The EU-US Trade and Technology Council

In December 2020, the European Commission proposed the creation of the EU-US Trade and Technology Council (TTC), to facilitate trade, expand investment, develop compatible standards, boost innovation and strengthen the partners' technological and industrial leadership. The 2021 change of administration in Washington reinvigorated the relationship between the EU and USA. The TTC was formally launched during the EU-US Summit on 15 June 2021. The first meeting took place on 29 September 2021 in...


Understanding the EU's response to drugs

The EU is an important market for illicit drugs, both in terms of consumption and production. An estimated 28.9 % of European adults aged 15-65 have used illicit drugs at least once in their lifetime, a majority of them being men. The illicit drugs market is the largest criminal market in the EU, with an estimated minimum retail value of €30 billion per year in the EU alone. Although the EU Member States carry the primary responsibility for developing their drug policy and legislation,...


General product safety regulation

On 30 June 2021, the Commission adopted a proposal for a general product safety regulation, which would replace the current General Product Safety Directive, as part of the regulatory fitness-check programme (REFIT). The proposal seeks to address the challenges of product safety of emerging technologies, including use of artificial intelligence (AI) and connected devices, and to establish clear obligations for online marketplaces, which consumers increasingly use for their online purchases....


The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE): A pillar of the European security order

In this episode, we'll focus on one organisation that has become a pillar of the modern European security order: the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, or OSCE. The OSCE lacks the legal powers and the resources needed to live up to its ambition of becoming a platform for pan-European/trans-Atlantic cooperation. But OSCE agreements, such as the Vienna Document, help to promote military transparency, and election observation missions have advanced democratic reforms in...


Protecting pollinators

In the European Union, 78 % of native flora and 84 % of crops are either partially or fully dependent on insects for pollination. But significant pollinator loss has been documented over time across the EU. According to the European Red List of Bees, around 9 % of all bee species are threatened in the EU. In this episode, we'll talk about the key role pollinators play in nature, the threats they face and EU action to protect...


Development of organic production in the EU: 2021-2027 action plan

In May 2020, the European Commission published its 'farm to fork' strategy – 'for a fair, healthy and environmentally friendly food system' – along with the EU biodiversity strategy, as part of the implementation of the European Green Deal. In those strategies the Commission set a target of 25 % of the EU's agricultural land to be under organic farming by 2030, as well as a significant increase in organic aquaculture. In this podcast, we'll decorticate the Commission's new plan to promote...


European Parliament's legislative initiative

The Commission proposes, Parliament and Council decide … has been the traditional approach to law-making in the European Union, until now … But the increasing need to put the citizens' voice at the heart of EU law-making, giving the European Parliament greater power to propose laws, is challenging this assumption and could open the door to a more democratic Union. Source: © European Union - EP


Understanding initial coin offerings: A new means of raising funds based on blockchain

Initial coin offerings (ICOs) are a relatively new method of raising capital for early-stage ventures. They constitute an alternative to more traditional sources of start-up funding such as venture capital and angel finance.This episode explains how ICOs work, looks at potential benefits and challenges, and analyses the regulatory responses they've been met with. Source: ©...


Mental health and the pandemic

Fear, worries, insecurity... In this episode, we are talking about the effects of the pandemic on people's mental health, especially young people, and look at the recommendations and guidance given by European and international organisations to deal with this 'silent pandemic'. Source: © European Union - EP


EU rural development policy: Impact, challenges and outlook

What is the EU's long term vision for rural areas? In this episode, we'll look at their needs, their potential and challenges, see where current support policies have succeeded and where they've been less successful… and have a quick look into the future. Source: © European Union - EP