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.




Combating child sexual abuse online

The volume of online child sexual abuse materials (CSAM) and frequency of grooming activities, increasingly targeting younger children, is rising sharply. Reporting of suspected online child sexual abuse increased by 35 % in 2021 compared with 2020, representing a historical peak. The proposed regulation laying down rules to prevent and combat child sexual abuse would require interpersonal communication services and others to search proactively for CSAM materials and grooming activities...


European media freedom act

The European media freedom act proposes a new set of rules and mechanisms to promote media pluralism and independence across the European Union. The aim is to prevent political interference in editorial decisions and ensure transparency of media ownership. The proposed act stresses the importance of an independent and adequately funded public service media, and seeks to protect journalists from having to disclose their sources and from the use of spyware against them. - Original publication...


Sustainable use of plant protection products

The European Union has set itself a double target: a 50 % reduction in the overall use of and risk from chemical plant protection products,and a 50% reduction in the use of more hazardous ones by 2030. A proposed regulation on the sustainable use of plant protection products would require EU countries to contribute collectively to achieving these EU-wide targets through the adoption and attainment of binding national targets. To protect biodiversity and citizens' health, the use of all plant...


Improving the working conditions of platform workers

Platform work is an umbrella concept covering a heterogeneous group of economic activities completed through a digital platform. As platform workers' rights are not enshrined in EU labour law, this increasingly leads to problems related to various aspects of their work and human development. To remedy this situation, the European Commission has proposed a directive aimed at improving the working conditions of platform workers, clarifying their employment status, and supporting the...


EU economic partnership agreements with ACP countries: Which way forward?

For two decades, the EU has sought to modernise its preferential trade relationship with the sub-Saharan African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and establish free trade areas with regional groupings under so-called economic partnership agreements (EPAs). These are free trade agreements that allow ACP countries to continue exporting their products to the EU duty free and quota free, while ensuring full compliance with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules. EU goods should also benefit...


Updating the European digital identity framework

At least 80 % of European citizens should have the possibility to use a digital identity to access key public services by 2030 and to do so across EU borders. The updated European digital identity framework would also allow citizens to identify and authenticate themselves online (via their European digital identity wallet) without having to resort to commercial providers, a practice that raises trust, security and privacy concerns. - Original publication on the EP Think Tank website -...


Sustainable carbon cycles: Promoting removal, storage and recycling

The European Commission outlined various approaches to capture and store or isolate carbon dioxide emissions, or capture already released carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere to reduce the concentration and thereby its warming effect. Various solutions, both technology- and nature-based, are being brought forward to this end. A key challenge will be to ensure permanence of carbon dioxide removals, whether in underground geological storage or through actively managed natural processes,...


The Data act

The proposed EU data act lays down harmonised rules on fair access to and use of data. The aim is to remove barriers before consumers and businesses' access to data in a context in which the volume of data generated by humans and machines is increasing exponentially and becoming a critical factor for innovation by businesses (e.g. algorithm training) and by public authorities (e.g. shaping of smart cities). - Original publication on the EP Think Tank website - Subscription to our RSS feed...


Intelligent road transport systems

The European Commission proposed to expand the scope of the existing EU rules on the deployment of intelligent transport systems (ITS) in road transport to cover new and emerging challenges and to make essential ITS services mandatory across the EU. The proposal seeks to resolve problems stemming from the lack of interoperability and continuity of the existing applications and services, but also from the low level of availability and sharing of the data supporting ITS services. Finally, it...


What if care work were recognised as a driver of sustainable growth?

Care work provided in homes and institutions is a public good that is under-valued by society. Care workers are more likely to have low earnings and precarious working conditions. About 9 in 10 care workers are women. Most unpaid care work within households is carried out by women. The 'unpaid care penalty' for women in the EU, which is equivalent to the earnings they lost because of this unbalanced distribution of care responsibilities, is estimated to reach €242 billion per year. EU action...


Outermost regions of the EU

The European Union's outermost regions (ORs) qualify for special treatment owing to structural difficulties – such as remoteness, difficult topography and economic dependence on a few products – that can severely hamper their development. In addition, the coronavirus pandemic has hit their economies particularly hard. While these regions are quite different from one another, they have levels of unemployment and GDP significantly worse than EU and national averages. Article 349 of the Treaty...


Small farms' role in the EU food system

Small farms make up the vast majority of the EU's 10 million farms. Recent studies have lowered past estimates of how much of the global food supply is produced by small farms. Notwithstanding the complex nature of such estimates and the possible under-estimation of small operators' production because of self consumption, it is clear that small farms allocate larger shares of their production to food and have a more diversified produce portfolio than larger farms. In addition to producing...


Culture and regional development

Culture plays a fundamental role in human life. It is also an essential source of identity, at local, regional, national and European levels, while making a significant contribution to the EU economy. EU cultural policy relates to cultural heritage, but also to the cultural and creative sector. The EU supports culture through a variety of initiatives, including the European Capitals of Culture scheme. A number of EU programmes also offer funding for cultural projects, for instance the...


Solar energy in the EU

The EU solar energy strategy proposed under the REPowerEU plan aims to make solar energy a cornerstone of the EU energy system. Boosting renewable energy is also an important part of the European Green Deal in the context of the green transition towards climate neutrality. Solar energy is affordable, clean and has been the fastest-growing energy source in the last decade. It can be used for electricity and heating, while also helping reduce EU dependency on energy imports by replacing them...


Inflation explained: What lies behind and what is ahead?

Inflation is defined as a process of continuously rising prices and falling purchasing power. In other words, a general and broad-based increase in the price of goods and services over an extended period. The main objective of central banks is to keep prices stable, to preserve the integrity and purchasing power of people's money. The most common inflation indicator measures the average change in the price of a basket of consumer goods and services over time. The closest approximation of...


Future Shocks 2022: Extreme weather events

Extreme weather events, including deadly floods in Germany and Belgium, and wildfires in Greece, Italy and France, shook Europe in 2021. Yet such events can no longer be considered rarities, as the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events has been increasing over recent decades. Scientists have linked these increases to the human-induced global warming. #FutureShocks2022 - Original publication on the EP Think Tank website - Subscription to our RSS feed in case your have your...


Future Shocks 2022: Strengthening our energy security

Defined by the International Energy Agency as 'reliable, affordable access to all fuels and energy sources', energy security is vital to the EU's economy. However, lacking sufficient energy reserves of its own, the EU is critically dependent on imports. Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 disrupted gas supplies to Europe. The European Commission has proposed a reduction of two-thirds in EU energy imports from Russia by the end of 2022. #FutureShocks2022 - Original publication...


Future Shocks 2022: Building a healthier online environment for healthy democracies

The last two decades have been marked by the unprecedented development of the online world. This has provided new opportunities for citizens to access political information, discuss issues, and engage in politics, as well as new possibilities for political actors to influence public opinion, mobilise people and organise electoral campaigns. #FutureShocks2022 - Original publication on the EP Think Tank website - Subscription to our RSS feed in case your have your own RSS reader -...


Understanding SDGs: The UN's Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, the United Nations adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to be attained by 2030. The SDGs and the broader 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, of which they form the core, are based on findings that human activities have triggered dramatic changes in the conditions on Earth (climate change and biodiversity loss), which in turn have contributed to the deterioration of human wellbeing. To reverse the trend, there is an urgent need to simultaneously address the multiple...


EU action on ocean governance and achieving SDG 14

SDG 14 on 'life below water' focuses on the sustainability of the oceans, recognising their essential role in life on our planet. Oceans contain 80 % of all life forms, produce more than 50 % of the Earth's oxygen and play a central role in regulating the climate. In addition, the 'blue economy' provides 4.5 million direct jobs in the EU. To manage maritime activities sustainably and cope with different environmental pressures, the EU has implemented a wide range of policies, such as the...