This contribution was delivered on 5 May 2022 on the occasion of the hybrid 2022 edition of EUI State of the Union on ‘A Europe fit for the next generation?' EU Member States have adopted several initiatives to establish a legal and technical framework for digital identity. The European Commission has facilitated this development by offering guidance and promoting interoperable solutions through frameworks such as eIDAS and solutions developed within the European Interoperability Framework. At the same time, two years of COVID-19 pandemic have led at once to an acceleration of digital identity projects, and mounting concerns that widespread data collection and availability can lead to the risk of privacy violations, citizen profiling and mass surveillance. This session will explore the opportunities and challenges of emerging digital identity and digital payments, including the privacy, security concerns as well as the outstanding opportunities for inclusive growth, resilient and sustainable solutions for the society of the future. The discussion will also cover emerging attempts to develop joint European solutions for digital identity, including the recent joint declaration between the governments of Finland and Germany to support the progress of the proposed regulation on European digital identity, and to accelerate the development of joint European solutions based on digital identity.
Digital connectivity – loosely defined as connecting people through digital means promises to enhance our quality of life, as envisaged in Japan’s ‘Society 5.0’, which aims to spur economic growth and solve social problems digitally. On the other hand, digital connectivity also creates challenges and demands a quest for optimum equilibrium between economic growth and national as well as human security. The COVID-19 pandemic which erupted in late 2019 has accelerated world dependence on digital connectivity in order to sustain human contact. Digital means have allowed us to continue our lives, work and pleasure connections, and have simultaneously expanded digital risks at home and globally. The COVID-19 scenario has also demonstrated how digital technology can even threaten our sovereignty and basic values such as freedom, democracy, privacy, human rights and dignity. Japan and the EU approach the digital age with a common emphasis on leading standards to set and promote a human-centred digital connectivity. The two zones can cooperate bilaterally and beyond in responding to challenges on digital connectivity, as is stipulated in three key documents, namely Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), Japan-EU Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) and Japan-EU Partnership
Nicol, A.; Abdoubaetova, A.; Wolters, A.; Kharel, A.; Murzakolova, A.; Gebreyesus, A.; Lucasenco, E.; Chen, F.; Sugden, F.; Sterly, H.; Kuznetsova, I.; Masotti, M.; Vittuari, M.; Dessalegn, M.; Aderghal, M.; Phalkey, N.; Sakdapolrak, P.; Mollinga, P.; Mogilevskii, R.; Naruchaikusol, S.;
Project: EC | AGRUMIG (822730)
The context of global migration has changed dramatically since the beginning of 2020. Both within and between countries there has been a substantial curtailment of movement. As a result of multiple lockdowns, economic activity has severely declined and labor markets have ground to a halt. In mid-2020, the spectre of mass unemployment in industrialized economies loomed on the horizon. For both migrant hosting and origin countries – some are substantially both – this poses a set of complex development challenges. Some speak of a ‘new normal’ emerging, perhaps with less movement, more use of technology and, overall, a reduction in the global transport system that we have become accustomed to using. However, this suggests that there is suppressed demand to move for work elsewhere as well as a change in the nature of labor markets, particularly those that seek to make profits from large wage differentials within and between countries. There is no apparent evidence that this is yet the case; and an eagerness to work abroad, or in cities, remains the norm among the burgeoning youth in many low- and middleincome economies. The wider context of economic shock and changes to social systems, including the widely-reported mass movements of people within – and to some extent between – countries, seem to herald a different global migration order. However, it is worth asking whether this is really going to be the case, as many of the country examples in this short report make plain (note: this report was compiled from information available at an early stage of the pandemic). While the coupling of health risks with migrant movement may establish new levels of control and scrutiny, and to some degree attach new stigmas to migration in some contexts, the economic imperative of labor demand and supply at an international level means challenges will probably be overcome.
In Fall 2019 we published our Manifesto for the next five years of EU regulation of transport as an input for the incoming European Commission, and the Directorate General for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE), in particular. It contained our ideas and recommendations for how to further advance the Single European Transport Area (SETA). It is fair to say that, of all the EU policy areas, transport was probably most dramatically hit by the recent COVID-19 pandemic, both internally and across the Member States. But, at the same time, the past three months have also demonstrated how crucial a well-functioning transport sector is for each country and for the EU as a whole. As a matter of fact, transport is foundational for the very functioning of a country and of Europe, be it in times of crises, or not. Against the backdrop of the pandemic we, at the Transport Area of the Florence School of Regulation, have concluded that our original Manifesto needed updating, not so much in terms of its objectives, but rather in terms of making sure that proposed objectives are not sidelined, rolled back or even abandoned. We remind readers of the EU’s overarching objective - to achieve a decarbonised SETA by making optimal use of both market and funding instruments as well as of digitalisation. Because of the virus, national priorities have come to overshadow common European interests. These fragmented approaches have thrown us back to pre-SETA times, and sometimes even beyond, and greener modes of transport appear to be less of a priority at the present, especially, if judging by the allocation of State aid, for which the main beneficiaries have been the aviation and the automotive sectors. It is our contention that the original agenda towards a digital and decarbonised SETA remains not only valid, but is needed more than ever before.
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