Portuguese defence minister: We should make better use of ‘Coalitions of the Willing’

There is ‘clarity of understanding’ that circumstances for European defence have changed and there is an increased recognition Europe cannot be geopolitically relevant without having a military dimension, Portugal’s defence minister, João Gomes Cravinho, told EURACTIV in an interview. According…

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The 50-year-old controversy between Japan, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Taiwan over the sovereignty of a group of tiny, uninhabited islets and rocks in the East China Sea, administered by Japan and referred to as the Senkaku Islands in Japan, as the Diaoyu Islands in the PRC and as the Diaoyutai Islands in Taiwan has become a proxy battlefield in the growing Sino-US great power competition in the Indo-Pacific, against the backdrop of a widening Sino-Japanese power gap. Since 1971, when the PRC and Taiwan laid claim to the contested islets and rocks for the first time, challenging Japan’s position of having incorporated them into Japanese territory as terra nullius in 1895, possible avenues for settling the controversy have either been unsuccessful or remained unexplored. The PRC’s meteoric economic rise and rapid military modernisation has gradually shifted the Sino-Japanese power balance, nourishing the PRC leadership’s more assertive, albeit failed, push for Japan to recognise the existence of a dispute. Two incidents in the 2010s, perceived by the PRC as consolidating Japan’s administrative control, led to the PRC starting to conduct grey-zone operations in the waters surrounding the islets and rocks with increasing frequency and duration, to reassert its claims and change the status quo in its favour without prompting a war. The EU has held a position of principled neutrality as regards the legal title to the disputed islands. However, the risk of unintended incidents, miscalculation and military conflict arising from the unresolved dispute poses a challenge to regional peace and stability and to the EU’s economic and security interests. The EU’s 2021 Indo-Pacific strategy takes a cooperative and inclusive approach, to promote a rules-based international order and respect for international law. This may include a greater Indo-Pacific naval presence under the strategy’s maritime security dimension.

Source : © European Union, 2021 – EP

Study – Biometric Recognition and Behavioural Detection Assessing the ethical aspects of biometric recognition and behavioural detection techniques with a focus on their current and future use in public spaces – 06-08-2021

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the JURI and PETI Committees, analyses the use of biometric techniques from an ethical and legal perspective. Biometric techniques raise a number of specific ethical issues, as an individual cannot easily change biometric features, and as these techniques tend to intrude into the human body and ultimately the human self. Further issues are more generally associated with large-scale surveillance, algorithmic decision making, or profiling. The study analyses different types of biometric techniques and draws conclusions for EU legislation.

Source : © European Union, 2021 – EP

Briefing – European Union data challenge – 28-07-2021

The exponential growth and importance of data generated in industrial settings have attracted the attention of policymakers aiming to create a suitable legal framework for its use. While the term ‘industrial data’ has no clear definition, such data possess certain distinctive characteristics: they are a subset of big data collected in a structured manner and within industrial settings; they are frequently proprietary and contain various types of sensitive data. The GDPR rules remain of great relevance for such data, as personal data is difficult to be filtered out from mixed datasets and anonymisation techniques are not always effective. The current and planned rules relevant for B2B sharing of industrial data exhibit many shortcomings. They lack clarity on key issues (e.g. mixed datasets), increase the administrative burden for companies, yet not always provide the data protection that businesses need. They do not provide an additional value proposition for B2B data sharing and hinder it in some cases. While this situation warrants policy intervention, both the instrument and its content should be carefully considered. Instead of a legal instrument, soft law could clarify the existing rules; model terms and conditions could be developed and promoted and data standardisation and interoperability efforts supported.

Source : © European Union, 2021 – EP

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