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The University of Washington's Center for West European Studies is a Jean Monnet Center of Excellence. Founded over 25 years ago in the 1990s, the center has developed a well-earned reputation for implementing innovative teaching, outreach, and research programs in the study of Europe, the EU and and EU-US relations. The center's activities are co-funded by the Erasmus+ program of the European Union.
 
What is the role of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and the nature of its relationship with the UK Government? What impact does it have on UK law? With British membership of the European Union at the heart of the political agenda, the role of its Court of Human Rights and its influence on UK law has inevitably come under scrutiny. The coalition Government has pledged to withdraw the UK from the European convention of human rights, and to give Parliament the right to veto ECHR rulin ...
 
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The way most food is produced is harming the planet. A profound change is needed, involving all agri-food actors. As consumers, we sit at the end of the agri-food chain. Our daily dietary choices implicitly support certain food systems, production methods and types of food. What could help us make better choices? In this podcast, we'll talk about e…
 
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 …
 
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 …
 
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 fluct…
 
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. https:/…
 
The fifth generation of communication technologies, known as 5G, is fundamental to achieving a European gigabit society by 2025. But how will this affect our health and that of our children? Is 5G really safe? https://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document.html?reference=EPRS_BRI(2020)646172 Source: © European Union - EP…
 
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 d…
 
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…
 
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 billio…
 
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 b…
 
Nanoparticles lie at the heart of a new method for delivering medicines inside the body – and they were crucial to the success of the Covid-19 mRNA vaccines. This new drug delivery method and others could transform the way we treat disease, potentially boosting the treatment of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and HIV, among others. Insulin and Covid-19 va…
 
In conversation with the UCL European Institute's Uta Staiger, the historian of modern Germany, Jeff Bowersox, discusses the arrival of Black American entertainers in Central Europe around 1900 - prior to the high modernist forms of American entertainment, including jazz. He also explores what the ambivalent responses of German-speaking audiences a…
 
After 16 years of Merkel's chancellorship, the Bundestag elections on September 26 will bring about new coalition formations and uncertainties about the policy course of Germany and Europe. How the country will position itself in terms of addressing climate change, countering antidemocratic challengers, safeguarding the welfare state and a competit…
 
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 r…
 
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 agreement…
 
Since its early development in the 1960s, Internet infrastructure has become almost as important as electricity and transport infrastructures in contemporary societies. More and more key services such as banking, food retail, and health care, rely on Internet connections. Despite its original resilient decentralised design, the increasing importanc…
 
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 far…
 
In light of the general elections in Germany in September 2021, the German Consulate General in San Francisco together with the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (ifa), the Center for West European Studies of the University of Washington, and the Goethe Pop Up Seattle presented the virtual transatlantic conversation "Safeguarding Democracies: Social…
 
Do you have to be in a couple to be a successful adult? In this episode of Talking Europe, we ask how norms around coupledom differ across Europe and how they have changed in recent decades.The EI’s Claudia Sternberg is joined by Sasha Roseneil, Professor of Interdisciplinary Social Science in the IAS, and UCL’s Dean of Social and Historical Scienc…
 
Deepfakes are hyper-realistic videos created through artificial intelligence techniques. They present many possibilities, but also dangers. A wide range of malicious uses have been identified, including fraud, extortion and political disinformation. The impacts of such misuse can be financial, psychological and reputational. While the technology it…
 
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. https://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document.html?reference=EPRS_BRI(2021)690711 https…
 
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'. https://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document.html?reference=EPR…
 
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…
 
Scott Montgomery presents his lecture "Tricky Tradeoffs between Sustainability, Energy, and Economics in the EU" on Aug. 17, 2021.This lecture was part of the 2021 EU Policy Forum for Educators--Master Teacher Workshop. More information about the workshop, as well as the visual Presentation Slides accompanying this lecture can be found here: jsis.w…
 
Dr. Niko Switek presents his lecture "The Rise of Green Parties in European and EU Politics (Especially in Germany)" on Aug. 17, 2021.This lecture was part of the 2021 EU Policy Forum for Educators--Master Teacher Workshop. More information about the workshop can be found here: jsis.washington.edu/euwesteurope/ed…or-educators-2/Niko Switek is DAAD …
 
Dr. Sarah Lohmann presents her lecture, "Balancing Green Energy, Energy Security, and Geopolitical Security" on Aug. 17, 2021. This lecture was part of the 2021 EU Policy Forum for Educators--Master Teacher Workshop. More information about the workshop, as well as the visual Presentation Slides accompanying this lecture can be found here: https://j…
 
Artificial intelligence (AI) policy debates are replete with metaphors. In this podcast, we explore some challenges presented by the central metaphor of ‘intelligence’, examine how AI metaphors emphasise competition at the cost of cooperation, and ask whether new metaphors could help us to articulate ambitious visions for AI, and new criteria for s…
 
While many of the operations and missions the EU supports have military and defence implications, the EU cannot finance activities with military or defence implications from the EU budget. EU Member States therefore have mechanisms to fund expenditure with military and defence implications directly from national budgets. A new one is the European P…
 
Even if the numbers of both young children in early childhood education and of graduates rose in recent years, the number of underachieving 15 year-olds remains high and the participation of adults in learning is low. The European Commission, the Council of the EU and the European Parliament seem to concur that cooperation in education and training…
 
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought new challenges for victims, as well as amplifying the vulnerabilities of those most at risk. Traffickers – like legal businesses – moved to digital modi operandi, making victims even less visible and less able to ask for help and protection. But what is the EU doing about it? Listen to our podcast to learn more! ht…
 
Over the past two decades, the European Union (EU) has been entrusted with a growing number of objectives and responsibilities. However, ensuring financing of related activities through the EU budget has often proven problematic, as this has long been capped at around 1 % of the Union's gross national income (GNI). During the preparation of the pos…
 
Phillip Ayoub presents his lecture "Pride amid Prejudice: The Impact of the First Pride in Sarajevo" on May 20, 2021.This lecture is part of the EU Democracy Forum, a lecture series addressing actors, institutions, and policies in the European Union and its neighborhood.Phillip M. Ayoub is Associate Professor of Diplomacy and World Affairs at Occid…
 
Petra Ahrens presents her lecture "Gender in the European Parliament" on May 13, 2021.This lecture is part of Talking Gender in the EU, a lecture series covering gender politics in Poland, Latvia, France, and the European Parliament.Petra Ahrens is Senior Researcher in the ERC-funded research project EUGenDem at the Faculty of Social Sciences at Ta…
 
Elżbieta Korolczuk presents her lecture "Anti-Gender Politics and Right Wing Populism in Poland" on April 27, 2021.This lecture is part of Talking Gender in the EU, a lecture series covering gender politics in Poland, Latvia, France, and the European Parliament.Elżbieta Korolczuk, PhD is an Associate professor in sociology working at Södertörn Univ…
 
The internet of things is already making us reimagine daily life, but could artificial intelligence be the key to reaching the full potential of this technology? https://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document.html?reference=EPRS_ATA(2021)656344 https://youtu.be/czGzqz2JTrM Source: © European Union - EP…
 
In December 2020, the European Commission published a proposal for a regulation on contestable and fair markets in the digital sector, otherwise referred to as the digital markets act (DMA). The proposed legislation lays down harmonised rules aimed at regulating the behaviour of digital platforms acting as gatekeepers between business users and the…
 
The social pillar is to be the fifth pillar of the economic and monetary union. It is to serve as a compass for updating the EU's welfare states and labour markets to the new realities of life and work in the 21st century. At the Porto Social Summit held on 7-8 May 2021, European leaders and stakeholders reaffirmed their pledge to work towards a so…
 
Amy Mazur presents her lecture "Gender Parity in France" on April 22, 2021.This lecture is part of Talking Gender in the EU, a lecture series covering gender politics in Poland, Latvia, France, and the European Parliament.Amy G. Mazur is CO Johnson Distinguished Professor in Political Science at Washington State University and an Associate Research…
 
Coronavirus has accelerated the rise of digital health, a broad concept that includes solutions for telemedicine and teleconsultation, remote monitoring, connected devices, digital health platforms and health apps. The concept also covers the related health data analysis and application in systems based on big data, for instance for epidemiological…
 
As artificial intelligence (AI) companies and other organisations are seeking ways to comply with ethical principles and requirements, blockchain, under specific circumstances, could be seen as a means to safeguard that AI is deployed in an ethically sound manner. https://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document.html?reference=EPRS_ATA(2020)656…
 
The challenges posed by migration have put EU Member States' solidarity to the test. Responding to a European Council request, in September 2020 the European Commission proposed a new pact on migration and asylum. The proposed pact has an external aspect: it aims to reinforce international partnerships with a view to ensuring effective returns, com…
 
In its Europe's Beating Cancer plan, published in February 2021, the European Commission suggests several actions concerning alcoholic beverages. One of them is mandatory labelling of ingredients and nutrient content on alcoholic beverages by the end of 2022. Health warnings on labels should follow by the end of 2023. https://www.europarl.europa.eu…
 
Racial and ethnic minorities face discrimination and its consequences on a daily basis. The exact scale of the problem is hard to gauge owing to a lack of data and general under-reporting of racist incidents. The pandemic has seen a major increase in reports of racist and xenophobic incidents, however, while racial and ethnic minority groups have b…
 
What is a smart village? The concept implies the participation of local people in improving their economic, social or environmental conditions, cooperation with other communities, social innovation and the development of smart village strategies. This concept is gaining traction on the rural development agenda, coinciding with the ongoing reform of…
 
Serbia and Kosovo have both declared their intention to join the EU. However, despite some initial successes, such as the Brussels Agreement of 2013, the dialogue facilitated by the EU and initiated in 2011 has stalled. The reasons for the very limited results are multiple, ranging from the internal political situation in both countries, to ambiguo…
 
Sequencing and analysis of the human genome, all the genetic information stored in our DNA, enable understanding about a person's ancestry, health and various traits. DNA sequencing greatly benefits medicine and the life sciences by allowing them to predict and cure diseases. While DNA sequencing technologies continuously improve and become less co…
 
Dr. Riitta-Liisa Valijärvi, associate professor in Finnish and minority languages, and PhD candidates, Charlotte Doesberg, and Amanda DiGioia, join “Talking Europe” to discuss their new edited volume, which brings together the fascinating pairing of rock music and research.The three SSEES researchers are the co-editors of ‘Multilingual Metal Music:…
 
Efforts to curb carbon emissions are falling short. As climate change impacts become all too clear, geoengineering is again in the spotlight. Some see it as a last-resort option to fight climate change. Detractors highlight the risks and uncertainties. Will governments end up ‘tinkering with Earth's thermostat'? https://www.europarl.europa.eu/think…
 
The dramatic consequences of climate change and environmental degradation have brought the need for a more sustainable economy to the top of the agenda. Transforming the EU economy to make it more sustainable requires large investments, especially for enabling a green and low-carbon transition. Given that the public sector alone cannot cover this f…
 
The arrival of the Covid-19 vaccines marks a turning point in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. According to estimates, coverage of at least 60 % to 75 % is needed to establish population immunity through vaccination. But, as regards Covid-19 vaccination, surveys suggest that Europeans are among the most sceptical in the world. https://ww…
 
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