Winter is being a very hot season for the digitalization of Europe, a revolution that could contribute €415 billion per year to our economy and create hundreds of thousands of new jobs. The Digital Single Market for Europe (DSM) gave an important step in the unification of rules to strengthen fundamental rights and the European Market in December 2015 with the agreement on the reform of the Data protection rules and the first EU wide cybersecurity legislation – the Network and Information Systems Directive.
In February 2016 Schuman Associates Brussels Headquarters and local offices gathered together for the annual «Away Day» to share best practices, reflect on company's values and present the business strategies for 2016.
On 28th January Schuman Associates as secretariat of AME organised a lunch seminar with a fruitful discussion around the topics: The ongoing implementation of the 4th Anti-money Laundering Directive and issues/gaps around AML, Terrorist financing, Fraud, Tax evasion which need to be handled during the 5th AMLD and 2016 Priorities.
Until now, eHealth policies have mainly focused on institutions and IT systems. Today, that focus is shifting and is now being placed on eHealth users. The people who are using eHealth are becoming increasingly involved in the discussion and being placed at the heart of eHealth policy-making.
As announced by the European Agenda on Security adopted in April 2015 and reiterated by the Agenda on Migration presented in May, the European Commission is about to finalise its revised legislative proposal on Smart Borders. The new proposal, which is supposed to be published next March ahead of the Justice and Home Affairs Council scheduled on 10-11/03, comes at a very delicate time. Growing travellers flows combined with the current refugee crisis are putting the EU common external borders under an increasing pressure and scrutiny and Member States are confronted with increasing difficulties to manage this situation.
With the kick off of the San Sebastian European Capital of Culture 2016, Schuman Associates (SA) had the opportunity to chat with the Communication Director of San Sebastian 2016 Capital of Culture, Fernando Álvarez (FA) and this is what he shared with us:
The Commission is consulting on the new eGovernment Action Plan 2016-2020, one of the actions for completing the Digital Single Market, as announced in the Communication on a Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe. The new eGovernment Action Plan 2016-2020 will address the needs, requirements and expectations of European citizens and businesses with respect to the delivery of effective, efficient and user-friendly government services in the EU.
The European Capitals of Culture (ECOC) initiative is a major European Union action aimed at highlighting the richness and diversity of cultures in Europe, as well as promoting greater mutual understanding among Europe's citizens. In addition to this, experience has shown that the event is an excellent opportunity for regenerating cities, raising the international profile of cities, the eyes of their own inhabitants and to boost tourism.
The Netherlands, a country with a strong business-friendly reputation, has just taken over the Council presidency at a crucial time for the EU. With strong political backing from top European Commission officials (First VP Frans Timmermans and Secretary-General Alexander Italianer), the Dutch presidency is committed to pursue a focused and pragmatic agenda and expected to deliver on its key priorities.
Schuman Associates is proud to have been selected by the European Commission to work as advisors on the setting up of the Broadband Competence Offices (BCO) network. The objective is to accelerate the roll out of broadband infrastructure using EU funds in Member States. Through its specific experience in this sector, Schuman Associates will contribute to the exchange of best practices and recommendation on implementation structures for Broadband investments in Member States and Regions.
On 18th November Schuman Associates organised a cocktail reception in the European Parliament around the topic of “Sports and physical activity for active and healthy ageing - the Tai Chi example”.
The event, co-hosted by MEPs Marian Harkin, Lambert Van Nistelrooij, Marc Tarabella, Heinz Becker and Alojz Peterle, was sponsored by AGE Platform Europe and the Italian Federation of Wushu Kung Fu (FIWUK).
During the debate all MEPs recognized the key role physical activity can play in the current European ageing societies and stressed the importance of sport as a prevention tool. The event emphasized the need to support sport and physical activity as a full part of active and healthy ageing processes.
The highlight of the event was a series of demonstrations of the art of Tai Chi showcased by professional coaches and teachers from FIWUK. All participants, including the MEPs, were invited to practice a few movements of this Chines martial art, whose medical benefits and positive effects on human health are widely recognized. Being a sport that doesn’t require specific skills or big space, Tai Chi can be practiced by people of all ages and also on the workplace.
On 27th October Schuman Associates organized the Third Executive Breakfast Briefing, which addressed the role and opportunities for the private sector in EU Africa cooperation programmes under the 11th EDF during 2015 and new EU Financial instruments (Agrifi, Electrifi and Africa Trust Fund). The event built on the outcomes of the first and second EEAS/DG DEVCO Schuman Executive Briefings in 2014 and key developments since then.
On October 2nd, Lene Topp from Schuman Associates conducted a tailored training on EU funding for corporations and trade associations for selected members of the Public Affairs Council. During the training the participants obtained an understanding of EU funding and why it matters as well as insights on how to position and tender for funds managed by the European Commission.
Schuman Associates has been included in the Capacity Catalogue - a new online publication to help civil society leaders identify their organisations’ strengths, their weaknesses, and think critically about where and how to improve.