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#Digital: From geo-blocking to cloud computing - Parliament’s guide to the digital age

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Every day 315 million Europeans use the internet, but challenges still remain for consumers and companies alike. The European Commission presented its strategy for a digital single market in 2015. In addition Parliament and the Council agreed to ban roaming fees in 2017 and guarantee equal treatment for all internet traffic. On 25 May MEPs debate new Commission proposals to further boost e-commerce in plenary. Read our digital glossary to get up to date with the terminology ahead of the debate.

Big data

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Large volumes of data that can, for instance, include purchase transaction records or GPS signals. The Commission believes there are a number of important issues to be resolved when it comes to big data, such as determining ownership and protecting people's personal data.

Cloud computing

Data that is used, stored and processed on remotely located computers accessed over the internet. While benefits include convenience and often lower costs for consumers, risks could include sensitive data falling into the wrong hands.

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E-commerce

Trading goods over the internet. According to the Commission, only 15% of consumers shop online with a trader based in another EU country as delivery costs prove to be a challenge.

Geo-blocking

The practice by some companies to unnecessarily stop consumers from using their on-line service in another country, often without justification, and to redirect traffic to a local store with different prices and products than those in other countries.

MEPs said in a resolution it was unjustified to block consumers from accessing goods and services online on the basis of their IP address, postal address or country and said that the practice should end.

Internet of Things

Connecting devices with each other or the internet. This could be anything from a car to a coffee machine. They could for example indicate that tire pressure was low or warn when the supply of coffee beans was about to run out.

In a resolution adopted in January 2016, MEPs said the EU should seize opportunities offered by new technologies such as the Internet of Things.

Net neutrality

The principle that internet service providers should treat all online content, sites and platforms equally, for instance without blocking or slowing down on purpose competing websites or services.

A net neutrality guarantee is part of the telecoms package and the rules on this entered into force on 30 April 2016.

Roaming

The ability to stay connected with a mobile device to make phone calls and to send and receive data when outside your network, most commonly when in a foreign country.

Under the rules agreed by the Parliament and the Council, roaming fees on mobile calls, text messages and data usage will be banned from 15 June 2017.

European Commission's digital package: A step forward towards the completion of the European Digital Single Market

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Digital economy

Commission proposes a Path to the Digital Decade to deliver the EU's digital transformation by 2030

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On 15 September, the Commission proposed a Path to the Digital Decade, a concrete plan to achieve the digital transformation of our society and economy by 2030. The proposed Path to the Digital Decade will translate the EUʼs digital ambitions for 2030 into a concrete delivery mechanism. It will set up a governance framework based on an annual cooperation mechanism with Member States to reach the 2030 Digital Decade targets at Union level in the areas of digital skills, digital infrastructures, digitalisation of businesses and public services. It also aims to identify and implement large-scale digital projects involving the Commission and the Member States. The pandemic highlighted the central role that digital technology plays in building a sustainable and prosperous future. In particular, the crisis exposed a divide between digitally apt businesses and those yet to adopt digital solutions, and highlighted the gap between well-connected urban, rural and remote areas. Digitalisation offers many new opportunities on the European marketplace, where more than 500,000 vacancies for cybersecurity and data experts remained unfilled in 2020. In line with European values, the Path to the Digital Decade should reinforce our digital leadership and promote human centred and sustainable digital policies empowering citizens and businesses. More information is available in this press release, Q&A and factsheet. President von der Leyen's State of the Union Address is also available online.

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European Investment Bank

EIB strengthens global development focus and backs €4.8 billion new financing for energy, transport, COVID vaccines and business investment

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The Board of Directors of the European Investment Bank (EIB) has approved plans to strengthen its global development engagement. It also approved €4.8 billion of new financing for 24 projects to support climate action, COVID vaccines and economic resilience, sustainable transport and education.

“In June the Council of Ministers asked the EU Bank to enhance its contribution to the Union’s development efforts through dedicated strategies, stronger presence on the ground globally, and better co-ordination with partners in a genuine Team Europe approach. Today we responded to the Council’s call by proposing the creation of a branch of the EIB focused on development finance, and the Board endorsed this proposal. As a result, the EU Bank will be able to make a stronger contribution to boosting Europe’s strategic autonomy, by placing more experts on the ground, and be a more effective partner for other multilateral and national development banks. And we will be in a better position to pursue our global ambition in terms of the fight against climate change,” said EIB President Werner Hoyer.

Strengthening EIB’s development impact

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The EIB Board of Directors approved the bank’s proposal to set up a development branch to increase the impact of its activities outside the European Union. It underpins the EIB’s response to the call for action expressed in the 'Council conclusions on the enhanced European financial architecture for development (2021)' adopted on 14 June 2021. Through its development branch, the EIB will reorganise its activities outside the European Union and increase its presence on the ground, developing more targeted strategies and services in close cooperation with partners.

The bank will reinforce representations outside the EU and create a number of regional hubs, intensifying complementarity and cooperation with Multilateral Development Banks, national Development Finance Institutions and local partners, in a Team Europe approach. The hubs will focus on thematic sectors, product competences and services that respond to the needs of the region in which they are located. The first regional hub, strengthening EIB work in East Africa, will be located in Nairobi.

A new advisory group will advise the EIB for its operations outside the European Union. It will include

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EU development policy makers nominated by the Member States, the European Commission and the EEAS.

€2.2bn for climate action, clean energy and energy efficient homes

The EIB agreed new financing to increase wind and solar energy generation in Spain and Portugal, upgrade national energy networks in Poland and improve energy efficiency and cut heating bills in Hungary and Finland.

Targeted financing schemes to accelerate investment in small scale renewable energy and climate action projects in Austria and Poland, and across Latin America and Africa were also approved.

€647 million for COVID vaccine deployment, health and education

Building on the European Investment Bank’s backing for COVID vaccine development and deployment new programmes to finance purchase of COVID-19 vaccines for distribution in Argentina and across South Asia, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and the Maldives were confirmed.

The Board decided to support  the expansion of long-term care for disabled patients in the Netherlands, the roll-out of digital learning technology in primary and secondary schools and upgrading scientific research in Croatia was also agreed.

€752m for sustainable urban, regional, air and maritime transport

Tram passengers in the Slovak city of Košice and commuters in the Polish cities of Gdansk, Gdynia and Sopot, and across Moldova, will benefit from new EIB backed investment to modernize and improve transport links.

The Italian ports of Genoa and Savona will receive EIB financing to upgrade rail access and better protect the ports from flooding and more extreme weather through the construction of a new breakwater.

The EIB also agreed to finance the replacement and upgrade of air traffic control and navigation equipment to maintain safety and security standards in Hungarian airspace.

€500m for private sector investment and COVID-19 economic resilience

The EIB board also approved new financing programmes managed by local banking and investment partners to support investment by businesses across Spain, Poland and South East Asia facing COVID-19 challenges.

Background information:

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals. Overview of projects approved by the EIB Board.

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The Master in Management programme of GSOM SPbU has listed among the top 25 of the leading FT Global Masters in Management 2021

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The Master in Management (MiM) program of the Graduate School of Management of St. Petersburg University (GSOM SPbU) was ranked 25th among the top 100 master's programmes in the world according to the Financial Times. GSOM SPbU continues to be the only Russian school represented in this ranking. 

In 2013, the Master in Management programme entered the Financial Times ranking with 65th place in the list of the best programs for the first time. Over the past eight years, the MiM program has managed to improve its position and rise in ranking 40 lines, thanks to the uniqueness of educational content and the support of alumni and corporate partners.

“The high position in the FT ranking of the Master in Management program is the result of the daily work of many departments, the support of partners and the contribution of each teacher working on the program. We, of course, rejoice at the new achieved result, which puts the program in a special place not only in the Russian business education market, but also in the world one. But for us, this is, first of all, an indicator that we are on the right track, which means that we should continue to work on constant improvement of the taught disciplines, student support, further development of the international environment, strengthening of cooperation with employers, including with companies that are GSOM Advisory Board members. I sincerely congratulate everyone who is involved in the creation and development of the program, and I congratulate students and alumni, and I hope that we will continue to work together, we will achieve new high results!” said Yulia Aray, associate professor, Department of Strategic and International Management, Academic Director of Master in Management programme.

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The academic partners of GSOM SPbU — Swiss University of St. Gallen and the Higher Commercial School of Paris took the first and second place in the Global Masters in Management 2021 ranking. Other academic partners of GSOM SPbU have taken the lines adjacent to the Business School in the ranking: School of Business, University of Mannheim (Germany) is on 24th position; Indian Institute of Management (Ahmedabad) is on the 26th line.

The Financial Times list includes 100 educational programs. The publication compiles a ranking based on an analysis of data received from business schools and anonymous comments by alumni. Only business schools with at least one of the international accreditations: AACSB and EQUIS can take part in the ranking. A total of 17 criteria are taken into account: the rate of salary growth over three years, career growth, support for a business school in career development, the percentage of alumni who got a job three months after graduation, the number of foreign teachers and others. And, of course, one of the main indicators is the average salary of alumni three years after graduation — at GSOM SPbU it is more than $ 70,000 a year.

The rankings of the international business newspaper Financial Times (FT) published in more than 20 countries. They are a generally accepted indicator of the quality of a business school or an individual program.

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GSOM SPbU is a leading Russian Business School. It was established in 1993 at St Petersburg University, which is one of the oldest classical universities, and the largest centre of science, education and culture in Russia. Today GSOM SPbU is the only Russian Business School that is included in the top-100 best European Schools in the Financial Times ranking and has two prestigious international accreditations: AMBA and EQUIS. The GSOM Advisory Board includes leaders from business, government and the international academic community.

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