The House of Commons Library is celebrating as this year marks 200 hundred years since its first librarian was appointed. You can find out more about the library’s history here or watch the video at the end of this blog.
One aspect of the library’s work, relevant to anyone starting to research a contemporary topic, is the production of impartial research briefings on a wide range of current issues. While these are intended to help members of Parliament by providing them with good quality impartial background information, they are extremely useful to anyone starting to research a current issue. They can be searched by date or topic.
Some recent briefings which may be of interest include:
Going on holiday soon? Did you know that from the 1st of July holidaymakers benefit from additional rights and better protection under updated EU package travel rules when booking travel packages where you choose different elements – such as flight, hotel, car hire – from a single point of sale online or offline. The new rules also cover linked travel arrangements when you book travel services at one point of sale, but using separate booking processes, or, book one travel service on one website, then another service that you are invited to book on a different website.
To find out more about these, and other additions rights contained in the new law, have a look at the factsheet or watch the video below.
Under the terms of the proposed transition period after the UK leaves the EU at the end of March 2019, this Directive will be applicable in the UK until the end of 2020. It’s continued application after that will depend on the outcome of negotiations on the future EU-UK relationship and/or UK policy.
The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) enters into force today and updates data protections principles established 20 years ago. The GDPR reinforces the rules by which all organisations and companies providing services in the EU must abide. The GDPR gives us better ways to say what our data can be used for, to retract our consent, to transfer our data or to ask for it to be erased so we can now shop, share and surf with more confidence online.
To find out more, read: Its your data- take control: a citizen’s guide to data protection in the EUhere. Or watch this video from the UK’s Channel 4 News.
An event, entitled Brexit: Scotland, the UK and EU27: Key Issues, organised by the Scottish Centre on European Relations takes place in Aberdeen at the Central Library on May 23rd. Organised with the support of the European Commission in Scotland the panel will consider how, with less than a year to go, the Brexit talks are developing and the implications this has for Scotland. There will be time for questions and answers.
The Speakers are:
Prof Claire Wallace, University of Aberdeen
Liam Smyth, Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce
Dr Craig McAngus, University of the West of Scotland
and the Chair is:
Dr Kirsty Hughes, Scottish Centre on European Relations
The event, which starts at 6.00pm on May23rd is free but you need to register in advance.
The Centre on Constitutional Change, which is based at the University of Edinburgh and includes academics from the Universities of Aberdeen, Cambridge, Cardiff, Stirling, and University College Cork, has issued an invitation to the launch of a new book Squaring the Circle. Could the Norway Model Work? The launch event takes place in Edinburgh on the evening of Thursday 31st May. Booking details for this free event are available here.
“As the UK Government and opposition parties struggle to define their vision of Brexit, attention has turned back to the European Economic Area or ‘Norway model’, which allows access to the European Single Market without membership of the European Union.
Professor John Erik Fossum (University of Oslo) will present the findings of his new book with Hans Petter Graver: Squaring the Circle. Could the Norway Model Work?
The book provides an overview of the Norway model, an assessment of the likelihood that the UK will adopt (parts of or all of) this model. It draws some lessons for the UK, and some reflections on the possible effects on Norway.
There will be a response by Dame Mariot Leslie (former UK Ambassador to Norway)”
The magazine Environment for Europeans has been one of the most popular publications received in the European Documentation Centre here in Taylor Library. However, it has been announced that there will be no more print editions of this tri-annual publication produced by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Environment. Instead those wishing to keep up to date with European environment and climate policy can subscribe to receive more frequent electronic updates. These bulletins will contain features, news articles, facts and figures, video clips and information on upcoming events. The bulletins will be available in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Polish and Romanian.
On 23 May 2018 the LIFE Awards will celebrate the most successful projects from the LIFE programme, the EU’s financial instrument supporting environmental, nature conservation and climate action projects.
There are four categories: nature conservation and biodiversity, environmental technologies and solutions, climate action, and the people’s choice.
The People’s Choice Award is where you can vote for any of the nominated six green city projects.
The six projects are:
URBANCOWS, Estonia: the project restored the conservation status of boreal Baltic coastal meadows and coastal lagoons, as well as the characteristic species of these habitats, in the Pärnu Coastal Meadow Nature Reserve Natura 2000 network site.
PEHRT, Italy: How can people and goods move within historic towns in a more sustainable way? The PERHT project reduced traffic congestion in small and mid-sized towns like Treviso, for example, by setting up green urban mobility hubs.
Climate Proofing Housing Landscapes, UK: The project worked with local residents to design and implement climate change adaptation measures in London Borough of Hammersmith, making social housing fit for the future.
EKO-LIFE, Austria: Although many people are aware of environmental problems, individual contribution to CO2 emissions remains very high. The project addressed the environmental consequences of global warming and our lifestyles, particularly related to nutrition and mobility.
Clean Air, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Hungary, Poland: Every day, a person breathes in about 15,000 litres of air. Besides the essential oxygen, a lot of dangerous pollutants end up in people’s lungs. Any reduction in air pollution contributes significantly both to general health and to climate protection – in the end cleaner air means better quality of life.
AIRUSE, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, UK: Air pollution is a major environmental and health problem. The project identified cost-effective measures for ensuring better air quality in southern European cities such as Barcelona (Spain), Athens (Greece), Toscana (Italy), Porto (Portugal) and West Midlands (UK).
Do you need to find and reuse EU Data for your research?
The EU Open Data Portal is free and offers a single point of access to a wide range of data held by EU Institutions and bodies. Generally you can reuse the data free of charge, for commercial or non-commercial purposes, provided you acknowledge the source.
One of the advantages of this portal is that it enables you to link data from various sources automatically that can then be used in a new and creative way.
So to find out more about searching, reusing and linking EU data have a look at a new guide entitled Discover the EU Open Data Portalor check out this short tutorial.
The European Court of Auditors (ECA), based in Luxembourg, audits the European Union’s finances. The ECA offers both paid and unpaid traineeships lasting from three to five months. Those interested can now apply for traineeships starting in September. For traineeships that begin on:
1 September 2018, applications may be submitted from 1 April–31 May 2018
1 February 2019, applications may be submitted from 1 September–31 October 2018
1 May 2019, applications may be submitted from 1 December 2018-31 January 2019.
Further details and eligibility criteria are available here.
Do you need surveys of public opinion for your research? Have you heard of Eurobarometer? It is a series of surveys done across Europe for the European Commission covering attitudes towards the EU, social conditions, health, the economy, citizenship, the environment, IT, security and more. The surveys have been conducted since 1973.
The Standard Eurobarometer is designed to compare and gauge trends over time by keeping the bulk of the survey the same. These surveys are undertaken twice a year.
Special Eurobarometer surveys investigate attitudes to a wide range of topics. Recent survey have been on attitudes to sport and physical activity and Europeans, Agriculture and the CAP
Flash Eurobarometer surveys are ad-hoc telephone interviews conducted at the request of any part of the European Commission. These produce results fairly quickly and focus on specific groups. Recent surveys have included fake news and disinformation online and SMEs, resource efficiency and green markets.