Distancing measures imposed by twelve European countries during the COVID-19 pandemics (a ban on holding public events, school closures, shop closures, and a ban on non-essential movement) were associated with large drops in visits to retail and recreation, groceries and pharmacies, transit stations, and workplaces, drops in visits to parks in most cases, and an increase in time spent at home. These effects, measured and disentangled in our analysis, have implications for the costs and risks of closing and re-opening economies: distancing policies (i) reduced contact and likely reduced the transmission of COVID-19 within the population, implying gains for public health, while they (ii) reduced presence at workplaces, shops, restaurants and other venues of economic activity, implying economic costs.
How can the EU product safety and compliance framework help promote product durability and tackle planned obsolescence, foster the production of more sustainable products, and achieve more transparent supply chains for consumers? Product longevity can play a useful role in achieving the Paris Agreement goals – material efficiency is an important contributor to energy efficiency and is also important in its own right. The product safety and compliance instruments available at European level can contribute to these efforts, if wisely applied.
All available resources need to be brought to bear on the novel coronavirus COVID-19. To what extent can digital technology help? What risks are there in using big data to combat COVID-19, and what policies can mitigate any limitations that these risks impose?
If confirmed. Commissioner-designate Goulard will soon have direct responsibility for three areas within this broader mandate. Firstly, digital economy and society. Secondly, European industry and the single market. And thirdly, the defence industry and space. Because this diverse brief makes it easy to focus on the trees while losing sight of the forest the role must be defined by a clear overarching strategy
This blog is part of a series following the 2019 Bruegel annual meetings, which brought together nearly 1,000 participants for two days of policy debate and discussion.