Newly published official publications from :
Westminster and the UK Government
European Parliament elections 2019: results and analysis – “This briefing paper analyses the results of the 2019 European Parliament elections, focussing on both the UK and EU-wide results. It also analyses the repercussions for the EU, in terms of the balance of forces within the new Parliament and its impact on the forthcoming appointment process for the top jobs in the EU, including the European Commission Presidency.“
Online pornography: age verification – “This Library Briefing Paper looks at the introduction of age verification for online pornography.
Age verification (AV) for access to online pornography was due to come into force from 15 July 2019. However, on 20 June 2019, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport announced that there would be a delay of around six months. This was because the Government hadn’t notified the European Commission about guidance on AV arrangements.”
Firearms – “In the UK gun ownership is a privilege not a right. Firearms are heavily regulated. Not all guns can be licensed. Individuals seeking to own guns that can be licenced are vetted and approved by the police.
The principal piece of legislation which regulates the possession of firearms and ammunition in Great Britain is the Firearms Act 1968 (as amended). However, there are a further 34 pieces of legislation which contain provisions relating to firearms. The Home Office has published various pieces of guidance relating to firearms, a collection of which can be found on the GOV.UK webpage: Firearms licensing.”
The European Union
Introduction of the euro in the Member States that have not yet adopted the common currency – “For this survey carried out in April 2019, some 7.000 respondents in the seven EU Member States that have yet to join the euro (Bulgaria, Czechia, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Sweden) were interviewed by phone. Citizens from different social and demographic groups replied to a set of questions focusing on issues ranging from their perception of and support for the introduction of the euro in their country, to how well citizens felt informed about the common currency. Questions included how citizens saw the consequences for themselves, their country, and for those countries which already have adopted the euro. Other questions looked at how and where citizens wished to be informed and what type of information they considered most important. While 56% of respondents think that the introduction of the euro has had positive consequences in the countries that are already using the euro, the proportion of respondents who are in favour of introducing the euro in their country varies widely, from 66% in Hungary to 36% in Sweden. Respondents who feel informed about the euro are more likely to support its introduction (57% compared with 43% of those who do not feel informed). Socio-demographic analysis shows that men are more in favour of introducing the euro in their country, compared with women (53% vs 45%).”
Gender statistics and indicators – “This briefing introduces gender statistics and indicators and explains why they are important tools to promote gender equality and implement a gender mainstreaming approach. Put simply, gender statistics and indicators integrate a gender perspective in the collection, analysis and presentation of statistical data. Gender statistics play a key role in measuring gender gaps on the basis of agreed indicators that are relevant to the lives of women and men. In the EU, for example, they are used to identify gender gaps in education, the labour market, earnings and health, amongst other areas. Gender statistics and indicators are an integral part of gender mainstreaming throughout the entire policy cycle. Firstly, they inform the policymaking process and ensure that interventions respond to the different needs and priorities of women and men. Secondly, they measure changes in the relations between women and men over time in a particular policy area, a specific programme or activity, or changes in the status or situation of women and men. Thirdly, they are an essential part of the monitoring and evaluation of the implementation and outcomes of policies, programmes and projects.”
Single-use plastics and fishing gear: Reducing marine litter – “Most of the plastic in our oceans originates from land-based sources. On European beaches, plastics make up 80-85 % of marine litter, which is considered a major threat to marine and coastal biodiversity. Marine litter also costs the European Union economy an estimated €259 million to €695 million per year. In May 2018, the European Commission put forward a legislative proposal seeking to address the issue of marine litter from plastics. The proposal would introduce a series of measures regarding the top 10 single-use plastics found on European beaches, as well as fishing gear, with a view to reducing their impact on the environment and ensuring a functional internal market. After completion of the legislative procedure, the final act was signed by the presidents of the co-legislators (European Parliament and Council) on 5 June 2019, and published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 12 June 2019. Member States have two years (i.e. until 3 July 2021) to transpose the new directive into national law. Fourth edition of a briefing originally drafted by Didier Bourguignon. document has been designed for on-line viewing.“
The Scottish Parliament and Government
Referendums (Scotland) Bill – “The Referendums (Scotland) Bill provides the legislative framework for holding referendums which fall within the competence of the Scottish Parliament.”
Competition policy – the UK framework and the impact of Brexit – “This briefing is the first of two which look at the Scottish Government’s new competition powers. It sets out current competition policy powers at UK and EU level and considers what Brexit will mean in practice in this area. ”
Competition policy – Brexit and the exercise of devolved powers – “This briefing is the second of two which look at the Scottish Government’s new competition powers. It discusses the consequences of Brexit for the competition powers devolved to the Scottish Government by the Scotland Act 2016.”
Office for National Statistics
Government expenditure on science, engineering and technology, UK: 2017 – “UK government expenditure on science, engineering and technology (SET) covers estimates of expenditure by government departments, research councils and higher education funding councils (HEFCs). Most estimates are on a net expenditure basis, that is, ‘in-house’ research and development (R&D) performed, plus purchased or funding provided for R&D, less funding received for R&D. Estimates of expenditure on knowledge transfer and the UK’s contribution to the EU’s R&D budget are also included.“
How the Office for National Statistics is ensuring the 2021 Census will serve the public – “Every 10 years since 1801 (except in 1941 when no census was taken due to the World War 2) the nation has set aside one day for the census – a count of all people and households. It is the most complete source of information about the population that we have.
Every effort is made to include everyone, and that is why the census is so important. It is the only survey that provides a detailed picture of the entire population and is unique because it covers everyone at the same time and asks the same core questions everywhere. This makes it easy to compare different parts of the country.
The information the census provides allows central and local government, health authorities and many other organisations to target their resources more effectively and to plan housing, education, health and transport services.“
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