Browsing by Subject "European Commission"

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  • Isoaho, Karoliina Laila Hannele; Moilanen, Fanni Sofia; Toikka, Arho Ilmari (2019)
    The Energy Union, a major energy sector reform project launched by the European Commission in 2015, has substantial clean energy and climate aims. However, scholarly caution has been raised about their feasibility, especially with regards to accommodating climate objectives with other closely related yet often competing policy goals. We therefore investigate the policy priorities of the Energy Union by performing a topic modelling analysis of over 5,000 policy documents. A big data analysis confirms that decarbonisation and energy efficiency dimensions are major building blocks in the Energy Union's agenda. Furthermore, there are signals of policy convergence in terms of climate security and climate affordability policies. However, our analysis also suggests that the Commission is not actively prescribing trajectories for renewable energy development or paying close attention to declining incumbent energy generation technologies. Overall, we find that the Energy Union is not a 'floating signifier' but rather has a clear and incrementally evolving decarbonisation agenda. Whether it further develops into an active driver of decarbonisation will largely be determined by the implementation phase of the project.
  • Granholm, Kaj (2002)
    This study derives its motive from the recent proposals to transform the European Commission into the formal government of the European Union. It assumes political accountability to the parliament the executive to be a central element of any government, and therefore goes on to assess the degree to which the Commission is currently politically accountable to the European Parliament. Political accountability is regarded as susceptibility to parliamentary control mechanisms on the basis of political, rather than legal or financial matters. The study follows the atomistic approach to the institutionalist logic and a comparative method of political science, as it relates the Commission situation to that of the federal government of Canada. Comparativeness necessitates certain presumptions, which will be built on the nature of federalism in the EU, and consequently to the notion, that the European Commission can be regarded as a majority government. The central findings, on the one hand confirm previous arguments about the difficulty to fully realize parliamentary accountability in a federal setting. On the other hand, they add to the discussion an argument, by which certain parliamentarian principles also hinder the functioning of political accountability as they appear to outweight one another. Overall, however, albeit some outlying questions, this study finds that political accountability in Canada, a full parliamentary democracy, and the political accountability of the European Commission share certain common deficiencies.
  • Hoffman, Monika (2002)
    The aim of the study was to find a set of competencies for an ideal public manager in an international environment by using a competency model. The validity of the model was tested through a case study. The case study - the Management Training Piogramme (MTP) for the European Commission, was evaluated by using the framework of the new competency model. The main questions answered by the study were: did the MTP fulfil the expectations of the competence model for an 'ideal public manager' in an international environment, and how well did the new model describe the competencies of an 'ideal public manager'. There was no theoretical model directly adaptable for this study. Therefore, different theories were combined front Mintzberg, Yukl, Lucia & Lepsinger, Virtanen and Mouritzen to find a more complete set of competencies for an ideal public manager in an international environment. A new model of competencies was created, witch included roles, practises and competencies of traditional manager, public manager and international civil servant. This new model was then used to evaluate the MTP. In order to better understand and analyse the competencies set for the MTP, the setting of the European Commission and its organisational culture was described. Organisational culture is briefly introduced and how it can affect attitudes, values, ideology, behaviour and practises in the European commission. This underlying organisational culture was reflected in the MTP. After deriving a new set of competencies for the middle managers of the European Commission and testing them through the new model, the conclusion was that the MTP covered almost all of the task-oriented competencies (setting objectives, delegating, prioritising) nearly all relations-oriented competencies (feedback, motivating, team building) and lacking some of the important change oriented and substantial roles (networking, negotiation). Many of the roles and competencies that I found missing were categorised by the ethical and politic competencies (co-operation with member states, best practises, organisational values). The focus of the MTP was on general management skills. According to the TNA, this focus matched the needs of the participants. In conclusion, the MTP was successful. The most significant finding of the study based on the new model was that the theme of Service Culture in the programme became the core competence for the middle managers of the Commission. Service Culture brought light into the more significant ethical and political value based competencies. It seemed to capture the essence of values for existence and purpose for the commission. Unfortunately, the conclusion was that Service Culture was not covered in depth in the MTP. Despite the fact that MTP as a data base provided only a narrow view of all international public manager, the competency model as a method worked well. Competency model can be an effective method in finding a set of competencies for an ideal public manager in an international environment. The approach of this study to take a wide perspective by combining the different theories worked well. The need for further development of the model to be suitable in a general context is obvious. The challenge for future studies is to conduct in-depth analysis of competencies in several international organisations to design a more generic model. Furthermore, the fact that no theory exist, which would look at competencies in as wide perspective as this ease required, already proves the need for further research in the field.
  • Iskanius, Linnea (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    As we live in a world of limited resources facing multiple global challenges, like climate change, we will need to find new ways to sustainable produce and consume in respect for people today and the next generations to come. While keeping in mind the ecological limitations, the global economy needs to grow in order to ensure the prosperity of the people. The aim of this thesis is to examine, how the European Union Bioeconomy Strategies have influenced the progress of bioeconomy inside the Union as a whole and inside different Member States. The European Union published its first Bioeconomy Strategy back in 2012 and updated it in 2018 in the light of new regulations and discoveries. The aim for these two Strategies was to introduce bioeconomy better to the European Union Member States, and to encourage investments and new research to benefit all bioeconomy sectors while creating sustainable businesses and form a more innovative, resource efficient and competitive society. One of the main accomplishment of the 2012 Strategy was its influence on Member States, of which many started drafting their own Bioeconomy Strategies in correlation to their own strengths and available resources. This thesis will firstly look into the changes within the two European Union Strategies, secondly explore the Spain, Finland and Latvia’s Bioeconomy Strategies in relation to the EU Strategies, and additionally summarize the finding and compare the three Member States in question. Finally some speculations and suggestions are formed from the basis of these comparisons.
  • Saari, Leevi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    This thesis analyses the regulation of platform economy in the European Commission. The rise of large technology corporations as the underlying infrastructure of much of social activity has received fervent attention in recent years. However, there is still little consensus on the implications of this process. Does the new platform economy affect only market processes, or does it have broader societal consequences? Further, is platform economy something truly new or is it only a continuation of past forms of corporate power? These questions have acute practical importance. On the 15th of December 2020, the European Commission released a proposal for legislation that seeks to address the power of large platform corporations, called the “Digital Markets Act”. What kind of corporate power does this proposal seek to regulate? And what does it suggest about the regulatory paradigm of the European Commission? The contribution of this thesis consists of three parts. The first part is conceptual. In Chapter 2, an original analytical framework for classifying different dimensions of platform power is proposed. This framework helps to illustrate the continuities and novelties in the capabilities of platform corporations and bring together disconnected strands of research from different disciplines. The second part is empirical. In Chapter 3, the development of platform regulation in the European Commission from Spring 2015 to December 2020 is explained and the framework developed in Chapter 2 is used to analyze a recent proposal for regulation of platform economy, the Digital Markets Act. The last part of the contribution is theoretical. In Chapter 4, the Commission’s proposal is mapped on the horizon of potential alternative contrast spaces, which helps to illuminate the underlying political choices and clarify possible contradictions between different authors. The key conclusion of the work is that the European Commission has sought to address platform economy primarily as an aberration of efficient market processes. This has impacted the type of knowledge that is used in policymaking as well as the range of stakeholders consulted for the legislation. As a consequence, the European Commission ends up seeing platform corporations as actors whose capabilities are limited to manipulation of market activities. Systematic treatment of alternative framings is used to illuminate opportunities for broader analyses on the role of platform economy in the global political economy.
  • Chillemi, Cristopher (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    The research focuses on the roles and responsibilities of online intermediaries in respect to illegal content uploaded by their users. Online sale of goods infringing intellectual property rights (IPR) will be the main topic of the research. European legislation on the responsibility of online intermediaries established the so called “safe harbour” shielding intermediaries from liabilities for the conduct of their users. This system allowed internet companies to thrive but at the same time it is exploited by some users to abuse IPRs. During the last decade and a half many legal and non-legal researchers have looked at how intellectual property owners fight back against illegal content. In practice, notices of infringements are sent to online intermediaries requesting to takedown the infringements. The latter should respond quickly to maintain their legal immunity. This extrajudicial system causes various hazards and as main critics claim it also lacks transparency and accountability. Information on procedures, notices and decision making by online intermediaries operating marketplaces are not publicly disclosed. Within this context the research first looks at main weaknesses of the current legal framework, and then investigates how policy makers could change notice and takedown procedures to safeguard all competing interests. Information gained by the author’s direct experience in protecting IPRs on online marketplaces will be used to help propose a possible new legal classification of infringement notices and their requirements.
  • Kallioinen, Emilia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    Artificial intelligence (AI), as a constantly developing technology that is difficult to define, strains a society not prepared for its impact. On the other hand, AI represents the future and comes with many opportunities. The European Commission has taken both views into account in its policy for AI, the European approach to AI. The European Commission’s AI policy, that introduces a regulation-based approach to AI as the first policy initiative in the world, offers a timely and intriguing topic of study. This thesis critically examines how AI is represented as a problem in the European Commission’s policy over the course of a four-year time frame from 2018 to 2021. It uses a combined set of methods: qualitative content analysis together with Carol Bacchi’s WPR approach to inspect five selected European Commission’s policy documents. Four of these policy documents are communication papers with an additional white paper. With the help of qualitative content analysis, the main repetitive themes of AI challenges and opportunities are teased out. The WPR approach is used to examine the progression of the AI policy and analyze the problem representations found in policy. Research questions are the following: how has the European Commission’s policy on AI come about and how has AI been represented as a policy problem by the European Commission? The thesis presents the formation of the AI policy by going through policy documents over the period of four years. Additionally, the thesis demonstrates how the Commission’s AI policy is one piece of the puzzle that is EU digital politics aiming for technological sovereignty. From the Commission’s problem representation of AI, the challenges and opportunities, it is possible to analyze the implicit representations of AI in policy. Although, the policy highlights trustworthiness and competitiveness through its regulatory actions there are other aspects present as well. AI has been represented in policy through eight perspectives, including safety and security, ethical, legal, competitiveness, AI leadership, socioeconomic, ecological, and education. All perspectives rationalize ways for AI to be embraced inside the European Union borders and participate in the shaping of how AI is to be approached. The analysis of each category shows that issues related to safety and security, ethical, legal, competitiveness, and AI leadership seem to stand out whereas socioeconomic, ecological, and education matters are not as strongly stressed. Overall, this thesis has demonstrated how AI has been represented as a problem in the European Commission’s policy.