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On 5th June 2019, the European Commission published its country-specific recommendations within the framework of the European Semester. The concrete recommendations for Austria paint a mixed picture: on the one hand, it is recommended to increase the cooperation with the social partners. On the other hand, increasing the statutory pension age has been recommended once again.

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On 29 May 2019, a public hearing on the UN binding treaty on business and human rights took place in the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC). Prior to the next negotiation round at EU level, which will take place in October, experts from academia as well as representatives of the social partners and NGOs had the opportunity to present their views on the treaty.

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Europe’s citizens will elect their new EU Parliament from 23rd to 26th May 2019. This means that the decision will be made during these four days who will shape politics in Brussels during the next five years. As one of the three key EU institutions, the EU Parliament has significant influence on the decisions of the European Union. According to surveys, this might result in significant shifts of majorities.

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In the last plenary week in Strasbourg, the outgoing Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker addressed the European Parliament for the last time. He used the debate with the Latvian Minister President on the future of Europe for a personal retrospect on his period as Commission President, which is now coming to an end.

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On April 8th 2019, the European Commission published a strategy on further developments in the Artificial Intelligence sector. The Commission emphasises that ethical and legal issues will be the focus of further research and development in order to create a technology, which enjoys the trust of people.

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The future poses numerous challenges to Europe. Ongoing pollution of the environment, climate change, demographic change, economic and social imbalances and migration to mention only a few. Hence, on January 30th 2019, the European Commission presented a reflection paper for a more sustainable Europe by 2030. It is the objective to meet these challenges with clear strategies in order to improve the environmental, economic and living conditions for all.

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In his latest book “Rewriting the Rules of the European Economy”, the winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics Joseph Stiglitz develops new ideas for the economic and social policy of the European Union. In doing so he proposes new rules for institutions and politics in the sectors employment, stability and growth.

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Renting is getting increasingly more expensive and risks becoming a luxury good. More and more people in Europe can hardly afford to rent a place to call their home. However, at the same time, rents are rising faster than earnings, which, for many makes the situation even worse. Therefore, AK EUROPE supports the European Citizens’ Initiative “Housing for All”, which was launched on 27 March 2019.

Together for affordable housing in Europe: Join us in supporting the European Citizens’ Initiative “Housing for All”!

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On the occasion of International Women’s Day on March 8th, Brussels is focussing on gender equality. Many events were organised in the advance in order to show and to discuss the still serious, mainly structural discriminations.