• 12-DEC-2013

  • Brussels, Belgium


Round-up of EP Plenary Session: ECB's Anti-deflation Policy; Cloud Computing; Civil Protection; 2013 LUX Film Prize Winner

Round-up of EP plenary: ECB's anti-deflation policy; cloud computing; civil protection; 2013 LUX film prize winner
The European Parliament in its last plenary session of 2013 saw the ECB President Mario Draghi saying that he is ready to defend by all means against the threat of deflation. Mario Draghi, who received parliamentary praise for helping stabilise the European banking sector, returned the compliment, saying Parliament has done much of late to help secure the future of the Euro.

Reaping the benefits of Cloud computing remained a priority for the Parliament, which this week voted to improve the ability of citizens to utilise it both effectively and safely. Estimates suggest Cloud-related revenue could reach nearly 150 billion Euros in 2014, with more than 60% of all computer server workloads taking place in the virtual sphere. But critical infrastructure on the ground still lags behind and funding has not been forthcoming while competitors haggle over a comprehensive Telecoms Single market agreement. It's an agreement which would strengthen and harmonise fixed and mobile communications networks vital to the Cloud's viability.

Meanwhile more help is on the way in the area of civil protection- essentially helping communities survive and rebuild after man-made and natural disasters both here in the EU and abroad. Parliamentarians agreed on a compromise package of 368 million Euros--20% to be spent on prevention, 50% on preparedness and 30% on response. At present 70% of the budget is spent within the EU and 30% outside of it on disaster management. Natural disasters have increased dramatically in recent years both in Europe and in areas of the world like Syria and the Philippines where the EU has significantly helped to ease the suffering. Within the EU, more regional cross border cooperation is essential.

Finally, the winner of the 2013 LUX Prize goes to "The Broken Circle Breakdown" - a Belgian love story involving a couple struggling to come to terms with the tragic illness of their young daughter as well as their own very different approaches to religion and spirituality.