gLAWcal analyzes, assesses and diagnoses implemented policy, in the developed and developing world, drawing on the skills of a team of analysts from a wide range of disciplines. Our people are familiar with the policy environments of the regions they explore, and provide relevant insights to help policymakers fast-track best practices.
China-EU science and technology cooperation is substantial. The European Union is one of the most important partners in China’s external science and technology cooperation. Particularly, in the face of challenges of environmental protection and sustainable development, China and the European Union share common interests in the field of environmental sustainability. POREEN (Partnering Opportunities between Europe and China in the Renewable Energies and Environmental iNdustries) aims at integrating and combining economic, legal and engineering competencies to analyze the level of economic cooperation reached so far between China and Europe in the renewable energy and the environment industries and to identify areas where partnership opportunities could be exploited, at business, scientific and technical level. POREEN is funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme for Research in the Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities (SSH). It is a People Marie Curie Action, International Research Staff Exchange Scheme, whose aim is to help research organisations to set up or strengthen long-term cooperation with others, through a coordinated exchange programme for their staff.
Fundamental trends in the European Union and the world at large provide an increasingly important policy agenda for financing sustainable energy in terms of energy efficiency, innovation in energy exploitation and development of renewable resources. Accordingly, the proper policy design for the sustainable energy needs to be complemented by research on the legal, regulatory and geopolitical side. The evaluation of the policies for sustainable energy investments requires to connect several national approaches on such topics, not only in Europe, where the fragmentation of social sciences into national traditions is a matter of fact. The IRSES Programme “Evaluating Policies for Sustainable Energy Investments: towards an integrated approach on national and international stage” (hereinafter EPSEI) is devoted to address such issues by strengthening the research partnerships between European research organisations and research organisations from crucial world regions.
Since their inception in 1998 in London to the most recent meeting in Brussels in October 2010, EU-China Summits demonstrate the importance of European and Chinese partnerships based on mutual understanding and joint efforts to overcome global problems ranging from ecological risks to economic crisis to social inequalities. Reflecting on the issues of EU-China relationships, the project “Liberalism In Between Europe And China” (LIBEAC) aims at developing a new understanding of liberalism in its economic, political and social dimensions. It involves a comparative analysis of the cultural differences in its interpretation and of the political discrepancies in its enforcement, in particular with respect to economic, social and environmental rights in China and Europe in Modern times. It is a multidisciplinary project based on a comparative study of European and Chinese political philosophy and political economy, legal practice and philosophy of right.
The China-EU School of Law (CESL) at the China University of Political Law and Science (CUPL) is a unique institution for educating law students; for conducting and facilitating legal research and consultancy; for professional training of judges, prosecutors, lawyers, and other legal professionals; and a platform for China-EU research, teaching, legal academic and professional exchanges and collaboration.
The activities of CESL at CUPL are supported by the European Union
and the People’s Republic of China.
gLAWcal is partner in the project on "Consumer Policy in China: Protecting the Citizens, Strengthening the Domestic Market and Building an Ecological Civilization" in collaboration with University of Macau, Faculty of Law. The project has been approved and funded by the Multi-Year Research Grant (MYRG) of the University Senate Research Committee, University of Macau for three year duration June 2015 - June 2018.
Following the Call for Papers (which can be found here), on December 16, 2015, gLAWcal in partnership with University of Macau, Faculty of Law (China) organized an International Conference on “Consumer Policy in China: New Trends and Challenges”. Following the Call for Papers (which can be found here), on June 29, 2017 gLAWcal in partnership with the University of Macau, Faculty of Law (China), the European Society of International Law (ESIL) Interest Group on International Environmental Law and with the American Society of International Law (ASIL) Interest Group on Intellectual Property Law organized an International Conference on "Consumer Policy in a comparative perspective: New Challenges in Chinese, European, and International Law".
The development of Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning, emergence of new technologies such as blockchain, growing importance of big data and similar developments have a potential to disrupt the world as we know it today. While the technological development during the so-called fourth industrial revolution accelerates more rapidly in comparison to the past, the society will need to try hard to keep up with it and to make conscious effort to harness the technology in a manner that serves its needs and interests. For this reason, it is necessary to subject the emerging technologies to a scrutiny and to examine their implications not only from an economic point of view, but also from the perspective of human rights, environmental protection and democratic governance.
The common denominator of these emerging technologies is their pervasiveness and wide-ranging implications. For this reason, it is possible to perceive these issues in the broader context of civil and political as well as economic, social and cultural rights. For instance, blockchain technology, which is mostly associated with cryptocurrencies, can contribute to the financial empowerment and financial inclusion of the people in developing countries and collapsing economies. The digital wallet enables to gain access to global markets even for people without bank account. Blockchain technology can be utilized also to establish digital identity, which might be especially useful for the people fleeing from conflict regions. From the perspective of protection of critical information infrastructure, the decentralized character of blockchain technology has valuable cybersecurity implications.
On the other hand, new technological developments bear certain environmental risks as well. For instance, some experts warn of increasing pollution through more electronic waste, which can be associated also with generally environment-friendly technologies in the field of renewable energy, such as solar energy. When assessing the benefits of blockchain technology from the perspective of sustainable development, it is necessary to preserve a balanced view as well.With respect to blockchain technology, this means the consideration of high energy consumption associated with mining as well as alternatives enabling these technologies to function without taking too much toll on the environment.
Technologies like blockchain are based on trust, which is also one of the main ingredients for the functioning of the society and for the preservation of social order.Crises of any kind (economic, political, war etc.) have the potential to shake the trust of the people in established and centralized systems. For instance,the economic crisis can decrease the trust of the people in banking system and shift their attention to alternative decentralized systems, such as cryptocurrencies. The trust in decentralized systems can also significantly influence the way how we understand governance systems. For instance,decentralized energy microgrids establishing direct channels between energy consumers and small energy producers can lead to the empowerment of small self-sufficient communities, which can have also implications for the governance at local level in general.
Problems associated with AI ranging from ethical, social to economic matters have been noticed by countless scholars in the last decade. Moreover, there is a need to examine the interplay between AI and fields such as environmental law and natural resources management. Indeed, it is impossible to imagine an entire AI revolution that would not affect these sectors. AI has the potential to contribute to a better management of the negative impacts resulting from climate change, enhance food security and so on. Considering that the focus sofar has been placed mainly on ethical and economic aspects of these technologies, the issues mentioned above have not been subjected to rigorous analysis yet. Hence, gLAWcal ETIS Research initiative aims to initiate an interdisciplinary debate regarding the synergies between AI and other emerging technologies and matters relevant from the perspective of sustainable development.
Along with AI, big data is becoming a very important issue that is being discussed in the private sphere. For instance, its relevance prompted the European Union (EU) to adopt the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR),which is considered to represent one of the most progressive legislative texts on the protection of privacy in this regard. Still, even this form of protection is considered by many as insufficient considering the complexity of issues to be dealt with.
Moreover, the impact of big data in the environmental field remains underexamined in literature and requires further research. The concept of big data has the potential to play important role in water, energy and agricultural sectors as well as in the efforts to tackle climate change. Considering the research gap on this front, gLAWcal ETIS Research initiative aims to pay attention to the interplay between big data and international environmental law and regulatory aspects related therewith.