rss_2.0TalTech Journal of European Studies FeedSciendo RSS Feed for TalTech Journal of European Studies Journal of European Studies Feed to Diversity of Opinion and Freedom of Expression via Social Media<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The article investigates whether there is a need for legislative action in social networks—which are similar to broadcasting—to ensure that diversity of opinion can be sufficiently expressed to protect freedom of opinion-forming. The investigation focuses on Facebook because it has the largest number of registered users worldwide and is thus the network with the greatest reach. First and foremost, it will be debated whether social networks have a power of opinion comparable to broadcasting. Based on this foundation, it is possible to assess the extent to which diversity of opinion is expressed in social networks and the extent to which freedom to form opinions is actually under threat.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Legal Issues in Online Adult Education: Compliance of Online Learning and Teaching Process with GDPR<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>COVID-19 has had a major influence on the educational system. Since March 2020, the majority of teaching and learning has taken place online, including in the adult education sector. At the same time, the speedy transformation to the online mode has raised various legal issues, particularly regarding data protection, intellectual property rights, and compliance with the national legal framework. This article aims to analyse the compliance of online learning and teaching in adult education programmes with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and, on the basis of that, make recommendations to adult education entities that offer online teaching and learning process. To achieve the aim, the author uses the following research methods: a doctrinal research method, a scientific literature review, and a survey. As a result, the author identifies various legal issues regarding personal data protection during recording online teaching and learning, such as compliance with the GDPR requirements during online lecturing, compliance of e-platform providers with the GDPR, unauthorised access, data loss, and cyberattacks.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Agenda, Media Framing, and Public Perception of European Integration in Estonia<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The following desk research was conducted in the framework of the Horizon 2020 project Mediatized EU to study how media discourses have been constructed to foster or hamper the European project and how they resonated among the public, by focusing on the elite–media–public triangle. This is an in-depth longitudinal review of the existing academic literature, policy developments, and available data on the transformation of media discourses, elite views, and public opinion on the EU and Europeanization in Estonia, Estonia’s path towards European integration, and the ways in which the media has influenced public opinion throughout the last twenty years since Estonia joined the European Union.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of the Digital Economy and Society Index in the European Union: Α Socioeconomic Perspective<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The rapid development of information and communication technologies (ICT) in recent years has brought about significant changes in many social sectors such as communication, economy, entertainment, and others. To define the key role that ICT plays in its development course, the European Union (EU) has developed a composite indicator, the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI), to assess the digital policy performance of its Member States. In the current work, an attempt is made to evaluate the performance of the EU countries on the digital economy and society with respect to implemented EU digital policies by studying the five dimensions of the DESI for the years 2014–2019, using the corresponding DESI reports (DESI 2015 – DESI 2020). Moreover, the digital convergence among EU Member States, in terms of similarity of their performance in the five dimensions of the DESI by grouping them according to the optimal number of clusters, is also examined. Since the optimal number of clusters is two, EU Member States are classified in two groups, one of high and one of low performance in the five dimensions of the DESI. The evolution of each member country and the possible transitions from one group to another during the years 2014–2019 is also a point of interest. The grouping of EU Member States into the two clusters showed that socioeconomic factors may affect the overall DESI. Linear mixed effect models confirm the positive effect of Gross Domestic Product per capita, the public expenditure for education and research and development (R&amp;D) on the DESI and the negative effect of the average number of weekly working hours. The results could be used to reform the existing EU digital policies and identify areas where further improvement is needed.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Could Semantic Processing and Other NLP Tools Improve Online Legal Databases?<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The spread of online databases and the increasingly sophisticated search solutions in the past 10–15 years have opened up many new opportunities for lawyers to find relevant documents. However, it is still a common problem that the various legal databases and legal search engines face an information crisis. Legal database providers use various information extraction solutions, especially named entity recognition (NER), to mitigate this problem. These solutions can improve the relevance of the lists of results. Their limitation, however, is that they can only extract and create searchable metadata entities if the latter have a well-defined location or regularity in the text. Therefore, the next era of search support for legal databases is semantic processing. Semantic processing solutions are fundamentally different from information extraction and NER because they do not only extract and make visible and/or searchable the specific information element contained in the text but allow for the analytical analysis of the text as a whole. In addition, in many cases, legal database developments using machine learning can be a significant burden on a company, as it is not always known what kind of an AI solution is needed, and how the providers could compare the different solutions. Legal database providers need to customize processing their documents and texts in the most optimal way possible, considering all their legal, linguistic, statistical, or other characteristics. This is where text processing pipelines can help. So, the article reviews the two main natural language processing (NLP) solutions which can help legal database providers to increase the value of legal data within legal databases. The article then shows the importance of text-processing pipelines and frameworks in the era of digitized documents and presents the digital-twin-distiller.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Within a Novel Platform for the European Small Claims Procedure<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Contemporary technology and artificial intelligence increasingly facilitate the delivery of justice by automating, accelerating, and supporting judicial procedures with digitisation and automation tools. This article analyses options for the automatisation of the European Small Claims Procedure. The authors propose the digitisation of the procedure to a greater extent by additional features, such as AI-powered translation and text-to-speech tools, as well as creation of a trustworthy system for submission and storing of procedural documents based on the Estonian e-File example within the framework of the ongoing EU-funded SCAN II-project.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue at the Notary: Protection of Creditors’ Interests<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In order to continue to grow and prosper, modern society is increasingly adopting the products of companies, institutions, and organizations providing credit services. However, as a result, dissolution of a marriage tends to pose problems and raises unavoidable questions concerning the determination of the nature of the obligations of the spouses and the division of these obligations, which is why it is quite common in divorce cases for a third party, a creditor whose interests also need to be protected, to be involved. In cases concerning family relations, protection of the public interest predominates because protection of the legal interests of the spouses as well as the creditors must be guaranteed, also the proportionality of the protection of the legal interests between the parties must be achieved, because everyone has the right to defend their violated rights, and the state must ensure the protection of those legal interests. However, this protection is often compromised due to the lack of information available to notaries, which could be alleviated by more extensive use of technology. The article’s aim is to analyze the amendments to the Civil Code of the Republic of Lithuania as of 1 January 2023 concerning extrajudicial divorce at a notary, its advantages and drawbacks, as well as to discuss the existing and the possibility of adaptation of new technological solutions with an aim of improving the protection of creditors in the divorce process.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of the European Union Development Policy towards India<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>India was the first country in South Asia to establish diplomatic relations with the European Economic Community (EEC). Once, the country was one of the top beneficiaries of the EEC development assistance. However, this article traces the evolution of development policy with India and how the relationship has evolved between the two partners over time. Particularly, the discussion focuses on the development cooperation between the European Union (EU) and India from 1957 to 2020. A major shift took place in 2004 when the EU and India became strategic partners, and India is the only country from South Asia that has established a strategic partnership with the EU. The study also explores the founding principles of the relationship between both partners. The qualitative research method is applied here in the empirical setting to explain the crux of diplomatic relations and development cooperation. Likewise, we found here, through the latest results, that EU–India relations were established and strengthened in the past decade. The EU also concluded some trade negotiations, but the complete free-trade agreements (FTAs) are still in the dialogue phase.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Factors Affecting Green Consumer Purchase Behavior on E-Commerce Websites<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>As ecological problems are rapidly expanding, they bring with them increasingly threatening and drastic complications. On the other hand, the economic benefits of plastic products have created a dilemma for consumers and business owners. Since one of the main channels for satisfying daily needs is online shopping and social media, and the market share of electronic commerce is growing inexorably compared to traditional brick-and-mortar methods, it would be useful to understand the factors related to consumer behavior on these platforms in order to resolve environmental issues. This research attempts to identify the factors affecting green consumer purchase decisions on social commerce platforms. A questionnaire was designed based on data gathered using bibliographic methods, and collected data from 532 valid samples was analyzed using SmartPLS software. According to the findings, subjective norms such as social network inference is positively correlated to green product attractiveness. In addition, the results show that personality traits and green product attractiveness are positively correlated; moreover, the results show that there is a positive relation between green advertising and green product attractiveness. It is believed that the outcomes of this research will contribute to and be beneficial for manufacturers and businesses by proposing a new model for green marketing and green product awareness.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue to Ensure the Development of SMEs in Post-Pandemic Economy? A Start-ups Case Study<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>After the humanitarian crisis, caused by COVID-19, enterprises have to face a post-pandemic economic crisis. As small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) constitute 99% of EU enterprises and create every third workplace (European Parliament, 2021), it is important to monitor their situation not only to survive but also to develop and build strong economies in the future. The aim of this research is to investigate development trends and opportunities in (SMEs’) development, with a special focus on start-ups (STPS) as representative of these. Also, special attention is paid to the concept of sustainable development (SD), which fulfils the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The proposed methodology consists of three stages: desk research, in-depth interviews, and primary data analysis, and uses a qualitative method. The article describes the findings of recent Polish studies undertaken to verify and augment earlier pilot research. The novelty of the article is the examination of the dependence between the STPS survival rate and the SD as a measure of SDGs’ fulfilment. The limitation may be the specificity of the pandemic, as well as the study of post-pandemic trends that shows a strictly binding need to have a stable strategy for establishing, managing and developing enterprises and increasing their survival rates.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Evaluation of the Graduate Practice Intervention in Slovakia with the Application of the CART Method<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In Slovakia, the contribution to graduate practice is one of the active labour market policy interventions, the main goal of which for young school-leavers is to gain first job experiences and contacts with potential employers. Among the young jobseekers, it is one of the most used interventions. This study aims to provide a counterfactual impact evaluation of this contribution on the employability of its participants and also on their monthly wages. The total period under review is 2014–2017, during which the treated individuals participated in the graduate practice during 2014–2015. Then, their course of employment and average monthly wages were monitored over a two-year impact period, covering the period 2015–2017. The study was carried out using a database of 12,953 treated eligible participants of graduate practice and 83,907 non–treated controls. The data used in the study is managed by the Central Office of Labour, Social Affairs and Family of the Slovak Republic (COLSAF SR) and the Social Insurance Agency (SIA). For the evaluation, propensity score matching was used, where the propensity scores were estimated using classification and regression trees. The results of the study show that the participants of the graduate practice were employed on average three months longer during the two-year impact period after the end of the intervention as full-time employees or self-employed, and their average salary was almost 217 euros higher than that of the control group of non-participants.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue in Regional Planning: A Bibliometric Analysis<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Challenges in sustainable regional planning have been a hot topic of discussion in the past few decades. In this article, we analyze different approaches to regional development planning and explore their relevance to achieving sustainability in the area, while emphasizing the importance of the bottom-up approach in regional planning. We performed a bibliometric analysis to detect the state of research of the regional development planning and examined the program of forming a system for ensuring a region’s sustainability. We concluded that it is crucial to create national development plans utilizing a regional approach, which involves local projects and programs that benefit not just the economy and ecological state of the regions but also the inhabitants of those regions.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Socialism to Capitalism: Low-Skill-Biased Change in the Baltics during the Transition and Beyond<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>How did technological upgrading in the Baltics during the transition from planned to market economy affect labour? Existing academic literature would imply a skill-biased or polarising effect. However, we find that the opposite is likely true—technological upgrading predominantly benefited lower skilled workers. This is explained by an abundance of lower skilled labour, which fostered the usage of less advanced technologies that such workers could utilise. This article contributes to the discussion on the relationship between technology and labour by highlighting that technological upgrading may lead to low-skill-biased change.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Investigations on Existing Approaches to Marketing Effectiveness Evaluation<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Marketing effectiveness evaluation is an important issue for companies due to its significant impact on overall business performance and goals. Discussions on marketing effectiveness evaluation in academic and business societies are extensive. However, a unified and clear classification of marketing effectiveness evaluation approaches is missing. The purpose of this article is to conduct theoretical investigations about the existing approaches to marketing effectiveness evaluation. The review of academic literature was performed by selecting and reviewing the most relevant publications from two leading databases, Web of Science and Scopus. The most meaningful articles for the research area were chosen using a bibliometric analysis, and reviewed. The article discusses the evaluation of marketing effectiveness for different marketing initiatives, its impact on business, and challenges for organizations, and provides valuable insights into revealing trends in marketing effectiveness evaluation approaches. The presented classification of marketing effectiveness approaches is expected to contribute to a broader understanding of the research area.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Towards Sustainable Entrepreneurship among Students: A Pilot Study in Latvia and Lithuania<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Sustainable economic development is driven by sustainable entrepreneurial activities, generated by the personal attitudes of entrepreneurs. The present and future of sustainable entrepreneurship are shaped by the youth, including students, which is why it is important to understand their attitudes towards this type of entrepreneurship. Therefore, the key goal of the research is to evaluate the attitudes and behaviours of the youth towards sustainability issues and sustainable entrepreneurship. The current article reflects the results of the second research stage and aims at evaluating attitudes towards sustainable entrepreneurship among Latvian and Lithuanian students. The results reveal that gender/age affect personal environmental attitudes, however gender/age has no effect on personal willingness to start a sustainable business. The analysis results of the personal attitudes to sustainable entrepreneurship differ by age and gender. Gender has no effect and age strongly affects personal attitudes to sustainable development.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Economic Challenges for Sustainable Entrepreneurs Infrastructure Investments as a Factor of Economic Growth of European Union Countries<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Territorial cohesion and improved accessibility are among the main objectives of the European Union (EU) Cohesion policy. Although there is a wealth of literature on the impact of investment in transport infrastructure on overall accessibility levels, only a few studies have tried to evaluate the possible link between transport infrastructure investment (TII) and economic growth in the EU. Our research aims to evaluate the impact of TII on economic growth in the EU. The methodology is based on nonlinear neoclassical specification, which includes a multiplicative term to evaluate if the absence of corruption mediates the effect of TII on growth. Our unbalanced panel data covers 27 EU countries (Cyprus is excluded due to missing data and the United Kingdom is a part of the sample) from 2000 through 2019. Our research confirms a positive and statistically significant impact of TII on economic growth but with a diminishing return. Estimating the absence of corruption as a possible moderator of the effect that TII has on growth shows that control of corruption plays a significant role in the TII growth nexus. We find that in countries with a low level of control of corruption, TII has a statistically significant negative effect on growth.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Systematic Literature Review of the Context of the Sharing Economy and CSR in 2017–2021<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The sharing of idle assets, on which the sharing economy model is based, is associated with positive economic, environmental, and social effects, the creation of which is the basis of the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR). It would therefore seem expedient to examine the context of these phenomena, which have recently been gaining in importance, although they still remain outside mainstream research. So far, there is no study which comprehensively characterises the current state of knowledge of the context of the sharing economy and CSR, identifies research gaps, and postulates directions for future research in this area. This article addresses this gap by utilising a standalone literature review approach. An analysis of 20 publications, published on this topic in 2017–2021 in journals registered in the Web of Science and Scopus databases, was carried out. Four main research clusters were identified, these being (1) The sharing economy as a tool of the CSR concept; (2) The joint contribution of the sharing economy model and the concept of CSR towards reduction of overconsumption and wastage; (3) The importance of CSR communication for sharing economy platforms; and (4) The antagonistic relationship between the sharing economy model and the concept of CSR. The performed analysis shows the fragmented nature of existing research, but also the progressive nature of this area of research. At the same time, useful avenues for future research are postulated. This should focus on multiple lines of inquiry, including the possibility of incorporating different forms of B2B sharing into the concept of CSR, assessing the benefits, limitations, and risks of linking these two concepts, as well as exploring the synergies between the sharing economy model and the concept of CSR from the point of view of different industries, sharing segments, or regions.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Disclosure and Sustainability Transition: A New Metric and Emerging Trends in Responsible Investments<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Environmental sustainability, social engagement and robust governance gained growing attention from consumers and investors alike, leading to what we call ‘ESG finance’. ESG criteria are now shaping the behaviour and choices of enterprises, investors and consumers. Indeed laudable, the increased importance of ESG finance could raise concerns about the robustness underneath this new set of financial products. Moreover, the reliability of ESG-related data and information shared by companies may also be challenged due to the ability of those indicators to shape the public profile of companies and their attractiveness for investors. A new breed of ESG rankings and ratings is widening the metrics that consumers and investors use to make informed decisions about their consumption and investment. Yet, such rankings and ratings hinge on the individual disclosure approaches of the interested companies. This article wishes to complement available data and information about specific emissions data released by companies with the ESG disclosure levels, in particular relating to the “environment” dimension. Based on these disclosure levels, the authors build a new metric with the purpose of reducing asymmetric information and promoting more responsible investment. Starting from ESG-related data and publicly available information, a new disclosure-adjusted pollution index (namely, the GHG Scope-1 DAdj index) is developed. The second part of the article puts forward an empirical analysis on the basis of this new index, suggesting that the rush to ESG finance could be poised to generate leeway for new types of asymmetries and possible distortions in investment decision-making, also providing grounds for potentially reckless speculative attitudes, especially in the domain of product development of financial instruments that may generate new forms of risk for investors. Using the GHG Scope-1 DAdj index makes a few companies less environmentally friendly and interesting for investors who are seeking responsible and sustainable investment options. The innovative index and the empirical analysis lead the authors to suggest to “split the domains of ESG” to better gauge the relation between impact and compliance costs for companies as the individual components of environment, social engagement and governance are considered separately.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Management and Its Impact on CSR Activities in the Field of Sustainable Development<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The way in which both renewable and non-renewable resources are used, and the speed at which these are being exploited, are rapidly eroding the planet’s capacity to regenerate the resources and environmental services on which our prosperity and growth are based. The clothing and textile industry is characterized by a linear (take-make-waste) economic model and huge use of non-renewable resources. In order to integrate circular economy as one of the challenges in the clothing and textile industry, we must boost past research directly to innovation to bring about a higher quality of life for all. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has gained special importance among researchers, the business community, and customers in recent years. Today, manufacturers have to take another step forward to promote their positive social attitude and take care of their responsibility towards society. In the framework of sustainable development, CSR is carried out by achieving economic, social, or environmental goals. Consumers and shareholders currently expect a responsible approach from clothing and textile companies in the production of sustainable clothing, recycling, or ensuring suitable working conditions for employees. It is important not only to support socially responsible businesses but also to raise awareness of the negative environmental impact of the clothing and textile industry. Based on the recognition of the importance of shifting from a linear to a circular approach in the clothing and textile industry, we see potential in recycling the textile fiber in order to close the loop and use innovative technology to transform the textile waste into recycled material by keeping in mind barriers in technology. This article evaluates the social responsibility of a selected company in the field of sustainable development by setting a good example in the Slovak market through the results of a questionnaire survey.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue