LinksDossiers

  • Changing consumer behaviour to sustainability

    Health 16-08-2012

    Concerns about the sustainability of natural resources are rising, prompting policymakers and companies to encourage consumers to think green. Labelling is one way of doing this, but consumer groups advise against confronting shoppers with too much information and warn that green claims aren't always independently verified.

  • The Cyprus EU presidency: Breaking with tradition

    Future EU 25-06-2012

    The Cyprus EU presidency in the second half of 2012 will provide political leadership to the Union but “not in the traditional way”, officials say. Rather, it will be a “Brussels-based presidency”, with most of the country's officials operating from the European capital and focusing on EU affairs. Meanwhile, the island's long-standing reunification talks with Turkey will be dealt with on a separate track.

  • Cutting energy use in Europe’s old building stock: Mission impossible?

    Special Report | Energy 02-06-2012

    Buildings account for over 40% of the EU's final energy demand and are a major source of greenhouse-gas emissions, making energy savings there a key element of European climate change objectives. However, it remains to be seen whether Europeans will be able to tap into the area with the single biggest potential the existing building stock.

  • REACH chemical safety review: Re-opening a can of worms?

    Science & Policymaking 10-05-2012

    Five years after its adoption, the European Commission is preparing to review the controversial REACH regulation, which for the first time required chemical manufacturers to justify that their products are safe for consumers before placing them on the market.

  • Visa-free travel for the EU’s East: The next frontier

    Europe's East 08-05-2012

    The EU has gained valuable experience in recent years in achieving visa-free travel for the citizens living in its neighbourhood. After the countries of the Western Balkans, the next on their way toward achieving visa-free travel are its eastern partners, with Russia, Ukraine and Moldova leading the way. However, this goal is unlikely to be achieved in the short term.

  • Austerity: Healthcare in hardship

    Special Report | Active ageing 09-03-2012

    Healthcare budgets constitute one of the largest chunks of public expenditure throughout the EU, and the associated industry is considered one of Europe’s success stories. Europeans consider healthcare as one of the benchmarks that sets the continent apart in terms of quality of life from other nations. But the ageing demographic, and the shock of the financial crisis have brought the contrast between Europe’s ideals and reality sharply into focus.

  • Digital agenda: Connecting the EU

    Special Report | Innovation & Industry 05-03-2012

    High-speed Internet for all - including on mobile phones - and lower consumer prices are the main highlights of the European Commission's digital agenda, a five-year plan to ensure higher connectivity for EU citizens and business.

  • Smart grids: Making connections

    Energy 22-12-2011

    EU plans to move towards a low-carbon economy depend upon a transformed cross-border transmissions system that can integrate renewables and smart meters alike, offering energy consumption savings at source. But is Europe on track to meet the challenge?

  • The Danish EU presidency: Bridge over troubled water [Archived]

    Future EU 22-12-2011

    With the euro debt crisis, Denmark's presidency of the EU council coincides with one of the most difficult moments in the Union's history. As Denmark is not member of the euro zone, it is prepared to take a back seat in the troubleshooting effort, but would strive to keep the countries from both sides united - "a bridge over troubled water" as European Affairs Minister Nicolai Wammen described it.

  • EU-Ukraine relations: A geopolitical test

    Special Report | Enlargement 16-12-2011

    The European Union and Ukraine have been long-negotiating an Association Agreement tied with an unprecedentedly far-reaching free trade deal. At stake is not only the economic partnership, but also the country's political future, caught between historic ties with Moscow and uncertain prospects of prosperity and 'Europeanisation' with Brussels.

  • Europe’s new treaty: Towards a multi-speed Union

    Future EU 15-12-2011

    All 27 EU countries – except Britain and the Czech Republic – have agreed on a new treaty for tighter fiscal discipline and deeper economic integration to save the euro currency. The treaty came into force on 1 January 2013.

  • Offsetting carbon: The UN’s Joint Implementation scheme (JI)

    Climate change 28-09-2011

    As part of the Kyoto Protocol, the United Nations developed a market-based mechanism called Joint Implementation (JI) which allows rich nations to obtain credits for carbon reduction projects in "transition" economies such as Russia, Ukraine and the EU's former communist states. But the system is complex to manage and has yielded little results so far, raising questions about its continuation after Kyoto expires.

  • The press in Europe: Freedom and pluralism at risk

    Public Affairs 14-09-2011

    The European Union has long been hailed as one of the areas of the world with the greatest press freedom. However, NGOs and international organisations warn that this may be under threat as the media becomes increasingly concentrated in ever fewer hands and some governments engage in politically-motivated lawsuits and outright censorship.

  • Fertilisers: Feeding agriculture’s growing needs

    Agrifood 09-09-2011

    World fertiliser production is expected to soar to keep up with rising food and biofuel output, but this also triggers environmental problems as fertiliser sucks up energy and trigger water and soil pollution.

  • Efficient energy: Making savings at source

    Special Report | Regional Policy 19-08-2011

    European efforts to increase energy efficiency have so far primarily focused on measures to improve end-use efficiency, and the potential to reduce huge losses that occur in the production and delivery of power have largely been ignored.

  • Intensive farming: Ecologically sustainable?

    Special Report | Agrifood 22-07-2011

    As demand for food rises along with the world's population, policymakers are looking at ways of intensifying crop production while reducing the negative impact of farming on the environment.

  • Consumer empowerment: Helping shoppers to buy green [Archived]

    Special Report | Health 13-07-2011

    As pressure mounts to lead sustainable lifestyles, policymakers and companies alike are mulling new ways of encouraging shoppers to buy green. But consumer groups warned against confronting shoppers with too much information and warned that companies' green claims are often not independently verified. 

  • Keeping cool with refrigerants: The F-gas review

    Sustainable Development 13-07-2011

    Fluorinated gases power the world's refrigerants and air conditioning systems, and make up around 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions. But if business continues as usual, by 2050 they could be responsible for between 9%-19% of global emissions, prompting EU policymakers to take action to contain leakage or even ban their use.

  • Eating green? Food, drinks and the environment [Archived]

    Health 08-07-2011

    Food multinationals are showing increasing interest in measuring their water and carbon footprint but the proliferation of green claims often leaves consumers wondering about sustainable food choices.

  • Behind closed doors: Air quality in buildings

    Special Report | Climate change 15-06-2011

    Restrictions on tobacco smoke and the Asbestos scandal have put indoor air quality under the spotlight in the recent past, resulting in tough policies to stop damage to human health. While tobacco continues to be the biggest health culprit, nowadays attention is also turning to "chemical cocktails," toxic fumes from heating and cooking, and damp and mould caused by poor ventilation.

  • The Polish EU Presidency: Budget and solidarity [Archived]

    Economy & Jobs 10-06-2011

    Paving the way for an "ambitious" agreement on the 2014-2020 budget, energy security and the European Union's Eastern neighbourhood are all key priorities of the Polish EU Presidency during the second half of 2011. The Poles, for their part, have pulled all the stops to ensure that the Union remains committed to redistributive policies at a time of economic austerity.

  • New skills and jobs: Mind the gap

    Social Europe & Jobs 28-04-2011

    Matching workers' skills with the demands of employers is seen as crucial to boosting employment rates, restoring growth and tackle looming labour shortages in sectors like health care, science and the green economy.

  • What goes around comes around: Recycling and climate change

    Trade & Society 26-04-2011

    Recycling has become a central part of the EU's climate change strategy by helping the bloc to tackle the nearly three billion tonnes of waste produced by Europe annually, much of which enters the atmosphere in the form of CO2 and methane emissions from landfill sites and incineration plants.

  • The battle for EU consumer rights

    Health 14-04-2011

    The EU's new Consumer Rights Directive is designed to drag consumer rights legislation into the 21st Century by creating legal certainty for businesses and better protecting online shoppers in particular. But EU policymakers are currently at loggerheads over the scope of the draft law.