Opinions

Politics 18-12-2017

Transforming Romania’s child protection system in partnership with civil society

Romania should use its presidency of the EU Council to champion the move from old-style care institutions to community-based child care and show other EU member states it can be done, writes Jana Hainsworth.

Electricity 18-12-2017

Decarbonising Europe: Matching aspiration with action

With renewable electricity costs going through the floor, the EU should increase its 2030 targets and aim for close to zero carbon electricity by 2040. But while power decarbonisation is crucially important, it will not be sufficient to deliver a truly zero carbon economy, writes Adair Turner.

Elections 18-12-2017

Learning from Catalonia: What criteria for independence bids?

The EU needs to establish a rational basis for determining the legitimacy of independence bids. Secession of regions should be difficult to enact, but not impossible, argue Steven Hill and Andrew Watt.

The case for a price floor in the EU ETS

The recently adopted reform of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) is insufficient to trigger cost-efficient decarbonisation of the economy, argue Christian Flachsland and Anna Leipprand. A carbon floor price that starts at a significant level and rises over time would address the problem, they write.

Economy & Jobs 15-12-2017

Mercosur free trade deal could fail yet again

The risk that the EU-Mercosur trade talks get derailed yet again is high, writes Iana Dreyer, spelling out the warning signs.

Energy 15-12-2017

EU governments are self-sabotaging the clean energy drive

On Monday (18 December), the 28 European energy ministers will risk making the transition to a low carbon economy harder for themselves and more expensive for all of us, because of their self-sabotaging tendencies, warns Manon Dufour.

Energy 14-12-2017

EU must not burn the world’s forests for ‘renewable’ energy

A flaw in Europe’s clean energy plan allows fuel from felled trees to qualify as renewable energy when in fact this would accelerate climate change and devastate forests, warn a group of scientists from the world’s leading universities.

Circular economy 14-12-2017

Europe must look beyond the Circular Economy Package

The EU’s Circular Economy Package is delivering some important progress on supporting business resource efficiency. But the circular economy will need to remain top of the agenda for many years to come if the EU is to see a step change in resource productivity, argues Nick Molho.

Electricity 14-12-2017

EU shouldn’t allow Greek violation of environmental legislation

It is no secret that the Public Power Corporation (PPC) heavily influences the Greek government, but the EU institutions should step in to prevent a violation of European environmental legislation, writes Nikos Mantzaris.

Central Europe 14-12-2017

With freedom of thought under fire, Poland drifts away from democracy

When I think about the past two years in Poland, the infamous poem by Władysław Broniewski - "Word about Stalin", written on the occasion of the Soviet dictator's 70th birthday - comes to my mind, writes Bartosz T. Wieliński.

Air Pollution 14-12-2017

Balkan coal power costing lives, urgent action is needed

More than 60,000 premature deaths in Europe could be prevented over the next decade if urgent action is taken on air pollution from Europe’s dirtiest coal-fired power plants, write Dragana Mileusnić and Ioana Ciuta.

Brexit 14-12-2017

Brexit: The long and winding road

‘Live horse and you’ll get grass’ is an old Irish proverb used in the context of vague promises of future benefits. This is precisely where Ireland stands with the vague promises on the Irish border issue, writes Dick Roche.

Economy & Jobs 13-12-2017

An EU fund for industrial relations could strengthen Social Europe

On 17 November, EU leaders met with social partners in Gothenburg, Sweden, to discuss how to foster more and better jobs and growth in Europe. Karl-Petter Thorwaldsson, Eva Nordmark and Göran Arrius describe how the EU should now proceed.

Enlargement 12-12-2017

Four (and a half) reasons why Schengen would be better off with Bulgaria and Romania

The refusal to extend the Schengen area to Bulgaria and Romania is a blatant example of lack of solidarity, disrespect for commitments and disregard for the EU’s own decision-making process, writes Sergei Stanishev.

Brexit 12-12-2017

Unions across Europe want a Brexit deal to work for working people

This week’s European Council summit looks certain to give the green light to the EU to open negotiations on a new relationship with the UK. Frances O’Grady and Luca Visentini explain what trade unions in the EU and the UK want from the future deal.

Climate change 12-12-2017

Room for hope at Macron’s One Planet Summit

French President Emmanuel Macron will this week welcome over 50 leaders from around the world, two years after the adoption of the Paris Agreement. Leaders and international financial institutions must seize this opportunity to ramp up their ambition and end support for fossil fuels, writes Maeve McLynn.

Combat digestive diseases with tighter controls on the alcohol and food industry

You are what you eat, the saying goes, but what about what we drink? Dietary regulations across Europe need to be stricter if digestive disease rates are to fall, writes Thierry Ponchon.

Agrifood 12-12-2017

Back to the future: An agricultural conundrum

A drive through the rural areas of the EU is an adventure in landscapes, cuisine, culture and history. The countryside has also been a driver of economic and societal development in the EU since its foundation. With almost 40% of the EU budget going towards the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), its significance cannot be underestimated, writes Fiona Lally.

Agrifood 12-12-2017

A yearly haggling over the North-East Atlantic quotas

Europe is fast approaching a 2020 deadline by when fishing at sustainable levels will become the rule. In the EU alone, restoring stocks, would result in an estimated 2 million tonnes increase in catches per year, contributing €5 billion more per year to EU economies, explains Lasse Gustavsson.

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Health 12-12-2017

Drugs incentives have saved lives in Europe

Without strong incentives to spur continued investment in medical innovation, we cannot hope to ensure the sustainability of European healthcare systems and fulfil the promise of our great union, writes Jan Fischer.

Economy & Jobs 11-12-2017

European Solidarity Corps caught in contradictions

In September 2016, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker unexpectedly announced the creation of a European Solidarity Corps. A welcome proposal, but it has been hijacked for enhancing employability instead of focusing on personal development, writes Florian Sanden.

Energy 11-12-2017

Building renovation can become ‘Europe’s biggest jobs programme’

The EU’s next long-term budget for 2021-2027 offers a unique opportunity to demonstrate the tangible benefits that EU policies and funding can deliver to citizens on the ground, argues Adrian Joyce.

Economy & Jobs 11-12-2017

Deepening the EMU, but not at the expense of regions

In its package on deepening the EMU unveiled on 6 December, the Commission proposed to amend the Common Provisions Regulation. It's a piece of legislation that sets a single framework of rules for all the Structural and Investment Funds, whose main recipients are the European regions - write Francesco Molica and Nikos Lampropoulos.

Brexit 08-12-2017

Tories sleepwalk towards soft Brexit

The UK government was deluded when it thought reaching a deal would be easy. It is deluded now in underestimating the concession it has made, writes Conor Quinn.