In the autumn of 2014, a new team of commissioners will take charge of the EU executive. As Europe's economic storms calm down, the next Commission can set its sights on a number of long-term challenges when drafting its programme. An overview of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
Since 2000, 440 million children have been immunised against preventable diseases – and an estimated 6 million deaths have been avoided. But 22.6 million children are still not vaccinated and 1.5 million children under-5-years-old die annually from preventable diseases. Changing this picture may require action, not least on vaccine prices.
The number one killer in Europe, cardiovascular disease, is set to become an even greater burden on the already recession-hit continent's health systems. Therefore, the Commission is now trying to tackle the growing problem with different initiatives and health programmes.
On 22-25 May, EU citizens will cast their ballots to elect 751 members of the European Parliament. But MEPs will not be the only ones to perform a game of musical chairs: 2014 will also bring about change in many of the top positions in the EU executive.
Rising levels of cancers and fertility problems have attracted scientists’ attention to endocrine disrupting chemicals, with some calling for strict regulation of the substances, in line with the precautionary principle. Others meanwhile, stress the worthiness of those chemicals in everyday products such as plastics and warn that the foundations of science risk being turned upside down if
After the financial and sovereign debt crisis, state bailouts and budget cuts, the May 2014 European elections are expected to take the pulse of public confidence towards the European Union. For the first time, voters will also indirectly choose the next president of the European Commission, giving citizens a fresh chance to shape the future of Europe.
Does one euro spent at the EU level bring more benefits than if it’s spent at the national or regional level? This is a question that will dominate in the coming months as policymakers try once more to make the case to increase the EU’s own resources and redraft the funding map to boost sustainable growth and jobs.
The European Union’s economic and financial challenges left the bloc in no doubt that its most populous member state is also its most politically powerful. On 22 September 2013, Germans will decide in a federal election whether that power remains within its current ruling conservative coalition led by incumbent Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), or whether to entrust
Politicians approved in June 2013 an agreement on the first large reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in a decade, after months of haggling over how ambitious to make the policy on overhauling direct payments, ending quotas, and making farmers more environmentally accountable. The long road to a deal means that many policies will not come into force before 2015.
Lithuania, a country of 3.2 million which joined the EU in 2004, will assume its first presidency of the Council of the European Union on 1 July. Lithuania considers itself one of the most successful countries to overcome the economic and financial crisis and to return to sustained recovery and growth. It is the first Baltic country to take the EU stint.