Politics

Brexit 03-06-2015

The UK’s EU referendum: On the path to Brexit?

Following the Conservative Party’s victory in the 2015 general election, the UK is set to hold an in/out referendum on its membership of the European Union before the end of 2017.

Brexit 07-05-2015

Europe ‘à la carte’: The whats and whys behind UK opt-outs

Since becoming a member in 1973, the United Kingdom has negotiated opt-outs on key parts of EU legislation, and a sizeable rebate from the EU annual budget. But do they really serve the best interests of the UK and Europe?

Britain at a crossroads
Brexit 11-03-2015

Voting on Brexit: The EU issues shaping the UK election

The May 7 UK general election will go a long way towards deciding whether Britain will stay in the European Union, or choose to leave, after forty years of uneasy relations.

"Je suis Charlie" - mourning at the French Embassy in Berlin for the victims of the massacre at the French magazine "Charlie Hebdo"

From 9/11 to Charlie Hebdo: The EU’s response to terrorism

The European Union has pledged closer cooperation in the fight against terrorism following the killing at Charlie Hebdo, building on measures already taken in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the US, and subsequent bombings in Madrid and London. EURACTIV gives a round-up of existing and upcoming initiatives.

EU Priorities 2020 26-09-2014

The Juncker Commission 2014-2019

After months of deliberation, Commission President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker presented his team, and the new executive structure, on 10 September.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

When science meets politics: the EU’s impact assessment review

The European Commission is reviewing its impact assessment guidelines amid accusations that science is becoming increasingly politicised and scientists manipulated by policymakers and powerful interest groups.

European Commission Berlaymont sign [Photo: Frédéric Simon]
EU Priorities 2020 14-04-2014

The next European Commission: What challenges?

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.

EU Elections 2014 03-02-2014

The EU top jobs: Who’s next?

On 22-25 May, EU citizens 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.

EU Elections 2014 11-09-2013

European elections 2014: Different this time?

After the financial and sovereign debt crisis, state bailouts and budget cuts, the May 2014 European elections were 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.

EU Priorities 2020 28-08-2013

EU spending: Added value through cooperation

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.

Elections 06-08-2013

German elections 2013: Don’t mention Europe

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 it to the Social Democrats or a new coalition. In the run up to the elections, Europe has largely remained off the agenda.

Agrifood 04-07-2013

CAP 2014-2020: A long road to reform

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.

EU Priorities 2020 19-06-2013

The Lithuanian EU Presidency – ‘A fresh Baltic breeze’

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.

Development Policy 08-03-2013

Agenda for Change: EU’s helping hand gets an overhaul

Europe’s new overseas aid policy, the Agenda for Change, calls for giving the world’s most fragile nations more help through what Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs calls “more strategic, targeted and results-oriented” assistance. But some anti-poverty campaigners say there is a risk that the agenda could end up neglecting impoverished people in emerging and middle-income nations.

Elections 19-02-2013

Italian elections 2013: A nation at a crossroads [Archived]

Italians head to the polls on 24-25 February to replace a technocratic government charged with halting the country’s economic and fiscal decline. But after wearying months of austerity and instability, voters appeared to have no clear favourite among familiar faces as well as wildcard candidates. EURACTIV Italia reports.

Med & South 25-01-2013

Euroscepticism: More than a British phenomenon

With Prime Minister David Cameron having vowed to hold a referendum on UK membership of the EU, Britain's penchant for EU bashing is well publicised. But there are political parties in other member states which are far from in love with the European project, and whose stance against integration has been fanned by the worsening of the economic crisis.

Digital 19-11-2012

Cybersecurity: Protecting the digital economy

Online security cannot be taken for granted as hackers and cyber attackers continue to outdo software engineers. Although there are means of beefing up security, including hardware and server backups, remote security controls, filtering and encryption, the scale and risk of attacks is becoming more pronounced and political.

Transport 24-09-2012

Europe’s rails: A bumpy ride to a single market

Two decades into the European single market, getting people or goods from one part of the European Union to another on trains remains a challenge – despite rail's potential in reducing traffic pollution and congestion. The European Commission is considering new ways to reach the end station of a common railway market.

EU Priorities 2020 21-09-2012

EU budget 2014-2020: The €1 trillion deal

Is €1 trillion too much or not enough to fund the many activities of the European Union for the next seven years? This is the main question that European institutions and the 27 member countries’ leaders will have to answer early next year.

Future EU 25-06-2012

The Cyprus EU presidency: Breaking with tradition

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.

Europe's East 08-05-2012

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

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.

Future EU 22-12-2011

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

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.

Future EU 15-12-2011

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

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.

Public Affairs 14-09-2011

The press in Europe: Freedom and pluralism at risk

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.