Science & Policymaking

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07-08-2014

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.

12-12-2013

Endocrine disruptors: Harmful or not?

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 precautionary measures are taken.

02-11-2012

Energy Efficiency Directive: Completing an energy policy puzzle

The European Union put down the last piece of the bloc's 2020 climate and energy policy puzzle by adopting an Energy Efficiency Directive. The directive is a game-changer for energy companies, which are now required to achieve 1.5% energy savings every year among their final clients. The EU law is also expected to trigger the largest revamp of Europe's existing building stock to date and set new standards for public procurement and energy audits.

10-05-2012

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

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.

Regional Policy 01-02-2011

EU Cohesion Policy 2014-2020

The cohesion policy (or regional policy) of the European Union provides a framework for financing a wide range of projects and investments with the aim of encouraging economic growth in EU member states and their regions. The policy is reviewed by the EU institutions once every seven years. The next round of programmes is to be launched in 2014.

Regional Policy 31-05-2010

Regional policy in the EU: A midterm healthcheck

EU regional policy is designed to level out economic and social disparities in the 27 member states. At the halfway point of its current regional budgetary period (2007-2013), the European Commission conducted a review assessing how well each EU country is faring in its use of cohesion funds.

10-05-2010

Food information for consumers

The EU is considering strict new food labelling rules to help consumers make healthy choices and tackle obesity, which has become a serious public health concern.

Public Affairs 26-08-2009

EU Communication Policy

Communicating with EU citizens has long been a primary concern of the European Commission, with the need to boost popular trust in the European project becoming more important following the rejection of the EU constitution by French and Dutch voters and more recently rejection of the Lisbon Treaty by the Irish.

28-07-2009

EU policymaking: Rooted in science?

European policymakers face a difficult choice when authorising new technologies such as GMOs, as they often find themselves caught between conflicting expert safety advice and calls to respect the precautionary principle when scientific evidence is insufficient.

11-05-2009

Competitiveness clusters

The European Union is seeking to promote clusters of large companies, SMEs, researchers, and other economic actors to help foster innovation, bring together a critical mass of commercial and R&D expertise and get maximum value from investment.

Agrifood 12-03-2009

Europe and global food security [Archived]

As the world's population approaches ten billion, issues like climate change, growing scarcity of oil and availability of quality land and water are challenging the planet's capacity to produce enough food for everyone - a paradigm shift that could potentially pave the way for a new global 'food crunch'.

Sports 12-03-2009

EU sport policy

Following the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty on 1 December 2009, the EU is starting major preparations to successfully implement Europe's new competence on sport and develop the bloc's first sports programme, to be launched in 2012. 

08-01-2009

Energy and climate change: Towards an integrated EU policy

At a landmark summit in December 2008, EU leaders reached agreement over an energy and climate change 'package' to deliver the bloc's ambitious objectives of slashing greenhouse-gas emissions and boosting renewable energies by 20% by 2020. The package is designed to reduce the Union's dependency on imported fuels and set the pace of "a new global industrial revolution".

07-10-2008

Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology, which concerns the study of and working with matter on an ultra-small scale, is widely perceived as one of the key technologies of the 21st century with a potential to grow into a 1 trillion euro industry within a decade. Fears are growing that the field could develop into a political battleground with fiery debates about environmental and ethical consequences and dangers - just as has happened in the field of biotechnology.

Pesticides: Striking the right balance?

Debate over the use of pesticides in agriculture is taking a new twist as an EU proposal to substitute the most dangerous substances with safer alternatives encounters opposition from farmers, who argue that bans will only exacerbate the crisis caused by rising food prices.

06-06-2008

Urban mobility research

Urban-specific research on intelligent transport systems, interoperability and land use planning is being carried out to resolve the multiple problems faced by Europe's bustling cities.

25-10-2007

EU climate change adaptation policy

With a green paper published in June 2007, the European Commission has started a public consultation on policy measures needed to lessen the impacts and costs of increasing climate change-related calamities such as floods and forest fires.

04-09-2007

The European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) [Archived]

The European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) aims to forge closer ties with countries to the South and East of the EU without offering them a membership perspective. Through this policy, the EU seeks to promote greater economic development, stability and better governance in its neighbourhood.

EU renewable energy policy

European leaders signed up to a binding EU-wide target to source 20% of their energy needs from renewables, including biomass, hydro, wind and solar power, by 2020. To meet this objective, they also agreed on a new directive to promote renewable energies, which set individual targets for each member state.

03-07-2007

EU Broadband policy

The widespread introduction of broadband at affordable prices is one of the chief objectives of the EU's i2010 action plan. Broadband technology allows users to access the Internet at high speeds via their telephone lines (DSL), cable, wireless mobile technologies and satellites. Moreover, the deployment of next generation networks, based on optical fibres, is set to put a new range of super-fast Internet services withing everyone's reach .

Sports 06-06-2007

Sports and development policy

Sport has become a global language and is internationally recognised as a way of reducing poverty and boosting development. The Commission has joined forces with FIFA to promote football as a factor for development in the ACP countries and the White Paper on Sport announces a more general use of sport as a tool in the EU development policy.

11-04-2007

Science of climate change

The scientific consensus that humans are responsible for global warming is now compelling with over 90% probability, according to the latest conclusions from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a UN-backed scientific body. But uncertainties remain surrounding the extent of future temperature rises and the effects they will have on the earth’s complex ecosystem. 

05-04-2007

Chemicals Policy review (REACH)

After years of heated debate, EU lawmakers agreed on a far-reaching proposal to review the way chemicals are approved in Europe, placing the burden on businesses to prove their products are safe before they can be placed on the market. The system, called Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of CHemicals (REACH), aims to make chemicals safer for human health and the environment and to stimulate innovation in the sector. It comes into force in June 2007.

05-03-2007

Life Sciences & Biotechnology

The EU's Life Sciences and Biotech Strategy aims to make the European biotech sector more competitive and to foster research in the areas of health care, agriculture, manufacturing and the environment.