Trade & Society

29-06-2015

TTIP’s regulatory maze

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), dubbed a second-generation trade deal in the wake of the moribund WTO Doha negotiations, seeks to go beyond conventional tariffs and quotas, by strengthening the international order through greater regulatory cooperation.

13-01-2015

TTIP for dummies

In the wake of the global economic crisis and the deadlocked Doha round of international trade talks, the EU and the United States started negotiating a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, which seeks to go beyond traditional trade deals and create a genuine transatlantic single market. But the road ahead is paved with hurdles.

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.

Health 16-08-2012

Changing consumer behaviour to sustainability

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.

26-04-2011

What goes around comes around: Recycling and climate change

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.

Services of General Interest in the EU

Water, energy, health, telecoms and transport are among the most widely-known examples of services that public authorities consider of general interest and subject to specific public service obligations. 

Health 07-07-2010

Counterfeit medicines: A growing health threat

The dangers of fake medicines are due to be addressed in upcoming EU legislation but an international solution may be needed to solve a problem with global implications.

26-02-2009

European Year of Creativity and Innovation

The European Commission has received much praise for putting innovation and creativity at the centre of attention in 2009, but it remains to be seen whether the special year can go beyond mere symbolism and deliver concrete results at a time when Europe is engulfed in a global economic recession.

27-01-2009

EU industry and the ‘carbon leakage’ threat

Fears that tighter controls on CO2 emissions in Europe will drive factories to relocate abroad has led the EU to grant sweeping exemptions for industries deemed to be at risk. Aluminium, steel, iron and cement producers are likely to benefit from the preferential regime.

28-04-2008

Biofuels, Trade and Sustainability

The lack of internationally-agreed criteria for sustainable biofuels production and the muddle of different government measures aimed at sheltering domestic markets are holding back growth in the global biofuels trade and could stunt EU progress towards its goal of gradually replacing oil for transport.

27-08-2007

Funding energy efficiency in the EU

EURACTIV examines the different ways in which energy efficiency improvements are funded in Europe, whereby  EU funds are only a small part of a large equation that includes market-based instruments, bank financing and private sector initiatives. 

30-05-2007

Pros and cons of reviving Doha [Archived]

After a six-month total break-down in WTO negotiations on freeing up global trade, world leaders agreed, in January 2007, to revive the talks, but hopes to clinch a deal ahead of crucial US elections - are waning as hardliners refuse to soften their stance. Some fear talks may collapse completely if a breakthrough is not achieved by then.

Digital 26-04-2007

Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights

In the face of the rising counterfeiting and piracy across Europe, the Commission is proposing a historical but controversial Directive that would - for the first time ever - force member states to adjust their penal codes and establish harmonised criminal sanctions against IPR-infringers.

19-01-2007

Implementing the EU’s new chemicals law (REACH)

Following Parliament and Council’s final agreement on REACH in late 2006, the focus has now shifted to the implementation of the EU's chemicals legislation.

Central Europe 10-01-2007

Geopolitics of EU energy supply

As one of the world's largest importers of oil, gas and coal, the EU is a major player on the international energy market - However, it remains a dwarf on the political stage as member states keep the upper hand on foreign policy. With external dependence on imports forecast to grow steadily, the EU has started to integrate energy aspects into relations with third countries. EURACTIV brings an overview of relations with key regions for supply and transit.

Energy Green Paper: What energy policy for Europe?

The Commission opened the debate on a future common European Energy Policy with the publication of a 'Green Paper' in March 2006. Suggestions include completing the opening of European gas and electricity markets and stepping up relations with major suppliers such as Russia and OPEC. Other key suggestions include boosting renewable energies, energy efficiency, and research on low-carbon technologies. However, EU member states have already made clear that they would not tolerate interference with national sovereignty, especially when it comes to taking sensitive political decisions such as opting for nuclear power.

Agrifood 04-01-2007

Biomass Action Plan

Bioenergies are derived from wood, waste and agricultural crops for transport uses (biofuels). Currently, the EU meets about 4% of its energy needs from biomass. The main objective of the Biomass Action Plan, put forward in December 2005, is to double this share by 2010. The plan would reduce oil imports by 8%, prevent greenhouse gas emissions worth 209 million tons CO2-equivalent per year and create up to 300,000 new jobs in the agricultural and forestry sector.

EU Forest Action Plan

On 15 June 2006, the Commission adopted a five-year (2007-2013) action plan to enhance sustainable forestry management and improve the competitiveness of the European forestry industry.

Brexit 10-10-2006

Carbon capture and storage

Capturing carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and storing it underground is seen as a crucial technology to reduce the global warming impact of fossil fuels such as coal and gas, on which the world will continue to rely for decades.

02-08-2006

The WTO Doha Development Round

After six years of troubled negotiations, the Doha Development Round, aimed at freeing global trade and at extending the benefits of globalisation to developing countries, has yet to come to a successful conclusion.

02-08-2006

Energy, competitiveness and the environment

A group of top regulators and industry executives operates at EU level to advise the Commission on policy initiatives related to energy, competitiveness and the environment. The need for massive new energy infrastructure investments and shortcomings in EU gas and electricity markets feature among the topics being dealt with by the group. The EU emissions trading scheme is also being reviewed to make sure it does not put European industries at a disadvantage to international competitors.

Languages & Culture 19-12-2005

The publishing industry [Archive]

DG Information Society has made boosting the competitiveness of the European print industry a priority. To this end, the Commission held, in autumn 2005, a consultation to gather stakeholders' views on the policies needed for the industry. 

Sustainable trade

Sustainable trade implies a trading system that does not harm the environment or deteriorate social conditions while promoting economical growth.

Agrifood 16-09-2002

CAP and world trade [Archived]

The European Union is fully committed to the World Trade Organization (WTO) process for reducing trade-distorting agricultural subsidies and a progressive reform of agricultural policies. However, it also expects its WTO partners to take into account the European model of agriculture, which puts great emphasis on non-trade concerns, such as environmental protection, food security and rural development.