EURACTIV.com Archives

  • GMO cultivation in Europe: A decade of legal battles

    Agrifood 08-08-2014

    The European Union has agreed on a new approach to the cultivation of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) which allows member states to ban or restrict GMOs in their territory. The agreement should mark the end of a decade of legal problems, but in the context of ongoing EU-US free trade negotiations, vocal GMO opposition from member states and civil society is unlikely to subside.

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

    Science & Policymaking 07-08-2014

    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.

  • Diabetes: the EU’s heavy burden

    Health 06-08-2014

    An estimated 32 million people in the European Union (8.1%) were living with diabetes in 2013. Although policymakers are now paying special attention to the issue and to obesity-related conditions more generally, health experts say more can be done to tackle what the EU considers as a chronic disease.

  • Fighting youth unemployment: an EU priority

    Social Europe & Jobs 07-07-2014

    Between 2007 and 2013, youth unemployment reached record highs across Europe, dramatically increasing from 15.7% to 23.4%, according to Eurostat. EU heads of state and government agreed in February 2013 to launch a €6 billion Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) to get more young people into work. 

  • Giving immunisation efforts a booster

    Development Policy 03-06-2014

    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 next European Commission: What challenges?

    EU Priorities 2020 14-04-2014

    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.

  • The EU top jobs: Who’s next?

    EU Elections 2014 03-02-2014

    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.

  • European elections 2014: Different this time?

    EU Elections 2014 11-09-2013

    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 spending: Added value through cooperation

    EU Priorities 2020 28-08-2013

    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.

  • German elections 2013: Don’t mention Europe

    Elections 06-08-2013

    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.

  • CAP 2014-2020: A long road to reform

    Agrifood 04-07-2013

    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.

  • Energy Efficiency Directive: Completing an energy policy puzzle

    Special Report | Science & Policymaking 02-11-2012

    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.

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

    Transport 24-09-2012

    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.

  • The Cyprus EU presidency: Breaking with tradition

    Future EU 25-06-2012

    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.

  • Smart grids: Making connections

    Energy 22-12-2011

    EU plans to move towards a low-carbon economy depend upon a transformed cross-border transmissions system that can integrate renewables and smart meters alike, offering energy consumption savings at source. But is Europe on track to meet the challenge?

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

    Future EU 22-12-2011

    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.