Interviews

Agrifood 07-07-2020

Green party insists no U-turn on gene-editing despite recent dissent

Following a paper in which a group of German Green MPs and one MEP unexpectedly backed the use of gene-editing technologies, EURACTIV spoke to MEP Martin Häusling, agriculture spokesman for the Greens/EFA in the European Parliament, who stressed that nothing has changed for the party, which has historically been vocally opposed to the technology.
Health 07-07-2020

EURORDIS: Rare diseases need more centralised processes within the EU

Future improvement of the EU Orphan Medicines Regulation (OMP) could involve more centralised processes for all rare diseases at the EU level, the European Organisation for Rare Diseases  (EURORDIS) told EURACTIV in a written interview.

Green MEP: Migration pact could enshrine injustice in law

About a year ago, German captain Carola Rackete was arrested for docking 53 people rescued from a shipwrecked vessel in the port of Lampedusa, against the instructions of the Italian authorities. MEP Erik Marquardt spoke with EURACTIV Germany about what has changed since then and the role of civil society and politics.
Economy & Jobs 03-07-2020

Regional leader: Without cohesion, Europe cannot stand

As the EU faces the deepest recession in its history, the bloc's long-contested Cohesion Policy – its regional development instrument – has now become central to the recovery plan. EURACTIV spoke about it with the President of the European Committee of the Regions, Apostolos Tzitzikostas.

Pascal Canfin: On gas and nuclear, EU must apply green finance taxonomy

Whether in the European recovery plan or the just transition fund, Pascal Canfin says he is in favour of applying the EU sustainable finance taxonomy, which allows drawing a line between gas projects that merit public funding and those that don’t.
Economy & Jobs 29-06-2020

Mastercard senior executive: ‘We want to help to achieve European sovereignty’

The European Commission will unveil later this year a strategy to integrate the retail payment sector in Europe and reduce dependency on third-country credit card firms. Mastercard, one of those players, is supportive of the EU strategy, its senior executive, Jason Lane, told EURACTIV.
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Europe's East 29-06-2020

Tokayev: the development and prosperity of Kazakhstan is in our hands

Having become president of Kazakhstan after a landslide election victory a year ago, and recently returned from Moscow, where at the invitation of President Vladimir Putin he participated in a parade to mark the 75th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev gave an interview to the popular newspaper Ana Tili.
Non-discrimination 29-06-2020

Dalli: ‘There is structural racism also inside the Commission’

Helena Dalli is the first European Commissioner for Equality, an issue to which she dedicated a big part of her life. In an interview with EURACTIV, she said that racism is “alive” in Europe, and called for "thinking 'out of the box'" to address the structural biases inside the Commission.
Global Europe 22-06-2020

Georgia looking for EU formal statement on ‘European perspective,’ party boss says

Georgia hopes it will "quite soon formally get a statement about the so-called European perspective", the executive secretary of the ruling Georgian Dream party and former chairman of the Eastern European country's parliament told EURACTIV in an interview.
Economy & Jobs 18-06-2020

Montchalin: €500 billion in budgetary allocations to ‘be maintained at all costs’

Ahead of tomorrow's EU summit (19 June), France's European Affairs Minister Amélie de Montchalin told EURACTIV's partner Ouest-France in an interview that the EU27, including the "frugal four", are moving towards accepting an EU recovery programme, but that it would not work without reforms and long-term investment.
Coronavirus 18-06-2020

Invest in digital tools to help avoid future crises, say intensive care experts

Investment in digital infrastructure and better coordination between data scientists and healthcare professionals can play a key role in the prevention of a second wave of coronavirus and future pandemics, healthcare professionals have told EURACTIV.
Botswana 18-06-2020

Botswana’s virus food prep puts long-term plans on hold

“Botswana has not been spared by the wave of COVID-19,” says Jimmy Opelo, Permanent Secretary at Botswana’s agricultural ministry, who revealed how his country has had to change its tack on farm policymaking due to the pandemic.
Energy 16-06-2020

Expert: ‘Lack of trust’ hampers energy efficiency services industry

Lack of trust and information about energy performance contracts are the most frequently cited reasons why some municipalities have become sceptical about energy service companies (ESCOs). In the future, greater standardisation should help overcome issues, says Nick Keegan.

EU green finance czar: ‘Obvious’ that companies should report on climate risk

Reporting on greenhouse gas emissions should become mandatory "as soon as possible" for companies with more than 250 employees, argues Michèle Lacroix, an EU expert who helped design the EU's landmark green finance taxonomy.
Digital 11-06-2020

MEP: Europe’s digital education strategy is key to future recovery

As part of the European Commission's recently revised long-term budget proposal, an increased outlay could go towards the digital up-skilling and re-skilling of citizens. EURACTIV caught up with MEP Victor Negrescu to talk about why this issue has risen to the top of the EU agenda.
Economy & Jobs 10-06-2020

Ex-Eurogroup boss: Nobody is so stupid to propose to ‘just go back under 3% deficit’

As one of the most influential Eurogroup figures during the previous crisis, Thomas Wieser chaired the preparatory meetings of eurozone finance ministers between 2011 and 2018. In an interview with EURACTIV, the American-Austrian economist described the EU’s fiscal rules as “bad practical economics”, in particular for handling a crisis such as the current one.
Electricity 04-06-2020

RWE-E.ON deal will run smaller firms out of the market, green power boss claims

The European Commission’s decision to approve an agreement between Germany’s big power firms risks distorting energy market competition, according to the head of another company, who explained to EURACTIV Germany why he has started legal action.
Agrifood 03-06-2020

Agriculture has fundamental role to play in fighting climate change, says French socialist MEP

In an interview with EURACTIV's partner Le Journal de l'environnement, French socialist MEP Éric Andrieu (S&D) said that climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic make it necessary to put agriculture back at the heart of the debate and to change the agricultural model with targeted tools and resources.

SEDE rapporteur: EU badly needs common rules, transparency in arms export

The EU is currently the second-largest arms supplier in the world, after the US and before Russia, and a new European Parliament report by MEP Hannah Neumann (Greens) is set to urge the Commission and member states to address concerns over the lack of transparency and common arms export rules across the bloc.
EU-China 29-05-2020

Breton: With better information from China and WHO, we would have been better prepared

Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton, told EURACTIV.com in an interview that Europe could have been better prepared to face the COVID-19 if China and the World Health Organisation had offered “better and more reliable information earlier”.

Disarmament expert: EU isn’t doing enough on arms control

Europe is a hotspot for nuclear weapons and has put the safety of its citizens in the hands of Trump and Putin. Instead, it needs to take the lead in the campaign towards nuclear disarmament, Beatrice Fihn told EURACTIV in...
Future EU 26-05-2020

Volt MEP: Abolishing unanimity is key to making the EU more effective

The coronavirus crisis has once again shown that reforms of "the basic structure" of the EU are necessary, including abolishing unanimity in the European Council, to strengthen the EU's ability to act, German MEP Damian Boeselager (Volt) told EURACTIV Germany in an interview.
Global Europe 24-05-2020

Byung-Chul Han: COVID-19 has reduced us to a ‘society of survival’

“Survival will become an absolute, as though we were living in a permanent state of war”. That is how South Korean philosopher Byung-Chul Han described the world after COVID-19, in an interview with Efe: “a society of survival that loses all sense of the good life”, one where “enjoyment is also sacrificed for health”.
Freedom of thought 22-05-2020

UN freedom of speech rapporteur must wear several hats, says Bulgarian candidate

Iveta Cherneva, a Bulgarian author who writes about security, politics, human rights, and sustainability, and a EURACTIV contributor, has been shortlisted for the position of the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of speech.
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