Policy Briefs

  • What is the EU doing about truck CO2 emissions?

    Transport 07-04-2016

    Pressure is mounting on manufacturers to lower carbon dioxide emissions from trucks, buses and coaches. The European Commission is planning to introduce the first EU-wide standards to measure CO2 from heavy duty vehicles this summer, as a first step to regulate emissions.

  • Industry 4.0: The future of manufacturing is here

    Innovation & Industry 21-03-2016

    The European Commission is preparing an action plan for publication in April to mobilise an estimated €25 billion to harness the potential of the fourth industrial revolution, euractiv.com has learned.

  • Cities, regions and climate change

    Climate change 26-10-2015

    Cities and regions are leading the fight against global warming, calling for the EU to be zero carbon by 2050, as world leaders prepare for the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP21) in November.

  • TTIP’s regulatory maze

    Trade & Society 29-06-2015

    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.

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

    Brexit 03-06-2015

    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.

  • The energy conundrum in Bulgaria and Greece

    Energy 11-05-2015

    Bulgaria and Greece are hard nuts to crack when it comes to implementing EU energy legislation and integrating with the wider European energy market. These two countries illustrate the difficulties of building an Energy Union.

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

    Brexit 07-05-2015

    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?

  • Voting on Brexit: The EU issues shaping the UK election

    Brexit 11-03-2015

    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.

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

    Justice & Home Affairs 14-01-2015

    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.

  • TTIP for dummies

    Trade & Society 13-01-2015

    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.

  • Europe’s re-industrialisation agenda: A green policy U-turn?

    Energy 12-11-2014

    European leaders are in broad agreement over the need to relaunch manufacturing industries. But walking the talk implies trade-offs and a possible u-turn – on climate, and energy policies, in particular – that some warn could put future growth at risk.

  • Cholesterol: The overlooked chronic disease

    Health 05-11-2014

    Europeans suffer from the highest bad cholesterol in the world, with a prevalence of 54% for both sexes, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). However, the chronic disease continues to be neglected by policymakers, in favour of other long-term illnesses.

  • The Juncker Commission 2014-2019

    EU Priorities 2020 26-09-2014

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

  • Air pollution rules for ‘non-road mobile machinery’

    Sustainable Development 12-09-2014

    Noxious emissions from everyday cars and trucks have long been regulated at European level. But the European Commission believes pollution from so-called non-road mobile machinery – which includes everything from bulldozers to chainsaws – is a problem and is proposing new emission limits on them.

  • 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.

  • Cardiovascular disease: Social and economic impacts

    Health 26-02-2014

    The number one killer in Europe, cardiovascular disease, is set to become an even greater burden on the already recession-hit continent's health systems. Therefore, the Commission is now trying to tackle the growing problem with different initiatives and health programmes.

  • 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.

  • Endocrine disruptors: Harmful or not?

    Science & Policymaking 12-12-2013

    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.

  • 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.