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.
The EU's new Consumer Rights Directive is designed to drag consumer rights legislation into the 21st Century by creating legal certainty for businesses and better protecting online shoppers in particular. But EU policymakers are currently at loggerheads over the scope of the draft law.
A growing number of international institutions and agreements are attempting to tackle the world's major challenges: economic, environmental or security. What is the EU's role in this emerging world order?
Airlines have committed to ramping up their use of biofuels in the belief that they can contribute to achieving the sector's pledges on carbon-neutral growth. For 2050, the EU foresees 40% use of "sustainable low carbon fuels" in aviation.
The EU is putting in place an ambitious energy policy in a bid to improve security of supplies and achieve bold CO2 reduction targets. But how does the EU decision-making process function on energy-related issues? And what is the role of the industry sector and interest groups?
The European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) is the EU's foremost instrument of direct democracy and the first of its kind in a transnational context. Introduced by the Lisbon Treaty, will be used from 1 April 2012.
Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs is a European Union pilot programme that pays new entrepreneurs to learn from experienced businesspeople in other member states. The European Commission wants to make it permanent, with a lot more financial fire-power, to boost cross-border trade.
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.
High-speed Internet for all - including on mobile phones - and lower consumer prices are the main highlights of the European Commission's digital agenda, a five-year plan to ensure higher connectivity for EU citizens and business.
Budget talks, farm reform and economic governance top the agenda of Hungary's EU presidency, but the country's six-month stint at the bloc's helm has been overshadowed by criticism of a controversial media law adopted by Budapest.
Switzerland is the third largest economic partner of the EU, after the USA and China. Switzerland is able to participate in the EU's single market thanks to a series of bilateral agreements. This approach suits the Swiss confederation, but its complexity has become problematic for the EU and attempts are now under way to simplify the relationship.
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.
Fast-growing economies such as China and India could provide lucrative new markets for Europe's pharmaceutical industry, but emerging nations are investing heavily in their own medicines sector and look set to challenge Western dominance of the healthcare market.
Several pipeline projects are competing with one another to bring to life the southern gas corridor – a vague blueprint to supply Europe with gas from the Caspian and the Middle East. EURACTIV takes a look at the various European initiatives, including their common competitor: Russia's South Stream project.
The first half of 2013 will witness the Council and Parliament finalising the Commission's new proposals for updating the directive on information to patients on medicines. The new regime that this ushers in will aim to tackle almost half of Europe's patients, who are 'health illiterates'.
Policymakers worldwide are at loggerheads over how to crack down on cyber-criminals, unlawful content and illegal downloading. But laws have been slow to arrive as legislators try to reconcile fundamental rights and Internet security.