Building the way out of the crisis

Europeans are more pessimistic about their national economies than their personal situation.

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  • Four recommendations for the EU summit

    Opinion | Future EU 26-06-2013

    EU leaders should emphasise that the best way to achieve competitiveness is innovation, education and excellence in energy efficiency. The European carbon trading system should be restored, the lower efficiency of innovation systems and universities in Europe relative to the US should be tackled, and Europe should lead in energy efficiency and alternative energies, writes Karl Aiginger.

  • Cutting energy use in Europe’s old building stock: Mission impossible?

    Policy Brief | Energy 02-06-2012

    Buildings account for over 40% of the EU's final energy demand and are a major source of greenhouse-gas emissions, making energy savings there a key element of European climate change objectives. However, it remains to be seen whether Europeans will be able to tap into the area with the single biggest potential the existing building stock.

  • Energy Performance of Buildings Directive

    Policy Brief | Energy 06-11-2009

    Buildings have an enormous role to play in the EU's attempts to slash greenhouse gas emissions, as they represent around 40% of all energy use. The EU addressed the problem by introducing minimum requirements for the energy performance of buildings, but having acknowledged that more needs to be done, it is now in the course of revising the legislation.

  • Southern countries push for common EU defence policy

    News | Defence policy 06-09-2013

    Spain, Portugal and Italy have jointly proposed to pool resources for defence spending, seeing more coordination in the military sector as an answer to the economic difficulties the European Union is facing. EURACTIV Italy reports.

  • Governments short-change energy efficiency, investors say

    News | Brexit 28-06-2013

    SPECIAL REPORT / The buildings sector is facing a huge challenge: how to encourage investment in the refurbishment of Europe’s old building stock, and for the near-zero buildings of the future? Industry sources tell EURACTIV that member states are at fault for not doing enough to stimulate a market in energy efficiency investments. 

  • Commission hamstrung in Brussels buildings renovation drive

    News | Energy 25-06-2013

    SPECIAL REPORT / The Brussels Capital Region is probably the most ambitious in Europe in terms of introducing energy efficiency in buildings, industry sources tell EURACTIV, but the European Commission’s ageing building stock has not yet reaped the benefits.

  • A wider view: Shifting paradigms in the buildings sector

    News | Sustainable Development 26-06-2013

    SPECIAL REPORT / The debate on what kinds of buildings we should live and work in is shifting, with construction experts and EU policymakers moving away from focusing simply on energy efficiency to a broader appreciation of sustainable buildings, taking into account their environmental, social and economic impact.

  • EU smart meter roll-out lags behind ambition

    News | Energy 27-06-2013

    SPECIAL REPORT / Europe’s ambitious plan for 80% market penetration of smart meters by 2020 is failing to live up to expectations. A senior energy official at the European Commission admits that market penetration is still very low, particularly in the new member states, and that there is a big shortfall in investment.

  • Energy Efficiency Directive: Completing an energy policy puzzle

    Policy Brief | 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.

  • Buildings renovation takes centre stage as debate heats up over energy efficiency targets for 2030

    News | Energy 24-06-2013

    SPECIAL REPORT / With Europe’s hard-fought over Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) coming into force next year, advocates are pushing for the EU to come forward with a target for 2030, and adopt proposals to dramatically cut energy use in Europe’s building stock by 2050.

  • Germany and the EU: a new cycle?

    Opinion | Elections 30-09-2013

    A new coalition in Germany may revamp its EU policy towards more commitment. The country's partners will have to get a better grasp of its concerns, but the new constellation can foster further progress in Europe, write Jacques Delors, Antonio Vitorino and Yves Bertoncini.

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