It’s been a busy first half of the year, so as we take a well-earned short break this summer, catch up on some of the stories that already made waves in 2018.
EURACTIV.com will keep ticking over during the break but expect normal service to resume after 20 August.
You can teach an old dog new tricks
One of the Erasmus student exchange programme’s latest enrollee’s is Miguel Castillo, an 80-year-old native of Valencia who will next week go to the Italian city of Verona as part of his university studies.
Whose round is it?
Representatives of the European Youth Forum have expressed outrage at the way the EU Bulgarian Presidency organised an EU-sponsored youth event in Sofia last week, pointing out a perfunctory approach, mismanagement and inappropriate behaviour on the part of government officials.
Clean energy on the rise
Talks on renewable energy policy in Europe reached un unexpected breakthrough early this morning after negotiators from the European Parliament and EU member states were able to reach a compromise on a 32% headline objective and a complete phase out of palm oil use in transport by 2030.
The EU’s Great Dane
In an exclusive interview, the EU’s antitrust chief, Margrethe Vestager, told EURACTIV.com that the US social network Facebook is on her radar screen but not the e-commerce giant Amazon, which is also suspected of abusing its dominant position.
Europe’s big AI push
Twenty-four EU countries pledged to band together to form a “European approach” to artificial intelligence in a bid to compete with American and Asian tech giants.
Everyone: Brexit couldn’t be more of a mess. UK: Hold my pint…
The UK government has taken the somewhat unprecedented step of translating the executive summary of its Brexit White Paper into 22 European languages.
In a recorded telephone call with a prankster impersonating Armenia’s new prime minister, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker described Russian President Vladimir Putin as his friend but said US President Donald Trump couldn’t understand what the world is about.
Opportunity in crisis
Germany turns out to be a major beneficiary of Greece’s debt crisis as it earned a total of €2.9 billion between 2010 and 2017. This emerges from a response of the Federal ministry of finance in Berlin to a parliamentary request from the Greens (Bündnis90/Die Grünen) in the German Bundestag obtained by EURACTIV.
EU army klaxon
The UK has always had a tortured relationship with the EU’s defence policy ambitions. In 2010, David Cameron’s Conservative party promised to withdraw the UK from the European Defence Agency (EDA), only to backtrack two years later.
One year ahead of the European Elections, emboldened by a recent opinion poll, the European Parliament made key announcements on Wednesday (23 May), signalling a strong preference for the Spitzenkandidaten system that was rejected by the heads of state and government..
We stayed up late for this?
Lawmakers from across the political spectrum in the European Parliament lined up on Tuesday (July 3) to criticise the results of last week’s EU summit on migration.
Pedro Sánchez and Giuseppe Conte, the freshly appointed leaders from southern Europe, are two new kids on the bloc. But they could hardly be more different: Sánchez is a breath of fresh air in Spanish and European politics while Conte is a new headache for Brussels. Both made their first appearance at the European Council on Thursday (28 June).
Portugal produced more power from clean energy sources in March than it actually needed, marking the first time in the 21st century that renewables have topped 100% of its production. But a dearth of energy connections with the rest of Europe remains problematic.
In search of a better life
Images of distressed refugees arriving on Italian shores have become increasingly familiar in recent years. EURACTIV reports on the situation on the ground in Italy.