EURACTIV’s summer picks

If you're short of something to read on the beach, we're sure you'll find something interesting here. [Shutterstock]

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

Octogenarian Spaniard enrols in Erasmus scheme

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?

European Youth conference under Bulgarian Presidency leaves sour aftertaste

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

EU strikes deal on 32% renewable energy target and palm oil ban after all-night session

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

Vestager: 'I’d like a Facebook that I pay, with full privacy'

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 sign artificial intelligence pact in bid to compete with US and China

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…

Translations of British Brexit plan provoke ridicule

The UK government has taken the somewhat unprecedented step of translating the executive summary of its Brexit White Paper into 22 European languages.

Armenia calling

Prankster strikes again, catches Juncker out on Putin, Trump

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 earned €2.9 billion from Greece’s debt 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.

What’s in a name?

Macedonia PM Zaev: We want to finish with problems once and forever

EXCLUSIVE / Prime Minister of the Republic of North Macedonia Zoran Zaev recounts one of the most extraordinary political developments in recent times: the agreement with Greece on the long-standing name dispute that has blocked NATO membership and the start of EU accession talks.

EU army klaxon

UK's tortured approach to EU defence takes new twist

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.

Spitzenkandidat blues

Tajani ups the ante in Spitzenkandidaten controversy

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?

MEPs slam Tusk over migration summit failure

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.

Fresh-faced

Conte and Sánchez, the new kids on the EU bloc

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).

Portuguese power

Portugal breaks 100% renewables mark but remains isolated

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

Italian region shows two sides to the immigration story

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.

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