Politics Archives

  • Europe’s new treaty: Towards a multi-speed Union

    Future EU 15-12-2011

    All 27 EU countries – except Britain and the Czech Republic – have agreed on a new treaty for tighter fiscal discipline and deeper economic integration to save the euro currency. The treaty came into force on 1 January 2013.

  • The press in Europe: Freedom and pluralism at risk

    Public Affairs 14-09-2011

    The European Union has long been hailed as one of the areas of the world with the greatest press freedom. However, NGOs and international organisations warn that this may be under threat as the media becomes increasingly concentrated in ever fewer hands and some governments engage in politically-motivated lawsuits and outright censorship.

  • The Polish EU Presidency: Budget and solidarity [Archived]

    Cities & regions 10-06-2011

    Paving the way for an "ambitious" agreement on the 2014-2020 budget, energy security and the European Union's Eastern neighbourhood are all key priorities of the Polish EU Presidency during the second half of 2011. The Poles, for their part, have pulled all the stops to ensure that the Union remains committed to redistributive policies at a time of economic austerity.

  • New skills and jobs: Mind the gap

    Social Europe & Jobs 28-04-2011

    Matching workers' skills with the demands of employers is seen as crucial to boosting employment rates, restoring growth and tackle looming labour shortages in sectors like health care, science and the green economy.

  • Who runs EU energy policies?

    Special Report | Public Affairs 03-03-2011

    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

    Public Affairs 10-02-2011

    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.

  • The Hungarian EU Presidency [Archived]

    EU Priorities 2020 21-12-2010

    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.

  • The EU’s economic governance: Rewriting the rulebook

    Euro & Finance 30-07-2010

    The Greek sovereign debt crisis is forcing Europeans to rethink the coordination of their national economic policies, confronting the euro area with its most severe test since its launch eleven years ago.

  • The Belgian EU Presidency

    EU Priorities 2020 25-06-2010

    Belgium took on the six-month rotating presidency of the European Union on 1 July 2010 with a caretaker government in charge, following national elections which saw Flemish separatist leader Bart De Wever top the polls.

  • The EU’s new diplomatic service

    Future EU 09-03-2010

    Introduced by the Lisbon Treaty, the European External Action Service (EEAS) is intended to give the European Union a greater role in foreign policy. It is now operational, though its scope and competences have been the subject of fierce debate among EU countries.

  • ‘Europe 2020’: Green growth and jobs?

    Economy & Jobs 24-02-2010

    The EU's new strategy for sustainable growth and job comes in the midst of the worst economic crisis for decades. It puts innovation and green growth at the heart of its blueprint for competitiveness, but will have to include tighter monitoring if it is to succeed where the Lisbon Agenda failed.

  • The new European Commission

    Regional Policy 14-01-2010

    The selection of a new European Commission, never the simplest of political tasks, has this year been more complex than ever. Politically and institutionally, 2009 came with a whole range of permutations regarding the 'how?', 'when?' and 'who?' of the next EU executive.

  • Musical chairs: Officials take turns at European Commission

    Public Affairs 08-01-2010

    Since the presentation of the new team of European commissioners by José Manuel Barroso, officials have been busy swapping seats in a round of 'musical chairs' that involves some of the most powerful EU jobs in Brussels.

  • The Spanish EU Presidency

    Regional Policy 15-12-2009

    Spain takes on the European Union's six-month rotating presidency at a defining moment for the bloc, marked by the first steps of the Union's first-ever permanent president and foreign affairs chief and efforts to lift Europe out of its worst recession in decades.

  • National Parliaments and the EU

    EU Priorities 2020 04-12-2009

    National parliaments have come to play an increasingly important role in the functioning of the EU, cooperating with the European Commission and the European Parliament as well as with each other. The Lisbon Treaty further strengthens their influence on EU decision-making.

  • The ‘Treaty of Lisbon’

    Future EU 01-12-2009

    After eight years of struggle and soul-searching, the European Union's reform treaty came into force on 1 December 2009. EU leaders believe the Lisbon Treaty will rejuvenate the decision-making apparatus of the EU institutions, making the functioning of the 27-member Union more efficient and democratic. 

  • Growth and jobs: Reshaping the EU’s ‘Lisbon Strategy’

    EU Priorities 2020 25-11-2009

    As the recession bites, the European Commission and national governments have begun to reflect on replacing the EU's overarching strategy for growth and jobs, known as the Lisbon Strategy. 'Green growth', innovation and education are likely to feature highly among the strategy's new priorities.

  • Choosing ‘Mr(s). Europe’ [Archived]

    EU Priorities 2020 28-10-2009

    The Treaty of Lisbon introduces two new European top jobs: a high-profile president to chair EU summit meetings for a two-and-a-half year term and a revamped foreign policy chief. However, selecting the right people to fill these positions proved a politically-sensitive task.

  • Labour market reforms

    Social Europe & Jobs 22-10-2009

    In the wake of the global financial and economic crises, the EU is developing a new labour market strategy as part of its successor to the 'Lisbon Agenda' for economic, social and environmental reform, which is due to end in 2010. The new roadmap will retain many of the previous ambitions, but will also be shaped by EU leaders' exit strategies.

  • Digitisation of published works

    Languages & Culture 14-10-2009

    The EU has been busy scanning books and documents to improve citizens' access to culture and history, but its efforts have been overshadowed by Google's commercial push to digitise Europe's book heritage.

  • Transparency Initiative

    Public Affairs 01-10-2009

    The drive to strengthen ethics rules for EU policymakers and the estimated 15,000 lobbyists, NGOs and other pressure groups seeking to influence them in Brussels has triggered extensive public debate since the European Commission launched its Transparency Initiative in 2005. But will it be enough to restore citizens' confidence in the European project? 

  • 2004-2009: An evaluation of the Barroso Commission

    Development Policy 01-09-2009

    European Commission President José Manuel Barroso spent the summer preparing his programme for the next five years after his bid to secure a second term was put on ice by the European Parliament's political group leaders in July - EURACTIV asked key stakeholders to assess the Barroso Commission's achievements and failures.

  • EU Communication Policy

    Public Affairs 26-08-2009

    Communicating with EU citizens has long been a primary concern of the European Commission, with the need to boost popular trust in the European project becoming more important following the rejection of the EU constitution by French and Dutch voters and more recently rejection of the Lisbon Treaty by the Irish.

  • Turkey in the EU – What the public thinks

    EU Priorities 2020 20-08-2009

    European scepticism about Turkey's EU accession is fuelling a popular backlash among many Turks who are growing increasingly distrustful of the EU.