Science & Policymaking Archives

  • Energy Green Paper: What energy policy for Europe?


    The Commission opened the debate on a future common European Energy Policy with the publication of a 'Green Paper' in March 2006. Suggestions include completing the opening of European gas and electricity markets and stepping up relations with major suppliers such as Russia and OPEC. Other key suggestions include boosting renewable energies, energy efficiency, and research on low-carbon technologies. However, EU member states have already made clear that they would not tolerate interference with national sovereignty, especially when it comes to taking sensitive political decisions such as opting for nuclear power.

  • 7th Research Framework Programme (FP7)


    The EU's Seventh framework programme for research and technological development (2007-2013) is designed as a key contribution to the EU's strategy for growth and jobs.

  • Integrated Product Policy (IPP)

    Sustainable Development 22-09-2006

    On 18 June 2003, the Commission finally adopted its long-awaited Communication on Integrated Product Policy (IPP) opting for a more voluntary approach to greener products. IPP seeks to minimise environmental degradation caused by products throughout their whole life-cycle.

  • The new EU cohesion policy (2007-2013) [Archived]

    Regional Policy 20-07-2006

    The EU's enlargement on 1 May 2004 has exacerbated economic and social disparities across the EU. Recipients of Structural and Cohesion Funds such as Ireland and Spain are now being called on to contribute to the development of their new partners. In the 2007-2013 financial perspectives, cohesion policy amounts to 35.7% of the total EU budget (€308 billion), 62% of which should finance projects linked to the Lisbon agenda for growth and employment.

  • Anti-terrorism Policy


    With the suicide bombing attacks on London in July 2005, anti-terrorism has become the absolute top priority for the UK Presidency (June-December 2005) and for Europe. The EU anti-terrorism policy, in place since the 2001 US attacks and extended after the 2004 bombings in Madrid, is being stepped up and will be updated on an ongoing basis.

  • Biomonitoring in health & environment policy-making


    Biomonitoring involves taking samples of blood, tissue, urine or hair to detect the presence of certain substances in the human body. The process is today used by environmental campaigners, lobbyists and the EU Commission as a tool to assess human exposure to pollution as part of health and environmental policy-making. However, the lack of scientific knowledge on the paths taken by the pollutants and their actual risk for human health is making biomonitoring a controversial issue.

  • Risk-based policy-making


    Recent debates on issues such as GMOs and the review of the European chemicals policy have sparked heated discussions among stakeholders about the analysis and assessment of the underlying risks and the way in which these can be managed and communicated. Questions about the definition of risk, the objectivity of scientific information and the role that risk analysis should play in policy decisions are at the heart of the debates.

  • EU defence equipment policy [Archived]


    The EU's defence equipment policy aims to promote the implementation of the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP), the improvement of the Union's abilities to fulfill the Petersberg Tasks and the strengthening of European defence companies' industrial situation. The 2006 Code of conduct is paving the way for a partial ending of the defence industry's general exemption from EU's public procurement rules.   

  • EU Security and Defence Policy [Archived]


    The project of developing an independent European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) was launched by the Cologne European Council on 3-4 June 1999 as a distinctive part of the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). The aim of ESDP is to complete and thus strengthen the EU's external ability to act through the development of civilian and military capabilities for international conflict prevention and crisis management. The central vision behind it is outlined in the security strategy document  'A secure Europe in a better world'  by Javier Solana, Secretary General of the Council. 

  • Nutrition and health claims made on foods

    Special Report 06-12-2004

    A new EU regulation on nutrition and health claims, such as 'low fat', 'helps your body resist stress' or 'purifies your organism', entered into force on 1 July 2007.

  • EU post-2012 climate change policy (Archive)


    With the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol closing in 2012, the EU has launched discussions on its future long-term strategy to fight global warming. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transport and making continued use of market-based mechanisms such as emissions trading are among the main elements of the proposed strategy. But the first and biggest challenge will be to draw all major world emitters - including the US and China - into a binding pollution-cutting scheme.

  • Sports policy in the EU – introduction

    Sports 21-05-2004

    The EU has no direct competence in sport, but a European sports policy is slowly emerging.

  • Genetically Modified Organisms


    In response to public fears about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food, the European Union adopted in July 2003 two regulations establishing an EU-wide system to trace and label GMOs and to regulate the commercialisation and labelling of food derived from GMOs. These new laws came into force in April 2004. On 18 May, the Commission put an end to the 'de facto' moratorium on approving new GM products for the European market, which had been in place since 1998.

  • Industrial Policy and de-industrialisation


    Industry leaders and politicians alike have voiced their fears about the EU's manufacturing base moving out of Europe to benefit from cheaper labour, lower social costs and more flexible regulation in the East. In 2004, the Commission published a communication 'Fostering structural change: an industrial policy for an enlarged Europe', which examined the competitiveness of European industry, assessed the existence and scale of the risk of de-industrialisation and proposed specific solutions.

  • EU regional policy after enlargement

    Regional Policy 16-10-2003

    The EU's regional policy will come under
    pressure when the Union enlarges to 10 mostly poor new Member
    States in May 2004. The Commission is expected to present its
    first proposals for the 2007-2013 EU budget by the end of 2003,
    with Regional Policy Commissioner Michel Barnier insisting on
    undiminished regional development aid.

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