About: Frans Timmermans

Politics 20-04-2017

Revising the ECI: How to make it ‘fit for purpose’

Following the high hopes for the European Citizens’ Initiative as a new instrument of participatory democracy, it has proven to be ineffective, largely unknown to citizens and neither user-friendly nor cost-effective, writes Assya Kavrakova.

EU halts release of anti-corruption report

In Romania, politicians were preparing to legalise political corruption, and elsewhere the misuse of EU funds makes headlines every day. Sandor Lederer asks why has the Commission decided not to release an in-depth anti-corruption report.
Climate change 15-12-2016

Nature laws saved by the people: An antidote to Europe’s crisis?

Environmental NGOs won a big campaign opposing the European Commission’s attempt to weaken the EU Nature Directives. This positive outcome may provide part of the answer to Europe's search for a new narrative, write Geneviève Pons and Andreas Baumüller.

Commission’s Sustainable Development Package must be taken further

The EU will not meet the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals without rethinking its approach to individual targets. So far, this has not happened, writes Damien Demailly.

Mr Timmermans, blaming young people will not encourage them to engage in politics

Democracy is broken, but when leaders like Frans Timmermans blame people who do not participate in a system they view as outdated and obsolete, they only help create a generation of disillusioned young people, writes Joahnna Nyman on International Youth Day.
Climate change 18-05-2016

Commission fails ‘Better Regulation’ test on Circular Economy Package

Better regulation, rather than providing better protection has served as an entry point for some business lobby groups to delay and weaken one of Europe’s major environmental policies, writes Magda Stoczkiewicz.
Frans Timmermans
EU Priorities 2020 12-01-2016

Commission ignoring the ECI’s positive potential for democracy

The European Citizen’s Initiative was labelled a danger by the European Commission, which has grown wary of its use by Eurosceptic campaigners and set out to weaken the only democratic tool by which citizens may directly influence the EU policy agenda, writes Carsten Berg.
Climate change 04-11-2015

‘Better Regulation’ and the end of cheating?

In the midst of the ongoing Dieselgate scandal, Nina Renshaw and Jos Dings write that regulators need to be given back real authority and responsibility, and that the Commission has shown significant shortcomings.

Press freedom: How the EU struggles to match action with values

Press freedom is a reliable barometer of the state of democracy. But the EU’s failure to live up to its own standards undermines its influence on the rest of the world, argues Jean-Paul Marthoz.
Development Policy 22-09-2015

Is the EU ready to walk the talk on sustainable development?

A new era will be heralded this week in New York, with the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. The EU has been negotiating long and hard on this. Now is the time to put the good words into practice, writes Geneviève Pons-Deladrière.
EU Priorities 2020 04-08-2015

Better Regulation: expertise over politics?

As the Commission makes a bid for greater democratic legitimacy, it must take care not to allow its technocratic tendencies to sideline the EU’s elected institutions, argue Charles de Marcilly and Matthias Touillon.

Circular economy: What’s in it for former foodstuffs

The European Commission received a lot of criticism after its announcement in November 2014 that it would draft a more ambitious circular economy strategy, writes Paul Featherstone.
Trade & Society 26-05-2015

All EU institutions must embrace ‘better’ regulation

‘Better regulation’ is not political jargon but an engine for the economic growth so badly needed across the continent argue Sajjad Karim and Anthea McIntyre.
Frans Timmermans

‘Better Regulation’: Why Timmermans should go beyond the Regulatory Scrutiny Board

The need for robust, impartial evidence in impact assessment is understood by all. However, since its mandatory introduction in 2002, three key issues remain to be addressed - impartiality of evidence gathering, governance and scrutiny, writes Stijn Hoorens.

Is the CAP simplification exercise “better regulation”?

The Commission’s proposed reform of the Common Agricultural Policy looks more like a waste of public money than an exercise in “better regulation”, argues Angelo Caserta.
Health 01-04-2015

European Citizens‘ Initiative: Commission admits need for improvement

The European Commission presented a three-year review on the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) on Tuesday (31 March). Urgent reform is needed to halt its slide into oblivion, writes Sophie von Hatzfeldt.
A scene from Puccini’s opera Turandot
Digital 10-03-2015

Should Europe boldly go into the media battleground?

Media policy is a tough challenge facing the new Commission, writes William Horsley. He advocates greater guarantees against interference, and also new business models.
Jeremy Wates

EU recycling targets workable and worth it

There is nothing wise about scrapping a proposal to increase the EU’s recycling targets and delaying the development of a circular economy, writes Jeremy Wates.

Timmermans’ wise decision to bin EU recycling target

The EU’s goal to collect and recycle 70% of household waste is unattainable and should be scrapped, write Elbert Dijkgraaf and Raymond Gradus.
Luc Bas, Director of the Brussels office of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) [Photo: IUCN]

The environment cannot be an afterthought to the economy

How do we communicate the need for fundamental change beyond this group of environmentalists, scientists and progressive businesses? asks Luc Bas.
Xavier Sol [Counter-Balance.org]
Development Policy 13-10-2014

A €300 billion growth package: don’t just spend it, spend it wisely

EU ministers are gathering in Luxembourg this week to discuss a €300 billion growth package. €300 billion is a dazzling amount but throwing money at a problem is not enough to solve it, experiences from previous EU stimuli packages show us. The ambition this time around should be to do spend the money more effectively, writes Xavier Sol.