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China emits more CO2 per person than the EU

EU Active - 23 September, 2014 - 17:09

In 2013, China’s per capita CO2 emissions surpassed Europe’s for the first time ever. In addition, China represented nearly 60% of last year’s total global emissions increase. As a result, the longterm goal of limiting global warming to 2 degrees appears increasingly elusive, warns a Global Carbon Project (GCP) report published on 21 September.

Greece tells Merkel it can exit bailout early

EU Active - 23 September, 2014 - 17:03

Greece should be able to exit its international bailout ahead of schedule and cover its own financing needs from next year, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said on Tuesday (23 September) after talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The comments were the first time Athens has said publicly that it hopes to do without aid payments next year. That would pave the way for the IMF - deeply unpopular in Greece - to quit supervising the country's reform program.

[Ticker] Greece can exit bailout, self-finance in 2015, says PM

EU Observer - 23 September, 2014 - 16:55
Greece could leave its EU/IMF bailout early and look after its own funding needs in 2015, prime minister Antonis Samaras said Tuesday. "We can certainly cover our funding needs from next year," Samaras said in Berlin after meeting German chancellor Angela Merkel. Greece's €240 billion rescue ends later this year.


‘Revolving doors’ rules need revamping, says EU Ombudsman

EU Active - 23 September, 2014 - 16:50

Rules governing European Commission officials joining the private sector need to be revamped, the European Ombudsman said today, before warning she would summon any public servant or commissioner suspected of a conflict of interest.

Emily O’Reilly today (23 September) issued a series of draft recommendations to combat the “systemic maladministration” in the EU executive’s procedure to fight the “revolving doors” phenomenon.

Ombudsman vows 'robust' action against EU secrecy

EU Observer - 23 September, 2014 - 16:46
EU ombudsman Emily O'Reilly wants more transparency from EU institutions on letting officials switch to the private sector, negotiating trade agreements, and allowing medicines onto the European market.


EU auditors: Haiti earthquake support falls short

EU Active - 23 September, 2014 - 16:24

Well-intentioned, but insufficient. In a report published Tuesday (23 September), the European Court of Auditors was highly critical of the European Commission's €1.23 billion contribution to relief efforts, following the March 2010 earthquake in Haiti, which left 230,000 dead, 300,00 injured, and 1.3 million homeless in Port-au-Prince alone.

Has development completely fallen off the EU’s radar?

EU Active - 23 September, 2014 - 15:31

The nomination of Neven Mimica as European Commissioner for international cooperation and development and Christos Stylianides as European Commissioner for humanitarian aid and crisis management suggests that development cooperation is increasingly falling off the European Union’s radar, whereas in a recent past the Union was at the forefront of the global battle to eradicate poverty.

Joren Verschaeve is a PhD student at the Centre for EU Studies, Ghent University.

France’s latest calls for TTIP transparency fall on deaf ears

EU Active - 23 September, 2014 - 14:39

Matthias Fekl, the new French Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, has joined his predecessors in calling for the publication of the trade negotiation mandate between the EU and the United States. The continued lack of transparency in the negotiations could lead to the failure of TTIP.

Germany’s economic mirage

EU Active - 23 September, 2014 - 14:24

Germany’s economy needs an overhaul. Policymakers should focus on boosting productivity, not “competitiveness,” with workers being paid their due, writes Philippe Legrain.

Philippe Legrain, a visiting senior fellow at the London School of Economics’ European Institute and a former economic adviser to the president of the European Commission, is the author of European Spring: Why Our Economies and Politics are in a Mess – and How to Put Them Right. 

[Opinion] Cameron's logic calls for eurozone democracy

EU Observer - 23 September, 2014 - 14:23
The outcome of the Scottish independence referendum may indirectly influence the EU and the eurozone’s functioning.


[Focus] Erasmus students find love and jobs, EU research finds

EU Observer - 23 September, 2014 - 14:07
If you are looking for love and a good job then you need to use the Erasmus student exchange programme, according to new research published by the European Commission.


The NGO health perspective at the UN Climate Summit

EU Active - 23 September, 2014 - 14:03

Positive messages are vital – but not enough says Genon K. Jensen. One of the consequences of climate change is the negative impact on the health of people. Jensen advocates to move away from coal and other fossil fuels towards cleaner energy in order to save lives.

Genon K. Jensen is the Executive Director at Health and Environment Alliance

EU's Almunia readying antitrust charges against Gazprom

EU Active - 23 September, 2014 - 13:07

European Union regulators are poised to charge Russian gas producer Gazprom with anti-competitive behaviour after a two-year investigation, Europe's antitrust chief said on Tuesday (23 September).

Gazprom, which is Russian state-owned, has been under regulatory fire since September 2012, for allegedly over-charging customers in Eastern Europe, blocking rival suppliers and hindering the free flow of gas across some EU countries.

Hinkley nuclear reactor project gains EU approval, leak reveals

EU Active - 23 September, 2014 - 11:43

Green groups condemn commissioner Almunia’s U-turn, as the EU competition czar deems Hinkley Point C subsidies to be within state aid rules.

 

MEPs load their guns for EU commissioner hearings

EU Active - 23 September, 2014 - 11:26

European parliament committees expressed their concerns about the structure, portfolios and competences of candidates in written questions to the 27 commissioners-designate. The queries were sent to the candidates last week as part of the approval process of the new Juncker Commission.

MEPs are now discussing possible oral questions to ask in the hearings next week.

France demands greater transparency from extractive industries

EU Active - 23 September, 2014 - 10:32

The French parliament has adopted the first European directive to increase transparency in the extractive industries. Producers of wood, oil, gas and minerals will now have to declare payments to the states where they operate.

[Ticker] Ombudsman urges better supervision of senior EU officials

EU Observer - 23 September, 2014 - 09:30
European Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly on Tuesday demanded that the European Commission make its review processes on "revolving doors" cases more robust. She asked that the commission publish online all relevant information, including the names of senior EU officials leaving to work elsewhere. NGOs welcomed the initiative.


[Ticker] Poland buys missiles from US amid Russia tensions

EU Observer - 23 September, 2014 - 08:13
The US State Department on Monday approved the sale of 40 AGM 158-missiles to Warsaw. The weapons can strike targets up to 250 miles away, further than the distance from Poland to Russia’s western border. There was no immediate comment from the Kremlin.


[Ticker] EU agrees to state aid for new British nuclear plant

EU Observer - 23 September, 2014 - 08:12
EU state aid regulators have agreed to British state aid of around €22bn for building the new Hinkley Point nuclear plant with French utility EDF, a European Commission official confirmed on Monday. The move represents a u-turn by competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia, due to leave office in October.


Prosecutors in southern Italy on Monday

EU Observer - 23 September, 2014 - 08:11
Prosecutors in southern Italy on Monday requested ratings agency Standard & Poor's and its local staff be tried on suspicion of misleading financial markets with reports on Italy during the eurozone debt crisis, reports Ansa. Italy looked at the time to be in danger of a Greek-style financial meltdown.


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