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European 'Special Olympics' kick off in Belgium

10 September, 2014 - 07:49

SPECIAL REPORT: Athletes with intellectual disabilities will be able to compete in different sports for the next ten days, at the Special Olympics European summer games in Belgium.

Manuel Valls wants EU nitrates directive 'to evolve'

10 September, 2014 - 07:47

Nitrate pollution remains a major problem in France due to its intensive agriculture. The French Prime Minister has resolved to take action, after a new indictment of France by the Court of Justice of the European Union last week.

Poland hopes Tusk will create an EU Energy Union

10 September, 2014 - 07:43

SPECIAL REPORT: In his capacity of Prime Minister of Poland, Donald Tusk has spearheaded the idea of an EU energy Union, and leading Polish politicians expect him to continue to do so as Council President, when he will take up the job from Herman Van Rompuy on 1 December.

Heavy industries renew calls for ‘carbon leakage’ protection

10 September, 2014 - 07:35

Raising the EU's emission targets for 2030 would threaten industrial competitiveness if they are not accompanied by supporting measures, according to the chemical industry and other energy-intensive sectors, which stepped up their campaign for protective measures in Brussels on Tuesday (9 September).

IEA finds energy efficiency is fuel for economic growth

10 September, 2014 - 07:27

The EU does not do enough to conserve energy, endangering security of supply and the global climate, says a new study conducted by the International Energy Agency (IEA), citing enormous growth potential in energy efficiency. EurActiv Germany reports.

Buzek: Energy independence is the best sanction against Russia

10 September, 2014 - 07:22

SPECIAL REPORT: New Council President Donald Tusk is a proponent of a European Energy Union, aimed at achieving more independence from Russia. It is difficult to imagine a more devoted advocate of progress in this area than Tusk, Jerzy Buzek, MEP and former President of the European Parliament, told EurActiv in an exclusive interview.

Commission wrong to deny access to interchange fee research, say EU judges

9 September, 2014 - 16:28

The European Commission was wrong to deny MasterCard access to research that fed into the draft regulation capping cross-border card payments, EU judges in Luxembourg ruled today (9 September).

The decision could encourage businesses, NGOs and journalists to demand impact assessment documents, including those produced by third parties such as consultants, used by the Commission to justify its regulatory decisions. That could lead to research and methodologies being challenged by industry before officials propose binding rules.

Russia warns EU against Ukraine’s hardliners

9 September, 2014 - 15:47

The Russian ambassador to the EU warned Tuesday (9 September) that an Ukrainian admission to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) would create the biggest security risk in Europe since the fall of the Berlin Wall, and warned against hardliners in Kyiv who may seek to derail a fragile peace process in eastern Ukraine.

Beyond individuals: a more effective structure for the Commission

9 September, 2014 - 15:27

Commenting on the leaked organigram of the next Commission, Fabian Zuleeg says that new executive should reflect not only an acceptable political bargain, but also makes progress in making the structure more effective.

Fabian Zuleeg is Chief Executive of the European Policy Centre (EPC).

2030 energy package: battle of the leaks

9 September, 2014 - 14:59

Successive and contradictory leaks about Council conclusions on 2030 energy targets are being met with caution by both industry and environment advocates.

According to a document seen by EurActiv, the Council would promote a binding 2030 energy efficiency (EE) target of 30%. The exact percentage is still to be agreed on.

Aside from reducing their energy consumption by 2030, member states would also have to cut their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40% and increase the share of renewables in use by 30% compared with 1990 levels.

Report: Roma in 'poorer health' condition than average

9 September, 2014 - 14:02

While it has often been proven that Roma experience extensive discrimination, violence and social exclusion, a new report financed by the European Commission also reveals that this has an overall negative impact on their health.

The Roma Health Report calls on international agencies as well as governments to take action to protect the health and well-being of Roma people.

German workers put in more overtime than EU counterparts

9 September, 2014 - 13:53

According to EU statistics, German employees put in the most overtime work in the eurozone, with an average of 60% of these hours going unpaid. EurActiv Germany reports.

The EU should use more soft power towards Russia

9 September, 2014 - 13:18

The EU’s sanctions on Russia are not having their desired effect. At least in the short term, they even appear to be reinforcing Russia’s position. The EU policy approach to the Ukraine situation needs to factor in the mainstream Russian media narrative. Doing so suggests that the EU should be using more soft power.

Dennis Kredler is a former adviser on EU-Russia economic relations. He writes in his personal capacity.

How sport can end discrimination against Europeans with intellectual disabilities

9 September, 2014 - 09:51

Special Olympics is not just about sport, but also about overturning stigma and prejudice, says Mary Davis.

Mary Davis is regional president and managing director of the Special Olympics Europe Eurasia.

Ebola spreads ‘exponentially’, economies threatened

9 September, 2014 - 07:58

Liberia, the country worst hit by West Africa's Ebola epidemic, should see thousands of new cases in coming weeks as the virus spreads exponentially, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said yesterday (8 September).

The epidemic, the worst since the disease was discovered in 1976, has killed some 2,100 people in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria and has also spread to Senegal.

EU delays sanctions while Ukraine truce holds

9 September, 2014 - 07:51

The European Union adopted new sanctions against Russia over its involvement in the Ukraine on Monday (8 September), but delayed enforcing them to leave time to assess whether a ceasefire in Ukraine is holding.

The sanctions, which target the ability of Russia's top oil producers to raise capital in Europe, were originally due to take effect today.

But that was pushed back by a few days after some EU governments suggested that new sanctions be put on hold to give a chance to a shaky ceasefire in eastern Ukraine.

Analysts: Weimar Triangle key for Poland’s new role in EU

9 September, 2014 - 07:48

SPECIAL REPORT: Warsaw needs to articulate more clearly its expectations and policy interests in the context of the Weimar Triangle, a format grouping three large members of the EU, France, Poland and Germany, in order to maximise its political leverage in the Union and beyond, analysts told the EurActiv network.

Scotland and de-globalisation

9 September, 2014 - 07:27

The prospect of Scottish independence is further evidence that the era of increasing globalisation, with all its benefits to capital, is waning fast. Support for independence, an issue to be put to a vote among Scots on Sept. 18, has surged in recent days, with those in favor registering their first opinion poll lead over the weekend, writes James Saft.

Italy relaxes rules to channel ECB cash to small business

9 September, 2014 - 07:27

The Bank of Italy said on Monday it would broaden the range of assets Italian banks can use as collateral to borrow from the European Central Bank (ECB), providing a bigger incentive for them to lend some of the cash to small companies and households.

Independent Scotland would have to reapply to EU, NATO, officials say

9 September, 2014 - 07:23

Scotland would have to reapply for membership of both the European Union and NATO if Scots vote to leave the United Kingdom in a referendum this month, officials said on Monday (8 September).