EU Active

Syndicate content
European Union Information Website (EU and Europe)
Updated: 3 hours 54 min ago

New EU-wide food labelling rules begin to apply

12 December, 2014 - 16:00

New EU food labelling rules will come into force on Saturday (13 December). The aim is to ensure that consumers receive clearer and more accurate information about what they buy and eat.

The new rules will force restaurants and cafés to list 14 different allergens in the menus - including nuts, gluten, lactose, soy or milk.

Displaying allergens was until then only mandatory for pre-packed foods.

There’s a bureaucrat in your bathroom!

12 December, 2014 - 15:57

The EU can make a difference on things we all care about, but not if small-Europe voices win the argument, writes Stephane Arditi .

Stephane Arditi is coordinator for the European Environment Bureau’s Coolproducts campaign.

It used to be a favourite trick of the British media - ask a wild question at the Commission midday, get a hot denial, then take home your prize: "EU denies ban on bendy bananas" or some such "denial" headline. This produced more heat than light; it helped sell newspapers and entrench an angry view of Brussels.

Cancellation of South Stream makes economic sense

12 December, 2014 - 15:54

On December 1, 2014 Vladimir Putin announced that Russia would abandon construction of an ambitious $40 billion project - the South Stream gas pipeline. Hedvika Koďousková and Martin Jirušek comment on the wider context of this decision.

Koďousková and Jirušek work as analysts and lecturers at the Department of International Relations and European Studies, Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University, Czech Republic.

Europe's cholesterol problem 'brushed under the carpet'

12 December, 2014 - 12:47

Heart diseases related to bad cholesterol are too often associated with unhealthy lifestyle choices like drinking, smoking and lack of exercise. But this fails to take account of the genetically inherited form of the condition, health experts warn, calling on the European Union to take more leadership to help diagnose the disease at an early age.

So-called 'bad' cholesterol - low-density lipoprotein type or LDL - is known to increase the risks of heart disease and stroke.

Organic sector disappointed by Commission proposal

12 December, 2014 - 12:33

The European Commission's latest plans to reform the production and labelling of organic produce, presented in March, have met with harsh criticism from the French organic sector, which says it fails to respond to the real issues. EurActiv France reports

Does the EU want to bring Russia and Turkey into the Western Balkans?

12 December, 2014 - 12:19

As there are no signs that the EU economy will revitalize soon and lift with it the Western Balkans, the region is looking for new business partners, writes Dušan Reljić.

A rights-based approach to health is fundamental to the post-2015 framework

12 December, 2014 - 10:55

We must commit to strengthening health systems, as well as maintaining efforts towards eradicating communicable diseases, writes Linda McAvan.

Czech Republic told it must share the migration burden

12 December, 2014 - 10:47

Although the Czech Republic is not a direct target of large movement of migrants from Syria and other political unstable countries, foreign politicians are telling the government of Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka that it should take part of the burden. EurActiv Czech Republic reports.

EU court nails Austria, Poland over breaches to green energy rules

12 December, 2014 - 07:57

Austria is breaking European Union law with its plans to shelter energy-intensive industries from the cost of subsidising renewable power, one of the top EU courts said yesterday (11 December).

In a separate decision, an advocate general to the EU's highest tribunal, the Court of Justice of the European Union, found Poland had failed to implement in full the EU renewable energy law and should be ordered to pay a daily fine.

Poland says Russian manoeuvres in Baltic unprecedented

12 December, 2014 - 07:53

Russia's military is engaging in an unprecedented amount of activity around the Baltic Sea, Polish Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak said on Thursday (11 December).

Crimean leader’s visit to India infuriates Ukraine

12 December, 2014 - 07:41

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at India today (12 December) over a visit by the leader of Crimea, the former Ukrainian territory annexed by Russia, who accompanied President Vladimir Putin's annual summit delegation this week.

India does not back Western sanctions against Russia, and the unofficial trip by Sergey Aksyonov could spoil the mood before Prime Minister Narendra Modi hosts U.S. President Barack Obama for India's Republic Day festivities in January.

Growing share of European development aid disguised as loans

12 December, 2014 - 07:34

EXCLUSIVE: About a third of German, and more than half of French development aid payments made since 2005 were in fact loans to poorer countries on which they will receive interests, EurActiv can reveal.

Last year, Germany and France fell far short of their 2015 development aid targets, despite bundling loans and domestic administrative costs with grants as part of their total payment.

Commission ISDS report: Fireworks for the new year

12 December, 2014 - 07:23

SPECIAL REPORT: An imminent Commission report on the use of ISDS in TTIP will re-ignite the explosive debate between negotiators and politicians who favour pushing ahead with an arbitration clause in the treaty, and a broad coalition of vocal opponents.

Having closed a public consultation on the issue over the summer, the report is expected to outline a way forward on the issue early in the new year.

Africa’s elite exploit Chinese development aid, study reveals

12 December, 2014 - 07:14

A recent study shows China’s development aid for Africa flows primarily to the birth regions of leading African politicians, while geopolitical interests only play a secondary role for Beijing. EurActiv Germany reports.

WHO weighs in on climate debate

12 December, 2014 - 07:10

Extreme weather conditions, famine and air pollution are all factors in the rising climate change death toll. The drastic public health consequences of climate change could provide the UN with the impetus it needs to agree on an ambitious new set of climate goals in 2015. However, critics remain unconvinced. EurActiv France reports

Baden-Württemberg leads EU in innovation

12 December, 2014 - 07:04

Within the EU, Germany’s state of Baden-Württemberg is the region with the strongest innovative capacity, with no other European region investing as much economic output in research and development. EurActiv Germany reports.

Socialists propose European investment fund exempt from fiscal rules

11 December, 2014 - 16:56

Creating a European fund exempt from EU fiscal rules is the main idea of a 200 page report commissioned by the Socialists and Democrats group in the European Parliament, just ahead of the 18-19 summit which is expected to make decisions concerning the investment plan, recently presented by Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

Commission plans to ditch circular economy and air pollution rules

11 December, 2014 - 15:04

The European Commission plans to scrap its flagship Circular Economy package and anti-air pollution rules next week.

The executive will ditch the rules from its 2015 work programme, sources told EurActiv. That is set to be announced on Wednesday (17 December).

The Circular Economy package is designed to increase resource efficiency and recycling, and the Clean Air Package imposes rules that set member states’ air quality targets.

Central and Eastern Europe earmarks EU funds for landfill and fossil fuels

11 December, 2014 - 12:05

Central and Eastern European countries have earmarked more than half of EU funds for waste to incineration and landfill, in spending plans that also give cash to fossil fuel industries, according to analysis by climate campaigners.

Monti lends a hand to Juncker’s investment plan

11 December, 2014 - 12:00

A paper presented by former Commissioner and Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti and French liberal MEP Sylvie Goulard Wednesday (10 December) suggests ways to permanently encourage investment in the Union through an adaptation of EU rules on fiscal discipline.