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Renewables jobs in EU drop, but rise worldwide

21 Mai, 2015 - 06:24

The number of renewable energy jobs worldwide increased last year by more than a million, an 18% rise to 7.7 million, but dropped in the European Union.

The EU has said it wants to become the world number one in renewables. Its Energy Union strategy sets out measures by which it hopes to make up the gap on other countries.

Vestager: Gazprom is partitioning markets in Central and Eastern Europe

21 Mai, 2015 - 06:14

Russia's Gazprom may have leveraged its dominant position by obtaining unrelated commitments on pipelines from its customers, as a condition of supplying gas to Bulgaria and Poland, says Margrethe Vestager.

Margrethe Vestager is the EU's Commissioner for Competition. She spoke to EurActiv's Georgi Gotev and Sarantis Michalopoulos.

Why are there still EU countries with energy monopolies, and how does this affect energy cost?

Oettinger urges Council to move fast on audiovisual reform

20 Mai, 2015 - 14:45

Back from his two-day trip to the Cannes film festival, Digital Economy Commissioner Günther Oettinger said on Tuesday (19 May) that talks on the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) need to pick up the pace.

Oettinger met with ministers of culture and education at the European Council, where he said the European Commission would speed up the directive and look for a “different way of working with Council and Parliament” because “in the digital sector, two years is a long time”.

Two tier Eastern Partnership on the table at Riga summit

20 Mai, 2015 - 14:08

The EU plans to strengthen relations with Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, setting them apart from the other Eastern Partnership countries, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Belarus. EurActiv France reports

'State of Nature' report highlights farming impact on EU wildlife

20 Mai, 2015 - 13:25

About half of wild birds have a "secure status" as EU programmes to protect endangered species have boosted numbers. But some of their habitats are cause for major concern, largely because of intensive farming, an EU report found on Wednesday (20 May).

The State of Nature in the European Union report for the years 2007-2012 found 17% of species, including some birds of prey, are threatened. Another 15% are near threatened, or are in decline. These include once common birds, such as the skylark.

Europe's bathing waters safe for summer, monitoring shows

20 Mai, 2015 - 11:28

Europeans can safely go for a swim at a beach this summer. According to the European Environment Agency (EEA) 95% of monitored bathing sites in the EU lived up to minimum standards for water quality in 2014.

Furthermore, 83% of the water quality was 'excellent' and slightly better than in 2013, said the EEA in a report published on Wednesday (20 May).

French foreign coal assets criticised ahead of COP 21

20 Mai, 2015 - 10:59

Energy giants EDF and Engie produce the equivalent of half of France's CO2 emissions in foreign power stations owned abroad, a "hypocrisy" denounced by campaigners ahead of the Paris climate conference later this year. EurActiv France reports

Brussels fights Germany over minimum wage for truckers

20 Mai, 2015 - 10:32

The European Commission launched legal action against Germany on Tuesday (19 May), accusing the government of illegally applying the national minimum wage to a number of trucking and haulage companies from Austria, Poland and Hungary.

Turkey to double coal capacity in four years

20 Mai, 2015 - 09:39

Turkey is planning to double its coal power capacity in four years, the third largest investment in the polluting fossil fuel in the world, health campaigners have warned.

The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) today called on the European Union to promote sustainable development in Turkey and end lending for new coal projects.

Air pollution from existing coal plants already costs Turkey up to €3.6 billion per year in covering health costs caused by coal. That would be significantly increased by the new projects.

Business lobby tells British CEOs to 'come out for the EU'

20 Mai, 2015 - 07:56

Britain's top bosses should defend membership of the European Union by telling voters it is the best guarantee of prosperity, the head of the country's largest business lobby group will say on Wednesday (20 May).

Ansip denies ‘rumours’ of encryption backdoors in EU’s digital plan

20 Mai, 2015 - 07:31

European Commission Vice-President Andrus Ansip, in charge of the Digital Single Market, rejected suggestions on Tuesday (19 May) that the European executive was planning workarounds to crack encryption technologies, which ensure secure communications on the Internet.

Addressing the European Parliament in a plenary session, Ansip was eager to dispel rumours that the Commission wanted to tap into citizens' secure digital communications.

Hungary's Orban angers EU over death penalty, migrants

20 Mai, 2015 - 07:00

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban angered EU lawmakers and officials Tuesday (19 May) by insisting that Budapest had the right to debate closing the door to migrants and reintroducing the death penalty.

"Hungarians talk straight about tough things. We don't like to beat about the bush. We are a frank people," Orban said on a visit to the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

Hungary's Orbán angers EU over death penalty, migrants

20 Mai, 2015 - 07:00

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán angered EU lawmakers and officials Tuesday (19 May) by insisting that Budapest had the right to debate closing the door to migrants and reintroducing the death penalty.

"Hungarians talk straight about tough things. We don't like to beat about the bush. We are a frank people," Orbán said on a visit to the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

MEPs demand urgent VAT reduction for e-books

20 Mai, 2015 - 06:52

Members of the European Parliament have asked the Commission to take urgent action to align VAT rates for electronic books and press with those applied to paper publications. But no reform will take place before 2016. EurActiv France reports

MEPs demand urgent VAT reduction for e-books

20 Mai, 2015 - 06:52

Members of the European Parliament have asked the Commission to take urgent action to align VAT rates for electronic books and press with those applied to paper publications. But no reform will take place before 2016. EurActiv France reports

Lobbyists shift tactics to espouse Commission's 'cluster' structure

20 Mai, 2015 - 06:44

In the past year, EU lobbyists in Brussels have shifted their modus operandi to look increasingly outwards for allies in a move to adapt to the new cluster structure of the European Commission.

In the TradeMarks survey published on Tuesday (19 May) by consultancy Apcoworldwide, lobbying remains number one priority for trade associations and federations, but in second position comes coalition building rather than membership mobilisation, which ranked higher in 2014.

Lobbyists shift tactics to espouse Commission's 'cluster' structure

20 Mai, 2015 - 06:44

In the past year, EU lobbyists in Brussels have shifted their modus operandi to look increasingly outwards for allies in a move to adapt to the new cluster structure of the European Commission.

In the TradeMarks survey published on Tuesday (19 May) by consultancy APCOworldwide, lobbying remains number one priority for trade associations and federations, but in second position comes coalition building rather than membership mobilisation, which ranked higher in 2014.

Kyiv produces captured Russian soldiers, Moscow says they were decommissioned

20 Mai, 2015 - 06:35

Kyiv on Tuesday (19 May) showed off two purported Russian soldiers it captured during a gun battle in the separatist east that Ukraine's pro-Western leadership says proves the Kremlin's direct involvement in the war.

The two wounded men -- recovering in a Kyiv military hospital under the guard of masked state security men -- have turned into pawns in a bitter public relations battle being waged by Moscow and Kyiv since Saturday's firefight.

Kyiv produces captured Russian soldiers, Moscow says they were decommissioned

20 Mai, 2015 - 06:35

Kyiv on Tuesday (19 May) showed off two purported Russian soldiers it captured during a gun battle in the separatist east that Ukraine's pro-Western leadership says proves the Kremlin's direct involvement in the war.

The two wounded men -- recovering in a Kyiv military hospital under the guard of masked state security men -- have turned into pawns in a bitter public relations battle being waged by Moscow and Kyiv since Saturday's firefight.

Spaak: My father was tormented by the unanimity rule

20 Mai, 2015 - 06:07

EXCLUSIVE/ Paul-Henri Spaak, one of the European Union's founding fathers, was tormented by the unanimity rule, which still holds the EU hostage, his daughter Antoinette revealed. "We need a two-tier Europe," she told EurActiv.

Antoinette Spaak spoke to Daniela Vincenti, Editor-in-chief of EurActiv.com.

You are the daughter of one of the founding fathers of the European Union. Do you see the sort of leadership and European vision today that pushed your father to act?