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Will the new EU Commission assure Europe’s leadership on sustainable development?

17 Septembre, 2014 - 11:30

The re-shuffling of responsibilities among the European Commission’s directorates for the environment, climate change and energy are likely to fundamentally alter the landscape of EU environment policy over the next five years, writes Luc Bas.

Luc Bas is Director of the EU Representative Office of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Ratification, capitulation, and postponement, all at the same time in Kyiv

17 Septembre, 2014 - 11:28

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko had to accept an armistice with Russia, whose heavy support for the rebels in Donetsk and Lugansk had dramatically turned the tables of the war, writes Michael Emerson.

Michael Emerson is Associate Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS). He is also a former EU ambassador to Moscow.

Family finances – a private matter?

17 Septembre, 2014 - 11:22

Trusts are said to be used by the wealthy to evade taxes and hide money. This view seems to lie behind the pressure from the EU Parliament to open up trust details to the public. But the reality is very different, writes George Hodgson.

George Hodgson is Deputy CEO of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).

The EU needs more anticipatory funding of health and environmental research

17 Septembre, 2014 - 11:19

In recent months, there have been several attacks on the Precautionary Principle and how the principle has been used in the EU. For example, the scientific advisor to the President of the European Commission, Ann Glover, has accused Commissioners of having “crazy ideas” about the safety of nanotechnologies, genetically modified organisms, shale gas, endocrine disrupters, etc.

The EU and referenda on independence - a leap in the dark?

17 Septembre, 2014 - 10:38

The referendum on independence for Scotland puts the EU in an unprecedented situation which is worth assessing on the basis of a series of legal, political and diplomatic considerations, writes Yves Bertoncini.

New Commission must take the reins from member states on energy policy

17 Septembre, 2014 - 09:45

Europe is the world's largest trading bloc and yet energy and the free flow of electricity remain the realms of national parliaments. Vested interests and a lack of cooperation on interconnectivity and security of supply are holding Europe back in its fight for true energy security, writes Thomas Becker.

Gazprom: Serbia will start building South Stream in October

17 Septembre, 2014 - 08:00

The construction of the Serbian stretch of the South Stream gas pipeline will start in October, the head of the Gazprom international projects department Alexander Siromyatin is quoted as saying by the Serbian media.

The construction work in Serbia will be begin regardless of the situation in Bulgaria, where the work on South Stream has been suspended until the project is fully harmonized with the EU regulations, said Siromyatin yesterday (16 September).

ECB invites banks to tap new funds it hopes will help envigorate eurozone

17 Septembre, 2014 - 07:49

The European Central Bank invited banks on Tuesday (16 September) to bid for a fresh round of long-term loans it hopes will stimulate lending to businesses and reinvigorate the eurozone economy, but which may see only modest take-up.

Obama sends troops to West Africa to contain Ebola

17 Septembre, 2014 - 07:43

US President Barack Obama yesterday (16 September) called West Africa's deadly Ebola outbreak a looming threat to global security and announced a major expansion of the US role in trying to halt its spread, including deployment of 3,000 troops to the region.

"The reality is that this epidemic is going to get worse before it gets better," Obama said at the Atlanta headquarters of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

German trade chief on Greece: 'Sustainable stimulus only comes from the private economy'

17 Septembre, 2014 - 07:35

German investments in Greece have been dwindling, but there is good news for Greco-German economic relations, explained Eric Schweitzer, outlining German investment and Greek growth in an interview with EurActiv Greece.

Lawmakers to vote on EU's €5bn carbon permit giveaway

17 Septembre, 2014 - 07:27

European lawmakers will vote next week on whether to force the European Commission to rethink giving billions of euros worth of carbon allowances away for free to heavy industries, after a senior Green member lodged an objection.

Bavarian conservatives seek to restore EU internal border checks

17 Septembre, 2014 - 07:19

Bavaria is concerned about the growing number of refugees flooding its borders, leading the state's ruling right-wing party to propose checks along its border with Austria. Critics are calling the move “unrealistic” and “populist”. EurActiv Germany reports.

Union supporters with slight lead on the eve of Scottish referendum

17 Septembre, 2014 - 07:02

Scottish supporters of staying in the United Kingdom are 4 percentage points ahead of secessionists, with just a day to go before Scots vote in an independence referendum, three different opinion polls showed.

The United Kingdom's fate remains uncertain as the three surveys - from pollsters ICM, Opinium and Survation - showed support for Scottish independence at 48% compared to 52% backing union.

The polls found 8 to 14% of Scotland's 4.3 million voters were still undecided before polls open at 0600 GMT tomorrow (18 September).

Poland: Will Ewa Kopacz be an Iron Lady or a Tusk puppet?

17 Septembre, 2014 - 06:56

While Council President-elect Donald Tusk is “polishing his English”, before he assumes his post on 1 December, Ewa Kopacz, his successor as Prime Minister, is confronted with the daunting task of building not only a new cabinet, but also her own political clout and entourage. EurActiv Poland reports.

Over the last 11 years at the helm of the ruling Civic Platform, Donald Tusk secured the position of the strong and “only” leader, effectively cutting off political rivals and reinforcing faithful backers. Now one of those backers got appointed Prime Minister.

Berlin launches dialogue to boost pharma research

17 Septembre, 2014 - 06:42

The German government initiated plans on Monday (15 September) to strengthen the country’s attractiveness for pharmaceutical research and development, but the Left Party warns it is likely to become an "image campaign" for pharmaceutical giants. EurActiv.de reports.

Including people with intellectual disabilities in the workplace

16 Septembre, 2014 - 17:54

SPECIAL REPORT: About 300 scholars, athletes and policymakers gathered on Monday (15 September) at the Special Olympics scientific symposium to discuss new and better ways to include people with intellectual disabilities in the labour market.

As experts at the event in Antwerp, Belgium, discussed innovative ways to better integrate workers with disabilities, some stressed the need to view them as assets rather than liabilities.

Innovative social inclusion

French government supports debt securitisation

16 Septembre, 2014 - 17:42

The French government, preoccupied with the issue of financing business investment, wants to test securitisation transactions for small and medium sized businesses. This system is also making headway at a European level.

Fighting climate change needn’t cost growth and jobs, EU leaders told

16 Septembre, 2014 - 17:37

Fighting climate change will deliver economic growth and employment, a report launched today (16 September) found, upping pressure on EU leaders to agree an effective carbon reduction package at their October summit.

The EU Council meeting’s recommendations will inform the EU’s position at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, which aims to secure a legally binding, universal agreement on climate from all the nations of the world. 

Serbia grudgingly accepts Juncker’s enlargement pause

16 Septembre, 2014 - 17:36

Belgrade believes that the pause in the admission of new EU states during the next mandate of the European Commission, though not encouraging, does not reduce the membership prospects of the Western Balkan countries, which will be able to join the Union after they fulfill all the necessary conditions. EurActiv Serbia reports.

It welcomed the fact that the job description of Commissioner Johannes Hahn includes enlargement negotiations. In the last few months, speculation was rife over whether the Juncker Commission would have an enlargement commissioner at all.

Scottish independence would open doors for development

16 Septembre, 2014 - 14:17

A yes vote would increase Scotland’s aid budget to £1bn, presenting the new donor with complex spending challenges, writes James Mackie.

James Mackie is senior adviser on EU development policy at the European Centre for Development Policy Management

A yes vote on the Scottish referendum will bring a number of headaches for Scotland’s development minister, Humza Yousaf. The first challenge will be how to spend £1bn in official development assistance – or aid – per year, and the second how to do so effectively?