Blog

The ups and downs of the UK’s relationship with the EU

Over the years the UK government has repeatedly shown signs that it is not happy with the road that the EU is taking, and has pushed for reform. This is the case again, as the British Financial Minister George Osborne …


World Economic Forum report warns about future problems

According to the World Economic Forum, notwithstanding the ongoing economic recovery, there is still a lingering and worrisome gap between the rich and the poor. Recent research shows that income disparity and social unrest will probably be the issues that …


Coming up: European elections 2014

As this year ends it leaves us looking forward to what 2014 will bring. One of these is the European elections, which are expected to reveal how the public feels about the EU and how much confidence it has in …


Deciding the EU budget – decisions on Erasmus+, Horizon 2020

EU ministers recently agreed on funding for educational and research programmes Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020, two of the biggest winners when considering the EU budget for 2014-2020. This latest decision means that the two budget tranches have been established and …


Saving our forests – €208m forests initiative launched at UN climate talks in Poland

During the recent climate talks in Warsaw a new deal was struck for €208m to be invested in efforts to save the remaining forests. The initiative was launched by the UK, the US and Norway with the aim of supporting …


AidEX 2013 Highlights

Hundreds of aid professionals gathered for this year’s edition of AidEx – Europe’s leading humanitarian and development aid event. Over 200 global suppliers showcased their latest innovations. For instance, this year’s winners of the Aid Innovation Challenge were GravityLight and …


Equal education – Malala Yousafzai wins EU human rights award

Malala Yousafzai is the youngest person to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and is currently a frontrunner. She is also the winner of this year’s edition of the Sakharov Prize, the European Parliament’s prestigious Freedom of Thought award, …


A look overseas: US government partially shutdown

On the first of this month the US government began to partially shut down threatening to put roughly 1 million people out of work. These people will have to go on unpaid leave since national parks will be closed and …


Soft energy labels

Environmental and consumer groups are outraged because according to them the European Commission has yielded under pressure from the electric heating industry and are about to approve soft energy labels. The plan is to introduce in 2016 color-coded energy performance …


Counting twice: EU funding for climate and development aid

The EU made an interesting move this year by allowing Member States to simultaneously count their donation to development aid as meeting their obligations towards climate change. This decision was taken for the first time because a case was made …


EU dealing with problems caused by alcohol

Reports flag the fact that Europeans have the highest per-capita consumption of alcohol, which provokes ill health and premature death in approximately 1-in-10 cases. The European Commission launched an informal strategy to deal with excessive alcohol consumption in 2006 and …


Losing our butterflies

A recently released report by the European Environmental Agency (EEA) points out that there is a dramatic decline of Europe’s grassland butterfly population, which has been deteriorating over the past 20 years. Figures show an approximate 50% decline of EU …


The growing importance of donors to health aid in Africa

Over time, health aid to African countries has become fundamental to the survival of thousands of people suffering from the AIDS virus, malaria, and other plagues. According to a newly released report by the United Nations and the African Union, …


Main EU stakeholders invest 22 billion euros in innovation

The EU and industry have committed to investing more than 22 billion euros in innovation over the next seven years – in the context of the new EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. This considerable investment will mainly go …


Moving forward in transatlantic trade talks

The EU and the US have launched transatlantic trade talks this month with the clear objective of establishing a comprehensive transatlantic trade and investment partnership. This was possible after the battle over the exclusion of the audiovisual sector was resolved. …


New report on the successor of current MDGs

Governments, international organisations and other key players are currently pulling resources to outline a post-2015 framework. As the debates continue, the EU’s Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, made an interesting point by stating that future development goals should apply to every …


Climate change: looming predictions

There is a lot of supposition concerning the extent to which global warming will affect the Earth. But recent research shows that while extreme predictions will not come true, the world is still likely to suffer a temperature rise of …


Market reaction to building efficiency regulations

In spite of the debatable effectiveness of the EBPD, investors seem to have started reacting to building efficiency regulations. This means that regulations have a bearing on the investment decisions of financial institutions (e.g. pension funds). It is well known …


General overview on municipal waste generation and management

Eurostat has been collecting and publishing data on municipal waste since 1995. These data, which represents about 10% of total waste generation, are widely used for comparing municipal waste generation and treatment in different countries. The data on municipal waste …


Making the EU budget work for people and planet – citizens’ project awards

An event was organized by CEE, Friends of the Earth Europe, SF Team and The Greens from the EP this week on the topic of grassroots initiatives for better-spent EU funds. The Cohesion Policy funds are currently under discussion for …