EU social fund brings progress despite low expectations

Brussels January, 9th 2017

The European Social Fund has reached half of all EU workers and helped 10 million citizens find jobs. Contrary to the popular wisdom, the social situation in Europe is improving. The EU is known for imposing budgetary constraints and pushing liberalisation in Europe’s economies. It is rarely associated with social progress. Now, the European Commission has begun to address this image problem.

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Looking at environmental performance across the supply chain

Brussels December, 20th 2016

The environmental impact of business activity is often mistakenly limited to the direct operations of companies. In reality, it is the environmental performance of the supply chain as a whole that needs to be looked into, writes Christian Ewert.

Christian Ewert is director general of the Foreign Trade Association (FTA).

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Commission 'dangerously' out of touch with reality on biofuel

Brussels December, 13th 2016



A response delivered by Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete in the European Parliament last week demonstrates just how dangerously out of touch with reality the executive is on a policy that impacts on the lives of hundreds of thousands of EU citizens, writes Dick Roche.

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Commission and member states clash over capacity mechanism

 Brussels December, 23rd 2016

 The European Commission fears that capacity mechanisms would just translate into subsidies for coal power plants. Therefore, installations exceeding emission limits should not take part in support schemes, according to a proposal under the Energy Union’s Winter Package.

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 How Europe can give a jolt to electric car infrastructure?

Brussels December, 18th 2016

If the EU really wants to supercharge the electric vehicle revolution, it needs a quick, coordinated rollout of recharging infrastructure that sorts out issues with different chargers yet leaves room for further innovation, writes Teodora Serafimova.

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Commission's sustainable development package must be taken further

Brussels December, 12th 2016

The EU will not meet the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals without rethinking its approach to individual targets. So far, this has not happened, writes Damien Demailly.

Damien Demailly is the coordinator of the New Prosperity programme at the French Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI).

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EU countries stall over carbon market reform

Brussels December, 22nd 2016

After more than a year of negotiations, EU member states have come up short in their efforts to find common ground on a carbon market reform seen as necessary if the ambitions of the Paris Agreement on climate change are to be met.Meeting at the final ministerial council chaired by the outgoing Slovak presidency yesterday (19 December), environment ministers appeared at odds over the planned reform of the Emissions Trading Scheme, the EU’s main tool to fight climate change and reward clean energy.

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The digital single market needs real skills and substance to succeed

Brussels December, 14th 2016


Europe is creating digital jobs, but lacks the skilled workforce to fill them. The Commission should promote the benefits of action at national level without drowning member states in red tape, writes Jamie Greene.

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Commission launches youth volunteer 'solidarity' corps

Brussels December, 10th 2016

European solidarity corps

European? Aged 18-30? Unemployed? Want to work abroad for pocket money? The EU’s new Solidarity Corps may be for you.

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