VW diesel scandal and climate change: can increased independent car checks lead to cleaner mobility?

It was last Thursday when the European Parliament together with the Council and the Commission agreed to enhance the car testing system by providing extra checks to the cars that are or will be placed in the market based on the proposal of the European Commission made on January 2016. Despite the fact that this […]

UN Environment Assembly 2017: where the world convenes to #BeatPollution

The third session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) is concluding today in Nairobi, Kenya, with more than 4.000 heads of state, ministers, business leaders, UN officials and civil society representatives to partake in this three-day meeting. Pollution and the ways to eliminate all its forms is the target of every leader, activist, scientist […]

Energy Union: EU’s effort towards a cleaner climate with integrated energy market

The European Commission published its third annual energy report last Friday showing the progress that has been made so far since the last report in February of this year. Many policies’ amendments have been proposed for the next decade towards a greener environment and a more harmonised EU gas market. The majority of the EU […]

Climate change update: will the UN member states regain momentum despite the little progress at COP23?

The 23rd conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP23) concluded last Saturday in Bonn but little progress was achieved and everyone is now awaiting next year’s negotiations in Poland where a rule book for the Paris agreement has to be finalised. All member states should reconsider their emission cuts upwards via […]

Brexit: UK business fear of a no-deal scenario preparing for the worst

The Confederation of British Industry annual conference which took place last Monday in London was a chance for Prime Minister Theresa May to ask for more patience from the business world. Something though that seems to have been lost as negotiations show no significant progress and time presses both sides. A survey by the Chartered […]

Climate change: Will COP23 be able to accelerate the implementation of the Paris agreement?

The next UN climate summit (COP23) will take place in Bonn, Germany from 6 till 17 November with everyone to await its outcome and whether it will be beneficial for the global warming adding to the Paris agreement. It is a crucial year for the climate as the US has declared to leave the Paris […]

EU Trust Fund for Africa: Can it be beneficial for Italy and tackle the migration crisis in the Mediterranean?

It was last week when the EU leaders met in Brussels to discuss how to support Italy with managing the refugees’ crisis in the central Mediterranean. The increase of the financial aid in the Trust Fund for Africa is believed to be one of the main ways to deal with this long-lasting issue. However, this […]

EU-Turkey relations: Will Turkey manage to revive the EU accession process talks?

The EU leaders meet tomorrow in Brussels in a two-day summit where the relations with Turkey and particularly the accession procedure is going to be one of the main topics. The European Commission has been supporting the freezing of the EU membership talks as Jean Claude Juncker condemned President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s crackdown on political […]

EU-India summit: Will the EU manage to sign a free trade agreement with India before Britain?

Last Friday, the 14th EU-India summit took place in New Delhi with both sides to jointly state that trade partnership is approaching rapidly and as soon as all conditions are met. The free trade agreement negotiations have started in 2007 but have not concluded yet as there are unsolved issues related mainly to market access. […]

E-energy declaration: will energy digitalization be beneficial to the climate?

It was last Wednesday when the EU energy ministers met in Estonia with industry representatives to sign the Tallinn energy declaration targeting at the digitalization of the market. This declaration aims at helping the EU to meet its climate and energy targets via digital and innovative solutions. This action is meant to add significantly to […]

State of the Union 2017: Juncker’s optimism about EU growth and Brexit’s impact

It was last Wednesday when the president of the European Commission made his annual State speech address to the European Parliament pointing out the top priorities for the next year. Jean-Claude Juncker expressed his optimism for the boosting of the EU economy, trade, investment, cybersecurity, industry and democracy. The president of the EC respected the […]

Refugee crisis update: EU still lacks solidarity as Hungary and Slovakia refuse to accept EU Court’s decision

It was last Wednesday when the Court of Justice of the European Union rejected a challenge by Hungary and Slovakia regarding their denial on relocating refugees from Greece and Italy. Both countries though do not intend to change their position on the issue. Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos mentioned that there has […]

EU and African leaders to jointly tackle the migration crisis across the Mediterranean

It was last week when the leaders of Italy, France, Germany and Spain met in Paris with the African leaders of Chad, Niger and Libya to discuss on how to manage the influx of migrants through Libya and across the Mediterranean. Emmanuel Macron, the French president, hosted the summit and mentioned that refugee crisis is […]

China and UK relations post Brexit as EU addresses Chinese takeovers

Chinese acquisitions of European companies have attracted the attention of the EU’s largest economies, who requested from the Commission to play a more active role on deciding whether these takeovers are ‘politically driven’ or not. The president of the EC, Jean-Claude Juncker, in turn, is expected to announce plans on how to manage foreign investments […]

Has the EU economy truly revived from the financial crisis?

Last week the European Commission published a press release regarding EU’s recovery from the financial crisis where it is mentioned that the EU, after 10 years since that start of the crisis, is back to growth because of the EU influential actions. What is more, it was announced yesterday that Germany’s gross domestic product in […]

Refugee crisis update: EU lacks solidarity as migration figures drop

There has been a significant decrease in July in the number of refugees reaching Italy through the Mediterranean according to data released by the Italian interior ministry last Thursday. The report shows that 11.192 migrants have crossed the Mediterranean last month; only half compared to June’s and last July’s figures. Are migration crisis figures going […]

Refugee crisis: Commission proposes a new plan urging EU countries to help Italy

The EU interior ministers gathered last Thursday in Tallinn to discuss Italy’s problem to deal with migration crisis together with the new Action Plan proposed by the European Commission to support Italy and increase solidarity in the EU. The refugee crisis continues plaguing Europe in 2017 as 101.266 migrants have entered the bloc by sea […]

Human rights in Brussels and in Beijing: a more balanced approach needed

At the last United Nations Human Rights Council meeting, which was held in Geneva earlier this month, Greece shocked the world by objecting a common EU statement regarding the condemnation of  human rights violations in China. EU diplomats were not happy about that as it was the first time that the EU did not agree […]

Brussels Vs. Google: The €1 bn EU fine and the US response

The European Commission is about to impose more than one billion euros fine to Google as a result of online shopping service search abuse according to the Financial Times. If the above is implemented, it would be the highest penalty in the history of anti-competitive behavior after Intel’s case in 2009. The repercussions for Google, […]

Refugee crisis update: Commission is struggling alone with little help from EU or G7 leaders

The European Commission has been fighting the migration crisis urging the EU countries for their support to tackle this long-lasting issue but no or little contribution is provided. Last Thursday, the president of the EC prompted the Czech Republic to change its decision regarding their denial on accepting asylum seekers from Greece and Italy under […]

EU Council agrees to reform the system for motor vehicles but with “restricted” power for the Commission

It was last Monday when the EU ministers gathered in Brussels to draft new rules to prevent future emissions cheating from the automotive companies after the VW emissions scandal. The Council of Ministers from 28 countries proposed rules for cutting down the national authorities’ power giving at the same time the ability to the European […]

Will the EU ever tackle the migration crisis despite the lack of political will?

Despite the fact that migration crisis figures have decreased compared to last year, the disappointing commitment of some countries to fulfil their obligations receiving asylum-seekers from Greece and Italy combined with the worsening situation in the Mediterranean are perpetuating this crisis. The European Commission (EC) continues its hard work towards the completion of the relocation […]

French election: Will France vote for a reformed or no EU?

The run-off presidential election approaches and the leader of “En Marche!” movement leads the race over his political opponent Marine Le Pen. Both attempt to influence the remaining undecided French people who are going to vote on Sunday. On the one hand, Emmanuelle Macron supports an EU reform in order for France to remain within […]

EU attempts to make new deal with Turkey as relations deteriorate

The EU foreign ministers gather in Malta on Friday to discuss about the future relations with Turkey a few days after Erdogan’s narrow and controversial victory in the Turkish referendum. It seems that the EU officials and leaders start fearing that the Turkish president will materialise his threats about abandoning the EU-Turkey refugee deal in […]

ECB steadily continues monetary easing policy as EU economy gains momentum

European Central Bank – Press Conference Vítor Constâncio, Vice-President of the ECB, Mario Draghi President of ECB and Christine Graeff, Director General Communications (from left to right). Location: Frankfurt . Date: 09/03/2017 © ECB, 2017 / Source: ECB – Audiovisual Service It was last Thursday when the president of the European Central Bank gave a […]

Can China deal with climate change without the U.S.?

Last Tuesday U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order which rejects most of the climate initiatives of Obama’s administration. The U.S. President seems to keep his pre-election promises on boosting the coal industry and does not support the fight against global warming. However, China, the second largest economy in the world, has revealed that […]

Brexit kick-off: a historic day for the EU anticlockwise

The beginning of the two-year negotiations is about to begin as UK submits today the letter to the EU today informing the latter about the decision of the British people to leave the bloc. However, it is still too early to say whether a deal will be reached within the timeframe that is set in […]

Will Turkey abandon the refugee deal and risk losing a bonanza of money?

Last week Turkey threatened Europe to reinstate capital punishment and to drop the EU-Turkey pact which was signed one year ago. The desperate need of the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to gain more power has forced Turkish officials to release accusations to Europe and especially to the Netherlands, Germany and Brussels in view of the […]

VW emissions scandal: While U.S. car owners are vindicated, Europe still unable to change its laws and protect its consumers

Volkswagen, the giant German automaker, has pleaded guilty to criminal charges in a Detroit federal court last Friday to conspiracy to defraud the U.S., commit wire fraud, and violate the Clean Air Act, obstruction of justice and import violations. However, VW still denies compensating European car owners arguing that a ‘technical fix’ can make cars […]

Refugee crisis update: EU fails to relocate immigrants from Greece and Italy

The European Commission announced last Thursday new measures for an efficient EU return policy together with the progress made and must be done by the EU member states on the EU’s relocation and resettlement schemes by September and beyond. The slow relocation pace of refugees transferred from Greece and Italy to the rest European countries […]