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 […]

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 […]

The EU finally seizes the opportunity to support the sharing economy?

Last week, the much awaited response around the fate of the so-called “sharing economy” in Europe arrived from Brussels, and big players such as Uber and Airbnb can finally take a sigh of relief. On June 2 the European Union came up with a list of guiding principles for its Member States on how to “engage […]

Bayer-Monsanto merger: the story of the rise of the “endless company”

When about two weeks ago the world learnt that the German multinational company Bayer, leader in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry, had made an offer to acquire Monsanto, the world’s largest seed company, no one could believe it at first. It sounded so crazy and complex it might have as well needed some time for people […]

Vestager vs. Google: a fight to ensure a competitive innovation framework

The EU Consumer and Competition Day took place yesterday in Amsterdam with Margrethe Vestager to reveal her will to charge Google for exploiting consumers by pre-installing Android apps on their smartphones. European Commission (EC) is showing its teeth once again, after Microsoft antitrust case a decade ago, against giant tech companies which are finding ways […]

“BEUC cautions against TTIP that would seek to align EU and US chemicals management frameworks”

As it happened several times in the past, the closer a TTIP negotiation round gets, the bigger the debate over the main questions intensifies. With the next round of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership talks due to take place this month in Brussels, this time was the turn of the European Consumer Organisation, BEUC, to […]

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “You just don’t know if the oil price will be 20$ or 100$ in the next 2-3 years!” top Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff underscores from Davos

It is the first day of the most important economic forum in the world and economy and financial markets are as every year in the foreground. The session called “Preventing Future Shocks” finished a couple of hours ago in the Sanada room in Davos with Maria Bartiromo, anchor and Global Markets Editor of Fox Business Network, […]

A Sting Exclusive: “Consumer expectations for the 2015 UN summit on climate change”, Director General of BEUC Monique Goyens outlines from Brussels

The article is exclusively Co-authored for the Sting by Mrs Monique Goyens, Director General of the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) and Mrs Sylvia Maurer, Head of Sustainability and Safety in the organisation. The negative consequences of climate change are already and will increasingly be affecting consumers worldwide. We experience lower health standards due to air […]

Family incomes stagnate in the EU; people excluded from ‘moderate recovery’

The Brussels Eurocrats are trying to convince us all that the European economy, after the 2008-2010 fallout, is now on the right track towards an era of growth and financial security. However, real people out there are still waiting to taste the benefits of this impalpable improvement. Apart from the fact that Eurostat, the EU […]

TTIP’s 11th round starts in Miami but EU-US businesses see no sunny side

After almost three months since the last official meeting between the senior negotiators of the European Union and the United States, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations resumed yesterday in Miami. Unfortunately, at least for those who still believe in this gigantic trade agreement between the two blocs, the nice and warm location is just one […]

Changing the EU copyright law won’t bring us much closer to Digital Single Market

It was last Monday in Cannes when Andrus Ansip, Vice President of the European Commission (EC) for Digital Single Market (DSM), was interviewed in the context of the music industry’s annual Midem event. Supporting the Commission’s view and strategy for a Digital Single Market in the EU Mr Ansip mainly focused on the part of eliminating […]

The European Sting at the Retail Forum for Sustainability live from Barcelona

As part of the 18th European Eco-Innovation Forum on 20-22 May, the Retail Forum for Sustainability took place on 21 May in Barcelona and had a prominent place in the dialogue for a Greener European environment. The Forum came as a necessary module of the Eco-Innovation dialogue organised by the European Commission, DG Environment. The […]

18th EU Eco-Innovation Forum in Barcelona shows the way for Europe’s new Environmental policy

On 20-22 May 2015 the 18th edition of the European Forum on Eco-Innovation took place in Barcelona, Spain. The glorious “Green” Forum outside the Brussels city walls was jointly organised by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Environment, the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment, and the Generalitat de Catalunya with the support of the […]

“Decisions taken in the coming weeks will shape Europe’s experience of the internet”, Joe Mcnamee from EDRi says live from European Business Summit 2015

Written by Joe Mcnamee, Executive Director of EDRi The European Union has a strong record in regulating the telecommunications market in a way which supports competition and innovation, increasing choice while bringing down prices. Virtually every European citizen and business reaps the benefits every day. Now, we are faced with a new choice, do we […]

New VAT rules in the EU: how a digital sea could have become an ocean

From 1 January 2015, a major change to the European Union VAT rules occurred affecting the digital world, which is destined to be discussed widely for a long time. A new regulation has come into place where VAT on digital products sold in the EU will be chargeable in the place of purchase rather than […]

France fails again the exams. Kindly requested to sit in on Commission’s class

France gets once more under the microscope. Apparently the second biggest economy of Europe is il for the past couple of years in trouble. Given its enormous political power historically in Brussels L’Exagone was getting away with it for quite some time but it seems that now the time has come for drastic medication. The Macron […]

Presentation of Juncker’s Investment Plan: Can 315 billion euros save the EU?

Jean Claude Junker, the president of the European Commission (EC), announced details of his 315 billion euros promising investment plan two days ago in Strasbourg. This three year project will use money from EU institutions in order to create a fund that will motivate investors to bring back their money in Europe and increase growth […]

How and why Mercedes fakes the EU fuel consumption tests

Remember the time you bought a new car. You normally visited it at the showroom, took it for a test drive, read the fuel consumption. Those three factors, together of course with the price of the vehicle, formed your purchase decision and selection between competition. Well, it seems that you can count on the showroom visit […]

Eurozone: Inflation plunge to 0.4% in July may trigger cataclysmic developments

With inflation in Eurozone falling last month to crisis level nadir and a new business investments retreat, it is easily understandable why unemployment is still exploding at double-digit highs. As a matter of fact, at the end of last month Eurostat, the EU statistical service published its estimates for the above mentioned crucial variables, which […]

“If the job market doesn’t exist, then even the most brilliant Youth Guarantee cannot ensure a job to these young people”, European Youth Forum Secretary General Giuseppe Porcaro on another Sting Exclusive

This revealing exclusive interview with Giuseppe Porcaro, Secretary General of the European Youth Forum, was conducted by Panos Katsampanis at the European Sting’s pavilion during European Business Summit 2014. In the following interview Panos Katsampanis will be signalled as P.K and Mr Porcaro as G.P.   P.K.: We are pleased to welcome to the European Sting’s pavilion Mr Giuseppe Porcaro, […]

“Is Europe innovative? Oh, Yes we are very innovative!”, Director General of the European Commission Mr Robert-Jan Smits on another Sting Exclusive

This revealing exclusive interview with Mr Robert-Jan Smits, Director General of the European Commission for Research and Innovation, was conducted by Carlo Motta at the European Sting’s pavilion during European Business Summit 2014. In the following interview Carlo Motta will be signalled as C.M and Mr Smits as R.J.S.   C.M. : It is a big honour and pleasure to welcome in […]

The scary EU elections result and the delayed Council’s repentance

The European elections on 25 May revealed the rise of extremist parties in Europe. 12 countries out of 28 will send ultranationalists deputies to the new European Parliament. France chose the radical Front National (French Nationalist Party) to represent its citizens at the European Parliament. Around 25% of the French votes were in favour of the Front National; […]

Happens now in Brussels: Green Week sets the EU and global climate policy agenda

Brussels is all green this week. The eyes of Europe are focusing these days on the Egg Centre, where the 2014 edition of the Green Week is taking place. The conference centre in Rue Bara is hosting the biggest annual event on European environmental policy, whose theme this year is “Circular Economy, Resource Efficiency and Waste”. […]

Mental Health Policy, a significant driver for growth

Evidence that demonstrates the impact of mental health disorders is overwhelming in modern societies. Mental illness is a primary source of distress, social fracture and financial leakages. Mental illness is all around but apparently it is a very well masked enemy… nobody seems to see it… According to WHO, mental disorders represent almost 12% of […]

EU: Protecting victims’ rights from cartels and market abuses

It was high time that the European Union took care of citizens and companies, usually SMEs, who have suffered economic losses and other damages from infringements of the EU antitrust rules, such as cartels and abuses of dominant market positions. Until now it was very difficult for the victims to substantiate their claims for damages […]

The EU Parliament unanimously rejects Commission’s ideas about ‘seeds’

Yesterday the European Parliament rejected by 650 votes to 15 the new Regulation on seeds for sowing. The draft law was introduced in the legislative by EU Commissioner Dacian Cioloș. Undeniably, the extent of the negative vote is an indication that ‘something is rotten in the state’ of Berlaymont. The Romanian Commissioner even refused to […]

How much more social deterioration can the EU people endure?

The Council of the European Union responsible for Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer affairs couldn’t avoid recognizing that the social scenery in the EU is deteriorating fast as 26.8 million jobseekers unable to find a job and 25% of the European population at risk of poverty or social exclusion. Mind you that more than […]

MasterCard @ MWC14: Innovation in times of regulatory uncertainty

Written by Javier Perez, President of MasterCard Europe  It was that time of the year again. At the end of February, Mobile World Congress opened its doors in Barcelona for a week. This year’s edition saw the presentation of a myriad of innovative solutions in the mobile space. Some of the new devices and solutions […]

How can consumers be effectively protected from insurance sellers?

Yesterday, the European Parliament voted a series of amendments on a draft update of EU rules on the information and advice offered by insurance salesmen. The Press release issued afterwards by the legislative asserts that “MEPs amended the draft rules on sales of life and non-life insurance products and services to introduce similar information requirements […]

Right2Water initiative: Is the Commission ready to listen to citizens?

Predictably, the Right2Water campaigners while presenting yesterday in the European Parliament their ‘citizens’ initiative’, met opposition from some MEPs only when they crossed the line of the usual pompous but vacuous words about ‘universal rights’ and laid down their meaningful demand to ban privatization of water supply. It turned out that the organisers of the […]