How digital is your country? Europe needs Digital Single Market to boost its digital performance

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission. Today the European Commission is publishing the results of the 2018 Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) , a tool which monitors the performance of Member States in digital connectivity, digital skills online activity, the digitisation of businesses and digital public services. According to it, the […]

EU-Western Balkans summit in Sofia

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission. Main results The EU-Western Balkans summit took place in Sofia, Bulgaria, on 17 May. It brought together: heads of state or government from EU member states leaders from the 6 Western Balkans partners: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Kosovo* […]

Europe on the Move: Commission completes its agenda for safe, clean and connected mobility

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission. The Juncker Commission is undertaking the third and final set of actions to modernise Europe’s transport system. In his State of the Union address of September 2017, President Juncker set out a goal for the EU and its industries to become a world leader in […]

Air quality: Commission takes action to protect citizens from air pollution

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission. The Commission is standing up for Europeans’ need to breathe clean air. The Commission is providing national, regional and local actors with practical help to improve air quality in Europe, and stepping up its enforcement against 7 Member States who have breached agreed EU rules […]

Climate negotiations on the road to a strong Paris agreement rulebook

The UN climate change negotiations are concluding tomorrow in Bonn after ten days in the German city aiming at developing the final text for the Paris agreement rulebook. However, this is not going to happen before COP24 scheduled in December 2018, according to the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Patricia […]

The missiles fired against Damascus, Syria divided Europe deeply

Last Friday night till the early hours of Saturday morning the US-France-Britain alliance attacked the Assad/Putin regime of Damascus, with a precipitation of missiles. Seemingly though, the hits have had a greater political impact on Europe than in Syria itself. Germany and Italy, the other two major European Union countries with strong interests in the […]

Fake news and Freedom of Press: can the EU ever find the fine line?

The European Commission attempts to tackle disinformation which is spread online by building up strategic measures in the EU. Last January, the EC assigned to a High Level Expert Group (HLEG) to define the problem and propose concrete recommendations on how it can be dealt. The report which was completed last month sets this issue […]

EU and U.S. castigate Facebook on Cambridge Analytica scandal as citizens’ data privacy goes down the drain again

Last Monday, the European Commission sent a letter to Facebook asking whether EU citizens were involved in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The EU is taking the turn from U.S. which has already opened an investigation to find out how Facebook permitted data breach of 50 million users. Facebook has been experiencing fierceful attacks both by […]

Trump’s trade war splits the EU; Germany upset with Juncker’s “we can be stupid too”

The US-EU trade war starts on 23 March, with the first shot fired by Washington at 12:01 a.m. (04.01 GMT). From what we know so far, from that minute onward the American customs authorities will impose extra tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, set by President Trump at 25% and 10% respectively. However, it seems […]

What we take for granted: The EU is not perfect

This article was exclusively written for the Sting by Mr Daniel Memarpour, a European medical student, based in Spain, who is a trainer at the IFMSA. Mr Memarpour is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Association (IFMSA). The opinion expressed in this piece belongs to the writer and does not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view […]

Trump systematically upsets global order and trade: Where does this end?

The extra import tariffs Donald Trump, the ‘America first’ President, the US is to impose on steel (25%) and aluminum (10%) imports have provoked a tsunami of reactions and widespread consequences without and even within the country. The European Commission President reacted swiftly and stated the EU is to retaliate with tariffs of an equal […]

Is Britain to sail alone in the high seas of trade wars?

If Britain is counting on the US for a favorable bilateral trade agreement after Brexit, Donald Trump the President of ‘America first,’ rushed last Thursday to destroy that Brit dream; he announced 25% extra tariffs on steel and 10% on aluminum imports, prompting anger and retaliatory measures from America’s closest political allies, Canada and the […]

EU budget: Will Germany alone manage Britain’s gap?

The EU budget will be the main topic of the EU summit which will be held in Brussels on Friday. The leaders of the 27 member states have to deal with the annual gap that UK will leave after Brexit occurs ensuring that the priorities set for the Union will be adequately funded. According to […]

Hazy ‘breakthrough’ saves PM May, leaves Ireland in limbo: Brexit

With only a couple of hours sleep in the very early hours of last Friday, the British PM Theresa May boarded a RAF aircraft and landed in Brussels before dawn. Weary as she was, she rushed to Berlaymont building, the EU Commission headquarters. There she met Jean-Claude Juncker the President of the European Commission and […]

EU’s unsparing question to UK: now what kind of future relations do you want?

This week, the countdown starts for Britain to offer final answers, about the three Brexit prerequisites: the divorce alimony, the future of the 4.5 million European citizens who work on the wrong side of the English Channel and the Irish border. Only then will Brussels pass to the second phase of the talks, to discuss […]

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 […]

Britain offers more money for an orderly Brexit but the Irish question resurges

If last Friday’s Reuters report from Brussels is correct and Theresa May and Donald Tusk agreed to solve the Brexit dead-end in ten days, then the wild Brexiteers must have retreated  and the orderly exit side has won the first round. Tusk, the President of the European Council said in a tweet that he told […]

Czech Babis, Austrian Kurz and others threaten Europe with nationalist populism

Andrej Babis, a media magnate and second wealthier Czech leading his anti-immigration, nationalist and populist ANO party, won last Sunday’s election, with around 30% of the vote. He is to become the next Prime Minister of the Czech Republic. Babis did that on an anti-systemic Trump-like ticket. He was recently implicated in a tax fraud […]

Britain, EU take edgy steps to unlock Brexit talks as the war of words rages

Last Monday the British Prime Minister Theresa May told the lower house of the Parliament, The Commons a no-deal Brexit is not ruled out. She clarified also that the government ‘is planning for all eventualities”, including the possibility the UK sails after Brexit as an “independent trading nation”. Then she concluded “The ball is in […]

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 […]

The EU Commission vies to screen Chinese investment in Europe

Last week, Jean-Claude Juncker, the head of the powerful European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, announced a plan to screen foreign investments. The idea is to hold back or even effectively block business acquisitions or other investment plans financed by third country companies, in key sectors allegedly considered to be sensitive from […]

The EU stops being soft with 10 Downing Street about Brexit

After the failed successive meetings about Brexit between the European Union and the British negotiation teams, the European Commission decided to stiffen its position. Last week EU’s executive arm issued a Press Release saying, “As it was a UK’s decision to leave the EU, it’s a UK’s responsibility to propose solutions…”. One of the most […]

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 […]

After Brexit and Grexit, Brussels to deal with Poloust

After Grexit and Brexit that have both been haunting the European Union for quite some time, and will continue doing so in the foreseeable future, Brussels seems obliged to ponder Poloust that is kicking Poland out. The country is steadily sliding to rightwing coercion, under the leadership of Jaroslaw Kaczynski, a rampant populist, authoritarian and […]

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 […]

Climate change and health: Raising awareness is the key for greener actions

This article was exclusively written for the Sting by Ms. Kristiana Nikolova, a fourth year medical student from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.  She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA). However, the opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European […]

Why climate change matters for future health professionals

This article was exclusively written for the Sting by Ms. Emma Aneshansley, recent graduate from Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts, and Mr Amro Aglan, a final year medical student at Tanta University, Egypt . They both are affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA). However, the opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writers […]

Trump’s Russian affair spills over and upsets Europe

The turmoil in the American political system, caused by President Donald Trump’s Russian affair is having spillovers in Europe. Of course, it’s not the first time that Trump and his out of control political ‘inspirations’ instigate trouble for the Old Continent and the rest of the world. This time however, the US Congress prepares new […]

Europe to turn the Hamburg G20 Summit into a battlefield

This week’s G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany is expected to become a battlefield from the very first gathering. Chancellor Angela Merkel is to attack the US President Donald Trump, about his rejection of the Paris Climate Agreement. The American will reply with a demand for ‘free and fair trade’ as he ventures it, especially for […]