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Survey reveals most smokers in Southern Europe

Fri, 2015-05-29 16:02

Though a new Eurobarometer survey published on Friday (29 May) reveals that more Europeans are quitting tobacco, Southern European countries still have a high number of smokers.

The highest rates of tobacco consumption were found in Greece (38%) and in Bulgaria (35%), while Nordic countries had the lowest rates, with only 11% in Sweden and 19% in Finland.

Categories: EurActiv

Getting older in Poland: European healthcare challenges

Fri, 2015-05-29 15:17

Poles are getting older. By 2050, 33% of Poland’s population will be over 65 years old, and 10% over 80. It reflects a broader trend in the whole Europe: people are living longer. EurActiv Poland reports.

High medical costs are one of the most visible effects of an aging society, and - depending on where you live - ineffective healthcare.

“Making sure people enter their old age in good health has measurable economic benefits for the society as a whole,” says Michał Szczerba, a Polish MP.

Categories: EurActiv

Poor nations waiting for a deal on climate, says French minister

Fri, 2015-05-29 14:32

Developing countries are “waiting to see” what rich nations will offer them in global warming talks, the French minister of environment has said, ahead of crunch negotiations to be hosted in Paris later this year.

Categories: EurActiv

Brexit could hit London insurance market

Fri, 2015-05-29 13:56

A British exit from the European Union could hit London insurers' ability to sell policies in Europe and may deter overseas players from opening London offices, a trade body said on Friday.

Through a system of EU "passports", companies in one EU country can carry out business in all the others while opening only branches and reporting to their home regulator.

"This arrangement is much more favourable than that for insurers based outside the EU," the International Underwriting Association (IUA) said in an emailed statement.

Categories: EurActiv

ALDE wants investigation of Le Pen’s contacts with Moscow

Fri, 2015-05-29 12:23

ALDE has requested an investigation of the contacts between the contacts of the France's far-right National Front, with the Kremlin. It is not clear if the French government, or MEPs, should investigate them.

National Front leader Marine Le Pen met a senior Russian official in Moscow on 26 May, underlining her party's regular ties with the Kremlin despite East-West tensions over Ukraine.

Categories: EurActiv

Member states see digital security as a national issue

Fri, 2015-05-29 12:13

Cybersecurity legislation is still being held up by member state reluctance to report attacks on their digital networks.

The Latvian Presidency of the European Council has been pushing the network and information security (NIS) directive as part of its portfolio relating to the European Commission's Digital Single Market plans, including data protection and the telecoms single market package. But after trialogue meetings with the European Parliament and the Commission in April, some member states are stalling talks by protesting the mandatory reporting clause.

Categories: EurActiv

Tourist boom in Georgia and Azerbaijan helps mitigate low oil prices

Fri, 2015-05-29 11:56

Georgia and Azerbaijan, two South Caucasus countries that offer breath-taking natural beauty, architectural treasures and rich histories, are going all-out to develop their tourism industries, writes Giorgi Meladze.

Giorgi Meladze is the director of the Ilia State University Center for Constitutional Studies and the executive director of the Liberty Institute, a libertarian think-tank in Tbilisi, Georgia. He contributed this op-ed exclusively to EurActiv.

Categories: EurActiv

Balkan leaders: ‘We are fed up with seminars’

Fri, 2015-05-29 09:00

Meeting in Tirana, the leaders of six Western Balkan countries told the European Union yesterday (28 May) that they were becoming impatient with their long wait to join the bloc, and needed EU funds to keep up reforms.

The prime ministers of Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Bosnia, Kosovo and Albania, all hoping to join the Union, said their cooperation should be rewarded with projects like new road and rail links. They were meeting in Albania ahead of a fundraising conference in Vienna in August.

Categories: EurActiv

MEPs give passing vote to TTIP

Fri, 2015-05-29 08:58

The European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade has given its go-ahead to the European Commission on the EU-US trade agreement, conceding that a controversial arbitration clause, albeit reformed, needs to remain part of the deal.

At the end of fierce horse-trading between political parties, the non-binding resolution negotiated through late into the night passed on Thursday (28 May) with 28 votes, 13 against and no abstentions.

Categories: EurActiv

UK takes hard line on EU reform as Cameron starts European tour

Fri, 2015-05-29 08:58

Prime Minister David Cameron said Britain's relationship with the European Union was "not good enough" after his foreign minister warned that the bloc had to change its founding treaties and give London a meaty reform deal to keep it as a member.

Categories: EurActiv

Official: The games are an opportunity for Azerbaijan to be more engaged with Europe

Fri, 2015-05-29 08:57

SPECIAL REPORT / External relations are very important for Azerbaijan, and the European Games open another door to Europe, Sevinj Hasanova, Deputy Minister of Economy and Industry of Azerbaijan, told EurActiv in an exclusive interview.

Sevinj Telman Hasanova was appointed Deputy Minister of Economy and Industry in 2014. She began her career serving in the Ministry of Finance of Azerbaijan Republic between 1993 and 2006.

What do the Baku 2015 European games mean for your country?

Categories: EurActiv

ACEA boss: Even a zero-emission target will fail to address car CO2

Fri, 2015-05-29 08:44

Europe’s ambition of heavily cutting CO2 emissions from cars won't work if it fails to address the 95% of emissions coming from old vehicles, according to Erik Jonnaert, the Secretary General of the European Automobile Manufacturer's Association, ACEA.

Categories: EurActiv

Putin declares soldier deaths a state secret

Fri, 2015-05-29 08:22

Russian casualties in “special operations” can be classified as military secrets, even in peacetime, Russian President Vladimir Putin decreed yesterday (28 May).

The decree comes as Russia faces accusations that it is sending its soldiers clandestinely to fight in Ukraine, an allegation that the Kremlin denies.

Lithuania's Minister for Foreign Affaris, Linas Linkevicius, confirmed yesterday reports that Russia has been massing troops and weaponry near the border of Ukraine and urged pressure on Moscow until it stops supporting Ukrainian rebels.

Categories: EurActiv

Putin declares soldiers’ deaths a state secret

Fri, 2015-05-29 08:22

Russian casualties in “special operations” can be classified as military secrets, even in peacetime, Russian President Vladimir Putin decreed yesterday (28 May).

The decree comes as Russia faces accusations that it is sending its soldiers clandestinely to fight in Ukraine, an allegation that the Kremlin denies.

Lithuania's Minister for Foreign Affaris, Linas Linkevicius, confirmed yesterday reports that Russia has been massing troops and weaponry near the border of Ukraine and urged pressure on Moscow until it stops supporting Ukrainian rebels.

Categories: EurActiv

Car makers gear up for next round of CO2 emission cuts

Fri, 2015-05-29 08:08

As the EU prepares for tough negotiations on reducing CO2 emissions from cars post-2020, industry lobbyists, green campaigners and the European Commission alike seem to agree on one thing: deeper emission cuts from road transport will require a more “holistic” approach.

Categories: EurActiv

Lagarde says Grexit is a ‘possibility’

Fri, 2015-05-29 07:59

The head of the International Monetary Fund warned that Greece could fall out of the eurozone, as it struggled to sort out its debt standoff, which is adding to concern about the patchiness of global economic recovery.

The finance chiefs of most of the world's biggest economies met in Germany against the backdrop of Greece's unresolved crisis, rising oil prices and volatility in financial markets.

Categories: EurActiv

Race is on to lead European Socialists

Fri, 2015-05-29 07:48

The Party of European Socialists is expected to vote for a new leader next month (11 June) but the outcome is uncertain, insiders say, as Germans and Austrians support the incumbent president, Sergei Stanishev.

The only challenger to Stanishev is at the moment Spain's Enrique Baron Crespo, who was President of the European Parliament between 1989 and 1992.

Categories: EurActiv

Sigmar Gabriel: Europe may have to move at different speeds

Fri, 2015-05-29 07:33

German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said that Europe may have to move at different speeds in the future, with Germany and France taking the lead and leaving others to follow later.

"We need in Europe more courage for different speeds in co-operation," Gabriel wrote in an opinion piece published in Germany's mass-selling Bild on Friday.

Categories: EurActiv

Joachim Weimann: 'With renewables, we are wasting resources'

Fri, 2015-05-29 07:24

No form of support for renewable energy sources has an effect on the actual amount of CO2 reduction, says Magdeburg-based environmental economist Joachim Weimann, recommending emissions trading and burden-sharing with developing countries to tackle climate change.

Categories: EurActiv

Commission must tackle fossil fuel subsidies

Thu, 2015-05-28 16:50

The European Commission must produce an effective framework to tackle fossil fuel subsidies, writes James Nix.

James Nix is Director of Green Budget Europe, an expert platform on environmental fiscal reform.

There is a growing global awareness of the real cost of fossil fuels. Last week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimated that global fossil fuels subsidies will reach $5.3 trillion in 2015 (6.5% of the global GDP).

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