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Parliament gearing up for European Citizens' Initiative review

5 hours 6 min ago

MEPs discussed Thursday (26 February) reforming the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI), whose three-year review is planned for this year.

During a public hearing organised by the Constitutional Affairs and Petitions committee,  a number of stakeholders criticised the ECI as flawed.

Citizen participation initiatives brought by the Lisbon Treaty, like the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI), have struggled with a number of organisational and technical glitches.

Categories: EurActiv

Energy Union: The road ahead for more efficient transport

5 hours 16 min ago

Climate and energy crises are looming and only ambitious action can make the EU more environmentally friendly, energy secure and innovative at the same time, writes Nuša Urbančič. 

Nuša Urbančič is Transport & Environment’s energy programme manager

Categories: EurActiv

Coal industry stands for progress and prosperity

5 hours 19 min ago

Outlawing coal, as EU policymakers seem intent on doing, would be a divisive and backwards step for humanity, writes Brian Ricketts.

​Brian Ricketts is the secretary-general of Euracoal, the European Association for Coal and Lignite

Categories: EurActiv

Patient organisation: Unacceptable differences in member states for people with rare diseases

5 hours 22 min ago

There are huge differences when it comes to access to therapies for patients with rare diseases. The Commission could do more to make member states aware that this is unacceptable, says Terkel Andersen.

Terkel Andersen is the president of Eurordis, a non-governmental patient-driven alliance of rare disease patient organisations. He spoke to EurActiv's Henriette Jacobsen ahead of Rare Disease Day on 28 February.

What are some of the challenges for people with rare diseases in the EU?

Categories: EurActiv

Lack of social safety net hampers fight against killer diseases

5 hours 28 min ago

SPECIAL REPORT: Billions of people in developing nations lack the health and social protections that most Europeans take for granted, a gap that experts say harms efforts to reduce poverty and prevent crises like the killer Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

Categories: EurActiv

Regional president confident of Juncker Plan flexibility

5 hours 58 min ago

SPECIAL REPORT: The Commission is prepared to consider flexibility for member states, in order to offset structural funds from their annual budgets under the Stability and Growth pact, where these are used to co-finance Juncker Plan projects (see background), according to the new president of the Committee of the Regions (CoR).

Categories: EurActiv

German centre-right ‘disappointed’ over extension of French deficit deadline

6 hours 3 min ago

France was required to comply with EU deficit restrictions by 2015, but the European Commission is giving the country an extension until 2017, garnering sharp criticism from Germany’s centre-right in the European Parliament. EurActiv Germany reports.

Categories: EurActiv

France makes U-turn on TTIP arbitration

6 hours 20 min ago

Paris has warned French MEPs not to shut the door on Investor-State Dispute Settlement mechanisms by voting against ISDS. EurActiv France reports

Categories: EurActiv

Immigration rises as Britons fear pressure on jobs, NHS

6 hours 32 min ago

Over half of Britons believe immigration has a detrimental effect on the UK’s National Health Service.

A new poll by ComRes/ITV News, shows 55% of British adults think immigration impacts negatively on the NHS, despite 11% of NHS staff and 26% of NHS doctors being foreign nationals.

The poll results also show:

Categories: EurActiv

Survey: Minimum wages uneven in EU

6 hours 43 min ago

New EU data shows that there are huge differences in the minimum wage workers receive, depending on the countries in which they're employed. 

A worker in Luxembourg who receives the monthly minimum wage  €1,923, the highest amount in the EU, gets 90% more than the same worker in Bulgaria (€184), the country which has the lowest minimum wage in the EU, according to Eurostat, the statistical office of the EU.

Categories: EurActiv

German Social Democrats hit the breaks on planned highway toll

6 hours 54 min ago

The Social Democratic Party called for caution concerning Germany’s planned passenger car tolls, and hopes to review them once more, while Transportation Minister Alexander Dobrindt defended the toll as fair and modern. EurActiv Germany reports.

Categories: EurActiv

Open Europe: 17% probability of Brexit

Thu, 2015-02-26 18:04

The probability of the UK leaving the EU during the next parliament stands at 17%, according to Open Europe, a critical but pro-EU think tank.

Their “Brexit Barometer” assesses of the chances of the UK leaving the EU, up to and following the General Election on 7 May 2015.

The barometer comes as public support for EU membership in the UK is at record levels.

>>Read: Support for EU membership in UK at record high

Categories: EurActiv

Brussels demands more ambitious reforms from France

Thu, 2015-02-26 17:55

The European Commission is expecting to receive a new programme of structural reforms from Paris by April, despite the recent adoption of the Macron bill. EurActiv France reports

Categories: EurActiv

Riga to host ‘Eastern Partnership survival summit’

Thu, 2015-02-26 17:51

Edgars Rinkēvičs, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, didn’t mince his words Thursday (26 February) when he called the summit of the Eastern Partnership his country is hosting next May, in its capacity as holder of the rotating EU presidency, “a survival summit”.

Speaking at a public event organised by the European Office of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Rinkēvičs said that three months before the Riga summit, on 21-22 May, there were “more open issues than ever”.

Categories: EurActiv

Energy Union a green light for human rights abusers, warn NGOs

Thu, 2015-02-26 17:26

EXCLUSIVE: The European Union’s flagship energy project will prop up a rogue’s gallery of authoritarian governments responsible for a string of human rights abuses, while not improving gas supply security, civil society organisations have warned.

Categories: EurActiv

Does diversification of supply routes really deliver energy security?

Thu, 2015-02-26 17:09

Simply diversifying energy supply routes does not necessarily guarantee energy security, writes Luca Bergamaschi after the European Commission published its plans for Energy Union.

Luca Bergamaschi is a researcher at leading environmental think tank E3G.

Energy security is often understood as a matter of physical disruption. In response, policymakers tend to react by developing security strategies that aim at diversifying supply routes. This is reflected in the EU’s new Energy Union strategy, published on 25 February by the European Commission.

Categories: EurActiv

A ceasefire on the market place

Thu, 2015-02-26 17:08

While we are all crossing our fingers, hoping that the agreed ceasefire in Ukraine will stop the deadly conflict, time has come for the next steps to maintain peace and create progress in Ukraine. As disputes over trade were a significant part of the problem, trade must also be a significant part of the solution, writes Christian Friis Bach.

Categories: EurActiv

Women failing to keep up with cholesterol treatment, survey finds

Thu, 2015-02-26 14:33

Fewer than 40% of women suffering from bad cholesterol are able to follow the medicines regiment needed to control their disease, according to a US survey.

The poll was conducted by Women Heart, the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease, a non-profit organisation. This is the first national survey of this kind in the United States.

It showed that the mean medication adherence rate for the 795 women who took part in the survey was only 62%.

Categories: EurActiv

Europe’s piece in the puzzle of global climate cooperation

Thu, 2015-02-26 12:56

The European Commission has just proposed Europe’s ‘contribution’ to the international climate negotiations that should be finalised with a new agreement in Paris in December 2015. Overall, the Commission’s proposed contribution, and the vision it provides for the Paris agreement, is an encouraging first step. Some points may require further clarification, writes Teresa Ribera.

Categories: EurActiv

From the European Energy Community to the Energy Union

Thu, 2015-02-26 12:55

It is essential to mobilize all citizens around the energy transition in which the world is engaged and required to adopt common measures to keep the increase of temperature below 2°C. The release of the Energy Union package by the European Commission is the first major step in the European wide debate to give life and to create public support to this challenging project, write Jacques Delors, Sami Andoura and Jean-Arnold Vinois.

Categories: EurActiv