Beware: Nobody wants to be lonely

Beware: Nobody wants to be lonely

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After my grandmother passed away, my grandfather, still an agile man now in his 80s, has been coming to our house every single day. Most of the days he spends silently watching TV. He leaves to his place after the afternoon news, around 4.30pm. Although we have had countless memorable moments together during my childhood […]

PESCO – One “Giant Leap” Towards European Defence?

PESCO – One “Giant Leap” Towards European Defence?

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Twenty-five EU countries have announced they will participate in a new cooperation pact in the area of security and defence policy, known as Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), which was officially launched at a Foreign Affairs Council summit on the 11th of December. The decision activates dormant Lisbon Treaty provisions (Articles 42(6) and 46, as well as Protocol […]

The truth behind the BitCoin media hype

The truth behind the BitCoin media hype

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People are very fond of making the intangible become tangible. The blockchain revolution, cryptocurrencies, and ultimately BitCoin challenge not only our centralized financial system and ledgers, but also our perception of the world – of what is real and what is not. The BitCoin, often presented as the conventional currency killer – exists only virtually. […]

Japan-EU trade deal:  an uneven road ahead for EU car manufacturers?

Japan-EU trade deal: an uneven road ahead for EU car manufacturers?

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A few months after CETA, the Japan- EU agreement was another giant step forward for EU trade. This latest deal was also announced by the European Commission as the “most important bilateral trade agreement ever concluded by the EU”.  Japan is the second biggest car exporter behind Germany and is the third biggest car producer […]

Białowieża Forest: An unexpected venue for the Commission's case against Poland

Białowieża Forest: An unexpected venue for the Commission’s case against Poland

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Over the past two years the relationship between the Polish government under the lead of the conservative Law and Justice Party (PiS) and the European Commission has been tense. Growing economic fears and nationalistic sentiments were cleverly utilized by the government to gain popularity. The first clash with the EU thus arose from the system […]

The answer to our most pressing environmental problems lies beneath our feet

The answer to our most pressing environmental problems lies beneath our feet

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What would you think of if I asked you about soil? Most people spend time avoiding it, washing it off our cars, dogs and shoes. Most people would call soil ‘dirt’ and would usually consider it a major inconvenience. But what would you say if I told you that this dirt that we fastidiously spend […]

Pan-European pension schemes – a way to close the pension gap

Pan-European pension schemes – a way to close the pension gap

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Europe is getting old. Ageing population is a luxury good hardly any country can afford. It has been one of the main policy challenges in the Union. Increasing old-age dependency ratio will widen the pension gap and make current pension systems unsustainable. Over the past decades, politicians have been in a rambling quest to close […]

Recent News

ISDS: a new dispute to settle?

ISDS: a new dispute to settle?
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The Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanisms are provisions included in most international investment agreements, since the late 1950s. As the name suggests, the role of the ISDS is to act as a “referee” or arbitrator in the event of a dispute between an investor and a state. These generally occur when a foreign investor feels […]

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Brexit: a matter of identity politics?

Brexit: a matter of identity politics?
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Since the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union over a year ago, the future of the border between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland has been on top of Brexit negotiators’ agenda. The current setup of the Irish border has come in the form of an Agreement between Northern Ireland and […]

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NATO is obsolete, how European defence will extinct the Atlantic dinosaur

NATO is obsolete, how European defence will extinct the Atlantic dinosaur
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Meanwhile, Montenegro –  a country well advanced into EU’s accession talks –  recently achieved full NATO membership. A move that completed the organisation’s necklace around the Adriatic shores and which unleashed the wrath of Moscow. With ever diverging strategic interests and some EU members still reluctant to make the leap of faith into NATO membership, […]

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The hunger for organic is growing – but how best to feed it?

The hunger for organic is growing – but how best to feed it?
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After three years of intense negotiation, the European Commission has finally reached a preliminary decision on the reformation of organic legislation. In effect from July 2020, this overhaul of existing organic legislation is an attempt to harmonise and promote sustainable development of organic production in the EU, whilst also improving customer confidence by introducing more […]

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Ireland Continues to limp towards its Climate Commitments – Unwilling or Unable to Comply?

Ireland Continues to limp towards its Climate Commitments – Unwilling or Unable to Comply?
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Ireland has a low population density and an abundance of good land and marine territory available for renewable energy potential meaning that in terms of pure technical capacity it could be a climate leader, yet it has rightfully earned the reputation as a climate laggard. More than 90% of Ireland’s energy is from fossil fuels, […]

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Walking the talk: Going national to make the SDGs beneficial for Indigenous Peoples

Walking the talk: Going national to make the SDGs beneficial for Indigenous Peoples
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The 10th anniversary of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) last month has drawn great attention to the more than 370 million indigenous people, occupying 22 percent of the global land area. Many of them are among the poorest of the poor, and suffer from discrimination and inequalities. Therefore, indigenous peoples are […]

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Clean up or close down: the European Union’s response to polluting power industries

Clean up or close down: the European Union’s response to polluting power industries
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On the 17 August 2017 the European Commission published the decision to revise ‘LCP BREF’ industrial standards, introducing stricter pollution limits for large combustion plants (LCP). This change was prompted by the growing recognition that air pollution is a persistent threat. Air pollution has a host of detrimental impacts on health, with an estimated 400,000 […]

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European Unemployment Insurance – a good initiative missing proper foundation

European Unemployment Insurance – a good initiative missing proper foundation
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The recent announcement of the European Pillar of Social Rights rekindled discussions about a European Unemployment Insurance Scheme. The Scheme would serve as a coordination mechanism at the European level to cushion economic downturns in member states. The idea goes hand in hand with the Five Presidents Report on Completing the Economic and Monetary Union, […]

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The Fumes of War

The Fumes of War
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When did I realize a change was coming, an internal war percolating, like coffee on the fire? I smelled it first. “It’s not over yet,” I said in the back seat of an Uber pool. “How can you say that?” my riding companion asked.  He was Asian, tall and thin, a recent college graduate with […]

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Reserved seats in Parliament hurt rather than help Kenyan female candidates

Reserved seats in Parliament hurt rather than help Kenyan female candidates
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The two-thirds gender rule is a constitutional requirement which ensures that no more than two-thirds of elective and appointive bodies are composed of the same gender. Despite an increase in the number of women elected into office in this election (and the ones likely to be nominated), we still haven’t reached the two-thirds threshold and […]

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The ‘Berlin Promise’ – Dashed expectations must not spell defeat in the Western Balkans

The ‘Berlin Promise’ - Dashed expectations must not spell defeat in the Western Balkans
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Today, six countries in the Western Balkans – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia – are waiting in the wings to join the European Union. They have implemented policies that aim to narrow the development disparities with the EU and to adopt the acquis communautaire. However, according to the IMF, “the process […]

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Can the EU’s fight against illegal logging help to preserve forest ecosystems in timber producing nations?

Can the EU’s fight against illegal logging help to preserve forest ecosystems in timber producing nations?
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In 2003 the EU passed the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance, and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan, a path-leading framework to fight illegal logging and deforestation. However, fifteen years later there is still a lot of work to do until EU FLEGT unfolds a positive impact on climate change, forest ecosystems and local communities as intended. In […]

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