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 […]

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Baluchistan, a thorn in the Persian giant’s side

Baluchistan, a thorn in the Persian giant’s side
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Rich in natural resources and a crucial pillar of the China Pakistan Iran Economic Corridor, Baluchistan has recently become a hotspot for massive investment projects such as the Free Trade Zone of Chabbahar port. The area is mostly inhabited by the predominantly Sunni Baloch group. Their Sunni faith places them at odds with the Iranian […]

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Trump’s rhetoric is un-presidential yet effective in appealing to peoples’ emotions

Trump’s rhetoric is un-presidential yet effective in appealing to peoples’ emotions
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While widely misunderstood, rhetoric is thought of as the available means of persuasion. That is, what we say, and do, to produce a desired outcome. Pathos is thought of as emotional appeals, logos appeals to logic, and ethos appeals to authority. Pathos is often considered the most elementary of appeals, requiring the least amount of […]

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Do EU policymakers really value intellectual property?

Do EU policymakers really value intellectual property?
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IP is a prime asset that advanced economies build on. As indicated by the World Intellectual Property Organisation’s Director General, “Intellectual property is a crucial part of a successful innovation system”. The EU – a block that hosts competitive and innovative industries – greatly depends on its brainpower to sustain economic growth. According to a […]

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From Brussels to Beijing: Is there room for optimism in climate policy in Trump’s era?

From Brussels to Beijing: Is there room for optimism in climate policy in Trump's era?
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There is more to the US besides the White House America has always been great – and diverse – with a prominent climate scientific community as well as leading political figures in the fight against climate change, like Al Gore. More recently, initiatives to safeguard climate-related data and make it public through “rebel” government agencies […]

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Cyber security: what lessons the European Union can learn from the French election

Cyber security: what lessons the European Union can learn from the French election
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The main targets so far have been businesses, alongside banking, telecom and defence, but with the 2016 US election, the focus of cyber attacks seems to have shifted towards governments and national parties. The state-sponsored cyber attacks against the Democratic Party and the subsequent leak of stolen information reflect a trend towards highly-publicised, overt campaigns […]

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When the brotherly vows break: Should Qataris question their khaleejinship?

When the brotherly vows break: Should Qataris question their khaleejinship?
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‘Khaleeji’ translates to ‘from the gulf’ in Arabic. However, the term currently and exclusively denotes the identity of the Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) nationals. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman established the GCC back in 1981 as a political and economic alliance to counter the rise of Iran’s power following the 1979 Islamic revolution. By fostering unity and […]

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Changing Everything so that Nothing Changes? The future of UK seats in the EP

Changing Everything so that Nothing Changes? The future of UK seats in the EP
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With 73 parliamentary seats, the British delegation is the third largest in the current parliamentary setup together with the Italian one. This explains why the future of its seats in the European Parliament is of fundamental importance to political equilibria between parties and national delegations. Various solutions have been put forward and discussed on how […]

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India & RCEP: The end of low cost medications?

India & RCEP: The end of low cost medications?
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India’s pharmaceutical industry will be limited by the proposed TRIPS Plus clauses within the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) between ASEAN and their trading partners. These would make large production more complex causing medicine prices to go up and thus rendering them less accessible, especially for people living in developing countries. The RCEP is a […]

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The Vienna Agreement: conflicting tales of OPEC compliance

The Vienna Agreement: conflicting tales of OPEC compliance
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The Vienna Agreement In November 2016, the 171st Ministerial Conference in Vienna was a welcomed change to the international community’s fight against crippling crude prices. This Agreement obliged 13 OPEC countries to reduce its production by around 1.2 million barrels per day (mb/d) to bring its ceiling to 32.5 mb/d. Eleven non-OPEC nations, specifically Russia, […]

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EU’s environmental policy is blatantly incomplete. The consumption side is missing.

EU’s environmental policy is blatantly incomplete. The consumption side is missing.
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There are, in other words, high emissions embodied in international trade that accompany the flows of products from the point of origin to the point of consumption. The most characteristic example is the case of China, where one-third of its GHG emissions are associated with the production of goods that are exported and consumed in […]

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Realpolitik still determines EU responses to Rule of Law threats. Here is why.

Realpolitik still determines EU responses to Rule of Law threats. Here is why.
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A decisive action against Poland and Hungary for violating the Rule of Law has been vocally called by many in Brussels and beyond. However, EU Institutions have failed to take effective action against their infants terribles so far. This can be explained by Member States’ reluctance to accept EU intrusion in national constitutional matters and […]

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Changing energy model dynamics one community at a time

Changing energy model dynamics one community at a time
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With an inherit shift in cultural identity needed bringing the fight towards grassroots level has the potential to pay high dividends in the grand scheme. Community Energy Projects (CEPs) are attracting increasing attention as they do not just enhance the technical basis of renewable energy but also increase social acceptance of core issues involved with […]

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