Ideas on Europe

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Category Archives: Energy & Climate Change

“Bonnets rouges” in Brittany: a fresh look at export subsidies

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The red cap movement brewing in Brittany since the summer of 2013 is usually presented as farmers and workers struggling against the introduction of a new environmental tax – yet it is as much, if not more, a fight for the preservation of a very old instrument of agricultural policy: export subsidies. Export subsidies and […]

Unchaining EU climate policy: quarrels over EU decision-making likely to continue

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Earlier this year, the European Commission started to work on a new EU energy and climate change package, which will define European climate initiatives until 2030[1]. Whatever the EU plans to do at home will influence its negotiating position at the international negotiations in Paris in 2015 (COP21), where the international community seeks to hammer […]

Environmental Europe: A Success Story?

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Forty years on, the EU environmental policy is a much-publicised success of European integration[1]. After a slow start in the 1970s to tackle trans-boundary environmental issues and level the playing field for European businesses, EU environmental policies now cover water, air or noise pollution; habitat and biodiversity preservation; sustainable production and consumption and the fight […]

The solar trade dispute

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The recent anti-dumping tariffs imposed by the EU on imported solar panel components from China, highlights a crisis not only in trade relations between Europe and China, but also the divisions within the renewable energy sector in Europe. Within Europe’s solar panel industry, there appears to be two conflicting interests between the producers of the […]

Jon Danzig’s new ‘EU ROPE’ blog

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Welcome to Jon Danzig’s new ‘EU ROPE’ blog, where the links between the UK and Europe are explored and discussed.  Stories so far: BBC’s John Humphrys got it wrong about Europe Why did UKIP win in Clacton? Press Complaints Commission: Daily Mail breached The Editors’ Code A country called Europe? Europe Moves – The ‘EU Earthquake’ […]

Extreme Weather Insurance for Farmers

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Heavy rainfall in 2012 cost farmers in Britain £1.3bn due to a lack of government delegated national food security measures such as insurance against extreme weather. According to figures released by the National Farmers Union (NFU), extreme rainfall resulted in a loss of £600m from poor wheat and potato harvests, and a further £700m of costs inclusive of feed for cattle unable […]

Barroso freaks out in fear of environmental NGOs

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I just read the summary of last week’s EU Commission meeting (18 July 2012), and in there I stumbled over a very interesting quote from a discussion on two recent EU Court rulings*: “The PRESIDENT [Barroso] said that the potential consequences of these judgments were very far-reaching;  leaving aside the damage done to the Commission’s reputation by […]

Rio+20: The EU approach and current developments

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Some weeks ago, the European Commission discussed the upcoming Rio+20 conference on sustainable development (20-22 June 2012). When you read through the minutes of 22 May meeting of the Commission (p. 13-18), one can see that the expectations at EU level are not very high: “[Commissioner Piebalgs] said that the only outcome that the European Union could […]

Really, Commissioner Potocnik, 72 billion Euro a year?

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In a recent speech, EU Commissioner Janez Potocnik claimed that: “A report we have just published calculates that full implementation of the existing waste legislation by Member States would […] save € 72 billion a year “ This figure looked a little ridiculous to me, so I mocked it on Twitter and soon after got a […]

Reform of the Common Agricultural Policy: Next week’s Council

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I’ve already blogged about next week’s EU Council meeting with regard to the fisheries issues. However, the Council also deals with what is by far the largest chunk of the EU budget, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), and its reform. For next week’s session, the Danish Council Presidency has prepared a questionnaire to structure the […]

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