December 2015

  • Internal Market Strategy – Grasping the Opportunities

    The Internal Market is at the heart of the EU project. For many it represents the EU’s greatest economic achievement but for eurosceptics it represents needless meddling in our daily lives with regulation after regulation. From the infamous shape of cucumbers to the possible regulation of candles in time for Christmas – in this Snapshot…

  • Strasbourg Diary #2 – Christmas wonderland

    The city of Strasbourg turns into a Christmas wonderland for the final European Parliament plenary session of 2015 (minus real snow this year as parts of Europe experience incredibly mild festive weather….climate change anyone?) Famous for its Christmas market and buildings draped with festive decorations, there was a rare atmosphere of good cheer this week…

  • Meeting the challenges of patents, innovation and access to global health

    Over the past years, and as a response to the financial crisis in Europe, the pharmaceutical sector has felt the squeeze of cuts in healthcare spending. Not only have pharmaceutical companies had to re-adjust to the new market conditions, they have also been under the close scrutiny of the European Commission amidst claims of excessive…

  • Drones – Captured by EU rules

    On 7 December, the European Commission presented its Communication on a new Aviation Strategy for Europe designed to promote a competitive EU aviation sector. This non-legislative document highlights that integration of new business models and emerging technologies is crucial for the future development of the sector. In the Communication, the Commission pledged to take the…

  • Energy Efficiency – Guiding light in EU’s building sector

    Energy efficiency is one of the five key dimensions of the European Commission’s Energy Union Strategy and is a strategic and indispensable component in addressing Europe’s energy challenges. The European Commission (EC) calculates that every additional 1% in energy savings will cut gas imports by 2.6%, thus boosting energy security while reducing overall import dependency,…

  • Towards a Circular Economy

    On 2 December 2015 the European Commission relaunched the Circular Economy Package, which is aimed at improving resource efficiency performances across manufacturing industries and along the whole value chain. The new package will move beyond recycling targets, notably by requiring products to be better designed for repair and reuse. While the circular economy is a…

  • German e-health law – a breakthrough for the digital health sector?

    Digitisation has become a political buzzword in Germany, raising particular concerns with regard to the German healthcare system. German politics has long been lagging behind in creating an appropriate framework that balances health benefits versus data protection issues. Now a new e-health law about to be passed, triggering a dynamic debate on digitisation, data and health.…

  • Medical Device Directive: state of play and future challenges

    The European Institutions have been working on the Directive on Medical Devices and In-Vitro Diagnostics since 2012. With the adoption of the European Parliament’s position in 2013 and the Council agreeing their approach in October 2015, the process has undoubtedly been slow. It was originally hoped that a conclusion would be finally reached by Christmas…

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