EU Commission

  • Migration, Skills, Action!

    The European Commission has been busy with yet more major policy announcements – this time relating to migration and skills. On Tuesday (7 June), the Commission unveiled its Action Plan on Integration, designed to help Member states integrate third-party (i.e. non-EU) nationals and enable them to contribute positively to the social and economic well-being of…

  • The new kids on the block in plant breeding

    You probably haven’t heard of them – unless you’re a plant breeding researcher, an anti-GMO activist or work in the seed industry – but they’re the new kids on the block desperately trying to fit in. They’re collectively called new (plant) breeding techniques (NBTs) which is just a technical name introduced by the European Commission.[i]…

  • A Flagship in the Cloud

    The Commission recently launched a European Cloud Initiative. Many of you reading this may be aware of previous Commission-led efforts in this area; this blog aims to shed light. In 2012 the Commission launched a cloud computing strategy to enable and facilitate “faster adoption of cloud computing throughout all sectors of the economy”. Work streams…

  • Shale gas hasn’t gone away

    Europe still needs pragmatic solutions to its critical energy challenges. Europe’s Energy Union Strategy shapes the EU’s approach to climate and energy policy. Its intentions are clear:  to provide a framework to address an increasingly turbulent and rapidly evolving geopolitical landscape at a time when our own indigenous resources are declining.  In short, seeking to…

  • EU Energy Security 2.0

    Taking its first step towards the delivery of the Energy Union, on Tuesday 16th February, the European Commission (EC) presented its Energy Security Package. With the aim of bolstering security of supply, the package sets out a wide range of measures to strengthen the European Union’s (EU’s) resilience to gas supply disruptions and takes yet…

  • Trade for all… but are all for trade?

    With its new strategy Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström wants to address the new challenges EU trade policy is facing. The strategy reflects changes in global trading patterns but also the growing interest and scepticism among the general public in global trade. One of the overarching objectives of the strategy is to ensure that trade benefits…

  • DSM and ecommerce – opening up cross-border competition

    On 24 September the European Commission launched a public consultation into geoblocking and other geographically-based restrictions to shopping and accessing information in the EU. Every ecommerce business now has until the end of December to make their case on what constitutes justified geoblocking. Consumers and consumer groups, who have generally been critical of geoblocking, have…

  • Understanding platforms, online intermediaries and the sharing economy

    Summer is over, but autumn is opening the way to long awaited public consultations and more action from the European Commission. Last May the European Commission adopted its strategy to complete the Digital Single Market strategy (DSM) with the aim of generating up to €250bn worth of additional growth in Europe. While the strategy clearly…

  • The return of Tsipras

    Sunday’s snap election in Greece has resulted in victory for Syriza and Alexis Tsipras, who returns as Prime Minister with a 7.5% margin over his opponent, New Democracy leader Evangelos Meimarakis. While pre-election polls had them neck and neck, in the end Syriza fell just five seats short of an overall majority and will renew…

  • E-commerce sector inquiry: a new round of questionnaires has been distributed

    Even though Brussels feels abandoned, certain areas resembling a movie set from a post-apocalypse movie, the E-commerce sector inquiry is ongoing. Chasing down all competition concerns in the e-commerce sector, the Commission has sent out a new round of questionnaires focusing on online marketplaces that act as hubs for independent traders (e.g Amazon.com or eBay).…

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