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Both public and private buildings might be required to turn down their thermostats by 1 degree during the winter, to save fuel while not compromising on comfort, write Simone Tagliapietra and Georg Zachmann.

The only quick-fix to Europe’s energy price crisis is saving energy

By: EBR | Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Faced with rising energy prices, the only thing Europe can quickly do to prevent a potentially difficult winter is to actively promote energy conservation in both the residential and industrial sectors

"MEPs are concerned about the privacy implications of AI technologies."

Use of artificial intelligence by the police: MEPs oppose mass surveillance

By: EBR | Wednesday, October 6, 2021

To combat discrimination and ensure the right to privacy, MEPs demand strong safeguards when artificial intelligence tools are used in law enforcement

"Oceans absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through microscopic algae that carry out photosynthesis and then sink to the deep sea when they die."

What is ’marine snow’ and how does it help the ocean to store carbon?

By: EBR | Wednesday, October 6, 2021

New research sheds light on how oceans absorb carbon dioxide

“Journalists and rights defenders should be the watchdogs of our democracies, not legally harassed for keeping in check those in power. The public consultation will help us to understand what we need to do to protect them.”

EU plan to protect journalists from malicious lawsuits moves forward

By: EBR | Tuesday, October 5, 2021

The European Commission initiated on Monday (4 October) a public consultation on its plan to protect journalists and human rights defenders from litigation designed to curtail their work

"While military escalation is on the rise in the Aegean, we can only wonder: where is the EU in all this?".

French frigates to fight German submarines in the Aegean?

By: EBR | Tuesday, October 5, 2021

The EU is quick to call for de-escalation in case of conflicts, it is ambitious about setting itself targets such as “strategic autonomy”, and it succeeds to make its voice heard in the world

“The gas-in procedure for the first string of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline has started,” Nord Stream 2 AG said in a statement.

Nord Stream 2 operator begins filling controversial pipeline

By: EBR | Tuesday, October 5, 2021

The operator of the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia to Germany — criticised by some Western countries as a geopolitical weapon — said on Monday (4 October) it had begun filling the pipeline with gas

Draghi presented plans for a budget deficit of 9.4% of GDP for 2021, lower than had previously been expected, after the economic growth forecast was revised upwards from 4.5% to 6%.

Draghi on quest to challenge EU rules and grow out of public debt

By: EBR | Monday, October 4, 2021

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi unveiled an ambitious Italian budget for 2022-2024 last week, with deficits above the limits set by the Stability and Growth Pact, in what appears to be a bet on a change in the EU’s fiscal rulebook

“Despite the positive perspective for the energy transition at the EU level, soaring energy prices could jeopardise EU climate action.”

Energy price crunch risks derailing UN climate talks, Iberdrola warns

By: EBR | Monday, October 4, 2021

The current hike in energy prices is threatening to overshadow the COP26 climate summit this November as countries scramble to tackle the rising costs of electricity, oil and gas, warned a senior executive at Spanish power firm Iberdrola

"Thousands of migrants fly to Belarus and are then pushed across the Polish, Lithuanian, and Latvian borders by local authorities."

‘Legal’ pushback: EU walking on a tightrope

By: EBR | Thursday, September 30, 2021

Faced with a stalemate in talks over a new EU migration pact, several member states have tabled a proposal to legalise pushbacks. Considering that no joint EU response on migration is expected before the French elections in April 2022, the EU will be walking on a tightrope

"Significant reinforcements for Horizon Europe (research), Erasmus+, health, climate and humanitarian aid."

2022 EU budget: MEPs demand the focus must be on COVID-19 crisis recovery

By: EBR | Thursday, September 30, 2021

The Budget Committee wants to boost the pandemic recovery process and lay the foundations for a more resilient EU

"The outcome of the German election points to two possible three-party coalitions, depending on which one between the Social Democratic Party’s (SPD) Olaf Scholz and Christian Democratic Union’s (CDU) Armin Laschet the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) and the Greens will support as chancellor."

Can Germany Provide Leadership to Europe?

By: EBR | Thursday, September 30, 2021

Berlin’s ability and willingness to lead Europe cannot be taken for granted. Any new coalition will first have to overcome major internal differences on climate, foreign policy, and defense before tackling the EU’s future direction

The Commission had alerted the Consumer Protection Cooperation (CPC) enforcement authorities in December 2020 to address several airlines’ cancellation and reimbursement practices in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Consumer protection: Airlines commit to timely reimbursement after flight cancellations

By: EBR | Thursday, September 30, 2021

Following dialogues with the Commission and national consumer protection authorities, 16 major airlines have committed to better information and timely reimbursement of passengers in case of flight cancellations

The proposed ReFuelEU regulation, tabled in July as part of European Commission plans to halve EU emissions by 2030, mandates that planes uptake a set percentage of SAF when refuelling at EU airports.

EU Commission, industry clash over green jet fuel mandate

By: EBR | Thursday, September 30, 2021

The European Commission has strongly denied accusations that its proposed mandate to support sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) will lead to higher greenhouse gas emissions by diverting waste-based biofuels from the road sector

French President Emmanuel Macron and Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis signed the deal on Tuesday, described as the first step for Europe to achieve “strategic autonomy”.

France and Greece take first step towards EU force in NATO

By: EBR | Thursday, September 30, 2021

France and Greece have signed a landmark military agreement that provides mutual assistance in the event of one party coming under attack by a third country, even if the latter belongs to NATO

Hungary’s MVM Zrt. signed a long-term gas purchase contract with Russia’s Gazprom for fifteen years, Foreign and Trade Minister Peter Szijjarto announced in Budapest on Monday, Telex reported.

Budapest signs deal with Gazprom, Kyiv ‘disappointed’

By: EBR | Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Hungary signed a fifteen-year gas purchase contract with Russia’s Gazprom bypassing Ukraine. This angered Kyiv who said it will turn to the EU Commission for a solution

"Google and the Commission face each other before the General Court of the EU Court of Justice."

Google starts fight against Commission

By: N. Peter Kramer | Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Google is challenging a fine of 4,3 billion euros imposed by the European Commission, that found that the tech giant abused the Android platform to strengthen its dominance in the market of interne searching engines

The Industry, Research and Energy Committee approved on Tuesday, by 50 votes to 13 and 12 abstentions, its position on the criteria and methodology for selecting energy projects of common interest (PCIs).

Energy infrastructure: boost hydrogen and carbon capture, phase out natural gas

By: EBR | Tuesday, September 28, 2021

The updated rules to select which energy projects should be supported aim to make cross-border energy infrastructure sustainable and in line with the EU Green Deal

The monitor, coordinated by the Paris Lodron Universitat Salzburg, will provide a country-based database containing information on media ownership, as well as systematically assess relevant legal frameworks and identify possible risks to media ownership transparency.

Media freedom and pluralism: launch of the media ownership monitoring project

By: EBR | Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Commission has kick-started the EU-funded Euromedia Ownership Monitor

“The citizens have made their cross for the SPD in order to have a change in government,” the social democrat’s lead candidate Olaf Scholz said.

German SPD left puzzled as leftist alliance fades away

By: EBR | Monday, September 27, 2021

For the first time in almost 20 years, the SPD has secured the top spot in the elections. However, with a left-wing alliance falling short of a majority, the party is faced with severely limited coalition options and intra-party divisions

The EU is drafting its position ahead of the November COP26 talks, where countries will attempt to finish the technical rules to put the Paris Agreement into effect.

EU countries struggle to agree approach to COP26 climate talks

By: EBR | Friday, September 24, 2021

European Union countries are struggling to agree their negotiating position for the COP26 climate change conference, with rifts emerging over timeframes for emissions-cutting pledges

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EU Actually

‘Sneaky’ Commission tried to conceal important study

N. Peter KramerBy: N. Peter Kramer

MEP’s were furious that the Commission put an important study for half a year ‘in somebody’s draw in an office’ to keep it away from the EP

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Europe

Continuity and Change in Belarusian Societal Attitudes

Continuity and Change in Belarusian Societal Attitudes

Among Belarusians, trust in the political elite remains low while the perceived effectiveness of EU sanctions is decreasing. The union must keep the latter in mind when assessing its strategy toward the country

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