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Tag: Uncategorized

Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič – European Policy Centre – Launch Event Task Force on Energy Poverty – 26 January 2016

  • January 2016
  • Panagiotis Loules

Earlier today the European Policy Centre launched the Energy Poverty Task Force and examined the role the EU could/should play and what instruments could it use to address energy poverty across Europe in the presence of Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič.

Energy poverty is one dimension of the wider poverty challenge in Europe where nearly 11% of the EU’s population is unable to adequately heat their homes at an affordable cost. The tools for addressing the challenge at national and regional level vary from direct financial intervention to promoting energy efficiency and enhancing consumer awareness with price comparisons and transparent billing.

Vice-President Šefčovič in his introductory remarks mentioned that the launch of the Task Force on Energy Poverty by EPC is so timely, relevant, and impactful and addressed the issue of energy poverty in the EU and other social aspects of the Energy Union. The social dimension of the Energy Union and the energy transition in both the Energy Union Strategy and in the State of the Energy Union Report is personally important for Mr Šefčovič. A society is not measured only by its most successful researchers and entrepreneurs, but also by its ability to care for its weakest and most vulnerable. “And that is why all throughout our efforts to grow the economy, transform our technologies, and smarten our systems- we must constantly stop, look back and see if anyone was left behind” said the Commissioner.
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Ambassador Alison Rose – The UK and EU Reform – Vrije Universiteit Brussel – 16 December 2015

  • December 2015
  • Panagiotis Loules

rose 1The relationship between the United Kingdom and European Union has always been a complex one. Prime Minister David Cameron’s recent proposals for EU reform and his promise to hold a referendum on the UK’s continued membership of the Union raise many questions, such as whether this requires changing the European treaties. The Institute for European Studies at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel was therefore pleased to welcome British Ambassador to Belgium Alison Rose for a public lecture about these issues on Wednesday 16 December 2015.

The Conservatives’ election manifesto promised to hold a referendum on whether or not the UK should stay in or leave the European Union. When David Cameron announced in January 2013 his pledge to hold a referendum, a key element was that he would seek to make changes to the way the European Union works. Only once this renegotiation of British membership had been completed would he put the new arrangement to the public vote.

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European Commissioner Tibor Navracsics – Hearing – Implementation of the Erasmus+ Programme – EPP Group – 9 December 2015

  • December 2015
  • Panagiotis Loules

At an EPP Group Hearing yesterday on the implementation of the Erasmus+ Programme, European Commissioner Navracsics and MEPs discussed with national experts whether the programme has achieved its aims and whether there are practical problems in terms of implementation, following a bottom-up-approach. Erasmus+ is the new EU programme for education, training, youth and sport, bringing together seven existing programmes and providing support for sport for the first time. The aim of Erasmus+ was to provide more opportunities for cooperation across the different sectors and to make access to funding easier with simplified funding rules. For Sabine Verheyen, EPP Group Spokeswoman in the Culture and Education Committee, Erasmus+ is one of the best opportunities for young people to live the European idea, to get to know other countries and cultures.

In his introductory speech Commissioner Navracsics explained the history, the goals and the activities of the Erasmus+ Programme highlighting the European Parliament as a vital supporter of the programme and essential partner in ensuring it is implemented well. He said that we can do still better (improving IT tools and cutting red tape) considering that we have not seen yet much of an impact of the 40% budgetary increase on the projects selections, although it will start to be seen in 2016 and will become more visible in 2017. Implementing the programme is still too complex and it needs to be simplified. This is a priority for the European Commission.
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EMI – European Elections 2019 – More Transparent and Closer to Citizens? – European Parliament – 19 November 2015

  • November 2015
  • Panagiotis Loules

The European Movement International organised an event on the European Parliament’s initiative to reform the Electoral Law of the EU.

The European Parliament’s Co-Rapporteurs (Danuta Hubner and Jo Leinen) were joined by the Luxembourgish Minister of Labour Nicolas Schmit, President of the Council of the European Union, as well as a representative of the DG Justice and Consumers, European Commission.

CUMRkqkWsAAr8DuEventually, a proposal on electoral law reform, co-authored by Jo Leinen and Danuta Hübner, was endorsed by MEPs on Wednesday, 11 November. With the Report drafted by Jo Leinen (S&D), President of the European Movement International and Danuta Hübner (EPP), Chairwoman of AFCO Committee, the European Parliament is exercising its special right of legislative initiative for a reform of the European electoral law under Art. 223 (1) TFEU. The reform proposal inter alia builds on the new modus operandi for the election of the Commission President with lead candidates nominated by the European political parties and a strengthened role of the European Parliament. Putting forward concrete proposals for amending the 1976 Electoral Act as well as further recommendations, the report seeks to make the European Elections more transparent, more attractive and more European.

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