Heard in Europe

Archives for EU Priorities 2020

Eagle-eyed EurActiv readers may have noticed this intimate snap of European Council President Donald Tusk and German Chancellor Angela Merkel deep in conversation during the migration summit in Valletta. And the more curious among you may have wondered just how we managed to get such unparalleled access to such powerful people.

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From “jobs and growth” to “innovation” via “better regulation” with a dash of “ambitious not throwing the baby out with the bathwater”, the EU is often guilty of mangled metaphors, jarring jargon and relentless repetition.

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The European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT), arguably the most influential business organisation in Brussels, convened the international press on Tuesday (10 March) for its second annual media briefing lunch. About a dozen journalists were around the table, including representatives from some of Europe’s most prestigious media outlets, including the Financial Times, Les Echos, Reuters… » read more

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Heard in Europe reported last month that a number of former Commission spokespersons have found themselves at loose ends since the transition to the new Juncker administration. Well, many of them seem to have found something to keep themselves busy – the lobbying business. Tired of twiddling their thumbs since the new executive took office,… » read more

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You must be smoking!

  “Fancy a quick cig break Michel?” One of the inconveniences of being President of the European Commission is the need to comply with those pesky EU anti-smoking rules. Jean-Claude Juncker is well-known for his love of a crafty cigarette – or 20. And he has form when it comes to flouting the rules… Former… » read more

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Which excitable extremist has called on European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, and the whole executive, to waive their salaries? Step forward Italy’s Gianluca Buonanno, a Lega Nord MEP who optimistically demanded the gesture as a “clear token of his [Juncker’s] good intentions”. Buonanno slapped in a parliamentary question that has more than a whiff of… » read more

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Jean-Louis Bourlanges, a former MEP and a liberal, has never hidden his taste for honesty. He even quit the European Parliament at the end of 2007, losing faith in the organization, after 18 years between Strasbourg and Brussels. Bourlanges took the opportunity to speak his mind about current politicians, at a dinner organized by the… » read more

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Now or never

We’re at the beginning of a new calendar year, but also a new legislative period, with new political teams in the European Commission and Parliament. In the final months of 2014, we heard policymakers saying that ‘it’s now or never’, in order to restore trust and confidence in the EU, which has suffered heavy blows… » read more

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