Heard in Europe

When newly-elected Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras met Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker this week, the usual press conference (or press point) didn’t take place. This despite the huge curiosity raised by the first visit to Brussels of the new Greek leader, not only from the media but the wider world. When US Vice-President Joe Biden… » read more

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Barroso goes back to school

Former European Commission President José Manuel Barroso will teach graduate courses at the Universidade Católica Portuguesa in Lisbon, and at Princeton, after ten years at the helm of the EU. Barroso opted for a university career, after his hopes of becoming the next United Nations Secretary General, in 2016, were dashed. It is unclear if… » read more

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The European Parliament (EP) was evacuated at noon today (2 February) after a bomb scare. A suspect, wearing a military uniform, was arrested soon afterwards by a special anti-terror police unit, according to local press. The suspect had left a set of car keys in front of the Parliament, on Rue Montoyer. The institution’s security… » read more

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Revenge, they say, is a dish best served cold. Or in the case of the Chief Scientific Advisor to the European Commission, revenge is a dish best served next week in a no-holds-barred interview on BBC television. Anne Glover is expected to spill the beans about what the poor handling of science and policy-making under… » read more

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The green side of coal

Forget about renewables. Coal is emerging as the low-cost, green energy alternative, according to industry sources. Fed up with seeing “coal ignored”, the European Association for Coal and Lignite (Euracoal) decided it’s time policymakers know there is no future to Europe’s energy security without coal. With ongoing discussions in the European Parliament on energy alternatives… » read more

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For two months now, intense rumours have been circulating in Athens that Dimitris Avramopoulos, the current Greek Commissioner, intends to quit the European Commission and run for the Presidency of Greece. Avramopoulos was proposed by the centre-right New Democracy, which was recently defeated by leftist Syriza in national elections. Nevertheless, many claim that he has… » read more

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UKIP leader Nigel Farage is trying hard to keep his team together in the European Parliament. Since European elections last year, British MEPs from UKIP and Italy’s Five Star Movement have been part of the same parliamentary group, Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy [EFD]. But after the arrival of controversial Polish MEP Robert Jaroslaw… » read more

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Brussels at War

The inevitable security clamp-down in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks has lifted the veil on the undercurrents of the terrorism threat. Heavily armed Belgian infantry have sprung up outside embassies and institutions. Overlooking the Berlaymont, Norway House is gunned up, but the Maltese perm rep next door is untrooped. The mass murders of… » read more

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What will Moedas do?

Even European researchers who normally benefit from EU programs are getting lost amid the initiatives brought by successive Commissioners. In the Prodi Commission, Philippe Busquin, Belgian Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation invented the European Research Area”, an initiative that resulted in new administration, conferences, yearly reports, newsletters etc. Though Busquin is long gone, and… » read more

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