Eurostat estimates that in 2018 carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuel combustion significantly decreased by 2.5% in the European Union (EU), compared with the previous year. CO2 emissions are a major contributor to global warming and account for around 80% of all EU greenhouse gas emissions. They are influenced by factors such as climate conditions, economic growth, size of the population, transport and industrial activities.
Parliament released today the fourth and final set of seat projections, based on a cross-section of national polls, on the composition of the next (9th) European Parliament (751 seats).
The European Parliament has published a new set of projections on how the next chamber might look, based on polling data published in 28 EU member states until 15 April 2019. The data are based on a collection of reliable polls conducted by national polling institutes in the member states and aggregated by Kantar Public on behalf of Parliament.
The data from the previous projection, published on 29 March, have also been updated to recalibrate with UK data to facilitate comparison with the new scenario of the UK participating in May’s elections.
Parties are only allocated to existing political groups or where they are already affiliated to an associated European political party. All new political parties and movements that have not yet declared their intentions are categorised as “other”.
All data can be downloaded from the press tool kit. The European elections will take place from 23 to 26 May.
In February 2019 compared with January 2019, seasonally adjusted industrial production fell by 0.2% in the euro area (EA19) and remained unchanged the EU28, according to estimates from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In January 2019, industrial production grew by 1.9% in the euro area and by 1.3% in the EU28.
A new Eurobarometer survey on citizens’ perception about competition policy shows that EU citizens largely share its objectives and values. 78% of respondents say effective competition has had a positive impact on them as consumers (72% in 2014). European citizens assimilate competition to higher quality goods and services (74%), better prices (83%), more innovation (85%), and more choice for consumers (87%). Across the EU, citizens think that problems resulting from a lack of competition are most likely to arise in the telecommunications sector (26%; 18% in 2014), Internet access (26%), the energy sector (23%; 28% in 2014), transport services, and pharmaceutical products (both 20%). Among respondents who have experienced such problems, 70% say the main problem is that prices are too high. 40% of respondents had heard about competition cases in the last twelve months (39% in 2014). The Flash Eurobarometer survey was carried out in the 28 Member States of the European Union in January 2019. In total, 26,572 respondents from different social and demographic groups were interviewed. This is the third survey on citizens’ perceptions about competition policy, the first two were carried out in 2009 and in 2014. The full report, an executive summary and factsheets on each Member State are available here.
Since Donald Trump took office as US president, a new cottage industry in rational theories of his seemingly irrational behavior has developed. On one issue, however, no amount of theorizing has made sense of Trump: his treatment of America’s oldest and most reliable ally.
Forward to the policy paper
The United Kingdom will leave the European Union on 29 March 2019 and begin to chart a new course in the world. The Government will have delivered on the result of the 2016 referendum – the biggest democratic exercise in this country’s history. And it will have reached a key milestone in its principal mission – to build a country that works for everyone. A country that is stronger, fairer, more united and more outward-looking.
Each year the Global Risks Report works with experts and decision-makers across the world to identify and analyze the most pressing risks that we face. As the pace of change accelerates, and as risk interconnections deepen, this year’s report highlights the growing strain we are placing on many of the global systems we rely on.
The Global Risks Report 2018 is published at a time of encouraging headline global growth. Any breathing space this offers to leaders should not be squandered: the urgency of facing up to systemic challenges has intensified over the past year amid proliferating signs of uncertainty, instability and fragility.
This year’s report covers more risks than ever, but focuses in particular on four key areas: environmental degradation, cybersecurity breaches, economic strains and geopolitical tensions. And in a new series called “Future Shocks” the report cautions against complacency and highlights the need to prepare for sudden and dramatic disruptions.
The 2018 report also presents the results of our latest Global Risks Perception Survey, in which nearly 1,000 experts and decision-makers assess the likelihood and impact of 30 global risks over a 10-year horizon. Over this medium-term period, environmental and cyber risks predominate. However, the survey also highlights elevated levels of concern about risk trajectories in 2018, particularly in relation to geopolitical tensions.
Greece’s combative former finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, and his nemesis, former German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble, were at loggerheads on Greek debt throughout Varoufakis’s term in office. But they were in full agreement when it came to the central question of the eurozone’s future. Monetary union required political union. No middle way was possible. This is one of the interesting revelations in Varoufakis’s fascinating account of his tenure as finance minister. “You are probably the one [in the Eurogroup] who understands that the eurozone is unsustainable,” Varoufakis quotes Schäuble as telling him. “The eurozone is constructed wrongly. We should have a political union, there is no doubt about it.”Of course, Schäuble and Varoufakis had different ideas regarding the ends that political union would serve. Schäuble saw political union as a means to impose strong fiscal discipline on member states from the centre, tying their hands and preventing “irresponsible” economic policies. Varoufakis thought political union would relax creditors’ stranglehold on his economy and create room for progressive politics across Europe.
Countries hit hard by recent climatic events, from category 5 hurricanes in the Caribbean, to severe flooding in South Asia, are demanding swift action. Not just in terms of disaster recovery, but also with regard to adaptation and mitigation policies that can reduce and address the effects of climate change. One recommendation to come out of the climate change workshop at the 63rd Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC) in Dhaka this month was that ‘legal reform can make a low carbon and climate resilient development pathway possible by reinforcing policy, strengthening institutions and mobilising resources towards climate change activities’. There is high demand for a tool that can support countries in realising the nationally-driven focus of the Paris Agreement, by providing collective experience in the strengthening of national laws related to climate change.The Paris Agreement’s goal is to hold the increase in global average temperature to well below 2°C, to pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5°C, and to achieve net zero emissions in the second half of this century. Realising such a goal will require widespread socio-economic changes in diverse societies around the world. In addition to the challenges of decarbonisation, countries face climate change consequences across themes as diverse as urban planning, potable water, sanitation, agriculture, and loss of territory due to sea-level rise.
At a recent conference in France, a number of Europeans surprised their American guests by arguing that US President Donald Trump might be good for Europe. With Trump returning to Europe for the G20 summit in Hamburg, it’s worth asking whether they are right. By most accounts, Trump’s presidency has been terrible for Europe. He seems to disdain the European Union. His relationship with German Chancellor Angela Merkel is cool in comparison to his friendship with Turkey’s authoritarian president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, or his admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin. Moreover, Trump welcomes Britain’s looming exit from the EU; upon meeting Prime Minister Theresa May for the first time, he is alleged to have asked enthusiastically, “Who’s next?” Finally, Trump only belatedly reaffirmed NATO’s Article 5 (which pledges mutual defense); he withdrew the US from the Paris climate agreement, which is very popular in Europe; and he has cut US funds for the United Nations, which has strong European support. Not surprisingly, Trump is personally unpopular across Europe. In a recent Pew poll indicates that only 22% of Britons, 14% of French, and 11% of Germans have confidence in him. But this very unpopularity – more anti-Trump than anti-American – has helped to reinforce European values.