Saving the planet, transforming development, reforming the economy: EU agenda today

March 4, 2016 6:53 PM
By Peter Morris, European Movement

As Europe's migrant crisis spiraled toward yet another humanitarian catastrophe, a European Union leader issued a stark warning Thursday to millions in search of economic opportunity: Stay away. "Do not come to Europe," said Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council. According to the New York Times, Mr. Tusk's speech at a news conference in Greece revealed just how troubled and powerless Europe has become. He beseeched people desperate for a better life to please help Europe by staying away: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/04/world/europe/eu-leader-sends-economic-migrants-a-blunt-warning-dont-come.html?emc=edit_ee_20160304&nl=todaysheadlines-europe&nlid=74103272&_r=0

The European Union will unveil on Friday (4 March) a "roadmap" to restore by November the Schengen passport-free travel area, which is nearing collapse because of the migration crisis, sources quoted in EurActiv said: http://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/commission-plans-last-gasp-attempt-to-save-schengen/

Saving the planet, transforming development, reforming the economy: EU Environment chiefs have a weighty agenda lined up for their meeting in Brussels this Friday, writes Geneviève Pons, Director, WWF European Policy Office in BlogActiv: http://wwfepo.blogactiv.eu/2016/03/03/tgi-friday-shaping-safe-and-sustainable-eu-on-table-for-ministers/

Politicians and activists fiercely opposed to the tobacco industry are trying to persuade MEPs to speak out against renewing an EU anti-smuggling agreement with multinational Philip Morris International (PMI), reports EUobserver: https://euobserver.com/economic/132539

The European Commission has responded to criticism over its weaknesses on health and food safety with a series of goodwill gestures on hormone disruptors and glyphosate during a visit in Paris. EurActiv France reports.

This week there was disappointment among climate activists over a European Commission policy paper that lacked concrete mention of new measures, reports EUobserver: https://euobserver.com/environment/132553

The European Commission has launched a call for proposals under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Telecom making €32 million of EU funding available for the deployment of European Digital Service Infrastructures (DSIs). This call is the first one under the 2016 CEF Telecom Work Programme. See the Commission's statement here: https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/news/connecting-europe-facility-cef-telecom-eu32-million-improve-european-digital-services

With the EU's Transparency Register receiving both praise and criticism, the European Commission opened up a 3 month public consultation, aiming to gather views on the functioning of the current Transparency Register and to receive input for the design of the future mandatory regime of registration, as this may allow interest representatives more equal and harmonised access the European Institutions, reports New Europe: http://neurope.eu/article/transparency-register-opens-up-to-stakeholder-review-leaving-lobbyists-anxious/

The British are losing their traditional cool as a result of the EU referendum, according to an op-ed by an Italian journalist in the New York Times. 'The prelude to the referendum on Britain's membership in the European Union…is turning out to be everything but calm and composed: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/04/opinion/the-english-lose-their-cool.html?emc=edit_ee_20160304&nl=todaysheadlines-europe&nlid=74103272

With thanks to Peter Morris, European Movement in North East