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Discussions at this week’s meeting of European Union agriculture ministers had an inevitable predictability. The major subject was the farmers’ disadvantaged position in the food marketing chain. Unsurprisingly, the answer to the ‘problem’ of farmers’ perceived inadequate share of the profits of food production and marketing for the majority of the Council is more –… » read more

European farm ministers this week faced up to one of the most insoluble problems in agricultural economics: how do large numbers of small producers sell to a few large buyers without being ripped off? The major item on the agenda of this week’s Agriculture Council was an examination of the European Union’s food delivery chain… » read more

This article about bank bailouts was published by on 13th January 2010 by EurActiv.com. The commissioner-designate for competition, Joaquin Almunia, will not ease the EU’s stance towards banks which received state aid during the financial crisis. Credit institutions will have to reimburse the aid by the end of 2010 and cannot use this financial support to… » read more

In his first major initiative since taking up his new role on January 1 2010, European Council president Herman Van Rompuy has convened a summit for February 11 to prepare for the 2020 Strategy, a ten year programme for creating a more competitive Europe. But can these plans really achieve anything? Only if they lay… » read more

The following has been submitted to Blogactiv by Mr Florian Mueller. The simplest way to dismiss any claim that MySQL should not play a role in the assessment of the Oracle/Sun merger due to its limited revenues is to point out that MySQL is apparently important enough to Oracle that it puts the entire Sun… » read more

It would be a serious mistake not have an EU-wide regulatory framework for internet pharmacies. Not achieving one would be just more evidence of the politics that infects all discussions of cross-border healthcare to the detriment of the patient and health consumer. Illegal drugs, fake drugs, reimported drugs, counterfeit drugs, substandard drugs, legitimate drugs —… » read more

The United States has imposed a tariff on China-made tyres of 35 percent the first year, 30 percent the second year and 25 percent the third year. This is a clear victory for the complainant, the United Steelworkers Union, over tyre importers and some US tyre manufacturers with plants overseas. Under section 421 of the… » read more

The European Parliament voted in its first reading the 10th of March 2009 on the Industrial Emission Directive – recast of the current IPPC directive. This proposal aims at regulating emissions and pollutants in the EU through the use of permits granting to single operators. Although we share and understand the environmental objectives of such… » read more

Event report: ERRIN Briefing: Lisbon in Practice – Regional attractiveness for R&D investment, 8 July 2009, Brussels All the more recent growth theories are placing innovation at the heart of what drives creativity and growth in countries and regions. However, the available data shows that there is a huge amount of inertia, a fact that… » read more

Sweden is home to the Karolinska Institute, one of the most effective bio-medical institutions in the EU. The worst thing the EU could do would be to copy Sweden; they are exemplary. What should be left behind at the end of December is a commitment by member states to unleash the creativity in their research… » read more

Last week, the Lisbon Council had the pleasure of welcoming Hal Varian, chief economist of Google and author of Information Rules: A Strategic Guide to the Network Economy. He delivered The 2009 Guglielmo Marconi Lecture – the Lisbon Council’s flagship event on innovation – on “Combinatorial Innovation.” His remarks were fascinating, and can now be… » read more

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