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Guy Verhofstadt, president of the European Parliament (EP) Liberal Democrats and former Belgian prime minister, briefed the European Policy Centre today on his vision for Europe. In his view the main underlying issue at stake is whether the EU uses the ‘Community method’ or intergovernmentalism. The Union will only progress if it reduces its intergovernmental… » read more

Yes we can! Give an award.

Awarding president Obama the Nobel Prize for peace show how desperate the West is for leadership out of the economic, social and environmental crisis; for leadership in the times when it is worried about its decline. It demonstrates the lack of ideas. Instead, the bubbly economy and the virtual media society could use a reminder… » read more

I said the No side would take Ireland out of the EU. Take “Ireland’s Biggest Free Paper” a Catholic newspaper distributed at the entrance to churches in Ireland. http://www.alive.ie/ – in case you think I am making this up.) In a long feature piece entitled The Lisbon Treaty Your Right to Know, the paper lists,… » read more

We recently had the opportunity to talk to Richard Davis, Director of Approvals, from the UK’s Pesticides Safety Directorate (PSD) just a few days before the Directorate issued a revised impact assessment on the proposed revisions to existing pesticide legislation (Directive 91/414/EEC). PSD received a fair amount of criticism for its first report so we… » read more

No one would suggest that the 2009 EP elections could provoke as much buzz and fuss as the current presidential elections in the US. While the elections in the US are centred around catchphrases such as ‘change’ or the personality of the individual candidates (or running mates) the 2009 EP elections will be […] Original… » read more

Upon reading Robert Kagan’s commentary in the International Herald Tribune today (”Sliding toward irrelevance“), it’s tempting to quote the old adage that the people in democracies get the governments that they deserve. Mr. Kagan, author of the well-argued book “Of Paradise and Power” in 2003, argues that petty nationalism and navel-gazing are undermining Europe’s chance… » read more

ADAS has delivered a stark warning about the possible consequences of changes in pesticide regulations now being discussed by the European Union. James Clarke of ADAS has concluded that the potential impact on prices of the Commission proposals would be that farmers would need a 25 per cent increase in prices to make up for… » read more

The BCPC in the UK hosted a food chain forum in June, attended by growers, advisors, retainers, consumer organisations and government representatives. They came together to discuss the impact of EU’s proposed legislation on UK food production, availability and price. Not an uncommon theme right now in the media.The event was described as a “wake-up […]

European Landowners (ELO) joined forces with Syngenta last week (27 March) to host a forum on the future of European agriculture. With a great programme, not surprisingly the event was well attended by a diverse group of stakeholders. I was there too and for the first time with a video camera, trying to capture various… » read more

Comeback Continent?

This is fairly similar to the way I see the opportunities of Europe during the so-called Asian century: The Comeback Continent – New York Times: “Today I’d like to talk about a much-derided contender making a surprising comeback, a comeback that calls into question much of the conventional wisdom of American politics. No, I’m not… » read more

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