European Commission - Upcoming events The news: On Wednesday, 4 October 2017, the European Commission has scheduled toadopt its monthly infringements package. These decisions seek to enforce EU law across Europe so that citizens and businesses can benefit fully from the internal market.
Speech by Commission President Jean Claude Juncker on the occasion of the 75th birthday of Wolfgang Schäuble
European Commission - Speech - [Check Against Delivery] Speech Offenburg, 18 September 2017 Dear Wolfgang, dear Ingeborg, Dear family, dear Regional Chairman, Ladies and gentlemen, I have been told that I have ten minutes for my speech.
The phrase ‘emerging risk’ has been widely used in scientific and business communities, but without consensus on how to define and govern such a risk. A new study proposes that risk emergence goes through four states, from ‘unknown unknowns’ to risks that are fully in the public domain. Understanding emergence as a process can help decision makers detect and manage risks on the basis of scientific evidence.
Closed-loop recycling of photovoltaic panel materials could mitigate up to 0.2% of Flanders’ annual environmental impact
The development of future recycling technologies must be informed by data about products and materials that will enter the waste stream, but such forecasts are subject to a high level of uncertainty. In this study, researchers have proposed a methodology for predicting emerging waste materials, applying it to silicon-based photovoltaic (PV) panels. The findings show that closed-loop recycling — when post-consumer waste is recycled to make new products — of PV panel materials could mitigate up to 0.2% of the annual environmental impact of Flanders1, Belgium, if suitable technology was developed.
Researchers have analysed the ability of two organic nanomaterials to remove the heavy metal chromium from water. In the laboratory, the nanomaterials successfully took up around 95% of the chromium. Further work is needed to confirm the feasibility of using these nanomaterials to purify water in real-world conditions.
The pathways for removal of dissolved phosphorus within biofiltration systems have been examined in a new study. Over 95% of phosphorus was removed over the study period, with the majority of phosphorus stored within plants. The researchers say the findings demonstrate the value of using suitable plant species within biofiltration systems to treat polluted water.
Researchers have modelled the exposure to multiple hazards across different regions of Europe in relation to heat, cold, drought, wildfire, flooding and wind. The study indicated that, over the next century, environmental hazards are likely to increase, particularly along coastlines and on floodplains, and that south-western Europe is likely to be the worst-hit region.
A survey of deepwater fisheries off the coast of Greenland which used traces of fish DNA has produced similar results to trawl surveys and fishing catches. The ‘environmental DNA’ (eDNA) technique can therefore complement trawl data, the researchers say. It may be particularly useful for surveying large species — which can often avoid bottom trawls — or cryptic species1 in inaccessible ocean areas.
A new study has estimated how changes to climate might affect the value of European farmland. Based on data for over 41 000 farms, the results suggest that their economic value could drop by up to 32%, depending on the climate scenario considered. Farms in southern Europe are particularly sensitive to climate change and could suffer value losses of up to 9% per 1 °C rise. The researchers say policy, on water and land use, for example, will be crucial to help farmers adapt to climate change and mitigate economic losses.
Nanoparticle release from self-cleaning cement: new study considers how much escapes into the environment, and how
New figures on how much titanium dioxide nanomaterial (TiO2-NM) could be released into the environment from photocatalytic cement — a new type of self-cleaning cement — are presented in a recent study. Based on experimental test results, the researchers estimate that between 0.015% and 0.033% of photocatalytic cement’s TiO2-NM content could potentially escape over several years of cement use, depending on the level of cement porosity. The study could help inform environmental risk assessment of TiO2-NM, as well as safer design of nano-products (i.e. commercialised products incorporating nanomaterials).
European Commission - Press release Brussels, 18 September 2017 The European Commission has approved under EU State aid rules the alternative package proposed by the UK authorities to replace the commitment for Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) to divest Williams & Glyn.
European Commission - Speech - [Check Against Delivery] Frankfurt, 14 September 2017 Speech by Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič, in charge for Energy Union, at the CLEPA (European Association of Automative Suppliers) stand, at the 67th International Motor Show in Frankfurt am Main Ladies and Gentlemen, It is a pleasure to...
European Commission - Press release Brussels, 13 September 2017 The State of the Union 2017: Catching the wind in our sails European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker today delivered his 2017 State of the Union Address, before the Members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, presenting his priorities for the year...
European Commission - Speech Brussels, 13 September 2017 INTRODUCTION – WIND IN OUR SAILS Mr President, Honourable Members of the European Parliament, When I stood before you this time last year, I had a somewhat easier speech to give.
European Commission - Press release Brussels, 12 September 2017 The Commission welcomes the strong support by the European Parliament today to the new security of gas supply regulation. Its aim is to prevent potential gas supply crises and it applies the solidarity principle for the first time.
14 September 2017: #AskJuncker - YouTube debate with President Juncker on the State of the Union Speech
European Commission - Upcoming events The news: On Tuesday 14 September 2017, at 14h00, President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, will take part in a debate with three young 'YouTubers', to discuss his State of the Union address, delivered the previous day at the European Parliament.
European Commission - Press release Brussels, 4 September 2017 The European Commission has endorsed under EU state aid rules Germany's plans to grant Air Berlin a temporary €150 million bridging loan. The measure will allow for the orderly wind-down of the insolvent airline Air Berlin without unduly distorting competition in...
Engineering at the nanoscale brings the promise of radical technological development — clean energy, highly effective medicines and space travel. But technology at this scale also brings safety challenges. Nano-sized particles are not inherently more toxic than larger particles, but the effects are complex and vary based on particle properties as well as chemical toxicity. This Report brings together the latest science on environmental safety considerations specific to manufactured nanoscale materials, and some possible implications for policy and research.
Natural water-retention measures, which ‘keep the rain where it falls’, have great potential to be used as part of flood-risk management plans. But their benefits for downstream urban areas can bring costs to the upstream agricultural areas where they are installed, a recent analysis explains. The researchers behind this analysis suggest that we need new and/or improved policies and institutions to oversee the trade-offs and benefits for agriculture and flood management, and a better scientific understanding of the measures’ likely impact on urban flood risk.
Traditional, high-nature-value (HNV) grasslands are at risk of being abandoned by farmers in the future — in turn, risking the wildlife they support, warns a new UK study. Farmers interviewed by the researchers had weak motivations to protect grasslands, as they felt that financial incentives for conservation are low and that traditional management practices are inconvenient. More dialogue between farmers and conservationists could be part of the solution, the study suggests.