The connected journal of EU professionals

La revue permanente des professionnels de l’Europe

David Cameron has begun a ‘battle for Britain’ in the EU – but how can he possibly win?

23537290530 0f64926dc6 oDavid Cameron has called his four key demands for reforming the EU’s relationship with the UK a “battle for Britain”. And at last he has been able to fight it in person – albeit over a dinner of chicken terrine and venison, where the EU member state leaders had their first collective chance to discuss the UK’s demands.

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Javier Aguilar: «Nous n'en sommes qu'au début du 'processus d'italianisation' de la vie politique espagnole»

rajoyEn n'accordant de majorité parlementaire à aucun parti, les Espagnols ont posé une équation nouvelle à leurs dirigeants politiques. Même s'il arrive en tête des suffrages avec 122 sièges, le Partido popular de Mariano Rajoy ne pourra en effet se contenter d'une alliance avec les libéraux de Ciudadanos, pour conserver l'exécutif gouvernemental. Pas plus que le Partido socialista et ses 91 élus ne pourra le prendre avec le soutien des 69 représentants de Podémos. Sans grande coalition entre droite et gauche, à laquelle ne répond pas la culture espagnole, cette situation de blocage pourrait s'installer durablement, sans que celle-ci ne fragilise toutefois la feuille de route européenne de Madrid, rassure Javier Aguilar, correspondant de l'Agence de presse espagnole Efe à Strasbourg.

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After Paris climate deal the EU must turn aspiration into achievement

P029888001401-911916A “lifeline” for the planet that “will steer the world towards a global clean energy transition”, was how European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker hailed the Paris agreement. He also claimed it to be “a success for the European Union” itself. The EU’s demand for a legally binding document was realised. However the agreement carries less weight than a full treaty (though a Kyoto-style treaty wouldn’t be approved by the US Congress).

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The day after Paris: politicians hand the baton to green industries

23566889961 3f28f33b32 oThe international community has been negotiating on climate change since 1989, but the Paris Agreement marks a real step forward. It aims to accelerate a move away from fossil fuels to mitigate global warming and to help vulnerable countries adapt to the effects of climate change, and reflects a clear recognition of the urgency of the task. Still, the NGO Climate Action Tracker estimates that a fully implemented Paris Agreement will lead to an average warming of 2.7 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels by 2100, well short of the Paris goal of a 1.5C rise in temperature. But even though the Paris Agreement is insufficient to achieve the espoused target, it may help us get there by sending strong signals to the private sector to invest more heavily in green technologies. Most importantly, it indicates a new political approach to dealing with climate change, one in which the focus of attention is private sector innovation and is subject to pressure from a constellation of other actors, including nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), social movements and the scientific community, as well as the UN itself.

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