Archive

Opinions

  • Why now is the time to overcommunicate

    March 1, 2021

    It was June 2016. I was sitting in a room in Brussels and I was listening to a communications professional talk about his organisation’s target audience. That was the first time I heard the term ‘Brussels Bubble’. I soon discovered it was a term used to refer to all professionals employed directly or indirectly by the business of running the European Union in Brussels, and thus a select group of 40,000 very influential decision makers...

  • The EU’s Digital Services Package: An Attempt to Reshape the Digital Platform Economy

    February 16, 2021

    After several years of intense debates, the European Commission recently released its legislative overhaul of the EU digital rulebook. This includes the two flagship initiatives on content moderation and competition in the digital economy. The Digital Markets Act (DMA) and Digital Services Act (DSA) will have far-reaching consequences on digital markets and online platforms. The question remains how far. The EU’s approach includes some of the most stringent legislative changes ever seen since the adoption...

  • 2021 – the year of the vaccine

    January 12, 2021

    New Year’s Eve, 2020 marked a full-year since the first case of SARS-CoV-2 was reported to the World Health Organisation China Office. What unfolded next shocked the world to its core as our global economy was brought to its knees and human resilience was pushed to its limits. Within the first three months of 2020, over 100 countries worldwide had instituted restrictions in a bid to stop the spread of the virus, affecting the majority...

  • The EU’s chemicals strategy for sustainability

    November 3, 2020

    The EU’s chemicals strategy for sustainability towards a toxic-free environment presented by the European Commission on 14 October 2020 is a flagship initiative under the European Green Deal. It sets out a response to today’s chemicals management challenges which is as groundbreaking as the introduction of the REACH and CLP Regulations was more than a decade ago. The Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability aims to simplify and strengthen the regulatory framework on chemicals to further increase the...

  • What’s going to be in the Better Regulation Communication?

    October 26, 2020

    The Ursula von der Leyen Commission will soon set out how it intends to improve on the EU's Better Regulation agenda. The Communication on Better Regulation led by Maroš Šefčovič, the Commissioner for Interinstitutional Relations, is now scheduled to be adopted on 24 November by the College of Commissioners. Here are a few things to watch out for next month as Mr Šefčovič presents the Communication: How will the ‘one-in, one out’ principle work? As...

  • Safety as a goal: five principles of public policy responses to risks

    September 21, 2020

    Whether responding to a global pandemic or hazardous chemicals, the fundamental policy goal is essentially the same: maximise safety/minimise risks. This policy goal may sound simple, but it is far from straightforward how to maximise safety. Something the wide array of different policies around the world in response to Covid-19 have shown. So, here are a few principles which I have found to help my understanding of public policy responses to risks from working with...

  • How can the EU promote reuse in the Circular Economy?

    June 11, 2020

    The most efficient way to limit the impact of waste on the environment, is to prevent it. After prevention, the second best option, saving energy and resources is the reuse of products. Expanding reuse practices is critical to unlocking the EU’s circular economy ambitions set out in the European Green Deal and the new Circular Economy Action Plan. Despite the political momentum behind the circular economy agenda, reuse rates remain very low in the EU...

  • Launching FH Brussels’ Recovery and Resurgence COVID-19 Practice

    June 3, 2020

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flLZfiYRZcw The impact of the COVID-19 crisis across Europe is unprecedented. Economies have come to a stand still, many businesses have seen a massive reduction in their operations, and the impact on lives and livelihood is profound. When it comes to public affairs, there is certainly no ‘business as usual’. As we start to exit this crisis, we will find ourselves returning to a new norm – both the political and policy landscape have changed...

  • European Green Deal: Anticipating the two years ahead

    December 13, 2019

    It is not exaggeration to suggest that the Green Deal is the farthest reaching environmental policy initiative ever undertaken by the European Commission. The integration of sustainability into every pillar of the EU’s activities, from industrial strategy to development aid, is what many have advocated for years. The question now is whether the Commission can follow through on its ambitious work programme, and how well will its unified vision survive the inevitable bruises of co-decision...

  • What are the priorities of the new European Commission?

    December 4, 2019

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdsZV3YESZ8 Today, Ursula von der Leyen chaired the first meeting of the new College of Commissioners. Her team of 26 new Executive Vice-Presidents, Vice-Presidents and Commissioners are ready to deliver on her promises for a Union that strives for more. Her first few days in office are already marked by strong European ambitions on climate policy. Von der Leyen’s first trip as Commission President was to the COP25 meeting in Madrid on Monday. Her first...