EU trade chief says that car tariff threat is not mentioned in US talks

EU trade chief says that car tariff threat is not mentioned in US talks

US threats to put tariffs on European autos did not come up during talks this week with American trade officials in Washington, EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan said Thursday (16 January). Hogan’s remarks came hours after Germany’s defence minister confirmed a media report that Washington had threatened 25% duties on autos, demanding that three EU nations increase pressure on Iran. “It was not mentioned, it was hardly mentioned,” Hogan told reporters in Washington. “I think it should be good news for Germany.” Germany, France and Britain this week formally accused…

Read More

EU, USA, Japan agree on proposals to limit subsidies

EU, USA, Japan agree on proposals to limit subsidies

The EU, US and Japan put forward on Tuesday (14 January) a proposal to limit industrial subsidies among WTO members and explored ways to address forced technology transfers, two issues at the core of ongoing trade frictions with China. The joint statement was concluded after two years of talks launched by the EU, US and Japan trade chiefs on the margins of the World Trade Organisation conference in Buenos Aires. The conclusion of the negotiations came during the visit of the EU’s trade Commissioner, Phil Hogan, to Washington to address…

Read More

How will the Finnish prime minister plan for a 4-day week to work in practice?

How will the Finnish prime minister plan for a 4-day week to work in practice?

Finland’s recently-elected Prime Minister, Sanna Marin, has announced that she wants to reduce the number of working hours per week in her country. EURACTIV’s partner Ouest-France provides an overview of similar schemes tried across the globe. The typical working week in Finland could soon be this: working six hours a day for four days a week. Currently, people in Finland generally work eight hours a day for five days a week, according to The Daily Mail. During her time as Transport and Communications Minister, Sanna Marin proposed to reduce the…

Read More

EU welcomes EastMed deal but stresses need for further cost-benefit analysis

EU welcomes EastMed deal but stresses need for further cost-benefit analysis

The European Commission has said the EastMed natural gas pipeline deal signed by Cyprus, Greece and Israel yesterday (2 January) is a “welcome development,” but insisted on exploring further cost-benefits of different options. “The agreement is a welcome development. The pipeline should be seen as one option of tapping EastMed gas supplies for the EU alongside shipping it to the EU by tankers in the form of LNG. It’s important to explore further the costs and benefits of both main options,” an EU spokesperson told Greek One TV channel yesterday….

Read More

GDP is not enough to understand inequality, the head of UNDP believes

GDP is not enough to understand inequality, the head of UNDP believes

From Brexit to the ‘gilets jaunes’, protest movements in Europe and elsewhere have shocked political elites in recent years. At their heart is a sense that economic growth has left many people worse off even if, in most countries, the headline GDP figures suggest that countries are much wealthier. Challenging the idea that economic growth will automatically lead to development and wellbeing is one of the main themes in the 2019 Human Development report by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) published in December. Achim Steiner, the administrator of the UNDP,…

Read More

ECB’s Knot says that the policy of low interest rates can be counterproductive

ECB’s Knot says that the policy of low interest rates can be counterproductive

Interest rates in the eurozone could remain historically low for years, but the European Central Bank’s (ECB) ultra-loose monetary policy risks becoming counterproductive, ECB governing council member Klaas Knot said in an interview published on Monday (23 December). “I do not have a crystal ball, but I cannot rule out that the current low-interest-rate environment could last another five years”, Knot told Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant. “This worries me because temporarily low-interest rates are something quite different from persistently low-interest rates.” The Dutch central bank president said the current low…

Read More

Sackler family withdrew more than $ 10 billion in ten years from Purdue Pharma

Sackler family withdrew more than $ 10 billion in ten years from Purdue Pharma

Members of the Sackler family who own the opioid maker Purdue Pharma LP, withdrew more than $10 billion from Purdue since 2008, according to court documents. Purdue Pharma, known for its product OxyContin, presented a report from its audit in a bankruptcy court on 16 December. The report showed that the withdrawals increased in the period when Purdue Pharma was accused of fueling America’s opioid epidemic, and concerns raised about the family keeping part of its wealth overseas. The company said the accusations are “part of a continuing effort to…

Read More

EU “Confident” that the 100 billionth fund of the green transition will see the light

EU “Confident” that the 100 billionth fund of the green transition will see the light

A draft €100-billion “Just Transition Mechanism” outlined by the European Commission as part of its Green Deal last week will eventually see the light in January, EU officials have said. The amount of “fresh money” under the new fund is however expected to be limited. Work on the detail of the fund has started after EU heads of state and governments “clearly endorsed” the European Green Deal’s “vision and path” at last week’s EU summit, officials said. The Commission confirmed on Monday (16 December) that it is currently “in the…

Read More

“Do no harm”: nuclear system pushed out of EU green financing scheme

“Do no harm”: nuclear system pushed out of EU green financing scheme

European Greens claimed victory on Thursday (5 December) after EU negotiators reached agreement on a green finance taxonomy aimed at channelling billions of private investor’s money into clean technologies. Coal, and – in principle – nuclear power, are out. The deal, reached by national envoys and EU Parliament negotiators yesterday evening, marks a stunning defeat for France, which lobbied hard to win recognition for nuclear energy as a low-carbon source of energy. “Nuclear energy should be part of this eco-label,” said French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire back in October,…

Read More

Mature companies turn to SDGs, Paris Agreement for green guidelines

Mature companies turn to SDGs, Paris Agreement for green guidelines

Greener business models are starting to gain in popularity as environmental legislation starts to bite and company heads decide their balance sheets will look healthier in the long-run if they embrace change. As UN climate talks in Madrid kick off, EU leaders gear up to discuss a broad decarbonisation strategy and the new European Commission prepares to unveil its Green Deal, questions still linger over how green policies will actually be implemented. In the world of business, the impact of climate measures like renewable power targets, the emissions trading scheme…

Read More