Latest Blog Posts — Page 2

The Dutch Choice

On 15th March 2017, the Netherlands returns to the polling stations to elect the House of Representatives. This marks the first Cabinet in two decades to complete its official term. Now that the country has overcome the recession, the governing coalition would expect an electoral bonus. However, the Dutch political landscape is fragmented and the formation of a new coalition is likely to be tough, with an estimated four parties needed to get a majority.

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How the EU nudges us to be nicer to animals

The European Union is typically characterised by high politics and complex economics, so animal welfare is unlikely to feature high in the annals of its activity. Yet it has quietly crept up the agenda. Today the EU is a leading driver of rules on the ways animals are kept and treated, reflecting the changing European attitudes to their welfare, and scientific research into animal distress.

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The price of Energy Union

From this summer, Europeans will be able to use their cellphones outside their home member state without fear of racking up huge bills: it is the fruit of a campaign to slash roaming fees that is one of the European Union’s most vaunted success stories of recent years. EU energy ministers would love to present a similar triumph in energy, by cutting consumer bills which remain high. But decades after the first efforts to create a true single energy market, can the EU really bring us cheaper energy?

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Rejection of Swiss Corporate Tax Reform III by voters

The Swiss proposal for a third Corporate Tax Reform (CTR III) was rejected by a popular vote on Sunday, Feb 12th 2017. However, this is not the end of the political discussion or process. Switzerland has promised to show its commitment to the OECD, and to be compliant with international tax regulations by 2019.

The CTR III was rejected by 59.1% of the Swiss voters. Only three cantons and one half-canton (respectively VD, ZG, TI and NW) were in favour of the text – with a voting ratio of 60-40%. The proposal was a complete failure.

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EU scheme to kill cookie consent still has doubters

The cookie pop-ups that relentlessly pester us for our consent are maddening interruptions that sour our online experience. But these wearisome warnings over tracking activity might finally be consigned to the trash can of browsing history after the European Commission announced its shake-up of personal data rules. At least if EU decision makers and tech industry groups can sort out their differences over the new proposals.

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Is the EU doing enough for sustainable development?

In 2000, the United Nations agreed what would be one of its greatest successes: eight goals to help the world’s poorest people. The Millennium Development Goals addressed the most basic requirements of human life, like reducing child mortality, reversing the AIDS epidemic, and ensuring access to safe drinking water. They were arguably the largest collective promises world governments ever made to their citizens.

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(No) New Government in Italy

A week after Matteo Renzi resigned as Prime Minister following his defeat over the constitutional referendum, the former Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni was asked by the President of the Republic to form a new government that will guide Italy into the next elections in February 2018.

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