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Environment ministers from the EU’s 27 member states are unlikely to reach an agreement on core criteria for the sustainability of biofuels, according to a document circulated by the Slovenian Presidency. “There remain important differences of opinion on certain issues,” the report said. The Slovenian Presidency has been pushing for a compromise around a two-stage… » read more

Posted by EMI

The incoming French EU Presidency is confident that it will be able to shepherd a deal on the EU’s climate and energy package through to adoption before the end of the year. But the ‘weight’ of the legislative agenda is unprecedented, and member states’ views diverge on a number of key points. France, which will… » read more

Posted by EMI

Strikes and protests have spread across Europe amid growing anger at record-high oil prices, with leaders from the 27 EU countries at odds over the best response to the crisis. Unhappy fishermen After three weeks of work stoppages and blockades staged by fishermen in France, the fishing industry in Spain, Italy and Portugal joined in… » read more

Posted by EMI

But European governments are split on how to deal with the crisis. While protestors and industry are demanding immediate tax breaks, many governments and consumer groups are concerned that this will simply lead to a loss of public revenues and encourage unsustainable consumption patterns. Last week (27 May), French President Nicolas Sarkozy sided with the… » read more

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A group of Eastern European countries, led by Hungary, have asked for a revision of their national targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Hungary, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Slovakia are questioning the reference year 2005 chosen by the Commission to calculate how each of the 27 EU member states will contribute to the… » read more

Posted by EMI

“We know that the Commission doesn’t like our proposal,” an expert from an Eastern European country told EurActiv. He explained that his Eastern colleagues do not question the methodology of the Commission, except for on one point – the reference year. “The Commission methodology is OK, it tries to achieve a balance,” another Eastern expert… » read more

Posted by EMI