Rhein on Energy and Climate

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It seems next to impossible for the international community to agree before the end of 2009, in just 12 months, on a meaningful package for mitigating climate change. The odds speak against. First, it has taken the EU 12 months from proposals to adopting legislation, but only thanks to formidable preparative efforts by the EU… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

For 35 years the EU and its two direct neighbour countries – Norway and Switzerland – have been linked by free trade areas. Since 1973, the contractual relations with these two countries have deepened into ever new areas, mostly related to the single market. Norway has gone further than Switzerland in that direction to the… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

Just two days after the European Council has adopted the EU climate policy package, the Australian government has followed suit, presenting its “carbon pollution reduction scheme”. That is good news because it shows that the rich countries are finally getting serious for the Copenhagen Climate Conference in December 2009. For Australia action on the climate… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

After its agreement on December 12, the EU might wish to sit back and say: mission accomplished. That would be a fatal error. The real mission only starts now. The EU has to motivate the rest of the world to also engage in the battle against climate change. The preparatory meetings for the decisive international… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

The View from Brussels

The European Council Meeting 11. and 12. December has overshadowed everything else worth reporting from Brussels. It was the most complex EC Meeting ever, with three very difficult subjects on the agenda: the future of the Lisbon Treaty, the economic recovery package and the climate package. On all three counts, the French Presidency has been… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

At the ongoing international climate conference in Poznan the Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has rightly underscored that “our work for the environment should be timeless”. This commitment for preserving the global climate does not prevent the Polish government from raising serious objections to the EU climate package, which the European Council is scheduled to… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

Western societies are largely driven from interest groups, constantly attempting to influence governments to legislate in their interest or prevent legislation susceptible of hurting their interests. It is the prerogative and duty of democratic governments to arbitrate between competing lobby interests and define the common interest of all citizens. In doing so, they should listen… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

Thanks to the Euro, members of the Euro-zone have been able to weather the international financial crisis much better than those outside the euro-zone. Hungary and UK, not to mention Iceland, have seen their currencies coming under pressure for devaluation, as they lacked the solidity and solidarity of the single currency. It is therefore not… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein