DG CONNECT’s Stakeholder Engagement Strategy

Mark Verheyden
Julia Glidden

How do we ensure that public policy represents the interests of all, rather than a select few? How will we ensure it draws upon the best insights and talents of key stakeholders? The European Commission’s DG CONNECT recently announced the results of its Stakeholder Engagement Survey, which is designed to ‘provide empirical results and feedback about existing practices and signal gaps and challenges for action in the area of stakeholder engagement.’ (Directorate-General for...


The Sahel Crisis: Where do European and African perspectives meet?

Hans Hoebeke
The crisis in Mali has brought the Sahel to the centre of international attention. This fragile region not only suffers from longstanding development challenges, but also from an acute security vacuum that has triggered military intervention. Many questions have arisen as a consequence of the crisis. Has the European Union the ability to cope with such a complex and dynamically evolving security environment? How have divergent views on the political roadmap to be adopted, and the lack of...

Lessons for the EU from the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands Crisis

From April until October 2012, China witnessed a series of public protests against the Japanese purchase of the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands. Besides providing further evidence of growing Chinese nationalism, this unrest is interesting for other reasons relevant to EU policy. The Beijing leadership, which is traditionally perceived as the only source of foreign policy decisions in China, faces a changing domestic constellation. Domestic opinion increasingly constrains Chinese foreign policy, and...


The Role of Civil Society Dialogue in the EU-China Cooperation on Renewable Energy

Johanna van Vrede

Expanding EU-China institutional cooperation in the energy sector has been matched by a parallel process of stronger economic ties between European and Chinese companies in the renewable energy (RE) sector (particularly wind and photovoltaics). While the foundation of early EU-China institutional relations was based primarily on trade cooperation, international efforts to mitigate climate change and the common challenge of decreasing energy dependence in a sustainable manner brought a new...


Reviewing the EU’s Crisis Management Procedures

The ongoing review of the EU’s Crisis Management Procedures warrants attention. What passes as an update of an arcane and technical document masks a profoundly political debate concerning what the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) should be about. This policy brief summarises the main proposals and formulates a set of critical reflections. It calls for replacing the bureaucratic scheming with a more forthright political debate, and warns against sacrificing incompatible...


Energy Transition in Europe’s Power House. Alleingang, avant-garde or blackout?

The transformation of Germany’s energy sector will further exacerbate current network fluctuations and intensify the need for modifications in Europe’s power system. Cross-border power transfers will have to increase in order to overcome national limitations for absorbing large volumes of intermittent renewables like wind and solar power. In order to establish such an infrastructure on a European scale, the energy transition needs to be guided by an economic approach designed to...


The Role of EU Special Representatives in the Post-Lisbon Foreign Policy System: A Renaissance?

EU Special Representatives have been deployed since 1996 in order to contribute to the EU’s crisis management efforts in various crisis regions. As they are not part of the formal hierarchy of the European External Action Service and thus a rather flexible foreign policy instrument at the disposal of the Member States, new special representatives have been appointed in 2011 and 2012. This Policy Brief argues that the representatives’ autonomy must not necessarily lead to ‘...


EU 2020 Renewable Energy Goals Insufficient

It is clear that any action to combat climate change must involve extensive efforts in reducing the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the energy sector. In the EU, nearly 80% of total GHG emissions come from the energy sector (European Commission, 2011, p. 21). Any credible action within the EU on combating climate change therefore requires deep shifts in the way we produce and use our energy. This paper highlights that renewable energy policies to 2020 are insufficient to meet the EU...