A crash course in circular economy. ‘There is only one planet Earth, yet by 2050, the world will be consuming as if there were three’ This is how the European Commission begins its Circular Economy Action Plan, which was published in March 2020. This statement is not unfounded. Research by the OECD, a group of…

From the periphery to the most important issue of our age The fight against climate change has been more than 50 years in the making. From the first Earth Day, held on April 22 1970, which ignited the world’s citizens to go out and protest to protect their environment, to the first major international legislation…

Meet Facebook’s Oversight Board As Facebook’s membership slowly inches towards 3 billion, content moderation is increasingly becoming a task riddled with legal and political pitfalls. The company strives to serve all the different types of users, cultures, and political systems that inhabit the platform, and failings have repeatedly brought Facebook under severe public scrutiny. In…

  The production of ‘champagne’ has always been associated with the sparkling wine that is produced in the French region of Champagne. The rules of appellation require certain types of grapes and specific methods to be used for sparkling wine to be recognised as champagne. However, in June, Russian President Vladimir Putin approved the labelling…

The votes are in On Sunday 26th of September 2021, the German federal elections took place. The race had been enticing, but also surprising. Angela Merkel’s party, the CDU (Christian Democratic Union of Germany – conservative/right center) is facing after sixteen years of leading the government a historical low with 24,1% of the second votes…

The crises that shaped Angela Merkel’s Chancellorship – From Germany to the European level When Angela Merkel was elected as Germany’s chancellor on 22 November 2005, she set a record as the first woman, the first East German, and the youngest person, at age 51, to ever take said office. She is also the first…

A brief overview of the Russian-Ukrainian war. Let us take a trip back to the beginning of summer 2021: several news outlets were headlining an event that brought renewed attention to the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, but the cause for its flare-up came from a fairly unexpected place. This time, it was the world…

An Explosion in Popularity and Energy Demand Whether it’s been the uncertainty surrounding traditional stock investments, challenges faced by national authorities in the wake of the pandemic, public endorsement by celebrities and financial institutions, or the more primal lure of making a small fortune overnight, interest in cryptocurrency has skyrocketed since the beginning of the…

What populists in the Netherlands, Sweden and Italy have in common  (part 1) An economic and financial crisis shaking the bedrock of the European economy, a significant increase in net migration from outside the EU, ethnic tension fuelled by opportunistic politicians, Brexit and the election of Donald Trump have all left established democratic countries reeling.…

An interview with Emily Sharpe from The Web Foundation In an ideal world the internet would be a safe, inclusive and accessible space for everyone. Sadly, this is still a far cry from reality. Shaping Europe’s editors spoke to Emily Sharpe, based in London, who works for The World Wide Web Foundation as Director of…

Recent articles

From the periphery to the most important issue of our age The fight against climate change has been more than 50 years in the making. From the first Earth Day, held on April 22 1970, which ignited the world’s citizens to go out and protest to protect their environment, to the first major international legislation…

Meet Facebook’s Oversight Board As Facebook’s membership slowly inches towards 3 billion, content moderation is increasingly becoming a task riddled with legal and political pitfalls. The company strives to serve all the different types of users, cultures, and political systems that inhabit the platform, and failings have repeatedly brought Facebook under severe public scrutiny. In…

  The production of ‘champagne’ has always been associated with the sparkling wine that is produced in the French region of Champagne. The rules of appellation require certain types of grapes and specific methods to be used for sparkling wine to be recognised as champagne. However, in June, Russian President Vladimir Putin approved the labelling…

International relations

How should Europe protect critical infrastructure against foreign hostile investments? On October 11th, 2020, the “Foreign Direct Investments Screening Regulation” came into force. While such foreign direct investment (FDI) frameworks already exist in some member states, it has so far been missing at the EU level. However, we find that 12 out of 27 member…

Why the EU should get involved in peace building between Armenia and Azerbijan. After 44 days of intense fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces, silence fell over Nagorno-Karabakh. In accordance with a ceasefire agreement brokered by the Russian Federation roughly 70 percent of the territory of the self-proclaimed Republic of Artsakh was to be turned…

A deep dive into Europe-China trade relations – Part II. “The most ambitious agreement that China has ever concluded with a third country.” This is how the European Commission chose to label its recently announced “Comprehensive Agreement on Investment” (CAI) with China. A big and seemingly consequential statement, one which on the surface seems to…

Sustainability

A crash course in circular economy. ‘There is only one planet Earth, yet by 2050, the world will be consuming as if there were three’ This is how the European Commission begins its Circular Economy Action Plan, which was published in March 2020. This statement is not unfounded. Research by the OECD, a group of…

An Explosion in Popularity and Energy Demand Whether it’s been the uncertainty surrounding traditional stock investments, challenges faced by national authorities in the wake of the pandemic, public endorsement by celebrities and financial institutions, or the more primal lure of making a small fortune overnight, interest in cryptocurrency has skyrocketed since the beginning of the…

Europe’s move to a more circular economy.  The allure of new, cheap, and convenient has slowly suppressed the desire for long-living, repairable, products. Whilst potentially not always a conscious decision by the consumer, we have come to expect that the electronic products we bring home won’t live with us as long as we might like.…

Rule of law

The challenges of the EU’s new rule of law mechanism.  The rule of law is one of the foundational values of the European Union and is the cornerstone of any well-functioning democracy. The Union institutions have repeatedly highlighted the importance of this principle, referring to it as a precondition for protecting all other fundamental EU…

Is the Commission’s attempt to improve fundamental rights protection enough?  On 2 December 2020, the European Commission presented its Strategy to strengthen the application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights in the European Union, setting out a 10-year plan for its implementation. Through its Strategy, the Commission aims to ensure the Charter is applied to…

The EU’s tool box to save Poland and Hungary’s democracies. Independent judges, free media, protection against discrimination and the freedom of thought and religion. They all depend on strong rule of law. In a democracy with the rule of law, the government faces checks and balances from other institutions, such as the judiciary. A democracy…