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…

Will the EU’s action plan against child labour be effective? Chocolate is one of the most popular sweet treats across the European Union, and our countries have some of the highest rates of consumption and production in the world. Still, there is one big issue with our high demands for these delicious confectioneries––the amount of…

Truth or Fiction in the EU? In September 2020, during the State of the Union address, Ursula von der Leyen said: ‘if you are a parent in one country, you are a parent in every country,’ when announcing the European Commission’s plan to put forward a strategy to strengthen LGBTQI+ rights. Currently, this is far…

The new EU crisis strategy in action ‘Infectious diseases, like Europeans, cross borders’. It is a statement that feels a bit obvious in the midst of a pandemic, but when it was penned down by some intern at the European Commission back in 2018 it was nothing more than an ominous warning of how a…

What is Sofagate? Sofagate has hit the news in a way European politics rarely does. The incident, now popularly dubbed ‘Sofagate’, occurred after a meeting of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Ankara.  On this video, which went viral, the three…

The Grand Finale This year’s Eurovision Song Contest is taking place in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. After 44 years without a win, Duncan Lawrence’s Arcade broke the drought. For the first time in the competition’s history, due to the Covid pandemic, the competition was cancelled and pushed back to 2021. In order to address the rising…