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Talking hands

Over the last few days, I have made some comparisons between the Finns and the Italians and I think there will be more of those over the days to come. Today, I am writing about the Italian way of communicating, which makes a nice contrast with the monotonous and seemingly indifferent way of talking that… » read more

Political stability is not one of Italy`s strong points. Left-wing governments succeed right-wing governments and vice versa. Since World War II, the average lifetime of Italian governments has barely exceeded one year. Ordinary Italians put very little trust in their political leaders and they are forced to mistrust their national media as well. Politics and… » read more

Thanks to the night ferry from Naples to Palermo, I arrived in Sicily this morning. I will spend four days on this island before making a short excursion to Malta, country number 16. Sicily in general, and Palermo in particular, are historically known as the birthplace of Mafia. This criminal organisation, originally a `family enterprise`… » read more

As work is considered a crucial dimension for individual emancipation, the welfare systems should protect citizens’ life conditions during periods of transition for example by providing people with an unemployment indemnity when changing jobs. This post was submitted by Laetitia Veriter.

Napoli profile

My next city in line does not have the best reputation ever. I arrived in Naples last night and walked straight to the youth hostel before seeing anything. After a good night`s sleep, I left the hostel this morning to find some locals to tell me about the city. Hoping to find out whether it`s… » read more

It`s the first of February today, which means that I am exactly halfway the `Us Europeans` projects. It`s quite a strange moment, in a way even scary, and I will try to explain why. Original post by Bruno

After the heated debate and consultations on the European Transparency Initiative (ETI) we are now in the phase of consultations on its prominent element – the Code of Conduct for interest representatives (consultations close on 15/02/2008). The draft code proposed by the Commission seems fairly minimalist as it quotes very vast principles of “openness, transparency,… » read more

In the Netherlands, on 23-01-2008 a convenant for the built environment has been signed between government (3 ministries: of environment, energy and housing) with energy sector, building sector, installation sector. Representatives of owners- and renters-associations have delivered to work towards the proposed target of 100 PJ reduction of energy use in all buildings. “More with… » read more

23-01-2008: Eu has set european targets for Sustainable Energy. This is again an important milestone for European energy policy. It shows the commitment to combatting climate change reduction. International agreement and national policies are ‘in place’. Nevertheless, the real world is local and ‘enforcement’. My daily experience with local climate policies is still far away… » read more

Sunday observations

No buses on Sundays and all shops are closed. Limassol is the second biggest city of Cyprus, but most streets in city centre remain completely empty until noon. Only the beach boulevard is crowded and I think I will easily find people to tell me what is going on in Cyprus on Sundays. Wrong bet:… » read more

Lobbying points in Europe

As ever more national legislation within Europe is aligned to laws created and set in Brussels lobbying in Europe assumes growing importance. But the question of where and who to lobby is critical. An August 2006 seminar in networking in Europe provided some useful pointers in where to start Networking in the European Union. The… » read more

Normally we here at Blogactiv.eu don’t post ourselves, but an EurActiv article (disclosure: EurActiv is Blogactiv’s parent company) merits the exception: EurActiv.com – New website seeks to engage citizens in climate policy debates. A new website providing a forum for debate on a successor to the Kyoto Protocol […]

UK political commentators are rather sceptical about yesterday’s “green conversion” of Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The Labour governments of Mr Blair and now Mr Brown have been talking loads about the need to tackle climate change but their delivery record has not been as impressive as their rhetoric. Can Gordon Brown become Gordon Green? […]… » read more

Alex Iskold has written an article about Who is blogging and why? While the article is mainly about the major trends and whether bloggers blog for pleasure or for money (so called pro-bloggers) and whether there is a general decline in blogging, one commentor says what he thinks is the main reason for blogging: visbility… » read more

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