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During the last 12 months oil prices have risen by 15 percent, much less than either wheat or maize. At the London market they vacillate presently close to € 100 per barrel, about two thirds of the peak price registered in June 2008. There is a priori no reason for concern, the more so as… » read more

The State of the Union message by President Obama focused around key challenges facing the United States to embrace the changing world. His list included: education innovation infrastructure government reform This is not a bad list for starters. In my own work with clients, these are key recurring issues, which today take on new urgency,… » read more

Just before the Christmas break I purchased a beautiful flat screen television of exactly the same dimensions as one that I had bought four years previously. The price was something like 25% of what I had paid earlier and the picture much better. I also engaged in a renegotiation of my mobile phone contract and… » read more

Is the EU and the euro suffering from a southern problem? Is it a problem of olive-growing southerners against the cold, industrialized northern countries? Not at all. The disapproving idea behind the epithet PIGS, that some Mediterranean countries are somehow genetically or geographically inferior, is a nonsense. For a start these countries led the other… » read more

DG Sanco’s promotion of organic living is a moral train wreck. It is reducing global food security and yields while encouraging price rises and child labour in developing countries. Worse, this moral self-satisfaction has limited basis in science and could increase health threats.

Népszabadság, the biggest Hungarian daily, has published the letter by Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes to the Hungarian authorities regarding the controversial media law. The leaked document, dated 21 January, requires clarifications at this stage on three topics and requires an answer in the next two weeks, that is, before the next 4 February EU… » read more

The political pressures are building as we approach the next reform of Europe’s common agricultural policy. The European Commission will finalise its detailed proposals for the future of the CAP in the summer, with a view to decisions in 2012. Of course the budget issue already looms large, with President Sarkozy insisting that the EU… » read more

In a recent article in the New York Times, Nobel prizewinner Paul Krugman gave us a very exciting and comprehensive explanation of how to overcome the Euro Crisis. He explained why Nevada is different from Ireland in the context of economic and monetary crisis. Surprisingly, the answer is simple: Nevada is part of a […]

A €100,000 award will be given on June 14 to Europe’s best early career scientist who presents the most promising research project in the field of environmental and ecological risk assessment. Deadline for submissions is March 18. Every year, the LRI Award offers a young European scientist with less than ten years post-doctoral experience the… » read more

When trying to forecast potential threats to Western civilisation, the late Samuel Huntington envisioned the clash with Islam as the ultimate danger. In spite of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack, the danger has not materialised, on the contrary. He was right, however, about the threat posed to the stability of Islamic societies by the… » read more

I’M OFTEN critical of my MEP – Daniel Hannan, but I nonetheless respect the man. He’s passionate, intelligent, plainly puts his beliefs before his party career (a rare thing in politics) and is an eloquent orator. In his latest blog post, he makes some important points (as long as you’re able to see past a… » read more

In Deutschland ist im Bereich der Privatsphäre ein kleiner Sieg zu Gunsten der Verbraucher zu verzeichnen: Facebook darf nicht mehr selbsttätig an Kontakte aus den E-Mail- und Handy-Adressbüchern der Nutzer Einladungen für Facebook-Mitgliedschaften verschicken. Zunächst klingt dies gut, da sich seit langer Zeit viele Internetnutzer weit mehr als nur ein bisschen darüber wundern, Einladungen von… » read more

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