Symβiosis aims to provide resources, commentaries and analysis, on political, social and cultural ideas and developments affecting change and policy, original and creative, based on arguments, able to propose and debate solutions to critical issues, maintaining a broad intellectual scope and global reach that readers need to understand the choices shaping lives, and reflecting on Greece, the Balkans, Europe and the world.

 

Europe

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The State of Europe: Tough questions for the EU

Date added: 02/10/2011
Date modified: 02/10/2011
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While most believe the immediate battle to stabilise the European economy has been won, much remains to be done to make the EU more robust, more stable and more competitive. Externally, the EU is adjusting to new realities, including the power of the financial markets, the new-found assertiveness of emerging nations and the increasingly technological nature of the global economy. To respond to these developments, the EU needs to become both more nimble and more accountable to its citizens. One of the key challenges for the EU is to relaunch and complete the single market – and to ensure citizens are aware of the benefits of doing this. The EU also needs to consolidate 27 competing voices into one in multilateral institutions such as the G20, the IMF and the United Nations, with Member States needing to show the leadership required to give the EU a single voice.

Internally, the people of Europe are increasingly asking: "What is the EU doing for me?" and it is up to all the stakeholders in Brussels to make that clear. The new responsibilities and powers of the European Parliament under the Lisbon Treaty will help, but the EU's institutions need to explain the benefits of the organisation better if they want to restore trust in the EU and acquire the assent of their citizens for an enhanced role both within the EU and on the global stage.

Europe's Energy Revolution: Opportunities and Constraints

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Date added: 02/10/2011
Date modified: 02/10/2011
Filesize: 3.22 MB
Downloads: 1870
Sixty years since its members first started co-operating on energy, the European Union still lacks a common energy policy and a single European market, said Philip Lowe, Director General for Energy at the European Commission. Yet these two elements are needed more than ever in the face of increasing dependence on oil and gas imports and the need to introduce more renewable energy capacity. The lack of progress on the single market internally is matched by a lack of coherence in external energy policy, Lowe added. Yet this coherence is sorely needed in a world where many of the energy challenges that the EU faces will be dictated by developments outside Europe, said International Energy Agency's Chief Economist Dr. Fatih Birol. "The age of cheap oil is over," he asserted.

The future of Europe’s environment: Implications of global mega-trends

Date added: 02/10/2011
Date modified: 02/10/2011
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Downloads: 24
Friends of Europe's Café Crossfire on November 30th, 2010 discussed the release of the European Environment Agency 2010 State and Output report on the European Environment. This report highlights the key global drivers of change (mega-trends) suggesting areas of focus for environmental policy makers today and into the next twenty years.

Moderator Giles Merritt, Secretary General of Friends of Europe, began by calling it "one of the best reports to come out under an EU institutional label for a very long time." Calling the report unusual, particularly as it does not restrict its focus to Europe but rather, "the world that we in Europe live in and have a disproportionate influence in" but to which we are "also disproportionately vulnerable."

Reconciliation Through a Common Purpose: Third Party Human Rights in Cyprus

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Date added: 01/18/2011
Date modified: 01/18/2011
Filesize: 1.67 MB
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The extensive report on humanitarian problems faced by third parties in Cyprus  entitled "Reconciliation Through a Common Purpose: Third Party Human Rights  in Cyprus" was successfully launched in Nicosia on December 16, 2010.

The event took place in the Buffer Zone with the participation of Greek Cypriot  and Turkish Cypriot civil society activists, political party representatives from both communities, government and international organizations officials as well as  academicians.

After Dr. Mensur Akgün delivered his opening remarks, the two authors, i.e.  Christalla Yakithou and Öncel Polili, jointly summarized key-findings of their  research in a short presentation together with policy-oriented recommendation  focusing on how to improve the situation on the island. The audience enjoyed the unique opportunity to take part in a vivid discussion with the authors moderated  by Dr. Sylvia Tiryaki.

The report was a culmination of a one-year long research project, which was implemented by GPoT Center in cooperation with the Turkish Economic Social Studies Foundation (TESEV) and the Turkish Cypriot Human Rights Foundation (KIHV). The project was funded by the European Union. The contents of the publication are the sole responsibility of TESEV and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.

Greening EU Cities: The Emerging EU Strategy to Address Climate Change

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Date added: 01/18/2011
Date modified: 01/18/2011
Filesize: 318.9 kB
Downloads: 406

by Christian Egenhofer, Monica Alessi and Jorge Núñez Ferrer | Climate Change CEPS Task Force Reports, November 2010

Cities are home to 80% of the population in the EU and are responsible for 70% of its greenhouse gas emissions. Urban areas can therefore play a key role in improving energy efficiency and promoting low-carbon development. Cities are important centres of policy innovation and can – among other actions – advance clean energy systems, promote sustainable transport, manage waste and water, and improve energy efficiency in buildings. Cities across Europe are facing similar challenges, and are now attempting to learn from each other and to develop and exchange best practice. The European Commission, under the auspices of DG Energy, has launched the Covenant of Mayors initiative, whose signatories contribute to the policy objectives of the EU Climate Action and Energy Package through a formal commitment to go beyond its targets. In order to accelerate progress, however, these bottom-up initiatives will need to be embedded in and supported by an EU framework that ensures legitimacy and efficiency, builds institutional capacity, develops the necessary tools and meets the financing requirements.

This CEPS Task Force Report explores the different opportunities for cities and businesses to accelerate low-carbon development, while looking at the multiple challenges encountered by cities. These include, in particular, the coordination of existing initiatives; the definition of local authorities' legal competencies; access to finance; the consistency of EU and member state regulations to avoid double-regulation and double-counting; and the use of consistent and transparent measuring, reporting and verification tools.