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The environment is a policy area where the EU delivers tangible benefits for its citizens in the form of an improved living and working conditions. It is also a policy area where a significant majority of European citizens support further and even more effective action. As the EU celebrates its first 50 years - and looks towards the next 50 years - it is clear that developing and implementing policies that can effectively protect Europe's environment will be at the heart of the European "project". My hope is that this diary will improve the level of debate and discussion on the shape that the next generation of environmental policies will take.
As Commissioner for Science and Research since 2004, it is my objective to improve the situation for research and researchers in the EU. Through research we gain knowledge and knowledge is essential for growth and an enhanced quality of life. Here, in my blog, I share with you my views on a wide variety of topics affecting Europe.
Mariann Fischer Boel
As Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, it is my job to manage the European Union's Common Agricultural Policy. The CAP aims to support the production of good quality and safe food, help our farmers, promote jobs and businesses in rural areas, ensure the respect of environmental and animal welfare standards and preserve Europe's unique rural landscapes. The policy is not standing still. We are introducing a series of reforms, which aim above all to make our farmers more competitive and market-orientated. Here, in my blog, I want to share with you my thoughts as I travel around Europe talking to the people in the front line on a range of issues pertaining to agriculture, food and the rural environment.
As Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, I believe that to maintain the European social model we have to preserve our core values of social justice, equality, respect for rights and dignity for every individual. At the same time, we need to carry out a major reform of our labour markets and social protection systems. Personally speaking, this is the best way for Europe to cope with today’s realities of globalisation and the ageing of our populations. Meeting these two challenges will help us to achieve our goal of creating more and better jobs in Europe. For me, this is a "Social Imperative" - it is my number one priority.
Blogs of the European Representations
Estonia - Toivo Klaar
In my blog I write about topics that I find important and which I believe should merit more attention in Estonia. Once a week I aspire to look at current EU-related topics from an Estonian vantage point. These reflections are of a far more personal nature than the 'official views' of the Commission we usually circulate. I hope they invite the reader to think along and to engage in a lively discussion.
Malta - Joanna Drake
Nothing beats personal contact - except that in today's world the internet may be the next best thing. So here it is - welcome to my blog. My objective is to provide a forum for debate on EU issues that concern us all. There are heaps of misconceptions on how the EU works and here we can sort the myth from reality. Also many have yet to find out how the EU works in their favour. This blog will provide us with a meaningful opportunity to throw more light on that subject too.
Netherlands - Ludolf van Hasselt
What is the role of the Representation of the European Commission in the Netherlands? You can find a wealth of information on our website www.eu.nl, but not an answer to that question. In order to make it better understood how we serve the interests of the European Commisison in our country from our beautiful premises at the Korte Vijverberg in The Hague, I have decided to start a weblog. You can read here about the events we organise, how we maintain close contacts with national -, regional -, and local authorities, and how we deal with the press. I hope that you will react, because that allows us to better respond to the questions you have. What we do not address in the blog is how we report to Brussels, that has to remain a secret!!