In this issue of Government, the focus is on society: the publication begins with a special feature on social justice, and continues to discuss emerging health challenges and digitalisation from a social perspective. The large number of contributions from European Commissioners featured here further indicates that this emphasis on society infuses almost every aspect of the commission’s agenda.
This edition also examines the future of cities, tackling subjects from sustainable construction to energy provision, and from urban transport to growth and investment at the local level. With population growth and increasing urbanisation, cities need to grow; but at the same time, the urgent threat of climate change means that greenhouse gas emissions must be lowered at the same time this growth is achieved. Thankfully, Europe is at the vanguard, developing the technologies that will be needed to succeed in this effort.
How is the EU addressing social issues?
- European Commission Vice President Andrus Ansip introduces this issue with a piece on how a Digital Single Market could break down national barriers;
- European Commissioner Phil Hogan argues that a strong European agriculture sector can help to develop thriving rural communities;
- European Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis describes how his agenda will concentrate on the social aspects of healthcare;
- European Commissioner Corina Creţu outlines her agenda for sustainable local investments;
- Tamira Gunzburg of the ONE campaign stresses that women and girls need to be put at the centre of development activities; and
- The International Labour Organization’s Dr Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry explains how social recovery needs to follow economic recovery.
What is the EU doing to fight climate change?
- European Commissioner Karmenu Vella offers his thoughts on the Seventh Environment Action Programme roadmap;
- Hans Bruyninckx of the European Environment Agency discusses a key report on the state of the environment in Europe;
- The Latvian Ministry of Environmental Protection outlines the environmental priorities of the country’s Presidency of the Council of Europe; and
- Transport & Environment director Jos Dings reflects on 25 years of the NGO working towards the greening of European transport.