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Barroso’s buzzwords

Market, Economy and Crisis dominate Commission President’s list of most-used words. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso unveiled his ‘summer homework‘ today, setting out his agenda in a bid to convince a sceptical European Parliament that he has a vision for a second term. So what were his priorities? Well, taking an outrageously crude quantative… » read more

Posted by Gary Finnegan

Sitting listening to the EU’s enterprise commissioner holding forth at the European Parliament’s environmental committee on the subject of regulating medicines, I was prompted to wonder how the status of health policy could be so low. Swine flu, counterfeit drugs, and our ageing population are supposed to be priorities but health is an afterthought. The… » read more

Posted by Gary Finnegan

There is a movement afoot to bring the education and industry sectors closer together. The European Commission is on board, industry is thrilled and business schools see a market opportunity. Some go as far as to suggest that industry should have input into university curricula. The prevailing logic runs like this: Industry and innovation are… » read more

Posted by Gary Finnegan

A government-appointed expert group in Ireland makes uncomfortable reading for all invested in Europe’s “knowledge economy” experiment. It questioned (a) whether Ireland’s investment in ‘STI’ (science, technology and innovation) is really economically worthwhile and (b) whether producing 20% more PhD students might be counterproductive. These points are buried in a lengthy report by an academic… » read more

Posted by Gary Finnegan

“European Research Council in full flight,” screams the July issue of the Europe4Researchers newsletter published by the European Commission, which landed in my inbox on this afternoon. The article boasts that the ERC has “developed into a well-functioning research funding body”. Great news, if it were true. Yesterday a panel of experts – assembled by… » read more

Posted by Gary Finnegan

When words like “subprime” and “credit crunch” entered the public lexicon in 2007, commentators said it would pass within a few months. Once banks published their annual reports, they said, we’d know who had toxic assets on their balance sheets and confidence would return to the markets. That was two years ago. Now, as the… » read more

Posted by Gary Finnegan

Irish bookmakers are betting the Lisbon Treaty will win between 60% and 65% of the vote in October’s (2nd) referendum on the issue, but are nervous about getting it wrong (again). Paddy Power – Ireland’s biggest bookie – is offering odds of 1/6 on the Treaty being passed, citing the legal guarantees agreed in June… » read more

Posted by Gary Finnegan