AG 005 | February 2015

As Jean-Claude Juncker and his Commission start to settle into their role, and David Cameron and Ed Miliband prepare to go head to head in the general election in May, Europe is in for an eventful few months ahead.

In this edition we give thought and highlight a number of key issues that are at the forefront of policy. The publication starts with an introductory Foreword from Vice-President of the European Parliament Olli Rehn, formerly European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs.

The built environment section of this edition kicks off with an article from European Commissioner for Regional Policy, Corina Cretu discussing her main priorities for the coming year, including, why she feels investments and the Cohesion Policy reforms are key. In that section we also highlight the Building for Life program and how it represents good urban design.

Horizon 2020 is the European Commission’s flagship funding programme, and we give special focus to this, highlighting the opportunities it will bring for Norway. With an article from the Research Council of Norway, and another from AG, we explore how the Norwegian Ministry of Research and Development are ensuring their commitment to R&D over the coming year.

Consideration is also given to the importance of air quality management throughout Europe, and the European Environment Agency (EEA) explains this further. In an article by Dr Valentin Foltescu at the EEA, thought is given to the impact of air pollution on human health and ecosystems. Christian Friis Bach at the United Nations Economic Commission also highlights this issue and the prominence of renewing efforts against air pollution.

In the education section we look at how the Department of Education hope to reform the education system in the UK, and how Minister of State for School Reform, Nick Gibb hopes to increase opportunities for young people. We also spoke to Dr Victoria Showunmi from the UCL Institute of Education about what makes an effective leader, particularly in an education setting.

Consideration is also given to areas such as musculoskeletal disorders; skin cancer research; sustainable agriculture; road safety management systems; and, domiciliary care.

As always we hope you find this edition thought provoking and useful, and welcome any feedback or article suggestions you may have.

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