Our bee population remains in crisis and, in recent months, bees have been in the headlines once again. This is largely in light of a growing body of evidence emerging on the impact that neonicotinoids - a type of systemic insecticide used in agriculture, as well as in the home - has on bee health and wellbeing.
It makes no sense to vote on a budget for the next seven years when the context is likely to have changed dramatically. Even the Soviet Union only planned five years ahead. Rather than being tied down to a seven year austerity budget, there should be a binding review around 2015 which would allow the next democratically elected European Parliament to have its say.
Our doors will swing wide open to Romania and Bulgaria next January leading to the almost certain prospect of yet more unskilled jobs being filled by non-UK workers while the brightest minds from Canada, India, Malaysia and the like must jump through the hoops to prove their worth.
Ireland still has a way to go to ensure the sustainability of its public debt. Without a return to solid economic growth, reducing the government debt stock of almost 120% of GDP will be an arduous task.
We are extremely concerned about the legal basis, as well as the moral, ethical and human rights implications of the United States' targeted killing programme, which does not respect due process or the rule of law and instead addresses terrorism as an act of war rather than a crime allowing the US to engage in wartime conduct and forego the legal system and transparent justice.
We are celebrating today. After 23 years of campaigning for an end to animal testing for cosmetics, the EU ban on the use of non-human animals in cosmetics testing has now come into full force.
Globalisation is making states increasingly unable to realise their citizens' aspirations.
The limits of the European Parliament are currently being debated by MEPs. After Croatia joins the EU in July, the number of seats will go up to 766, a number that will have to be brought down to 751 for the 2014 parliamentary elections, in line with Lisbon Treaty rules.
David Cameron has a Europe problem. While the UK Independence Party's popularity is currently surging, as evidenced by the 27% of the vote they received in last week's by-election to the UK parliament, he's feeling the pressure to lurch ever more the right and position the British Conservative Party as the Euro-sceptic 'voice of reason'.
I am the most fervent anti-smoker and anything that stops people puffing on the filthy cancer sticks is great by me. I have never touched a cigarette so I am not a reformed holier-than-thou ex-smoker. Yet, I find that the EU is interfering again by trying to regulate e-cigarettes.
The risk of a Cypriot default has fallen with the decisive victory of the centre-right candidate, Nicos Anastasiades, in the presidential election on 24 February. However, the risk has not entirely gone away and tough bail-out negotiations lie ahead for the new president.
It makes sense to look at migration from a European perspective. As Britain and Ireland are in the EU, they are affected by what other member states do to protect their borders and whether they allow migrants entry, since those migrants can travel to other parts of the EU.
The US and EU accounts for almost half of global GDP and is worth a combined £393 billion a year, it's not a surprise the benefits of a trade deal are being realised and the feeling of optimism around the talks is palpable on both sides of the pond.
We are often accused being little Englanders and against immigration per se. We are not. We would happily welcome the brightest and best from around the world, regardless of country, religion or race, but we would not welcome those whose own countries would benefit from their brightest and best staying at home to help build them out of poverty.
Food labelling is back in the headlines as EU ministers meet today to discuss the deepening horse meat crisis as it spreads across Europe. As recent events have shown, regulations regarding food labelling in the UK are lax and frequently serve to mislead the consumer.
The EU and the US have for a long time been behaving like reluctant lovers: flirting, and bickering, but never willing to go the distance. Despite many shared interests, a full-blown free-trade agreement has always proved one step too far.