Can we now buy all cosmetic products with confidence? Unfortunately not. An eyeliner or concealer stick or bottle of perfume and its ingredients bought in the EU cannot be tested on animals, but there are lots of big companies who want to sell to the Chinese market.
The more than 360 people drowning off the Lampedusa coast on 3 October were not the first to die while traversing the Mediterranean Sea in search of a better life, nor unfortunately were they the last. Just over a week later another 38 people died when their vessel experienced difficulties.
Accountability is a vital deterrent to breaches of rights and criminal acts. Without it, a country becomes lawless, as can be seen in Romania's Stra...
Gradually the British people are wising up to the reality that the democracy here is an illusion, one created by the political establishment to maintain the status quo, that being the rich get richer and the poor become poorer...except now, economic upturn or no, there are a lot more poor people.
Ahrendts' departure was timely, coming on the same day as European Parliament committees voted in favour of draft legislation requiring 40% representation for women among non-executive board members... London, Europe's main financial centre and home to some of the world's largest companies, should be leading the way on this issue.
Two countries, two approaches to shale gas extraction. Fracking has helped the US overtake Russia as the world's biggest natural gas producer. In France, however, the constitutional court ruled earlier this month that a government's ban on shale gas drilling was legal and not disproportionate.
A cross-government audit is currently under way looking at where the EU has powers in the UK. The idea is that each will be examined to see whether it is necessary or whether the power could be "brought back" to the UK. This is Mr Cameron's proposed stance on Europe: take back control while still maintaining EU membership...
View image The European Parliament will this week have to decide whether plans by the European Commission to simplify meat inspection...
Yet with member states all in agreement, there are some that do little to actively promote equality for the LGBT community. In particular, catholic countries such as Italy and Poland who are members of the EU, are a very long way behind some of their counterparts. They will allow couples to live together but do not recognize any kind of commitment between homosexuals.
Blanket criminalisation clearly isn't working. It doesn't address the core problem, and sometimes perpetuates it; prostitutes are convicted, criminalised, have less of a route out than before, and thus return to the sex industry. A subterranean economy is created, which is demeaning at best and dangerous at worst. So, if the current system is failing then where do we go from here? This is the question I've tried to answer through my work at the EU. There are two alternatives for the UK. The first is the well-publicised Dutch model, which legalises both being a sex worker and using one.
It is the task of a bold and constructive German foreign policy to play a leading role in the EU and in that Zwischeneuropa, the "Europe in-between", from the Baltic to the Black Sea; but also to influence the peace efforts in what has become the "Wild East" - the Orient. Maybe it is going too far to speak of a German pacifistic Sleeping Beauty slumber.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released last Friday the most comprehensive ever study on global warming. The landmark report, prepared by more than 200 scientists over two years, concludes that global temperatures could rise by up to 4.8 Celsius (8.6 Fahrenheit) by the end of this century compared to pre-industrial levels, but could potentially still be held to 0.3 C (0.5 F) with deep, speedy cuts in emissions.
Companies are not the only ones to have discovered the opportunities offered by an increasingly globalised world. Some 3,600 criminal gangs are active in more than one country in the EU and of those 70% boast an international work force and 30% commit more than one type of crime. Worldwide organised crime costs the global economy €670 billion a year. Crime on this scale can only be successfully be countered at an international level.
UKIP are taking votes away from both right and left, but it is the Conservative Party taking the biggest hit. The party Chairman just the other day entreated Ukippers to "come home". Tory MP Nadine Dorries has suggested a Conservative Party/Ukip ticket. Things are that desperate.
Despite my passion for the EU, I have a confession. Not only have I never really been a fan of the European Parliament, but I get a bit embarrassed when the EP tries to hype up the European Elections. It's like they're watching all the hoopla of the US elections and shouting "But look at us! 500 million people! We matter too!"
I remember the first time my mum called me a slut. Being the kind, peace-loving individual she is, I was a tad taken aback by such an accusation. Following on from the discussion, I suggested that to avoid confusion in future, she might want to avoid using the word... So when Godfrey Bloom experienced catastrophic system failure at the UKIP conference last week, I have to say I felt a bit sorry for him.