Slovak Presidency to tackle jobs, skills, investment and energy efficiency

With Slovakia set to take the helm of Council of the European Union in just over a week, the next set of Presidency priorities has now been made public.  On the agenda for the next six months are issues such as investment, jobs, energy efficiency and the circular economy. So what ambitions does Slovakia have during its term in charge of the Presidency?

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Urban Agenda for the EU officially launched

With the informal Ministerial meeting on urban matters agreeing on the Pact of Amsterdam on 30 May 2016, the wheels of the EU Urban Agenda have now been set in motion.  The main aim of this initiative is to improve the implementation of EU and national polices by getting cities involved.  Indeed, when it comes to translating policies into concrete action, cities have a major role to play.  at this stage, four partnerships have so far been launched.  These cover air quality, housing, urban poverty and the inclusion of refugees and migrants. 

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Parliament turns attention to household energy needs

On 26 May 2016, the European Parliament adopted a resolution which focuses on the cost of energy incurred by European households.  As noted by the Parliament, the current and ongoing energy transition, which involves moving away from a traditional and centralised energy generation model towards one which is more decentralised, energy-efficient and based significantly on renewable energy, does involve an increase in costs.

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Energy poverty: evaluating and understanding the current situation

Energy poverty is an issue which is moving increasingly to the forefront of the wider EU debate on energy. Against this backdrop, the Commission is looking at ways in which it can support the Member States in protecting vulnerable consumers.   Areas in which it plans to take action include identifying good practices and facilitating an exchange of information. But first of all it is important to understand what is meant by energy poverty and what the extent of the problem really is. 

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