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Pan European Networks: Government

17

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4

for European Environmental Policy, the Bio-Based Industries Joint

Undertaking and the European Environmental Bureau. Rounding out the

environment section is a feature on sustainable cities, with views from

the European Commission, industry associations, and the Covenant of

Mayors. Meanwhile, with Ljubljana becoming the European Green Capital

of 2016, the city outlines its ambitions for its year in the spotlight.

In the transport section, innovative and pressing arenas such as smart

ticketing and the deepening of public transport networks are highlighted.

When it comes to road transport, issues such as theft, fuels, innovation

and road haulage are explored, alongside a special focus on road safety

matters. Later, the maritime section touches upon critical issues such

as sustainability.

Closing this edition of PEN: Government is a special feature on the fight

against extremism. The tragic terror attacks in Paris shocked the world,

and revelations that they were planned in Brussels, mere kilometres from

the institutions of the European Union, have generated much debate over

radicalisation, security, integration and more. Two respective pieces from

the Council of Europe and the European Forum for Urban Security

consider this issue, while Anne Brasseur, who ended her term as the

president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe at the

end of January, provides a thought-provoking piece on the year ahead.

As ever, I hope that you will find these pages as informative and

interesting a read as I have found in their creation, and I welcome any

comments that you may have.

is set to be a pivotal year for the European

Union: as the migration crisis continues

with no end in sight and a referendum on

the UK’s membership of the Union approaches, questions abound over

the future of Europe. Indeed, as the president of the European Economic

and Social Committee, George Dassis, says in his Foreword, that very

future could actually be at risk. While pessimism may be mounting, the

Paris Climate Agreement reached on 12 December has at least provided

some hope that Mankind can decarbonise and mitigate global warming.

Amidst the backdrop of ongoing humanitarian crises in the EU’s

neighbourhood and around the globe, Brussels continues to channel

resources and energy into humanitarian assistance. The European

Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos

Stylianides, answered PEN’s questions on the key work currently taking

place in the arena, and you can find that article early on in this edition.

Following this, an interview with the International Organization for

Migration’s Eugenio Ambrosi reflects on the continuing migration crisis

and the steps to be taken by European decision makers to better respond

to the situation.

The publication also considers matters around enterprise and innovation,

before moving on to energy, a critical issue for modern Europe. Talking

about the ongoing work to create a positive investment climate, an

interview with the vice-president of the European Investment Bank,

Jonathan Taylor, opens the section, which is followed by a series of

articles on key topics such as wind energy, CCS and energy cabling.

When it comes to environmental concerns, the emphasis in late 2015

fell upon matters around the circular economy, with the Commission

publishing its eagerly awaited revised Circular Economy Package on 2

December. The environment section opens with a short focus on the

circular economy, with articles highlighting the perspective of the Institute

INTRODUCTION

Michael Brennan

Editor

Pan European Networks: Government

2016