Monthly Archives: November 2015

Paris 2015 UN Climate Change Conference

16451794648_a4dde69226_o (1)With the United Nations climate change conference (COP21) set to get under way in Paris on Monday, the European Commission has stated their commitment to reaching ‘a fair, ambitious and legally binding global climate deal‘, with emphasis on ‘accelerat[ing] the global shift to low carbon, climate resilient economies’.

Jean Claude Juncker and Miguel Arias Cañete, (respectively, President of the European Commission, and  the Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy) will participate in the conference, With Arias Cañete speaking of “governments’ shared sense of urgency and political determination to make Paris the beginning of a new chapter in climate action”.

As part of a press release on the subject, the European Commission have produced a fact-sheet with their answers to FAQs on COP21. And here is their latest leaflet on climate change.

The weekly newspaper Politico EU published an article yesterday, detailing some of the differences of opinion between the EU and the US on the  fundamentals of climate action. Read it here.

Physical copies of Politico EU as well as lots of European Commission publications on climate change and the environment are available from the Taylor Library and EDC.

Meanwhile, here’s the Eurobarometer survey on public opinion regarding climate change, and a video of Arias Cañete’s press conference ahead of COP21.

Everything you’ve always wanted to know about the EU referendum (but were afraid to ask)

Brexit crop
© D Smith. Licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The UK government is committed to holding a referendum on whether Britain should stay in the European Union by the end of 2017.

In June we told you that the House of Commons Library had published an impartial list of relevant publications on The UK and the EU: reform, renegotiation, withdrawal. The list, including books and specialist journal articles and papers has now been updated.

The Libraries of the House of Commons and House of Lords and the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) produce research briefings on a wide range of issues. Intended to aid the work of members of the Houses of Parliament by providing relevant background material they are also useful to anyone starting to research a current topic. They can be searched by date or topic here.

Europe Direct ‘Europe Themed’ Christmas Event

European christmasChristmas is coming…

…and Europe Direct Aberdeen are holding ‘A Very European Christmas’ event in the Central Library on Wednesday 2nd December. There’ll be festive treats, games, tree decorating and a chance to learn about Christmas traditions from across Europe. Find out more on the Facebook event page.

In the meantime have a look at this video of some Croatian school children making traditional tree decorations called Licitars:

The EU Legislative Process Explained

The Berlaymont Building – Headquarters of the European Commission. ©TPCOM. Licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Creating new EU legislation involves several stages, including multiple readings by both the Parliament and the Council. It is a naturally complicated process, due to the nature of the EU. If you’re after a simple breakdown and explanation of what the process entails, then have a look at this new interactive infographic from the European Parliament. It also has all the information in a text format, and you can find links to the section of the Lisbon Treaty that deals with new legislation, as well as a useful glossary. In addition to this, there are pdf versions of all the information, so you can save or print for offline consultation.

You can also have a look at the video below from for an animated explanation of how European laws are passed.


European Commission Joint Statement on Paris Attacks

In the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday, the European Commission released this joint statement from the Government leaders or Heads of State of the EU countries.

Please find below some links to a selection of news and commentary articles on these tragic events, found via the ESO News and Analysis page.

Paris Attacks Come at a Dangerous Moment for Europe – from Chatham House

Paris attacks: Why France must avoid viewing its Muslim population as a security threat – from The London School of Economics and Political Science

Brussels connection under spotlight after Paris killings – from

Any students or staff affected by these events can contact for advice and support.

Old Version of EUR-lex to Close in December

prev version
EUR-Lex previous version: no longer available after the new year.

Having provided access to both the old and new versions since the new one was rolled out earlier this year, EUR-lex have recently announced that the old version will be taken down permanently on 31st December 2015. Any links to the old site will not work after that date.

The Publications Office has a YouTube channel with a number of useful EUR-Lex tutorial videos on it. See below for an explanation of the Advanced Search feature.