Thursday

21st Jan 2021

Podcast

Winning the Car Wars

  • Pascal Smet is the popular secretary of state for urban development in Brussels who has fought for years in favour of car-free urban space. That goal once seemed like a galaxy far far away. Now it seems tantalisingly within reach (Photo: Helena Malikova)

Lockdowns in response to the coronavirus mean quieter cities, clearer skies and easier breathing.

For many city dwellers the lack of cars has been a revelation amid the suffering and loss inflicted by Covid-19. Now some cities are putting plans to keep cars out into hyperdrive.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

Those moves foretell the kind of Europe where living together more sustainably becomes the norm. But such an outcome is not inevitable.

Pollution lobbies and the challenges facing mass transit systems are among the factors that could hold back a green recovery, says Mark Watts who heads the influential C40 network of global megacities.

Pascal Smet is the popular secretary of state for urban development in Brussels who has fought for years in favour of car-free urban space.

That goal once seemed like a galaxy far far away. Now it seems tantalisingly within reach.

We're grateful to the European Cultural Foundation for supporting this episode as a contribution to its Europe Day celebration. Visit the foundation's Europe Day website for more to see, read and experience.

Author bio

EU Scream is the progressive politics podcast from Brussels. Produced by James Kanter with graphics by Helena Malikova and music by Lara Natale.

You may also subscribe via iTunes, Spotify or from the EU Scream website.

Green Deal

How pandemic opens doors to green transport industry

While much of the transport sector is pushing for unconditional state aid and to postpone climate policy action, experts believe that this crisis could help to transform the EU's transportation system, making it more resilient, sustainable and flexible.

Opinion

Second-hand cars flaw in EU Green Deal

The moment Europe revels in its carbon-free transport system, most of the cars that emitted too much for EU standards will still be driving around for years somewhere else in the world.

Data and Dystopia

Despite concerns about civil liberties and activities of companies like Clearview AI and Palantir, EU authorities are shaping a new industrial policy around artificial intelligence.

Citizen deliberation in light of an insurrection

Can the EU do more to hold back the kinds of malign forces that overran the US Capitol? It's not an idle question. Democratic shortcomings in the EU are regularly invoked by the far-right to whip up nationalist sentiment.

Honesty is the best policy

Politicians mostly talk about shutting migrants out. That endangers migrants' lives and obscures an important truth: that Europe already relies on large numbers of migrants for farming and manufacturing.

News in Brief

  1. First migrant tragedy of 2021 claims 43 lives
  2. Train revival needed to meet EU climate goals
  3. NGOs shame Monaco on persecuting UK whistleblower
  4. British music stars voice anger on Brexit deal
  5. Brexit prompted finance exodus from UK to France
  6. Italian PM Conte wins confidence vote in Senate
  7. Borrell washes hands of EU's Venezuela policy
  8. Russia backs Greece in eastern Mediterranean dispute

Honesty is the best policy

Politicians mostly talk about shutting migrants out. That endangers migrants' lives and obscures an important truth: that Europe already relies on large numbers of migrants for farming and manufacturing.

Showdowns over the rule of law

Brussels is increasingly expected to serve as the European Union's sheriff on rule of law - but its ability to enforce adherence to democratic norms and values remains weak.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAEU Code of Conduct can showcase PPPs delivering healthier more sustainable society
  2. CESIKlaus Heeger and Romain Wolff re-elected Secretary General and President of independent trade unions in Europe (CESI)
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen benefit in the digitalised labour market
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersReport: The prevalence of men who use internet forums characterised by misogyny
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersJoin the Nordic climate debate on 17 November!
  6. UNESDAMaking healthier diets the easy choice

Latest News

  1. US returns to climate deal and WHO, as EU 'rejoices'
  2. Big tech: From Trump's best friend to censorship machine?
  3. Turkish minister in Brussels to discuss new migrant deal
  4. EU leaders to discuss vaccine certificates
  5. On Erdoğan and Europe's 'ontological' choice
  6. MEPs call to halt Russia pipeline over Navalny arrest
  7. EU targets vaccinating 70% of adults by summer
  8. Portugal pushes to start delayed 'future EU' conference

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us