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Electricity production from renewable sources such as wind and solar energy is expanding rapidly in Europe and around the world. However, integrating these fluctuating sources into the grid is increasingly becoming a challenge for grid operators that need to match electricity supply with demand. Switching over to a new electricity market system where the demand would better adapt to the supply could be crucial for the success of the transition towards a low-carbon society.

The sugar sector in the EU

Em síntese 18-04-2018

The EU's sugar sector provides a source of income for many farmers and sugar manufacturers. The EU is the world's top producer of sugar beet and one of the main sugar manufacturers' and consumers' markets. The EU sugar market had been one of the most heavily regulated markets in the agri-food sector for 50 years, until the quota regime ended on 30 September 2017, thereby introducing a new scenario for this segment of the economy.

The milk crisis in the EU has persisted since 2015. In light of the situation facing the dairy sector and recognising that the outlook for milk prices is not encouraging, Parliament has requested the Commission and the Council to provide an update in plenary on measures to address the situation.

Recent Trends in Energy Prices

Análise aprofundada 15-12-2015

After a dramatic fall in 2014, oil and fuel prices in euro terms increased in the first part of 2015, before decreasing again and since mid-2015 to record low levels, similar to early 2015. However, retail gas and electricity prices - which traditionally follow similar trends with some delay stabilized or in some cases even increased, in large part due to higher taxes. Large differences persist amongst EU Member States and commodities. Conversely, most experts claim that fossil fuel prices can be ...

The 2014 Farm Bill includes risk management tools as an integral component of national agricultural policy whereas the CAP 2014-2020 seems to include them as an afterthought. While EU principles are sound, policies remain in limbo. They suffer from a double dichotomy: two CAP pillars and two administrative levels for implementation. Ten recommendations are proposed for transforming the current state of limbo for EU agricultural risk management policy into a coherent CAP linked to world markets. ...

Significant price changes on certain days in a week or periods of the year indicate that fuel price movements do not exclusively depend on supply and demand. A number of Member States, for instance Germany, The United Kingdom and Spain have already started to investigate the issue; instruments to enhance price transparency have been established in some of them. The European Commission has launched enquiries. Fuel prices must now be reported to the European Commission. Recently the OECD also published ...

Europe is dependant on imports for many raw materials, and reliable supplies of these are critical to its competitiveness. Global trends show that competition for raw materials will increase in the future and that price levels are unpredictable. The European Commission has responded to these challenges with the Raw Materials Initiative and the launch of the European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials, which aims to accelerate innovation and research and development.

This note analyses the European Commission’s proposals for reform of the common agricultural policy for the period 2014–2020. The analysis focuses on measures intended to respond to the volatility of agricultural markets. After explaining the possible justifications for public action aimed at mitigating and managing risks in agriculture, we will examine the effectiveness of the new measures that have been proposed, which include a crisis reserve and mutual funds for economic losses, as well as the ...

Food supply chain in Europe

Briefing 26-09-2011

Recent fluctuations in food prices have drawn attention to the need to ensure a properly functioning food supply chain.  

The European Union's Raw Materials Strategy

Análise aprofundada 31-03-2011

Discussions about the security of raw material supply have become more and more intense in 2010. Prices for several resources have risen significantly. As many mass resources like iron ore were affected, price developments have been a critical and visible factor for several industries. Furthermore, international trade restrictions on rare earths markets attracted public attention. The European Commission has defined a resource strategy that takes the different responsibilities of private and public ...