The European environment – state and outlook 2015’ (SOER 2015)
European Environment Agency, 2015
Europe’s environment and climate policies have delivered substantial benefits, improving the environment and quality of life, while driving innovation, job creation and growth. Despite these gains, Europe still faces a range of persistent and growing environmental challenges. Addressing them will require fundamental changes in the systems of production and consumption that are the root cause of environmental problems.
These are some of the key messages from the European Environment Agency’s five-yearly assessment ‘The European environment – state and outlook 2015’ (SOER 2015), published today. SOER 2015 is an integrated assessment of Europe’s environment. It also includes assessments and data at global, regional and country levels, as well as cross-country comparisons.
SOER 2015 highlights the need for more ambitious policies to achieve Europe’s 2050 vision. It also stresses the need for new approaches that respond to the systemic nature of many environmental problems. For example, external pressures, including global megatrends, can counteract specific policies and local environmental management efforts. In addition, many environmental challenges are closely linked to systems of production and consumption that support numerous jobs and livelihoods and changes to these systems create diverse costs and benefits. Moreover, efficiency improvements are often negated by increased consumption.
The report concludes that although full implementation of existing policies will be essential, neither the environmental policies currently in place, nor economic and technology-driven efficiency gains, will be sufficient to achieve Europe’s 2050 vision. [+]
Study on Assessing the Research Management Performance of Framework Programmes Projects Final Report
European Commission, 2015
This study explores the variety of research management structures, roles, tasks, responsibilities, activities and styles in relation to research management performance (RMP) and project success in the FP6 and FP7 research funding programmes of the European Commission. The key findings indicate six enabling factors of high RMP. The effects on RMP and project success of six management styles have been studied. Interestingly, management tools do not appear to influence project success. In about one third of the projects, the composition of the consortium changes along the way. The Commission would do well to focus on personal interaction with Project Coordinators rather than the administrative side of projects and create more flexibility, if it wants to improve the success of FP projects. Also, currently offered EC-provided project management tools and matchmaking instruments should be critically reviewed, as these do not work as intended. Finally, the Commission is cautioned that current frameworks for intellectual property are out of sync with international standards, such as those of the WTO. We make recommendations to the Commission (for implementation in the Horizon 2020 programme) and to Project Coordinators. We also provide suggestions for further research based on the findings of this exploratory study.