Written by Clare Ferguson
2014 was an interesting year for us at the EPRS. Debate on all things European broke out all over, with the European elections in May, a new European Commission, and increasingly vocal arguments for and against integration, independence, immigration and invigoration of the EU economy.
Not surprisingly then, our top posts of the year can be divided into two categories: those on issues which people face in their daily lives, and those aimed at making the EU institutions and their workings more transparent.
Let’s take a look.
Five things that matter to people in the EU
- EU Citizenship and residence permits for sale – not all immigrants to EU Member States are poor and stateless; non-EU citizens who make substantial investments can expect to be granted residence in some EU states. Our post contains information on all the issues, for and against.
- Legal aspects of 3D printing – additive manufacturing might have been the buzz word for 2014. Can 3D printing save European industry?
- Gender issues have long featured in our most popular postings. This year was no exception, with posts on Gender stereotyping, La condition féminine en Arabie Saoudite (The female condition in Saudi-Arabia: only in French), Girls’ education in Pakistan – Malala Yousafzai and Female Political Representation – the use of Electoral Gender Quotas topping our ‘best of’ list.
- Freedom of movement has been hotly contested on the political scene, with debate set to harden in 2015. Unsurprisingly then, our post on Free movement of persons in the EU: how free, under what conditions and for whom? proved very popular. As was also our post on your freedom to use your phone: A roaming-free Europe in 2015.
- The current economic doldrums have heightened interest in the complicated negotiations on trade with the United States, which in turn made our posts Towards an EU-US trade and investment deal and EU-US trade agreement (TTIP / TAFTA) very popular indeed.
Five things about the EU that matter to you
- The role played by social media in political participation and electoral campaigns This is our all-time top post, demonstrating how much social media remains on the agenda.
- #EPHearings2014: Meet the Commissioners-designate! September brought us a new EU Commission, and our compendium of briefings on the Commissioners-designate proved essential reading throughout the, sometimes turbulent, hearings.
- 2014 European elections: national rules – in the run-up to the European Parliament elections, our infographic provided some interesting statistics on how the elections are run in the Member States.
- The European Parliament 2009-14 : Five years’ work in figures – another infographic (we know you like figures!), this one gives a picture of the activities of the last European Parliament.
- Mapping the Cost of Non-Europe, 2014 -19 – identifying and analysing what the cost would be if we did not have a ‘Europe’, this study is updated regularly as a contribution to the discussion on the EU’s policy priorities for this five-year term.
We look forward to bringing you many more posts in 2015, and wish all our readers a joyous festive season.