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The Environment Nexus: your digital ecosystem

Nexus thinking is a new way of thinking which recognises the crucial interdependence of WATER, ENERGY and FOOD, and highlights the need for an integrated approach by policy-makers. The IIEA/European Parliament Environment Nexus is an online hub for EU environment policy. Under three themes – water; agriculture and food security; and energy and climate – you will find visual, informative video interviews, animations, interactive infographics, country comparisons, voting polls, frequently asked questions, short articles and analytical policy reports that explain some of the most important environmental issues facing Ireland and the EU.

This project, which runs from January to June 2013, brings together leading policy experts and top graphic designers to present environmental issues in an innovative way. It is co-financed by the European Parliament and the IIEA.

About the IIEA

The Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA) was founded in 1991 and is Ireland's leading think tank on European and international affairs. It provides a unique forum where politicians, civil servants, academics, civil society and industry leaders meet to discuss the most important issues facing Ireland and Europe. Its extensive research, events and communications programmes aim to evaluate and foster debate on strategic policy options, to exchange views across sectoral, occupational and professional boundaries, and so to contribute to the development of national policy; in short to act as a catalyst for new thinking, new solutions and policy options.

The IIEA is a European leader in visual communications in the policy sphere. Previously, the IIEA has harnessed the power of the visualisation revolution to engage with a wide audience on a range of complex policy issues. Through The Environment Nexus, the IIEA will further develop policy visualisation to reach new levels of innovation, design and interaction.

For more information on the IIEA's activities see www.iiea.com

About the European Parliament

The European Parliament is the only directly-elected EU institution and one of the largest democratic assemblies in the world. The 754 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) represent 500 million EU citizens. The next European Parliament elections are due to be held in 2014. The European Parliament's powers have evolved steadily since the first direct elections in 1979. It now has a range of significant powers and is on equal footing with the Council as co-legislator in most policy areas. Within the European Parliament, seven political groups reflect the values of voters in legislative negotiations. The Parliament is organised into a range of thematic committees – key committees for The Environment Nexus include the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development; the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety; and the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy.

For more information on the European Parliament's activities see www.europarl.europa.eu




Water is the most critical natural, environmental and economic resource available to us. As water does not flow according to national boundaries, the EU plays an important role in managing Europe's waters. This section explores issues related to water policy, including water quantity and quality, waste water and water charges and water diplomacy. Nexus thinking underlines the linkages between water and other policy areas including agriculture, fisheries, energy, transport and development.


Meeting our energy needs in an affordable way and tackling climate change are among the most important challenges facing European citizens and policy makers. This section analyses the relationship between the EU's energy and climate strategies, the development of energy technologies including renewables, energy security, the EU's energy and climate policy frameworks to 2020, 2030, 2050 and beyond, the EU Emissions Trading Scheme and the role of the EU in international climate negotiations. Nexus thinking underlines the linkages between energy and climate and other policy areas including water, agriculture, foreign policy, justice, research and innovation.


World population growth is placing new demands on agriculture and changing global food markets. The EU must ensure that it is equipped to deal with the challenges that this poses, while continuing to protect the environment. This section deals with the EU's controversial Common Agricultural Policy and considers broader issues including global food supply, biodiversity, water and land use. Nexus thinking underlines the linkages between agriculture and food security and other policy areas including climate change, water, research and innovation, development and trade.



Find what you need quickly

Energy & Climate
Agriculture & Food Security
Blogs Blogs Blogs
Videos Videos Videos
Infographics Infographics Infographics
Video Infographics Video Infographics Video Infographics
Papers Papers Papers
Polls Polls Polls
Keynote Addresses Keynote Addresses Keynote Addresses

Water Energy and Climate Agriculture and Food Security

This infographic brings together the highlights of the Environment Nexus project in an interactive digital ecosystem. Roll over the images above and click on the links to begin exploring Environment Nexus content including videos, infographics, interviews, blogs and publications on issues relating to water, energy and food policy.

Smart Cities

Get Smart, Stupid! Digital technology, climate change, and the missing human element. By 2050, 70% of the world's population will live in cities. In this blog, Ryan Meade makes the case for smart cities, considers the relative benefits of industry- and community-led approaches, and argues that citizens can be the key innovators.

European Aid

Since its accession to the EU in 1973, Ireland has undergone dramatic changes – and its environmental policy has evolved in step. This blog highlights some of the notable environmental action that has occurred during Ireland's forty-year membership of the European Union.

European Aid

In this short video interview, Emer Costello MEP presents the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived, explains how it fits into the EU budgetary framework and discusses the potential impact of the Fund on food waste.

Global Agricultural Productivity Growth

In this blog, Prof. Alan Matthew compares the methodologies and conclusions of two groups studying trends in global agricultural productivity growth. He draws conclusions for agriculture R&D and reflects on the implications for the world's hungry.

Targets, Grants and Financial Engineering

Is water a human right? And what does that mean for water efficiency, pricing and ownership in Europe? This animated video explores some of the issues arising from the European Citizens' Initiative on the right to water.

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