Joanna Gill profile background image
Joanna Gill profile image

Joanna Gill

Europe Correspondent

Thomson Reuters Foundation

Joanna Gill is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering climate change, society and tech, LGBTQ+ rights and inclusive economies. Before joining the Thomson Reuters Foundation Joanna was Deputy Bureau Chief at Euronews Brussels covering breaking news as well as long-form reporting on EU policy impact.

February 09, 2024

As Europe's cities seek to cut the emissions fuelling global warming and clear fume-filled air, one solution - restrictions on polluting cars - has sparked widespread protests, led to violent acts of vandalism and inflamed conspiracy theories. 

From London to Rome, the introduction of Low Emission Zones (LEZs) and Ultra Low Emission Zones (ULEZs) has enraged some city residents, who say fines and charges imposed on the most polluting vehicles mean more hardship for society's poorest during a global cost-of-living crisis. 

January 23, 2024

Europe's farmers are angry, staging tractor blockades and noisy rallies from Romania to Germany in recent months to protest an earnings squeeze they blame partly on green policies including pesticide bans and nitrogen emissions curbs.

One of farmers' main complaints is high business costs - in part from the expense of complying with EU environmental targets aimed at cutting planet-warming carbon emissions and protecting nature. They also say price pressures and increasing competition from imports are hitting their income.

January 19, 2024

If last year's COP28 climate talks signalled the beginning of the end for the production and use of fossil fuels, they also marked a coming of age for energy efficiency, hailed as the "first fuel" in the transition to a greener future. 

As well as committing to triple installed renewable energy generation capacity, nearly 200 countries pledged to double the global average annual rate of energy efficiency improvements by 2030. That would raise it from around 2% now to over 4%.

December 22, 2023

As governments across Europe pursue policies aimed at deterring growing migration from Asian, African and Middle Eastern countries, rights campaigners say some measures could shut out or even criminalise refugees.

With polls pointing to a swing to the far-right in June's European parliament elections, and migration dominating debate ahead of Britain's 2024 general election, the issue is set to stay high on the political agenda.

December 13, 2023

Millions of European gig workers could be recognised as employees with rights to pensions, paid leave and workplace accident insurance under new labour rules agreed by EU member states on Wednesday.

The proposals aim to stamp out what EU lawmakers describe as "bogus self-employment" among gig workers using digital platforms, from food delivery couriers to ride-hailing apps.

December 12, 2023

The EU reached a landmark deal on rules to govern the use of artificial intelligence (AI) on Friday - the world's first comprehensive regulations for the use of tools that are already transforming everyday life - from workplaces to law enforcement.

Europe's AI Act was hailed as "historic" by European Union lawmakers, who said it set a global benchmark.

October 30, 2023

As Europe's firefighters get back to normal duties after another devastating wildfire season, union leaders say investment in extra staff and equipment is urgently needed in hard-hit Mediterranean countries.

Firefighting unions say the rising workload posed by massive summer wildfires is taking a heavy toll on staff, putting their health at risk, hitting morale and potentially damaging their capacity to respond to forest fires, floods and other disasters.

October 10, 2023

When Serge de Gheldere decided - along with a dozen other Belgian citizens - to take the government to court in 2014 alleging climate inaction, he didn't imagine he would still be fighting the case in 2023 and with more than 70,000 co-plaintiffs.

"I thought we had a good chance of nailing this (quickly)," he told Context. "In the past, it has worked to use the law to bring about societal advances."

September 05, 2023

The empty building on Rue de la Loi street in Brussels is crowded and run-down, but the roughly 100 asylum seekers who are squatting there say they have nowhere else to go if police carry out an eviction order.

"We don't know what to do - if we leave, we won't have a place to stay," Amil, a 30-year-old man from Afghanistan, who asked not to use his full name, told Context last week as the eviction date drew near.

August 04, 2023

Simmering public anger about Poland's tough curbs on abortion could push the issue up the agenda in campaigning for a closely fought election expected in October or November, political analysts and abortion rights campaigners say.

The death of a 33-year-old woman triggered protests in June over the country's abortion law, among the strictest in Europe, which only allows the procedure in cases of rape, incest and threat to the woman's life or health.