Why does Beethoven’s Ode to Joy upset some Euro MPs?

A decision to make the EU flag and motto more prominent and play the EU anthem more often angers some British Euro MPs.

MAIN FOCUS: Central banks lower their prime rate | 09/10/2008

In the continuing global financial crisis, the world’s leading central banks acted together on Wednesday to lower key interest rates. With this first joint action since September 11, 2001, the banks are seeking to avert panic on the stock markets and a global recession. The European press welcomes the move but points out that it is not a panacea for the world’s economic woes.

Finland’s Ahtisaari wins Nobel Peace Prize

Martti Ahtisaari, the former Finnish president and United Nations envoy, has been awarded this year’s Nobel Peace Prize for his work as a mediator in international conflicts

MAIN FOCUS: Russian billions for Iceland? | 08/10/2008

In MAIN FOCUS

In the current financial crisis, Iceland is the first state to end up on the verge of bankruptcy. A four billion euro loan from Russia could help Reykjavik out of its financial squeeze. Although Moscow has yet to give its approval, Europe’s press sounds the alarm for Iceland’s independence.

Reding: EU to govern Internet of the future

The European Commission is aiming boost the transition to the Internet of the future while at the same time preserving individual rights, seeking a greater role for itself in the governance of the Web, Information Society Commissioner Viviane Reding told EurActiv in an interview.

Joschka Fischer: Europe needs an avant-garde

The Georgian crisis and the current financial crisis show that the EU needs an avant-garde capable of reacting because the alternative would be "to do nothing," former German foreign minister Joschka Fischer told EurActiv in an interview.

EU ‘not listening’ to cities, says Commission

National governments’ privileged access to EU decision-makers in Brussels limits cities’ access to funding instruments necessary for dealing with significant climate change-related challenges, according to a Commission official and urban policy experts.

The Great Depression: A reminder amid the ever-increasing hyperbole

By nosemonkey on Economics

“about a quarter of the entire population, some 30 million Americans, were without any income at all. Two million vagrants… roamed the country looking for work. Twenty per cent of the nation’s school children were under-weight; in the poorest communities… over 90 per cent were affected… Bread lines stretched under choking grain elevators. Malnutrition and associated diseases like rickets and pellagra were commonplace… there were cases of starvation.

Ken Livingstone to the European Commission?

By Jon

Baroness Ashton has been nominated as the British member of the European Commission to replace Peter Mandelson, but she’ll be in post only until the summer of 2009 as a new Commission takes office in autumn 2009 (presuming she can take even up the position). She would of course be eligible for full 5 year term if the UK government put her name forward in 2009.

Liberals and Democrats support use of EU symbols in Europe’s Parliament

In a vote today in Brussels, ALDE MEPs supported the formal recognition by the European Parliament of the European Union symbols of a flag and an anthem which have existed in practice since the beginning of the European Community but have not been formally recognised in Parliament’s rules of procedure.

How Europe takes financial decisions

By Richard Laming

The Daily Telegraph kindly published a letter from me today on the unfolding financial crisis, but edited it so as to delete the main point I was trying to make.

Hannes Androsch: Europe’s Financial Vulnerability

VIENNA – The most notable innovations of the past two decades have been financial. Like technological innovation, financial innovation is concerned with the perpetual search for greater efficiency – in this case, reducing the cost of transferring funds from savers to investors. Cost reductions that represent a net benefit to society should be regarded favorably. But as the current financial crisis demonstrates, where financial innovation is designed to circumvent regulation or taxation, we need to be more circumspect.

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