Europe’s Changing Drinking Habits: More Beer, Less Wine, Few Regrets – WSJ.com

By Grassroots

"Europe’s Changing Drinking Habits: More Beer, Less Wine, Few Regrets

By ADAM COHEN

Europeans are supposed to sip wine in sidewalk cafés, not guzzle beer like American college students.

But Europe’s relationship with alcohol is changing. Countries like France and Italy, where good wine is considered a birthright, are seeing a surge in beer drinking among young people. In many countries, the traditional glass or two at mealtimes is giving way to a new culture of binge drinking.
[drinking] Illustration: Sean Kelly

The EU takes on defence procurement

By Centre for European Reform

by Clara Marina O’Donnell

The EU is in the middle of a little noticed – but potentially important – debate about defence markets. For the first time, the European Commission could be authorised to help reduce barriers amongst the EU’s segmented national defence markets.

European defence markets remain drawn along national lines. Defence-related goods are exempt from EU single market rules. These exclusions were designed for only the most sensitive components of weapons, material and related technology. The trouble is that governments have used the national security argument to exclude everything, from bullets to uniforms, from open competition. And often national security has been little more than a cloak for protectionism.

Transatlantic Relations 2009: European Expectations for the Post-Bush Era

By Reflection Cafe

The Center for European Policy Studies
Nov 7, 2008

  • Jan Techau, Alexander Skiba

  • EPIN Working Papers

  • The new US administration most likely will reach out to its European partners on many global and bilateral issues. President-elect Barack Obama will most likely demand more substantive and increased contributions from the European allies to a multitude of key projects: from stabilising Afghanistan and waging the war on terror to devising global solutions to the financial crisis and managing the rise of China and engaging India, and from countering Iran to making NATO more flexible for global action. Based on surveys conducted in 15 member states and of the European Union as a whole, this paper explores what the EU and its individual member states expect from the United States in the post-Bush era. Individual case studies outline the concrete issues and fields of action that Europeans seek to address in the transatlantic form

Cultural journals and Europe

By Edouard Glissant

While translation is indispensable, simply building bridges between the dominant languages is not enough, writes Edouard Glissant. "There is a spiritual revolution to defend in the world against the identity of single roots. What actors are more destined to engage in this revolution than journals?"

The Lisbon wildcard

By P O Neill on The European Union

As pressure mounts on Irish PM Brian Cowen to announce the seemingly inevitable 2nd referendum to ratify the EU Treaty of Lisbon, the Czech ratification is still not resolved and looks set to shake up Czech politics no matter what happens.   ODS (Civic Democratic Party) is having their congress this weekend, which includes a leadership election pitting PM Mirek Topolanek as heavy favourite to be reelected despite poor regional election results. His opponent is Prague Mayor Pavel Bem — a Eurosceptic.  And Czech President Vaclav Klaus, the Eurosceptic-in-chief, has resigned his honourary chairmanship of ODS.  Thus the seeds of a split are being sown.  This follows what apparently was a circus of a meeting between Klaus and a group of MEPs yesterday, in which Klaus’s de facto alliance with Irish anti-Lisbon group Libertas was a major issue.

The logo of the 2009 Czech Presidency of the EU

The logo of the 2009 Czech Presidency of the EU VIA

Hanging in the balance: The EU’s climate agenda

The EU’s ambitious climate change policy agenda could become a casualty of the economic crisis, argues Simon Tilford, chief economist at the Centre for European Reform (CER), in a December paper.

Martin Feldstein: Will the Euro Survive the Current Crisis?

CAMBRIDGE – The European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and the euro are about to celebrate their tenth anniversary. The euro was introduced without serious problems and has since functioned well, with the European Central Bank delivering the low inflation that is its sole mandate.

The failures of EU democracy

By nosemonkey on Elections

So, will the European Citizens’ Consultation forum, launched yesterday in a variety of EU languages, actually prove a success?

Based on past attempts, I don’t hold out much hope – these things are usually either ignored (remember Timothy Garton-Ash’s European Story initiative? No? Precisely…), or quickly swamped by foaming-at-the-mouth British eurosceptics making “witty” comments and generally making their fellow countrymen look like a bunch of rude idiots (read the comments at Margot Wallstrom’s blog or on the Debate Europe forum recently?)

So, which is it going to be – ignored or hijacked by the anti-EU bri
gade?

Europe’s Islam question by TARIQ RAMADAN

In Op-Ed

OXFORD — The growing Muslim presence in Europe has become a central issue for all European countries, East and West.

MAIN FOCUS: ECB announces record prime rate cut | 05/12/2008

In MAIN FOCUS

The European Central Bank (ECB) has lowered its prime rate by 75 basis points to 2.5 percent, while several other European states have been forced to cut interest rates as well. The European press discusses the biggest interest rate cut in the history of the ECB and the measures taken on a national level.

Outside Edge: Europe’s identity crisis

A new exhibition in Bregenz, capital of Vorarlberg, Austria’s most westerly province, provokes thoughts about questions of identity, writes Haig Simonian

Some interesting facts about the EU (1)

By Internation Musing

Official logo of the treaty of Lisbon.

Initially a Franco-German agreement which, after realizing that neither could create an evil empire alone got together to create one together, it has evolved into the Geographical entity that ends at the eastern border of Greece, but includes Cyprus and Kurdistan. (Don’t ask me, I wasn’t invited when they were drawing the borders.) Cultural entity based on Christianity and has millions of Muslim members in and out of the geographical borders. (I told you not to ask me, didn’t I?) Economic entity whose borders aren’t yet specified. Or, if you don’t like the definition until now, an international conspiracy giving away free money in return for:

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