Cold weather, post Copenhagen blues etc and more from the European agenda…

The top 100 most costly EU regulations

by Open Europe blog team

Open Europe has today published a list of the top 100 most costly EU regulations, detailing the annual cost of the laws, the cumulative cost of them by 2020, and the article base in the Lisbon Treaty for each regulation . We estimate that these laws will in total cost the UK economy a staggering £184 billion by 2020. To put that figure in context: for the same amount, the UK Government could abolish the country’s entire budget deficit and still leave the Exchequer with some £6 bn. All cost estimates are based on the UK Government’s own impact assessments so the figures are instructive.

Cold snap causes havoc in Europe

from BBC News | Europe | World Edition
Heavy snowstorms and sub-zero temperatures kill at least 19 people across Europe and severely disrupt transport.

Big chill brings misery to Europe

from BBC News | Europe | World Edition
Europe faces continued transport chaos as a cold snap sweeps across the continent, causing at least 90 deaths.

Climate summit ‘held to ransom’

from BBC News | Europe | World Edition
Gordon Brown is expected to accuse a small group of countries of holding the Copenhagen climate summit talks to ransom.

After Copenhagen,

by openDemocracy
Author: Brian Davey
Summary:
Copenhagen was supposed to be the last chance for humanity on an assumption that emissions in the future would continue to grow as they have in the past. But what if the future is one of contraction and disorganisation anyway?

In the lead up to Copenhagen it was repeatedly said that this was ?the last chance to save the climate?. This idea was constructed on an assumption about ?business as usual?. If emissions continue to grow on current trends then, with little time left to put on the brakes and decarbonise the global economy at a sufficient rate, the task appears to be totally unfeasible.

MAIN FOCUS: Post-Copenhagen blues | 21/12/2009

from euro|topics

The press is dismayed that the world’s leaders have taken note of – but not endorsed – the Copenhagen Accord on limiting greenhouse gases. Europe’s journalists put their hopes in the follow-up meeting in Bonn and reflect on transferring decision-making powers to an independent climate commission.

Commission to review Copenhagen failings

from European Voice – RSS – News & analysis
Environment ministers call for a report into the problems at climate conference.

HOT ISSUE: Losing HOPEnhagen?

from Atlantic Community
Editorial Team: According to some, the resulting accord is an important first step, while others decry Copenhagen as a “climate crime scene.” As of now, the European Union has the only binding carbon deal in the world. What are the real lessons learned from COP15?

Green signal?

from BBC News | Europe | World Edition
Copenhagen gave few incentives for clean economy

Failure at Copenhagen

from Federal Union by Richard Laming

They say that the definition of insanity is to keep repeating the same action over and over again expecting a different result each time. 193 national governments were represented at the Copenhagen climate talks hoping to find unanimous agreement on how to fight climate change. They failed. Never mind, there is another summit in Mexico next year.

After Copenhagen

from BBC News | Europe | World Edition
Why the climate talks bode ill for concerted action

Copenhagen: A discordant accord

from FT.com – Analysis
The failure of climate talks to forge a global deal increases doubts about the UN’s ability to solve the world’s most pressing problem

EU must toughen its stance after Copenhagen

from Public Affairs 2.0
Mexico CityThe EU?s next challenge?

For the European Union it was a depressing end to the year! Gone were all hopes of providing global leadership at the Copenhagen conference on climate change. The EU found itself helpless on the sidelines as the US president, constrained by a sceptical Congress, confronted a Chinese prime minister apparently determined to reject any binding commitments which might set limits to China?s CO2 emissions over the next 40 years.

Gulf Stream Blues: Europeans and Americans see Copenhagen through different eyes

from Bloggingportal.eu – Today’s posts
So, was Copenhagen a failure or not? It would appear the answer depends on which side of the Atlantic you?re on when you ask the question.The Copenhagen Accord, finalised after hours of intensive negotiations, theoretically recognises a goal of lim…

German Marshall Fund Blog: Seven lessons from Copenhagen

from Bloggingportal.eu – Today’s posts
COPENHAGEN ? It will be discussed for some time whether the ?Copenhagen Accord? represents an unsatisfactory compromise or an unmitigated failure. Whatever the ultimate answer, there are some preliminary lessons that can be drawn from a mem…

Europeans and Americans see Copenhagen through different eyes

from cafebabel.com by Dave Keating

So, was Copenhagen a failure or not? It would appear the answer depends on which side of the Atlantic you?re on when you ask the question.

EU Services Directive: Transposition (Sweden and Finland)

by Grahnlaw

The member states of the European Union have had three years to turn the EU?s Services Directive 2006/123 into national law. But with the transposition period drawing to a close in a few days, on 27 December 2009, a majority of the countries have still not reported on the needed execution measures, if we look at what the EU web pages tell us.

Copenhagen Conference: disaster for environment and a further sign of China’s rising power against Europe’s weakness.

New ARTE formats: “The Blogger” & “Yourope”

by Julien Frisch

The director of programming of the French-German TV channel ARTE, Christoph Hauser, informs that from 2010 they will introduce two new programmes that are directed at the net and at bloggers.

I have recently praised ARTE and in particular the ARTE blog L’Europe en Blogs, and so it looks really interesting that they now announce to take a closer look at the net in these new formats next year (own translation):

Greek tragedy

from BBC News | Europe | World Edition
Why Athens has incurred wrath of credit rating gods

Protocol 14 to the European Convention on Human Rights closer to ratification

by Julien Frisch

I have to admit that I had serious doubts that Protocol 14 to the European Convention on Human Rights – the reform of the European Court of Human Right – would ever enter into force, but now it seems as a solution is near.

The reform of the overloaded European Court of Human Rights has been halted by the refusal of the Russian Duma to ratify Protocol 14, and there has been a deadlock for over three years when Norway ratified the document as country 46 out of 47 (at the time 45 out of 46 at the time) in October 2006.

Why Standard and Poor?s Are Right To Worry About Spanish Finances

from A Fistful Of Euros by Edward Hugh

?Spain?s weaknesses over the developing crisis reflect mainly the reversal of the continuous domestic demand expansion of over a decade, which was associated with high indebtedness of the private sector, large external deficits and debt, an oversized housing sector compared with the euro area average and fast rising asset prices, notably of real estate assets.?
European Commission assessment of Spain?s Response to the Excess Deficit Procedure, Brussels 11 November 2009.

Podcast On The Present State Of The Spanish Economy

from A Fistful Of Euros by Edward Hugh

Caveat emptor, Spanish based blogger Mathew Bennett and I have started doing podcasts, and you can find the first one here. At this point in time we are concentrating on Spain. Among the points we cover are:

– How does what?s happened in Dubai affect the economic situation in Greece, Spain and the EU?

– Are left- or right-wing political parties causing or solving more problems during the recess?ion?

Why The Ratings Agencies Are Right And George Papaconstantinou Is Wrong

from A Fistful Of Euros  by Edward Hugh

The Greek government is having a hard time of it at the moment. Only today the Finance Ministry issued a statement that it was ready to ?intensify its efforts to restore the viability of fiscal and economic trends in Greece? in response to the Moody?s decision to downgrade the country?s credit rating, while just one week ago the Finance Minister was accusing Standard & Poor?s of failing to ?assess correctly? new moves by Athens to tackle its swollen budget deficit –

Spanish EU presidency wants Palestinian state in 2010

New Social Europe Journal Out Now!

from Social Europe Journal by SEJ

SE16 The latest Issue of Social Europe Journal is out now and includes contributions by:

Phillipe Pochet (European Trade Union Institute), Mercedes Bresso (Socialist Group in the Committee of the Regions), David Held (London School of Economics and Political Science), Gero Maass et. al. (Friedrich Ebert Foundation), Karin Roth (German MP), Sebastian Dullien et. al. (Friedrich Ebert Foundation), and Stephen Barber (The Global Policy Institute).

MAIN FOCUS: Serbia wants to join the EU | 22/12/2009

from euro|topics

Serbia has announced it will apply for EU membership today, Tuesday. The European press welcomes the step by President Boris Tadi? and the positive development of the Balkan state, but points out that not all accession criteria have been met yet.

Europe must find a life after Lisbon

from FT.com – World, Europe
If the Europeans want to be global players, they must act together. The Lisbon treaty will not ensure that. It is the political will of EU leaders to co-operate that will prove decisive

European Union?s information society and media policies presented

by Grahnlaw

Knowing the past and the present is key to the future, so we start by taking a look at how the European Commission presents its information society and media policies during the first Barroso Commission.

Information society: EU?s i2010 strategy assessed

by Grahnlaw

Launched in 2005, the aims of the EU?s i2010 strategy for information and communications technologies (ICT) were:

Why regulating and legislating at an EU level is almost always a good thing

by nosemonkey

Just to be provocative, like (I obviously don?t entirely believe this headline ? I?m a big fan of the subsidiarity principle, after all, and am an advocate of greater localism in politics ? but still)? This taken from a reply to a comment on my last post.

First point, worth repeating constantly:

The EU must learn from its mistakes over the past decade

by Centre for European Reform

by Hugo Brady

The EU needs new thinking. After eight years of stop-start negotiations, the Union finally has a new rulebook, the Lisbon treaty, which entered into force earlier this month. The member-states are waiting for a new European Commission and a new European Council president to take office early next year. But, despite Europeans? shared anxieties about the economic growth, government debt, the stability of the euro, immigration and the environment, there is not yet a clear sense of what the EU?s priorities for the next five years should or will be.

Swedish EU presidency marked by ‘Nordic efficiency’

EU 2020 strategy and future Digital Agenda under work

by Grahnlaw

For the time after the i2010 information society strategy, the European Commission launched a public consultation on the strategy for the coming five years. The consultation on the 2010-2015 strategy ran from 4 August to 9 October 2009, and the Commission received 834 responses.

Swedish presidency and EU Commission: preparing Digital Agenda

by Grahnlaw

In an interview, Åsa Torstensson, the Swedish minister for communications, pointed out the potential for democratic participation through the Internet: IT is a democratic tool (17 December 2009).

Latvia Is Back In The News, And Expect More To Come

from A Fistful Of Euros » A Fistful Of Euros by Edward Hugh

The Latvian government is getting nervous about the level of lending coming from Swedish banks. According to the Financial Times, ?Latvia?s prime minister has warned Swedish banks they risk choking off recovery in the Baltic state?s crisis-hit economy unless they resume lending?. The Latvian authorities are complaining, it seems, that banks such as Swedbank and SEB, which dominate the Latvian market, have reined in credit as they struggle to contain rising bad loans amid the deepest recession in the European Union.

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