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And a roundup.

The Lisbon Treaty and national parliaments: In practice

from Open Europe blog by Open Europe blog team

The true effect of Lisbon, the practice not the theory, is beginning to come to light and, as some of us warned, it is far from pretty.

The House of Commons’ European Scrutiny Committee, the body charged with sifting through EU legislation and holding the Government to account, has published its annual report today and has some quite interesting things to say about the Lisbon Treaty’s impact on Parliamentary scrutiny of EU proposals – a largely unexciting process but, if it can be effective, one that is key to maintaining a link between our national representatives and the Brussels legislative machine.

The new powers of the European Parliament

by Julien Frisch

Anybody thinking that the Lisbon Treaty would not change the EU institutions has apparently been mistaken.

In an incredible story, Jean Quatremer reports about the humiliation of the EU Council by the European Parliament following the adoption of the Lisbon Treaty.

Sarkozy says burka ‘not welcome’

from BBC News | Europe | World Edition
French President Nicolas Sarkozy reiterates his view that the full burka is “not welcome” in France, as a debate continues on whether to ban it.

The Italian Lion Sleeps Tonight, And Yet Awhile???.

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

?If we look at public-sector debt and interest payments, Greece isn?t doing particularly worse than Italy,? Peter Westaway,Chief Economist Europe at Nomura International

To everyone?s relief, Italy?s economy returned to growth in the third quarter of 2009, following five consecutive quarters of contraction.

Think Tanks Shape EU Policy

from Atlantic Community RSS-Feed
Pavol Demes: Practical “thinkers” are among the most effective private actors contributing to the EU policy debate. Having a variety of backgrounds, they have the advantage of developing practical policy suggestions. Most importantly, think tanks are helping the EU to critically rethink its own development as well as its relationship to the international order.

Better EU communication: Council presidency Sweden and Spain

by Grahnlaw

Substance and communication are both necessary ingredients in the European information society, and the European Union has an important role to play with regard to both aspects.
Besides doing a good job on the political side, the Swedish presidency of the Council of the European Union was the best to date in terms of communication.

The libertarian case for European integration

from Nosemonkey’s EUtopia by nosemonkey

Two interesting developments this week have prompted some ponderings?

1) The European Court of Human Rights has ruled the UK police?s stop and search tactics illegal

This creates a serious dilemma for anti-EU libertarians, as shown by the response of anti-EU blogger 13th Spitfire in the (fascinating) comments thread on law blog Charon QC?s coverage of the ruling (via the rather good Jack of Kent). As 13th Spitfire puts it:

The Commission web editors demand more web 2.0

by Julien Frisch

Dick Nieuwenhuis has posted an open letter that 50 internet editors of the European Commission have sent to Commission President Barroso demanding more web 2.0 with the Commission.

The editors demand both, a better use of new technologies on the European institution websites and and a more open attitude of the institutions towards new social media, including the encouragement of EU staff to be actively involved within these new media.

Fiesty exchange over Bulgarian nominee

from cafebabel.com by Dave Keating

The European Parliament is holding confirmation hearings for the new EU commissioners this week, and by far the most dramatic one yet has been that for Bulgaria?s nominee Rumiana Jeleva, who is being accused of having ties to the Russian mafia. Yesterday?s chaotic hearing reflected the EU?s continuing problem of how to deal with Bulgaria?s corruption, which is so widespread in their political class one isn?t sure who to believe in the dispute over Jeleva?s past.

MAIN FOCUS: Italy fails in integrating migrants | 13/01/2010

from euro|topics

The clashes between African harvest workers and locals in the southern Italian city of Rosarno have unleashed a debate on the treatment of immigrants in the country. Italy has done far too little to integrate foreign migrants, commentators argue.

Moodys on Japan and the Eurozone – Stating the Obvious

from A Fistful Of Euros » A Fistful Of Euros by Claus Vistesen

I shall openly admit that I have always found the exact role of the rating agencies a bit odd in the global financial system. I mean, do we really need them to tell us which bonds are good and which are not? I am not sure and what is more; rating agencies sometimes, if not all the time depending on their ability to stay in front of the curve, seem to wield a tremendously amount of power relative to their role as private actors (after all) in financial markets.

Innovating Europe and the knowledge society

by Grahnlaw

Since yesterday I have been able to access the work programme of the Spanish presidency of the Council of the European Union in English and in Spanish:

A parliament with a purpose

from Federal Union by Richard Laming

European Alternatives is circulating a petition calling upon the European Parliament to try to attach conditions to its approval of the members of the next European Commission. (You can read the petition here.) The EP is currently scrutinising the appointments that have been made, giving the lie to the notion that the Commission is run by faceless placemen.

European Court rules against stop and search, so why are our judges so weak?,

by openDemocracy
Author:
Stuart Weir
Summary:
Back in 2003 the police used stronger stop and search powers from the government?s anti-terrorism laws to harass, disrupt and humiliate people protesting against an arms fair in east London. Their tactics were clearly an abuse of these powers.

Back in 2003 the police used stronger stop and search powers from the government?s anti-terrorism laws to harass, disrupt and humiliate people protesting against an arms fair in east London.  Their tactics were clearly an abuse of these powers and were designed to break up a legitimate peaceful protest.

Dominique Moisi: Europe?s Fearful Natives

from Project Syndicate

More than ever before in recent decades, fear is becoming the dominant force in European politics. And it is not an abstract, undefined fear: it is above all the fear of the non-European ?other,? perceived by a growing numbers of ?white? Europeans as a threat to their identities and ways of life, if not their physical security and jobs.

ECJ: European legislation on anti-discrimination precludes national legislation

by Julien Frisch

In what Adjudicating Europe prescribed as an important ruling on Sunday, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has today decided in the case of Kücükdeveci that EU legislation on anti-discrimination on the grounds of age precludes any contradictory national legislation.

The Greek tragedy deserves a global audience

from FT.com – World, Europe
The problems of Greece are extreme, because it alone of the vulnerable eurozone member countries has both high fiscal deficits and high debt. Some say it should be bailed out, but there are two other possibilities ? it toughs it out or just defaults, writes Martin Wolf

Murky dealings

from BBC News | Europe | World Edition
The dark side of Greece’s economic troubles

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