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Interactive graphic on France as aAllegations of illegal donations  from the country's richest woman plunge Nicolas Sarkozy into  the biggest crisis of his presidency, despite protests he is the victim  of a smear campaign.

Interactive graphic on France as aAllegations of illegal donations from the country’s richest woman plunge Nicolas Sarkozy into the biggest crisis of his presidency, despite protests he is the victim of a smear campaign.

MAIN FOCUS: Corruption affair threatens Sarkozy | 07/07/2010

from euro|topics

According to media reports French President Nicolas Sarkozy and other conservative politicians have received bribes from L’Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt. The affair is seriously jeopardising Sarkozy’s re-election prospects and disabling the already crisis-ridden Europe, commentators write.

French ministers quit in expenses scandal

from FT.com – World, Europe
Two ministers in the French government resigned over separate expenses scandals as Nicolas Sarkozy, president, struggled to regain credibility after accusations of a potential conflict of interest

Sarkozy campaign funding probed

from BBC News | Europe | World Edition
Prosecutors open an investigation into claims of illegal funding for French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s campaign, officials say.

Is the eurozone bailout legal?

by Open Europe blog team


We’ve asked this question several times before, but the German think-tank Centrum für Europäische Politik has now also produced a very interesting study on the topic. In the study, the CEP trashes the legality of the ?60 billion credit facility, agreed in May (as part of the ?500 billion bailout package). This facility, as we set out here, involves the European Commission borrowing on the markets, using the EU budget as collateral. The legal base for the fund is Article 122 of the EU Treaties, intended to provide assistance to EU states in the event of natural disasters or sudden energy blackouts, (“exceptional circumstances” beyond a member state’s control, as the text states).

Germany plans mass medical study

from FT.com – World, Europe
Scientists in the country are planning an intensive investigation of the health, lifestyle and genetics of 200,000 people

Komorowski wins Polish election after dramatic night

from EurActiv.com by Georgi
After a dramatic night for Polish democracy, Bronis?aw Komorowski of the ruling liberal-conservative Civic Platform (PO) emerged as the winner in the presidential election run-off, held on Sunday (4 July). EurActiv Poland reports.

Komorowski to win Polish presidency, exit polls show

from European Voice – RSS – News & analysis
Jaros?aw Kaczy?ski concedes victory to Jaros?aw Kaczy?ski in battle between the Polish right wing for the post of president.

Interim Polish leader Komorowski leads in presidential exit polls

from Wash Post Europe by Post

POLAND Interim Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski appeared to have held off a last-minute surge from the identical twin brother of the late president, who died in an April plane crash that shocked the country and forced Sunday’s early election.

MAIN FOCUS: Poland elects pro-European president | 05/07/2010

from euro|topics

Bronis?aw Komorowski has won Poland’s presidential elections. After the ballots in 95 percent of constituencies have been counted Komorowski has attained 52.6 percent of the vote, with challenger Jaros?aw Kaczy?ski trailing at 47.4 percent. The press writes that Komorowski’s election is an expression of political maturity, and praises the political style of Poland’s new head of state.

Italy’s ?business as usual?, Carlo Ungaro

from open Democracy News Analysis –
by Carlo Ungaro

The year 2011 will mark the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy. The most influential political party in the Italian ruling coalition ? the ?Northern League? ? has publicly and flamboyantly indicated its lack of interest in the celebrations, and its leaders were conspicuously absent at the parade held for Italy?s National Day last June 2.

Merkel weakened after presidential ‘debacle’

from Hurriyet Dailynews
Christian Wulff, Lower Saxony’s conservative state premier for seven years, was eventually elected in a third round Wednesday but it took the longest-ever presidential election process in postwar German history to do so.

MAIN FOCUS: Presidential election causes trouble for Merkel | 02/07/2010

from euro|topics

Following the longest presidential election in the history of the German Federal Republic, the new president Christian Wulff will be sworn in today, Friday. While noting the lack of unity among the opposition, the European press believes it is above all the Merkel government that has been weakened and thinks its end is near.

UK Coalition: A revolution in justice?, Jonathan Bartley

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Jonathan Bartley

Justice Secretary Ken Clarke?s announcement of a ?Rehabilitation Revolution? along with the acceptance that prison isn?t working, will have come a surprise to many. It is of course self-evident that the system is broken. Being able to admit as much however, is the luxury of a politician who has not been in office for over a decade.

Centre-right losing ground in EU Parliament

from EUobserver.com – Headline News

Berlusconi enters dangerous waters

from FT.com – World, Europe
Is Silvio Berlusconi’s premiership moving towards its close? As the Italian prime minister lunges from one crisis to another, the question is asked with increasing insistence both at home and abroad

The marketing sense of an elephant ? Commission Representation to Belgium

from Jon Worth

Via Twitter I came across this post in French by Michael Malherbe about a letter sent from Commissioner responsible for Communications, Viviane Reding, to Commission President Barroso. Euractiv managed to get hold of a copy of the letter that contains 14 points about how communications are to be improved. The irony is that it looks like a scan of a letter sent on paper to Barroso. So much for modern internal comms in the Commission!

KLAUS JURGENS – Belgium?s EU presidency: crisis management or setting trends?

For some commentators and members of the European Union public alike, the announcement of yet another six-month-long rotating EU presidency has become a routine event, without too much significance attached to which nation is actually at the helm. Can Belgium perhaps reverse this trend and act as a much-needed trendsetter?

Why the shortage of influential policy bloggers in Brussels?

from Public Affairs 2.0 by fhbrussels

Some people will tell you there are scores of influential policy bloggers in Brussels. Unfortunately, they?re wrong. There?s an active throng of smart and passionate Eurobloggers who write about the EU and a number of issues surrounding it. Most are aggregated on bloggingportal.eu and many of them are influential: some are being treated in line with members of the press and even being mentioned by Commissioners.  But most influential Eurobloggers are individual citizens who write to raise awareness of issues they care about. They occasionally write about policies, but their primary aim is not to influence a policy area.

Europe 2020 strategy: Flagship initiative Youth on the move

by Grahnlaw

Education is at the heart of the Europe 2020 flagship initiative Youth on the move, which aims at improved employability and employment for young EU citizens.

Entrepreneurs ‘forgotten’ in EU innovation policy

from EurActiv.com by paul
The EU’s approach to innovation policy is too focused on science and research, with too little attention paid to business, according to entrepreneurs.

AMANDA PAUL – The Belgian presidency

Being a founding member of the EU, Belgium is no stranger to EU presidencies. At the end of last week Belgium — which coincidentally is still in the process of forming a government (hopefully it will be in place tomorrow, although last time it took more than 200 days) — took over the EU reins from Spain.

The Coming British Revolution , Gerry Hassan

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Gerry Hassan

In the streets and parks of Britain everything seems to be as it always has been. This feels like a typical British summer with those totems of modern life passing us by: Glastonbury, Wimbledon and England crashing out of the World Cup after another catastrophic underperformance.

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