The EU: the real sick man of Europe?

from Eurozine articles by Eurozine News Item
Democratic deficit, enlargement fatigue and ever more rescue funds. Is there still a future for a common Europe? At the concluding event in the series “Europe talks to Europe”, taking place in Vienna on 13 April, prominent intellectuals and opinion makers from western and eastern Europe will diagnose the malaise of the EU.

 

Berlusconi: Lampedusa for Lampedusans

from FP Passport by Joshua Keating

The Italian Prime Minister is visiting the tiny Mediterranean island that has become ground-zero for Europe’s new refugee crisis:

 

Investigating European investigations

from Brussels Blog by Stanley Pignal

If, hypothetically, a member of the European parliament was caught on video offering to amend laws in exchange for cash, who would investigate such a thing?

The answer ? rather less hypothetical after Britain?s Sunday Times exposed what appears like serious misconduct from four MEPs ? depends on who you speak to.

Slovakia: The Roma People, ?Livin’ On the Edge?

from Global Voices Online by Tibor Blazko

Written by Tibor Blazko

One of the major ethnic minorities in Central Europe are the Gypsy/Roma/Romani people. It is unclear how many of them live in Slovakia, because often they label themselves as ethnic Slovaks or ethnic Hungarians in the polls.

 

UK message to the EU: we?ll only call you if we want some money

from Jon Worth by Jon

Some lines have been crossed in today?s news in the UK about European Union politics.

The Sarkozy Redemption?, Matthew Moran

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Matthew Moran
The UN-sanctioned military action in Libya has given President Sarkozy a chance to rejuvenate his image at home. But is it a case of too little too late?

 

Portugal and Greece in downgrades

from BBC News | Europe | World Edition
Debt fears over Portugal and Greece force ratings agency Standard & Poor’s into downgrading the countries.

European Stability Mechanism (ESM) in media

by Grahnlaw

After ‘Commenting on European Council: Economic policy’, we turn to the permanent bailout system adopted by the spring summit 24 and 25 March 2011.

Permanent euro bail-out fund failing before starting?

by Open Europe blog team

Standard & Poor?s yesterday downgraded both Greek and Portuguese debt by one notch and kept them on negative outlooks. That hints at further downgrades in the near future, although given the extent of the problems in both countries that could be as soon as next week.

The Western Sahara Conflict: The European Contradiction

from Ideas on Europe by European Student Think Tank

Author: Arno Hamar de la Brethonière (Blogger European Student Think Tank)

It seems like a forgotten conflict: the Western Sahara issue. The EU condemns the violation of human rights, and calls upon the parties to come to a mutually acceptable agreement. Yet at the same time, it negotiated the extension of a fishing agreement with Morocco that also include fishing rights off the coast of the Western Sahara. In doing so, it not only undermines international mediation efforts, it also fails to seize a great opportunity to effectively conduct diplomacy.

Europe’s damaging obsession with ‘competitiveness’

by Centre for European Reform

by Simon Tilford

Many European policy-makers and business leaders believe that a country’s economic growth prospects depend on its ability to capture a growing share of global markets. Indeed, European policy-makers are obsessed with national ‘competitiveness’ and genuinely appear to think that prosperity is synonymous with trade surpluses. Of course, imports have to be financed by exports. But the focus on trade competitiveness risks drawing attention away from Europe?s underlying problem, which is very weak productivity growth.

Whatever happened to Bosnia?, Bedrudin Brljavac

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Bedrudin Brljavac
The Dayton political structure, the media, religious figures, and even civil society have been used to entrench divides that could still lead to the partitioning of BiH,Bosnia rather than membership in a united Europe. How can they overcome this impasse?

The European Council of 24 to 25 March

from Ideas on Europe by Jaanika Erne

From 24 to 25 March 2011 was held the spring European Council. Again ? as it is already the last day of March today, I feel somehow obliged to make for at least myself some conclusions about that European Council.

A positive vision for Europe

from Ideas on Europe by itelleu

Don?t waste a perfectly good crisis ? it seems that large European companies is starting to realise the truthfulness of this saying; many large European companies are again experiencing growth while the Governments of Europe are still flat on their back ? without any positive and grand visions for a sustainable future in Europe.  But the UK has today published a vision for growth. Through the motto ?lets choose growth? the Prime Ministers office sent out a press release with four areas of action, of which the completion of the Single market is at the core.

2011-03-28 Bulgaria – Mafia Lives Here

 

Two weeks after the publishing of the full, unedited version of a diplomatic cable exposing the total invasion of Bulgarian economics and politics by the organized crime, the topic seems to be closed for Bulgarian media.

European Council: Economic policy reform priorities I

What impetus, political directions and priorities did the spring European Council provide the EU and the member states with regard to economic policy?

The European Council speaks through its conclusions:

European Council: Economic policy reform priorities II

by Grahnlaw

The European Council referred ?further? to the Annual Growth Survey (AGS) from the Commission ? in a footnote ? when it endorsed ?the? (which?) priorities for fiscal consolidation and structural reform, as we saw in Part One.

Germany’s Embarrassing Policy on Iran

from Atlantic Review

Never has Germany been more isolated, wrote Former Foreign Minister Fischer regarding Berlin’s position on Libya. The Merkel-Westerwelle government alienates our Western allies with its dealings with Iran as well. Apparently, Germany’s foreign and economic ministries agreed to let India pay 9 billion euro to Iran via Germany’s central bank.

 

Man in the News: Nicolas Sarkozy

from FT.com – Analysis
Even his enemies concede he likes nothing better than a crisis, a fight and a gamble. In Libya he has all three. This could be just what he needs to revive his faltering popularity at home

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