MAIN FOCUS: No stress for Europe's banks | 18/07/2011

from euro|topics
Only eight out of ninety banks failed the bank stress test, the European Banking Authority announced in London on Friday. But the press says the test ignored the risk of a state going bankrupt and will therefore hardly calm Europe's financial markets.

Why Europe needs a “Minister for Defence”

from Ideas on Europe by danielfiott
In the European Union’s member states it is rare to find a single minister for both foreign affairs and defence. The two portfolios are generally considered as separate, even though both ministries naturally remain linked. This separation occurs for good reason. Foreign policy is one of the most important policy domains, and so the emphasis is placed on defining key national interests and on devising a strategic plan geared towards their attainment. Conversely, the ministry of defence in any given state is handed the task of prioritising, tendering and developing the equipment needed for the defence of a nation and the furtherance, if needed as a last resort, of interests through the use of force. To generalise, the foreign ministry “thinks” and the ministry of defence “acts”.

 

Tiny Cyprus can now become a huge problem for the EU

from Blogactiv by Protesilaos Stavrou

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A map of area of the explosion

Image source: Yalibnan

Ghastly as this might sound in these dire moments for the people of Cyprus, an analysis on the economic impact of the explosion at Cyprus’ main naval base that cost the life to 12 people, is necessary in order to evaluate its effects on the economy of the island and the ramifications this can have on the already shacking EU architecture.

 

Belgium to ban the burqa next week

from Hurriyet Dailynews by BRUSSELS – Agence France-Presse
Belgium will enforce a burqa ban from July 23 with a fine and possible jail time for women who wear it, joining France as the second EU nation to forbid full veils.

 

Ashes to ashes, Third Energy package?

from Blogactiv by Georgi Gotev
Gazprom’s South Stream pipeline will most probably” get a derogation from the Third Energy Package, the EU’s legislative framework that provides competitors with free access to pipeline networks, Bulgarian Energy Minister Traycho Traykov announced today (14 July).
 

Italy's debts

from BBC News | Europe | World Edition
People living in Italy tell BBC how country's debt crisis affects them

Serbia Forges a New European Identity

from Atlantic Community RSS-Feed
Elizabeth Pond:         After years of resentment aimed at the West, Serbia has developed a distinctly pro-EU stance. The EU model of soft power and prosperity has led Serbia to a turning point in its relations with not only the European institutions, but also its neighbors in the historically turbulent Balkan region.
 

Norwegian-French Eva Joly to run for president in France

from FP Passport by Edmund Downie
The latest candidate to jump into the 2012 French presidential race has quite a background – once a beauty queen and au pair, later a muckraking prosecutor, and now a member of the European Parliament for the Green-Europe Ecology party. But the most striking part about 67-year-old Eva Joly's past may be a citizenship record that would make Donald Trump's hair spin. From the Guardian:
 

Germany is not turning on itself

from A Fistful Of Euros » A Fistful Of Euros by Kantoos
I’ve recently read some interesting but somewhat shocking article, recommended by FT alphaville, in The Globe and Mail (Canada): “Germany’s season of angst: why a prosperous nation is turning on itself”. Fortunately, the author Doug Saunders is wrong.
Describing Germany’s booming economy, he writes:
These are, by several measures, the most successful people in the world. Yet it is very hard to find anyone here who is happy about this state of affairs.

The search for a coherent strategic diplomacy in EU foreign policy

by Ideas on Europe
The most important lesson that the still infant European External Action Service should take from the ‘Arab Spring’, according to Professor Michael Smith, is that it failed to do ‘on the ground humanitarian work’ and did not manage to produce agreement between the member states on strategic diplomatic initiatives. In an interview by Cristian Nitoiu from Loughborough University, Professor Smith evaluates the development of the External Actions and the goal of creating a coherent strategic diplomacy within the European Union’s foreign policy. The interview covers the European Union’s engagement in the recent revolutions in North Africa and its relations with China.

Clash over plans for EU anti-terrorism system

from European Voice – RSS – News & analysis
MEPs criticise plans to track terrorist finance, while setting up system could cost as much as €47m.

Whodunit? Energy Efficiency Directive gutted

from Blogactiv by efficiency1st
It’s a summer whodunit. The European Commission’s Energy Efficiency Directive has been public since June 22. But why was the headline policy – an obligation on power companies to cut customers’ energy use – so abruptly dropped from the final text?
 

Liberals try not to lose their way

from European Voice – RSS – News & analysis
Controversies and problems in national politics have made this a particularly tough year for the Liberal group in the European Parliament.
 

Poland’s European infusion, Krzysztof Bobinski

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Krzysztof Bobinski
The six-month Polish presidency of the European Union starts with a welcome dose of optimism from its prime minister. Now for the hard part, says Krzysztof Bobinski.

The best photos from France’s Bastille Day celebration

from FP Passport by Robert Zeliger

A full review of the Greek crisis (video included)

from Blogactiv by Protesilaos Stavrou
The impact of the global economic crisis on Greece has been devastating. Greece would have defaulted on its debt back in May 2010 had it not been for the joint EU-IMF-ECB (the so-called troika) bailout of 110 billion euro. The bailout itself came with a long list of prerequisites relating to the adoption of strict austerity measures.

European Commission proposes European Terrorist Finance Tracking System – TFTS/SWIFT

from Blogactiv by brusselsblogger
The European Commission yesterday adopted a Communication outlining the different options for a European terrorist finance tracking system (TFTS) – which acts as a counter-part to the American Terrorist Finance Tracking Programme (TFTP). The US system has been legalised in 2010 by the so called SWIFT agreement between the EU and the United States.

Euro3 : How to pay the bill for the Euro frauds and corrupt ‘political’ fixes.

from Blogactiv by David
Many of the EU States are now in deep debt and looking for a bail-out. Too often this is due simply to government overspending for ideological or “political” reasons. Too often these debt problems are accompanied by fraudulent national statistics or fiddling the books. Some of the secrets have not yet seen the light of day and public discussion. Yet the European Community system is vibrant and resilient. It can correct abuse.
 

Another bad review for Greece…

by Open Europe blog team the fourth review of Greece, which the fund put out yesterday, does not make great reading (and that’s not just because its 173 pages long).
 

Building the EU Digital Agenda – Competitiveness Report 2009

by Grahnlaw
The Digital Competitiveness Report 2009 was one of the main building blocks of what became the EU2020 flagship initiative A Digital Agenda for Europe. We return to the communication and some relevant blog posts.

The Digital Competitiveness Report 2009 – COM(2009) 390, mentioned among the Digital Agenda main sources, is available in 22 official EU languages. The English version of the short communication from the Commission:

Playing politics with Schengen, Polly Pallister-Wilkins

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Polly Pallister-Wilkins
The European Commission has been at the forefront of criticism of France and Denmark for re-introducing border controls. This was not because they in fact threatened Schengen but because such decisions undermine the Commission’s power as the executive of Europe, argues Polly Pallister-Wilkins
 

A Green Knowledge Society (Digital Agenda)

by Grahnlaw
After the EU Digital Agenda public consultation 2009 we turn to some of the preparatory work done by the Swedish presidency of the Council of the European Union during the second semester of 2009.

The Visby Information Society Conference 9 to 10 November 2009 left us the Visby Declaration about the policy issues for a new ICT agenda for the EU.

EBA stress tests: sovereign debt is local

from A Fistful Of Euros » A Fistful Of Euros by P O Neill
One of the interesting things upon 1st quick read of the European Banking Authority stress tests is the way it downplays the sovereign debt issue:
The data from the sample of 90 banks (Dec. 2010) shows the aggregate exposure-at-default (EAD) Greek sovereign debt outstanding at EUR98.2 bn. Sixty-seven percent of Greek sovereign debt (and 69% of the much smaller Greek interbank position) is in fact held by domestic banks (about 20% refers to loans which are mostly guaranteed by sovereign). The aggregate EAD exposure is EUR52.7 bn for Ireland (61% held domestically) and EUR43.2 bn (63% held domestically) for Portugal. Importantly, EAD exposures are different from similar exposures reported on a gross basis in the disclosure templates …

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