Recession Warning On Europe?s Periphery

from A Fistful Of Euros » A Fistful Of Euros by Edward Hugh
As Europe?s leaders struggle to convince markets that their Greek debt problem-resolution-proposals are actually viable, and will really do the trick, last week?s flash PMI readings seem to have attracted rather less attention than they might. Nonetheless, the fact of the matter is that it is steadily becoming clearer that the current slowdown in Eurozone economic growth is turning into something more than just another one of those pesky ?soft patches?. The pace of economic expansion in core Europe has slowed dramatically, falling back in July for the third consecutive month, according to the latest flash PMI. Commenting on the flash results Chris Williamson, Chief Economist at Markit said: ?The Eurozone recovery lost almost all of its momentum in July, recording the weakest growth since August 2009 when the recovery first began. Excluding the financial crisis, the July survey was the most downbeat since the Iraq war in 2003, and consistent with a flat trend in quarterly gross domestic product.

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The EU summit did not solve the root of the crisis

from Blogactiv by Protesilaos Stavrou

USA and EU falling behind in innovation and competitiveness

fby Grahnlaw
We have seen that the European trade associations for businesses offering ICT goods and services want pan-European regulation. The industry players have lined up behind the Digital Agenda, including the Digital Single Market, expecting the politicians to play their part for a competitive Europe.

Understanding Greece?s bail-out: Where?s ?172bn?

from Brussels Blog by Peter Spiegel
Like most people who have been following the Greek debt crisis closely, we?ve been spending much of the last few days drilling down to figure out just what eurozone leaders agreed to Thursday night, since even market participants remain confused

A Brief History of Britain?s Power Elites: through Murdoch and beyond?, Michael Cassio

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Michael Cassio
War with Hitler?s Germany spelled the end for Britain?s old power elite. A new political class emerged, including the media tycoon Rupert Murdoch. Now the Murdochs are revealed in their true colours: as aggressors at the head of a global empire. So what now for the collapsing British state?

Europe: from crisis to integration, John Palmer

from open Democracy News Analysis – by John Palmer
The latest European bailout agreement opens the possibility of a decisive move towards integrated economic governance with major political consequences, says John Palmer.
The Duke of Wellington?s description of the battle of Waterloo in 1815 as ?a damn close-run thing? seemed to fit the European Union?s negotiations which led on 21 July 2011 to a new euro-area ?bailout? agreement. The process may have been protracted and tortuous, the final moments in Brussels frantic, but the far-reaching implications of the outcome have surprised many.

EUROPE: Where is Europe?s Foreign Policy?

from Project Syndicate by Giles Merritt
EUROPE: Where is Europe?s Foreign Policy? In the 18 months since the EU?s Lisbon treaty created the European External Action Service, there has been more talk than ever of Europe having a ?single voice? in world affairs. But a ?foreign ministry? is not a foreign policy, and there is little sign that the EU will devise one anytime soon.

Irish eyes smiling after shot of EU optimism

from FT.com – World, Europe
Lower interest rates on European bail-out funds ease the fiscal plight of Ireland and provide it with a much-needed psychological boost

France’s Roma defeat crackdown

from FT.com – World, Europe
A charity said most Roma migrants were simply returning to France because of even worse living conditions in their ‘home states’ of Romania and Bulgaria

Germany?s nuclear endgame: the lessons, Paul Hockenos

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Paul Hockenos
The historic decision by Germany?s government to end the country?s nuclear-energy programme is owed to the enduring vitality of the anti-nuclear movement. Paul Hockenos maps the implications for the rest of the world.

Indignants march towards Brussels

from BBC News | Europe | World Edition
Spanish activists, known as “the Indignants”, march from Madrid to Brussels to protest against governments’ handling of the economic crisis.

Reflecting on the Latest ?Solution? to the Eurozone Crisis

from Ideas on Europe by euro-thoughts
Expectations were not particularly high going into last Thursday?s emergency European Council meeting in Brussels, due partly to the fact that German Chancellor Angela Merkel had warned spectators not to anticipate any grand solution to the debt crisis. In addition to this, underwhelming results from a number of previous such summits had conditioned onlookers to expect that the proverbial can would be merely kicked further down the road. However, what emerged from the roughly 16 hour negotiations late Thursday in fact appeared a step in the right direction.

Body Scanners and Human Dignity

from Blogactiv by Europe of Human Rights
Body scanners have become a common sight in EU airports, with the number of machines increasing regularly. Most stand quiet, waiting for a justifiable and well-founded moment to be put into action. Some, however, are used frequently, often in circumstances that raise questions and doubts as to the protection of human dignity and privacy and the rationality of the scanners? use.

Eurozone leaders repeat: You must be honest! But honest practice brings honest money.

from Blogactiv by David
A euro based on supranational democracy would not fail to gain the highest credit ratings in all rating agencies worldwide. That is evident because it would have already been examined and rated that way by European civil organisations, businesses, workers and consumers, via their controlling chamber. Yet EU politicians want to do it their way: party political internationalism. They are fighting a tide of adverse criticism that says it will not work. Despite their efforts at the  Euro zone summit, US credit rating agencies have downgraded Greece because of the long-term loan swaps are considered a selective default.

What will the political fallout be from the Norway massacre?

from FP Passport by Robert Zeliger

Norway?s catastrophe: democracy beyond fear , Cas Mudde

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Cas Mudde
The political response to atrocity often misjudges its character in ways that lead to further violations. This makes it all the more important that reaction to the bombing and massacre in Norway is based on careful assessment, says Cas Mudde.

Open data activism, political science and network visualisation of EU expert groups

from Ideas on Europe by Ronny Patz
I shouldn?t spend time on blogging, because that is taking away time from doing ?real research?.
But maybe the line between what is ?real research? (publishable as a thesis or a journal paper) and academic blogging as the intersection of talking about research and social activism is very thin. Since we who do research on political phenomena need data to do such research, getting data is important. Having access to open data makes part of our life much easier, but for now, getting open data that is interesting for our research still seems to be as much activism as it is part of research.

Les grandes vacances and the financial crisis

from A Fistful Of Euros » A Fistful Of Euros by P O Neill
As the European policy elite prepares for their normal practice of taking August off ? because, after all, nothing big ever happens in August or September that you?d need to be ready for ? there are conflicting messages about whether this is actually a good idea.  First, a nice quote via a Reuters story arguing that it helped when everyone decamped from their offices last year:

Moody’s cuts Cyprus debt rating

from BBC News | Europe | World Edition
Cyprus may be the latest EU country to find it harder to borrow money after its credit rating was cut.

Why the eurozone needs debt mutualisation

by Centre for European Reform
by Simon Tilford

The institutional weaknesses of the eurozone have been laid bare. The attempt to run a common monetary policy without a common treasury has failed. Investors do not know what they are buying when they purchase an Italian bond ? is it backstopped by Germany or not? The best credit must stand behind the rest, or bear runs, such as those that have derailed Greece, Ireland and Portugal and which threaten to do the same to Italy and Spain, are inevitable. Debt mutualisation alone will not save the euro, but without it the eurozone is unlikely to survive intact.

Business leaders boost the European Dream

by Grahnlaw
After our European ICT competitiveness roundup it seems natural to take a closer look at the hopes and expectations of European corporate leaders with regard to the future of the EU.

Some people doubt the usefulness of social media, but I beg to differ. This time I noticed an interesting report through @AchimMuellers on Twitter, a consultant who also blogs on Achim Müllers.

Are we getting a European party system?

from Ideas on Europe by Ronny Patz
The Guardian just published a nice timeline-map visualisation on ?how political shifts have altered the map of Europe? mainly showing the change of political left-right majorities across Europe over the past 40 years.
Let?s complement this with an academic perspective:

Nordic ICT competitiveness (INSEAD and WEF)

by Grahnlaw
The tenth GITR from INSEAD and the World Economic Forum (WEF)was practically global, covering the ICT competitiveness of 138 countries or territories:

Soumitra Dutta, INSEAD, and Irene Mia, World Economic Forum (editors): The Global Information Technology Report 2010?2011 Transformations 2.0 (411 pages)

MAIN FOCUS: EU must prevent Serb violence | 28/07/2011

from euro|topics
Masked attackers set fire to the Kosovar border post at Jarinje and shot at Nato peace-keeping troops. The background is the customs dispute between Kosovo and Serbia, which does not recognise the independence of its former province. The press holds Serbia responsible for the attacks and calls on the EU to take tough steps to avoid new bloodshed in the Balkans.

Britain’s growth: Europe remains the X factor

by Open Europe blog team
Conservative Home has launched a “growth manifesto” with contributions from a number of UK thank-tanks with the aim of providing ideas for how to return Britain to growth (“Here you go George; A Growth Manifesto from London’s think tanks”, is how the piece is aptly titled). 0.2% second quarter GDP growth is hardly impressive so ideas are certainly needed.

MAIN FOCUS: Force Serbia and Kosovo to reach agreement | 29/07/2011

from euro|topics
There is no solution in sight to the border conflict in northern Kosovo. Negotiations between the Serbian government and the international KFOR peacekeeping force on Thursday failed to produce results. Since both Serbia and Kosovo want to join the EU, the press sees this as a useful source of leverage that the EU must use to get tough on the two states.

And they’re off! What will the Spanish elections mean for the eurozone and the UK?

by Open Europe blog team
News in earlier today, Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero has finally set a date for national elections – 20 November. Parliament will be dissolved on 26 September. As expected, Zapatero will step down and make way for a new socialist party leader, Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba (pictured on the right), who was selected by his party earlier this year.

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