Anti-Islam march in German city

A controversial march against “Islamisation of the West”, and a big counter-demonstration, are held in the German city of Dresden.
On recent visits to Berlin, I have been surprised at how negative people are about France. Key officials regard the country as incapable of controlling spending or enacting serious structural reform. They do not show much understanding of the political constraints that limit President François Hollande’s freedom of action. The officials add that, so long as the mistrust between Berlin and Paris persists, they cannot strike a bargain to strengthen eurozone governance. In any case, they say, there is no urgent need to do so, because – in their view – the eurozone as a whole is not in crisis. There are just specific problems in a few countries like France and Italy, caused by politicians lacking the courage to do what is necessary.
The EU’s expensive, empty airports

An airport that loses €275 per passenger. A €16.5m runway that has never been used by the aircraft for which it was built. Another airport that receives 0.4 per cent of the travellers that were forecast.

 

Millions of euros of EU money was wasted on too many airports, on airports that are too close together and do not attract enough passengers, the European Court of Auditors has found.

 

The European Union agreed yesterday (15 December) to implement a German-British plan to revive Bosnia and Herzegovina’s bid to join the bloc, which rests on a new government’s commitment to reform.

First and foremost, Ukraine needs a rule of law, so judicial reforms need to be passed. Everybody knows that every single judge in Ukraine is corrupt, and most of them need to be changed, Aivaras Abromavicius, Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine, told EurActiv in an exclusive interview.

Aivaras Abromavicius is a Lituanian-born manager and investment banker who became Ukraine’s Minister of economy on 2 December 2014.

 

Dogs, water and coffins: an untold story of British torture in Iraq

The UK has engaged in abuse and torture during the ‘War on Terror’ whilst, simultaneously, maintaining that its actions are driven by the ideals of democracy and human rights.

If we pay attention carefully to Italy’s new 39-year-old head of state,
many people in America may be judging U.S. President Barack Obama wrongly.

We have just been reading Roger Cohen’s perspicacious article in the New York Times Sunday Review at Trying to Reinvent Italy.

The states participating in the UN Climate Conference in Lima approved a framework for a new global warming deal on Sunday. It is to serve as the basis for negotiations leading up to the next conference in December 2015. Commentators complain that in the hottest year ever recorded this is a pathetic compromise and warn that climate protection doesn’t begin at conferences, but at home.

Energy poverty is a stark reminder of the inequality in Europe, writes FEANTSA and a series of other European associations.  Families in poor quality housing suffer because they cannot afford to heat their homes.

Speaking truth about the BBC and power

The BBC has never championed ‘speaking truth to power’ and its capacity for critical journalism is weaker than ever.

In a talk at King’s College, London on 25 November 2014, a version of which was published on OurKingdom, the former BBC World Service reporter Roger Hardy reflected on the war which during his 25 years of journalism was ‘by far the most difficult and the most painful’: the US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq.

EFF joins 47 other civil society groups and experts from around the world to call on trade ministers of countries negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to publish the current draft of the agreement, as well as all nations’ negotiating positions. The TPP has been negotiated in secret for the last five years. But we know from several leaks of its Intellectual Property chapter that it containsvarious provisions that pose wide-ranging threats to users’ rights to free speech and privacy online.

Europe’s Misguided Investment Mania

The lynchpin of the new European Commission’s economic strategy is its recently unveiled plan to increase investment by €315 billion ($390 billion) over the next three years. But the Commission’s proposal is misguided, both in terms of its emphasis on investment and its proposed financing structure.

 

Italy’s Jobs Act: where is the evidence?

The Italian Senate passed the Jobs Act earlier this month with much opposition from unions. But will the reform of the labour market have any effect, or do the problems with Italy’s economy lie elsewhere?

The “Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the West” (Pegida) is winning over more and more supporters, causing Germany’s Justice Minister Heiko Maas to call on all parties to openly denounce the right-wing, populist alliance. EurActiv Germany reports.

 

There are many similarities between the Romanian Prime Minister and the new Turkish President, write Demir Murat Seyrek and Sabina-Maria Ciofu.

A telephone conversation in 2010 launched the idea of designating 2015 as European Year for Development, Andris Gobiņš told EurActiv in an exclusive interview.

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