I just listened to the short Fleishman Hillard podcast (via this blog post) with one of the Financial Times’ Brussels correspondents, Stanley Pignal, on how he as a journalist perceives social media communication.
He’s showing quite a hesitant view to the added value of social media, both regarding input and output of his journalistic work. I kind of agree or at least see his point, but have some points to add.
On the 9th of May each year we mark the Anniversay of the Schuman Declaration. This declaration made by French Minister for Foreign Affairs Robert Schuman in 1950, set the basis for what would has become the European Union.
Yesterday was “Europe Day,” marking the anniversary of the day French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman (not to be confused with the romantic composer with two n’s) presented his proposal on what came to become the European Union.
There was a time when we knew what the European Union was about. Democracy, cosmopolitanism and the European social model were the ideals that most Europeans associated the EU with. Now, thanks to the crisis in the Eurozone it’s not so easy to understand what Europe stands for.
Forgive me, father, for I have sinned – it has been pretty much three months since my last post. This is the longest I’ve gone without updating this place since mid-2004.
Why? Mostly the real world – I’ve just got back from a month shunting aroung the US (for work) and Japan (for pleasure), with other work trips to Dublin, Athens and elsewhere during the last few months as the day job’s got more and more demanding (and interesting).
Even if there is no real My Europe Week blog festival this year, you can still share your blog entries about Europe Day (9 May) events and your thoughts about the future of the European Union. By now there are about 35 new posts tagged ‘myeurope’ on Bloggingportal.eu.
Highly indebted Portugal will receive 78 billion euros from the EU, the European Central Bank and the IMF. The bailout agreement must now be approved by the lender institutions, the EU finance ministers and the Portuguese opposition. The press expects to see deeds – and thanks – from Portugal.
The finance ministers of several euro states met secretly in Luxembourg on Friday to discuss the Greek budget restructuring measures. The country may require even more EU financial help in future. The press writes that Greece no longer has the resources to save itself from its financial crisis, but believes excluding Athens from the Monetary Union is the wrong approach.
In an interview with journalist Olena Tregub, political scientist Andreas Umland argues that Ukrainian integration into the European mainstream is of crucial importance, both for Ukraine and the EU. In his view, alignment with Europe should become Ukraine’s top priority.
The fact that a second bailout for Greece is even being considered almost defies belief. Greece’s credit rating got downgraded again yesterday by S&P, solidifying its position as junk and highlighting the fact that a debt restructuring is by almost all accounts, except the EU powers that be, unavoidable. On top of this, there is also talk of further relaxing the original rescue conditions and reducing the interest rate. At some point one has to ask, to what end?
America, we know, has a currency union that works, and we know why it works: because it coincides with a nation — a nation with a big central government, a common language and a shared culture. Europe has none of these things, which from the beginning made the prospects of a single currency dubious.
Paul Krugman – Can Europe Be Saved?
by Simon Tilford
Even as the ink is still drying on Portugal’s EU/IMF ‘bail-out’ agreement, it is becoming clear that Greece’s 2010 bail-out has failed to improve the sustainability of its public finances. There are even rumours (strenuously denied) that the German government has drawn up plans for a Greek withdrawal from the currency union. Far from improving access to the financial markets, the support packages for Greece and Ireland (which succumbed to a bail-out of its own in December 2010) have left these countries facing record borrowing costs. The reasons for this are by now well-rehearsed. The markets do not believe that the struggling euro countries are going to grow rapidly enough to service their debts. By increasing their debts further, the bail-outs have made investors even more sceptical. The outlook for Portugal is similar, notwithstanding the slightly less draconian terms of its agreement.
Breaking news from Der Spiegel online suggesting that Greece is considering leaving the eurozone. According to the article a secret emergency meeting of eurozone finance ministers have been called.
From the article:
Research1: FP8. Is the EU too proud, too atheistic, to scientifically investigate its origin and Europe’s future?
What is the scientific topic that is of most vital interest to the entirety of European research? What is the European scientific discovery that countries around the world look for with green envy and wish they had it?
It is a scientific achievement that has the world gazing in open-mouthed wonder.
Clue: it is the topic that the present European leaders refuse to fund as part of the Framework programme for research. Not only in the present programme, but I know of no funded research in any of the multibillion euros programmes in the past.
That intellectual question, of course, is:
As a follow-up to our much discussed report on the EU’s external aid policy, on Sunday we published a new briefing looking at the effectiveness of EU assistance to North Africa and the Middle East. The EU’s funding effort towards its Southern neighbours has so far been remarkable: more than €13 billion committed between 1995 and 2013. Not exactly peanuts.