A key Brussels committee agrees to endorse Baroness Ashton as the UK’s nominee for EU trade commissioner.
Today sees Britain?s new European Commissioner, Baroness Ashton, appear before the European Parliament. You never know – something interesting might crop up. Her answers to the usual written questions can be found here. Not much to get excited about, though the anti-EU crowd will no doubt leap on her first justification for her appointment:
?As Leader of the House of Lords, I steered the Lisbon Treaty through that House.?
Have a read of this article from BBC News Online. On the basis of one reading of it can any reader have the faintest idea what is actually going on? The headline – Vote splits Czechs over EU role – is very wide of the mark. I
The Czech Republic’s chances of assuming the EU Presidency with a caretaker cabinet in January 2009 are increasing after the leftist opposition’s landslide victory in regional elections over the weekend.
The Spanish examining magistrate Baltasar Garzón wants to reexamine the crimes committed during the Spanish civil war and under the dictatorship of General Francisco Franco that followed. Some people think the quest for justice is important. Others say Garzón is driven only by personal ambition. The European press asks how Spain should address its past.
EU communications chief Margot Wallström has accused the world?s political leaders ? ?most of them men? ? of failing to tackle the problem of gender inequality.”
Belarus needs EU help coupled with political conditions in order to reform, otherwise the country will end up as part of Russia, the country’s opposition leader Alexander Milinkevich told EurActiv Czech Republic in an interview.
Baroness Ashton pitches for the job of EU trade chief
I thought the hearing with Baroness Ashton in the INTA Committee in the European Parliament would make some sparks fly. I was wrong. Ashton took the sensible, yet rather dull, approach of being pleasant and kind to the EP, and going out of the way to say that she would listen to the Committee, and listen to MEPs that she acknowledged had more experience in the field than she has.
The UK’s commissioner-designate Catherine Ashton gave an assured performance during a three-hour grilling at the European Parliament yesterday (20 October), where she promised to rescue global trade talks if approved as the EU’s new trade commissioner.
“We need a firmer hand at the EU’s helm,” argues Sylvie Goulard, president of the European Movement in France, exploring whether France is capable of “reclaiming the intellectual leadership of the EU” in the autumn edition of Europe’s World.
The number of Europeans commuting long hours to work or even working abroad has risen in recent years, according to a study presented on Friday (17 October). For some, being mobile even appears to be the only way of avoiding unemployment and social decline.
It seems that even late in the 21st-century’s first decade much of humanity is still living in the turn-of-the-millennium mood that half expects the world to come to an end. We went through it around the year 1,000 CE with all those millenarian sects. This time around, the approach to new year’s eve 1999 was filled with febrile predictions of a worldwide computer crash. That didn’t happen, but 9/11 kept the atmosphere going. Now, the financial crisis and its end-of-capitalism accompanying score has something of the same feel; and as if that were not enough, the dangers of climate change are an insistent drumbeat behind every public argument.
Daily Telegraph environment correspondent Charles Clover reported last week on the failure of a bid by WWF to overturn EU fishing policy in the courts. The complaint was that, contrary to its obligations, the Council of Ministers had not taken into account the latest science when setting fishing quotas. (The scientific evidence tends to point to lower quotas than the Council is willing, politically, to set, which will lead to depleted fish stocks that have already been reduced to dangerously low levels.)