"Europe's Answer to Google Book Search Crashes on Day 1

Europe’s Answer to Google Book Search Crashes on Day 1

EU initiative in “overwhelmingly popular” shocker!

By nosemonkey on EU

Europeana holding pageThat’d be Europeana, the EU’s digital cultural history portal, whose purpose is “bringing you digitised books, films, paintings, newspapers, sounds and archives from Europe’s greatest collections” (with more info on the development site).

Europe must act as one on the world stage

Progress occurs in Europe only when strong national leadership combines with the collective weight of the eurozone, writes Marta Dassù

Recalibrating EU Policy towards the Western Balkans

"The time is now ripe for a new stage in the pre-accession process for the Western Balkans to begin," argues Michael Emerson, research fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), in an October policy brief.

“Under the illusion that the borders are disappearing, they are actually rapidly growing”

By nosemonkey on philosophy

Interesting report over at Kosmopolito on a recent lecture by frequently controversial Slovenian lefty intellectual Slavoj Zizek. For followers of the post-Marxian philosopher, there’s probably not much new – but some of his ideas are well worth pondering at greater length, not least for those of us interested in the future of Europe. As Kosmopolito’s Tanchi notes Zizek as commenting,

A distinct lack of transparency

By nosemonkey on CAP

Following the progress made on Common Agricultural Policy reform the other day (and it was progress, even if not as much as many would have liked), there remains much confusion. As CAP Health Check asks, who voted for what?

Common Agricultural Policy budgetThe same (invaluable) blog has all kinds of details on the fall-out from the deal – a deal in which, once again, France appears to have acted the petulant child and, from pure selfishness, scuppered reforms that the EU sorely needs. Because it wouldn’t be fair for France to get any less than 20% of the single largest chunk of the EU budget, would it?

EU warns of increased fraud in virtual worlds

Theft and other criminal activity is growing fast in virtual worlds like Second Life and Final Fantasy, where up to €1.5 billion is locked up in immaterial goods and properties, the EU agency for the security of the Internet (Enisa) reports.

Survey: Income inequalities remain high in enlarged EU

Europeans are generally satisfied with their quality of life, though considerable inequalities persist, particularly in new member states, according to a comprehensive pan-European survey published on 19 November.

English dominates EU language curricula, study finds

Over 90% of European schoolchildren learn English at some stage of their compulsory education and this figure is rising, according to a study presented on Friday (21 November) by the Eurydice network on behalf of the European Commission. The report also found that children across the EU are starting to learn foreign languages at an earlier age.

Interview: Iceland, Croatia to compete for EU entry

There are no shortcuts to EU accession, but if Iceland decided to apply for EU membership, negotiations could be wrapped up swiftly, possibly alongside those with Croatia, the current frontrunner, Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn told EurActiv in an exclusive interview.

European population structure with 300K SNPs and 6,000 individuals

By dienekesp

This is a nice paper on European population structure with a large number of SNPs, which comes at the heels of some earlier studies:

Some observations:

MAIN FOCUS: Garzón gives up | 19/11/2008

Spanish magistrate Baltasar Garzón has dropped his investigation into crimes committed during the Spanish Civil War and under the Franco dictatorship, passing it on to the regional courts. In so doing Garzón has forestalled the highest criminal court in Spain, which was to decide whether the case fell under his jurisdiction. The European press asks why.

Happiest Europeans are in Nordic countries

By Zoë Casey
19.11.2008 / 17:41 CET
Dutch join the EU’s northernmost states at the top of quality-of-life rankings that correlate closely with
health, work and wealth.

….andidate countries – Croatia, Macedonia and Turkey – are also among the least content in Europe, with scores of 6.6."

2008 Annual report: the state of the drugs problem in Europe
Source: European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA)

The report on the state of the drugs problem in Europe presents the EMCDDA’s yearly overview of the drug phenomenon. This is an essential reference book for policymakers, specialists and practitioners in the drugs field or indeed anyone seeking the latest findings on drugs in Europe. Published every autumn, the report contains non-confidential data supported by an extensive range of figures.

TIME: Europe’s Road Ahead – by Michael Elliott

If Obama is as wise as he seems, non-Americans will appreciate soon enough that he has just been elected President of the United States, not Secretary-General of the United Nations. For Europe’s great and good, this will not be easy. Europeans love thinking about America, part in longing, part in envy, part in disdain. You could spend a nice year trotting from Ditchley Park in Oxfordshire to Salzburg, from the Italian lakes to German castles, doing nothing but ponder in earnest detail the state of the Atlantic alliance.

Europe: a hobbled giant

by Alex Barker

The US National Intelligence Council has a distinctly unflattering forecast of Europe’s future in its Global Trends 2025 report.

The EU’s failed asylum rules

EU-Digest/International Business Times: Internet-Driven Pop Festival Integrates Europe

By A-News

For the complete report from the International Business Times click on this link

Internet-Driven Pop Festival Integrates Europe

The organization of the European Cyber music Festival (ECF) invites professional and amateur musicians in Europe to pre-subscribe to the 2009 edition of this festival.The ECF is a brand new European pop festival with a unique and very challenging formula: European musicians from different countries and of different nationalities play together in a pop group, and produce their music by using the Internet!

MAIN FOCUS: Together against the crisis | 26/11/2008


EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso has presented a European economic plan. In it he recommends that national packages should lower taxes and raise state expenditures. The European press anticipates reactions to the plan.

MAIN FOCUS: The UK sinks value added tax | 25/11/2008


The British government has decided to cut value added tax from 17.5 to 15 percent in a bid to revive the economy. The European press discusses the pros and cons of the move, asking whether similar steps can stimulate growth in the rest of the EU.

MAIN FOCUS: The struggle among France’s Socialists | 24/11/2008


Former labour minister Martine Aubry has won the second ballot of the vote to choose the leader of the French Socialist Party by a thin margin. Her rival, the former presidential candidate Ségolène Royal, plans to contest the results, claiming there had been irregularities. Europe’s press comments on the power struggle in Paris.

MAIN FOCUS: Scant agricultural reform for the EU | 21/11/2008


The EU’s agricultural ministers have redistributed expenditures for the Common Agricultural Policy. Direct payments to farmers will be cut, and the milk quota is to rise each year until 2015. But for Europe’s press the results of the meeting do not go far enough.

MAIN FOCUS: Modern-day pirates | 20/11/2008


Pirates have captured several ships off the coast of Somalia, among them a crude oil supertanker. The EU has already resolved to send a mission to the Horn of Africa. The European press discusses the problem of modern piracy and asks how it can best be countered.

PCA? The EU needs a real Russia debate

By Centre for European Reform

by Katinka Barysch

Was the EU right to resume negotiations on a new partnership and co-operation agreement (PCA) with Russia despite Moscow not fully complying with the Georgia ceasefire plan? Probably not. But the real problem with the EU’s decision is that it has not been accompanied by a more strategic debate about EU-Russia relations.

The last EU-Russia summit on November 14th in Nice was remarkable not only because of the EU’s apparent U-turn with regard to the PCA talks. It was also exceptionally brief (with only two hours for discussion) and largely free of the antagonistic exchanges that have come to characterise these six-monthly meetings. In one respect, however, the summit felt familiar: it was preceded by much disagreement among the EU members. In the end it was only Lithuania that held out against a resumption of PCA talks, with the Commission and the other 26 EU governments supporting it – some more grudgingly than others. Germany, France and Italy were keen to demonstrate that the EU still considers Russia a partner. Many of the Central and East European members supported the PCA talks simply because they feared the alternative: if EU-Russia relations remained blocked, bilateral relations between Moscow and the big EU member-states would inevitably grow stronger and the interests and concerns of the smaller ones would be sidelined.

French and European Universities : A Middle-Age History

By babelparis

conference université étudiants

Place de la Sorbonne in the sixth arrondissement of Paris, a week day : small groups of students part. French is spoken here and there, of course, however tinted with slavic, hispanic or english accents. And this is occuring here for centuries… Established in 1253, the Sorbonne University is one of the oldest in Europe. The oldest is that of Bologna, in Italy, established in 1088. Followed Salamanca (Spain) in 1218 and Lisbon (Portugal) in 1300. Students enrolled in these learning institutions were usually from fairly privileged social classes and it was then quite usual to enhance one’s knowledge through experiences abroad. It was the case with the famous Erasmus, a dutch Theologian who studied in France, England and Italy. Latin was then the most commonly used language of communication.

In Europe internet is in, TV is out

By Sarah Truesdale

Television audiences are diminishing, yet consumers have never been as interested in new content which is switching from one screen to another




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