by Katinka Barysch
The EU summit on December 10th-11th was a success in so far as EU leaders managed to agree on all major agenda items. The fact that there was a lot of bitter wrangling and a big dose of compromise was only to be expected against the backdrop of a rapidly worsening European economy. However, the longer-term consequences of these compromises are worrying…….
From the ESI web:
In recent weeks documentary films from the award-winning Return to Europe series have been shown in cities across Europe. EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn introduced them in the Commission headquarters in Brussels as "a compelling documentary series." Former Prime Minister Giuliano Amato wrote that "these are documentaries all citizens of the European Union should have the opportunity to see."
The European Commission is discriminating against freelance interpreters who are over 65 by neglecting to offer them work, EU Ombudsman P. Nikiforos Diamandouros said yesterday (15 December), asking MEPs to support his claim. But the EU executive argues such action is justified by the need to provide employment for newly-qualified young staff.
The election of Barack Obama as US president will "seriously narrow the policy differences" between Europe and the US, write Daniel Korski, senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), et al. in a December paper.
Less than 10 percent of the way into the book (to be fair, my edition weighs in at just under 900 pages), I’m liking In Europe: Travels Through the Twentieth Century by Geert Mak a great deal, and looking forward to the rest.
In 1999, Mak was commissioned by a Dutch newspaper to travel around the continent at the cusp of the new millennium, and to take stock of both the present — particularly with enlargement of the European Union in mind — and the century just passing. In Europa was published in the Netherlands in 2004, and an English paperback edition came out in 2008.
If expectations for the French presidency were high, then in complete contrast, expectations for the Czech presidency are low. In a couple of weeks, French President Nicolas Sarkozy will hand over the EU baton to the Czech Republic.
When Greece’s conservative New Democracy party came to power in March 2004 it promised three things: to "reinvent" the state, to eliminate corruption, and to initiate much-needed educational reform. Almost five years later, the situation remains unchanged: the state is still a tool for bestowing benefits and favours, corruption in the public sector is still rampant, and attempts at educational reform have fizzled out.Takis Michas is a journalist with the Greekdaily newspaper Eleftherotypia, andan associate of the Centre for Studies in Classical Liberalism in Athens. He isthe author of a study of Greece’s links with Slobodan Milosevic’s Serbia duringthe ex-Yugoslav wars of the 1990s, Unholy Alliance: Greeceand Milosevic’s Serbia in the Nineties (Texas A&M University Press, 2002)
I think the greatest deceit perpetrated by neo-liberalism against the world is its attempt to define democracy as an order in which the capital always feels itself safe and where any kind of radicalism was abandoned long ago.