Adopting scanners; a pretext for more surveillance

Dutch press EU to adopt scanners; Dutch authorities want the EU to make passenger scanners mandatory, saying they might have foiled an airline bomber.

They could foil the attack if intelligence network really worked. It seems that even the father of this moron attacker indeed informed the security services. One cannot help thinking that there is a bit of conspiracy here. There is already a huge flow of intelligence that cannot be processed- that was what also happened in September 11- and but more and more surveillance over citizens wanted by the authorities… 

Sarkozy goes cold on Obama relationship

from – World, Europe
Nicolas Sarkozy, the most pro-American president of France for half a century, has gone cold on Barack Obama, the most popular American leader in France in…

EU country violating human rights: Secret CIA prisons in Lithuania

by Julien Frisch

How can an EU country host secret CIA prisons violating human rights?

After previous allegations that Romania and Poland hosted secret prisons, it seems like Lithuania was actually having such secret prisons from 2002 – even two since 2004.

Europe: EU criticizes Chinese dissident’s sentence

The Swedish EU presidency has condemned a Beijing court’s decision to jail Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo for 11 years, saying it raises concerns about freedom of speech and the right to a fair trial in China.

EU Network and Information Security (NIS)

by Grahnlaw

Have we humans always got our priorities right? If Santa Claus gets a parking ticket for his reindeer, it is front page news around the globe. But without information and communication technologies (ICT) in working order, even that news item would go nowhere. Actually, very little would function in our modern world without secure networks and information.

EU Telecommunications Council on post i2010 strategy: Towards a new digital agenda

by Grahnlaw

From Santa Claus to the Magi, the European Union?s new digital strategy continues to take shape with the aim to bestow its gifts on the good children of Europe in the years to come.

Sum up of Swedish EU Council presidency 2009

by Grahnlaw

Outcomes of the Swedish EU presidency (16 December 2009) is an excellent summary of the state of major European policy issues near the end of 2009, but the presidency web pages offer more detailed materials on the different EU policy areas (Council configurations) for interested readers.

Spanish presidency of EU Council 2010

by Grahnlaw

After Sweden?s six months chairing the Council of the European Union, summed up in a blog post yesterday, the start of the Spanish presidency is just a few days off.

Spain becomes the first member state to steer Council work under Lisbon Treaty rules for the duration, and it is the first in the presidency trio consisting of Spain, Belgium and Hungary, which will take the EU until the end of June 2011.

Marching Separately But Striking Together Over At the ECB

from A Fistful Of Euros » A Fistful Of Euros by Edward Hugh

Well first of all, a very Happy Xmas to any of you foolish enough to be reading tiresome posts like this one on such a special day as this – a tiresome post which simply starts by going into some nitpicking follow-up detail to my earlier post on ECB liquidity and monetary policy separation – That Which The ECB Hath Separated, Let No Man Join Together Again! – but then starts to explore the rather more torrid topic of what exactly Latvia?s Regional development minister Edgars Zal?ns might have had in mind when he told the Delfi news portal that the Latvian agreement with the IMF and other lenders could ?easily be amended given its shaky legal grounds? (there, that made you hiccup-back-up some of your xmas-pud, now didn?t it?) or what Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis might have been getting at when he warned that ?We will just go bankrupt if we observe all legal norms.?

EU Audiovisual Media Services: History, amendments & consolidation

by Grahnlaw

In this blog post we set out on the long march from national television broadcasting monopolies towards a European internal market in audiovisual services, by looking at the history through the Television without Frontiers Directives 1989 and 1997.

Quantifying Eurozone Imbalances and the Internal Devaluation of Greece and Spain

from A Fistful Of Euros » A Fistful Of Euros by Claus Vistesen

Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.

Winston Churchill, 1942


  • The extent, so far, of the internal devaluation process depends on the time period used for analysis. Using Q3-2007 as the beginning of the economic crisis suggest that Greece and Spain have not corrected relative to Germany as a benchmark. However, if we look entirely at the world in a post-Lehmann context the picture is different with Greece and Spain having observed excess deflation relative to Germany to the tune of -1.7% and -4.5% respectively for unit labour costs and -5.4% and -1.7% respectively for the PPI.

Hungary?s Economic Correction Still Fails To Convince

from A Fistful Of Euros » A Fistful Of Euros by Edward Hugh

?Hungary?s potential economic growth should be 2 percentage points over the corresponding EU figure in order to ensure convergence?.
Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai, speaking in London in October

Two contrasting pieces of news about Hungary?s economic plight have caught my eye over the last week. In the first place, and in an evident sign of the times, retail sales reportedly fell at their fastest annual rate in over ten years in October, whilst secondly, and more surprisingly, I learnt that Hungary?s economic-sentiment index rose to its highest level since the October last year, when the gale force wind sent by the fall of Lehman Brothers engulfed the country. How can this be, I thought? These two pieces of information would, at least on the surface, seem to be pretty contractictory, with the former suggesting the deepest recession in living memory is getting even worse, while the latter seems to add backing to government claims that the worst is now behind them.

EU Network and Information Security (NIS) resolution officially published

by Grahnlaw

In the blog post EU Network and Information Security (NIS) (27 December 2009) we presented the Council resolution and detailed preparatory work by the Commission, mentioning that the annexed resolution would be published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU), but that in the meantime we followed the Council document.

Israeli settlement construction in East Jerusalem draws EU rebuke

2009 – a summary

by Julien Frisch

2009 has been the year the European Year of Creativity and Innovation, and as usual almost nobody outside Brussels has noticed.

What everybody noticed were the European Parliament elections 2009 that have dominated this blog for the first half of 2009. The last election day and the Monday after the elections were the most successful days (in terms of visitors and hits) of this blog in the first semester. I should also remind you of the Th!nk About it! blogging competition where I was invited to moderate a discussion at the final event in Rotterdam.

The Economist ? the Anti-Federalist Paper

by Grahnlaw

The year is 1787 and Charlemagne, the delegate from Rhode Island ? overlooked by the history books ? returns to his island state after the closure of the Philadelphia Convention, where the framers of the US Constitution have replaced the decade old Articles of Confederation (1777), subject to ratification by nine states.

Charlemagne?s paper (The Economist) does not agree with the federal vision of the Founding Fathers. On his return, he sketches a few preliminary thoughts for his coming Anti-Federalist Papers. He rejects polygamy, marrying all one?s colleagues, nationalism, European level democracy and soggy corporatist versions of Rhineland capitalism.

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