According to media reports French President Nicolas Sarkozy and other conservative politicians have received bribes from L’Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt. The affair is seriously jeopardising Sarkozy’s re-election prospects and disabling the already crisis-ridden Europe, commentators write.
We’ve asked this question several times before, but the German think-tank Centrum für Europäische Politik has now also produced a very interesting study on the topic. In the study, the CEP trashes the legality of the ?60 billion credit facility, agreed in May (as part of the ?500 billion bailout package). This facility, as we set out here, involves the European Commission borrowing on the markets, using the EU budget as collateral. The legal base for the fund is Article 122 of the EU Treaties, intended to provide assistance to EU states in the event of natural disasters or sudden energy blackouts, (“exceptional circumstances” beyond a member state’s control, as the text states).
POLAND Interim Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski appeared to have held off a last-minute surge from the identical twin brother of the late president, who died in an April plane crash that shocked the country and forced Sunday’s early election.
Bronis?aw Komorowski has won Poland’s presidential elections. After the ballots in 95 percent of constituencies have been counted Komorowski has attained 52.6 percent of the vote, with challenger Jaros?aw Kaczy?ski trailing at 47.4 percent. The press writes that Komorowski’s election is an expression of political maturity, and praises the political style of Poland’s new head of state.
by Carlo Ungaro
The year 2011 will mark the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy. The most influential political party in the Italian ruling coalition ? the ?Northern League? ? has publicly and flamboyantly indicated its lack of interest in the celebrations, and its leaders were conspicuously absent at the parade held for Italy?s National Day last June 2.
Following the longest presidential election in the history of the German Federal Republic, the new president Christian Wulff will be sworn in today, Friday. While noting the lack of unity among the opposition, the European press believes it is above all the Merkel government that has been weakened and thinks its end is near.
Justice Secretary Ken Clarke?s announcement of a ?Rehabilitation Revolution? along with the acceptance that prison isn?t working, will have come a surprise to many. It is of course self-evident that the system is broken. Being able to admit as much however, is the luxury of a politician who has not been in office for over a decade.
from EUobserver.com – Headline News
Via Twitter I came across this post in French by Michael Malherbe about a letter sent from Commissioner responsible for Communications, Viviane Reding, to Commission President Barroso. Euractiv managed to get hold of a copy of the letter that contains 14 points about how communications are to be improved. The irony is that it looks like a scan of a letter sent on paper to Barroso. So much for modern internal comms in the Commission!
Some people will tell you there are scores of influential policy bloggers in Brussels. Unfortunately, they?re wrong. There?s an active throng of smart and passionate Eurobloggers who write about the EU and a number of issues surrounding it. Most are aggregated on bloggingportal.eu and many of them are influential: some are being treated in line with members of the press and even being mentioned by Commissioners. But most influential Eurobloggers are individual citizens who write to raise awareness of issues they care about. They occasionally write about policies, but their primary aim is not to influence a policy area.
Education is at the heart of the Europe 2020 flagship initiative Youth on the move, which aims at improved employability and employment for young EU citizens.
In the streets and parks of Britain everything seems to be as it always has been. This feels like a typical British summer with those totems of modern life passing us by: Glastonbury, Wimbledon and England crashing out of the World Cup after another catastrophic underperformance.