Italy: Nichi Vendola, future leader of Italy?
Catholic, homosexual, communist and ecologist, the Bari-born politician is the only credible alternative to Berlusconism. The problem is that the democratic party (the main opposition party PD) doesn?t like the 52-year-old or his Sinistra, Ecologia e Libertà (?left ecology freedom, SEL) party. Nor has Vendola any representatives in parliament. But the young generation see hope for the future via the left in him. The BBC is dubbing him Italy?s Obama whilst the Italians call him a ?left-wing Berlusconi? (?Berlusconi di sinistra?) (Federico Iarlori, cafebabel.it/ Image: (cc) GhostSwann/ Vincenzo Fiore/ Flickr)
and a Euro roundup:
As a political scientist interested in EU matters and as somebody involved in the EU blogosphere I?m almost daily working with official EU documents and EU legislation.
My previous blog post looked at the conclusions of the EU Commission regarding the accession negotiations of Iceland: EU enlargement: Iceland (20 December 2010).
The member states of the European Union hold the keys to membership, so there is cause to present how the Council responded. The General Affairs Council referred to the communication from the Commission of 9 November 2010 on the Enlargement Strategy and Main Challenges 2010-2011 [COM(2010) 660], as well as the progress report ?Iceland?, in:
THE YELLOW HOUSE
Do you know what the ?Yellow House? is? Have you ever heard about it?
The same year Kosovo declared independence, 2008, Carla Del Ponte, a former prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, published (in Serbia) her controversial book ?The hunt: me and war criminals,? in which she described in detail how and where some soldiers and leaders of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) committed terrible war crimes against ethnic Serbs, non-Albanians and ?non-loyal? citizens of Kosovo in 1999.
Gender mainstreaming active inclusion policies Source: EU Commission on Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities The EU recognizes gender equality as a fundamental right and as a necessary condition for growth, employment, and social cohesion. Gender inequalities, however, are an important feature of poverty and social exclusion. This report therefore explores the
Iceland has been getting a lot of attention in Brussels lately. The EU Commission presented its progress report and conclusions regarding the process of Iceland to become a member of the European Union:
Grahnlaw Suomi Finland: EU enlargement: Iceland (20 December 2010)
?Water is one of the most important resources for social and economic development. Water supply for domestic consumption is essential for human health and wellbeing.?
This is a very general though strong statement, one that few would argue against. You may have expected such a sentence in the UN Resolution on the International Decade for Action ?Water for Life 2005-2015?. And indeed, the second sentence of this resolution is quite similar and reads as follows:
?Emphasizing that water is critical for sustainable development, including environmental integrity and the eradication of poverty and hunger, and is indispensable for human health and well-being?
However, the first sentence is not a quote from one of the many diplomatic declarations the United Nations produces year after year. This is the first sentence of the Executive Summary of a very concrete report of the EU?s Court of Auditors, an institution that oversees the spending of EU funds and a body that few would have expected to come up with such a statement.
from EUobserver.com – Headline News
Monday?s meeting of EU energy ministers marked the last such ministerial conclave of the six-month Belgian presidency, a period that diplomats seem to agree will be remembered as extremely effective ? even without a Belgian government in place for the entire span.
On the 1st of January a new era will dawn on Hungary. It will take over the Presidency of European Council for the first time and a new law on media freedom will come into effect.
While the first thing is something for Hungarians to celebrate, the law on the other hand is not. It has been criticised by the OSCE Media freedom representative who wrote in a report that ?Regulating print media can curb media freedom and free public debate, which are indispensable elements of democracies? and ?Regulating online media is not only technologically impossible but it exerts a chilling, self-censoring effect on free expression.?
Hungary’s right-wing conservative government passed a restrictive media law on Monday night. As of January 1 a new authority will control the public television and radio broadcasters, as well as private media. Commentators say this attack on press freedom augurs poorly for Hungary’s presidency of the Council of the European Union.
FT Deutschland last week outlined what it considered the four possible scenarios for the eurozone in 2015, in a thought-provoking piece.
Here are the scenarios, slightly paraphrased from the original article.