European personalities of the year from Cafe Babel

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, Image: (cc) GhostSwann/ Vincenzo Fiore/ Flickr)

check out the rest which includes a Turkish one!

and a Euro roundup:

Fresh snow adds to Europe travel chaos

from Hurriyet Dailynews
Fresh snowfall adds to travel disruption across Europe, with more delays and cancellations at European airports and on the Eurostar train link, leaving thousands stranded as Christmas approaches. Frankfurt airport, Germany’s biggest, suspends takeoffs and landings – the latest setback to beleaguered travelers in Europe and beyond

A new EUR-Lex: Finding EU documents 2.0?

from Ideas on Europe by Ronny Patz

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.

EU Council on enlargement: Iceland

by Grahnlaw

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:

Kosovo, Serbia: Kosovo’s PM Accused of Human Organ Trade

from Global Voices Online by Sinisa Boljanovic

By Sinisa Boljanovic


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.

EU — Gender mainstreaming active inclusion policies

from Docuticker

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

EU view of EFTA and EEA country Iceland (not excluding controversy)

by Grahnlaw

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)

Spilled water, wasted funds? ? A special look at a special EU Court of Auditors report

from Ideas on Europe by Ronny Patz

?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.

‘The economy, stupid’ to dominate Hungary’s EU agenda

from – Headline News

Hungary, Orban and the new EU presidency

from Brussels Blog by Peter Spiegel

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.

Hungary?s new censorship laws.

from Stephen Spillane by Stephen
Image by Ben Beiske via Flickr

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.?

MAIN FOCUS: Hungary tightens its grip on the media | 22/12/2010

from euro|topics

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.

Four scenarios for the euro

by Open Europe blog team

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.

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